Great embarrassment for Washington if Saakashvili Is convicted — experts

From Sputnik News, November 11, 2014

New criminal charges have been pressed against Georgia’s ex-president Mikhail Saakashvili. What are the accusations and how good are the chances that the case gets into court? Radio Sputnik is discussing it with Nana Devdariani (Tbilisi) and Mikhail Alexandrov (Moscow).

On Monday new charges were brought against former President Mikhail Saakashvili and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. This time the ex-President and his minister have been linked to the beating up of lawmaker Valery Gelashvili in July 2005, according to Prosecutor General’s Office report.

Merabishvili held the ministerial post from December 2004 to July 2012. He was arrested in Tbilisi in July last year and is still kept in custody, charged with abuse of power and several other offences.

Saakashvili was president of Georgia from January 2004 to November 17, 2013. He has already been charged with misappropriation of funds, with abuse of power and other criminal offences.

Nana Devdariani, former Head of Georgian Central Electoral Committee, now the Director of the Center for Global Studies (Tbilisi):

If we consider the majority, well, figures tell the whole story.  The population of our country is four and a half million people. Of these more than three hundred thousand have been detained, jailed or have been otherwise repressed by the state law enforcement system. These people have families, relatives and friends.

So, the majority of people in Georgia have already been demanding – and for quite some time, too — that justice must be restored. Yet, there are people, who are quite clearly in the minority, who still support the nationalist movement, and who grow sarcastic asking – from which moment in our history do we need to start restoring justice? Their point is that even the Communist Party of Georgia has not been put on trial, whereas you can often hear that nationalist movement should be banned.

Now, coming to Saakashvili. Saakashvili was a ruler who had all power under his personal control. It was he who used to decide on virtually every matter, including which color houses had to be painted in Tbilisi…

So, naturally enough, he was well informed, if not directly involved, in all major criminal acts committed by his government. It’s a well-known fact. And everyone here has been expecting criminal investigation into his role for quite some time, yet, sometimes, it starts to resemble a comedy, or a farce.

It’s little surprise that Saakashvili has long ago taken all his billions, everything he stole and looted, out of the country. So, when, in compliance with the legislation he himself had introduced, the property which allegedly belonged to him and his family, was to be arrested, there appeared to be only an old and beaten car which used to belong to his grandmother. It could have been amusing if it hadn’t been so sad. In fact, people here are waiting for Saakashvili, and his team, to be held accountable for what they had committed…

But how realistic are these expectations? After all, Saakashvili can count on strong support from the US?

Nana Devdariani: Well, that’s true, that they had used all their PR skills heavily on Saakashvili. But even that might not be of great help. Look, to make it short, if we look at all dictators who lost their power in the course of the so-called ‘velvet’ or ‘color’ revolutions, almost all of them had enjoyed some support from the West. So the support from the West has come to sound comic. Every time we discuss democracy we end looking into the national interests of the United States.

But on the other hand, more corruption schemes have been revealed not only in Georgia, but in other countries. For instance, the recent case of Carl Bildt, high ranking European official.  As it turned out Saakashvili paid Bildt’s lobbyist company several million dollars for lobbying [while Mr. Bildt held the position of the Foreign Minister of Sweden]. So, Mr. Bildt and his company continue to lobby Saakashvili. There’s a good saying – there is nothing secret that would not come to light. Now coming to light are the facts which some ten years ago used to be known to merely a couple of people.

Saakashvili who left Georgia in mid-November 2013, several days before the expiration of his presidential term (and immunity), has since stayed mainly in the United States and Europe. He said he had no intentions of cooperating with the investigation, neither would he turn up for being questioned. 

Mikhail Alexandrov, Senior expert at the Center for military and political studies, MGIMO, Russia:

I must say that it is very serious. The whole situation around Saakashvili is very serious. The point is that Saakashvili was not just a leader of a small country, he was a protégé of the US, which actually supported him in various ways and gave him a go-ahead for various things that he did. And later they covered him from the criticism inside the country and outside of it, when he left his post.

