Media portrays US/NATO client state Georgia as victim despite war crimes provocation to launch conflict
Paul Joseph Watson
August 11, 2008
The truth behind who is primarily responsible for the bloodshed unfolding in South Ossetia and surrounding areas has been buried by the western corporate media. Georgian forces, with a green light from NATO and the support of American and Ukrainian mercenaries, launched a brutal attack targeting civilians and Russian peacekeepers timed to coincide with the opening of the Beijing Olympics so as to temporarily deflect attention before the inevitable Russian response, by which time the global media machine kicked into high gear to smear Russia as the villains of the entire piece.
To accept such a characterization is not parroting Russian military propaganda, it is a reflection of the stone cold fact that Georgia was responsible for the first provocation - which itself amounted to a war crime - that launched the conflict.
That is not to hide from the fact that Russia’s unrelenting response continues to slaughter untold numbers of innocent people.
The initial Georgian bombardment of the provincial capital Tskhinvali was primarily directed to achieve maximum civilian casualties, with residential areas, hospitals and the university being targeted, leading to at least 1500 civilian deaths according to both western and Russian sources.
"The air and artillery bombardment left the provincial capital without water, food, electricity and gas. Horrified civilians crawled out of the basements into the streets as fighting eased, looking for supplies," reported the Associated Press.
Reports of the initial carnage metered out by Georgian forces and the slaughter of Russian peacekeepers are difficult to find, because they have already been buried under the deluge of condemnation about Russia’s heavy-handed response.
American citizen and resident of South Ossetia Joe Mestas described the war crimes he witnessed being carried out by Georgian forces, back by U.S. support, against innocent civilians.
Watch the clip.
"I thought that since U.S. is supporting Georgia there would be some control over the situation in South Ossetia and that there would be a peaceful solution to the conflict. But what is happening there now it’s not just war, but war crimes. George Bush and [Georgian president] Mikhail Saakashvili should answer to the crimes that are being committed – the killing of innocent people, running over by tanks of children and women, throwing grenades into cellars where people are hiding," Mestas said.
"The war is when military fight against military. But the Georgian army is killing innocent civilians. This is genocide," he added.
A prime example of media bias in shielding Georgia from responsibility for the carnage is the fact that news outlets like the BBC continue to report that 1500 civilians have been killed in Georgia, with the obvious inference being that these are victims of the Russian onslaught. But these victims were not killed in Georgia, they were killed in Ossetia - by Georgian forces.
As the Chimes of Freedom Blog elaborates, "While the Ossetians claimed over 1000 dead the BBC neither reported this or any newsreel coming out of Ossetia showing the destruction caused by the Georgian shelling of the breakaway republic. All we are getting is one-sided reports of the destruction being caused by the Russians."
"The BBC is giving carte blanche to the Georgian point-of-view to be aired on its services while nothing whatsoever is being heard from the Ossetian side. The BBC’s repetitive playing of a statement by George Bush, given several days ago, without balancing these against statements from the Russian side indicates where the BBC is coming from."
Other mainstream news outlets are either aping the portrayal of Georgia, which enjoys the support of the American empire and NATO, as a poor isolated little country under brutal assault by the big bully Russia, or simply ignoring events altogether and obsessing about John Edwards’ extramarital affair.
In reality, Georgia is being used as a proxy client state through which the U.S. and NATO are advancing their geopolitical motives - to the cost of Ossetian, Georgian and Russian civilians alike caught in the middle of the carnage.
As Professor Michel Chossudovsky explains, "Georgia is an outpost of US and NATO forces, on the immediate border of the Russian Federation and within proximity of the Middle East Central Asian war theater. South Ossetia is also at the crossroads of strategic oil and gas pipeline routes."
"Georgia does not act militarily without the assent of Washington. The Georgian head of State is a US proxy and Georgia is a de facto US protectorate."
The price of the U.S. and NATO’s latest proxy war is already being paid with the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians - along with American mercenaries supporting Georgian forces.
According to the president of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, the bodies of black men were found at the site of one battle near a school.
Russian envoy Dmitry Medoyev indicated the men may have been American mercenaries.
"In yesterday’s attack, the advancing tanks were supposedly crewed by Ukrainians. Two unidentified bodies found today are said to have black skin. Possibly they are Americans but we can’t say for sure yet. We will be able to publish the official conclusions after carrying out special tests," Medoyev said.
Last month, the United States, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Ukraine conducted Immediate Response 2008, a joint training exercise said to be in "spirit of the NATO Partnership for Peace program," according to Blackanthem Military News. Immediate Response 2008 was held at the Vaziani Military Base in Georgia.
In another report, a woman interviewed by Russia Today in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia, talked about the presence of Georgian troops with American insignias. "There are lots of bodies over there, a lot of people have been killed, mostly Ossetians, but also Georgians, they had American emblems on their forearms and they were in black uniforms," she said.
Black uniforms are a trademark of Blackwater and DynCorp mercenaries (see Chris Hedges, America’s Holy Warriors). DynCorp’s presence in Eastern Europe is well documented, particularly in occupied Bosnia where it engaged in sex-trafficking and prostitution.
In a Friday press conference, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Security Committee Vladimir Vasilyev said without U.S. aid, Tbilisi would have been unable to start military operation in South Ossetia. "The further the situation unfolds, the more the world will understand that Georgia would never be able to do all this without America," said Vasilyev. "In essence, the Americans have prepared the force, which destroys everything in South Ossetia, attacks civilians and hospitals."
It is entirely feasible the U.S. has "prepared the force" with mercenaries as well.
Michel Chossudovsky explores the reasoning behind Georgia’s act of provocation that launched the conflict.
US-NATO military and intelligence planners invariably examine various "scenarios" of a proposed military operation– i.e. in this case, a limited Georgian attack largely directed against civilian targets, with a view to inflicting civilian casualties.
The examination of scenarios is a routine practice. With limited military capabilities, a Georgian victory and occupation of Tskhinvali, was an impossibility from the outset. And this was known and understood to US-NATO military planners.
A humanitarian disaster rather than a military victory was an integral part of the scenario. The objective was to destroy the provincial capital, while also inflicting a significant loss of human life.
If the objective were to restore Georgian political control over the provincial government, the operation would have been undertaken in a very different fashion, with Special Forces occupying key public buildings, communications networks and provincial institutions, rather than waging an all out bombing raid on residential areas, hospitals, not to mention Tskhinvali’s University.
The Russian response was entirely predictable.
Georgia was "encouraged" by NATO and the US. Both Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels were acutely aware of what would happen in the case of a Russian counterattack.
The question is: was this a deliberate provocation intended to trigger a Russian military response and suck the Russians into a broader military confrontation with Georgia (and allied forces) which could potentially escalate into an all out war?
With rhetoric from figures like President Bush and Condoleezza Rice becoming increasingly heated towards Russia, the potential for an escalation in tensions is readily apparent.
Only the most naive would believe that the U.S. missile defense shield is anything other than a bulwark against Russian military expansion, and Russia’s response in resuming bomber patrols across the Atlantic sends a clear message.
Knowing that Americans remain completely unconvinced about the necessity of attacking Iran, have the Neo-Cons in control of the White House lit the blue touch paper for a wider war that could swing the U.S. election in favor of pro-war candidate John McCain?
Or is this merely payback for Russia lending their expertise in building Iranian nuclear reactors?
The motives will become clear in due course but what’s certain is that innocent lives will continue to be lost as the American empire lurches into its next theatre of conflict and the Neo-Cons play a deadly game that could have devastating wider consequences.