The Colour Revolution Is on the March: What’s Going on in Georgia?

The Western-backed activists, who took to the streets with EU flags against the foreign agents” bill, were actually marching against the Georgian version of a law enacted by the USA in 1939.

Georgia experienced historical days this week — again. Anti-government protests were held throughout the country, especially in the capital Tbilisi, and fierce clashes took place with the security forces.

It was remarkable that activists sang anti-Russian slogans along with anti-government slogans and wore the flags of the United States, the European Union and Ukraine.

The trigger for all these actions was the bill “On the transparency of foreign influence” adopted by the Georgian parliament. The law stipulates that organisations that receive more than 20 percent of their funds abroad will be registered as “foreign agents” or face large fines.

When this law was passed, President Salome Zurabishvili was in the United States, and she announced that she was against the law, was on the side of the activists, and would veto it.

As activists marched against the law under the slogans “No to Russian law”, the Collective West quickly reacted to the law in question. EU High Representative Josep Borrell said the law is “incompatible with EU values and Georgia’s EU goal”.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price, on the other hand, said that the Washington administration has not ignored the possibility of sanctions against the Georgian government as a result of the law. In addition, the American and German ambassadors in Tbilisi also made declarations against the law.

U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan in Tbilisi said she believed the bill would “stigmatize civil society, as she did in Russia, and silence independent media and dissenting voices”. The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi also said that the law is “influenced by the Kremlin”. German diplomat Peter Fischer also said that the law is “inconsistent with European values”.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst, declared that he sees the “foreign agency” law as “the latest in a series of steps that have clearly shifted Georgia away from a democratic orbit”:

“It is just like Russian legislation. It looks just like the Russian legislation. They have tried to pretty it up a bit, but not in a way that hides its real purpose. Georgia was in the vanguard of former Soviet countries moving in the right direction along with the Baltic States. They have clearly stepped back. Enough things have now been put in place that Georgia has more than an authoritarian tinge. But the country and society are balking.”

In summary, the Western-backed activists, who took to the streets with EU flags against the “foreign agents” bill, were actually marching against the Georgian version of a law enacted by the USA in 1939, even though they were shouting slogans against Russia. Moreover, the American version of the bill applies not only to legal entities, but also to individuals.

The protests against the bill had aspects very similar to those of the Maidan coup in Ukraine in 2014. The frequent use of the Ukrainian flag in the demonstrations in Tbilisi and the playing of the anthems of Ukraine and the European Union also reinforces this similarity.

During the Rose Revolution that took place in Georgia in 2003, President Eduard Shevardnadze was “removed” by the Western-backed opposition led by Saakashvili, Saakashvili and his supporters entered the parliament building with red roses in their hands during Shevardnadze’s speech, It had become a symbol of Georgia’s changing course.

Georgia and Ukraine have a particular connection, on the level of colour revolutions. One of the highlights of this special connection is that John Tefft, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Tbilisi during the “Rose Revolution”, was quickly appointed to Kiev before the Maidan coup in 2014.

As the leader of the Rose Revolution, Saakashvili’s turbulent political life -which has an adventurous timeline- had finally ended up in a prison at his own country:

Resignation from Georgian office, the investigations, being a refuge in Poroshenko’s Ukraine and gaining citizenship, “governing” days in Odessa, rebelling against his old friend Poroshenko, deprivation of citizenship, re-establishment in Ukrainian politics through Zelensky…

Of course, it is not a coincidence that Georgia and Ukraine, two former Soviet countries, have similarities in areas such as colour revolutions and war with Russia. Both of these countries are in the “belt of colour revolutions”. 2003 Rose Revolution, 2004 Ukrainian Orange Revolution, 2008 South Ossetia war between Georgia and Russia, 2014 Maidan, 9 years of Donbass conflicts…

As a “natural” result of this, the Ukrainian leader Zelensky immediately embraced the Georgia protests.

Because of all these, the latest protests against the bill is directly connected with this “colourful accumulation”, ideologically.

On the other hand, there has been a kind of argument that countlessly repeated in the Western media about the businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili, one of the former prime ministers of the country and the founder of the Georgian Dream, who ousted Saakashvili from his seat: Support of Kremlin.

Finally, the Georgian parliament decided to withdraw the bill on “transparency of foreign influence”. This means, the colour revolutionary forces won another round of the long-term fight.

The re-warming of waters in Georgia, undoubtedly, can be counted as a “cause and effect situation”, because of the government’s independent stance on Ukraine. Despite having a long-term hostile policy with Russia for many years, including the five-day war in 2008, Georgia did not openly stand with Ukraine for Russia’s SMO in Ukraine.

If we remember Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statements regarding Georgia’s position on SMO, the scenario becomes more clear:

“Georgia is under pressure from the West to join sanctions against Russia, but the Government has the courage to say that they will act in their own interests, which is commendable.”

No matter how much a Western-oriented policy you pursue, it strikingly reappeared that when you take a big or small step towards your own national interests, you will find your Western “friends” standing against of you.

Georgia’s stance on the Ukraine crisis and finally the legal measures against influence agent were “two major crimes” for the Collective West, these steps represented Georgia’s exit from the Western route (we read it as “Russian influence” in the Western media) and of course this crime would not go unpunished.

The activists, on the other hand, stated that the demonstrations would continue and said the processes will not stop until they are assured that Georgia is progressing on a pro-Western path.

This shows that the new political trap that Georgia is going through will not only consist of the bill, but that all preparations have been made to turn the Georgian Dream, which is now thought to have gone “out of line”, into a nightmare.

By Erkin Öncan
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

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