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Condoleezza Rice showed Mishiko's dirty laundry17.11.2011 | 12:06
After Barack Obama's coming to the White House, relations of Washington and Tbilisi have lost their former intensity. The new U.S. leader has preferred forming good relations with Russia instead of unbalanced Transcaucasian ally, declaring "restart" policy. But after the publication the memoirs of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, it became clear that the past administration in Washington has considered Saakashvili a very unreliable partner. GeorgiaTimes' correspondent discussed memories of Condoleezza Rice with the conflict expert Paata Zakareishvili.
In her memoirs, "No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington" former head of the U.S. State Department called short-tempered and impulsive Saakashvili instigator of the war in August.
"He is proud and he can be impulsive, and we were all afraid that he might give Moscow an opportunity to provoke him to use force. In fact, he managed to successfully provoke a conflict in another breakaway region - Ajara, and won by the fact that this region was reintegrated into Georgia. We were afraid that the precedent could allow him to think that he could repeat the same show at a location near Sochi territory such beloved by Putin", said the former head of American diplomacy. She noted that the aggression against South Ossetia was entirely adventure of the Georgian president, who did not heed the warnings of his American advisers.
"Mr. President, do what you want, but do not give Russia the right to provoke you. Remember the moment when President Bush said that Moscow is trying to get you to commit any folly. Do not get involved in a confrontation with the Russian military force. No one comes to to help you and you lose", Condoleezza Rice describes her meeting with Saakashvili. But he was not able to perceive what is happening adequately.
"I was concerned about the persistent, emotional and overwrought President of Georgia and what he could say. "Mr. President, thank the Europeans and Americans for their support. Say something encouraging to your people about the completion of the war, and I'll say something about the Russians", I said. The press conference started hard ... Saakashvili speaks English; I knew this could not be a problem, but suddenly his tone became aggressive. He called the Russians barbarians and called to turn the tanks back. He was not stopping. Well, I thought, I expected harsh words for the Russians from him. Then he started talking about the Europeans, the Munich Conference and appeasing ... I was so angry at Saakashvili, I could not even speak", wrote former Secretary of State.
For the first time a senior official of George W. Bush's administration, who has defiantly favored the Georgian president, told about how he is actually perceived in Washington. GeorgiaTimes' correspondent discussed with the Georgian conflict expert Paata Zakareishvili what could stand behind such hypocrisy.
"It cannot be still called rethinking of attitude towards the war by the U.S., since Condoleezza Rice wrote it informally, in her memoirs. Memoirs - is a very important factor itself, given the high profile of the former Secretary of State, but they still do not reflect the official position of Washington. However, the publication of these memoirs, actually for the first time in the U.S. the information field, recognize at such level that Georgia was the first who had entered Tskhinval and began to bomb, said the expert. It has been known before, but it's good that Condoleezza Rice has written about this. This will help Georgian society to make more sober assessment of that situation, to see their responsibility in this war. The merit of the former Secretary of State is that she, as a person directly involved in those days' events, is trying to talk about them sincerely".
According to Georgian political scientist, in those events the White House has used Georgia as a bargaining chip in its geopolitical game.
"From her memoirs it is quite clear that Russia has beaten Saakashvili on all counts. Russian authorities have expected adventurism and voluntarism from him; they knew how Saakashvili would act in this particular situation. And he had acted as expected, said Zakareishvili in an interview to GeorgiaTimes. On the other hand, the administration of George W. Bush tried to use Georgia and its president as an instrument of its rivalry with Russia for influence at the former Soviet space. In addition, on the threshold of the presidential elections in the U.S., it was important for the White House to create in the American public opinion the image of Russian threat for the U.S. interests, and only representative of the U.S. Republican Party can successfully counter this.
Thus, Georgia, which has lost part of its territory after the August conflict, was a victim of domestic and foreign policy machinations of Washington".
Paata Zakareishvili indicated that the inadequacy of Mikhail Saakashvili, noted by Rice, has not disappeared to this day. In particular, he drew attention to the discrepancy between expectations of the leader of Transcaucasian republics for a speedy entry into NATO and skepticism about Georgia on the part of NATO member countries, which is reflected in the memoirs of Condoleezza Rice.