Small Caucasian Bellwether of Georgia
Georgia has played a crucial role as a “bellwether” for unfolding political or geopolitical events, a trend with far-reaching impact that has been evident over the past three decades since the collapse of the USSR.
With the conflict in Ukraine losing direction and support from the West, the focus of Western elites is now turning towards Georgia, a small Caucasian nation, but not in a good way. This shift in attention underscores Georgia’s significance in providing insights into broader geopolitical dynamics and reveals how desperate shape the West has found itself.
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Also, there is the backdrop of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenian and other regional firefights to consider in this discussion, including Iran, Palestine and Israel, etc. What is happening in these countries need to be considered in what is now unfolding, both in the run-up to the US and Georgian elections in 2024.
RETURN of Bidzina Ivanishvili to the Political Forefront!
Now to look below the surface, and to take notice of some surface bubbles of a clash of interests taking place, and not only for the usual reasons; this requires a backup plan, particularly strategic depth for the US and its partners, and not many suitable candidates are left standing in the region as the last line of defense. Therefore this may be the warning signs of BIG and menacing things to come for the Georgian people.
Political Bang in Georgia
TBILISI — The end of the 2023 ended with a political bang in Georgia, when the former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire widely held to wield huge political influence, announced that he was returning to frontline politics after two years, ahead of the Georgian parliamentary elections to be held in 2024.
Ivanishvili, emerged from obscurity in 2011 to challenge Misha Saakashvili and his United National Movement, who had ruled Georgia since 2003. Ivanishvili established the Georgian Dream Party, which swept to power in elections in 2012.
His return is claimed by Ivanishvili himself “to be motivated” by the “complicated” geopolitical situation and what he said was the opposition’s “failure to hold the government to account”. The cut brush has already been piled high and now only needs someone to come along and start the fire, will it be him, or some other Western players, a regional event?
Is this news a sign of fear, or the first warning shot over what to watch out for, and if lead down the EU path too quickly, there will be too many externalities – the question then is will these be totally out of the control of Georgia and Georgians?
Ivanishvili describes in his recent speeches “how Georgia faces many challenges and the geopolitical situation is difficult. Therefore, even the smallest mistake by the ruling authorities can have serious consequences. Georgia’s national goals can only be considered achieved when “we fully protect the national identity, restore the full sovereignty of the country, achieve territorial integrity, and achieve foreign policy goals – the most important of which is EU integration.”
“The ruling party needs a new center of gravity and I believe that my mission of this new center of gravity is timely and necessary today.”
There are forces at work to turn Georgia against itself, for the sake of maintaining a US led toe-hole in the region. Even how this news is reported is revealing, especially the part about how the law on foreign agents “resembled a law that the Kremlin has used to crush dissent in Russia”, which is bullshit. It was word for word a copy of the US FARA law.
Take, for instance, on which terms EU integration is being offered, and why on such restrictive terms, especially for an old and traditional culture based on family values?
His unexpected return is likely more in line with “trying to rescue a sinking ship” as the Georgian Dream Political Party, which took power from Mikheil Saakashvili and the United National Movement (often referred to by Georgians, with good reason, as the “Nazis”) and its Western supporters is losing popularity over things like the laws that allow all this LGBTQ acceptance, arresting people for burning EU flags, and the fact that people are getting poorer despite so-called “westernization”, and few want to hear that it’s BECAUSE of westernization that their material conditions are not improving as they might had expected—and are even getting worse.
I suspect this is part of the plan of running interference for what comes next, and closely reading his speech, as the West has no better choice but to try to use Georgia for some semblance of US dominated strategic depth as the attempt to use Ukraine to destroy the Russian Federation is a complete failure or all practical purposes – and currently without a backup.
Cat away, Mice will Play!
It is also a matter of Ivanishvili holding on to his former influence. There is a need for to return and reconfirm his waning authority, in light of money disappearing and some of the very same politicians-reformers brought to power under his wing having picked up the corrupt ways of the former Saakashvili régime—and one of his first tasks will be to find out where much money disappeared and who is to be held accountable—and heads will roll.
However, many in the opposition, are taking his announcement of returning to politics with a pinch of salt, lots of cynicism, as if he had never left and has been controlling political processes from the shadows, as if has been in the shadows calling the shots all alone.
Claiming, among other things, “undoubtedly, he came back only for his personal welfare and security,” and object to the term “comeback” because in their minds, he has “never gone anywhere.”
Some of the more biting allegations, “Ivanishvili came out of hiding and the fear of being defeated forced him to return … and that’s good, there will be more clarity in society about who is responsible and who really manages the processes….
Blowback of his reappearance
Regardless of motivations and comments, it is also likely some dirty tricks will be coming soon after the debacle in Ukraine, and the most probable outcome of the Israeli revenge and ethnic cleansing operation in Gaza, and Georgia will be the most likely venue of choice.
However, as the Georgian PM, Irakli Gharibashvili explains the decision and “best sums” it up from the perspective of a majority of Georgians, “The situation in the country and the world is such that Bidzina Ivanishvili‘s return to politics was necessary – Bidzina Ivanishvili‘s role is to save our country.”
It does not take much imagination to understand who Georgia and Georgians need to save it, and themselves, from, especially in light of all the concurrent events now happening in the world, and buttressed with the tendency of Western Hegemony to use small countries as pawns on the geopolitical chessboard and its citizens as cannon fodder.
It has become increasingly apparent that the west in general, and the US in particular, only see Georgians as “bullets to be fired at the Russians.”
I think I got the main message across, “Saving Georgia from the degenerate and bloodthirsty West”.
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.