Waving American and Georgian flags, Georgians cheered Bush and his wife, Laura, all the way from the airport to the center of Old Tbilisi, where buildings are decorated with red roses, representing Georgia’s Rose Revolution for democracy. Bush’s smiling face also is plastered on posters and billboards throughout the capital.
Someone appreciates the guy, at least.
Later today, he’ll speak at Tbilisi’s Freedom Square, formerly Lenin Square. Hours before Bush’s address, the square is filling with tens of thousands. [emphasis mine]
Note the location. As Expat Yank writes:
Democracy. Freedom. Reasonable government. . .
. . . And in Stalin’s birthplace.
A “Beacon of Liberty“.
UPDATE: Well, okay. Not EVERYONE in Geogia loves ‘W’. Apparently, someone tried to throw a grenade at him. (Yes, I know that’s the same link as previously. I can’t help it.)
After Bush left Georgia on Tuesday, the Secret Service was informed by Georgian authorities of a report that a device, possibly a hand grenade, had been thrown within 100 feet of the stage during Bush’s speech, hit someone in the crowd and fell to the ground, Secret Service spokesman Jonathan Cherry said.
According to the report, a Georgian security officer picked up the device and removed it from the area. The Secret Service had not seen the device as of Tuesday evening, Cherry said. It has agents in Tbilisi working with the FBI, State Department and Georgian authorities to investigate the report.
One wonders why, if it was a grenade or some other explosive device, it didn’t go off.
I’m not exactly calling “B.S.” on this report, but color me skeptical. Even toy grenades explode in the US, for pity’s sake. It was probably either a)nothing, or more likely b) something harmless like a pop can.
Guram Donadze, spokesman for the Georgian Interior Ministry, said no hand grenade was thrown close to Bush. “This is an absolute lie. This did not occur,” Donadze told The Associated Press.
The Secret Service said it could not independently confirm whether a device was thrown at the president and whether it was a real hand grenade or a fake. It said it was investigating the incident, along with the FBI, the State Department and Georgian authorities.
“After the president departed the country of Georgia, we were notified by host-country authorities that during the president’s speech earlier in the day in Tbilisi, a device described as a possible hand grenade was thrown within 100 feet of the stage,” said Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin.
Georgian authorities told the Secret Service that the device hit someone in the crowd and fell to the ground. It did not detonate.
Because it was a sausage.