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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/14/11

Washington To Rearm Georgia For New Conflicts

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"The American people will continue to stand with others struggling for democracy over the forces of despotism, dignity over degradation, and freedom over subjugation." [8] His statement also expressed appreciation to Georgia for supplying the Pentagon with 2,000 troops for the war in Iraq and 1,000 so far for that in Afghanistan.

The Georgian leader met with other lawmakers, including Senator Joseph Lieberman, upon whom he bestowed the St. George's Victory Order. Saakashvili announced last month that he - not the mayor of Tbilisi - would named a street in his nation's capital after Holbrooke, a "trusted friend and confidant" who co-authored a piece in the Washington Post during the 2008 war denouncing what he termed the "full-scale Russian invasion of Georgia."

While Washington's favorite foreign head of state is being hailed and regaled with attention and praise in the capital, his foreign minister referred to a recent agreement between Abkhazia and Russia as "fascism." [9]

The day before he arrived in the U.S., Saakashvili said in an interview to a Ukrainian television station:

"As for NATO, I am absolutely convinced that this is just a matter of time."

"Nobody can ensure their security on their own, especially small countries, but I think this concerns Ukraine as well," he added.

After seven years of mercurial, megalomaniacal, adventurist, dictatorial and murderous rule [10], Saakashvili remains the Washington political establishment's pampered darling ne plus ultra.

At the NATO summit in November of last year, President Obama met privately with him the day before the NATO-Russia Council meeting with President Medvedev occurred.

Last July Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Georgia as Saakashvili's guest and lambasted Russia for "occupying" Abkhazia and South Ossetia, described as Georgian territories although neither has ever been part of an independent Georgia. In her own words: "We, the United States, was appalled, and totally rejected the invasion and occupation of Georgian territory. I was in the Senate at the time, and, along with my colleagues and the prior Administration, made that view very clear. We continue to speak out, as I have on this trip, against the continuing occupation." [11]

At a joint press conference with Georgian Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri ahead of the second omnibus meeting of the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership in October, she stated:

"The relationship between Georgia and the United States stands on a foundation of shared values and common interests....The United States will not waver in its support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. That support is a core principle of our Charter on Strategic Partnership, and it is fundamental to our bilateral relationship."

"The United States remains committed to Georgia's aspirations for membership in NATO, as reflected in the Alliance's decisions in Bucharest and Strasbourg-Kehl. We strongly support Georgia's efforts related to its Annual National Program, which promotes defense reform and guides cooperation with NATO. And we continue to support Georgia's efforts on defense reform and improving defense capabilities, including NATO interoperability and Georgia's contributions to ISAF operations in Afghanistan."

"We continue to call on Russia to end its occupation of Georgian territory, withdraw its forces, and abide by its other commitments under the 2008 ceasefire agreements." [12]

Her comments led the government of Abkhazia to challenge her to acknowledge countries like Afghanistan and Iraq as American-occupied territories.

Later in the month a NATO delegation inspected the Krtsanisi National Training Center and its Simulation Training Center - built by the U.S. - in Georgia (where U.S. Marines have trained Georgian soldiers and where three Georgian soldiers were killed and thirteen wounded in an explosion this month) as part of NATO Days events in the nation.

Also in October, Italian Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, visited the Krtsanisi National Training Center and the simulation facility to view training exercises of the Georgian battalion that would replace one serving under NATO command in Afghanistan. He also toured the newly established NATO Liaison Office in the Georgian capital.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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