The drive to secede
By ERIC MARGOLIS
On Aug. 8 Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin swiftly and deftly checkmated the United States on the Georgian strategic chessboard.
Georgia's President, Mikheil Saakashvili, fell right into Moscow's trap.
Georgia and Russia have been feuding since 1992 over two Georgian ethnic enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whose people wanted to decamp Georgia and join Russia.
The young, U.S.-educated Saakashvili became Georgia's president in 2003 after an uprising, believed organized by the CIA and financed by U.S. money, overthrew the able former leader, Eduard Shevardnadze. I interviewed Shevardnadze in Moscow when he was Mikhail Gorbachev's principal ally and architect of Soviet reform.