And now it turns out that Mr. Saakashvili is a criminal. And not simply a corrupt official, but a person who can be accused of murder, who can be accused of torture and who is actually regarded as a thief in his own country, and it turns out that Mr. Saakashvili was supported by the official Washington. And everybody around will naturally ask – did they support a criminal, a thief, a murderer?

It is very discrediting information that discredits the US and its policies, because they claim that they support democracy, human rights, good governments. And what we see is vice versa – an absolutely different situation. They simply supported not even a dictator – a person who violated human rights, but the person who used such techniques as political repression, even killing his political opponents, torturing them, putting them into jail and, moreover, stealing the Government’s money.

It will be a great embarrassment for Washington if he is actually convicted of these crimes. That’s why we see that Washington is very unhappy about these court procedures that started in Georgia concerning Saakashvili.

Dr. Alexandrov, do you think we could remind our listeners of how it all started? 

Mikhail Alexandrov: I think it started with the fact that the US was not satisfied with Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze was a very experienced and a cunning politician who managed to maneuver in various ways. And he didn’t want to become simply an American puppet. He tried to conduct what we call a multi-vector policy and maintained very good relations with the US, but also he didn’t break up the relations with Russia.

And just before he was ousted from the office, he made a number of very serious economic deals with Russia – with the Russian electric energy companies, with the Russian gas companies. And also, he insisted on withdrawing only two Russian military bases from Georgia, leaving the two others. And this didn’t correspond with the actual plans of the US to advance NATO to the east and to draw Georgia into this military\political combination against Russia.

They needed a person who would break up the relations with Russia completely and more unequivocally towards the West. They started to look around and Saakashvili seemed to be a very appropriate person. He was an opportunist, he also was married to the Westerner and he lived and worked in the West for some time, I think, at that moment. Later he moved to the political elite of Georgia.

He was actually promoted by Shevardnadze himself, who regarded him as a person who had some potential. Shevardnadze wanted to rule the country for some time to come, but the US wanted to take simple and drastic decisions. And that’s why they saw that Saakashvili is a suitable candidate to take Shevardnadze’s place and they supported him.

We remember this first so-called color revolution in the post-Soviet space happen in Georgia. It was an illegal coup, actually. At that time the Russian Government didn’t understand what was happening. It actually helped the US to perform this coup d’état. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov came to Tbilisi and actually calmed down the tensions, because he talked Shevardnadze out of using force against those demonstrators and protestors who ousted him from the office.

So, this ended like that. But then, we saw that Saakashvili started to undermine the Russian interests in Georgia one by one. First, he went after Adjara, then he tried to take control of South Ossetia. In 2004 there was the first small war there. And then, he ousted the Russian military bases from Georgia. Of course, he subdued all the opposition, even those who were not exactly pro-Russian, but simply against him.

They were all subdued and threatened, and even Burjanadze was silenced, because she was afraid. If Zhvania was killed, anybody could be killed either. And also, some prominent figures from the former Saakashvili allies, they actually fled the country, like Alasania, for example, who went to Paris, and other smaller figures in the political establishment also fled the country. Some of the people were charged with preparing a pro-Russian coup d’état and were put into jail for 10-13 years, which is a tremendous period of jail sentence. So, these were quite cruel methods of the subjugation of the opposition.

Precisely! But, somehow, Saakashvili was there, he ruptured all the ties with Russia but Georgia has not become a NATO member.

Mikhail Alexandrov: Yes, because of the question of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. As a matter of fact, NATO cannot admit Georgia into its membership, because the next day Georgia would say that – look, our territories are occupied and NATO should defend us against the Russian aggression. So, admitting Georgia means starting a war with Russia. That’s why NATO actually doesn’t want to admit Georgia at this point of time.

So, Georgia should recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And then, probably, NATO will accept it. But at this moment and with the current Georgia policies of regarding these two territories as part of Georgia, I don’t think NATO will ever admit Georgia.

