2008/08/09

America helps start another war

Anyone trying to figure out what the hell is going on between Россия/Russia and საქართველო/Georgia should immediately read this article from the World Socialist Web Site. Whatever you think of WSWS's politics, which can be both tiresomely dogmatic and very insightful, it's hard to deny that they often do a better job providing essential contextual information in their reporting than do America's so-called papers of record. And in this case, the WSWS also does a much better job simply reporting the facts, which are surprisingly muddled in The New York Times handling of the story.

The Times portrayal focuses on Russia's attack on Georgia, so it becomes very confusing when you read that Russian sources are emphasizing the number of civilians killed and Georgian sources downplaying the number of casualties. The resolution of the paradox is that the worst violence is being committed by Georgia against the separatist region of South Ossetia, and Russia has seized upon Georgia's attack against the region to teach Georgia a lesson. But these facts clash with the American insistence on seeing Georgia as an outpost of freedom and democracy standing up to tyrannical Russia. The Times is behaving like the controlled press of an authoritarian country, which can only produce a confusing mess when reporting news that doesn't fit the official line.

The other key aspect of the story WSWS includes that is completely effaced in mainstream reports is the prominent role the United States is playing in all of this. In The Times conception, the USA is merely a concerned neutral observer speaking out against violence. From WSWS we learn that it is the huge flow of American military aid and training that has made the Georgian assault against South Ossetia possible in the first place, and Georgia's president is now calling upon his military patron to intervene against Russia.
The Georgian president declared that his country was “looking with hope” to the US. The armed confrontation with Russia, he claimed, “is not about Georgia anymore. It’s about America, its values... America stands up for those freedom-loving nations and supports them. That’s what America is all about.”
Without letting Russia, itself an imperialist power, off the hook, I think American actions have to take the most blame for these developments. In response to the collapse of the Советский Союз/Soviet Union, the United States moved aggressively to privatize the economies of the Soviet successor states (with disastrous results for the people of those countries) and to establish as its own client states the defensive ring of countries Stalin had built after World War II. The war over Kosova, the quest for a missile defense system, the insistence on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline for extracting Azerbaijani oil, using the war in Afghanistan to establish military bases in neighboring countries, the covert support for the Color Revolutions in former Soviet states - all must be seen as part of a campaign to isolate Russia and render it vulnerable to American power. Russia has, in fact, responded with surprising restraint to these provocations - but with the US-sponsored economic catastrophe seemingly in the past and oil wealth stimulating a (deeply unequal) recovery, Russia may no longer tolerating such bullying.

1 comment:

May Burma said...

American policy is disgusting and all move with lobbying and contracts given to politicians to slam against Russia. It is time the world knows what their real motives are. All about money for themselves!