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Protest Action at US embassy: outcomes

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, May 18
The protest action held at the US embassy on May 16 has been the cause of great agitation for the Georgian political establishment. The ruling party as well as certain opposition forces condemned the protest labeling it as an act against the major strategic partner of Georgia and also as a pro Russian move.

However things are not so simple. The ruling power openly labels this move as pro Russian which also carries an anti western attitude and, to be more precise, anti American. Some analysts suggest that this kind of feeling generally is visible in the country so naturally there is chance that political forces will try to appeal to the non-western minded Georgians. The reasons for such an attitude towards the west are different. Primarily it is based on unrealistic expectations and a feeling of frustration combined with economic hardship in the country. There is also the perceived threat of Americanization and the fear of losing national values and self identity. So there appeared a new trap of so called spiritual occupation which is speculated about in the country. There is also a very popular theory that it may have been because of Georgia's western orientation that Russia confronted Georgia. Some analysts suggest that Tbilisi’s attempt to distance itself from Moscow and carry out a pro western course brought the country dramatic if not tragic results. Eventually Georgia lost territories and is currently experiencing some difficulties

However it should be said that during the rally in front of the US embassy the slogans were not of anti western character, on the contrary the participants of the rally asked US officials to support Georgia in its development in its democratic direction and to support the Georgian people and not Saakashvili personally. There were slogans and speeches presented to this effect. It should be mentioned that this kind of request is often aired by other opposition parties as well including those who are supporting the idea of holding fair, transparent and free elections. They ask the western powers including USA to force the Georgian ruling power to hold genuinely free elections.

This particular idea was very clearly formulated by one of the leaders of the Georgian Party Sozar Subari during the rally in front of US embassy. “We ask only one thing, that the Americans stop supporting Saakashvili’s regime and support democratic developments in Georgia,” Subari said. According to him the US is the country which has all the power to put pressure on the Georgian authorities and if it wants it can change the Georgian leadership easily. Most of the opposition forces in Georgia are western oriented and all of them are unanimous in their demand that the west supports democracy in the country and will safeguard democratic elections in Georgia. So, the current environment represents a challenge for Georgia's western friends including the USA. If the elections are not held democratically this would further disappoint the Georgian population and possibly further distance Georgia from its western ambitions.