Bearer of Marxist-Leninist ideology, Che Guevara had opposed capitalism and Western imperialism, including injustices committed by U.S. in its foreign and national policies. Actively involved with Cuban revolution in 1953-1959, Che Guevara later gave up willingly a senior public office position offered to him in the government of Fidel Castro. Eying realization of socialist revolutions in other parts of the world, Guevara endeavored coups in Congo and Bolivia. Although his efforts to spread Cuban revolution had failed, he nonetheless became symbol of rebellion and disobedience around the world…
Today, ex-president of Georgia and incumbent governor of Odessa province –Mikhail Saakashvili– is literally trying to assume a role of inspirer of revolution and mutiny across post-Soviet space. Unlike Che Guevara, for Saakashvili, U.S. is haven and source of support. More precisely, Saakashvili implements role of propagator and executor of colour revolutions planned by Washington on post-Soviet space.
It would be helpful to turn to several aspects of Saakashvili’s biography, in order to see the complete picture. He completed his military service in Ukraine in 1989-1990 and went to graduate from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, with a degree in international law in 1992. Their friendship with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is said to date back to student years in the same university (see: “Are Georgian-Ukrainian Bilateral Relations Deteriorating?” / The Jamestown Foundation, 30 March 2015).
Sample Mechanism of U.S. Staff Building
Upon return to Georgia, Saakashvili was overseeing human rights in the interim state council, after ousting of Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Later, he enrolled in Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program. This program was established by Congress, within State Department’s Bureau For Educational and Cultural Affairs, in the wake of Soviet Union’s collapse, in 1992. Program’s target geography is Eurasia (in practice, post-Soviet space exclusively – author) and it aims to foster leaders in advanced fields by offering one and two year master degrees and involvement in voluntary community service. Moreover, ‘Returning Muskie alumni share their firsthand understanding of American culture and democratic values in their workplaces and communities and take leadership roles in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors’ (Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program / www.irex.org).
Program is confident that alumni would inevitably become leaders in their respective nations, and at least Mikhail Saakashvili stands as justification of this ‘pledge’. Theoretically, Georgia gained as a nation but its theoretical losses remain another issue…
Therefore, ultimate objective of this program has been developing ‘U.S.-nurtured’ human assets to be represented in the leadership of newly emerging nations in the aftermath of USSR’s dissolution. Nurturing of Saakashvili continued at Columbia Law School and George Washington University Law School a year later. Saakashvili also attended Strasbourg-based International Institute of Human Rights, graduating in 1995. After brief internship in UN, young expert joined one of New York’s law firms. Thus, having gone through ideological indoctrination and acquired skills of practical implementation, Saakashvili returned to Georgia and as of 1995 joined country’s political life.
Together with his friend Zurab Jvaniya (Armenian-Georgian-Jewish politician, served as Prime Minister during Saakashvili’s presidency, until mysterious death in 2005) Saakashvili ran for parliament from Eduard Shevardnadze’s ‘Union of Citizens of Georgia’ and both won seats in December 1995. With his prominence rising, Saakashvili became Justice Minister in 2000 just to resign next year, accusing the government of corruption. After quitting ranks of Shevardnadze party, Saakashvili established his own ‘National Unity Movement’.
Major Component of Execution Plan: Regime Change
Rejecting parliamentary elections’ results of 2 November 2003, Saakashvili claimed his party’s victory and called for civil disobedience against government of Shevardnadze. In this struggle, Nino Burjanadze’s ‘Burjanadze-Democrats’ partnered with Saakashvili. They demanded president’s resignation and re-run of parliamentary elections. Protest rallies with tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands by some accounts) in attendance were staged. Result was capture of parliament and ousting of country’s leader.
Yet, uprisings across the nation were hardly a spontaneous civil reinvigoration. Thorough arrangements were made secretly, well in advance of rallies. Involvement of the likes of ‘Kmara” (Enough), Freedom Institute and other NGO’s were testimony to that. Movement named ‘Kmara’ was created just before parliamentary elections, in April 2013, and ceased to exist after coup, having accomplished its mission, that is.
Non-governmental ‘Freedom Institute’ that actively recruited students and enjoyed ties with Ilya Chavchavadze State University, spearheaded the process. Most of university’s leaders eventually getting positions in Saakashvili government or being elected to Parliament after the coup was indication of gratitude for well-done job.
U.S.-funded organization called ‘Otpor’ that played active role in ousting Slobodan Milosevic’s government in Serbia in 2000, served as ‘Kmara’s prototype, this time under the patronage of Freedom Institute. As logical development, experienced members of ‘Oplot’ were involved in capacity building of youth of ‘Kmara’. George Soros’ Open Society Institute was responsible for financial backing of this process. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and National Democracy Institute (NDI) were also among Saakashvili’s supporters.
With ‘Rose Revolution’ in 2003 and ousting of Shevardnadze, Saakashvili secured two consecutive presidential terms in office. In 2012, Saakashvili conceded defeat of his party in parliamentary elections and gradual change of power in the country had started, while West remained idle.
Different Location – Same Objective
Having left Georgia to reside in U.S. for some time, Saakashvili became ardent supporter of Ukraine’s ‘Maydan’ movement and repeatedly visited the country in the height of uprising, aiming to inspirit revolutionists. In the aftermath of tumultuous political processes, Petro Poroshenko was elected President, and on 30 May 2015 appointed Saakashvili a governor of president’s home province of Odessa.
Saakashvili’s performance as head of state and his legacy for modern Georgia is far from unequivocal. His success in eliminating corruption, ensuring transparency and conducting progressive reforms was overshadowed by fiasco of policy of preserving his country’s territorial integrity. West’s indifference to this vital issue for Georgia demonstrated that U.S. cultivates leaders and political human assets within other nations not to their benefit but for securing own interests.
As ‘experienced players’, the very assets are then often deployed to other places on similar missions. Presence of former Georgian and U.S. citizens that previously held different posts, including several members of Saakashvili’s team, in the current government in Ukraine indicates application of a principle of ‘inviting foreign players to the team’.
This rare practice for politics is more likely of an experiment. It cannot be ruled out that practice of foreign nationals’ appointment to senior government positions is a harbinger of new spirit brought into governance by modern liberalism, targeting obliteration of national frameworks and dissemination of ‘global citizenship’ thinking.