Mikheil Saakashvili, the Neo-conservative-friendly, bellicose president of Georgia whose troops attacked the tiny secessionist enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008, has been defeated at the polls. United States media is referring to Saakashvili as a ‘pro-Western’ leader, meaning that he is anti-Russian, supports US intervention throughout the region and seeks to expand NATO right up to the border of Russia. In fact, Josie LeBlond’s article for the USA Today reads almost as if it were written by a member of Saakashvili’s staff or by one of his cheering supporters at one of Washington, DC’s Neo-conservative think-tank. LeBlond writes:
Nine years after he ushered in a democratic Georgia, President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat Tuesday after parliamentary elections showed a surge of support for a billionaire who made his money in Russia.
“I express my respect toward the decision of the majority,” said Saakashvili in a live TV address to the nation.
Billionaire Bizdina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition won a parliamentary majority and will be able to form a new government, though Saakashvili’s term does not expire for another year.
Saakashvili has been in power since the peaceful Rose Revolution ended unrest in a country that was once under Soviet domination until it declared independence in 1991. He overhauled a Communist-style economy and steered the country away from Russian influence and toward the West.
Back in 2008 when Saakashvili’s troops were invading the small break-away republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, US Senator and über-hawk John McCain attempted to make it seem as though Russia, by defending the two enclaves from Georgian invasion was an imperialist aggressor. McCain claimed ‘we are all Georgians’ and did his best to get the United States militarily involved in the war.