Archive for the 'Georgia' Category

Cold water on a eulogy. Holbrooke.

Richard Holbrooke died today and the praise for the man gushes into the media. Just so we don’t get too giddy, I’d like to throw a little cold water on his eulogy.

Remember who it was who oversaw an increase in weapons delivery to the Brutal Suharto when he was committing genocide on East Timor? Yup, Holbrooke.

He explained why he thought it was ok to have part of the blood of 200,000 East Timorese on his hands during the 2000 presidential campaign:

“The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer – which plays a moderate role within OPEC – and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans … We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia.”

Who was it that lied about the Rambouillet accords after he issued the ultimatum to Milosevic in 1999 which called for the defacto occupation of Yugoslavia? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who was part of the team that gave the green light to Milosevic that led to the massacre at Srebrenica? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who has been a big fan of drone attacks in Pakistan with all of it’s “collateral damage” and murders? Yup, Holbrooke.

Anyway, one cannot keep a straight face and say that Holbrooke has been a peacemaker and diplomat extraordinaire.

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3 months late, the New York Times is released from big brother.

Now, 3 months after “we were all Georgians” according to McCain, and our press completely distorted the events of the short Russian/Georgian war… just today, finally, THREE WHOLE MONTHS AFTER CHEERING FOR THE “GEORGIAN UNDERDOG”, being beaten up by the big Russian bully, our amazingly propoganda driven press has finally come out with an article on the front page of the New York Times, doubting the official Georgian version of fighting a defensive war, and suggesting that Saakashvili may actually be a mass murderer, killing unarmed civilians in their sleep in South Ossetia on August 7, 2008. 

Three months later.  Unbelievable.  Truly we live in an Orwellian world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/world/europe/07georgia.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.

Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

Is Russia the evil empire? Presidential politicians and the pot calling the kettle black.

Tonight, the two secret combinations candidates discussed whether or not Russia under Putin is the evil empire or not. 

Both stopped short of “yes” or “no” but made plain they have problems with Russia.

“I think they’ve engaged in an evil behavior and I think that it is important that we understand they’re not the old Soviet Union but they still have nationalist impulses that I think are very dangerous,” Obama said.

“Maybe,” McCain said, adding: “If I say yes, then that means that we’re reigniting the old Cold War. If I say no, it ignores their behavior.”

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/washington/politics-us-usa-politics-debate-russia.html?pagewanted=print

Isn’t this fascinating?  We build up and train an army in Georgia and watch while it attacks a civilian population in its sleep, massacring at least hundreds of defenseless people in cold blood, meeting no resistance at all… and all we in the US can talk about is the beacon of democracy and freedom in poor little Georgia and how it is being bullied by big bad Russia.  Little wonder that Joseph Smith said that his feelings revolt at the idea of having anything to do with politics. 

We are talking here about the politics of murder, the politics of a massacre of women and children (it is not any better to kill men by the way), which politics are the worst kind of politics.  This is where our government flagrantly crosses the line between secret combinations and a government answerable to its people.  Do you doubt that Georgia was the aggressor and that the US government and media lie to this very day about that incident?  Read this story here, just out today from the Christian Science Monitor then and see what you think of this woman’s eyewitness account of what happened in South Ossetia the night of August 7, 2008:

I was in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, on Aug. 7 when Georgian troops marched into the city and killed my friends and neighbors. I huddled with my family in terror for three nights while Saakashvili’s tanks and rockets destroyed hundreds of our homes, desecrated cemeteries, gutted schools and hospitals.

I also have good reason not to trust what Saakashvili says. For three days before the attack I had been getting calls from many Georgian friends warning me to get out. They said Saakashvili was planning an attack. Most of the Georgians living in South Ossetia left because they knew what was coming.

On the night of Aug. 7, Saakashvili went on television and assured the frightened civilian population of South Ossetia that he would not attack us. This was long after the time Saakashvili now claims Russians had begun “invading” Georgia.

Ossetians went to bed relieved and thankful for a peaceful night.

Less than two hours later, according to credible international accounts, his artillery, bombers, and three brigades of ground troops unleashed what I can only describe as a fierce hell on our city. In the moment, we knew only our fear as we hid. Afterward I spoke with hundreds of Ossetians to find out what was done to us.

My friend’s elderly father tried to douse the flames set by Georgian fire on the home he had built with his hands. His leg was severed by shrapnel from Georgian weapons. He bled to death while his disabled wife crawled from their burning home.

Ossetians saw Georgian tanks firing into basements where women and children hid for safety They saw fleeing families shot down by Georgian snipers. We learned that the Georgian military had used Grad rocket systems and cluster bombs against Tskhinvali.

Read the rest of this story here:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1008/p09s02-coop.html

Chomsky on Georgia/South Ossetia

Noam Chomsky has written a delicious new piece on the Georgia/South Ossetia/Russia/USA situation.  He writes very nicely about the US position of sheer hypocrisy with regards to US claims that the invasion of sovereign nations is not how one treats other nations in the 21st century (was everyone able to keep a straight face when that one was utterred?).

