Friday, December 5, 2008

Georgia: Children's crusade

All these youngsters in the Saakashvili government: Kezerashvili (born in 1978), Tkeshelashvili (1977) and now, believe it or not, MGALOBLIshvili (1973) and the mess they got themselves into, reminded me of the mythic but touching "Children's crusade"

"The Children's Crusade is the name given to a variety of fictional and factual events which happened in 1212 that combine some or all of these elements: visions by a French or German boy; an intention to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity; bands of children marching to Italy; and children being sold into slavery. A study published in 1977[1] cast doubt on the existence of these events and it is now generally accepted[2] that they were not children but multiple bands of "wandering poor" in Germany and France, some of whom tried to reach the Holy Land and others who never intended to do so. Early versions of events, of which there are many variations told over the centuries, are largely apocryphal."

UPDATE: Tkeshelashvili and Kezerashvili have been replaced.

Meantime, Irakli Alasania (born in 1973) resigned his job as Ambassador to UN apparently to challenge Saakashvili (b. 1967). (Alasania is the family name of Saakashvili's mother, although the two politicians are of Megrelian descent, they are not believed to be immediately related.) Still hope for children's crusade?

The other prominent challenger is of course Nino Burjanadze (b. 1964). While Saakashvili's own preferred successor for now seems to be David Bakradze (b. 1972).

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