Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The war is over- and it's a humiliating defeat for the Russophobes

Russia has suspended military operations against Georgia.
The BBC reports:

According to a statement, Mr Medvedev told his defence minister and chief of staff that "the goal has been attained".
"I've decided to finish the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace. The safety of our peacekeeping forces and civilian population has been restored.
"The aggressor has been punished, having sustained considerable losses. Its armed forces have been disorganised," he added.

The aggressor certainly has been punished. But this is a crushing defeat not only for Georgia and their neurotic, hysterical, and unbelievably wallyish President, but for the entire Russophobic movement. The British scribblers who wrote of Russia's invasion of Georgia, like Simon Tea-Bag What a Furore in today's Times, and the equally preposterous Russophobe David Clark, in yesterday's Guardian (thankfully he's no relation), have got an incredible amount of egg on their face.
There was no 'Russian invasion of Georgia'- if you wanted the truth on this all you had to do was read The Exile. I think over the past few days our Mexico-based friend has proved to be a far more accurate commentator on events than any so-called Russophobic 'experts' and 'analysts' you'll find in the British media.

PS Now that the war is over who will the neocons be demonising now? I guess it'll be back to Iran.....


Nick said...

Whatever the rights and wrongs of all this, Neil, what amounts almost to your glee about conduct that has involved the killing of civilian populations (on both sides) turns my stomach a little. I've seen my share of it elsewhere and believe me it's nothing to get gleeful (or smug) about at all. And all so you can crow about discomforting a few people who don't see things your way? Not very edifying.

David Lindsay said...

Oh, but they are incandescent and inconsolable! As well they might be. First no war against Iran, and now no war against Russia. Poor loves.

The War Party, we must always remember, is as it is because it has absolutely no stake in the lives of our Armed Forces, at least beyond a patriotic or a universally human stake in which the warmongers do not believe.

The officers are drawn from the old ruling class that the armchair warriors long ago displaced, but which they have to insist is somehow still in charge in order to justify their own existence on the wholly specious basis of "meritocracy" and the mind-blowing ridiculous fantasy that they themselves are somehow "anti-Establishment".

The other ranks, meanwhile, are drawn from the ruled, from those without "merit" (wealth and paper qualifications, defined as "merit" by those with material wealth and paper qualifications). There was much mockery, by the Nick Cohens and David Aaronovitches of the world, of "toffs" marching alongside trade unionists and others against the Iraq War. But very well they might have done, and very well they did.

So let them all die, and that in horrible agony. It will never have the slightest impact on the persons, families or circles of those who advocated and advocate the wars in the first place.

Neil Clark said...

nick: last week Georgian forces launched an aggressive military campaign of ethnic cleansing of South Ossetia, bombarding civilians and killing hundreds of people (at the very least) Russian forces moved in to liberate the province from the Georgian aggressors. When they had doen they they called a halt to operations. Are you saying that Russia should have just sat by and watch South Ossetians get massacred? In what way would that be 'moral'? I fully support the Russian action to liberate South Ossetia in the same way I fully supported the British action to liberate the Falklands from Argentinian aggression in 1982.
Aggression CANNOT be rewarded.
PS I'm also 'gleeful' that the Allies defeated the Axis powers in WW2, aren't you?

david: excellent post.

Anonymous said...

@nick, there is still the strong impression that Russian did this one by the book, whereas the "pro-Western, etc etc" Georgians trashed the capital of South-Ossetia in an unprovoked, first-strike, MRLS barrage, killing thousands in the process. Can't make it all relative and say, ok, yeah, but the other side suffered too. As for laying out the blame for the deaths of Georgian civilians, I'd look Shaakashviliward.

@david, am not so sure about "no war against Iran".

Nick said...

I wasn't talking about 'morality' Neil, nor about the rights and wrongs of the aggression/defence. I was merely commenting on the insensitivity of your apparent glee at being able to use the situation to vilify people you see as your opponents.

Anonymous said...

David - *excellent* post (I'm emphasising the word because Neil didn't).

We now have something we never had in the past: an Establishment in denial, a group of people who love to pretend that they're not the elite when in fact they are the overwhelming ruling power in this country. I had no problem with sharing an anti-war position with the Americosceptic wing of the old elite, because those people have long since lost the power they may once have had to stop me doing the things I want to do, nor are they ever going to get it back. I can quite understand why boomer liberal hawks think these people are worth hating, but they need to admit just how much things have changed rather than pretend they haven't so as to protect their own self-image.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the idiot Georgian President thought he could get away with a blatant war of aggression on the eve of the Olympics.