However, I continue to hear the US official line repeated, for example, on NPR the other day as the newscaster spoke of Russia’s “attack on Georgia” as the main problem in the August conflict. 

Here’s an excerpt:

It is a thought that often comes to mind, again in August 2008 during the Russia-Georgia-Ossetia war. George Bush, Condoleezza Rica and other dignitaries solemnly invoked the sanctity of the United Nations, warning that Russia could be excluded from international institutions “by taking actions in Georgia that are inconsistent with” their principles. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be rigorously honored, they intoned – “all nations,” that is, apart from those that the US chooses to attack: Iraq, Serbia, perhaps Iran, and a list of others too long and familiar to mention.

The junior partner joined in as well. British foreign secretary David Miliband accused Russia of engaging in “19th century forms of diplomacy” by invading a sovereign state, something Britain would never contemplate today. That “is simply not the way that international relations can be run in the 21st century,” he added, echoing the decider-in-chief, who said that invasion of “a sovereign neighboring state…is unacceptable in the 21st century.” Mexico and Canada therefore need not fear further invasions and annexation of much of their territory, because the US now only invades states that are not on its borders, though no such constraint holds for its clients, as Lebanon learned once again in 2006.

“The moral of this story is even more enlightening,” Serge Halimi wrote in Le Monde diplomatique, “ when, to defend his country’s borders, the charming pro-American Saakashvili repatriates some of the 2,000 soldiers he had sent to invade Iraq,” one of the largest contingents apart from the two warrior states.

Prominent analysts joined the chorus. Fareed Zakaria applauded Bush’s observation that Russia’s behavior is unacceptable today, unlike the 19th century, “when the Russian intervention would have been standard operating procedure for a great power.” We therefore must devise a strategy for bringing Russia “in line with the civilized world,” where intervention is unthinkable.

There were, to be sure, some who shared Mark Twain’s despair. One distinguished example is Chris Patten, former EU commissioner for external relations, chairman of the British Conservative Party, chancellor of Oxford University and a member of the House of Lords. He wrote that the Western reaction “is enough to make even the cynical shake their heads in disbelief” – referring to Europe’s failure to respond vigorously to the effrontery of Russian leaders, who, “like 19th-century tsars, want a sphere of influence around their borders.”

Patten rightly distinguishes Russia from the global superpower, which long ago passed the point where it demanded a sphere of influence around its borders, and demands a sphere of influence over the entire world. It also acts vigorously to enforce that demand, in accord with the Clinton doctrine that Washington has the right to use military force to defend vital interests such as “ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources” – and in the real world, far more.

Read the rest here:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20737.htm

Obama-Biden for the new Cold War, increasing militarization of the US budget etc.

Michael Chossudovsky makes some good points in his most recent article.  He recognizes the fact that the Obama-Biden ticket is a ticket dedicated to the continuation of the direction we are headed in now, but with a softer, diplomatic appearing approach, that in reality changes nothing.  Obama-Biden have endorsed the new Cold War by saying things like what Biden said here in the Convention:

Ladies and gentlemen, in recent years and in recent days we once again see the consequences of the neglect, of this neglect, of Russia challenging the very freedom of a new democratic country of Georgia. Barack and I will end that neglect. We will hold Russia accountable for its action and we will help Georgia rebuild.

Biden obviously swallows the same propaganda that our government has been spewing and which has been swallowed whole by our patriotic and complicit media, calling Russia the aggressor and calling for the rebuilding of the nation of the murderous Sakaashvili, who launched a massacre on helpless civilians in a most brutal manner on August 7. 

Here is an excerpt:

In contrast to Iraq, the war on Afghanistan is portrayed by the Obama-Biden campaign as a “Just War”, a war of retribution initiated in October 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks.  

This concept of the “Just War” in relation to Afghanistan has been echoed by several prominent Liberal and “Progressive” intellectuals: The war on Iraq, on the other hand, is seen as an “illegal war”. In October 2001, the attack on Afghanistan was supported by numerous civil society organizations on humanitarian grounds. 

It is by no means coincidental that the prominent “Leftist” scholars and intellectuals, who failed to address the use of  the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to wage war, have expressed their support for Barack Obama. The Nation Magazine and Progressive Democrats for America are indelibly behind the Obama-Biden ticket. 

The Obama-Biden campaign has endorsed the 9/11 cover-up. Without a shred of evidence, Afghanistan, a nation of 34 million people (the size of Canada) is portrayed as the State sponsor of the 9/11 attacks. This basic premise is accepted by the Democrats. 

Obama indelibly upholds 9/11 as an act of war and aggression directed against America, thereby justifying a war of retribution directed against “Islamic terrorists” and their state sponsors. 

The “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is the product of a carefully designed military-intelligence agenda, which determines the thrust of US foreign policy.

