Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

Georgia — not Russia — initiated violence in South Ossetia

August 24, 2008

    GEORGE.BUSH.PUTIN.RE.GEORGIA

GEORGE W. BUSH WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN IN BEIJING; MR. PUTIN ACCUSED THE U.S. OF HELPING GEORGIA (PHOTO: REUTERS; APPEARING IN MAIL ONLINE, LONDON)

Like most Americans, I was led to believe that Russia unjustifiably invaded Georgia on August 7th.  That is what was portrayed in the mainstream press in the United States.

     Why would the press want to intentionally mislead Americans?   (The media did, in fact, mislead us.)  Russia was not the aggressor; Russia responded with force in defense of innocent residents of South Ossetia. 

     “The coverage of the western media has been abysmal,” wrote Mike Whitney in an article that appeared in Counterpunch.  “Nearly every article and TV news segments begins with accusations of Russian aggression concealing the fact that the Georgian Army bombarded and invaded the capital of South Ossetia one full day before the first Russian tank even crossed the border.  By the time the Russians arrived, the city was already in a shambles and thousands were dead.”

     The Washington Post did allow an op-ed piece by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, who wrote in part: “For some time, relative calm was maintained in South Ossetia.  The peacekeeping force composed of Russians, Georgians and Ossetians fulfilled its mission, and ordinary Ossetians and Georgians, who live close to each other, found at least some common ground. . . . What happened on the night of Aug. 7 is beyond comprehension.  The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali and with multiple rocket launchers designed to devastate large areas. . . . Mounting a military assault against innocents was a reckless decision whose tragic consequences, for thousands of people of different nationalities, are now clear.  The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived support and envouragement of a much more powerful force.  Geogian armed forces were trained  by hundreds of U.S. instructors, and its sophisticated military equipment was brought in a numerof countries.  This, coupled withthe promise of NATO membership, emboldened Georgian  leaders into thinking  that  they could get away with a ‘blitzkrieg’ in South Ossetia. . . . Russia had to respond.  To accuse it of aggression against ‘small, defenseless Georgia’ is not just hypocritical but shows a lack of humanity.”

     President Bush has used Georgia to taunt Russia.  Mr. Bush attempted to obtain NATO membership for Georgia.  (Mr. Bush promised NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine at the last alliance mmeting in Bucharest, Romania.)  Fortunately, such NATO membership has been turned down to date.  Mr. Bush has already caused the United States to be involved in two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and threatened to get the United States in a third war with Iran.  Taunting Russia is very foolish, indeed.  (Vice President Cheney stated that “Russian aggression must not go unanswered.”)

     The misleading of the American people about the real reason for the conflict in Georgia caused a bump in the polls in favor of Senator McCain.  Mr. McCain’s rhetoric against Russia was perceived to be proper only because the American people have been wrongly told that Russia is to blame for the conflict.

Photo Credits:

Georgian tanks (Irakli Gedenedze for Reuters)

Georgian artillary (Vano Shlamov for AFP)

GEORGIAN TANKS MOVE ALONG A ROAD NEAR THE SOUTH OSSETIAN CAPITAL

TSKHINVALI, SOUTH OSSETIA: GEORGIAN TANKS MOVE ALONG A ROAD NEAR THE SOUTH OSSETIAN CAPITAL

GEORGIAN ARTILLARY TROOPS FIRE AT SOUTH OSSETIAN TROOPS FROM UNNAMED LOCATION

GEORGIAN ARTILLARY TROOPS FIRE AT SOUTH OSSETIAN TROOPS FROM UNNAMED LOCATION

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