I just visited civil.ge to catch up on some local news and see the president has tasted a bit of his own shoe leather.
Remember the Washington DC mayoral aide David Howard, who had to resign for saying the word “niggardly” when referring to the tight budget he would have to manage? Fortunately, this is Georgia where even losing a war with Russia won’t make a president resign, which is why I’m surprised Misha is getting some heat for calling his Prime Minister a “negro.”
The deal is, Misha got pissed off when he found out some Spanish tourists got shaken down by some knucklehead customs officers. The civil.ge article states Misha turned to some Finance Ministry guy and Prime Minister Nika Gilauri and said, “… are we Negroes or what? Explain to me why are we acting like savages?”
The president’s press service released a statement regretting the president’s comment was misinterpreted, which is not an apology, mind you.
“Words said by the President of Georgia have nothing to do with any race and they were not used in the context of racial discrimination,” the statement also mentioned.
But the word negro is either a derogatory slur or an old school racial description. It is nothing else. I don’t understand why Misha just didn’t say “Russian.” Nobody would have noticed and it would have been an accurate description.
Speaking of Russia, Misha is on one of his civil defense benders again, going on about how Georgia should develop a military industry and that every village should be prepared to defend itself against a Russian invasion.
“There should be small, trained teams in each village and each settlement with minimal required arms so that everyone should be able to defend own land, village, street, town and region,” the president said.
If the president had been in a Georgian village during the August 2008 war, then he would have seen that even a large trained team couldn’t protect villages from being bombed by Russian planes. If he had actually talked to people in these villages then he would have learned that they are tired of being pawns in a conflict between Putin and Saakashvili, they don’t want to be armed with weapons to protect their homes, they want water, gas and jobs.
Yes, Russia is occupying Georgian territory and yes Putin wants to string Misha up by his nuts – you cannot deny the threat is still there. But how many wars must Georgia lose before the president stops saying stuff like, “If the enemy force decides to advance from the ethnically cleansed territories, each and every square meter of the Georgian land should burn beneath [the enemy force] – that is the task.” ?
And if the president was earnest about the plan to win the hearts and minds of the separatists, why would he say “Georgia’s eventual political goal is to liberate our territories and to achieve full de-occupation?” Georgia has been saying that for nearly 2 decades and look what it has achieved. I think it’s fair to say that if this talk loud and carry a small stick diplomacy hasn’t worked well these past 20 years why would it now?