As a counterpoint to the pervasive U.S. media propaganda about Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia, we are offering links to websites devoted to more accurate and truthful news and perspectives on the U.S.-Georgia offensive against South Ossetia. We’ll add to the list as time permits.
AUGUST 27, 2008
Informative links, courtesty of William Bowles: http://williambowles.info/asia/georgia-index.htmlThe Mysterious ‘Sarkozy Letter’: http://www.creative-i.info/?p=369
AUGUST 20, 2008
It’s not rocket science, folks.
Just this past weekend, there seemed to be hope. Georgia and Russia each signed the 6-point peace deal (although, granted, the U.S. pulled a sleazy, petty, underhanded trick and deleted the preamble from Georgia’s copy of the peace plan, which stated that the document was the result of an agreement between the presidents of Russia and France.
Still…. Sleazy, petty, underhanded, preamble-deleting tactic aside, a potentially catastrophic war appeared to have been averted as of this past weekend. All that was left was drafting this plan into a U.N. Security Resolution. Yet, here we are today: four of the six points have disappeared; inserted in their place is incendiary language that is not only a flagrant affront to Russia, but is spawned from false premises — outright lies — and completely contradicts the terms of the freshly-signed six-point peace plan. The newly-inserted language is the verbal equivalent of Georgia’s August 7th brutal attack on South Ossetia.
In other words, it has the U.S. written all over it.The events of today add just a bit more insult to injury. Russia countered the ridiculous 2-point draft U.N. resolution with something the media is now terming, “its own” draft U.N. resolution. The fact is, “its own” draft is no more and no less than the very 6-point peace plan that all sides agreed to and signed this weekend. Here’s the view from elsewhere in the world:
AntiWar.com: “The Narrative Versus the News: Journalism in the age of perpetual war” (excellent article, includes Georgia war)
McClatchy: “Pentagon, White House at odds over aid to Georgia” The White House is frustrated, the officials said, but the Pentagon is unperturbed.
Military.com: “Hegemon Hijinks”
The Moscow Times: “How Sarkozy Ended the Fighting” In clinching a six-point truce between Moscow and Tbilisi in three days, French President Nicolas Sarkozy carried out a diplomatic tour de force that could cement his legacy.But the actual documents signed by Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Mikheil Saakashvili are not identical, and there is a third copy of the peace plan with the signatures of the leaders of Georgia’s separatist republics, Abkhazia’s Sergei Bagapsh and South Ossetia’s Eduard Kokoity.
Reuters: “Russia Circulates Own Draft U.N. Resolution“
Reuters: “White House: Russia needs to return any U.S. equipment” (Bush issues lost and found notice on the U.S. arms given to Georgia’s military to wage its brutal war on South Ossetia. )
Salon: Rice: Military power is “not the way to deal in the 21st century” Whatever one’s views are on the justifiability of each isolated instance, it’s simply a fact that the U.S. invades, bombs, occupies, and interferes in the internal affairs of other countries far more than any other country on the planet. It’s not even a close competition.
AUGUST 19, 2008
Were this war truly about democracy and human rights — and not oil — the conflict would have been long ago resolved with simple diplomacy. – Zeus
A re-cap of the events leading to the war in Georgia:
THE PUPPET REGIME
In 2004, the Bush Administration installed puppet-President Saakashvili in Georgia, under the guise of removing a corrupt leader and bringing democracy to Georgia. Three years later, in November 2007, the Georgian citizens, who formerly supported Saakashvili, were now protesting in the streets, charging him with corruption and demanding his resignation. The Georgian military (now armed to the teeth with U.S. democracy) brutalized the protestors with high-tech, mob-control weaponry from the U.S. Saakashvili was re-elected in a corrupt, rigged election, much like the previous two U.S. presidential elections, only more violent.
U.S. AGGRESSION AGAINST RUSSIA
In mid-July 2008, the U.S. and Georgia staged joint NATO military exercises on the Russian border, which heightened existing tensions between Russia and the U.S.-Georgia. Two weeks later, Georgia attacked South Ossetia, one of two Russian-allied, independent states within Georgia’s borders. Russia counter-attacked, claiming defense of its ally. The U.S. media correctly reported that Georgia had invaded South Ossetia. War ensued, soon joined by a fullscale propaganda war, as the U.S. media stopped reporting that Georgia had started the war, and began blaming Russia. Russia termed Georgia’s assault a U.S. war-by-proxy.