GWOT is endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats. US intelligence overrides party politics. GWOT is part of the presidential campaign platform of both political parties. Its validity is not questioned, nor are its consequences. The fact that it is predicated on a “Big Lie” is not an issue.

Read the rest of this good article here:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20654.htm

President Medvedev makes sense on why Russia recognized the independance of South Ossetia.

Why is it that the Russian President sounds so much more sensible than US politicians on the topic of Georgia?  Let the President’s words speak for itself:

After the collapse of communism, Russia reconciled itself to the “loss” of 14 former Soviet republics, which became states in their own right, even though some 25m Russians were left stranded in countries no longer their own. Some of those nations were un­able to treat their own minorities with the respect they deserved. Georgia immediately stripped its “autonomous regions” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of their autonomy.

Can you imagine what it was like for the Abkhaz people to have their university in Sukhumi closed down by the Tbilisi government on the grounds that they allegedly had no proper language or history or culture and so did not need a university? The newly independent Georgia inflicted a vicious war on its minority nations, displacing thousands of people and sowing seeds of discontent that could only grow. These were tinderboxes, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russian peacekeepers strove to keep from igniting.

But the west, ignoring the delicacy of the situation, unwittingly (or wittingly) fed the hopes of the South Ossetians and Abkhazians for freedom. They clasped to their bosom a Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, whose first move was to crush the autonomy of another region, Adjaria, and made no secret of his intention to squash the Ossetians and Abkhazians.

Meanwhile, ignoring Russia’s warnings, western countries rushed to recognise Kosovo’s illegal declaration of independence from Serbia

. We argued consistently that it would be impossible, after that, to tell the Abkhazians and Ossetians (and dozens of other groups around the world) that what was good for the Kosovo Albanians was not good for them. In international relations, you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.

Seeing the warning signs, we persistently tried to persuade the Georgians to sign an agreement on the non-use of force with the Ossetians and Abkhazians. Mr Saakashvili refused. On the night of August 7-8 we found out why.
Only a madman could have taken such a gamble. Did he believe Russia would stand idly by as he launched an all-out assault on the sleeping city of Tskhinvali, murdering hundreds of peaceful civilians, most of them Russian citizens? Did he believe Russia would stand by as his “peacekeeping” troops fired on Russian comrades with whom they were supposed to be preventing trouble in South Ossetia?

Russia had no option but to crush the attack to save lives. This was not a war of our choice. We have no designs on Georgian territory. Our troops entered Georgia to destroy bases from which the attack was launched and then left. We restored the peace but could not calm the fears and aspirations of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples – not when Mr Saakashvili continued (with the complicity and encouragement of the US and some other Nato members) to talk of rearming his forces and reclaiming “Georgian territory”. The presidents of the two republics appealed to Russia to recognise their independence.

Read his entire comments here from the text of the Financial Times:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20628.htm

The powers that put Sakaashvili into the presidency, tell the whole story here.

There is a nice article in informationclearinghouse today about the support Sakaashvili got from the National Endowment for Democracy (what a misnomer that one is) and the George Soros Foundation etc.  It’s very enlightening.  Here’s an excerpt:

The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41 year old Mikhail Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. The famous ‘Rose Revolution of November 2003 that forced the ageing Edouard Shevardnadze from power and swept the then 36 year old US university graduate into power was run and financed by the US State Department, the Soros Foundations, and agencies tied to the Pentagon and US intelligence community.

Mihkail Saakashvili was deliberately placed in power in one of the most sophisticated US regime change operations, using ostensibly private NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) to create an atmosphere of popular protest against the existing regime of former Soviet Foreign Minister Edouard Shevardnadze, who was no longer useful to Washington when he began to make a deal with Moscow over energy pipelines and privatizations.

Saakashvili was brought to power in a US-engineered coup run on the ground by US-funded NGO’s, in an application of a new method of US destabilization of regimes it considered hostile to its foreign policy agenda. The November 24 2003 Wall Street Journal explicitly credited the toppling of Shevardnadze’s regime to the operations of “a raft of non-governmental organizations . . . supported by American and other Western foundations.” These NGOs, said the Journal, had “spawned a class of young, English-speaking intellectuals hungry for pro-Western reforms” who were instrumental laying the groundwork for a bloodless coup.

Read the rest of the article here:

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20569.htm

 

For those of you not familiar with this sort of regime change that the US is involved in here, this is the new way we do it.  We go around spending a whole bunch of money on the opposition to a leader who is perceived as being unfriendly to US imperialist aspirations such as Chavez of Venezuela or Ortega of Nicaragua in the 80’s, and thus get people into power in those nations who will sell their souls to Satan, and their nation’s resources to the megacorporations of the world, the secret combinations of the day. 

 

The genius of this new way of doing things though is that we make it look like a great victory for democracy and freedom, which, of course, are terms with no meaning at all when used by the USA these days.


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