It was a bad week for two former puppets of the American Empire.
In Ukraine, former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was chased out of his apartment onto the roof where he threatened to jump. Police arrested him, but Saakashvili’s supporters surrounded the police van, smashed the front window, and pulled Saakashvili from the vehicle. Immediately afterwards, Saakashvili led a march on parliament in Kiev where he encouraged his supporters to topple the current Ukrainian leadership. Eventually, though, Saakashvili was re-arrested on Friday and now faces the prospect of having no passport and no support from the entity that brought him to power – the United States.
Saakashvili was America’s choice to run the country of Georgia following the dubious Rose Revolution in 2003. Having been educated in the U.S., Saakashvili was a favorite of the neoconservative war machine, in part because of his disdain for Russia. In 2008, Saakashvili initiated a conflict with Russia over the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Georgian military, despite support from the US, was quickly defeated by Russia, and Saakashvili and his US counterparts suffered an embarrassing loss, as Abkhazia and South Ossetia became independent states.
Saakashvili’s presidency lasted 10 years, but he was eventually run out in 2012, at which time he accepted the position of lecturer and senior statesman at Tufts University in the United States. But in 2014, Georgian prosecutors charged Saakashvili with embezzlement and other corruption charges. So, instead of returning to Georgia to face charges, Saakashvili gave up his Georgian passport and settled in Ukraine, with the approval of his schooldays friend, Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine (and another U.S.-installed puppet.)
Poroshenko named Saakashvili to be the governor of Odessa Oblast in 2015, shortly after Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship. But within a year, Saakashvili started butting heads with Poroshenko with corruption charges flying from both sides. In late 2016 Saakashvili resigned from his governorship, and instead started a new political party to challenge Poroshenko. But in July 2017, Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship, and Saakashvili has been pursued by authorities since. Now Saakashvili is a man who is in jail, is wanted by another country, and has no passport. His American supporters have been silent.
And a second US puppet, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, was killed by Houthi forces in Sana’a last Monday. Saleh’s US supported dictatorship lasted more than 30 years (from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama).
Saleh led Yemen to be one of the poorest and most repressed countries in the Arab world. Saleh was always a proponent of US ventures in the Middle East, so when Obama wanted to start a drone war in Yemen, Saleh agreed. Thus, on December 18, 2009, the Obama presidency launched its first drone strike in Yemen, and the drone strikes continue today under the Trump presidency.
Saleh was forced to flee Yemen in 2011 when opposition forces launched missiles at the presidential palace. After fleeing to Saudi Arabia, Saleh returned to Yemen by reaching an agreement to hand over power to Abdu Mansur Hadi (another US puppet) in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
During the current US/Saudi military invasion in Yemen, Saleh and his loyalists strangely joined the Houthis in their fight against the Saudi military. But Saleh decided to switch sides and rejoin the US/Saudi alliance, and two days later he was killed.
What remains in Yemen is a disaster, largely caused by the US war machine and its sycophants.
Chris Ernesto is the webmaster and co-founder of St. Pete for Peace, a non-partisan antiwar organization providing peace oriented education events and services to the Tampa Bay, FL community since 2003.