Barack Obama turned his back on the country of Georgia during his campaign in 2008. He compared Russia to the US for invading Georgia.
But, John McCain supported America’s ally Georgia and condemned the Russian invasion. So in January 2010 Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili awarded Senator John McCain with the Order of Georgian National Hero at the Sheraton in Batumi. Saakashvili honored John McCain for taking time during his campaign to stand with the people of Georgia… “while others hid behind bushes.”
So it really comes as no surprise that Barack Obama would snub Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today.
The pro-American Georgian leader flew all the way from Georgia to meet with President Obama at his nuclear summit. But, Obama wouldn’t meet with him.
The Washington Post reported:
Forty-seven world leaders are Barack Obama’s guests in Washington Tuesday at the nuclear security summit. Obama is holding bilateral meetings with just 12 of them. That’s led to some awkward exclusions — and some unfortunate appearances, as well.
One of those left out was Mikheil Saakashvili, president of Georgia, who got a phone call from Obama last week instead of a meeting in Washington. His exclusion must have prompted broad smiles in Moscow, where Saakashvili is considered public enemy no. 1 — a leader whom Russia tried to topple by force in the summer of 2008. After all, Obama met with Viktor Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine and a friend of the Kremlin. And he is also meeting with the leaders of two of Georgia’s neighbors — Armenia and Turkey, both of which enjoy excellent relations with Russia.
So is Saakashvili — a democratically elected leader whose ambition is to lead his country into NATO — being snubbed in order to please Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev?…
Saakashvili’s exclusion from the bilateral schedule is striking considering his strong support for U.S. interests, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Georgia sent as many as 2,000 troops from its tiny army to Iraq. It will soon have nearly 1,000 in Afghanistan; 750 are being sent to fight under U.S. command. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke noted last month that Georgia’s per capita troop contribution would be the highest of any country in the world.
Obama thanked Saakashvili for that help in their phone call last week. But according to a Georgian account of the call, Obama didn’t say anything about Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO, or about Georgia’s interest in buying defensive weapons from the United States, in order to deter a repeat of the 2008 Russian invasion. “It’s a work in progress,” Saakashvili said of his defense talks with the administration during a meeting with Post editors and reporters Monday. “It’s a step-by-step approach. It takes time.”