Now that you’ve mentioned Nino Burjanadze, the ex-speaker of the Georgian Parliament, the other day she said that Kiev authorities are committing all the mistakes and all the blunders Saakashvili had committed…

Mikhail Alexandrov: Burjanadze is now positioning herself as the real opposition not only to Saakashvili, but to the present authorities in Georgia who are unsure in what direction they should move. These new authorities of Georgia are very timid with regards to Saakashvili and his associates who are actually responsible for various crimes against the Georgian people.

And Burjanadze sees the political opportunity here, where she could move. Of course, she criticizes not only Saakashvili by saying that, but she criticizes the policies of the current Georgian Government, because she says that the Georgian Government didn’t condemn the war of 2008 against the South Ossetia, which was the major crime committed by Saakashvili. And look, if this happens, if the Georgian Government condemns this war, it will mean putting part of the blame on the West for supporting Saakashvili and supporting this war. And that’s why the current Government of Georgia is a bit timid and doesn’t want to recognize this obvious fact.

But Burjanadze sees the political opportunity and she goes further, than the current Government. And she also wants to take revenge over Saakashvili who actually removed her from power, and actually put a political pressure on her, intimidated her when she was in opposition.

Now it is a good chance to show everybody that the advice that Saakashvili is giving to Ukraine is wrong and what actually has led to this situation now in Ukraine, where Crimea has detached itself from Ukraine and Donbass is also detaching itself from Ukraine, it is the result of the advice that Saakashvili is giving to the current Ukrainian Government. Basically, his advice is wrong and counterproductive, and leads not to the effective results but quite the opposite. I think that is the reason why she made this statement.


Saakashvili, a wanted man at home, lobbies Washington for arms for Ukraine

From Sputnik News, February 26, 2015

Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is on a mission. He’s come to Washington to persuade national legislators and government officials that they should arm the Ukrainian government.

While US President Barack Obama’s administration declared publicly that it hasn’t made a decision about sending lethal military aid to Ukraine, and European powers as well as Russia have warned Washington against doing so, Beltway hawks are getting another blast of warmongering adrenaline from a man who led his country to a disastrous war in 2008 and now seems eager to push Ukraine into an open confrontation with Russia.

Saakashvili’s closest friends in Washington: ever looking for a place to send US troops, Senator John McCain and his sidekick Sen. Lindsay Graham have long been advocating for sending arms in support of Petro Poroshenko’s government in Kiev.  Western powers failing to come to Ukraine’s aid “are legitimizing the dismemberment of a sovereign nation in Europe for the first time in seven decades,” they wrote in a joint statement.
Mikheil Saakashvili         @SaakashviliM

And I am proud to be friends for more than 20 years with this true American hero. 

However, Saakashvili — who has recently become an adviser to Ukrainian President Poroshenko — is looking to expand the number of supporters ready to arm Kiev.

Obviously, in the name of democracy and progress.

“[N]ever have so many [U.S.] lawmakers agreed to meet with me, even when I was president:” he posted on Facebook about the trip. “34 meetings in three days.”

Calling Ukraine “today’s West Berlin,” Saakashvili painted the conflict in unequivocal terms in a Feb. 24 op-ed in the Washington Post, appearing just in time for him to meet with US lawmakers.

“What is being decided in Ukraine — the largest country in Europe — is whether the post-Soviet space will be allowed to free itself from a vicious cycle of inefficiency, corruption, violence and failed governments to build instead modern, open, democratic societies,” he wrote.

While Saakashvili is on an international tour to drum up military aid, his own country has sought to have him extradited from Ukraine to face charges of abuse of authority.

Ukraine has so far refused Georgia’s extradition request, and Saakashvili has called the charges politically motivated and “a farce.”

Though the charges relate to abuses of power from earlier in his presidency, Saakashvili also came under fire from the European Union for his role in the 2008 war with Russia which led to Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

The EU-commissioned report blamed Saakashvili for starting the conflict due to his “penchant for acting in the heat of the moment.” The report further dismissed claims that Russia had attacked prior to Georgia’s bombardment of the Southern Ossetian town of Tskhinvali, the first confrontation of the war.

“It is not possible to accept that the shelling of Tskhinvali with Grad multiple rocket launchers and heavy artillery would satisfy the requirements of having been necessary and proportionate,” the 2009 report concluded.

