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 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)
LewRockwell.com: "Neocon Crybabies" Although the unfolding drama in the Caucasus has been a tragedy for its innocent victims, the response by America’s political and media elites has been an entertaining and delusional farce.
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.
AUGUST 17, 2008
AUGUST 16, 2008
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.
".... 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."
Moscow has to take some of the blame. But it is the west's policy of liberal interventionism that has fuelled war in Georgia
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?
"Armed and goaded by Washington, Georgia took the brash, irrational step of launching a real-world military venture to take back South Ossetia from its Russian ‘peacekeepers’."BACKGROUND STORIES (2004-2008) DOCUMENTING GEORGIA'S LEAD_UP TO THIS WAR:
Turkish Weekly - South Ossetia votes for independence, West and Russia split
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
Lastly, some additional words to chew on:
1.) This is a war for oil. Much like Iraq. More like Somalia.
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.