Big O’ Snubs Another Ally

April 15, 2010 at 09:38 (General Stupidity, News)

Apparently his motto is to treat your friends like enemies and vice versa. Very nice.

So is Saakashvili — a democratically elected leader whose ambition is to lead his country into NATO — being snubbed in order to please Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev? The White House would insist no. The summit is about nuclear security; Yanukovych got an appointment because Ukraine agreed to give up 60 tons of highly enriched uranium that it now uses in research reactors. Turkey and Armenia are seeing Obama because the administration hopes to press them to move forward with an agreement on opening borders — a deal that would benefit everyone in the Caucasus.

Still, Saakashvili’s exclusion from the bilateral schedule is striking considering his strong support for U.S. interests, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Georgia sent as many as 2,000 troops from its tiny army to Iraq. It will soon have nearly 1,000 in Afghanistan; 750 are being sent to fight under U.S. command. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke noted last month that Georgia’s per capita troop contribution would be the highest of any country in the world.

Obama thanked Saakashvili for that help in their phone call last week. But according to a Georgian account of the call, Obama didn’t say anything about Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO, or about Georgia’s interest in buying defensive weapons from the United States, in order to deter a repeat of the 2008 Russian invasion. “It’s a work in progress,” Saakashvili said of his defense talks with the administration during a meeting with Post editors and reporters Monday. “It’s a step-by-step approach. It takes time.”

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