Georgia Preys on my Mind
I’m having a hard time getting over how propaganda is simply being passed on by the American media as if it were fact, and the whole Georgia crisis is portrayed pretty much exactly the way the Bush administration wants it portrayed. And like so many mindless droids, Americans watch the “news” and think they are informed and have meaningful opinions about the topic. As they say in the computing world, “garbage in, garbage out.” If the facts one absorbs are in error, any conclusions one reaches are going to be erroneous as well. I know this has happened before in US history: the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the invasion of Iraq…all were preceded by a web of lies…but this is the first time I have been paying so much attention to it (being a maniacal blogger has a few upsides, who knew?) so I’ve been watching the process both nationally and locally as both the media and many of my acquaintances absorb and regurgitate crap spewed forth by the Bush administration.
And one of the most egregious re-writings of reality that is taking place is the Georgian assault on Tskhinvali, the capital of a de facto independent South Ossetia for 17 years. There’s a wonderful example in this Kansas City editorial. There’s no doubt that the Georgian army started this mess by a launching a full scale surprise military assault on Tskhinvali on August 8, hours after announcing a comprehensive cease fire and using the opening of the Olympics as cover. Damage in Tskhinvali was widespread, civilian targets came under fire, dozens of people (possibly hundreds) were killed, including a dozen Russian peacekeeping troops. The article makes light of the Georgian attack, exaggerates the Russian’s actions, makes the simply outrageous untrue claim that Russia occupied “most of Georgia,” and just in general drips contempt toward the Russians. It could have been written by the White House, yet people reading will think this is journalism.
I could also go into Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s undemocratic rise to power aided by massive American meddling. Followed by America arming him to the teeth and doing everything it could to urge him to use military force settle his issues with Ossetia and Abkhazia (and thus into a military confrontation with Russia,) but it’s too depressing and I’ll leave it for another day. On the plus side there’s still some in the media trying to take a more nuanced view of the situation, and the foreign media is a bit more balanced. The most depressing thing to me at least, aside from the horrors released on civilians on all sides, is how the USA is simply putting spin on it and moving ahead with its agenda. No matter how badly their sophomoric foreign policy blows up in their faces, the people running Washington just borrow more money and redouble their efforts as if nothing had happened. It would be a terrible strategy for running a business, as national policy it’s an unfolding catastrophe.
While on the topic of mass brainwashing, how the hell did the USA ever get into a situation where our leaders promised us wars..and people liked it? What ever happened to politicians who promised us peace and prosperity? There was a time in America when “should we go to war?” was a serious public debate. No longer, now our candidates are falling over themselves with macho posturing. We managed to avoid war with Russia during the Cold War, over confrontations that were far more serious and dangerous to US interests than Georgia, yet now we’re going to have a showdown with the Russians over a minor country most Americans have never even heard of? I don’t think many Americans realize what a war is, let alone how much of a catastrophe a war with Russia would be.
Oh well, tomorrow a post about Golden Ages, and how ours is almost over. Then back to fallout and golf club wielding mutants. Unless another of Bush’s foreign policy land mines blows up somewhere in the world.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and its use here does not in any way interfere with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image, arguably the opposite. Credit and Copyright: Joshua Kucera. The above image of Tskhinvali was taken on 5 May 2007, before the recent war. The city had somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 inhabitants, sources vary. I just chose it because this could be the centre of a small town almost anywhere, in fact it looks like many towns I passed through in my recent trip across the western USA. Real town, real people, real lives, site of a real war.)