Yada…yada…yada. The discussion on the unprovoked and planned aggression by Georgia on South Ossetia is futile and moot because Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced last week that the Russian Government would recognize the independence and freedom of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 25, 2008, both houses of the Russian Parliament or Duma voted unanimously to recognize the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 26, 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that the government of the Russian Federation officially recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Save your rhetoric. Georgia has lost those areas permanently. Ossetians and Abkhazians can never live in the same state with Georgians again. Period. South Ossetia will be an independent nation a la Kosovo. In other words, like Kosovo, South Ossetians will unilaterally declare independence from Tbilisi. And who will stop them? The answer is: No one. South Ossetia is exactly like Kosovo.
South Ossetians are over two-thirds of the population of South Ossetia. In other words, they are the majority. Moreover, in 2006, South Ossetians voted in a democratic referendum in which over 90% favored independence. South Ossetians have a right to self-determination and to self-rule. And as a majority, they have the democratic right to decide their own fate.
Just think of South Ossetia as a Caucasus Kosovo. If Albanian Muslims can have two countries in the heart of Europe, then why can’t South Ossetian Christians have their own country as well? Everything is on the side of the South Ossetians. And Russian Federation T-72 tanks and SS 21 misssiles do not hurt either.
As Mr. T would say, stop all this jibber jabber. South Ossetia has been de facto an independent nation at least since 1992. And now, Russian leaders have announced that South Ossetia will be recognized as an independent and free nation. If the Albanian Muslims can unilaterally declare “independence” in violation of the UN and international law, then why can’t the South Ossetians? What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
South Ossetia is exactly like the Kosovo scenario. Both are essentially proxy wars.
Albanian Muslims have two countries in the heart of Europe now. Why? Because of US tanks and missilies, because of the US and NATO military presence in Kosovo, an internationally and legally recognized part of Serbia. In both cases, tanks are deciding the issue. In Kosovo, it is US tanks. In South Ossetia, it is Russian tanks.
Kosovo is not a country. It has no economy and no political or social history. The name “Kosovo” is actually a Serbian word that means “place of blackbirds”. Almost all of the towns, cities, and villages in Kosovo have Serbian names and a Serbian history that goes back half a millennium. Kosovo is a phony country. It is in fact a legal part of Serbia and is part of the UN recognized borders of Serbia.
What the US did is pull a fast one here. Kosovo was not recognized as independent by the UN and by Serbia and about three-quarters of the world. Only the US and its satellite states have recognized Kosovo. So, under international law and the UN, the unilateral declaration of independence is illegal and criminal.
But the US government does not tell you this. The US occupation of Kosovo is illegal under the UN and international law.
Then the US has the audacity and arrogance to accuse Russia over the issue of South Ossetian independence. Kosovo and South Ossetia are the same scenarios. They only exist because of respective American and Russian tanks. Take away American tanks in Kosovo, and there is no more Albanian Muslim Kosovo. Serbia would reintegrate it within its internationally recognized borders.
Russian leaders announced last week that South Ossetia and Abkhazia will be recognized as free and independent. On August 26, 2008, the Russian Federation recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent. And who is going to stop them? No one is. Kosovo and South Ossetia are about force, brute military force, nothing else. Might makes right. Both cases are based upon the same principle. The Kosovo scenario was a precedent in that it made the recognition of South Ossetia inevitable and necessary. When international law and sovereignty were violated in the Kosovo scenario, the only recourse is force.
Just compare the facts in both cases. South Ossetians are a majority of the population in South Ossetia and in a 2006 referendum they voted overwhelmingly for independence from Tbilisi, over 90% voting for independence. Moreover, this genocidal aggression and attack on Tskhinvali by a US proxy and puppet leader, one installed in what was essentially a CIA coup, the CIA-funded and CIA-organized “Rose Revolution”, means that Georgia has lost these areas forever and permanently. Only World War III can change these facts on the ground. And that is why Kosovo and South Ossetia are exactly the same scenarions: Independent “nations” that exist only due to the proxy wars of the superpowers, that exist only through force.
