Last November’s “Rose Revolution” in the Caucasian republic of Georgia made political bedfellows of an unlikely couple: George W. Bush and billionaire “philanthropist” and global meddler George Soros.  The apparent cooperation between the Bush administration and Soros in backing the ouster of President Eduard Shevardnadze seems all the more bizarre in light of Soros’ stated goal of ensuring that Mr. Bush is not re-elected in November.  Nevertheless, the pairing is not as strange as it first seems.  Both Soros and Bush are dedicated to globalization, with Georgia the latest target selected for “regime change.”  The Hungarian-born Soros is intent on spreading his model of an “Open Society” (which emphasizes abortion, euthanasia, legalization of narcotics, and homosexual “rights”) to the mountainous republic and, indeed, across the former Soviet bloc, while, behind talk of widening the parameters of global democracy, the Bush administration’s motives are likely part of Washington’s drive to dominate an oil-rich “arc of instability” stretching from the Middle East to the Caucasus and beyond to Central Asia.

An Anti-Shevardnadze crowd seized Georgia’s parliament on the night of November 22, 2003, forcing the Georgian president to resign after the opposition’s leadership, Mikheil Saakashvili, Nino Burjanadze, and Zurab Zhavnia, claimed that recent elections had been rigged.  (International observers agreed.)  This seizure was the high-water mark of Georgia’s “Rose Revolution,” a largely bloodless overthrow of the Shevardnadze-headed regime in Tbilisi.  The manner in which the “revolution” was played out, however, raised questions about whether a genuine popular revolt or a carefully orchestrated coup had taken place.

In the early afternoon of November 22, thousands of protestors, called together by Georgian opposition parties, gathered in Tbilisi, pledging to prevent the new parliament, elected on November 2, from convening.  The timing of the opposition’s moves was critical.  Had new legislators convened, oppositionist Burjanadze would no longer be speaker of parliament and Shevardnadze’s successor if the former Soviet foreign minister left office.

Journalist Daan van der Schriek found it “remarkable” that opposition leading light “Misha” Saakashvili managed to enter the building, which was surrounded by police and military units, and confront Shevardnadze—and just as remarkable that Shevardnadze was able to escape through the hostile crowd outside the building.  (The demonstrators had conveniently left one avenue to the building open and unguarded.)  According to Van der Schriek’s account, the police and military “disappeared” after the president’s departure, while the demonstrators “‘stormed,’ or rather, were allowed to occupy, the steps” of the building.  “This,” reported Van der Schriek, “was not an unorganized storming of the Bastille.  The rank-and-file protestors were kept in line by their own ‘order troops,’ members of Kmara (Enough!), an anti-Shevardnadze youth movement” with ties to Soros-backed organizations.

One Georgian observer affirmed that the “Rose Revolution” was, indeed, a “putsch” but one that many, if not most, Georgians probably supported.  Shevardnadze had a different view: He claimed that there were two forces chiefly behind the overthrow of his government—Soros and the United States.  After his forced resignation, a bitter Shevardnadze told reporters that “I was one of the biggest supporters of United States policy.  When they needed my support on Iraq, I gave it.  What happened here, I cannot explain.”  Shevardnadze also noted that U.S. ambassador to Georgia Richard Miles was posted to Belgrade before Slobodan Milosevic’s ouster, and he claimed that Ambassador Miles encouraged the opposition to mount the “Rose Revolution.”

Toronto’s Globe and Mail subsequently reported that an opposition activist, Giga Bokeria, whose Liberty Institute reportedly is backed by both Soros’ Open Society Institute and the U.S.-government-supported Eurasia Institute, had traveled to Serbia before the “Rose Revolution” to meet with members of the Otbor (Resistance) movement and “learn how they had used street demonstrations to topple” the Milosevic regime.  Last summer, Soros money paid for the Serbs to travel to Georgia, where they “ran three-day courses teaching more than a thousand students how to stage a peaceful revolution.”  (An Open Society spokesman later confirmed the Soros connection to the Otbor “courses” held in Georgia.)  Moreover, Soros-financed media conducted an anti-Shevardnadze campaign, while a documentary on the tactics used by anti-Milosevic protestors was aired twice on a Soros-financed Georgian TV station in the period leading up to the seizure of the parliament.  Not surprisingly, Mikheil Saakashvili, elected president following the “Rose Revolution,” has long-standing ties to Soros and is a recipient of the Open Society Award 

In mid-2002, Soros publicly announced that it was “necessary to mobilize civil society” in order to protect democracy in the Caucasian republic.  Such a “mobilization,” he claimed, was exactly what he and his followers had organized in the former Yugoslavia.

Since the “Rose Revolution,” Soros has strengthened his influence in Georgia.  In January, U.N. Development Program Administrator Mark Malloch Brown and Soros launched a “trust fund” supposedly aimed at helping Saakashvili fight corruption.  Both pledged a start-up amount of one million dollars—with Saakashvili hoping for an eventual $15 million—earmarked for paying Georgian officials’ salaries, theoretically removing the temptation to accept bribes.  Some Georgian observers, however, are claiming that Saakashvili is replacing corrupt officials with his own equally corrupt loyalists.  Soros’ “trust fund” may simply be a means to buy influence with the Georgian bureaucracy and to cement his ties to Saakashvili.

The present Georgian leadership has pledged to pursue a pro-U.S. policy, while Saakashvili has announced that he wants Georgia to join NATO.  In February, Saakashvili visited Washington and met with President Bush.  One correspondent commented that the newly minted Georgian president was now the “darling” of the Bush administration.