Saakashvili was elected in 2004 and held office until 2013, with strong support from the United States. The opposition Georgian Dream coalition won the country’s 2012 parliamentary elections, while the United National Movement, the ruling party since the Rose Revolution in 2003 and led by former President Saakashvili, became its rival. A year later, Giorgi Margvelashvili from Georgian Dream won the presidency, replacing Saakashvili. Immediately after losing presidential immunity, Saakashvili fled the country and since then has refused to return to Georgia to face the trial.

Inside the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act”

From Sputnik, December 16, 2014
By Andrew Korybko

The latest anti-Russian bill to come out of Washington does a lot more than simply arm Ukraine, although that’s destabilizing enough as it is. Contained within the Act are powerful provisions that expand NATO’s influence in Russia’s backyard and continue the War on Syria.

The Ukrainian Freedom Support Act (UFSA) is essentially the actionable successor to the recently passed House Resolution 758, which itself has been referred to as the declaration of the New Cold War. It’s exceptionally noteworthy for fulfilling John McCain’s threat to arm Ukraine, but it’s the other decrees within it that have gone unnoticed by the mainstream media, although they’re just as troubling, if not more so. And unsurprisingly, Congress somehow found a way to group its War on Syria into the UFSA, showing that it truly exploits any opportunity to push through its agenda of regime change there even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the bill at hand.

The Three Amigos
The UFSA is just as much about Moldova and Georgia as it is about Ukraine, as all three countries are collectively grouped together except for when it comes to assisting with internally displaced persons. For example, when it comes to ‘the three amigos’, UFSA says that sanctions will be imposed if:

  • Russia (or any actor affiliated with it) sends “defense articles” to those countries without the consent of its government’
  • And Russia “withholds significant natural gas supplies from countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, or Moldova” and NATO members.

And that the three are to be ‘rewarded’ with:

  • Major non-NATO ally status (which allows them to purchase weapons only reserved for NATO allies);
  • And a prioritized information campaign run by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, where these countries are given a greater focus than the other former Soviet states.

Putting it all together, it is clear that the US has strategically incorporated Moldova and Georgia into its legislation about Ukraine, providing proof that it is Washington and not Moscow which is ‘widening the battlefield’ of the New Cold War. This isn’t the first time either, as all the amigos were first lumped together in May when the so-called Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 was unveiled, which served as the predecessor of House Resolution 758.

The reasoning for this is rather simple, actually. The US wants to coordinate its push against the former Soviet periphery and is pulling out all the stops along the way. The primary objective is NATO expansion all the way to the Russian border, as well as the destabilization of Russian interests in or near these countries. Russia has a military base in the de-facto independent Transnistrian region of Moldova, while the historic reunification of Crimea and Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s independence from Georgia are well known. It is these precise interests and territories that the US wants to threaten with the Act.

The Big Tent
Another observation that’s lost on the mainstream media is that the Act creates a ‘big tent’ of American interests in Eurasia. When addressing the non-consented transfer of Russian defense articles to “specified countries”, other than the three amigos, it describes these as being “any other country of significant concern for purposes of this Act, such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Central Asia republics.” It’s obvious that the US would place its NATO allies under this designation, but to spread the umbrella over the Central Asian republics is a strategy that has more to it than originally meets the eye.

Russia in no way supports separatism in Central Asia, and aside from neutral Turkmenistan, it actually has constructive military and anti-terror relations with all of the regional states as a result of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This group has explicitly stated its opposition to terrorism, separatism, and extremism, and all of its members are now watching the violent situation in Afghanistan with the trepidation that it may move northward next year.

Within this context, the US is sending smoke signals to those governments that it is open for cooperating with them, but with the implicit understanding that they have to abandon their alliance with Russia and accuse it of the fantasy-driven treachery of arming separatist groups. The purpose here is to expand the reach of NATO’s 12,000 or so troops that will stay behind in Afghanistan and use them to push Russian influence (no matter how beneficial to anti-terrorist operations and regional stability) out of Central Asia.

