Are We All Still Georgians?
If we are all Georgians, which side do we take in the latest protests? Today’s protests are further evidence that Bush’s and McCain’s unconditional support for Mikheil Saakashvili’s government last year was unwise.
When John McCain declared that we were all Georgians he had little understanding for the ethnic politics in the region that were driving the conflict. Substantial reporting done since the Russian-Georgian war has revealed just how muddled the events were leading to the outbreak of war; both countries clearly acted provocatively.
Following the war, it’s now clear how little we understood about the internal politics of Georgia and Saakashvili himself. Saakashvili is much less concerned with creating a strong democracy than he is in creating a unified Georgian state. As the New Yorker piece last year revealed, Saakashvili may identify more with de Gaulle than Washington.
This isn’t to say that we have no interest in an independent and free Georgia. Georgia is still a much more open society than Russia and should remain an ally, but we shouldn’t be led blindly into conflict with Russia.
In international politics sometimes your friends are never as helpful as you might think and your enemies are never as hostile as you might fear.
The views expressed in this blog do not represent the views or opinions of Generations United.