Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, August 18, 2008

Big Bad Russia versus Sweet Little Dainty Georgia

The way America’s “media” has covered this issue, you'd think Ward and June Cleaver were getting pistolwhipped and gangraped by the Crips and Bloods. I'm not pushing any conspiracy theories, but the White House and their legions of secretaries (formerly known as “the media”) seem to have some sort of agenda here.

With just a basic knowledge of this region’s history, it becomes crystal clear why the Russians did what they did. I'm not saying it’s right, but…if you're at all interested in this powder keg and how it might affect the rest of us, check out these two articles. (Here and here.)

Like the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus region has ethnic feuds and grudges that go back centuries. There aren't any guardian angels here. Russians, Georgians, Chechens, Ossetians — they're all ruthless if there's any sort of conflict, and they all carry grudges for eternity.

There is NOTHING black and white, David and Goliath or good-guys-and-bad-guys about any of this. Actually, the closest thing to a David and Goliath analogy would be Goliath (Georgia) hitting David (South Ossetia) with a slingshot.

Yes, Georgia is smaller than Russia; they have about 4½ million people. But their army has received lots of training and equipment from Israel and the U.S. Tskhinval, the capital city of South Ossetia, was practically leveled by Georgian troops. About two thousand Tskhinval residents — mostly civilians — were killed during Georgia’s invasion.

Mark Ames says:

“But you don't hear about this story from the Western media. Indeed, you hear little if anything about the Ossetians, who seem to hardly exist in the West’s eyes, even though their grievance is the root cause of this war.”

Another way the media is slanting this issue is by their choice of photos. You can't open a newspaper without seeing pictures of Georgian women shrieking and wailing in the streets as Russian tanks roll by. Seen any pictures of grieving South Ossetians?

In terms of the larger picture, Ames says:

“At the root of this conflict is a clash of two twentieth-century guiding principles in international relations. Georgia, backed by the West, is claiming its right as a sovereign nation to control the territory within its borders, a guiding principle since World War II. The Ossetians are claiming their right to self-determination, a guiding principle since World War I.”

OK, got a simple solution? Who are the good guys and the bad guys? If you called in the United States Cavalry, who would you want them to rescue?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just as confused about this story hence why I did not tune in to CNN to watch the Georgian President play victim. Having followed this "attack" in the American media (Charlie Rose included) I thought Russia was the bad guy.

Then I learned that Georgia had attacked South Ossetia and Russia was defending South Ossetia. There are no good and bad guys...well let me rephrase that. The good guys are the South Ossetians and Russia and Georgia are the bad guys (my personal opinion).

At this rate, each team keeps throwing shit to see which one sticks...the Georgians claim genocide, the Russians claim their soldiers are being attacked. I lose track.

But while we are focused on the Georgia, Russia, Germany, US, and all these buffoons, the people of South Ossetia suffer. And this is how we continue to ignore the Darfurs of the world, because everyone is looking out for their economic interest instead of the victims.


August 18, 2008 at 8:55 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"Tskhinval, the capital city of South Ossetia, was practically leveled by Georgian troops."

Our local paper carried a McClatchy (I think) story today out of the region saying Russian and S. Ossetian claims about how much damage the Georgians did are way overstated. Sure, there's damage. But there are whole streets, neighborhoods and public buildings that were unscathed or only suffered minor damage.

August 18, 2008 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

It seems clear Saakashvilli acted with reckless disregard for the safety of his country and his military.

It's so blatant and so incredibly dumb, I have to wonder if Bush & Co. put Saakashvilli up to it. Republicans are big on distractions, especially during election years. And this one gave McCain such a great opportunity to posture and pander to the tinfoil-hat, shoot-first crowd.

If Saakashvilli was just patterning his behavior after our crackpot-crusader president, the Georgian (ahem) president is a mental case.

To be fair, Georgians' desire to not see their country start disappearing in good-sized chunks is understandable. The U.S. went to war in 1860 over that very issue.

Given how you have entities within Georgia like S. Ossetia, where the people have their own distinct ethnic background, culture and history of political ties, and you have to wonder why Georgia would want to force them to stay. It would just be signing up for endless headaches if Russia wasn't involved. But since Russia is involved, it's really a losing proposition.

