Five years on, Moscow continues its program of destabilization; only the administration in Tbilisi appears to be less resistant.
This new investigation is sure to raise more questions about Ivanishvili’s commitment to the democratic progress Georgia made under his predecessor.
Military occupation of one’s territory is an enormous impediment to liberalization, breeding its own special obstacles and changes in government and civil society that make free markets and free people less likely.
By urging boycotts and focusing on alleged racism, the West is undermining civil society at a moment when it is needed most. That is the real lesson of the cultural events of the last two months.
Clinton’s visit and the United States’ commitment to Georgia – under diametrically opposed administrations, no less – underscores Saakashvili’s success.
In Mr. Tibilov, Putin – himself a former KGB officer – has a fellow traveler who can be counted on to do the Kremlin’s bidding, further destabilizing Georgia and strengthening Russia’s influence in the internal affairs of its former Soviet republics.
Saakashvili’s rise to power brought with it much hope for a democratic and free Georgia. Now that the end of his era is in sight, Saakashvili must ensure that the nation remains committed to the principles that he rode to election in the inspirational fall of 2003.