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?