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VEDANTA MASS MEDIAA lot has happened in Georgia, but none of it is good  

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot has happened in Georgia, but none of it is good

 

 






     The fate of his predecessor should remind Mikhail Saakashvili that being Washington?s darling is not a lifetime?s appointment, writes Mark Almond.

 

     At first sight the failure of Georgia?s recent opposition to mobilise the kind of large crowd which had swarmed through Tbilisi?s streets on seventh November last year was good news for President Mikhail Saakashvili.

 

     Last year his regime had survived only by deploying the full panoply of crowd control measures from the latest ultra-low frequency dispersal equipment to spraying good old fashioned tear gas into the demonstrators and clubbing those who didn?t get the message. This year?s re-run minus the violence and the popular participation looked much better for Georgia?s President, perhaps even for the country.

 

     A lot has happened in Georgia for the last year. None of it good.

 

     Back then, four years after coming to power in the so-called "Rose Revolution" full of promises to end poverty and corruption, Mr Saakashvili?s regime faced a chorus of disillusionment presided over a reality of growing economic hardship and anger at the corruption and favouritism of the clan of Saakashvili insiders. Ex-supporters now led the charge against a President still portrayed in the Western media as a model Democrat and economic reformer.

 

     That demonstration set in train a cycle of growing tension which culminated in Georgia?s reckless onslaught on South Ossetia in August 2008. Mr. Saakashvili?s calculation then seems to have been that whatever the outcome of the war, his own position would be strengthened. Either his attack would succeed and he would be feted as the hero of national reunification, or if it went wrong his opponents would be stymied in denouncing him for fear of seeming to side with the rebels and Russia.

 

     In the short term, despite the humiliating defeat for the Georgian army in August, Mr Saakashvili?s calculation seemed to work out. But anyone sensitive to Washington?s vibes will have detected deep irritation with a protйgй who took it upon himself to create an East-West crisis despite public Cold War-style criticism of Russia. As evidence mounted that Georgia?s claims about who fired first were contradicted by Western members of the UN and OSCE monitoring missions in the country, Mr Saakashvili should have noticed the ominous refusal of the State Department?s point man for "People Power" revolutions, Dan Fried, to back the Georgian position.

 

     Since the 1980s Mr Fried has been identifying and fostering the careers of first anti-Soviet, then anti-Russian, leaders of the future. Mr Saakashvili seemed the brightest star from his stable. His fluent English and media-savvy gestures made him the darling of CNN and BBC. But it all went to his head.

 

     At the same time in domestic Georgian politics, Mr Saakashvili proved incapable of working with a team. Maybe Georgian politicians are too bent on being the boss themselves to form an effective cabinet. But since November 2003, Mr Saakashvili has fallen out spectacularly with his close allies in the "Rose Revolution."

 

     Of course, the "Rose revolutionaries" were hardly models of loyalty. They were all protйgйs of the man whom they overthrew in 2003: Eduard Shevardnadze. Not only had he appointed Misha Saakashvili to his first ministerial post but other key "Rose revolutionaries" like Saakashvili?s first Prime Minister, Zurab Zhvania, or Parliament Speaker, Nino Burjanadze, were protйgйs of Shevardnadze.

 

     Despite Western media portrayals of the new regime in November 2003, as a youthful break with the past, in reality it was a revolt of Shevardnadze?s political children.

 

     That lesson will not have been lost on Mr Saakashvili. As the Georgian President has shuffled and reshuffled the political deck of cards in Tbilisi over the last year or so as disillusionment with his regime as grown, his real purpose has been to prevent any rival getting entrenched in the power structure and building a position from which to topple the President.

 

     Now ex-comrades are lurking waiting for their chance to strike at Mr Saakashvili.

 

     In exile in France sits ex-Defence Minister, Irakli Okruashvili, whose allegations of corruption and even murder sparked the political crisis in 2007. Former Foreign Minister, Salome Zurabishvili, also forms part of the Georgian opposition?s "French connection." At home, ex-Speaker, Nino Burjanadze, waits to replay her 2003 role.

 

 

 

     RIA Novosti

 

 

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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