US, NGOs and Georgia uprising


Well, guess what, it seems that the US had some role to play in recent events in Georgia. Shevardnadze was very unpopular so the mass opposition to him is genuine. But the US and other western powers supported him up to know, that is until he became too friendly with Russia.

From  When NGOs AttackImplications of the Coup in GeorgiaBy JACOB LEVICH

"Shevardnadze, for many years a reliable US client, seems to have become truly rotten at around the time of his perceived tilt toward Russia, a development which potentially threatened US military access to the region and control of the $2.7 billion Baku-Ceyhan pipeline"

(http://www.counterpunch.org/levich12062003.html) 

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More background on previous support for Shevardnadze:
 
from The Fall of Shevardnadze The Implications for "Democracy in the Middle East", By GARY LEUPP
 
'Here's what Mark Almond, lecturer on modern history at Oxford, writes in the New Statesman concerning U.S. handling of this puppet: "Those who pointed out the routine fraud of his elections or the horrors of his prisons were denounced by the U.S. State Department. In 1995, I visited the isolator prison in Tbilisi with a senior official. Every prisoner had TB. You could smell the vileness of the place outside the walls. The Georgian official retched on leaving the building. And the U.S. National Democratic Institute gave Shevardnadze its Medal of Freedom. Richard Perle told me: 'He is one of ours.'"'
 
(http://www.counterpunch.org/leupp12042003.html scroll down to Bloody Eduard's Democratic Record )
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From The Betrayal of Democracy,  in Post-Soviet Georgia, by Chad Nagle, 1999
 
It remains to be seen how long the Western policy of "stability over democracy" will be pursued in Georgia, but one thing is fairly certain: it is failing fast.

 

But even more troubling for the United States should be the fact that in our unconditional support of a deeply unpopular leader, the United States has created a high level of anti-Americanism in a nation which, during the Cold War, was fiercely pro-American and looked up to us as the only power which could help them realize their national aspirations. Most residents of Tbilisi now refer disgracefully to the wall which Washington constructed in front of the US Embassy as the "Berlin Wall." Georgians no longer take the OSCE and Council of Europe seriously as promoters of either democracy or human rights in Georgia, and many in fact suspect them of being staffed largely by intelligence officers.

 

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/nagle1.html
 

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on the recent elections, from the British Helsinki Human Rights Group:
 

According to BHHRG's monitors, the conduct of the 2003 parliamentary election in Georgia was a marked improvement on previous polls. If this improvement over the wretchedly organised elections in the past decade was due to the international community's keen oversight  rather than the actions of the Georgian authorities then it has to be asked why the USA, EU and OSCE  could not have brought about these improvements much earlier in the 1990s.

 

Western diplomats and para-NGOs have aligned themselves with certain opponents of President Shevardnadze who were his closest allies until recently.  It is only now that these international groups raise serious qualms about election procedures in Georgia. This suggests that the West did not want fair elections in the past when its friends were candidates winning on Mr. Shevardnadze's coat-tails, and has only made complaints about poor voter registration, suspiciously slow counts and arbitrary decisions of the CEC because their preferred candidates may be badly affected by them now. These flaws were ignored by Western embassies and the OSCE in 1992, 1995, 1999, and 2000, but then the abuses seemed to the BHHRG’s regular team of monitors in Georgia to have been much worse than in November 2003.  

 

(report on the elections from the British Helsinki Human Rights Group http://www.bhhrg.org/CountryReport.asp?CountryID=10 )

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Did anyone else hear any similar stories, either refuting or arguing that the US had any involvement in recent events in Georgia?

 


Created By: Orla Ni Chomhrai