‘If Assange had not existed, somebody else would take his place’
16 December, 2010
‘If Assange had not existed, somebody else would take his place’

‘The issue of defensive arms trade with Georgia remains suspended because of Russian position. We have to equip Georgia with radars at least,’ says McCain in his statement reported by Washington Post.

The whole European Union is busy, discussing expected Russian WTO membership, despite the facts that in Russia five journalists were killed last year and democracy and international law are trampled under the heels of bureaucratic logic there.
We reviewed the events that recently unfolded in Georgia and abroad with political expert Kakha  Katsitadze:
Q: The arrest of recent terrorist suspects generated a mixed reaction in the public. Some people say Russian intelligence is in a grave state, others are suspicious about so called terrorists with folklore nicknames such as Kochoia.
A: The television news left me with a feeling of something untold. There are many reasons. I could not properly ascertain to what organization Borisov belongs. Imedi TV called him a military intelligence officer of Russian GRU, while Rustavi-2 TV claimed he was FSB-affiliated. But that’s not the end of the story. I cannot see any sense in depicting this Kochoia as the Road Runner or publicizing a contact phone number. The details of the case will be known at the end of the court proceedings. So far, nothing really impresses me about the whole story.
Q: “If there is democracy, it should be observed. Why did they imprison him?  Is this democracy?” – This was a comment of Putin on the detainment of WikiLeak’s Assange.
A: Poor Assange not only implicated himself in the international scandal, but his name now is used by many for their respective political agenda. Naturally, Putin uses the issue in his relations with the audience.
Q: After the detainment of Assange it became known that daily newspapers copied all secret documents published by WikiLeaks for their re-publication. Is there any chance that somebody uses WikiLeaks to spread concocted stories?
A: Of course, there is. Information published by WikiLeaks reached a formidable scale. If somebody goes to a certain length, dishonesty and falsification would be a piece of cake. It’s another inalienable effect of globalization, just like drug trafficking or international terrorism. But I hope the risk associated with WikiLeaks will not be as big.
So I assert that if Assange had not existed, somebody else would take his role. When I studied at the Faculty of International Relations, I wondered how and at what level important State decisions are made in various countries. Basically I wanted to learn about mechanisms underlying the decision-making process. So I found out that American policy is formed not only on conceptual basis, internal and external political circumstances but also - perhaps more importantly – by the system of decision-making. Most of the WikiLeaks material represents diplomatic reports to State Department with lowest level of confidentiality. Here is a catch, if you like. In other words, so called secrets busted by WikiLeaks concerns solely the activities of diplomats in the State Department. Nothing else, no correspondence of military attaches, no messages of CIA residents. Hence, a conclusion prompts that the anarchist group could not break in the Pentagon and CIA sites and archives. The only thing they managed to do was a stealthy entry into the software system of State Department.
The United States has a very complicated mechanism of decision-making. It’s therefore funny to hear from Russians that one can tell just from ambassadorial reports about who the States believe are the warmongers. Once I read in public academic works that such decisions mostly are made in the State Security Council of the United States. It seems all the information gathers there. Naturally, in the days of any crisis, ambassadors of any country including the United States in Moscow or Tbilisi are required and do send reports and analyses to their centers.
Washington is a hub of other information also. For instance, so little is the number of people who have heard of the largest intelligence service of the United States which is called National Security Agency, a paramilitary organization with many unknowns about its activities. By the way, years ago this organization managed to tape Brezhnev’s phone conversations regularly. The agency has quite a strong satellite network and in case of necessity it can easily borrow the recourses of other agencies.
Consequently, making conclusions only on the basis of ambassadorial reports and saying that the White House was thinking and doing this and that is a completely naive way of judgment. As I told you, ambassadorial reports tabled by WikiLeaks is just a minor segment of a large global network with a hub in Washington where decisions are made based on the analysis of a myriad of infobits. Nothing from whatever has been published so far, can be used to prove anything.
Yet, WikiLeaks disclosed a few disturbing notes which I am sure will affect international relations: Saudi King is reported to have called for an attack on Iran, while in UAE correspondence Arabs made fun of French Rafael air fighters.

