As Russia maintains a troop presence in several Georgian cities, Mikheil Saakashvili writes in the Washington Post, "We cannot allow Georgia to become the first victim of a new world order as imagined by Moscow." The Georgian president says the international community must recognize that Russia intends to crush democracy and liberty, and must come to his country's aid with "a modern version of the Berlin Airlift."
"Russia intends to destroy not just a country but an idea," Saakashvili writes. A democratic state with ambitions to join NATO is unthinkable for the Russian leadership, who "cannot be trusted" and who seek to destroy the post-Cold War geography of Europe. That's why the West must act, says the president: by letting Russia trample Georgia, "it will be giving carte blanche to authoritarian governments everywhere."