Beautiful news this morning. What looked like the start of a nasty, bloody civil war in one of Georgia's tiny little despotships between the stubborn local despot and the freely, newly-elected President, Michael Saakashvili, has turned around on a dime. The tinpot of Adjara, Aslan Abashidze, had blown up the bridges leading into his fiefdom, and somebody (it isn't clear who, exactly, although guesses can be made) had mined the region's Black Sea port. Abashidze had sent riot police against protesters, and it looked like one hell of a mess. Then I came in this morning, and it's the Rose Revolution all over again.
I give equal credit to George Soros and the Bush administration. Soros' organizations have been training and working with Georgians for a decade in preparation for exactly this sort of bloodless destruction of tyranny. Although I have massive problems with Soros' ego and with his notion of domestic politics, his foundations are the very best face of the often troubled and arrogant transnational-progressive NGO movement. But I also give credit to the Bush administration, without whose backing Georgia's infant democracy would be a very small pup in a kennel full of vicious curs. The Russians were directly backing Abashidze, and have significant garrisons in Adjara. The Chechen cauldron is on Georgia's northern flank, and al Queda infests Georgia's Pankisi Gorge region. American diplomats have been running interference with Moscow, American special forces have been training the Georgian military, and we've been backing the new democracy with financial support.
Welcome, welcome news.
Via the Argus and a brief note from the Instapundit.