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Not That Hard, Apparently

It is hard to overstate Georgia’s importance for the West. ~The Economist

Yet somehow The Economist always manages to do it.  The same kind of argument could be made about Turkmenistan with more reason, since this is where some of the oil and gas going through Georgia comes from, but anyone who said, “It is hard to overstate Turkmenistan’s importance to the West” would be laughed out of the room, because no one really thinks Turmenistan is important to the West.  So instead we pretend that Georgia is vital to Western interests, when, in fact, what the West cares about is access to the oil and natural gas.  In other words, the reason we’re supposed to care about Georgia is so that we can have access to Central Asian resources that do not come under Russian control, but as The Economist points out in this very article the actual oil and gas-producing countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia on whom we are ultimately relying are far, far worse than Russia in terms of their domestic political arrangements.  Meanwhile, Georgia is merely equal in its local despotism and one-party rule, which obviously makes it a beacon of freedom that must be defended.  Pardon me if I don’t buy into this.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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