More ruminations on the Russo-Georgian war

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“Sadly, the hawkish posture seems compulsory for any US politician, and whether it’s Obama or McCain or Bush or Lieberman or Rice or Biden, the language is the same, and the madness the same…”

Mikhail Saakashvili, Georgia’s president, has been coddled by the Western media from the start. An American educated lawyer, he was described as a crusader against corruption and poverty. Critics describe him as an authoritarian demagogue and a skilful populist. He’s also obviously quite capable of huge political miscalculations. 

BY JOHN STEPPLING || [print_link]

THE HYPOCRITICAL AND EVEN OUTRIGHT DELUSIONAL COVERAGE of the Russian/Georgian crisis continues in the western mainstream press.

One constantly reads of this event prefaced by “the Russian invasion of Georgia…” as if Russia had just decided to annex Georgia. In fact, of course, Georgia had launched an assault on South Ossetia, that killed a dozen or more Russian peacekeepers (made up from the CIS, and sanctioned by the UN), and untold civilians (thousands is the figure the Red Cross estimates) to which Russia responded. And daily one must endure the depiction of Putin as the new *Hitler*. Now of course, there seems a new Hitler almost every month (Karadazic, Milosevic, Chavez, Mugabe, etc etc etc). What these new Hitlers seem to have in common is that they lead, or are part of, countries refusing to do business with the western corporate hegemon on the terms dictated by same. Putin took power after Yeltsin (Boris in one shining moment of clarity, assigned him as successor) and tried to clean up the mess Yeltsin had made when he, Yeltsin, was selling off national assets for something like 1% of their value to the new Oligarchs, the gangster class ( Berezovsky, and his protege, Roman Abramovich, Khodorkousky, et al) which had left Russians on the street selling whatever they had in order just to eat.

What Putin did was to reclaim Russia from the gangsters. This was not something corporate western governments saw as a good idea — western gangsters like Cheney, and Soros and the Bilderberg clan, or Maurice Tempelsman, are in fact much closer in ethics and moral outlook to the Russian mob). When the gangsters fled west (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/13/topstories3.russia) they began, with great help from western corporate media, to spin Putin as, yes, the new Hitler.

Whatever Putin’s faults, or mistakes (and before anyone leaps on the western versions of subjects like Chechnya, it’s useful to read some counter arguments, starting here…

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=3598…) he has provided security and prosperity to Russia. And let’s remember who backed those Chechnyan *freedom fighters* (many of the same oligarchs)– and how Muslim extremists are fine with the west in certain contexts (the Balkans and Chechnya) but remain the target of western warnings of an Islamic takeover of the planet in all other situations.

There is a reason Putin was elected overwhelmingly, and then re elected overwhelmingly. He has helped the people of Russia.  And, additionally, remains one of the most articulate of all world leaders….but then the west rarely get any translations of his speeches.

What is astonishing are the number of contradictions are work in the mainstream media coverage.  Suddenly the US is a friend to national sovereignty, although it just forced through an independent Kosovo, and the entire criminal bombing of Serbia was explained — in large part — as a way for Kosovo Albanians to achieve self determination (never mind there was already an Albanian state…..named…..uh….Albania….and never mind the KLA were war criminal gangster thugs). The US does what it wants; force Aristide from power, a man democratically elected, and replace him with Duvalierist criminals, or organize coups against Chavez while supporting narco-gangster Uribe in Colombia, or simply re-write history whether in the Balkans, or South America or, especially perhaps, in Africa ( read here on Rwanda: http://allthingspass.com/journalism.php?jid=119, or http://cirqueminime.blogcollective.com/blog/_archives/2007/11/30/3377099.html, or just read Robin Philpots book….or this article from Chris Black; http://cirqueminime.blogcollective.com/blog/_archives/2005/12/6/1437840.html). This has been the story for fifty some years….Lumumba, Allende, Mossadegh, and our friends like Mobutu, the Shah, and Pinochet. Yet, the official story remains, and it’s hard to tear down this received wisdom after a while.

