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The word most often used to describe the attack on South Ossetia by Russian news media and by the Russian president himself is Genocide.  Why then, in the four days since war broke out, has the US Media not even mentioned the accusation?  Ask yourself; have I heard this word uttered by anyone on TV describing the situation?  Read it in a headline?

Here's Medvedev himself, explaining their point of view:

"Georgia has exposed South Ossetia to a very crude and cynical aggression. People have died. Russian citizens have died, including local residents and peacekeepers. The actions of the Georgian side cannot be described as anything else but genocide.

"The information we have received suggests that horrible crimes were committed there. People were killed, burnt, run down by tanks, had their throats were cut," Medvedev said.

I have no doubt that if US News outlets would use this term, even just once in a while, even only in context of Medvedev's statement, that the prevailing US attitude would be very different.

I don't know about you, but when someone explains the situation in South Ossetia using this term, things become a lot clearer.  A genocide mission seems the most likely explanation for Georgia's actions than, say, vague statements about stability and territorial integrity.  

I'm not about to rely on state controlled media to provide a 100% truthful and accurate portrayal of a war, but I think that when a president accuses another country of genocide, that the statement should be reported, at the very least.  Have you seen this printed in the US, anywhere?

The fact is, the US has been training Georgian troops to undertake this war while serving in Iraq. Recall this bit from an article from the NYT in October of '07:

Within Georgia, which has a small Muslim minority, opposition parties have criticized Saakashvili's use of the deployment to receive U.S. counterinsurgency training for the Georgian Army, saying it is a sign that he intends to use military force to regain control of two Russian-supported separatist regions in Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

It sounds great to say that we're fighting the Russians, but would the American people be so thrilled with the idea if they knew that their tax dollars are being used to train soldiers for genocide?  Counter-insurgency tactics work very well as a method of genocide.

The US Miliary seems to be bending over backwards to help facilitate this genocide.  From Novosti:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the U.S., which has backed Georgia's NATO membership aspirations, is hampering the peacekeeping operation in South Ossetia by flying the Georgian troops from Iraq to Georgia.

"It's a pity that some of our partners instead of helping are trying to get in the way, I mean the United States using its military transport aircraft to relocate Georgia's military contingent from Iraq virtually into the conflict zone, among other things," Putin said during a government meeting.

Is it rally necessary for the US to transport them directly to the very edge of the war zone?  Why not simply give them permission to leave, and let them make their own way?

They could havecalled on Israel to take them home:

Georgian minister tells Israel Radio: Thanks to Israeli training, we're fending off Russian military
By Haaretz Staff

Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili yesterday praised Israel for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might.

"Israel should be proud of its military, which trained Georgian soldiers," Yakobashvili, who is Jewish, told Army Radio in Hebrew. He was referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired.

Yakobashvili, Georgia's minister of reintegration, said this training enabled Georgia to defend itself against Russian forces in the warfare that erupted last week in the separatist region of South Ossetia, Georgia.

By the way, thismight be one reason why the Russians are moving beyond the Georgian border to stop the violence:

The government in South Ossetia claims Georgia has reconnected water supplies to Tskhinvali in order to flood the war-ravaged city.

The breakaway republic’s head of Press and Information, Irina Gagloeva, says the plan is to inundate the city, to drive the remaining residents out of cellars and basements where they've taken shelter. She says the decision to switch on the city’s water is very strange in the current context.

Recall that many people still living in the city are taking shelter where?  Basements, of course.  Very clever, these Georgians.

I wish this diary could be more focused, but things over there aren't very focused, either.  At the very least, it is complicated.  John McCain's philosophy of "All things Russian are bad!" is not helpful.  Not even the Bush administration is talking in his terms.  The fact remains, though, that a genocide was in progress and the Russians put an end to it.  It does not justify further territorial aggression on their part, but they acted in a way which NATO forces would not in the Balkan war.  They stopped the mass murdering, and I can't fault them for that.

