Sunday, August 17, 2008

Operation South Ossetia Liberation

It seems the cold war is getting warmer, but this time around we can see the news as its reported around the world, immediately... Not without a grain of salt of course, as with our own... but the truth usually becomes crystal clear after looking through from all viewpoints.

After first reading of the current conflict between Russia and Georgia a little over a week ago, I noticed how nimbly the motives for the Russian "invasion" were discussed. Meanwhile, our president, defense secretary and RNC nominee did nothing but drum up anti-Russian sentiment. I have to admit, I was thrown off by what Russia was doing as well but figured since I didn't know much about Georgia, nor had any idea of the political background of South Ossetia, that there must be more behind Russia's offensive, not to say that some of the things Russia is and has been doing are to be praised, but I know when I'm not getting the full picture.

1. Why are our headlines not mentioning a word about Georgia's prior offensives in South Ossetia, a region that has been fighting for its independence from Georgia for a decades?? Seeing as "protecting South Ossetia" is the reason Russia is giving for it's military intervention in the region I would think it would have some relevance. This is like people ignoring Osama Bin Laden's reasons for waging war on the US and passing it off as "he hate's our freedom".

2. Why are we hearing (if we're listening) about the 40,000 some refugees fleeing from South Ossetia into Russia? Why wouldn't they instead flee to Georgia, and why isn't this a headline anywhere in US media??

3. How is Russia's intervention much different from US intervention in Iraq both in 91 and 03? I hear people try to separate the two by stating that Iraq was a dictator and Georgia has a democratically elected president. Musharraf is not a democratically elected president, (he came to power as the result of a coup) the staggeringly vast majority of Pakistan disapproves of Musharraf yet we still refer to him here in the west as "President Musharraf". The title used to define a leader are all subjective to convenient political climate of the society. Propaganda exists on all sides. It will never go away, but we can empower ourselves and do better by recognizing this.

4. What has been going on with South Ossetia and Georgia?

hmmmm. How much space do I have left?

South Ossetia is nestled between the mainland of Russia and Georgia. UN, NATO, OSCE, CEU all "recognize" South Ossetia as a part of Georgia, in 2006, South Ossetia held an independence referendum in which 99% of the 95%-turnout voted to be recognized as an independent state. The referendum was monitored by 34 nations including Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden. The resulting vote, although a shining beacon of pure democracy in action was denied and condemned by UN, NATO, CEU, OSCE, and the Russian Federation.

South Ossetia originally declared independence in 1991-92 after a three year war with Georgia. Military conflict between the two regions go back to 1918 and have continued on throughout the years with major incidents in 2004, 2006 and presently 2008.

5. What else has been going on with South Ossetia and Georgia?
On November 11, 2006, the South Ossetian State Security Committee exposed an alleged Georgian attempt to assassinate the South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity and organize a coup d'├ętat in the region. Alan Parastayev, the former South Ossetian Interior Minister and Supreme Court chairman, has reportedly turned himself in to the State Security Committee and confessed to being a party to the plot.
On November 12, 2006, Georgia cut off the telephone communications with South Ossetia.
On August 7 2008, hostilities began between Georgian forces and South Ossetia's separatist forces. Over 1500 civilians and 15 Russian peacekeepers have been killed since hostilities began.

I think most of all I have a strange sense of disconnection anytime I read an article on any major news source as I know there is a history in this region and the media is not presenting it in any light whatsoever. It upsets me that the leaders of my country and much of our media are so quick to label someone as the "aggressors" and delivering the news as if Russia woke up one day and just decided to invade it's neighbor.

I have yet to be able to understand exactly what would motivate the US to align themselves opposite from Russia on this issue, so I'm really curious as to why besides an inane cowboy desire to confront your most dangerous potential enemy, the US has decided it's a good idea to start barking at Russia for invading Georgia. I'm quite sure the Russian media portrayed it as "Operation South Ossetia Liberation".

Why can I not stop thinking of the South Ossetian mother who I heard on the radio the night of August 8th cry that people there are terrified beyond belief. They can not sleep at night as there are Russians, Armenians, Ossetians, Georgians, and Americans living there and "everyone has been set against each other". I can not fathom what these people are living through while we as Americans are buying every word our media and leaders are feeding us. Don't think every nation is without it's own side of the story. Besides Putin's clear disapproval of the US invasion of Iraq I'm not sure what unspiteful motive the US has for pinning Russia to the wall for this.

I suppose I'll leave it at that for now. Seriously though. We have this going on in the world and our presidential candidates are being asked about gay marriage and whether or not they believe in the boogyman?!?!

good night.

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