Look at how China is bashed in the lead up to the Olympics. Now, China may be many things, that’s not the point, but even the supposed historical record for Mao is open for discussion. The Great Leap Foward was supposedly a disastrous policy that claimed the lives of 16 million Chinese,  (with the latest kitsch biography of Mao, the figure is up to 60 million) and yet, those stats come from only two sources essentially, and both have State Department connections. The fact that Mao led a revolution that lifted hundreds of millions of peasants out of virtual slavery is forgotton and instead we get a focus on details like “he hardly ever brushed his teeth”. Soon, the famine that hit China is only the fault of Mao, and a perspective that might include India and its famines is neglected. Or famines anywhere. In India it’s the fault of nature or poor planning or something, but in China it’s the fault of those horrible commies. A read of Mike Davis’ book Late Victorian Holocausts would be useful here (http://www.amazon.com/Late-Victorian-Holocausts-Famines-Making/dp/1859843824/ref=pd_bbs_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219042300&sr=8-4).

The point though, regards the current affair, is that  the US has been arming and training Georgia — so it could protect itself against *an al Qaeda cell* and other *rogue states and elements* — and this of course was part of the explanation for the missile defense program being sold to Poland and the Czech Republic. That is, to protect against Iranian nukes. Um, Iran hasn’t such nukes, and even if they did, why would they attack Warsaw? It’s just this cukoo non-logic that now runs rampant in the western spin on the current crisis. And Saakashvilli continues to be described as the paragon of democratic values; which of course is not at all the case. But who cares; we will be subjected to the incoherent rants of John McCain and the hectoring snarky bullshit of Condi Rice (a supposed Russian expert) and now the farcical blustering of Lech Kaczynski, the rotund former child actor (and one of the twins who ran Poland jointly for a while) and rabid Russophobe and reactionary, as they heap more and more blame on Russia and Putin.

It’s almost a weird nostalgia for Cold War rhetoric and tension. And the NYTimes and Washington Post continue to publish the lunacy of guys like Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol. Sadly, the hawkish posture seems compulsory for any US politician, and whether it’s Obama or McCain or Bush or Lieberman or Rice or Biden, the language is the same, and the madness the same. The western press has sunk to new lows, and the bottom feeders from the Time Warner or Murdoch organs of propaganda, spew out an endless stream of disinformation and lies. The self-righteous tone of truly insane men like John McCain reflect nothing so much as the totally impotent and collapsing empire on which they stand. The western neurasthenic pysche, a bloated pustule of willful ignorance and sadism, is reaching its final stages — the moral cancer has metastasized to all regions of the western authority structure. From the ever growing prison population and its ever increasing draconian methods, to the ruthlessness of occupation forces and the out of control private security firms (now on a street corner near you!) to the culture industry and its comic book world of jingoism and worship of authority, there seems no end short of total obliteration.

Here is a useful link, technical, but relevant in explaining exactly why Russia is feeling under threat:

http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2007_10/LewisPostol

The only hope for us seems that the Empire might collapse on itself, crushed beneath the weight of a terminal economy, bad faith, and environmental breakdown. Sadly, that seems the best we can hope for.

—JS

oh, and we have this of course……….

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20080813_georgian_president_checks_in_with_glenn_beck_katie_couric/

which leaves one speechless. [Watch Katie Couric, for one, burnish her credentials as one of the most ignorant and clueless media propagandists in this pathetically biased segment that consumes practically her entire show. CNN’s Glenn Beck, of course, is what any well informed person knows, a beyond-the-pale misinformer and agitator for the benefit of his plutocratic masters. It’s amazing how much in-your-face criminality and hypocrisy can be deployed with impunity when the masses are kept in a constant state of apathy and confusion!]

And finally, some more useful info:

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/15/russia_georgia_conflict_fueled_by_rush

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/aug2008/saak-a18.shtml

Senior Editor John Steppling currently teaches film in Lodz, Poland. Before transferring to The Greanville Journal, Steppling and co-editor Guy Zimmerman helmed VOXPOP, our special blog devoted to theater, culture, arts and politics.