How nice it is to see those whining neo-cons and their worthless patsy get their asses kicked.

And now he is flailing around begging the West to intervene in order to reverse the outcome of a war he started! What a stupid twat.

And to think that Georgia was a candidate for NATO.

Suck it up neo-cons! This was your war. And you were thumped, convincingly.

Neil Clark said...

nick: "I was merely commenting on the insensitivity of your apparent glee at being able to use the situation to vilify people you see as your opponents".

The glee Nick, is at an enormous set-back for the neocon movement- Georgia was their favourite ex-Soviet republic and Saakaswally their pin up boy in the Caucasus. The neocons gave us the war in Iraq and they're itching for another war against Iran. Any setback for them has to be good news. Or don't you agree?

anonymous: very good post.

"We now have something we never had in the past: an Establishment in denial, a group of people who love to pretend that they're not the elite when in fact they are the overwhelming ruling power in this country".

I could not agree more.

Anonymous said...


to my mind, a key part of the neocon ideology could pretty much be described as "rock'n'roll at gunpoint" - and some babyboomers don't want to admit this because it would destroy both their own self-image and the image they have of rock music. I understand why this is psychologically hard for them. But if they really cannot admit that rock has in the end been more of a force for the right than for the left, *someone* has to tell them. That someone might as well be me.

re. David's post, I can think of one leftist-mutated-into-neocon on Usenet of old whose main argument of support for the Iraq war was that "public school pooftahs" (his *exact words*) opposed it and that British people had been inspired in the post-war years by American music (so what? At the time, that merely implied musical preference and has nothing to do with a war concocted in a completely different era - and if anything it was *against* an imperial venture in the Middle East). When defenders of an ideology have to resort to decades out-of-time class-war rhetoric and to mendacious invocation of a territory which for the most part has no direct *inherent* connection with war (though it has come to seem so the way some people have used it), you know their ideology is bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

What a disaster for the neo-cons and good on Putin for calling their bluff! What's that German word again? Scheu...Scheuden..? I forget now but I'm sure it will come back to me!

Their duplicitous little patsy tried to start a war of aggression under the cover of the Olympics, and look what happened! They've been totally crushed, and watch as their minions go scurrying home like the little rats they are.

Let's have more neo-con wars like this one, please! I don't think these people have suffered enough humiliation.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Schadenfreude is the word!

Roland Hulme said...

"No Russian invasion?"

So what the hell is that convoy doing driving through Gori?

Less than a day and the Russians have already broken the ceasefire.

Anonymous said...

Like Roland said, so much for the war being over.

From a strictly tactical point of view, this was a great time for Russia to invade Georgia with little risk of consequences from America.

George Bush is in the last months of his presidency, his political capital long spent, the antiwar Congress with a 9% approval rating is on vacation, the media is preoccupied with getting Barack Obama elected President, and the American people are not particularly happy with any of the above.

Victor Davis Hanson has described this more eloquently than I have

Anonymous said...

@ronald & douglas, so if Mexico bombs Texas and then moves in with tanks, the US would kindly limit itself to banishing Mexicans from its territory, and not a single US bullet/missile/aircraft/armoured vehicle would cross the border?

Excuse me while I go laugh myself to death. I get to do that cause the US missiles and bombs, meant to Defend The People of Kosovo (tm), missed me in 1999. While I was 500 miles away from it.

Ken said...

There was no column driving through Gori. If you take the trouble to actually listen to the reports - and there are two of them from different crews - then it is obvious that they are not in Gori. It looks to me like a supply column that got lost.

Given that the Georgian army dropped its collective arse the other day and did a runner, there is a power vacuum in most of Georgia and militia groups have moved in to do their thing. This was as I predicted last bloody Friday, so do try to keep up.

Aside from what I think was a supply column, the only other Russians confirmed in Georgia today was a column that drove around some villages advising folk that the militias were on their way to visit them.

I have just spent hours on this one and the fruits of those hours have just been posted. Why I bother I don't know. It's much easier to to read one report or get a bit of TV news and then sound off, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Russian Cameraman: CNN Aired Misleading Footage
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
CNN is airing misleading footage of the war between Georgia and Russia, skewing public opinion in favor of the Georgians, according to a Russia Today cameraman interviewed this morning.
The Russia Today satellite TV company aired the interview on its English language news channel but the story is yet to appear on the Internet or in any other news outlet.

UPDATE: Russia Today has now posted the following on their website and uploaded a video.

