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Open letter to H.E. Kelly Degnan, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the USA to Georgia

You know our country through NGOs and politicians funded by you, which means that you don’t know Georgia, so you haven’t won the heart of the Georgian people

Mme. Ambassador, I am one of those journalists who had to stand at the origins of democratization of Georgia, so freedom of speech and expression is not of secondary importance to me. At the same time, personal, national and state dignity are  not of secondary importance either.

MP Mikhail Kavelashvili addressed you with an open letter, in which he expressed not only his own, but also the heartache of the voters. The deputy reasonably reminded you that your biased attitude towards a political force whose past is tainted by a crime condemned by all mankind (torture of people), and their leader is serving a well-deserved sentence in one of the institutions of the penitentiary system of Georgia, does not honor you personally or the huge state   you represent. On the contrary, it violates your image in Georgia. Moreover, this political force is doing everything to involve our country in the war with Russia, as the Nazi government of Ukraine did. Mr. Kavelashvili did not violate generally accepted norms of human courtesy and political-diplomatic tact in any sentence or word of the letter written to you. And you answered him: “This letter, which was full of lies and conspiracy theories that  I couldn’t even finish reading it”. After this sentence, I did not have to read this answer of yours, but, unlike you, I read it. These different approaches are probably due to the different upbringing and education we received, I-in the Soviet Union and you – in the USA.

Mme. Ambassador, I have been to your country several times, including as a member of the official delegation. I attended President Shevardnadze’s meeting with President Bush (Senior), Secretary of state Baker, and other officials. My archive contains books full of records made during those meetings, where many interesting details are described. I especially remembered the meeting with President Bush in Helsinki in 1992. The situation was the most difficult in Georgia after the Civil War – the treasury was empty, the barn too, famine was coming. Eduard Shevardnadze asked George Bush, with whom he had human intimacy and friendship, to deliver a certain amount of wheat.  It was very difficult for him  to ask but he had no other choice. A couple of hours later, President Bush appeared in the OSCE meeting room, he walked right up to our delegation and told his friend Shevardnadze: in a few days, a ship loaded with one hundred thousand tons of wheat will leave the United States for Georgia.

There were such attitudes in the relations of our countries, which we always remember with gratitude, but, unfortunately, such pleasant exceptions did not create the same pleasant general picture in our relations.

In your reply to MP kavelashvili, you said that you support people in Georgia. During the last thirty years, the Georgian people “supported” by you have received tens of billions of dollars in debt, lost territories, ruined economy, destroyed morals and halved population, and that is not all. With your efforts, Georgia found itself in the camp of states opposing Russia. This is the biggest damage that Georgia has suffered from you. If not for that damn NATO and EU bait, Georgia would have found a common language with Russia in the same way as it had been historically seen, and the country would not have collapsed. Your statement that Russia is taking away our language and desecrating our churches is developing a confrontation between Georgia and Russia. The most important thing is that this is a repetition of a big lie, which is still being invented in the laboratories of the US Central Intelligence Agency. I am a writer, and the Georgian language is my main tool, or rather, my soul. Therefore, you cannot understand the Georgian language better than me or worry more about it than I do. So, listen to me: a monument to the Georgian language was erected in Soviet Georgia, which, I think, is unprecedented in the world. The issue of cleanliness and respect for the language has not been raised anywhere and in any state at such a height as it was in Soviet Georgia. This situation only changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and you took over our country. The oldest and richest Georgian language is in a really deplorable state today. As for the Georgian church monuments, it is easiest for you to bring budgetary data of the main Department of monument protection existing during the communist period and you will be sure that the monuments of Georgian culture in Soviet Georgia were looked after and cared for. Do you think those hundreds of masterpieces of cult architecture that you see in our city, what force brought  them so far if the Russians (or communists) destroyed  them?  Were they afraid of you? Yes, we remember painful moments in relations with Russia, but after weighing both positive and negative on the scales of history correctly, such a picture and reality was revealed: Russia saved Georgia, which went to disappearance, without harming its soul. Russia helped  Georgians to keep the sacred triad declared by Ilia chavchavadze – Fatherland, language, faith and preserved ethnogenesis of Georgians. Russia not only saved Georgia from the physical point of view, but also saved its ethnic, religious, moral and cultural essence. This is our history, which you are forcing us to rewrite.