August 18, 2008 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jo: It's definitely a confusing situation. That's why it's so irritating that the media keeps simplifying it and turning it into good vs. bad, black and white.

Like you said, South Ossetia is the main victim here. They probably aren't any "nicer" than Georgia or Russia; they're just smaller.

SW: There's speculation that Republicans are trying to use this war as a chance for McCain to take center stage and be a hero. I'm not really into conspiracy theories, but the media sure seems to have an agenda with their constant spinning about poor Georgia being invaded by those wicked Russians.

I'm not on anybody's side here. I can see why South Ossetia wants to secede, why Georgia doesn't want them to and why Russia invaded Georgia in order to get Georgian troops out of South Ossetia. But the media (with instructions from the neocons) seems determined to conjure up fear of Russia and memories of the Cold War.

August 18, 2008 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Who would I want them to rescue? The average citizens from the lunacy of their leaders.

I think you're right, tom, the media adding layers of the past because 1)it's simple black/white that many still recall and 2)it helps Johnny, not in and of itself, but because it ties a man from that past to current events, humanizes him a bit. John McCain, Cold Warrior, fightin' evil, and all that jazz.

August 19, 2008 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

You hit the nail on the head, Tom. The Republicans would like nothing better than to get the American people all stirred up against Russia, since that is the easiest button to push. I agree completely that there are no good or bad guys in this mess and I feel that for us to take either side is a big mistake.

August 19, 2008 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: You'd want them to rescue average citizens? Aw come on, they don't count :)

There must be something about the American psyche, that the only way to get people's attention is to put in black and white, good vs. bad. Create a ruthless villain just so Dirty Harry can come in and shoot him to smithereens.

Mauigirl: You're right, "Russia!" is the easiest button to push. "Homosexual Agenda" and "Gay Marriage!" don't even come close. They had to be invented after the Soviet Union collapsed and the Right suddenly didn't have a villain any more.

August 19, 2008 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I'm not into conspiracy theories either. But sometimes I come back to the realization most things happen for a reason.

It occurred to me a few months after 9-11, when neocons were embracing the IWOT as if it was a long-lost child, that this was their replacement for the Cold War that they milked for political benefit for 40-plus years.

Maybe the Republican right perceives the IWOT as winding down, or no longer so useful politically, and are in the market for a replacement. Recycling the Cold War would certainly fill the bill.

August 19, 2008 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger American Hill BIlly said...


Hey, I came back for a great post here. I'll jump right on the "nut wagon".

We are watching the unfolding of one of a large scale war going back literally generations. The conflicts at stake now have been set up, and are unfolding before our eyes.

The conflict in Georgia is not just a mere conflict. Russia had every right to due what they did. Their peacekeeping force in South Ossetia was brutally executed by their Georgian peacekeeping Brothers. Shot at point blank range.

We have front row seats to the breaking down of Bush 41's "New World Order". Conspiracy???? I think not. Every country in the last few months have been talking about a shifting of the "New World Order" to Eastern Powers, and new Freedoms. Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Iran, and others have echoed this very thing.

Look at who is suppressed. We are fed lies day in and day out on USAmerican News. Told to believe, and go back to sleep. Now our country is openly under 24 hour satellite survellienc, The forest service is getting unmanned drone aircraft, and among other things they can openly take all personal electronic's at ports....... Like I said Front Row Seats!

United In Peace

August 19, 2008 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: A "long lost child" -- good description. The neocons sure did act like they had struck gold, those first few months after 9/11. In early 2002 a San Francisco columnist wrote that Donald Rumsfeld was "the happiest person in the world" when he was standing in front of a TV camera, telling us how dire everything was.

And now, if they can revive the Red Menace, the "communist under every bed," the Far Right will be like children on Christmas morning.

AHB: You've got it. "We're told to believe and go back to sleep." And unfortunately that's what most Americans are doing. Our pathetic "media" has turned into what Pravda used to be before the Soviet Union collapsed. You have to go to a foreign news site (even British and Canadian sites are much more objective) if you want any real news.

August 19, 2008 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stpped in from Am Hillbilly to see your take on the conflict. Great post.

Having friends in the area that are happy Russia stepped in, I'll pick Ossetians.

The media is nothing but paid liars for the US Gov.

