Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Philip Gordon, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, stop in front of a ferris wheel as they walk through the streets of Batumi, June 5, 2012.
Saul Loeb / Courtesy Reuters

Georgia's reputation for charm has long preceded it. Travelling in the Soviet Union in 1947, the writer John Steinbeck heard Russians repeatedly evoke the “magical name of Georgia.” “They spoke of Georgians as supermen, as great drinkers, great dancers, great musicians, great workers and lovers,” Steinbeck wrote at the time.

It was the singular achievement of Mikheil “Misha” Saakashvili, elected Georgia's president in 2004, to have elevated his country's capacity for charm into the centerpiece of a grand strategy, one designed to secure power in Georgia by winning over the West in general and the White House of George W. Bush in

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