For you, it is important that Georgia becomes one of the springboards of confrontation with Russia, and for us it is important to save the general direction of Georgian consciousness, which created The Ballad of the tiger and Boy”, wrote “The Knight in the Panther’s skinand made Georgian hymns one big unique prayer.

The most important thing for you is that we are accustomed to have good pronunciation of OK and show thirty two teeth, which is the most primitive form of human relations, and we are willing to survive the most difficult and amazing forms of human relations, described in Georgian agiographic writings, Shota Rustaveli’s genius “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” Vazha-Pshavela’s |Aluda Ketelauri”  and “guest-host”.

OK can’t cover and replace all of this. The Georgian people created the understanding of love in “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” that became   crown to us. Later, Shakespeare, Byron, Goethe sang such an understanding of love. Nikoloz Baratashvili had such an opinion about love: “the language of mortals is not capable of expressing the feeling of immortality”. Galaktioni used to say, “I love my dream in you.”, trying to integrate two loves into one. We not only love the one we love, but we also love our courtship towards him/her.   The root and the basis of this amazingly sublime form of love may be found in Greek or Roman mythology and literature, but neither the Greek playwrights avoided Georgia and Kolkhi Medea, when the theme of classical love was brought to the height of Olympus. A unique monument of the first century was discovered in Georgia. Karpak, wife of Zevakh – Leader of Armazi Voivodeship  who died at the age of twenty-one,  brought her incurable sadness to the goldsmith on the ship and wrote the following words: “Zevakh, my life!” Writer and literary critic Guram Asatiani guided us Georgians so much on this fact:

“”Everything grows old in the world under the sun, falls away, becomes covered with dust and ash and then  returns to the bosom of Eternity. . .

A thousand Babylonian Godol brought down by ill-fated times. . . 

Gardens of Semiramides  are also deserted . . .

Love disappears too, but one day the pomegranate roots boldly cut through the stony ground, and from the thousand-year coolness of the sarcophagus the  helpless, eternal voice will say r again: “Zevakh, my life!”

I think it’s impossible when I try to explain to you, an American, what love between a man and a woman means to a Georgian. In Georgian dance (male and female duet), which is a strange mixture of gentle movements and fiery rhythm, where there are highlighted episodes of fateful approximation of two poles of love (female and male), touching is inadmissible. Man should not even involuntarily touch the skirt of a woman’s dress, although throughout the dance it is as if he should carry the desired creature by hand. This is fundamentally contrary to the philosophy of European dance duets, when a man boldly wraps his arm around a woman’s waist and both move beautifully  on stage.

“Georgian Dance” is not a fancy choreography, it is the Georgian philosophy of Love, which is based on the uniqueness and immutability of the object of love and is marked by the sign of eternal devotion. This is a philosophy that has been haunting us for more than a thousand years and calls us: “Zevakh, my life!”

Mme. Ambassador, with this sad story about ancient-era pitoakhsh  and his wife, I think I have confused you   but I am doing this because there are many things in this country that are difficult to put into words. If you had at least the slightest idea of what the relationship between a man and a woman, the purity and sanctity of the family mean to a Georgian person, if you had at least once heard the unfading masterpiece of Georgian singing lyrics ”Tsintskaro”,  which was brought to the heights of Georgian music and vocal art, I am sure that you would  not begin to interfere un this holy thing  and even maybe would have cried with joy at understanding the essence of such art. What LGBT, prides and  flags?  And what is +  here? Is LGBT an element of Mendeleev’s periodic system and not all of  other  elements are not still  discovered? But you hope all will be found and the system will be completed expanded and conquered  the world?!  You know our country through NGOs and politicians funded by you, which means that you don’t know Georgia, so you haven’t won the heart of the Georgian people. Therefore, you could not touch the strings of a Georgian’s  soul and started violence against their psyche. For thirty years you will only be stuck in the political trash that you yourself create. Such dirt accompanies every turbid ERA in abundance, but time washes away as if it had not been.