The Russian cameraman charged that CNN had used his footage of Georgian forces attacking Russian civilians in Tskhinvali, the provincial capital of South Ossetia, but then claimed it showed Russians attacking Georgians in the Georgian town of Gori.
The Georgian assault on Tskhinvali, described as an act of genocide and a war crime by Russian officials and other eyewitnesses, led to the slaughter of at least 2,000 civilians. The fact that Georgia, backed by the U.S. and Israel, were responsible for the provocation that led to the Russian response, has been buried by the majority of western corporate media.
Western media bias to skew popular opinion in favor of the U.S. and NATO client state Georgia was evident from the very start of the conflict.
As we reported yesterday, a prime example of media bias in shielding Georgia from responsibility for the carnage is the fact that news outlets like the BBC continue to report that thousands of civilians were killed in Georgia, with the obvious inference being that these are victims of the Russian onslaught. But these victims were not killed in Georgia, they were killed in Ossetia - by Georgian forces.
As the Chimes of Freedom Blog elaborates, “While the Ossetians claimed over 1000 dead the BBC neither reported this or any newsreel coming out of Ossetia showing the destruction caused by the Georgian shelling of the breakaway republic. All we are getting is one-sided reports of the destruction being caused by the Russians.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev this morning ordered an immediate halt to Russia’s military operations against Georgia.
“The purpose of the operation has been achieved…. The security of our peacekeeping forces and the civilian population has been restored,” Interfax quoted him as saying.
CNN accused of using misleading war footage
American broadcaster CNN has been accused of using misleading footage in their coverage of the conflict in South Ossetia. A Russian cameraman says footage of wrecked tanks and ruined buildings, which was purported to be the town of Gori, was in fact the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali.
Gori was said to be about to fall under the control of the Russian army but the cameraman says the video was actually shot in Tskhinvali, which had been flattened by Georgian shelling.
Aleksandr Zhukov, from the Russiya Al-Yaum channel, said: “When we arrived and news came that Gori was being shelled, I saw my footage. I said: that’s not Gori! That’s Tskhinvali. Having crawled through the length and breadth of Tskhinvali, I don’t need much to tell from which point this or that footage was recorded. I can swear in front of any tribunal. I can point at this location on the map of the town, because I and the cameraman of the Rossiya channel videotaped that.”


Anonymous said...

Nick, what were your thoughts when NATO bombed Yugoslavia in 1999. They hit schools, hospitals, bridges, electricity and water facilities. The television station was a war crime. Anyone who condemned the barbarity was ridiculed. Harold Pinter was spat on by the great British press and media.

South Ossetia and Georgia are a blueprint of what the US trained Croatia troops did in the Serbian Krajina. They ethnically cleansed over 250,000 Serb civilians from their ancestral homes.

Is one good because the US and NATO executed it and the other bad because the Russians came to the aid of their people?

How do you even begin to square the circle by saying you are squeamish over the murder of one set of civilians and not others?

Anonymous said...

Roland and Douglas...both shilling for Georgia....Guess who invaded first: it was georgia, which killed russian peacekeepers, then attacked ossetian citizens...but according to Roland andDouglas these events never happened.

Russia has been very lenient and hsa been prepared for ceasefires. NOTE too, Georgias main allies are too of the most notorious preepmtive followers of Hitler: the US and Israel.


Nick said...

I think your rejoicing at Russian good intentions are perhaps turning out to be a little premature, Neil. There are - surprise, surprise - no heroes in this fight (and fight it appears still to be). And as always it's the ordinary people who are having to suffer.

Anonymous said...

Ah, back to the good old "war is bad, people suffer, there are no heroes, no clear winners, etc, etc" routine.

Too bad some people realize it's true if and only if their favoured side starts a war and then gets beaten back within days.

If the Western media really have to build up this ridiculous expectations - that, somehow, Russians should have gone in with flowers, gifts and a squad of brass musicians to drive out the Georgians - in order to show their "ruthlessness", then I must say the Russian army has done a good job indeed.

Please compare the Russian aircraft losses to those of NATO in 1999. Then compare the confirmed civilian deaths caused by air raids in Georgia with those in Serbia in 1999. What you will see is that the Russians flew lower, used their air force comprised mostly of Soviet-era bombers more accurately at their own peril, than the much-talked-about "surgically precise" NATO forces - which didn't bother to fly below 5000m and risk being shot down. Also note that Georgians had SAM systems that were generations newer than anything Serbia had in 1999.

Yeah. Shame on Russians for not bringing that brass music band along. Could have played the funeral march for Saakashvili's political career.