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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Signifying Mud

One year after the Russia-Georgia war and the scum is still floating on the top. In some cases, it is still rising.

The Russian prosecutor general's office is now claiming that “soldiers from Ukraine's regular defense ministry detachments and at least 200 members of the UNA-UNSO nationalist organization took part in the armed aggression against South Ossetia."

This accusation has come one year after the deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff, Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, held a news conference in Moscow and revealed that Russian troops had found a passport in Tskhinvali belonging to an American named Michael Lee White. This proved without a question of a doubt that the USA was behind the war. Never mind that White was an English teacher based in China and had lost his passport at the airport in Moscow. Nogovitsyn’s revelation came out on the same day Vladimir Putin told CNN that he suspected the war was deliberately provoked by the US, in order to help “one of the candidates” in the US election. And let us not forget the corpses of “dark-skinned mercenaries” found in Tskhinvali Russian news reported.

The conspiracy theorists loved this shit. All over the internet, left-wing nutbags jerked it off for all it was worth. The equation was simple. If Bush’s foreign policy was bad, then Saakashvili was bad. Therefore, his enemy Putin must be good. The man that leveled Grozny during his dirty war with Chechnya had suddenly become a victim of the Cheney doctrine. Blah blah blah.

I have friends in Armenia and Abkhazia that really believe the US masterminded the war, based on Russia’s successful propaganda machine and the logic that the US wouldn’t have armed and trained Georgia otherwise. The US can be blamed for lots of things but not for instigating or taking part in last August’s war. The US had repeatedly told Saakashvili to mellow out on the war drum stuff. Renewed conflict would only crush Bush’s big plan to get Georgia into NATO, which it ultimately did.

People also believe that Georgian troops were doped to kill civilians, as that is what the headlines said. The Moscow Bureau for Human Rights (MBHR) interviewed witnesses who claimed that captured Georgian troops had needle marks in their arms. Think about it. Georgian commanders handing out fixes of heroin to their men to help them run over babies in tanks and shoot grandmothers. The logic is compelling.

And as I have mentioned before, people are still stuck on the number of 2000 civilian deaths in Tskhinvali, a number that was accepted before the smoke cleared in the de facto South Ossetian capital, only two days after the August 8th attack. Later, the number fluctuated between 1400-2100, depending on who was reporting. Numbers are good for news. Even Reuters fell for it. It was too late when head of the Russian Prosecutor-General’s investigative committee, Alexander Bastyrkinet, came out with the official civilian death toll of 162 on Christmas 2008. Yet the number is enough for South Ossetia and Russia to claim “genocide” with a straight face, while marauders amped up on the conviction of 2000 deaths systematically destroyed Georgian villages, by flame and bulldozer, displacing tens of thousands people from their homes.

And today, because the Ukraine isn’t playing ball on Russia’s terms, the country has become implicated in the South Ossetia war. Mud flinging is free and easy when the state controls the media and Russia well knows that mud sticks, if you throw enough of it, often enough.

(image lifted off


Henning(i) said...

hi paul,
i was shot, together with my wife and children, driving by car onto the main road from Gori by exactly such marauders as you mentioned. We were VERY fortunate to survive.
You might check my site and look for pictures of Aug 2008.

Anonymous said...

you're forgetting the plot involving the ice from the coca-cola factory and the dead soldiers-i think that was my fabvourite

paul rimple said...

I didn't hear about that coke thing - was that broadcasted on Russia Today?