In-depth Business Intelligence
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is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Georgia
Update No: 334 - (24/10/08)
Saakashvili the miscreant and fool
Mikhail Saakashvili did a very foolish thing in early August. He in effect
He assaulted South Ossetia, formally part of Georgia, but not de facto since the
early 1990s. He did something that nobody had dared do since Hitler in 1941,
engage Russia in hot warfare. Why?
There is no end of animosity between Russia and Georgia. The Russians resent the
new-found freedom of the Georgians deeply. They should be eternally subject to
Moscow - that is the Russian view!
The Georgians take another view, naturally enough. But Saakashvili made a
fundamental mistake in August.
He should have been appreciative of the fact that the Russians have been
incredibly forbearing, allowing the jewel in their former empire to secede.
He should have allowed them South Ossetia - and Abkhazia also- for their
inhabitants are pro-Russian (they have no interest in being Georgian). He should
have consolidated proper on Georgia - an excellent place, shorn of its extras.
The status quo
Thousands of Russian troops and hundreds of tanks entered Georgia after its
August 7 military intervention, who had no real problem in vanquishing the
greatly inferior Georgian forces, in what Moscow said was an exercise to prevent
the slaughter of Ossetian citizens. 80% of them hold Russian citizenship and
regard Russia as their natural protector.
Dozens of Ossetians did indeed die in the conflict. But the Russsian advance
went well beyond the conflict area into Georgia proper. This caused Georgian
deaths and considerable economic damage. At this juncture the West began to
react against Russia, but only verbally. There was never the slightest chance of
a military reaction. Was Saakashvili given a most misguided encouragement? The
State Department is on record as telling him not to do it, before he did. We do
wonder about the US military advisors who have been there for nearly three
years. Where there any ‘gung-ho’ colonels taking a different position?
Georgia was specifically kept out of NATO at its last meeting in Bucharest,
precisely to rule out any such adventurism.
Saakashvili is calling for a return to the status quo ante. He is unlikely
to get it. He had better accept that he made a colossal blunder; and, if he
wants to keep his job, that he is in the Caucasus, next to Russia, not in North
America next to his beloved US, where he was educated at Harvard.
Europe to help economically
The EU is to grant reconstruction aid, to be specified at a donor conference
soon. Saakashvili has requested the EU to continue giving clear signals to
foreign investors that Georgia is on the way to integration with itself, via
trade and visa agreements, as well as financial aid. His government is pledged
to lower business taxes and further deregulate the economy – despite the
global crunch – to attract FDI.
The US has also promised $1bn. Tbilisi has asked the IMF for a $750m emergency
They still hope for NATO membership which Vice president Cheney (who else) has
encouraged, not unconnected with the fact that the US media has had one of those
lapses, associated with the facts surrounding the US invasion of IRAQ, where
they crudely describe the above events as the “Russian invasion of Georgia”.