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August 14, 2008

PR-Happy Saakashvili Wasn’t Asking For It, Was He, In Flaunting U.S. Weaponry?


The more you tease out the visual politics, the more the Georgia – Russia schism — and the power agenda of the Georgian president — gets more interesting.  The photo caption reads:

Georgia’s President-elect Mikhail Saakashvili, left, hands over a U.S. designed M4 carbine to a Georgian soldier at an opening ceremony of a new military base in the town of Gori, some 80 km (50 miles) west of Tbilisi, Georgia, Friday. Jan. 18, 2008. Georgia has decided to stop using the Russian-built Kalashnikov and start issuing U.S.-designed M4 carbines as part of efforts to turn its army into a professional force.

(image: Irakli Gedenidze/AP)

  • David

    In this photo President Saakasvili seems proud to be handling the American-made M4 carbine rather than the Russian Kalasnikov. It’s symbolic of his desire and his successes (albeit incomplete) to Westernize his country. I believe that reflects his and the nation’s desire to reorient its policies and values away from Moscow and toward Brussels. That’s what national self-determination is all about.
    Is it going to annoy Moscow? Yes. Is he doing so doing it deliberately? Perhaps. But that does not mean he’s asking for an invasion, BAG. Russia is not entitled to an empire and while they may work (and have limited success) in recreating the old Tsarist/Soviet spheres of influence, the West should make it as difficult as possible for them to do so.

  • LanceThruster

    As far as I can tell, in almost any international conflict, the side that Israel is not on are “the good guys.”

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