Path from Country of Heroes to Democracy
12 July, 2012
Path from Country of Heroes to Democracy

US Embassy celebrates Independence Day and says farewell to the Ambassador

On July 5, the American Embassy in Georgia was in a festive mood. The embassy staff members were to celebrate the 236th anniversary of Independence of the United States. Everything looked as if the celebration was taking place in America. The embassy is as spacious as the USA itself, creating a different atmosphere, which tells you that this is a faraway super-state that deserves deep respect.  

 

First of all,

the national anthem of the US was performed. John Bass, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia, greeted the invited guests in Georgian words: “Mogesalmebit and didi madloba. Today we celebrate the principles on which our country was founded – right for  life, liberty and personal happiness. But we don’t see them as only our values but as universal values,” His Excellency said.

“Yesterday, in her address to all of us serving overseas,  my boss, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that while we celebrate, we should also remember all those who are fighting to claim their universal human rights. We are proud to stay with them until we are giving them the freedom of opportunity we cherish, and they are universal. Today, we are doing that with Georgia and with Georgians.“

The ambassador of the United States added that the relations between the two countries surpass their borders and to prove it, he named the example of Afghanistan. “Today we honor the sacrifices and memory of those Georgians, Americans and the member countries of our coalition who have sacrificed their lives to help us accomplish that goal.“ After that, he focused on the history of the two countries. “This evening I am thinking about the elections 20 years after the country achieved independence from a foreign power. They involve politics, polarized parties, polarized electorate, very yellow press that does not report reliably, violence, intimidation and a bitterly contested elections.“ Did he mean Georgia? He did not specify. Here is an intrigue – probably 99% of our readers believe so, like I was misled myself. “Someone may think that I am talking about the upcoming elections of Georgia but I am not. I am talking about the US Presidential elections that took place in 1796. At the time of those elections, the population of the United States was about the size of the population of this country. Those elections were decided by just under 67 thousand voters,” Mr. Bass said, dispersing our doubts and suggestions. Allegedly, in those days, women had no right to vote and neither did the men who did not own the property in the United States.

The Ambassador recalled the remark of the Secretary of State, which she made during her visit to Georgia last month, implying that to develop its security, prosperity and democracy, Georgia needs to hold free and fair elections that will result in the fully dem-ocratic transition of power. “Some would suggest that this campaign and this electoral system in Georgia cannot be fair, and the system and the structure of this campaign and elections are illegitimate. I am not one of those people and I do not agree with that assessment.”

Mr. Bass’s main recommendation is to make compromises in the appropriate time and appropriate circumstances. “Benjamin Franklin, one of the founders of the United States, who played an instrumental role at a very critical time and shaped the institutions of our power, once said: compromises do not make great heroes but they make great democracies.” He wished that he could come back some years later and see the progress that would be made in building the democratic institutions and strengthening democratic culture.

It seems like an interesting and timely remark – Georgia has always been the country of Great heroes, but now there is no time for fighting with swords; There is time for negotiations and peaceful agreements. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for reminding us the wise words of the wise statesman. It sounds so timely!

To the question what July 4 means to him personally as for an ordinary citizen of the US, he replied: “I think since I am a diplomat representing my country, my feelings are both official and personal. I think you won’t find more patriotic group of Americans than those who serve overseas, because when we are working in the countries like Georgia, or in other young democracies where people are not able to express their universal rights, we see how precious this day is, how important it is for all of us to ensure that everyone everywhere has the prospect of being free.”

Georgian Journal asked Irakli Alasania, the Head of “Free Democrats” about the chances of holding fair elections. “It is a test and I am sure, we will pass it. People long for a change. I am sure that our European and American partners will support fair elections by sending the missions of observers to Georgia.”

Giga Bokeria, Secretary of National Security Council of Georgia, congratulated the American  people, saying that July 4 is associated with the victory of freedom. Georgian Journal asked Mr. Bokeria to name the values that we should borrow from the United States first and foremost: “The United States is the example of  protecting your own interests and the rights of your citizens, and at the same time not to be a problem for the rest of the world. I don’t mean that other countries must copy its model. Every nation has its own choice. Georgian people is the key factor in our country, not even an exceptionally close friends of our state. The advantage of dealing with the United States is that it does not impose obligations, it only assists you to implement your own choices.”

The festive mood was even more elevated by the sounds of Kool Fusion, American jazz-band that specially arrived for this day to Georgia to enhance the open-minded and relaxed American atmosphere of people rising glasses of beer , enjoying canapes and sandwiches and most likely, talking about the universal values. John Bass will soon leave Georgia and will be substituted by Richard Norland by the end of August.