A PLAN FOR, UH, PEACE
As tensions escalated, a peace plan was forged. The plan called for, among other things, a cease in hostilites and for both sides to return to their pre-war positions: Georgia in Georgia, and Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia. Georgian president, Saakashvili, initially refused to sign the plan, because it was “just a political document.” The U.S. and Georgia upped the war rhetoric, defying the terms of the peace plan AND the wishes of the South Ossetians and Abkhazia, by insisting that these two independent states would now fall under Georgia’s control. To make it look like Russia (not the U.S.) was defying the peace plan, the U.S. media began referring to South Ossetia and Abkhazia as “ethnic Georgia,” and accusing Russia of refusing to leave Georgia. Russia’s anger escalated. It stepped-up its assault in Georgia-proper, and began destroying U.S. military installations within Georgia, deeming them a threat to Russia. Bush responded by announcing the U.S. installation of missile bases in Poland. Russia accurately deemed this a threat against Russia, and threatened a nuclear response to these missiles being placed in Poland.
Concurrent to the bilateral threats of nuclear holocaust, a 2nd peace plan was drafted, which reinforced and clarified Russia’s right to defend South Ossetia and Abkhazia until such a time when international discussions could take place to establish the political future of these two states. Russia signed the plan. Saakashvili signed a peace plan, too, which Russia claims lacked the introductory clause contained in the peace plan Russia signed. While the U.S.-Georgia may have agreed, on paper, to the plan, they are hoping that no one will notice that they are, in practice, violating the treaty by insisting that South Ossetia and Abkhazia belong under Georgia’s control, even tho neither state wants to be under Georgia’s control. The U.S. is further insisting that Russia withdraw entirely from the two independent states, despite that the treaty allows Russia’s presence there. These covert lies are a flagrant display of agression against Russia. In this, the Bush Administration is forcing Russia’s hand. If one didn’t, uh, know better, it would appear that the U.S. wants to go to war with Russia.
MEANWHILE, THE PROPAGANDA WAR RAGES ON….
Russia claims to be destroying U.S. stocks and supplies at Georgia’s military installations, which it deems as threats to Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.The U.S. has promised to replace whatever military arms Georgia has lost in this war. U.S. is accusing Russia of slaughtering Georgians, which seems true, but to what extent is difficult to discern because both the South Ossetian and the Abkhazian armies are now ruthlessly attacking Georgia-proper. These armies likely have Russian backing, the same way Georgia has U.S. backing, ergo, the U.S. and Russia are staging covert wars against each other.
Russia also claims that Georgian and U.S. mercenary forces are dressed in Russian military garb, attacking their own citizens in Georgia and filming it, to use as propaganda to further villify Russia to the world community, gaining support for future aggression against Russia. What a mess.Let us be the among the first to state the obvious: When a peace plan is drawn up and signed, it is customary for all parties to then abide by the agreement.
This war is an evil game. We fault the Bush Administration for starting this war and for sidestepping the terms of the peace plan by intentionally perpetuating this war through lying and using aggressive war rhetoric to exacerbate tensions and undermine any possibility for a real peace. That innocent people are, indeed, being slaughtered in this game is criminal. Many in the U.S., including presidential candidate, McCain, want to see more slaughtering. They want the U.S. to bomb Russia, even if this means fullscale nuclear holocaust. Americans are so enamored of the Bush brand of democracy, that it’s worth the annilhation of all life on this planet to spread this democracy. Even as Americans are still stinging from the knowledge that the war in Iraq had nothing to do with spreading democracy and freedom, and had everthing to do with controlling Iraq’s oil. Oh, the short memories of these stupid, stupid Americans, who are once again eating Bush’s war propaganda like candy. So who’s the puppet now?
Unless U.S. citizens want to see the entire planet engulfed in nuclear holocaust, they would be well-advised to call their representative to voice opposition to Bush-Cheney’s support of Georgia and this war for oil. Were this war truly about democracy and human rights — and not oil — the conflict would have been long ago been resolved with simple diplomacy.
It seems the closest we can find to truth in the media on this war is through political cartoons. The above cartoon sums things up quite well. With propaganda occupying all sides of this war, it’s a rarity to find verifiable, trustworthy, factual news articles. Here are a few we found for August 16-18:
ANTIWAR.COM/REUTERS: “Georgia rebel region sacks government, declares emergency” The president of Georgia’s separatist region of South Ossetia fired his government on Monday and declared a month-long emergency to cope with the aftermath of an armed conflict with the central government.