NOTE:  The purpose of this diary is to bring attention to the actions that have been taking place from the point of view of the South Ossetians.  At the end of the century, it may or may not be classified as genocide, but the fact that our news services won't even discuss the very idea is very troubling.  That is pure self-censorship; not repeating facts because one doesn't like where they might lead.  It does not take much to make a headline, "Medvedev Claims Georgian Attack Is Genocide."  It does take a lot of rationalization to keep such a headline off of every major news outlet.

Think about it: this is the number one reason Russia gives for going in.  Yet its not reported.  Why?

Originally posted to Hjiorst on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  War is not always "Genocide".... (5+ / 0-)

    there is a difference.  This is a classic war over sovereignty, over concepts of "self determination" and spheres of influence.

    Genocide, by definition, is the murder, beyond the deaths inherent in military action, of an ethnic or national group.

    There is no evidence that I know of that Genocide is occurring in this conflict.

  •  Er (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapantsula, environmentalist, dmnyct

    The fact remains, though, that a genocide was in progress and the Russians put an end to it.

    I know this is so because the Russians say it is.

    •  and the Brits (7+ / 0-)

      interviewing refugees

      Alisa Mamiyeva, 26, a teacher at the arts lyceum in the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, said: "I came in the boot of a car. Georgian snipers were firing at us from the forest. I heard the bullets hitting the chassis.

      "My brother stayed to fight. Our grandparents' home was turned to rubble. We don't know where they are. Nothing is left of their village. It was totally destroyed by rockets and tank fire."

      Anatoly Gabarayev, 65, a registered schizophrenic who lived alone in Tskhinvali, stood waiting near a bus with two crumpled plastic bags at his feet. "It's a living hell there," he said, looking blankly into the distance. "I got out this morning. A friend found me and brought me out on the back of his motorbike. I was already waiting for death in my basement. The city is in ruins. There are bodies lying in the street."

      He added: "All I have left is the clothes I'm standing in and these two bags. My house was wooden; it was turned to splinters by the shells. I climbed out of the ruins. I don't know where I will go. I don't know what to do."

      Aelita Dzhioyeva, a lawyer who fled South Ossetia on Thursday, said she had managed to call relatives in the city on their mobile phones. "The situation is dire," she said. "People have no water, no electricity, no gas and no food."
      She added: "My relatives told me Georgian soldiers burnt to death a family of seven people in their apartment. An 18-year-old boy who climbed out into the street for a few moments was shot dead by a sniper."

      Nearby stood Gennady Dzhioyev, 38, unemployed. He said: "My cousin came from Dmenis village last night. He got two bullets in the back. We're going to go there and slaughter the Georgians like the fascist pigs they are. If the Russians let us we'll smash them all the way to Tbilisi. We are a warrior race, we know how to fight."

      It looks just like a Telefunken'll love it! - with leather...?

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:16:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is not genocide (0+ / 0-)

    By throwing this term about so lightly, real genocides, such as those suffered by the Native Americans, the Turkish Armenians and the European Jews, are cheapened.  They look...well, not so severe.

    This is not genocide and it is a great mistake to say so.

    •  But should the US News services censor the claim? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Shouldn't we attempt to look at if from this perspective?

      Forgive me for not trusting your exhaustive knowlege of the subject and not taking your assertion without a grain of salt.

    •  I agree that it should not be used lightly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but where do the standards start to consider it so?  No, really, seriously and respectfully.

      Look, late Friday night early Thursday morning, Georgian forces launched an attack without warning on the regional capital and surrounding villages.

      Casualty counts are between 1500-2000, out of a population of between 20,000 to 70, 000.  Looking at proportions here, if it is not attempted genocide, it must be getting pretty close.

      It looks just like a Telefunken'll love it! - with leather...?

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:23:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  that's a question I asked about prior conflicts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, Dauphin

          At first, I saw genocide as the extermination of an entire ethnic group just as homicide is the killing of an individual.  However, that logic doesn't work because an established definition of genocide was the Holocaust and thankfully the entire race of Jews were not exterminated.

