August 17, 2008

Russian invasion of Georgia


Why did Russia invade Georgia in the first place? I wasn' t paying attention and saw a passing blurb on the news that the invasion had taken place, with all that's going on in my life, I let it go. I figured that I would be able to get the full story when I got the time to dig into this a little deeper. My faith in broadcast news organizations wasn't changed when it became obvious that this one little bit of info was being glanced over in each news story I tuned into. The only thing I saw was footage of reporters under fire, while frightening to be sure, it's getting to be tiring when the news people keep getting the airtime when they are supposed to have the cameras turned the other way. Yet another example of pretty pictures taking the place of real, hard line information.

When the digging process began I noticed it was a little more difficult to get to the root of the issue than I thought it would be. The information is out there, yet as not as prominent as one would think. This is the age of corporate news, where stories are always crafted to put the CEOs and mindsets of controlling parties in a good light. To forward the corporate line as it were... But come on guys, let's make it a little less obvious... To put American interests on the back burner because you do not agree with policies is one thing, but I got the sense that there was a midsized information black out taking place. It seems that the need to not put a "bad feeling" on Russia is a little stronger than I initially thought. A reliable source in the media has told me that his crew has had several points stricken from the stories they have written to be read off the teleprompter by the talking head infotainment drones.

With the absence of real info in the easy to get to arena I began to dig. This is what I came up with:

In April of this year NATO denied entry to Ukraine and Georgia. Pavel Felgenhauer has been quoted in several places as saying that military action against the nation of Georgia began being planned earnestly in Moscow at this point. The reported aim from the beginning was to overthrow Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and his pro-Western government.
"A decision was made for the war to start in August. The war would have happened regardless of what the Georgians did. Whether they responded to the provocations or not, there would have been an invasion of Georgia," Felgenhauer says. "The goal was to destroy Georgia’s central government, defeat the Georgian army, and prevent Georgia from joining NATO."
But in Bucharest at it's annual summit, NATO's powers that be sent a clear message to Russia that the road to complete independence and recognition of the countries was not set in stone when they decided to deny them a membership action plan. Although it was seen as a "strong gesture of support from the west" that NATO pledged to Tbilisi and Kyiv that they would receive a membership action plan in the future. So lets connect some dots, Russia must move now before these membership plans are passed on... meaning that these nations will get the "automatic" protection of the NATO alliance in the event of any military actions taken against them.
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer, is quoted as saying, "I think the Russians took the wrong lessons from Bucharest. There was a lot of Russian pressure and rhetoric against both Georgia and [Ukraine] getting Membership Action Plans before Bucharest. I’ve heard that Russians regard Bucharest as a success. And what you saw after Bucharest was an increase in pressure."
Andrei Illarionov, a onetime adviser to former Russian president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who has since emerged as a fierce Kremlin critic, has said of the invasion that it "had been long prepared and successfully executed." Professor of strategic studies at the U.S. Army War College, Steven Blank, said in July of 2007 that Moscow withdrawing from the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty could allow Russia to threaten Georgia by freely moving substantial deployments of troops and equipment into the North Caucasus.
In the last month of his presidency, Putin signed, on April 16, a decree authorizing the Russian government to strengthen diplomatic and aid links with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia’s pro-Moscow separatist provinces. Russia then deployed 1,500 additional troops, to its "peacekeeping" contingent in Abkhazia without Georgia’s consent. The move was a direct violation of a 1994 cease-fire agreement ending a civil war between Abkhaz and Georgian fighters. Russia then shot down unmanned surveillance drones over Abkhazia violating Georgian airspace in the process.
In June Russia moved troops into the region to "rebuild" a rail line between Sukhumi and Ochamchira, but Matthew Bryza is now saying that the move was done to move military equipment and supplies into Georgia.
Then with all focus being put on Abkhazia, Russia moved into South Ossetia... Rope a dope, well done gentlemen... This came after massive military exercises were done by Russia in the North Caucasus. Clashes were frequent and violent, then Georgia moved troops into the region and Russia responded by sending in massive amounts of troops, aircraft and tanks to repel the Georgian forces. Keep in mind, that this is Russia sending it's troops into Georgia in order to repel that country's military from it's own land..... Sounds a bit like the reports of Mexican troops crossing the border into America doesn't it?

Russia is using the excuse of Georgia committing genocide in the regions of that nation that are supportive of Russia and the communist party. Information of the genocide that took place is out there, as noted by the link, but reports of the refugees are difficult to come by. The information is sketchy at this point, but all reports I can find fall far short of the 34,000 that Russia claims have fled into it's country. News and information of the "Georgian oppression" is beginning to come under fire, but it is obvious some sort of aggression was present. The aspect of this that becomes apparent to me is that when a region is in question of being "ethnically cleansed", why attack all over the country to rid forces from that one spot... Clearly Russia's motivation is to stop Georgia from becoming a democracy and independent Nation, expanding it's former empire and rebuilding it's might looks to be the order of the day....

Sadly, on the round table talking head Sunday news shows this morning, all of this tragic violence was just being used as a platform for one minion or the other from each presidential campaign to attack the other, way to go guys... Let's keep the real solutions to the world problems where they need to be, meanwhile the perpetrators will keep their heads down, goals in sight, and fingers on the triggers while shaping world geopolitical events, while we wait to react to it.... good job Washington, good job...

3 comments:

The Angry Georgian said...

We've got all these bleeding hearts out there wanting us to pull out of Iraq and the news only portrays that side of the story. The whole world sees us as weak. From their point of view, we're no longer the world superpower. Something tells me that Russia is flexing its muscles trying to show the world it's still a major player. I think they're trying to become what they were 30 years ago.

Boo said...

The simplest answer is that the media doesn't have to cover these thing thoroughly, or even intelligently. There's no market for it here anymore. It's a matter of demographics. The portion of the populace that telejournalism targets isn't interested in Russia or Georgia, and won't be unless Russia fully returns to all her Cold War glory, so we have a clear-cut nemesis to pit our forces against. Americans are tired of the "War on Terror" only because it is too nebulous. The religious overtones of the "War on Terror" leave too many of us with a bad taste in our mouths. We're too secularized for another crusade. Our motivations have to be political to engage more of an active American audience. If Russia is truly advancing itself in reverse formation, revisiting the notions of it's former glory, our press will willingly follow the establishment's lead in ignoring the issue. It will barely register as a blip on the public consciousness until such time as Russia has completed it's transformation back into the very embodiment of all things Un-American(!), so we might rise up to hate them as one.

Anonymous said...

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