THE NATION: “Ceasefire and Chaos in Georgia” After nearly two weeks of war, most of Georgia remains in chaos. A bridge thirty miles west of the capital city of Tbilisi was blown up on Saturday afternoon, severing the country’s east-west rail link.
PRAVDA: “Georgian President Saakashvili eats his tie on TV live “ The BBC has recently aired a TV report, in which Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili ate his tie. The report was about the situation in the area of the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia. The footage showed Saakashvili making a call to a top Western official. It could be clearly seen that Mr. Saakashvili was having a nervous breakdown. Watch the video here
AUGUST 14-15, 2008
ANTI-WAR.COM: “Blowback From Bear-Baiting” Reveling in his status as an intimate of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and John McCain, and America’s lone democratic ally in the Caucasus, Saakashvili thought he could get away with a lightning coup and present the world with a fait accompli.
COMMON DREAMS.ORG: “Putin’s War Enablers: Bush and Cheney” — All sides have committed massacres and behaved abominably. There are no clean hands involved…. Still, not everyone in NATO agrees that Saakashvili is a hero. While traveling with the negotiating team of President Nicolas Sarkozy, one French official observed that “Saakashvili was crazy enough to go in the middle of the night and bomb a city” in South Ossetia. The consequence of Russia’s riposte, he said, is “a Georgia attacked, pulverized, through its own fault.”
: “Washington Post and the Great Disconnect” On Tuesday, the sub-head for the Washington Post’s lead editorial read, “The West confronts an unfamiliar sight: a nation bent on conquest.”
FAIRNESS & ACCURACY IN REPORTING (FAIR):
“Georgia/Russia Conflict Forced Into Cold War Frame” — U.S. corporate media frequently evoked the Cold War as a key to understanding the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia. This was certainly true of the media themselves, which generally placed black hats or white hats on the actors involved depending on whether they were allied with Moscow or Washington.
: “Rivals say they plan to remove Georgian president” — Georgian opposition politicians have wasted no time in trying to undermine president Mikheil Saakashvili, who remains broadly popular in Georgia but is still widely perceived in the country as having started the war with Russia.
: “Georgia’s First Mistake: Taking McCain Seriously” — What was Mikheil Saakashvili thinking when he started poking at Russia in a manner that Mikhail Gorbachev correctly observes has “turned out to be a time bomb for Georgia’s territorial integrity.”? That question is easily answered.
: “McCain’s Focus on Georgia Raises Question of Propriety” — After Chiding Obama, He Dwells on Crisis as a President Might
Question of the Day: Who’s telling the truth: the U.S. or Russia?
Answer: While I can’t speak for Russian, I can state, unequivocally, that the U.S. has stacked lies upon lies into this conflict, the core lie being that Georgia is a sovereign, fledgling democracy. Georgia is a U.S.-installed puppet regime, a corrupt, pseudo-democracy run by thugs, guilty of myriad crimes against its people, not to mention its more recent crimes — war crimes — committed against the independent territory of South Ossetia. That the lies of the U.S. administration have been so thoroughly promulgated through the media into a deliberate propaganda campaign to canonize Georgia and demonize Russia is a reckless and dangerous thing to do. For these reasons, we cannot accept, on its face, any information originating from the U.S. administration. We suspect, however, that Russia is now doing some of the same. The fact is, none of us knows the truth — not even those in charge of the facts. As we’ve seen in other wars for oil over the past several U.S. administrations, truth is the first victim of war. By the time it returns home (if ever) its pertinence is merely academic. The damage has long-since been done.
AUGUST 13, 2008
ANTI-WAR.COM: “‘Poor Little Georgia’ – Not!” Bill Kristol and the Menshevik myth of democratic Georgia “
“…. refusing to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states allows the U.S. and the European community to maintain the fiction
of Russian “expansionism
.” According to Washington
, the Russians invaded “Georgia”; Saakashvili’s invasion
of South Ossetia doesn’t qualify as aggression
, since how can you invade your own country? South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia, you see. Just like a small mammal is part of the anaconda that swallowed it whole…..
….(The) dictatorial tradition is today carried on by President Mikheil Saakashvili, who unleashed
police on demonstrators, injuring 500 people, during the hotly contested elections and shut down
independent media with the same alacrity displayed by his Menshevik predecessors. It is little short of astonishing that Kristol holds up this smarmy regime of small-time hoodlums with big-time regional ambitions as some kind of model, the ideal U.S. ally whose fate we might even go to war over. Georgia, in Kristol’s view, is worthy not only of U.S. support, but of membership in an imaginary “League of Democracies
,” a neocon project
touted by John McCain
and pushed by the neocon-dominated wing of the GOP as the “conservative” answer to the United Nations.”
