MaltaToday | 27 August 2008

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Letters | Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Poor Georgia!

No one should be surprised that US interference in the Caucasus has led to the Russian intervention in South Ossetia. By intruding into the volatile politics of the Caucasus, and trying to recruit the governments there to become American ‘fitters’ for various purposes, the United States has only drawn rebuttal Russian fire.
In Washington, Bush stepped out to the White House Rose Garden to declare that “Russian assaults inside Georgia – a swift and crushing deployment of military force that the Russians called ‘Operation Clean Field’ – must cease”.
What a misleading blunder!  ‘Operation Clean Field’ was the name given by the Georgians for their initial attack on South Ossetia and Tskhinvali – now in ruins – which was pounded under heavy artillery barrages by the Georgians, not the Russians. Why are we trying to brainwash the people, thinking them so dumb so as not to see through these news manipulations?  It would be much more advisable if Mr Bush would learn how to pronounce the Georgian leader’s name properly!  Don’t you agree?
“It appeared that Russia might be attempting to ‘depose the duly elected’ government of Georgia”, Bush said, declaring that; “Such action is unacceptable in the 21st Century..”. (Question: wasn’t Saddam Hussein duly elected, albeit in an election no less fair than the one held in Florida in 2000?  Just asking!).
In its edition of August 14, ‘The Economist’ assented (although unwillingly) that ‘Both sides are to blame for the Russian-Georgian war’, but stopped short of condemning Georgia for unleashing a war and bombing indiscriminately Ossetia, and continued with a scathing attack against Russia, even cynically bringing into play Stalin’s statue.  Incredibly, no mention or drawing of any parallel with Kosovo and Serbia in this totally biased and frivolous article in such a pretentious publication!
But why does the Western news coverage remain so one-sided and biased? Coverage in the US and Europe is leaning heavily towards reports on the Georgian casualties of Russian bombing over the weekend. Few details are being given about the thousands said to have been killed when Georgia attacked Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia.  The Western media are a well-organized machine, which is showing only those pictures that fit in well with their interests. It is rather difficult to manage to squeeze in any opinion or speculation running counter to their assigned tasks.  Haven’t we had enough factoids yet?
It would have been very relevant if the media had sought to explain why Serbia’s military intervention against Kosovar separatists was ‘a war crime’, while Georgia’s attack on South Osettia was ‘legitimate’!
Some time before the Georgian invasion, Russia had been working to secure a United Nations Security Council statement calling for a renunciation of force by both Georgia and South Ossetia. The statement that could have averted bloodshed was blocked by western countries.
How should a country of approximately 4 million people provoke a country the size of Russia unless such country were not encouraged and promised support by another larger country, in this case, the USA?
Neocons had readied a Wall Street Journal article editorial page article for Saakashvili declaring:  ’This is not about Georgia any more.  It is about America, its values.’ and that ‘The war in Georgia is a war for the West.’
The truth, hidden by most of the corporate media, is that Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili, unleashed his – US and Israeli-armed and trained – forces on the tiny autonomous region of South Ossetia, murdering civilians and attacking Russian peacekeeping troops stationed there.  Only then did Russian troops respond!  How much more humiliation was Russia expected to take?
“Tskhinvali doesn’t exist”, said Anatoly Nogovitsyn, Deputy Head of the Russian General Staff.  “It’s like Stalingrad was after the war.  Schools, hospitals, houses – all infrastructure is ruined. There’s no water, no electricity. We will rebuild it.”  And all this thanks to the Georgian overbearing manner and presumptuous claims resulting in its military aggression.
At least, Human Rights Watch has finally, after an on-the-ground inspection, admitted:  ‘Witness accounts and the timing of the damage would point to Georgian fire accounting for much of the damaged described (in Tskhinvali)’.
Mr Saakashvili has contemptuously demonstrated that he is unafraid of aggression and the world’s reaction to it.  He totally misunderstood the Kosovo example at his own expense.
What’s next for poor Georgia?
Since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, one after another former members as well as former states of the Soviet Union have been coaxed and in many cases bribed with false promises by Washington into joining the counter organization, NATO.  Now Washington is making pressure on EU/NATO member countries to admit also Georgia and Ukraine by next December.
The West-leaning President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, has felt that he needs to raise the military budget of his country from US$ 30 million to US$1,000 million and is also receiving military equipment and training from the USA. and Israel.  Not a very promising and mollifying omen!
As American military cargo planes start landing in Georgia and the US naval forces arriving in Georgian ports on the so-called ‘humanitarian aid’ operation just one day after the hostilities ended, much faster than to Lousiana for the victims of Katrina, a lot of jaws dropped.  Viewed in close relationship to the planned installation of the US Missile Defence System in Poland and the radar system in the Czech Republic, many Georgians have been worried by Saakashvili’s tendency to portray western support as an excuse to provoke Russia.  Even poor old Poland, not unlike the Czech Republic and the U.K., has fallen into the trap of becoming an American puppet.
A new world order has grown out of the greed and corruption of Bush and Co., not excluding U.K. interests.  If the Georgians want to live in the kind of American so-called democracy, i.e. ruled by a small majority of corrupt individuals who happen to be filthy rich together with the US military, that would be of their own choosing.
One hopes that the thorns of the so-called ‘Rose Revolution’ will not continue to shed more innocent blood!
Washington likes to appeal to international law and opinion, although it’s interesting to note that the championship for disregard to international law belongs to the United States.
Every country is tired of war, except for the USA.  ‘Maybe war is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.’
Joseph M. Cachia

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