Busting the Myths: Whose War Was It Anyway?

Busting the Myths: Whose War Was It Anyway?

Georgia: a faraway country of which people in the west know little. But ignorance is no excuse: Russia’s invasion of sovereign Georgia is a slap in the face to the international community, and threatens the fabric of the European security system. Given the gravity of the situation, the media has a responsibility to get it right.

They say truth is the first casualty of war, and this war is no exception. But, on the day the EU is discussing the issue at the highest level, it’s about time to set the record straight.

The story told by the international media is simple and easy to digest, but it is a gross over-simplification, and it fundamentally misrepresents the reality of the situation.

According to this story, on August 7 Georgia and its government of incautious hawks and hotheads decided to use military force to retake the separatist province of South Ossetia. Russia, long waiting for an excuse to make trouble, leapt upon Georgia’s ‘gamble’ as a pretext to punish Georgia for being too western.

But that’s just not the way it happened.

This crisis did not begin on August 7. For seven days prior to the Russian invasion, peaceful Georgian and mixed Georgian-Ossetian villages in South Ossetia had come under attack from the separatist ‘capital’ Tskhinvali. South Ossetia has always been an ethnic mosaic, and many Georgian and mixed villages are situated just on the outskirts of the town.

From the early hours of August 1, these villages sustained tremendous damage. Attacks from high calibre machine guns, mortars and rocket propelled grenades caused civilian casualties, and destruction of property on a massive scale. The high-calibre weapons used by the separatists were supplied by Russia. These weapons are illegal in the conflict zone, under the terms of the international agreements Russia so strenuously claims Georgia has broken. By using these weapons, South Ossetia officially broke the cessation of hostilities agreement, and effectively went to war. Still, Georgia did nothing, hoping the attack would stop.

All through this onslaught, the so-called Russian ‘peacekeepers’ who were stationed in the area did nothing. In spite of Georgian efforts to defuse the situation, the hostilities continued. And night after night, yet more damage was done, and more and more innocent civilians hurt.

Officials in charge of conflict settlement travelled to the region on a daily basis in an attempt to begin negotiations and avoid bloodshed. Each time they attempted to talk, the separatists came up with lame excuses

8 Responses to “Busting the Myths: Whose War Was It Anyway?”

  1. edmund s copeland, PhD Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Whar can be done now? Soviet troops must leave Georgia. How widespread is the feeling in the breakaway province. Is it there thar the frw hotheads aare. Is the US Civil War being repeated? Who are the breakaway leasers and whar do breakawy contenders want? Apparently there are ethnic differences. Has the central government of Georgia had to deal forcibly weith the breataway areas? Is the sentimenr something like the desire for Quebec nationhood in Canada?

    How does Georgia fit into the EU? Can they supervise a solution which wrestles with ethnic differences? Could another state meaningfully exist or should more local autonomy be allowed within Georgia? Who are the real contenders … Russia vs Georgia or Russian supplied rthnic minorities in Georgia vs.the central government of Georgia?

    should the UN enforce peacr or would this exacerbate rhe situarion? Clrstly there musr be a fact-finding mission by the UN or by the EU.. An active war with US involvemenr on the side of Georgia must be avoided but clearly foghting must be stopped. Putin will presumably treat Georgia the way he has the far eastern remnant of the USSR. Has US diplomacy with Putin been tried?

  2. Edith Aslanyanus Says:
    September 2nd, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    To understand what went on with South Ossetia and get the real story one needs to look into the background of the POTOMOC INSTITUTE, which is in with the most top secret military government contractors for hire, as quoted in my favorite book now, SPIES FOR HIRE, The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, by Tim Horrock.

    Potomac is up there with Blackwater, Carlyle Group, InQtel, …..

    Check out more on the other main policy spin, David Smith of Potomac Institute, aside from the Patrick Worms. Smith’s scat was all over Pankisi Gorge, Khurcha Incident, and now the most South Ossetian cock-up.

  3. rewsq Says:
    September 2nd, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Превед модерам! ))))

  4. Tim Tom Says:
    September 2nd, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Russia “forced” Georgia into sending tanks in overnight? C’mon, that’s so silly…. A responsible leader would have explored all other options first.

  5. george Says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 11:22 am

    what was the “all other options” ? take off the pants and wait for lili-putin ?

  6. Aitd Says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    As it is strange. Nobody has peeped, when the USA has intruded in Iraq - all world has been simply presented with a fait accompli wars. Nobody has supported this war, but America and Europe have made the dirty business. Now, when speech does not go even about oil, attempts to be protected from European “russianfobia”remind a payoff live people at the time of Hitler. Hitler exchanged cars of live people for the foodstuffs and arms. And now, when a dirt Russia pours down, very strange it seems that fact, what Georgia prepared for war so long and carefully - really on English money the policy in such Eastern Europe becomes?

  7. exall Says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    “The facts reflect this, but the media coverage does not. It is vital that audiences around the world see the true face of Russian aggression”.
    First of all, audiences around the world should see what georgian artillery and aviation did in Tskhinvali. And remember about ossetians. There’s no any cue about ossetians at all on CNN, BBC and etc. Do the world know about these people?? No… there’s only russian aggression.

  8. Edith Aslanyanus Says:
    September 4th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Lots of stuff to look into the US-Russia proxy war and it is the “pot calling the kettle black”

    If both sides used cluster bombs, the other issues remain in the same relation. The issue for the British would be, why are they being manufactured there? Plenty of groups would take this up, and as both sides used them they can claim they are being non-partisan and wholly objective in their objections to them, ratherthan being in the pay of one side or another.

    Patrick Worms, spin MD for the Georgian government, is doing his job well, but such figures tend to be the first for the chop, as he doubtless knows - and Georgians and Russians will close ranks at the end of the day and cut a deal. Alastair Campbell is deeply unpopular in the UK, when “New Labour” falls the next people to employ him will be reviled by their counterparts. The more connections he makes in Georgia, the more he will become the equivalent of a Mob lawyer. He can get away with anything while in post, it is all the politicians’ fault, but when he cannot dig them out of the big hole they will all soon be sucked into, he will have to rely on Fat Bot’s mafia cronies to help him out - good luck.