02 June 2015

Former Georgian (Reaganite) Leader Saakashvili Gets Another Crack at the Russians...

Takes Ukrainian citizenship, appointed Governor of Odessa region

While it was pretty painful to watch the US-and-Israeli equipped and trained Georgian Armed Forces get their asses kicked by the Russians in 2008, the truth is that the greatly-outnumbered Georgians never stood a chance once the Kremlin decided to get militarily involved, due to the fact that loyal US ally Tbilisi had all their best troops still in Iraq...

The Georgian army was reduced to five brigades, nearly all light infantry, ditching practically all its armor and artillery in favor of a counterterrorism and counterinsurgency approach to warfare, which of course was what U.S. military trainers working with the Georgians encouraged.
The only brigade that was actually battle ready was -unfortunately- in Iraq, and since the West did little-to-nothing to punish Putin for invading/bombing Georgia, the argument could be made our tepid support for a non-NATO ally under attack encouraged subsequent Kremlin expansionism in Ukraine... where we're still doing next-to-nothing.

But mediocre Russian performance against even that skeleton force Georgia fielded in August 2008 is said to be what motivated Putin to put vast sums into upgrading equipment and training in the Russian armed forces.

Alas, Mikheil Saakashvili did move swiftly to keep South Ossetia from leaving seceding from Georgia proper, but it was a choreographed FSB/GRU trap he fell for hook-line-and-sinker, 'legitimizing' the resulting Kremlin attack with troops they had already secretly staged right over the mountains in
Russian-controlled North Ossetia.

In the event, the Georgians lost South Ossetia -occupied by the Russian 'peacekeepers'- as well as another breakaway region under heavy Russian influence, Abkhazia. Eventually a more pro-Russian leadership came to be in Tbilisi, and they've been pursuing a number of 'corruption' charges against Saakashvili, which he dismisses as politically motivated.

Thus, a situation has currently developed where the former Georgian leader
-who speaks basic Ukrainian- can simply give-up citizenship in his beloved country -they're only going to jail Saakashvili there, to keep him out of politics, like Yanukovych did to Julia Tymoshenko in Ukraine.

In him, Ukrainian leader Poroschenko (who's known Saakashvili since 1992) sees a driven man who shares his cause (freedom from Russian oppression) who can -as a principled outsider- fight Ukraine's substantial domestic corruption/crime... and the Russians as well.

So Misha Saakashvili has taken a position right in the line of Russian intentions, as Odessa is the region most desired by the rebels/Russian military as they seek to expand 'Novorossiya' towards the sea, i.e. first Mariupol then Odessa, creating a land-bridge to Crimea and perhaps even 'Transdniestra' on the edge of Moldova, yet another Russian-infested 'enclave' seeking Kremlin 'help'.

The former Georgian president puts it as such:

 'If Odessa ever falls -God forbid- then Georgia 
might be wiped out from the map'

President Poroshenko (left) presented Mikheil Saakashvili
(centre) to Odessa residents on Saturday

So Saakashvili likely sees his new job as an extension the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, and of a larger anti-Russian effort in the region. Nobody wants anything like another Soviet Union except for Vladimir Putin, and maybe NATO and the West should have listened to Mr Saakashvili's warnings about emboldening the Russians by letting them get away with bullying tiny Georgia.

And you know something, I've always liked this guy: yeah he's got his critics, but Saakashvili reminds me an awful lot of Bibi Netanyahu: patriotic defender of small, underdog nation... US educated... very pro-American.

And an all-out Reaganite Republican, particularly in regard to economics: both Bibi and Misha freed their economies from taxes, undue regulation, and government red tape, creating a far more booming, free-market situation in the country than when they came to power- and both men have openly stated Ronald Reagan was their inspiration in this area, as was the Chicago School/Milton Friedman, Thatcher, etc. 

Saakashvili has never taken any crap from the Russians, either- anybody standing up to them is by default a friend of mine. Standing your ground based on principle is about as Reaganite as it gets... no surprise really, seeing as Saakashvili is an obvious admirer of the 40th US president, going so far as to erect a Reagan monument in Tblisi, Georgia... I wish him and the Ukrainians all the luck in the world, with the West these days run by girly-man appeasers, they're going to need it...

Tbilisi, Georgia: 'For destroying the Soviet empire...'