Cat and Rats
01 August, 2013
Cat and Rats
IN 2010, I had a conversation with a Georgian national while we were strapped into our seats on a plane from Tbilisi to Paris. The gentleman was a businessman based out in Germany and had very interesting points of view on working in Germany versus working in Georgia. While we spoke a bit about the conditions of business world and recession, we also spoke about Georgia’s lifelong predicament with its neighbor, Russia and the current head, tail and claws, of
state Mr. Putin. The gentleman, while agreeing that Putin was never going to be any good for Georgia, voiced his concern that anyone else who might come into power may be even worse.
By worse, I assume someone who would want a complete annihilation of Georgia, but wait, that doesn’t seem too far off Mr. Putin’s game plan.  So what would be worse? Someone who cuts off all ties with Georgia? Mr. Putin had that done in 2005 right after he realized that president of Georgia Mr. Saakhashvili wasn’t going to be another puppet to his Russian master.  And since then Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev, when not playing musical chairs with one another, have been playing out a live version of the old Soviet cartoon  “Kot Leopold” where two angry rats try to get one over a happy go lucky cat who in this case is unwittingly played by President Saakashvili.  As in the cartoon, in real life, Georgian side has been for the most part trying to appease its angry neighbors, with always the same results. The rats are just not satisfied with a happy neighbor and wish destruction upon him.  With the current government it will be the same, if it isn’t painfully obvious already. PM Ivanishvili seems to be constantly surprised at the antagonistic and illegal steps Russian government takes towards Georgia, especially after all the concessions Georgia made in good will gesture. PM should understand the problem though, having lived and worked in Russia for many years. The Russian government does not accept, or understand ‘good will’ when it comes to Georgia. They don’t understand it towards their own orphans. Why would they care about another country, especially one that will always bow down under pressure?
Most recently another possible player in the game emerged, this time a Russian national claiming to want to rid Russia of corruption and mafia that is the instrument of power for Mr. Putin. Mr. Navalny, a lawyer turned activist has been a thorn in Putin’s side for a long time and he seems to be gaining popularity even while, or perhaps especially while, he has to endure yet another absurdist theater performance that passes for a trial in Russia. Mr. Navalny looks like he is pro-democracy, and may even come off a modern man, but peace loving he isn’t. He may be better for Russia as a president who cares about corruption, but for Georgia he is same as all that have come before. According to Navalny, Russia is a country headed by a strong ruler. He protects, above all, the interests of ethnic Russians.
Which would be fine, if he wasn’t such an absolute racist.  His stance on Georgia is same as Putin’s if not worse. Just after the war of 2008 he claimed he wanted to bomb Georgia off the face of the planet and laid out a plan on how to stifle Georgia till its last breath. Asked if he would take any of it back a few weeks ago, he said that he spoke the truth and that the only thing he would take back is the word “grizuni” (gnawers) which is a derogatory term to describe anyone and a play on words because a Georgian national in Russian language is ‘gruzin.’ So much for pro-democratic and modern leader! Here’s to hoping that President Saakashvili did not have Mr. Navalny in mind when he suggested that soon Russia would be dealing with its own internal problems to have time for Georgia, because a rat will always find time to destroy what he doesn’t understand. That is why at the end of the cartoon, when the Leopold suggests to the two rats to “live as friends” the rats never seem to hear him and continue on their doomed attempts for Leopold’s demise. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
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