We here at La Russophobe live for moments like the one last Monday morning, when we clicked open the New York Times website and saw the lead story, complete with massive photograph of the beaming President of Georgia and headlined: “Georgia’s Leader Escapes Damage in Biden Visit.”
The article was an ode to Saakashvili’s amazing staying power in the face of relentless persecution from Russia. It points out, for instance, that the last time Saaskashvili was challenged by Moscow stooges, rather than arrest them or kill them as Putin would have done, he simply called an election and won it. The Times relates: “He eked out 52.8 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a second round of voting, though far less than the 96 percent he won in 2004, when the so-called Rose Revolution brought him to power.”
Eked out, huh? Oops. 52.8% is exactly the same share of the popular vote won by Barack Obama in 2008, down to the decimal point. And Obama didn’t have to overcome the determined efforts of a country ten times the size of the United States trying to crush him at every step the way the fearless and heroic Saakashvili did.
Instead of criticizing Saakashvili, as the Kremlin may have thought would occur, Biden turned a vigorous attack directly towards the Kremlin. He accused Russia of being a feeble sham and declared that Russia’s fanciful notions about its “sphere of influence” would be disregarded by the Obama White House. There wasn’t a word of rebuke for the Georgian leader.
The Times wrote:
“It’s nothing less than miraculous,” said Lawrence Scott Sheets, the Caucasus program director for the International Crisis Group, an independent organization that focuses on conflict resolution. “He does have this Houdini-like capability. A lot of politicians would have folded their cards. He just said ‘no.’ ”
In other words, once again the Georgian came out on top.
If America dared to interfere in Russian domestic politics as brazenly and directly as Russia has done in Georgia, Russians would be spitting poison and talking about World War III. Yet, Russians feel themselves entitled to do in other countries what they most despise at home, never realizing that those countries ever more despise and spurn Russia, leaving it at least as much hated as America in her worst moments. Russians stand exposed, helplessly unable to oust Saakashvili from power or even to alienate his Western support, which only gets stronger the more the Russian bully acts out.
Way to go, Mr. Saakashvili.