          Then genocide was legally used by the UN in the Balkans and Rwanda.  But again, the entire race of the victims were not exterminated.

          So what is the standard then to meet the crime of genocide.  Any international lawyers here to answer that?

          This is an important question, the legal definition of a crime is important obviously.

          But my point is the targeted killing and resultant casualties in relation to total population in this instance seems staggering.

          It looks just like a Telefunken'll love it! - with leather...?

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:31:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, the attempt counts as a finished crime (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jeffersonian Democrat

            in the case of genocide.

            Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

            by Dauphin on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:35:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's not the result, it's the intent that counts. (3+ / 0-)

            So the fact that the Nazis were unsuccessful in killing every single Jew in the world does not negate the fact that they engaged in genocide.

            In the present situation, it seems like a war, with civilian deaths, as opposed to genocide. But, these victims are just as dead, regardless of how one defines the term, aren't they?

            Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

            by not a cent on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:41:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We clearly agree that this is horrific. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jeffersonian Democrat

            ...the targeted killing and resultant casualties in relation to total population in this instance seems staggering.

            Clearly.  It is horrific and must stop at once.

            But it is not genocide.

            The international legal definition of genocide is:

            ...meaning the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such"...

            I dont see that that is what is happening here.  If the Georgians were lining up Ossetians and gunning them down as happened at Babi Yar or Sand Creek or Deir ez-Zor we'd have genocide but that is not happening.  I dont see any evidence that the Georgians or anyone else in this confilict for that matter is seeking the wholesale extermination of an ethnic or religious group.

            My intention is not to nitpick.  I just have alot of trouble with the way "genocide" is bandied about.  The deliberate extermination of a particular group of people is a particularly horrific thing and must be treated as such.  It stands out.

            •  If I can find the link (0+ / 0-)

              I will post it.  I've read so much today that I've forgotten where it was.  But it was another source than the Guardian above.  More refugees claiming burning people alive in their houses, razing entire villages, drowning people hiding in basements and grenades into basements.

              We'll see what the truth is, but if not genocide, then definitely war crimes if true.

              It looks just like a Telefunken'll love it! - with leather...?

              by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:57:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'm actually very interested in your definition (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Does your definition kick in only when millions die?

          Would you describe what happened in the former Yugoslavia as genocide?

          Keep in mind that, scientifically, "Race" is a construct of the human mind, and not an identifiable trait, other than superficialities.

          I'll stick by the UN's terms:  

          Article 2
          In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

             * (a) Killing members of the group;
             * (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
             * (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
             * (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
             * (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

          You've baited the question twice now. So what's yours?

  •  Nice to see some Objectivity here.. (6+ / 0-)

    Georgia, regardless of what the Western Propaganda media says, is and was absolutely WRONG and created this war...Now whether they purposely created it for the American/Israel faction to divert Russias attention for a possible Iran invasion, well time will only tell.

    But logically it makes sense...China is tied up with the olympics, russia is now tied up in a war...perfect time for the neo-con regime to move in on Iran.

    So what do we(The US fascists) do, well we move the largest Armada since WWII into the Persian Gulf of course(link below)

    and Russia QUICKLY has realized what the US intentions were and ordered this(link below)

    This war is WAYYY bigger than us Americans realize, because our media will not provide us with HONEST, accurate information... do your own INDEPENDENT research from INDEPENDET news agencies.

  •  This isn't about McCain or Obama, so who cares (0+ / 0-)

    This place has become a COMPLETE JOKE...if a diary isn't bashing McCain or bashing fox or praising Obama or bashing Obama for frickin FISA no one gives a shit...Even when it possibly involves a potential LARGE SCALE war...Kossacks, you are HIGHLY disappointing(amongst other things)

  •  OK, An American on RT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Euroliberal, marina

    AMERICAN trapped in SOUTH Ossetia, GEORGIA, Civilian casualties

    It looks just like a Telefunken'll love it! - with leather...?

    by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 11:05:24 AM PDT

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