Friday, August 15, 2008


Americans may be losing any chance of learning the truth from their mass media. Huge portions of national television and print news are apparently corrupt and lying about what has occurred in the Georgian-Russian war. The damned lie is the lie of omitting that Georgian leader Saakashvili ordered a sneak attack, that slammed down with a massed artillery and rocket barrage, on civilians late at night, as they slept. The opening salvo fell on people whom the legal Russian peacekeeping force had an obligation to protect, there at Tskhinvali, the provincial town in sparsely populated South Ossetia.

The region's Russian majority leans toward a separation from Georgia; but final decisions about the political status of South Ossetia have been sent haywire by an aggression that may have been orchestrated by the Bush administration.

Many hundreds of South Ossetians were killed and injured; and an estimated 30,000 fled in confusion and panic, as the explosions and fires began, shortly after midnight. Those who could get out made their way north, through the Roki Tunnel into Russia. Some estimates of the dead at Tskhinvali run to 1500 and more.

The fact that this surprise attack took place, that it was a war crime against a civilian population, simply cannot be disputed. And the fact that American print and television media are hiding the fact with every propaganda trick and diversion in the book, is quite impossible to excuse. After repulsing the attack over a few days in August, the Russians have now halted their mechanized units, after crossing some miles into Georgia proper. They have captured the Port of Poti, where Georgia's shoreline is, on the eastern end of the Black Sea. They are disposing of stores of Georgian weapons and ammo. One senior Russian officer, a general, described his army's capability and readiness, "If the Americans can go to Baghdad; we can go to Tblisi". But despite the boast, this officer's units are halted as he awaits orders and defends South Ossetia from any advance by the now scattered, demoralized Georgian army.

The Russian government has declared an end of hostilities.

Russia will not advance to the capital of Tblisi (unless unforeseen provocation comes from a foreign power), nor will they roam or control large swaths of Georgia. They earn some respect for their restraint as they await a diplomatic settlement of the crisis. The Russians have said they prefer not to have to deal with Saakashvili, but are not intending strong arm tactics to change the regime there.

Don't reporters with integrity do more for democracy than elected officials? But if you're an American, it only renews your sense of shame to see the willful, and at times treacherous efforts in the US Press Corps: the troubling example of their duplicity, their dishonesty and obscuring of fact. Here again in a time of government secrecy and domestic spying, and police power in secretive agencies, a concerted effort is underway to bury the truth and pull the wool over people's eyes. In the sad style of a totalitarian news organ, CNN was exposed as it tried to manipulate images, using the scene of devastation in Tskhinvali, while labeling it as the work of the Russian army in Georgia.

This dispersal of government propaganda with its willing servants in the US media is disgusting beyond words. How is it possible to forgive the fakery and immoral subservience to liars that has risen in the United States of America? This is our country after all. And we must hang our heads.

I could have made the lede to this story announce that we live under the rule of outright criminals; but this is quite an old story now. American news media no longer shows us the world as it is. That is the tragic story. You had better look to the BBC, for one, or to trusted blogs. The increasing recklessness of the White House and its willingness to make up any claims, no matter how outlandish, has now come to a truly dangerous extreme. Bush and his team can stand the truth on its head; and the lies get repeated on cable news, and across the networks and newspapers with but a few exceptions.

ADDENDUM: (Click on #28 comment at Moon of Alabama that reads warpics) album of photos taken as the Russian army makes its way through the scene of devastation that was caused by the Georgian attack. Remember that images show what Bush Family ally, Saakashvili, has brought about. These are photos taken around Tskhinvali, in South Ossetia, not from any further advance into Georgian territory. Some images are horrible; so be advised that these are hard to look at.

EXTRA: A transcript from Larry King Live. (broadcast August 14th)

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev replies to Saakashvili's version of events.
KING: [...]

The president of Georgia told CNN yesterday that we've been witnessing the past few days "the brutal, calculated, cold-blooded, premeditated murder by Russia of a small democracy."

How do you respond?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, this is all lies from beginning to end. And I am -- really, I really think this is really beyond comprehension. I have heard the opinion of Eduard Shevardnadze. He knows what the situation is on their side.

So it was all at night, a little past midnight, when the city was asleep. Then from all sides, it was shelled with shells of enormous power. They used artillery. They used aircraft. They used all weapons of killing. And this is really amazing.

Tskhinvali, in fact, was devastated by fire from multiple rocket launchers against people, against housing, against hospitals, against water and sanitation, against the energy and communication infrastructure. All of that was destroyed. The old monuments were destroyed. And they were among the oldest in the Caucasus. The ancestral graves were ruined -- were then trampled by tanks.

KING: Mr. President, excuse me, you are saying that Georgia started this?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Yes, indeed. There is no doubt about it.

What is more, the response required the movement of additional forces into South Ossetia because Tskhinvali was attacked by a powerful force, by an armada. And I remember the Second World War. I remember the front. I remember the occupation. I saw terrible weapons used. But this was the use of sophisticated weapons against a small town, against sleeping people. This was a barbaric assault.

KING: One of our candidates, John McCain, the senator, I'm sure you know, he calls this regime change. He said Russia's true objective is to change regimes.

How do you respond to that charge?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): No. Russia was responding to what happened in Tskhinvali. Russia needed to address this. Russia could not avoid addressing this assault and this devastation and the killings of people, the devastation of the city. The peacekeepers had been there for some time. There were all kinds of things happening. But there were still possibilities for dialogue. And there was some dialogue going on and they were considering certain options and possibilities.

So Russia was ready to continue to fulfill its functions. There is just no doubt about it. And I don't know why it's happened that it has been presented that Russia invaded Georgia. This is really disinformation. This is all lies. It means that this plan -- there was a plan to attack Ossetia...and also to misinform people. It's a kind of information war. I think now that they are showing the city, it is becoming clearer what happened.

A Video that addresses US Media's propaganda.


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