Out to lunch

I saw an interview with Professor John Mearsheimer recently. When asked what the Kremlin thinks about Western foreign policy making he said that he thought that the Kremlin thinks Western leaders are, basically, out to lunch. This does seem to be the case.

I’m watching the situation in Georgia. In summary; an elected government (which is still popular in the country and may indeed still win the elections scheduled for this year) has passed a law which requires NGOs and media organisations to declare if more then 20% of their funding comes from abroad. For comparison; in the UK charities are required to declare large foreign donations. This is a measure about transparency. Authorities want to know if foreign countries are playing an oversized role in supporting NGOs and media groups in the country. They want to know this because a foreign power can act through these groups to shape society. The Georgian law is mundane.

Western leaders have denounced the law. It seems that the process of a freely elected government passing a law means nothing to them. Precisely nothing. They are threatening Georgia. Visits by European leaders in support of the protestors echo visits by Western leaders to the Maidan in 2014. Are these people absolutely insane? Not only are they flying 100% in the face of their own oft pronounced principles – sovereignty, elections, govenments, laws (“the rule of law”) and, for that matter, “transparency”, but they seem to be acting in such as way as to potentially precipitate another crisis in the former Soviet space.

NATO has issued a statement in support of the “peaceful protestors”. These “peaceful protestors” have been trying to block parliament and prevent its normal functioning. If that happened in the UK or France we know exactly what would happen. It wouldn’t be tolerated for one tiny moment. French riot police used considerable violence to put down protests by e.g. “Yellow Vest” protestors in 2018 – 2019, including using explosive projectiles which led to multiple serious injuries.

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister is quoted as saying:

The first objective of us coming here thus is to express our support and solidarity with everyone who fights for Georgia’s democratic and European choice, for Georgia’s European future. This future belongs to Georgian people, and it should not be captured by anyone

Here we go again. “The Georgian people”. Just as in Ukraine these outside politicians decide which course they prefer, select that proportion of Georgian society which shares this opinion, and presents them as “the people”, even against the elected government. In fact, both Yanokovich’s election in Ukraine and the one which brought Georgian Dream to power in Georgia have been ruled as basically free by the OSCE. [1] It just happens that these elected administrations pursued policies not pleasing to, in this case, Lithuania. So, the “free world”, condemns, threatens and (in Ukraine) sponsors a coup. The language about Georgia is the same as about Ukraine. Are they about to sponsor a coup in Georgia? Another similarity with Ukraine; there are elections scheulded for the near future in Georgia (October); if they believed in democracy, why would they not wait a few months and let the people decide?

Again; even by their normal standards this is absolutely insane. Do they want WWIII that badly? Maybe the Baltic States do but I think the US is just so hubristic that they don’t see where their policies could lead.


  1. https://www.oscepa.org/en/news-a-media/press-releases/2020/fundamental-freedoms-respected-in-competitive-georgian-elections-but-allegations-of-pressure-and-blurring-of-line-between-party-and-state-reduced-confidence-international-observers-say / https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/eoms/presidential_2010