 

Other Stories
“MINISTER MAY HAVE BEEN NUDGED BY AMERICANS”

Statement which caused the uproar

When the results of the investigation were published, the people, politicians and experts were discussing whether the investigation was carried out fairly. Besides, if the government’s version is correct, eavesdropping devices were installed at Rustavi 2 TV with the knowledge of the management. Law enforcers must take this case to an end. Expert Alexander Tvalchrelidze is sure that the recording devices were not installed under the current authorities:
First Trilateral Summit-Level Meeting
Turkish Ambassador talked with Georgian Journal about visit of Turkish President

Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey, paid his second official visit to Georgia. On the first day of the visit, the trilateral summit among Georgian, Turkish and Azeri Presidents took place. Georgian Journal seized the opportunity and recorded the interview right after the three-day visit of the Turkish President, with the Ambassador of Turkey to Georgia, H.E. Mr. Levent Gümrükçü.
Polish Book on Georgians and Abkhazians
Interview with the Ambassador of Poland to Georgia

Poland, together with the Czech Republic and Hungary, celebrates its 15th anniversary of joining NATO. With the V4 and Baltic States, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta it celebrates its 10th anniversary of EU accession. Georgian Journal spoke with the Ambassador of Poland to Georgia, Mr. Andrzej Cieszkowski, about the EU, his challenges as a diplomat while living abroad for the second time and his first ambassadorial mission as well as about personal interests. Stay with us.
“I WARN YOU, THINK CAREFULLY!”
Interview with Austrian researcher and analyst, Eugene Kogan

What’s going on in Ukraine, what is Crimea’s destiny and how will the Ukrainian events influence Georgia? We discussed these questions with Eugene Kogan, Austrian researcher and a Realpolitik expert who is currently in Georgia and cooperates with Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Ambition to have Ukraine as one’s own part
Below Ramaz Sakvarelidze, a political expert, answers Georgian Journal’s questions on the current situation of Georgia, the way of integration into Europe and signing of the Association Agreement. At the same time, we are concerned about the events in Ukraine, the political expert assesses risks that Georgia may face on its way into Europe while avoiding pressure and danger from Russia.
Sochi threatened
Russia created a special 11-km wide zone deep in occupied Abkhazia

For almost two months Sochi will host athletes, public figures and journalists from up to 90 countries.
VENI, VIDI, VICI
Interview with expert Kakhi Kakhishvili

We hope Bidzina Ivanishvili will stay neutral to the end and in case of reasoned criticism of authorities he will side with civil society. By the way, Ivanishvili kept one more promise and, on leaving, nominated Davit Narmania as the candidate for the Tbilisi Mayor’s post. We began the interview with expert Kakhi Kakhishvili with this issue.
HOW WAS THE NEW PROSECUTOR SELECTED?
Will the monster created by the previous powers disintegrate?

Last week Irakli Gharibashvili, candidate for the PM post, first named Otar Partskhaladze as the substitute for Chief Prosecutor, and then Alexander Chikaidze as the candidate for the post of Interior Minister. Why did the Chief Prosecutor leave his post? What do the cadre changes mean for us? Expert Kakha Kakhishvili shares his opinion:
Summoning Patience and Consistency

Exclusive Interview with Mrs. Elita Gavele, Latvian Ambassador to Georgia

It is always difficult to predict what will happen in the future. The easiest thing is to wait to make things clear. All we know at the present time is that we have a new president Giorgi Margvelashvili from the ruling party. Let's see what will change. However, there are many expectations and hopes for the better in the society that had a total feeling of injustice. Georgian Journal talked to Mrs. Elita Gavele, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to Georgia and Armenia.

