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Bass’ game is almost over21.06.2011 | 22:51
The USA Ambassador in Georgia John Bass faced a real crossfire of the local opposition. It is being criticized both by the "moderate" opponents of the current regime and those who organized the recent mass protest events in the streets of Tbilisi. Will the critics of the American diplomat be able to achieve their objective? The leader of the Imedi Party Irina Sarishvili told the GeorgiaTimes correspondent how this situation will affect the relations between Georgia and the USA.
The demands on the dismissal of John Bass have been recently heard from all the wings of the Georgian opposition. This has even become kind of a trend. Obviously, not being able to get round to his bosses in Washington, the local politicians just take out on Bass their resentment with regard to the crackdown of the May demonstrations.
The United States ambassador also stirred the anger of many human rights activists and public characters by his effective support of the barbarous actions of the republic authorities after the crackdown of the "Popular Assembly" meeting on the night between the 25 and 26 May. Even before the suppression of the protest action by the strongmen near the Parliament building the Washington representative spoke on the inadmissibility of similar expression of people's will. After the tragedy that claimed several lives and crippled hundreds of destinies the diplomat, naturally, could not abide by a pro-authority position. But the tone of his observations did not admit any doubt: the USA approve the methods used by Saakashvili against his own citizens.
Bass' words, undoubtedly, discredited Washington in the eyes of many ordinary Georgians. His positions teetered even for the part of the population that does not adhere to frankly oppositional views and does not agree with the methods of the president's opponents. Now Americans are not imagined as faithful allies of a young Caucasian democracy but as supporters of a state criminal who allowed the use of rubber bullets and tear gas against unarmed people.
Irina Sarishvili, leader of the opposition party "Imedi", also agrees with the fact that the US ambassador in Tbilisi's statements exploded the reputation of the States in Georgia. "From the point of view of the public opinion this will have bad impact on the relations between the Georgian and American people, as well as on Washington's positions as the key partner of our country. "Americanism" was already losing its positions in the republic, losing its former popularity. Whatever the Georgian authorities did, they have always hidden behind the USA support. It is logical that, when the country authorities' rating falls, the population starts having a worse attitude to the States", - she said in her interview to GeorgiaTimes.
Irina Sarishvili also draws our attention to the fact that John Bass has actually become a "scapegoat" for many Georgian oppositionists who are demanding his dismissal now. "I am sincerely surprised with the fact that Bass is clearly becoming the main target of claims related to the USA attitude towards the suppression of the opposition meeting. I am sure that Bass would have never made such sharp statements alone. Evidently, his words correspond to the opinion of the American officials. Another thing is that a different representative of Washington could express himself in a more diplomatic way", - supposes the Imedi Party leader.
In her words, Bass' exclusion is also made difficult by the fact that it will practically become the acknowledgement of America's mistake that it made by not judging the actions of the Georgian special forces. "If this really happens and the current ambassador is recalled, the American government will have to make some comments before his successor arrives. Either accuse their representative of excessive initiative or not agree with the decision of the Georgian authorities", - said Sarishvili.
Unfortunately, such a thing can be hardly expected from Washington. The USA has already given up the idea to build "an isle of liberty" in the Caucasus using their protégé Saakashvili. It seems that the States may resign themselves both to his dictatorial habits and with his attempts to remain in power after the expiry of his presidential authorities. He is coping quite well with his main obligation: to serve as the main irritant for Russia and prevents the situation from stabilizing. And if the current president of the republic starts forgetting himself and tries to pull out the leash that was slipped on him several more candidates ready to stare at the star-spangled flag with the same servility will be pleased to take his place.