Joe Shmoe

August 19, 2008 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Joe Schmoe: Thanks. I'll bet the people in Ossetia are pissed off at the slanted coverage America's media is giving them. They're the main victims here, and the American media treats them like they don't exist.

August 19, 2008 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger David Wornica said...

Well said! I agree wholeheartedly with your assertions.

August 19, 2008 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thanks David.

August 19, 2008 at 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is anything I have learned from not only US foreign policy, but the media coverage:

There has to be a good guy and there has to be a bad guy.

Then they hand us pennants and noisemakers so we can all cheer


August 19, 2008 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger American Hill BIlly said...

S.W. Anderson,

Something to figure into the equation of protecting Territories is the issue of Emperialism. The US has been famous for Banana Republics, and continually throwing their weight around for corporate "needs". Look at Panama; it should be part of Colombia, but Ole' Teddy created a bloody revolution.

There is nothing justified about causing the killing of people for a more profitable outcome.

United In Peace And Freedom

August 19, 2008 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Yup, that seems to be an integral part of America's psyche: good and bad, black and white, John Wayne squishing the bad guy. If the American public only knew how predictable and manipulatable they are.

AHB: I just learned that a month or 2 ago (from a post I was doing), that Panama used to be part of Colombia. The U.S. wanted to build a canal through Colombia but Colombia said no. So the Americans figured (correctly) that the restless natives in the Panama region would agree to the canal, in return for decades of protection from the Americans. And the rest is history.

August 20, 2008 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

No one is going to rescue anybody. I just left a huge comment on AHB's site; I won't repeat it, but this whole thing smells of Yalta in which Stalin, FDR and Churchill divided up Europe. We will let them take Georgia as long as we get Iraq. Then Russia will move into the Ukraine and we get Iran. Long live the two Gallactic Empires! The Russians are the apprentice and we are the Master==always 2, never more, never less. (I hope you know Star Wars.)

August 20, 2008 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Enemy: Good comment. Sounds like you've got it dialed. Russia and the U.S. divying up the world. The worst part of this is, we need Russia (or some other superpower) to provide balance. Somehow the world works better if there are two or three 800-pound gorillas being wary of each other, instead of just one. Sad but true.

August 20, 2008 at 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AHB: I just learned that a month or 2 ago (from a post I was doing), that Panama used to be part of Colombia. The U.S. wanted to build a canal through Colombia but Colombia said no. So the Americans figured (correctly) that the restless natives in the Panama region would agree to the canal, in return for decades of protection from the Americans. And the rest is history.


We watched an old newsreal in a history class in high school and watching the "freedom loving" Panamanians revolting against the Columbian.

The Narrator took note that a US battleship was off the shore.

Our teacher stopped the film and said "Gee what a coincidence that US battleship was there" He knew better.


August 22, 2008 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Hmmm, an American battleship was right offshore during the fighting -- how interesting. They were there to protect freedom, no doubt :)

August 22, 2008 at 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tom harper, you should be ashamed of yourself. shame on on you, you have no idea how much georgian people have suffered under russia's bloody and unlawful occupation. my own parents were murdered in abkhazia by russian backed up separatists, rest of our family was thrown out of our home that we owned for generations and we are still not able to return! can you answer me why? no, you couldn't because you know nothing about the conflict between georgia and russia. you would not know that russian backed up separatists committed one of the worst atrocities against georgians in abkhazia, unlawfully occupied two historical parts of georgia ossetia and abkhazi! conductted ethnic cleansings, more than 130,000 gerogians remain displaced from ossetia because of the conflict and russia will not let them go back. Shame on you for writing such lies, why don't you go and learn about the conflict before making any comments about it.

September 29, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shame on you, you clearly have no idea about the georgian russian conflict.

September 29, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are wrong on so many points, i dont even know where to start. did you know that russians evacuaited more than 4,000 women and children from ossetia when they were prepearing for war against georgia? did you know that this was a well pre-planned operation? why are you defending russia, its main goal is to ANNEX ossetia and abkhazia. why dont you devot yourself to more just causes, like talkinga about the genocide of chechen people by russia in two brutal wars. or how their bloody occupation of ossetia and abkhazia has caused thousands of innocent lives. just because you don't want to support main stream media does not mean you need to be on here defending a bloody, murderous regime that is kremlin.

September 29, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

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