Comment on: Playing Into Moscow’s Hands – by Paul Goble – Jan 04, 2010. http://www.rferl.org/content/Playing_Into_Moscows_Hands/1920613.htmlPosted: 2010/01/05
Good analysis by Mr. Goble, who knows ex-USSP political landscape and major players very well.
Mr. Putin and Mr. Saakashvili are surprisingly very similar in many terms – by limiting media liberty, strengthening presidential vertical, forming police/security as main backbone of the society (Minister of Interior and Security – Vano Merabishvili – is called “Spine of state” by the President and he has a fan-club at Facebook under name – “Vano the spine”), limiting real power of Parliament, creating puppet mini-opposition parties to justify “multipartiality”, close-circle racketing of business, controlling media (especially nation-wide TVs) both financially and by direct intimidation and harshly limiting freedom of speech and of expression.
Mr. Putin had started his political carrier by destroying free independent TV stations NTV and ORT.
Mr. Saakashvili, quite likely, has ended his “political reforms” in 2007 by getting full control of Rustavi2 TV Station (brother of counterintelligence chief Mr. Bezhuashvili and unknown offshore company control it after several buying-sold “operations”) and by November 7 lawless attack of special forces against Imedi TV station, which after strange death of the owner – Badri Patarkatsishvili has got in hands of well known political swindler, by having incredible support of Mr. Saakashvili and Georgian courts…
In 2003 there have been 12 independent TV channels in Georgia, with 3 of them providing nationwide coverage. However, during Mr. Saakashvili’s ruling all but 1 of them have changed their owners after series of artificially invented tax claims, direct intimidation and multiple buyouts. Investagive journalist Nino Zuriashvili made excellent material on this topic never has presented to Georgian population by Nationwide TVs.
According to International (EU and Transparency International) studies Georgia stepped back 54 ranks since 2004 in media freedom. The recent attacks against regional TV25 and Batumelebi newspapers have got international appreciation and security bodies have stopped their blackmailing.
Today ex-Head of Staff of Mr. Saakashvili – Mr. Arveladze is Director General of Imedi TV. By rising number of human rights claims against the state in the Human Rights Court Georgia takes an example from Russia, which is ahead of all European states.
Very similarly both states have “celebrated” the New Year eve. Putin’s police has arrested 82-year old Head of Moscow Helsinki group Lyudmila Alexyeeva and other opposition leaders at December 31, 2009, Whilst President Saakashvili’s guard has insulted and arrested journalists in Zugdidi Jan 1, 2010 for simply trying to take video of President Saakashvili after his probably fall at the ice stadium.
As a conclusion, Saakashvili’s regime is like Putin’s regimen, standing on the complete lies, mafia ruling, short-circle corruption, media control (2 free TVs covering only 30-50% of Tbilisi population and 0% in regions), election frauds and total rotten of judiciary system. Spending millions of aid money on New Year celebrations and proclaiming the Georgia festivities are the best in the world, the President of the country where minimum salary is below 100 $ per month is trying hard to build up nothing but rose pink façade- (false)democracy and “reform” the whole country to the Potemkin’s village. Mr. Saakashvili’s image of “western-educated democrat” has vanished long-time ago. The only source of his popularity is Greenberg-Quilnan-Rossner co. which at the same time had hundreds of thousands USD contracts for Presidential PR (http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/4619-georgia-builds-up-its-lobbying-pr-efforts) and also carries out the sociology polls, without proper information about the methodology. The fairness of such polls is similar to advertisement of the own drug by the producer pharma company!
Today Mr. Saakashvili’s regimen is nearly as much threat to Georgian society and statehood as Mr. Putin’s bearish neocolonialism. Mr. Saakashvili apparently is dreaming about to getting in the new trouble with Russia and then escape in exile, taking much of Georgia’s treasure, which by some rumors are for already quite a time at “exhibition tour” to unknown locations…
Solomon Ternaleli, participant of “Ianeti” – Ia Antadze’s political blog at the Radio Tavisupleba (Radio Liberty – Georgian Service)