Slick Talking About Syria
Congress understood that the current anti-Russian climate meant that the UFSA was surely bound to pass, so it added a completely irrelevant clause relating to Syria in order to strengthen the war effort against it. Specifically, the Act mandates that sanctions be imposed against any Russian company or related individual that sells defense articles to Syria. This is the complete opposite standard that it is applying to the ‘big tent’ countries. Congress says that Russia can’t transfer such units to the ‘big tent’ without the consent of their governments, but such transfers are prohibited to Syria when its government consents to it.

So what’s going on here?
The US and its allies don’t recognize the legitimacy of the Syrian government, despite President Assad having been democratically re-elected with 88.7% of the vote back in June, and the fact that they support regime change within the country. They’d rather give weapons to the insurgents fighting to overthrow the government (even if such arms sometimes end up in the hands of terrorists) than approve of Russia’s continued support for the government’s anti-terrorist war. The Syrian Arab Army is once more on the upswing (backed by Russian support), so it’s not coincidental that such a provision was made at this time. Nonetheless, such bullying by the US will never result in Russia abandoning its support for Syria, especially at this critical time, and should be seen as nothing more than the naked intimidation tactic that it is.

Andrew Korybko is the political analyst and journalist for Sputnik who currently lives and studies in Moscow.

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Engdahl: Foreign bankers rape Ukraine

Published in New Eastern Outlook
December 18, 2014

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet.

The US-picked Ukraine President, billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko called “snap” elections at the end of August for October 26. He did so to make sure genuine opposition to his regime of murderers, gangsters and in some cases outright Nazis would be able to push an unprepared genuine opposition out of the Verkhovna Rada or Parliament. Because the parliament had significant opposition parties to the US-engineered February 22 coup d’etat, they had blocked many key pieces of legislation that the Western vultures were demanding, from changing key land ownership laws to privatization of precious state assets. By law, the old parliament would have sat until its five year term ended in October, 2017. That was clearly too long for State Department neo-con Ukraine puppet-mistress Victoria Nuland and her backers in Washington.

Now, with a new parliament that is controlled by the Petro Poroshenko bloc as largest party and the boyish-looking former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is also new Prime Minister as head of the second largest party, the way was clear to get on with the rape of Ukraine. What shocked some is the blatant foreign takeover that followed, like a Wall Street vulture fund raid on a distressed debtor country of the Third World.

The ridiculous charade

Yatsenyuk, former finance minister in a previous criminal regime, and a suspected senior member of the US-intelligence-friendly “Church of Scientology,” has named three complete foreigners as cabinet ministers in key economic posts. And in an extraordinary act, the three have been made instant Ukrainian citizens by Poroshenko in a ridiculous ceremony. Ukraine is looking more and more like the US-occupied Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898 when General Arthur MacArthur, father of the mentally-dis-ordered Douglas, was Washington’s dictator on the spot.

The new Ukrainian Finance Minister, the one who will control the money and decides where it goes, is one Natalia A. Jaresko. She speaks fluent Ukrainian. Only problem—she is an American citizen, a US State Department veteran who is also a US investment banker. Now, the Ukrainian Constitution, prudently enough, stipulates that government ministers be Ukrainian. How then does our sweet Natalia come in? Continue reading

The United States’ 12 steps to regime change — China knows it’s in the crosshairs

How many Americans are aware of what the U.S. government and allied organizations do routinely? Too few, unfortunately.

From Signs of the Times — SOTT, November 17, 2014
By Aeneas Georg

VIDEO on website

Though it has a new catchy name, the recent “revolution” in Hong Kong followed a very familiar pattern of US engineered regime change and destabilisation. And the Chinese are well aware of it!

Now we know that Russia knows full well the ways and means of ‘regime changing’ the empire of chaos uses over and over to ensure its supremacy. This was made clear by Putin in his Valdai Club speech:

Incidentally, at the time, our colleagues [the US] tried to somehow manage these processes, use regional conflicts and design ‘colour revolutions’ to suit their interests, but the genie escaped the bottle. It looks like the controlled chaos theory fathers themselves do not know what to do with it; there is disarray in their ranks.