But South Ossetia has a more legitimate claim to independence because it has been de facto independent since 1992 and emerged during the break up of the Soviet Union. The Kosovo case is different because Kosovo was always legally a part of Serbia, even when Yugoslavia broke up in 1991-1992, internationally recognized as a part of Serbia. The way the US and NATO got around this legal barrier was to create a bogus and phony Holocaust or genocide claim for Kosovo. That genocide assertion has since been proved to be a US and NATO propaganda hoax. There was never any basis in fact for the genocide claim. In other words, the US and NATO occupation of Kosovo was illegal and criminal ab initio with no foundation in international law, the UN, or in the practices and customs of sovereign nations. But that didn’t stop the US from using Kosovo as a proxy conflict to dismember Serbia and to support an illegal separatist movement.
At any rate, discussion is moot and futile because both South Ossetia and Kosovo are guaranteed by the superpowers. Russian tanks are in South Ossetia along with SS 21 missiles. In Kosovo, there are American tanks. Might makes right. Both cases are exactly the same.
The most important point regarding analyses of the media coverage of the South Ossetian conflict is that a propaganda or media war is an adjunct to every war. Every war also brings up epistemological issues. In other words, we always see a war through a certain filter or lens. We never see a war without this lens or filter. And filters and lens distort reality. This is an important point.
In every war, there is an issue of reality control and perception management. CNN and Fox News in the US sought to portray or present the war as “aggression” or an “invasion” by Russia. In fact, it was Georgia that invaded the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which has been de facto independent since 1992. Which view is correct and the “truth”? It depends on which paradigm or lens you use.
The first paradigm is: Georgia is a sovereign country that has UN recognized borders. Based on this assumption, Georgia can do no wrong. Everything it does will be legitimate and legal. Georgian troops can murder 200,000 Russian civilians or 2,000 South Ossetians and that will be seen as legitimate because Georgia was safeguarding its UN recognized borders. This is the paradigm the US media used, following the marching orders of the US Government and US State Department. The US government tells the US media what paradigm they must follow. In this regard, US media is state-run or state-controlled media.
Of course, the US did not apply this paradigm to Serbia. Serbia too is a sovereign nation that has UN recognized borders. But then why did the US dismember Kosovo and detach it from Serbia outside of the UN and international law? Based on the UN and international law, what the US diod was illegal and against international law.
The issue here is: Who gets to decide? The US gets to decide these matters. It is selective. The US can arbitrarily and subjectively decide what is legal, legitimate, and adheres to international law. In other words, the US is the “international community”. This is a bit of a smokescreen but the US can get away with it because it has the largest army in the world and controls all media.
The second paradigm is: Georgia committed an act of aggression by launching a planned war against Russian peacekeepers in a region with de facto independence and an international peacekeeping mission. Like Kosovo, the South Ossetians should be allowed to vote in a democratic referendum on whether they want to be independent. Moreover, the principles of self-determination apply to South Ossetia. Of course, the US Government rejects this paradigm vis a vis South Ossetia but accepts it vis a vis Kosovo. The US is just applying an arbitrary standard based on whether the parties are proxies or adversaries. The US applies one paradigm to Albanian Muslim separatists and another one to Ossetian Christian separatists. The scenarios are identical. But in one case the parties are proxies and in the other they are adversaries.
There is no critical media literacy in the US. This is because the corporate and military and political interests in the US want to keep Americans dumb and stupid, brain-dead zombies. This is for obvious reasons. People must be out buying all sorts of things they do not need, they must rush to the next movie blockbuster, and they must support the latest US “humanitarian intervention” to save mankind.
Media analysts cite Joseph Goebbels and Nazi propaganda techniques as sui generis and in vacuo. What the media analysts neglect to mention about Goebbels is that the Nazi propaganda machine was based on American models. Goebbels based much of his propaganda techniques on the pioneering work of American Edward Bernays. In fact, Goebbels studied Berenay’s books on propaganda and had at least one on his shelves. Not many Americans know that Joseph Goebbels based his propaganda techniques on US media persuasion techniques developed by Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann. That is a fact we subconsciously reject and self-repress and deny.
All wars entail propaganda and media wars because all wars present epistemological issues. How we see a war depends on the lens we use. And all lenses distort and alter reality.
By illegally occupying Kosovo and then violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia by recognizing Kosovo “independence” in contravention of the United Nations and international law, the US and NATO set a dangerous and reckless precedent. The US showed contempt and disdain for international law and the UN and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia. Force is all that matters. Might makes right. The Kosovo precedent made the secession of South Ossetia and Abkhazia inevitable and unavoidable.
By Car Savich