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US-EU assets pushing color revolution in Georgia

Over 25,000 NGOs are active in Georgia, and most rely on funding from Europe and the US. A new bill aiming to reign in Western meddling has sparked furious anti-government protests explicitly encouraged by Washington.

by Kit Klarenberg
 
Part 3 - Shaping the color revolution theater
 
Longtime Georgian leader and former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze opened the floodgates for NGOs seeking a toehold in his country by allowing foreign-financed civil society organizations to operate in the country without much if any oversight. At the time a Western darling, with this act he signed his own political death warrant. As a since-deleted article on USAID’s website once noted, Western-backed NGOs went on to “promote democratic and liberal values,” which gravely undermined his government.

For example, in 1999 US funding helped Georgians draw up and build support for a Freedom of Information Law, which the government adopted. That law allowed the media and NGOs to investigate government budgets, force the firing of a corrupt minister, and give people a sense that they should regulate the government,” the report continued. Vast sums were also allocated to training “lawyers, judges, journalists, members of parliament, NGOs, political party leaders” in the art of color revolution.

This led to the 2003 Rose Revolution, which toppled Shevardnadze, and installed Mikheil Saakashvili, a US-groomed politician personally approved by billionaire CIA cutout George Soros. A participant in the insurrection quoted in the deleted USAID article acknowledged, “without foreign assistance I’m not sure we would have been able to achieve what we did… USAID supported civil society and created a network of civic minded people.” Elsewhere, a Saakashvili associate declared Washington had “helped good people get rid of a bad and corrupted government.

Foreign-funded NGOs exert an outsized and toxic influence in Tbilisi, having “long-colonized most areas of public policy and services,” as a May 2 essay by LeftEast noted. These organizations “get their mandate from international bodies, which draw up and pay for to-do lists of policy reforms for Georgia,” and “lack an incentive to consider the impact of the projects they implement because they are not accountable to the citizens in whose lives they play such an intrusive role.

While this “has eroded Georgian citizens’ agency and the country’s sovereignty and democracy,” the “foreign influence transparency” law will not in fact address these issues, the authors argue. The legislation is instead concerned with countering “a small but powerful clique” of well-funded NGOs aligned with Saakashvili and his United National Movement (UNM), which “engage in openly partisan politics” to undermine Georgian Dream. As can be seen in the current round of protests, this retinue props up opposition parties while clamoring for the government’s ouster.

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