Mme. Ambassador,   in the very first sentence of the assessment of MP Kavelashvili’s letter, you accused him of lying and did it with such an emphasized irritation that allegedly kavelashvili’s statement brought you out of the balance. No, Mme. Ambassador,   you were not angry by the lie of the MP, but by his truth. As surprising as it may be, the American political establishment is more irritated by the truth than lies, because no political class on the Earth has ever told as many lies as the Americans .

Mme. Ambassador,   your political system is based on two monsters: lies and violence. Everything you preach – democracy, freedom, protection of human rights – is pure demagoguery, that is, lies. Everything you do is violence. And not only in those states where you enter with fire and sword, but even where you enter with the look of a well-wisher and a fake smile, for example – in Georgia. In your reply to MP Kavelashvili, you said: ”I do not know how many times I can repeat that this is a lie, that the United States or someone else is leading Georgia to war. The United States does not want a war and is doing everything to ensure that this war does not continue and ends”.

Mme. Ambassador,   Georgians have one proverb: “Chicken drank water and looked at God”.

In the short period of its existence, your state has waged war with more than fifty countries.  Today you are dragging the whole world into a global war, and how can we believe that you want to avoid a war for Georgia?! I know you, Madam Ambassador, and we know what political circles and multinational corporations breathe in your country. You paid almost a trillion dollars to continue the war in Ukraine, and for as long as possible, so that there would be immeasurably great sacrifices. Do you want to put an end to the war in Ukraine when you arm Ukrainian fascists every day?! After all, you are a state that does not refrain from supporting the Nazis or cooperating with terrorists, if you see the need for it. I’m not saying that, that’s what the 45th  US President Donald Trump said:

“Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama created a terrorist Islamic State together”.

There is nothing new for us in this. The greatest Georgian writer Konstantin Gamsakhurdia (father of the first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia) wrote almost a century ago:

“It is enough to look at the main stages of the history of the United States to make sure that the entire practice of the leaders of this state did not serve the high ideals of peace and solidarity of peoples, and the United States of America has always been the initiator of wars and troubles.” Zviad Gamsakhurdia himself, who fought against the Soviet Union and the socialist system all his adult life and revered Western democracy, said this after the 1991-92 coup: “The coup was carried out in Georgia with the blessing of President Bush and with the direct participation of Secretary of State James Baker.” As if confirmation of Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s  this statement, it was in the process of writing this letter that John Bolton’s confession was spread, saying  that it was he in whose office  the so-called color revolutions were planned.

In your reply to MP Kavelashvili you categorically state: “What I know  is the people of Georgia have said repeatedly what they want, and that is European Union membership; that is Western integration; that is a path toward a democratic future”.

Mme. Ambassador,  let me explain that first of all we want the Georgian people to remain Georgians. We do not want anything that will threaten the Georgian identity, which has been formed for thousands of years; democracy – yes, sir; tolerance – Yes, sir; freedom – yes, sir; protection of human rights – Yes, sir! Yes, sir, but not formulated by the Central Intelligence Agency and imposed on us by you as directives, but weighed by the Georgian people, brought into line with Georgian history and culture, Georgian writing and philosophy.

Since you want to know so much what Georgia wants from you, I will tell you with Georgian directness: the US ambassadors to Georgia should understand that you are diplomats, not viceroys who should govern our country. We are not going to recognize your presidents as our kings. Therefore, you also cannot become a viceroy. Leave us alone and give us a break from your false values, from your pseudo-democracy, from NATO, from the European Union, from your shameless interference in our internal affairs.

Finally, let’s take a break from the snake chicks hatched by you, whose anti-Georgian whistles poison our consciousness and make us lose peace.

Agree? OK? In all other cases, you will receive a message not from one individual MP or individual journalist, but from the entire Georgian people, which will be much cooler than even my not very extensive postcard, for reading which I thank you, if, of course, you have the strength and patience for it

Regards, Valeri Kvaratskhelia 


  1. Could you explain the context of MP Mikhail Kavelashvili’s open letter and his concerns regarding your perceived biased attitude towards a political force with a controversial past, including allegations of torture and its leader being incarcerated? How did you respond to this letter, and what were the contrasting approaches in communication between you and MP Kavelashvili? Furthermore, what points did MP Kavelashvili raise in his letter, and how did your response reflect potential differences in upbringing and education between the Soviet Union and the USA?


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