China has also been subject to attempts at regime change both in the Xinjiang province in West China and most recently in Hong Kong. The question is how aware are the Chinese of the US role in these protest movements? A recent YouTube video makes it abundantly clear that the Chinese read the geopolitical chess game very well, if the views presented also reflect the views of Chinese people generally. The video maps out 12 steps that the US uses for regime change and goes on to explain how these “regime changes” around the world and the antagonizing of Russia and China follow a pattern that could lead to World War III.

The 12 Steps to regime change, employed by the USm as outlined in the video:

  1. Dispatch CIA, MI6 and other intelligence officers as students, tourists, volunteers, businessmen, and reporters to the target country
  2. Set up non-governmental organisations (NGO) under the guise of humanitarianism to fight for “democracy” and “human rights” In order to attract advocates of freedom and ideals
  3. Attract local traitors and especially academics, politicians, reporters, soldiers, etc., through bribery, or threaten those who have some stain in their life
  4. If the target country has labour unions, bribe them
  5. Pick a catchy theme or color for the revolution. Examples include the Prague spring (1968), Velvet revolution (Eastern Europe, 1969), Rose revolution (Georgia, 2003), Cedar revolution (Lebanon, 2005), Orange revolution (Ukraine), Green revolution (Iran), Jasmin revolution, Arab Spring and even Hong Kong’s Umbrella revolution
  6. Start protests for whatever reasons to kick off the revolution. It could be human rights, democracy, government corruption or electoral fraud. Evidence isn’t necessary; any excuse will do
  7. Write protests signs and banners in English to let Americans see and get American politicians and civilians involved
  8. Let those corrupted politicians, intellectuals and union leaders join the protests and call upon all people with grievances to join
  9. The US and European mainstream media help continuously emphasize that the revolution is caused by injustice thereby gaining the support of the majority
  10. When the whole world is watching, stage a false-flag action. The target government will soon be destabilised and lose support among its people
  11. Add in violent agent provocateurs to provoke the police to use force. This will cause the target government to lose the support of other countries and become “deligitimized” by the international community
  12. Send politicians to the US, EU and UN to petition so that the target government will face the threat of economic sanctions, no-fly zones and even airstrikes and an armed rebel uprising

Anyone who has being paying just a little attention to the world events can recognise this pattern. Psychopaths are not that creative and therefore tend to use the same method again and again. And mostly it works out to the benefit of the psychopaths in power, to whom it doesn’t matter if their hand in the regime change is exposed after the installment of a new puppet. The subservient MSM is always on hand to further the propaganda and knock down any objecting views that reveal the hand of the man behind the curtain and can always rely on name calling when arguments are lacking. An example of how this works with regard to the Hong Kong protests can be seen here:

And the public memory is conveniently very short, with all the distraction that Hollywood, the social media and the General Law can come up with.

The video goes on:

If the 12 steps above do not work, then the US will find an excuse to intervene militarily and overthrow the target government by force. In fact, these steps have proven to be very effective.


Therefore, it is not by spontaneous civil movements that countries are overthrown. On the contrary, the revolts are carefully planned and plotted. In fact, overthrowing a country by means of civil unrests is far cheaper than sending troops to attack and destroy it. That’s why the US kept applying these 12 steps against countries it deem as enemies.

Though the video blames it all on the Freemasons, it would be more correct to say the pathological elite. One of the key defining traits of this subspecies is the fact that they have no conscience and therefore care naught about human suffering and deaths. It could even be argued that they relish such suffering.

As always the onus is on us to acquire knowledge and to wake up to this nightmare and the fact that there are predators among us who don’t have essential human qualities. This is becoming easier as the empire of chaos, in its desperate battle to maintain hegemony, is showing its true nature for all to see. Thus the emperor is exposed as being naked, something that the BRICS countries and a number of other countries are becoming aware of. There is no doubt that greater cooperation among these countries has helped to spread knowledge about the psychopaths’ modus operandi. The above video is an example of the exposure of this pattern.

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: China is on to U.S. regime change tactics

Also posted at:
From Hong Kong to Xinjiang…: Beijing is Catching on to Washington’s Insidious “Regime Change Tactics”