Thursday, 8 November 2007

Speaking too soon


Yesterday the Moscow Times printed a condescending opinion piece by Yulia Latynina, an anti-Kremlin political talk show host, which suggested that ongoing and increasingly violent protests In Georgia were a sign of “a strong and secure government”.

Interpretation, in Moscow, of the demonstrations against Mikheil Saakashvili’s corrupt and dictatorial regime as an indication of its imminent collapse and of strong public disillusionment with the pro-Western government was merely suggestive of Russia’s atrophied understanding of democracy. In democratic societies, Ms Latyina assured us, such demonstrations were a sign of self-confidence and indicative of a democracy in rude health.

Today the Guardian reports the situation in Georgia as its greatest crisis since the “Rose Revolution”, presumably “in the same spirit, (as Soviet) news reports from the 1970s showed demonstrations in the United States accompanied by self-gratifying predictions that U.S. imperialism would soon collapse”.

Mr Saakshvili’s robust government has declared a state of emergency.

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