Thursday, November 13, 2008
The Russian 'aggression' that never was
Thank goodness, they might be thinking at the US State Department and the British Foreign Office, for the financial crisis. Were it not for the ever-blacker news about the Western world's economy, another scandal would be vying for the headlines – and one where the blame would be easier to apportion. It concerns our two countries' relations with Russia and the truth about this summer's Georgia-Russia war.
It's now clear that Georgia started the war in South Ossetia. Why did US and British accounts give the impression that Russia was the guilty party, and Georgia a brave little democracy that big bad Russia wanted to snuff out?
asks Mary Dejevsky in the Independent.
Well not all 'US and British accounts' gave that impression; this blog told it as it was- and so too did our good friend The Exile, who deserves the Orwell Prize for blogging for his round the clock posts on the conflict this summer
How were we so sure that Georgia and not Russia was the aggressor?
Well, I can't speak for The Exile, but for me it was an easy one. The neocons said Russia was the aggressor and as I’ve said before on many occasions-we always know when neocons are lying: they open their mouths or start typing on a keyboard.
Dejevksy then asks:
So why were British and US officials so cagey about acknowledging, or perhaps even believing, what had really happened? Why did the Conservative leader, David Cameron, rush to Tbilisi to support Georgia as the unquestioned victim? And why – except to trump Mr Cameron – did the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, give a tub-thumping speech in Kiev shortly afterwards that perpetuated the impression (without actually using the words) that the war was all about Moscow's supposed ambition to reconstitute its empire.
That’s another easy one to answer. Cameron and Miliband are both members of Britain's neocon/neoliberal ruling junta. Baiting the Russian bear- and cheerleading for ‘plucky little Georgia', the neocons favourite ex-Soviet republic- is a compulsory part of their shtick.
But what about the non-neocon commentators who still parroted the ‘Russian aggression/plucky little Georgia’ claptrap. Why didn’t they understand better what was going on, as the Exile, blogging thousands of miles away from the action in Mexico, did?
For the answer to that one, we need to turn to a great American writer. As Upton Sinclair wrote: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on him not understanding it".
Hat-tip for the Mary Devesky article: Charlie Marks.