News broadcasts are beginning to address the some key points that the media has been pussyfooting around for the ten days of the Georgia conflict:
* What about the history of ethnic cleansing and oppression against the Ossetians by the Georgians?
* What could Georgia have been thinking, massacring the Ossetians in Tshkhinvali when they knew full well the Russians were lying in wait on the border?
* Are there any ‘good guys’ in this?
Tragically, for the purposes of the media, the question to the latter is “no.”
The Georgians apparently thought because Bush shared hot dogs with their President in the White House rose garden, he could unleash multi-launch rocket systems on civilians and we would back him to the hilt when Russia predictably struck back.
The Russians did, in my estimation, stop an ethnic cleansing, but they have since acted in typical imperialistic fashion, visiting a serious serving of Shock And Awe on the Georgians as they dismantle their infrastructure, consolidate their defense in the separatist provinces, and generally gloat.
The closest to a hero would be the South Ossetians, but if the media paid attention to these people now – a fascinating, exotic ethnic minority with a colorful warrior tradition stretching back to ancient Greek times, of whom only 700,000 remain – it would really mess up the whole “poor Georgia, bad Russia” narrative. Besides, the Ossetians are honoring that warrior tradition by pillaging Georgian villages by all accounts.
The lessons in this conflict are many and tragic: The mainstream media still flat-out lies to turn a bloody buck out of a war. The USA is as impotent, thanks to the Bush military adventures, as was feared. Russia’s strategic capital is seriously on the rise.
One good thing is that, though around 2,000 of the 38,000 South Ossetians were killed, and almost all fled their homes, no more were lost because Russia didn’t check with the UN Security Council, or rely on sanctions, or insist on multi-party talks – but because they rolled in and stopped the massacre.
And this is finally being said – albeit without acknowledgment – on some major media outlets is a good thing indeed.