Georgia’s Hopes and Fears

georgia082008.jpgThis column by Michael Gerson in the Washington Post is rather interesting:

The nation of Georgia is a place of inspiration and danger. I saw both in a single hour. I was in Tbilisi’s Freedom Square during President Bush’s visit in May 2005, along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried. During the Georgian national anthem, the speaker system broke down and tens of thousands of Georgians movingly sang that song without music — a song that had been illegal to sing under Soviet occupation. It is shocking to imagine those joyful people now bombed, fearful and occupied. At the same event, an assassination attempt was made against President Bush. A man threw a grenade wrapped in a handkerchief. Bush was behind a bulletproof shield but within the blast radius of the weapon. The grenade was live but did not explode — or maybe the explosion in Georgia was just delayed.