CRUSHING  OF NATIONAL  MOVEMENT WILL BE GRAVE MISTAKE
Interview with philosopher Zaza Piralishvili

Why the 2013 Presidential elections don’t resemble previous ones? Do the election programs, promises and political views of presidential candidates differ from one another? Below Philosopher Zaza Piralishvili dissects these issues.
“Prosecutors’ Office  Still a Black  Hole”
Interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili

Last week traditionally proved to be politically tense in Georgia. We witnessed Bidzina Ivanishvili’s “talk show” - this time featuring representatives of TV channels. In another development, MIA found an identity of the Jihad Video fabricator. Finally, the general assembly of the National Movement Party closed the week. Our interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili started with this event staged by the Nationals.
Russians Have Not Paid the Fee
In a live interview from New-York, President Mikheil Saakashvili said the following: “In the last weeks and months we lost more agricultural lands than in Kurta and Tamarasheni villages combined.”
Mikheil Saakashvili was the President during the August 2008 war too. So, he is supposed to be the most knowledgeable of all that during those tragic days Georgia was ripped of not just Tamarasheni and Kurta arable lands but around 20% of the country’s area! This loss should have been more than enough for any decent, homeland loving leader of the country to recognize the strategic mistakes he committed before and during the war, and resign.
PEOPLE’S ALREADY GETTING ANGRY
Mamuka AreshidzeInterview with expert

One year after the change in the ruling power, political pressure is rising in the country again. There are a plenty of reasons – promises are being fulfilled at a low tempo or not at all. In the given situation, the decision by PM Bidzina Ivanishvili to leave politics feeds into the public fear of future. We spoke with expert Mamuka Areshidze about this and other interesting topics:
EURASIAN UNION - NEW CIS
Interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili

Today the most urgent topic is whether Ivanishvili leaves or stays in politics. We discussed this and other topical issues with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.
Demise of Nabucco

Eugene Kogen: I don’t see Georgia as a EU member for another 25 years to come…

”Nabucco was a victim of clash of interests in Brussels” – says South Caucasus security expert Eugene Kogen. In an exclusive interview, he talked about the demise of much-talked project of Nabucco pipeline and his own, skeptical view of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic future.

‘I don’t Expect Any Major Response from USA...‘
Interview with Michael Cecire, associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute

- Former PM Vano Merabishvili, present-day UNM Secretary General, and ex-Healthcare Minister Zurab Chiaberashvili, currently Governor of Kakheti region, were arrested.
Georgia Targets on Innovations
Innovation Research and Development Council was created at Georgian parliament to base national economy on innovations in pursuance with the best world experience. The Council will peruse each innovation proposal and scientific work so as to use the country’s intellectual potential take its nich among developed economies.
Scandalous Detail of August War
Umpteenth violation of International Agreement on the part of the Kremlin

The August war in 2008 left indelible trace in the minds of many people world over thanks to a number of video and photo materials depicting Russians grabbing and taking away weaponry and military machinery of Georgian Army but this Blitzkrieg war had another episode, which did not take up the headlines. It should have caused an international scandal for sure. Now it’s late.
ne of the Georgian Army units which retreated from its Tskhinvali outskirts position in August 2008, brought 16 Strela-2 - man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system – to Tbilisi. This weapon was abandoned by Russian instructors and Ossetian separatists fighting Georgian troops.
PROSPECTS OF GEORGIAN-RUSSIAN DIALOG
After several-year interval Georgian-Russian dialog has ensued. What does Georgia expect from this dialog with 88% of its population, supporting relations with Russia? Answer to this question is intertwined with the reasons that conditioned increase of the supporters of the dialog with Russia while Russia as an image of enemy, is considered as a stigma for the last 20 years and not only desire of relations but even mentioning it in a slightly positive context, was almost equivalent of expulsion from the society.
‘TONE OF FOREIGN PRESS CHANGED CONSIDERABLY’
‘Akhalaia’s release in return for ambassadors is inadmissible’

