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GLENN: A lot of people, lot of people will watch the Georgia thing and they have absolutely no idea what it's about, and a good reason for that. I mean, as part of the former Soviet Union and, you know, you're like, okay, I don't know about all the politics. I don't even know where all of these countries are over there. You know, the former Yugoslavia's, what, like 40 different countries now? I don't know. So most people will watch the Georgia thing and they will say, what is this even really all about? And we've told you before that this is about Putin flexing his muscles. This is about the energy grab and the power grab. This is about remember when everybody was saying, "We need a bipolar world." We're the only people on the planet that scream and protest in favor of bipolar. That's not good.
So everybody was saying we need a bipolar world. Well, we're getting a bipolar world. Georgia actually, however, should be on our map. It's a U.S. ally. They sent over 2,000 troops to Iraq. Its troop commitment of 2,000 puts them in the top five countries in terms of actual boots on the ground. Russia has been sending in peace keepers. They have been giving away citizenship to people in Georgia. Hey, you want to be a citizen of Russia? Here, sign up. And they have been giving away citizenship. So that way they have citizens there and they could send peace keepers to protect their citizens because Georgia was attacking their citizens. That would be like Saudi Arabia coming in and saying, "Who wants to be a citizen of Saudi Arabia?" This is a bad example because nobody would want to do that. This would be like us going into Montreal well, wouldn't work in Montreal. All right, just go with me. This would be like us going some place in Canada where there are no French people and saying, "Hey, who wants to be a United States citizen" and then giving them citizenship. And then those people, having our military advisors there to train a little U.S. military in Canada with our citizens. And then when Canada said, you know what, guys, I don't think so and started rounding up the people, then we would get on television and say, they are rounding up our citizens. They are shooting our citizens. That's how trumped up this is.
I'm going to tell you not only what this fight is about because it's really all about messages, but what's going to happen. But first I want you to get a taste of the president of Georgia. This is Mikheil Saakashvili. He is the president of Georgia. I was a fan of his how long ago was this, Stu, we started talking about Georgia. At least a couple of years ago, and a year ago I really started looking into him and I'm thinking, wow, what is going on with Georgia. And then they started dropping missiles on Georgia. And so I wanted to get the president of Georgia on. This is six months ago maybe? And I talked to him just about, just about Georgia and the things that he was doing because I thought this guy America needs to hear because we've lost a lot of what he has found.
Well, I had him on. As it turns out, if I'm not mistaken, I think somebody in the Georgian embassy is a fan or something like that. And so he came and did an interview and he liked it and I liked it and it was good for everybody and so when we called and said could we get an interview now with what's going on, they wouldn't grant that yesterday because yesterday he was under a Kevlar blanket because the bombing raids were coming in and he believes, I believe and most people believe, you know, at least on this side of the argument that they're targeting him. They want him out. And so he had a Kevlar he had Kevlar jackets piled on top of him, and he also was in a bunker. Tonight he has agreed to come on. I have agreed to give him a full hour if he wants it. I have no idea how much time I have with him. I believe that we have been told that we have at least 20 minutes with him. And they are trying to get more time on their side. They are trying to get more time, but they can't promise anything at this point. I can't even promise that I'll have a picture, a live picture to go with the audio because we don't know where he'll be. He may again be underground, but if it's safe enough, he will be at a TV studio and we will have the sound and the picture. And you need to hear this man.
In case you missed the interview with the president of Georgia that I did a few months back, we didn't talk about Russia. What we talked about were the principles of Georgia and what inspired him and what he has done to clean up one of the most corrupt places on planet Earth and how he did it. If you don't feel connected to the Georgia story yet, check your gut and tell me how you feel about the Georgia story and if you feel connected to it in about three and a half, four minutes. Here's the president of Georgia six months ago.
(BEGIN ARCHIVED AUDIO)
GLENN: You were known for cleaning out government corruption. How did you do it, sir?
PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Well, it's certainly a pleasure for me to be on your program Glenn, sir. We were one of the most corrupt countries but no exception in any way in our part of the world and we needed to we were brought to the government not by special interest but by popular revolution. And we really basically had to deal with, you know, to really radical measures. First of all, the first thing we did a few years ago when I became president, we fired the entire police force of the country and that was one of the most corrupt police forces throughout the European continent. We fired more than 40,000 people. We recruited new people within several months. But here what the result is. You know, the previous police force had only 5% of population's trust and confidence according to the Gallup polls. Now we have more than 70. So police moved from being universally hated to being universally loved by the people and having support of the people. And there are other radical reforms which also applied. Cutting red tape, you know, cutting, downsizing the government functions, giving incentives to be honest as well as watching the people very carefully.
GLENN: I have to tell you I let me give you another quote here. Quote: The government is going to help you in the best way possible by doing nothing for you but by getting out of your way. I exaggerate, but you understand. Of course, we will provide the infrastructure and help get rid of corruption, but you have all succeeded by your own initiative and enterprise. So you should congratulate yourself." Sir, you sound like an American founding father, and we have lost that in our own country.
PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Well, in some way the people I mean, I'm not the only one. The people that came with me to govern my country are in a way founding fathers because we are making nation it's a nation nation but as a modern state, we are making it from scratch. And, of course, one of the main things is to develop people's initiative, to empower people. To give them a sense that they are the ones to build their own country. They shouldn't be looking at the government because in our case, more government is, the worse it is. We cut red tape. What's our resource? We don't have much of oil and gas. What's our resource in our part of the world? Our resource is having no red tape, having no corruption, having efficient government, small government because big government, as a rule means in our case corruption and inefficiency. I feel not only in our case. And basically empowering people, giving them initiative and basically encouraging initiative because after all, after so many years of communism, after so many years of connection, after so many years of cynicism and cynical rule, you need basically new mentality to tell people, well, we are our own, our government is there to help when it come. Most of the times we can help ourselves to build our own country. After all, when people don't give credit to some smart leaders or smart governments but say, okay, this is up to us, this is our country, we have to build it, you have get an entire new nation and that's exactly what we are seeing in my country of the world, in my part of the world. You are liberating by giving people more freedom. Freedom is the keyword. Encouraging initiative is the other thing. And having government that knows its place and doesn't want to play its hand can also be very efficient when it can to encourage freedom. It's something that really helps them get results.
GLENN: I have two questions for you. I have to get in. I have about a minute. Real quick, did you read any of our founding fathers or our founding documents when you
PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: You know, I was very encouraged by the founding fathers' example, I have to tell you. I mean, I went to Columbia law school.
GLENN: Right. That doesn't necessarily that doesn't necessarily study American history the truth.
PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: I remember those lessons at the very moment and I go back over and over and over again because one thing that America really exports to us is idealists. Is, you know, initiative, is believing in good spirits of the men and love mankind. But, of course, you have to work very hard at it. One thing that changed in my country is that we told the people, look, you have to work hard, but then you have to accept the rule of law. And if those two match together, you can do, perform just miracles. And Georgia has performed just miracles. We moved from being a failed state of being one of the top business destinations in the world with highest economic freedom, being the world's number one economic reformer, doing very well, being the number one fighter with corruption worldwide and being top destination for foreign investments from all over the region despite the economic problems worldwide and, you know, that's quite a remarkable success. And the main thing, people started to believe in institutions. People started to believe in democracy and democracy works. That's what the beauty does.
(END ARCHIVED AUDIO)
GLENN: There you go. I don't think we need anymore. That is that is an interview I did with this man as I read more and more about him and I just, I saw some quotes in a newspaper that he had said and I thought, I have got to speak to this guy. And much to my surprise, he agreed to be on the program when he was in Washington. Much to my surprise again, he has agreed to be on the television show and we're trying to work it out for the radio show as well. So you can hear him and you can see him and you can judge the man on what he has to say about Russia and where are we, what's going on, what is this all about.