Friday, August 08, 2008
Wally of the Week: Mikheil Saakashvili
Well, it looked like it would be a competitive race, but by his actions over the past 24 hours the former employee of New York law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler, (who also happens to be the President of Georgia), has won this week's award by a landslide. Saakashvilli- that really should be Saakaswally-(pictured above with his good pal George W. Bush), thought he could use the smokescreen of the opening of the Olympic Games to launch a brutal military assault against the people of the breakaway province of South Ossetia. In a referendum, 99% of South Ossetians said 'nyet' to any association with Georgia, but hey, what does a little thing like democracy matter when you're the neocons' man in the Caucasus.
But Saakaswally's cunning- (and utterly despicable) plan, has spectacularly back-fired. The murder of ten Russian peacekeepers - and the slaughter of hundreds of innocent South Ossetians has led Moscow to send in the tanks. And the planes. And now the hapless Georgian President is appealing for 'help' against Russian 'aggression'(!- yes, please try and keep a straight face) from the EU and the US.
Right on cue, the professional Russophobes are crawling out from beneath their stones, penning their rabidly anti-Moscow propaganda pieces- a mendacious narrative in which the aggressors become the victims of aggression and the victims of aggression the aggressors. But this is one dispute that even the neocons can't spin to their advantage. Saakaswally took an almighty gamble- and lost. No one is going to go to his assistance. The former employee of Patterson, Belkan, Webb and Tyler is going to be taught a lesson he'll never forget.
Never provoke a bear.
UPDATE: Mark Almond has penned a wonderful piece on the background to the South Ossetia conflict in today's Guardian. It's a great riposte to the mendacious neocon claptrap that's currently doing the rounds. The Exile will be blogging on the South Ossetia conflict all weekend and he's got some great posts up already. And you can read Svetlana's thoughts on Georgia's own version of 'Operation Storm', here.