At a recent conference in Georgetown a Georgian (not to be mixed with Georgetownian) woman exclaimed: “Do you think, the Georgian Rose revolution [autumn 2003, when present president Saakashvili ousted Shevardnadze) was for prosperity? No it was for reunification of Georgia! Getting back Abkhazia and South Ossetia!”
I think, she betrayed Georgians with her exclamaition. While Saakashvili has been trying to sell democratic Georgia to the West, his goal was old-fashioned reclamation of the lost land. What he missed though and what the US continues to miss is that democracies also lose land sometimes, perhaps not in such a bloody manner, as Georgia did, but still they do. I leave aside the question of Georgian democracy though. Had the West invested the same amount of effort and money as they did in Georgia (virtually new social class consisting of NGOs was created, that was fully sustained by western money), Ossetia would have been now the center of democracy in the world perhaps.
Still I must say, that had the West did not support Georgia, had Georgia been less pro-western and more pro-Russian, South Ossetia and Abkhazia would have not become independent. That is to say, life is a very complicated thing.