I have to say, when the news initially came out how Russia had rolled into Georgia and South Ossetia, I was quite surprised. I was significantly more surprised when John McCain was first on the television claiming that:
I speak for every American when I say to him today, we are all Georgians.
That just pissed me off. I am not a Georgian, I’m American. My wife? She’s Russian. And there was a whole lot more to this story that was left out of the American Media.
The BBC reports on this today:
The BBC has discovered evidence that Georgia may have committed war crimes in its attack on its breakaway region of South Ossetia in August.
Eyewitnesses have described how its tanks fired directly into an apartment block, and how civilians were shot at as they tried to escape the fighting.
Research by the international investigative organisation Human Rights Watch also points to indiscriminate use of force by the Georgian military, and the possible deliberate targeting of civilians.
Indiscriminate use of force is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, and serious violations are considered to be war crimes.
The allegations are now raising concerns among Georgia’s supporters in the West.
And damn well it should. Only on a few of the liberal bogs did you hear how McCain’s advisor Randy Scheunemann was working for Georgia long before this incident, but no one covered how loud the Russians were screaming about this incident.
The Georgians were killing ethnic Russians in Ossetia.
This was all over the Russian press, and was a huge deal. Now with an American presidential candidate close to the Georgian government, casting Russia as an out-of-control power, in what looked like a transparent attempt to win a news cycle. This has not helped America’s image to Russians:
President Saakashvili gave the order to launch a military strike on South Ossetia with the goal of bringing the breakaway region back under Georgian control.
Russia’s leaders have accused the United States of encouraging Georgia to launch the attack by arming it, and have even suggested that the U.S. had the upcoming elections in mind, and wanted to give Republican candidate John McCain a boost.
Before the conflict, Russia had been looking for an international solution to avert violence. Hours before the Georgian attack, Russia had been working to secure a United Nations Security Council statement calling for a renunciation of force by both Georgia and South Ossetia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the statement, which could have averted bloodshed, was blocked by Western powers.
The minister said Russia had repeatedly warned of the dangers of arming Georgia, and had had warned U.S. partners that their program of arming and training the Georgian military could lead to a situation where the Georgian leadership would decide to use this new potential in seeking a forceful solution to conflicts on its territory.
But even worse is how US intervention in Iraq has legitimized "Preventative" measures by virtually any other country. We have little moral leg to stand on anymore.
But now it appears that the BBC is confirming what our media would not, that the US armed and trained an unstable government, and at best, failed to discourage them from using this own their own population. Russia, emulating our own justifications, rolled in to stop the attacks on their own ethnic group, was then cast as the aggressor by John McCain, for the benefit of his campaign. Obama gave a more measured response, which was immediately pounced on by the McCain Campaign and their supporters:
Lieberman, one of McCain’s most ardent and vocal supporters, responded by criticizing Obama’s more cautious first statement on the Georgia situation an example of "moral neutrality" that showed his "inexperience."
In the future, we as a nation may wish to investigate a bit before the rush to take sides, being pushed in one direction by someone with an axe to grind doesn’t help. No one is wearing a "white hat" in this situation, and while I am only slightly hesitant to claim that McCain knowingly manipulated the news for his own gain, he has dirtied his reputation with it in any case.
Shame on him.