COMMONDREAMS.ORG: This War Has Been Approved by Your Government
: Mikhail Gorbachev Speaks: “We had no choice.” Leaders in the Caucasus must stop flexing military muscle and develop the grounds for lasting peace.
: “Bush rebuking Russia? Putin must be splitting his sides”
Moscow has to take some of the blame. But it is the west’s policy of liberal interventionism that has fuelled war in Georgia
: ‘I’ve never heard anything so monstrous as people shelling a hospital’ Tom Parfitt travelled to Tskhinvali, in a trip organised by the Kremlin, to witness first hand the destruction caused by the battle for South Ossetia
: “Georgia War: A Neocon Election Ploy?” Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the US presidential election?
: “The War We Don’t Know” Five days after Georgia invaded and seized the breakaway separatist region of South Ossetia, sparking a larger-scale Russian invasion to drive Georgian forces back and punish their leaders, Russia surprised its Western detractors by calling a halt to the country’s offensive.
: “The New American Cold War” Published almost exactly two years ago, this article by Stephen F. Cohen provides a backdrop against which to understand the current Russian-Georgia crisis.
: “Pentagon says no plans to control Georgia ports” (We, here at the canarypapers, wonder just where Georgia President, Mikheil Saakashvili, got the, uh, crazy idea that Georgia’s “ports and airports would be taken under the control of the U.S. defense ministry”?)
Question of the Day: Why is there an outpouring of world aid being sent to Georgia, the instigator of this brutal war, and not to South Ossetia, where up to 2000 innocent citizens died and thousands more were injured in Georgia’s savage attack?
Answer: *ding* Because, gradually, over the past week, the U.S. media have stopped calling South Ossetia and Abkhazia by their proper names, and have started calling them “ethnic Georgia.” This way, the U.S. can neatly pretend that the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are *not* Russian-allied, autonomous regions within Georgia, and pretend, instead, that they *are* Georgia, itself, (which they are not, and have not been since 1991). The beauty of this lie is three-fold: (1) The U.S. can now pretend that Georgia never invaded South Ossetia (after all, how does a country invade itself?) and therefore claim that Georgia didn’t start this war, and didn’t slaughter thousands of South Ossetians. (2) The U.S. can now invade South Ossetia under the guise of offering humanitarian aid to “ethnic Georgians” (despite that Russia is already tending humanitarian aid in South Ossetia), and can also accuse Russia’s presence in both autonomous regions (which is allowed under the terms of the peace deal) of being a breach in the peace deal, since — in the make-believe world of George Bush and the U.S. media — South Ossetia and Abkhazia no longer *quite* exist. (3) This way, if Russia protests the U.S. invasion of these two territories, the U.S. can now — in words, anyway — claim to be supporting the sovereign democracy of Georgia-proper (and, heavens no, not in Russian-allied territories), and can then accuse Russia of most anything, including hampering the U.S. relief efforts in Georgia, and thereby gain world support for…. for what? War?
And just what happens, from here, to the tens of thousands of South Ossetians, who fled to the safety of Russia in the wake of Georgia’s brutal assault, is any one’s guess.
AUGUST 1-12, 2008
American Chronicle – Bush Administration Behind Conflict Between Russia and Georgia
– The Real Aggressor: Georgian invasion of South Ossetia sets the stage for a wider war
Chimes of Freedom
– How the BBC is Deliberately Distorting the News from the Georgia Region
– Israel and U.S. Behind Georgian Aggression?
– The Real Reason Behind the Military Buildup of Ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia and Its Invasion of Russian South Ossetia
– “Georgia’s aggression on South Ossetia is ethnic cleansing” plus media briefing of Russia’s General Staff
– “Bush’s War in Georgia; Will it be the Flyswatter or the Blunderbuss?”
– “Georgia vs. South Ossentia: A Story of Genocide” (plus, “See the Ugly Face of War”)
– GEORGIA: TENSIONS FLARE OVER BREAKAWAY SOUTH OSSETIA (three days before war started)
– Plucky little Georgia? No, the cold war reading won’t wash
– War between Russia and Georgia orchestrated from USA
– The Two-Faced, Underhanded Foreign Policy of Georgia
– U.S. Troops Start Training Exercises in Georgia
– Russia orders halt to military action in Georgia (Tuesday, August 12)
– Georgia: the messy truth behind the morality tale
– Russia Warns Georgia Over South Ossetia (one day before the war started)
***see also YouTube video clips, below, for addt’l current news reports
BACKGROUND STORIES (2004-2008) DOCUMENTING GEORGIA’S LEAD_UP TO THIS WAR:
All Headline News
– Police Clearout Shuts Down Georgia’s Pro-Opposition Media Station
– Russia, US Swap Warnings as Condoleezza Rice Visits Georgia
– (2006) War in the Caucasus? The dispute between Georgia and Russia has all the makings of a tragic conflict.