After a meeting with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfo-witz, the Georgian president revealed that the United States would expand a military-assistance program (dubbed “train and equip”) initiated under Shevardnadze, with the eventual goal of creating a 5,000-man “American-style brigade.”  Moreover, Washington apparently allocated three million dollars to pay the salaries of U.S.-trained Georgian troops.  Members of Congress reportedly told Saakashvili that Georgia would receive some $200 million in aid from the United States in 2004, while Washington has committed itself to a ten-year “investment” in building “civil society” in Georgia of over a billion dollars.  In addition, the FBI announced it would open a Tbilisi office, while the White House promised to advise the new regime on how to fight corruption.

Washington has a concrete geopolitical/economic goal in mind for Georgia, something Saakashvili has mentioned.  In March, Saakashvili met with his counterpart in Azerbaijan, whose port at Baku on the landlocked—and oil-rich—Caspian Sea makes the former Soviet republic strategically important.  Saakashvili and U.S.-friendly Azeri President Ilham Aliyev discussed what was on every observer’s mind—the proposed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, deemed a crucial part of Washington’s strategy to funnel Caspian crude oil from Baku to NATO member Turkey via Georgia, bypassing Russia, which has perceived this as a U.S. intrusion on her sphere of influence.  The pipeline’s construction is being carried out by a consortium of multinational oil companies, with backing from the U.S. government.  The total bill for the project, which will pump as much as one million barrels of crude per day to a Mediterranean tanker terminal is projected at about three billion dollars.  The BTC route could eventually transport oil from Kazakhstan in Central Asia.  At the Baku meeting, Saakashvili repeated his commitment to the BTC project, pledging to resist any efforts to block its construction, especially by Russia.

The BTC pipeline and deepening U.S. influence in the Caucasus appear to be part of a larger strategy aimed at securing control over oil and gas deposits throughout the “arc of instability.”  The “War on Terror” is being exploited as a pretext for U.S. intervention in these hot spots.  Washington trumped up alleged Iraqi connections to Osama bin Laden and harped on nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” as part of a plan that appears at least partly aimed at taking charge of Iraq’s vast oil reserves.  In Afghanistan and in former Soviet Central Asian republics, Washington has deployed troops who may remain for some time: The troops will help secure yet another pipeline route, this time to transport Turkmen gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan.  In Georgia, Muslim Chechen partisans, who have ties to Islamic terrorist groups, had used that country’s Pankisi Gorge as a base of operations against Russian troops in Chechnya.  Thus, Washington portrayed its involvement in Georgia as part of the larger War on Terror.  Russia had lobbied hard for the West to accept her operation in Chechnya as another front in the antiterrorism war and found it difficult to respond under those circumstances.

Russia has used her influence with separatist movements in Georgia, especially in Abkazia and Southern Ossetia, to pressure Tbilisi.  Some observers claim that Russia had given up on stopping the BTC pipeline project and was recently concentrating on using such pressure points to influence Shevardnadze, who was playing a delicate balancing act between Moscow and Washington, sometimes seeming to lean toward Russia to appease the Kremlin, which could be one reason Washington turned on him.  Russia may have decided to wait and see what came of the “Rose Revolution,” before returning to her previous strategy: In March, with Saakashvili threatening military intervention in the autonomous region of Adjaria, rumors began circulating in Moscow of Russian attempts to preserve Adjarian autonomy, which would put more pressure on Washington and Tbilisi.  At the same time, Russia has dragged her feet on withdrawing military forces from Soviet-era bases in Georgia, giving Moscow another bargaining chip.

Despite his professed desire to see President Bush turned out of the White House come November, Soros and Bush have some of the same friends—and some of the same goals, though they may differ on the means of achieving them.  Consider Soros’ ties to James Baker, a member in good standing of the extended Bush political clan: Soros’ business partners at the Carlyle Group, in which Soros has reportedly invested more than $100 million, include the former secretary of state as well as George H.W. Bush.  Baker himself is a lobbyist for Azeri oil interests.  Soros may stand to gain financially from the establishment of an “open society” in Georgia.

Another indirect link to the Bush camp may be Soros’ connections to neoconservative hawks prominent in the present administration: Soros’ International Crisis Group includes Democrat Stephen Solarz, who has been described as “the Israeli lobby’s chief legislative tactician on Capital Hill” and who was a signatory, along with Richard Perle and Wolfowitz, of a notorious 1998 letter calling for President Clinton to overthrow Saddam Hussein.  Thus, journalist Neil Clark has written that, “By making US ambitions so clear,” using “crude” threats, and embarking on unilateral military interventions, “the Bush gang has committed the cardinal sin of giving the game away.”  Clinton’s multilateral approach, together with the largely unnoticed actions of such groups as Soros’ Open Society Institute, had gone far to accomplish globalization without the international opposition the present administration faces.  Bush and his camp, wrote Clark, “have blown it.”

Like the Republican “right,” left-liberal ideologues such as Soros see globalization as a means of achieving their social and cultural ends.  Soros can also pick up some cash on the road to his utopia.  The philistine Wall Street Journal “right” wants a borderless world, where multinationals can move factories and conduct financial transactions at will around the globe.  To see that through, the globalist right can make use of a George Soros, who is working constantly to break down the barriers that stand in the way of economic globalization.  The seemingly strange Soros-Bush collaboration in Georgia is actually quite natural.  American patriots should recognize the two Georges as but two heads of a globalist hydra that is the sworn enemy of all national sovereignty, including America’s.