There is a smell of new provocation in the air in Georgia that is called ‘religious confrontation’. Our compatriot Christians and Muslims declare that instigators are trying to aggravate the situation. This way or that way the authorities didn’t have adequate and timely reaction; we may get a result that even the instigators of this escalation didn’t want or expect. The expert Kote Zhgenti hopes that the situation won’t aggravate. According to him the authors of this artificial process don’t consider that interests of the country may be sacrificed to all this.
‘UNLESS WE HELP, SYRIA AND EGYPT WILL BE REPEATED’

‘Georgian authorities are doing everything for blood-shedding’

High-ranking diplomats and International Organizations can’t hide their concern about the events undergoing in the country. OSCE sees the signs of Leninism and according to Terry Benhem, an American expert on election issues, adviser of NGO ‘Open Democracy Committee’, the voters’ lists, fines and rule of law are under a question mark in Georgia.

 

GEORGIAN PERIODICALS IN CIVIL WAR MODE

Interview with Mamuka Areshidze, political scientist

 

Everybody and everything in Georgia are in possession of pre-election fever. The authorities being under time pressure because of Ivanishvili’s unexpected appearance in politics can’t cope with issuing fines or other sanctions. It seems they hope in Saakashvili’s team that victors are not judged… We are talking about the peripety in Georgian politics with political scientist Mamuka Areshidze.

LOBBYISTS’ WAR FOR GEORGIA

Why didn’t Saakashvili have face-to-face meeting with State Minister?

Against the background of recent appointment/sacking process conducted by the authorities, UN General Assembly’s resolution on Georgia was left beyond public attention. With this issue we began our interview with Mamuka Areshidze, an expert of Caucasian issues:

“Sarkozy Was Minister of Internal Affairs Too Before Becoming President”

Appointment of currently former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili to the post of Prime-Minister of Georgia overshadowed nearly all other recent political events. Is it promotion of Vano Merabishvili or downgrading of his power? We put this question on the top of issues discussed in our interview with political expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.

ISSUE OF IRAN OR DEMOCRACY IN GEORGIA?

Expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze on Mrs. Clinton’s visit to Georgia

We began our interview with expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze with recent hullabaloo about National Exam Center. We’ll remind you that Dimitri Shashkin, Minister of Education of Georgia sacked Maia Miminoshvili, head of National Center.

GJ Editor's comment
16 October, 2014
As I sat going through ‘wires’ this morning, I could not find anything very hot and juicy in the news. So in an attempt of not letting my pen go dry, I hurriedly made for the famous Dry Bridge
Also on the Web
Nini Badurashvili and Oto Poladashvili’s samba performance on the show “Dancing with the Stars” from “Imedi TV” has earned the praise of both the audience and the judges.
President Barack Obama found himself in awkward situation at the voting booth in Chicago on Monday, BBC reports.
A scuffle has taken place during a talk show ‘’Archevani’’ at the "Rustavi 2" broadcasting company.
The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has made her first public appearance since an announcement that she was suffering from acute morning sickness, BBC re ports.
Georgia is taking a whole range of measures to protect itself against the Ebola virus. In accordance with WHO’s recommendations, an order was issued that defined responsibilities
In a few days, a car museum will open in Tbilisi. The initiator of the idea and the museum’s founder is a private collector and businessman Giorgi Mamulashvili, who promised
An elevator for the people with disabilities was installed at an underground walkway near Tbilisi Opera house, on Rustaveli Street.
President of Georgia met representative of various religions today. The meeting’s main topic was dedicated to cases of violence against women
Spanish police have apprehended a Georgian organized crime group. Information regarding this was published by a Spanish online newspaper El Iceberg.
The record for the largest all-female skydive formation has been broken by 117 women in California, BBC reports.
GEL Exchange
EUR
1
EUR
2.2368
USD
1
USD
1.7523
GBP
1
GBP
2.8298
RUB
100
RUB
4.2687