– Shevy’s Big Mistake: Crossing Uncle Sam
– South Ossetia votes for independence, West and Russia split
“Russia Today” news broadcast, 7/12/07: Georgia and South Ossetia: the propaganda war goes on
– “Russia Today” news broadcast, 4/4/08: Putin says NATO expansion a ‘direct threat to Russia’
– “Russia Today” news broadcast, 4/29/08: Russia Not Planning War with Georgia
– “AlJazeera” news broadcast, 8/5/08: Ossetian Children Evacuated to safety
– “Russia Today” news broadcast, 8/8/08 : Georgia begins war to retake South Ossetia
– “Freedom Movement Info” video, 8/9/08: Georgian aggression and war crimes against Ossetia
– “Russia Today” news broadcast, 8/10/08: A Reporter’s View from South Ossetia, calls it “a massacre”
– Still-photo slide show of the damage in South Ossetia, August 11, 2008
– “Russia Today” broadcast, 8/12/08: CNN (stupidity or complicity
?) airs misleading footage of Tskhinvali ruins (in South Ossetia) to portray “devastating” damage to Gori, Georgia!
– “Russia Today” broadcast, 8.12.08: McCain’s & Obama’s statements on the war
: “WorldNews4You” video, 8/12/08: Russia & Europe draw up peace plan
: “WorldNews4You” video, 8/12/08: Western allies vs. Russian allies — mixed to peace plan from world leaders
– “Russia Today” broadcast, 8.13.08: McCain & Obama statements mirror Bush party line, vs. statements of unknown US presidential candidate, Gloria LaRiva, who speaks the truth
– “Russia Today” broadcast, 8/12/08: South Ossentian survivors speak out
– “Russia Today” broadcast 8/12/08: Reports on the ground: Cities destroyed in South Ossetia, 2000 dead, thousands injured, 35,000 refugees. Georgia firing on fleeing refugees, even as peacetalks under way.
– “Russia Today” news broadcast, 8/13/08: Saakashvili uses western media as his weapon against Russia
: “Russia Today” news broadcast 8/13/08: No more fighting, but victims’ misery continues
: “Russia Today” news broadcast 8/13/08: Severely wounded airlifted to Moscow
– “Russia Today” broadcast, 8/13/08: A child born as the war began
photo left: TENS OF THOUSANDS OF GEORGIANS PROTEST AGAINST BUSH-CHENEY’S PUPPET REGIME PRESIDENT, MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, ACCUSING HIM OF, AMONG OTHER THINGS, LEADING GEORGIA AWAY FROM DEMOCRACY
More words to chew on:
1.) This is a war for oil. Not so different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Somalia. And, for that matter, any and every oil-strategic country in Africa and the Middle East.
2.) Georgia is a corrupt, pseudo-democracy — a puppet-government, installed by Bush-Cheney. The rosy coup that hailed President Saakashvili into office turned out to be a farce. The people who cheered him IN now want him OUT. Increasingly reviled by Georgians (much like Bush in our country, and for many of the same reasons) Saakashvili is the target of widespread protest, which he violently suppresses. Georgia’s recent history is a carbon copy of our own (stolen elections, the firing of Supreme Court judges, a powerless Congress, and media censorship).3.) The U.S. has given billions to Georgia over the past 10 years (70% of Georgia’s budget is spent on defense) and has been training and arming their military — recently staging JOINT exercises called “Partnership for Peace” right at Russia’s border.4.) Georgia invaded South Ossetia. Not the other way around. South Ossetia did not need or ask to be “saved” by Georgia. Russia came to South Ossetia’s defense AFTER they were attacked by Georgia. Georgia slaughtered 1500 people in South Ossetia on the first day of this war.5.) About the ‘disproportionate’ force Russia is waging against Georgia …. The death toll, as of yesterday, was Georgia 40; South Ossetia 2000. At least the Russians have not targeted innocent men, women and children, as the U.S. and Georgia forces have in South Ossetia.