Ray Charles, the genius, performs a song about the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.
The U.S. corporate media keeps framing this battle in Cold War terms, and setting black hats or white hats on the actors involved depending on whether they are allied with Moscow or Washington, but it doesn't seem to be that simple. In fact, it's not simple at all, and the media isn't helping.
According to some, Georgia, the former Soviet republic and darling of the West, was encouraged to move into the breakaway pro-Russian enclave called South Ossetia and take back what is legally Georgia’s. But the plan failed. Instead, Russian forces invaded Georgia last week and crushed Georgian resistance. According to U.S. military officials, Russia is out to decimate the U.S.-trained Georgian armed forces. According to the military, it's pretty simple.
The Los Angeles Times (8/13/08): “Russia has itched to strike at southern neighbor Georgia’s brash, Western-oriented leader, President Mikheil Saakashvili. And Saakashvili gave the Kremlin an opportunity when he sent troops into the separatist region of South Ossetia last week in an effort to reassert Georgia’s sovereignty.”
A few media outlets reminded readers of Saakashvili’s crackdowns on dissent and independent media outlets, but for the most part, the conflict was presented as black-and-white struggle between Moscow’s aggression and Georgia’s pro-Western democracy.
According to Human Rights Watch, (8/14/08) Georgia’s military actions involved intensive shelling of civilian areas–reportedly caused many noncombatant deaths and prompted a large proportion of the South Ossetian population to seek safety in Russia.
This morning, NATO said regular contacts with Russia were impossible until its troops had been fully withdrawn from Georgia, and said they were "seriously considering" the implications of Moscow's actions. The White House had called on NATO nations to consider at least suspending ministerial meetings with Russia, but Britain and others said it would be counter-productive to cut channels of communication with Moscow now.
An alternate to the mainstream U.S. viewpoint can be found at the Guardian.Some information from Peter Hart, who writes for the national media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)