Gregory Clark, writing in the Japan Times, blasts American officials and the media for presenting Russian actions in Georgia as lacking any justification. For example, he ridicules Secretary of State Condi Rice’s comparison between Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia
in 1968 with the response in Georgia. On August 8, 2008, the Georgian army of 7,500 troops moved into South Ossetia which was defended by about 2,500 ill equipped men who were supported by 558 Russian soldiers. Few in the western media pose the following question: what would have happened if Georgian troops successfully took over South Ossetia? Would thousands of people been forced to flee to North Ossetia? George Bush deliberately made agreements to construct missile bases in Poland. “But for the Western media none of this was relevant. For them, everything seems to have begun with the Russian intervention, portrayed as a crime of aggression and even ethnic cleansing(somehow the Georgian attack on the small Ossetian minority is not ethnic cleansing).”
As Clark notes, “George Bush condemns the Russian attack as a violation of Georgian sovereignty. Did sovereignty concerns ever bother the United States during its attacks on various nations?” After all, this is the same Western media which cheered the US invasion of Iraq. This is the same Western media which remained silent when the CIA assisted the overthrow and killing of President Allende in Chile? The American media completely supported the Kennedy administration when it supported an invasion of Cuba.
The Russian counter attack has contained brutal behavior, but to completely blame Russia is hypocrisy to the nth degree. Serbia was bombed when it attempted to suppress the independence of Kosovo. Perhaps, the Western media can explain why it believes Serbia has no right to suppress the breakaway province of Kosovo but is furious when South Ossetia desires independence.
“The media accept it when the US says it needs to stay on in Iraq to guarantee security. when the russians say they need to linger longer in Georgia for the same reasons, we get more Western talk about sovereignty violation and Czechoslovakia.”
We on this blog deplore excessive Russian use of force in Georgia, but we also recognize Georgia initiated the violence and is bearing the consequences of its incredible stupidity. The bottom line is Georgia hoped for a quick victory while Prime Minister Putin was at the Olympics and intended to present Russia with a quick victory and the accomplished fact it controlled South Ossetia. It was a deliberate provocation that was supported by the United States.
John McCain says, “we are all Georgians.” We may be Alabamans, but we are not Georgians.