Patriotic acts

President Mikheil Saakashvili is proposing a Georgian version of the USA Patriot Act in order to deter possible attempts by Russia to overthrow him and his government, Civil Georgia reports:

“It obvious that their goal was not taking over Tskhinvali, which is Georgia’s provincial town – only few people in Russia may know where it is located,” Saakashvili said at the meeting, which was televised live by the Rustavi 2 TV. “Their [Russia’s] goal was to take over Tbilisi and to overthrow the government.”

He said that Russians made it clear even publicly few days ago – apparently referring to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s August 26 statement in which it said “the Saakashvili regime does not at all meet the high standards set by the world community” and added it was sure that “sooner or later” the Georgian people would have “worthy leaders.”

Saakashvili said that he planned to propose the parliament to develop “the patriotic act” and added that this new legislature – details of which he did not elaborate – would no way infringe the civil liberties.

“This will be carried out under the condition of maintaining democracy, freedom and liberties,” he added and repeated it for couple of more times. 

Meanwhile in Russia, influential voices are being raised with calls for government measures that certainly will infringe civil liberties:

The fallout may be felt most inside Russia itself. Hopes for liberalisation and modernisation under Mr Medvedev have evaporated. In the past few days the Kremlin has rejected Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s parole application, refused to grant Russian citizenship to an investigative Moldovan journalist from Russia and briefly detained protesters in Red Square who held a banner “For Your Freedom and Ours” in a repeat of a protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia staged by dissidents 40 years ago. Views once considered extreme are creeping into the mainstream. For example, Alexander Dugin, a nationalist ideologue, greeted events in Georgia by celebrating the removal of the previous “masks”. “We are at war,” he proclaimed. “Now the country should fight not only against its external enemies but also with the fifth column. Pro-Western liberals …should be interned. War is war. The time of patriots is coming: the time for revenge for all the humiliation from these people that we have been suffering for years.”

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