TBILISI, Georgia -- Former U.S. President George W. Bush has a highway named after him in Tbilisi, Georgia's charming and gritty capital, to commemorate his lofty rhetoric in praise of the Caucasian republic's Western turn in 2003. During Bush's visit in 2005, the president even eschewed his famous early bedtime to dance the night away in the jubilant Georgian capital.
Much has changed since 2005, though. When Russian tanks rolled into Georgian territory in August 2008, Bush chose not to rise to the defense of the West's ally in the Caucasus.
But that was just the beginning. From the indignity of the imbalanced ceasefire negotiated by French President Nicholas Sarkozy, to gross caricatures in Western media of a tyrannical Georgian government, to Washington's awkward and fruitless "Russia reset" policy, Georgia has been pummeled by the very countries it considered to be its closest friends.