Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-186"

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"The Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, whom the opposition accuses of vote-rigging on a massive scale and widespread corruption, came to office by stirring up extreme Georgian nationalism and promising to force South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which are kindly disposed towards Russia, to become Georgian. The United States of America has been Georgia’s best ally, but Israel has not been too bad for Georgia either. The United States sent 130–170 military trainers to the country, Israel over 100. Iike Tomer, a code name, was a soldier in an elite unit in the Israeli army enlisted as a trainer by Defensive Shield, a company that sells military services run by General Gal Hirsch, the anti-hero in the war Israel lost against Lebanon. He had this to say: ‘By Israeli standards, the soldiers had almost zero capability and the officers were mediocre. It was clear that taking that army to war was illogical.’ An offensive that was illogical and unwise led to the total defeat of Saakashvili’s army of clowns. The soldiers abandoned their heavy weaponry, leaving it in the hands of the Russian troops, and fled in a chaotic frenzy to Tbilisi. Daring exploits of this kind do not deserve the support of the European Parliament. It has the support of America’s neoconservative Georgia Lobby, which is headed by Randy Scheunemann, presidential candidate John McCain’s adviser on foreign policy. He has been on both McCain’s and Saakashvili’s payroll at the same time, and during the last 18 months has received USD 290 000 in fees from Georgia. I agree, however, that the Russians reacted too strongly."@en1

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