7 comments on “More ruminations on the Russo-Georgian war
  1. Steppling’s deconstruction of our Media Empire’s lies and corruption shows us a world that “all the king’s horses/ and all the king’s men” can’t put back together again.

    Yes, we have come this far in this cartoonish, matrix world … but one wonders: at what point might we have deflected the trajectory of this Empire upon which we were set from the beginning of our “Republic”?

    When Jefferson signed the Removal Act for the expulsion of Cherokees, Creeks, and other “civilized tribes”; when Jackson enforced it, with the resulting “Trail of Tears” and thousands of innocents dead; when Polk initiated our conquest of half of Mexico; when McKinley and Hearst manufactured our war against Spain; when Wilson sent war materiel to Britain on the Lusitania; when FDR embargoed Japanese oil and scrap metal, precipitating the attack of Pearl Harbor; when Truman dropped the atom bombs, and Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers fired up the Cold War with CIA assassinations, “regime changes” in Iran and Guatemala and elsewhere–at every step on our road to perdition–up to and including the gangsters Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, et. al.–we have had a duplicitous media cheering on the politicians, capitalists and warmongers, abetting them in their crimes. At what point was our population informed enough, wise enough, moral enough to cry, “Enough!”?

    I understand Mr. Steppling’s “hope,” but it is one that is full of cautions, too:

    “The only hope for us seems that the Empire might collapse on itself, crushed beneath the weight of a terminal economy, bad faith, and environmental breakdown. Sadly, that seems the best we can hope for.”

    That is, indeed, a “sad” hope, for the late American Empire has entangled itself in every region of the world, in every economy, and has sent its legions and centurions to enforce its fraudulent claims. We need much more than collapse here. If it comes to “environmental breakdown” here (and we see much of it already), it will mean environmental breakdown everywhere–and not just the end of this Empire, but the end of our species as we know it (to be replaced, perhaps, by cyborgs dwelling in a “Terminator” world; or, possibly, by a species of cockroach–perhaps a bit refined over the next millions of years!) We’d better “hope” that there is more than mere collapse here; that there is an Information War against the false information emanating from our Empire; that there is a collective consciousness and action to dismantle the Empire at home and abroad. Let us hope that citizen journalists like Steppling and others will continue in their truth-telling witnessing; and that all of us may have the vision and courage to make the connections imperative to lift us out of the rubble.

  2. There’s a rumor around the internet that residents of a South Ossetian neighborhood in Philadelphia have applied for Russian citizenship and “peacekeepers” are on the way from Moscow.

    But until its “peacekeepers” are actually on the ground in Philadelphia, the Russians will defend the brave citizens of East-West Philossetia with ICBMs, and if the American aggressors get themselve nuked on their way across the Schuylkill Expressway, don’t blame Putin!

  3. Har Har Ha! You’re sooooooo funny Jacob. Why don’t you go and disturb a McCain or straight centrist site instead of this place? This is for people who are truly interested in non-establishment views and facts. You sound like a badly-camouflaged troll.

  4. Americans typically form a sentimental attachment to little break-away “republics” (one man one vote one time), but the bare fact that local Ossetian politicians decided there was more butter on the Russian side of the toast, and compromised the internationally recognized territorial integrity of Georgia doesn’t mean that the United States should waste its resources on the hallucination of an indefinable national interest in that far-away shit-hole.

  5. Not to undermine your beliefs here, Jacob, however, do you honestly think that Georgia did this on their own? Do you not know that Russia was lying in wait, tipped off and Georgia carried out their “little unknown to the world” attack without reassurance from the US that we would have their back? Do a little more research, dear and make sure it isn’t only watching CNN or CBS. Russia has been provoked, purposefully and the US has to shoulder the blame here, although that will never happen. When the seeming inevitable mutual destruction takes place….it will be too late for people to “wake up” and see the truth.

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