Print
Other Stories
16 persons detained in connection with release of secret recordings
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 16 persons have been detained in connection with the release of secret recordings.
Eka Beselia: “You will not be able to stop me, to make me stay silent, to disappear me!!!
MP Eka Beselia has posted an open letter on her Facebook page, following reports of sex tape leak.
CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2018: Georgia got 58 out of 100
According to the CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2018, Georgia scored 58 and was consequently ranked as 41 among 180 countries.
83% of Georgians support integration into the NATO, 78% into the EU – NDI
83% of NDI respondents support Georgia's integration into the EU, - the poll results of the National Democratic Institute say.
January 25 – birthday of the second president of Georgia
The 25th of January marks the 91st birthday of the second president of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze.
Jack Shepherd from the UK detained in Georgia
A British man who went on the run last year after killing a woman in a speedboat crash on the River Thames has been detained in the former Soviet state of Georgia - says Reuters.
Georgia recognizes Juan Guaido as an interim president
Georgia recognized Venezuelan parliament speaker Juan Guaidó as an interim president.
Georgian PM aims to turn Georgian into a center of the region
Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze is in Davos to participate in World Economic Forum. He gave interviews to two media outlets – CNBC TV and Deutsche Welle.
Judges that served the violent regime of Saakashvili should not be in the Supreme Court, says Eka Beselia
Eka Beselia, a member of the parliamentary majority, held a press conference in the Parliament today.
Possible confrontation within the Georgian Dream Party?
Eka Beselia, a member of the ruling party, will hold a news conference in the Parliament at 12:00 today.
13 dead from swine flu in Georgia, emergency treatment to be free for all
13 people died from swine flu in Georgia so far, but there is no risk of epidemy, says Georgian Minister of Health.
Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili not ready for launching diplomatic dialogue with Russia
I'm not ready to give any advice to the legislative body about the launch of the diplomatic relations or dialogue with Russia
Georgia suffering the steepest drop in democratic quality in eastern Europe
According to the statistics for the Democracy Index 2018, published by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU),
“Let’s see if you can wrestle with women”- Interior minister to the opposition
Female Police officers were mobilized in front of the Gurjaani District Court where the case of Davit Kirkitadze, the member of the United Opposition was considered.
Georgian citizens can apply for temporary residency in France
150 permits for young specialists as well as additional 500 permits will be granted each year to go to work to France.
Numbers of Georgians seeking asylum in Germany has significantly decreased
According to Ambassador of Georgia to Germany Elguja Khokrishvili, the drop of asylum requests has been due to recently taken steps.
U.S. Congress supports Georgia with a new bill
Unanimously the U.S. approved the act, which calls for imposing sanctions on Russian actors for the commission of serious human rights abuses in the occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
‘Horn wrestling’ between opposition party leader and police chef
Yesterday on the 16th of December, clashes occurred between Nika Melia, leader of the United National Movement and Teimuraz Kupatadze, head of patrol police department in the village of Velistsikhe, Kakheti region (eastern part of Georgia).
Salome Zourabichvili officially becomes the fifth president of Georgia
The inauguration ceremony of president-elect Salome Zourabichvili took place in Telavi, Kakheti (eastern region of Georgia) on the 16th of December.
Fight erupt in paliament between Georgian MPs during session
Verbal and physical confrontation has occurred between MPs in the parliament.
Famous Georgians invited at the Inauguration of Salome Zourabichvili
The inauguration ceremony of president elect Salome Zourabishvili will be held in Telavi, Kakheti (eastern region of Georgia) on the 16th of December.
Exclusive interview with Lincoln Mitchell, American political analyst and Georgia expert
More than 20,000 people responded to the appeal of the opposition and gathered in front of the former parliament building in downtown Tbilisi last Sunday.
The after-pains of the presidential election in Georgia
Yesterday evening, at a meeting with his supporters in the Philharmonic Hall, the defeated candidate Grigol Vashadze made it clear that he didn’t recognize the result of the presidential elections and called for early parliamentary elections.
National democratic institute publishes their findings about the presidential elections in Georgia
A delegation of the National Democratic Institute, which included observers from five countries, analyzed the election process.
International media about the runoff presidential elections in Georgia
Although it didn’t hit the headlines, newspapers and broadcast around the world report about Salome Zurabishvili as the first woman who became president in Georgia.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
15.02.2019
16.02.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6420
2.6413
EUR
1
EUR
2.9778
2.9791
GBP
1
GBP
3.3915
3.3851
RUB
100
RUB
3.9577
3.9608
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6413
EUR
1
EUR
2.9791
GBP
1
GBP
3.3851
RUB
100
RUB
3.9608