In terms of “revival” and reforms, President Saakashvili compared modern day Georgia to Georgia of nine centuries ago, when it was ruled by probably its most revered King David the Builder, who reunited Georgia in the twelfth century.
“The course of our rebuilding is irreversible,” he said on January 11. “The course of our freedom is irreversible. We are standing on the road, which will definitely unite the country, because the empire will inevitably fall.”
He said that Georgia was “now at the stage similar to the one in which Davit the Builder was” in a period prior to regaining control over Tbilisi in 1122.
“It took him [David the Builder] 34 years to regain Tbilisi. Occupied territories [Abkhazia, South Ossetia] are now the same [for Georgia] what Tbilisi was at that time [during David the Builder’s rule],” he said.
“But we should remember that before he [David the Builder] regained Georgian capital, he implemented a lot of reforms, he built many things in the places, which were under his control,” Saakashvili said.
“Never since the epochs of Davit and [Queen] Tamar [in late 12th and early 13th centuries] have so many things been built in Georgia than in last 2, 3 or 4 years, especially after the [August, 2008] war,” he continued. “I do not know any other country in our region, where there is such a pace of rebuilding, but we should not compare only with other countries, we should make parallels with our own history. We really live now in the epoch of revival and this epoch is not created by a ruler, we are doing it all together.”
Saakashvili, who took a spiritual oath at the tomb of Davit the Builder in the Gelati Cathedral when was first elected as President in 2004, made the remarks while speaking to a group of locals outside the newly built hospital in Gori, the town in Shida Kargli region.
Opening of new hospitals in provinces, built by insurance companies, and then addressing locals gathered outside these hospitals have turned into a campaign-style event during which Saakashvili stresses on importance of infrastructure development and repeatedly emphasizes that despite of attempts by unspecified forces it won’t be possible to throw Georgia back into the past, particularly referring to pre-Rose Revolution period.
He said on January 11 in Gori, that there were people in Georgia “who want to get us back into the past, including with Russian money.” He also said that “someone” had managed to get together some of the former officials from ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration, those, as Saakashvili put it, “the Georgian people got rid of several years ago” as a result of the 2003 Rose Revolution.
“These mummies will never be able to come back; mummies come back only in films; in Georgia’s political reality political vampires, mummies and various monsters will not be able to return until Georgia is moving forward,” he said.
Although he did not specify, but in these remarks Saakashvili was apparently alluding to an inaugural session of billionaire opposition politician Bidzina Ivanishvili’s public movement, Georgian Dream, when some former officials from ex-president Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration, no longer involved in politics, were seen among the invited guests at the event last month. It was seized upon by government supporters for use in attacks against Ivanishvili, arguing that the billionaire was relying, among others, on “corrupt” ex-officials from Shevardnadze’s administration.
Saakashvili also said in Gori, the town which along with Tskhinvali suffered most during the August, 2008 war, that Russia was now “like crazy”, because Georgia not only survived but also further developed since the August war.
“Look where they [referring to Russia] are and where we are less than four years after the war; look what is happening in their capital; look at their economic growth; they have so much oil and gas… but despite of all these factors every fourth person there wants to run away from [Russia]. Georgia, which they have declared dead and they have declared me ‘a political corpse’, is gaining foothold and today people in Ukraine, Moldova, Central Asia and in the Caucasus states are dreaming not about the Russian model, but about what is in Georgia,” Saakashvili said.
“For those people who fight for freedom in Russia, Georgia is an example. What can be a humiliation bigger than that for those, who thought that it was all over about Georgia?” he said.