Russia invades, China parades…


by Leon
9th August, 2008 at 12:05 am    

torch

There’s a rather strange mixture of images today with the news that Russia has killed roughly 1200 civilians in their invasion of Georgia while China opened the Beijing Olympics.

Europe and the US must be watching with interest at China and Russia both flexing their respective organisational powers in two very differing ways…


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Filed in: China,Current affairs,The World






21 Comments below   |  

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  1. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2008 at 2:42 am  

    I’m a little concerned about the nature of the reporting of this conflict at present; although any war is regrettable and the fact the Russians are engaging the Georgians on the ground is more than alarming a glance at some articles paints a picture of the ‘good honourable little Georgians’ against the ‘overbearing tyrannical big Russians’.

    This is an ethno-national conflict and as such is incredibly messy, but the fact the Ossetians living in that part of Georgia want independence and have voluntarily taken Russian Citizenship cannot be avoided.

    One has to ask whether those tanks crossing the border would be hailed in the press as liberators were they from NATO instead of the Russian ground forces.

  2. Cover Drive — on 9th August, 2008 at 8:55 am  

    Leon, don’t get carried away by our human rights and democracy defenders. That US stooge Saakashvili probably planned to attack and occupy South Ossetia while the world watched the Olympic opening ceremony, but Russia has an agreement to defend South Ossetia following the war between the Ossetians and the Georgians.

  3. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2008 at 10:08 am  

    Though it does rather put the lie to Russia’s refusal to condemn Zimbabwe because it doesn’t want to interfere in the affairs of a sovereign state.

  4. MaidMarian — on 9th August, 2008 at 10:26 am  

    Kulvinder (1) – I’m sorry, but is that a joke?

    The pro-Russian tint to this so far has been embarassing.

    Indeed, go to Russia Today (upto now an outstanding news channel – it is 512 on sky or live on the internet) and you will see pro-Russian coverage that would make the Iraqi information minister of old blush!

    I have not read nearly enough good quality coverage of this to form an opinion but to come up with an argument at the level of, ‘Ossetians living in that part of Georgia want independence and have voluntarily taken Russian Citizenship cannot be avoided.’ is holding out a hostage to fortune. Indeed, would you have been cheering NATO troops on were they to go in in such a situation to liberate someone whose citizenship choices can not be avoided? I would hazard a guess not.

    I make no value judgment here about the arguments of either side, but we all know a media war with armchair generals and cold warriors is about to ensue. If you feel that you do not like the coverage, go to the Russian media but I would hope that this conflict can be a bit better than the pitiful he-said-she-said that marked Kosovo. I am not optimistic.

    Indeed Rumbold (3) one now has to wonder whether Russia’s fealty to the notion of territorial integrity which has been a feature of their stance on Serbia/Kosovo has now fallen rather by the wayside.

  5. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2008 at 10:32 am  

    Oh, and good title Leon.

  6. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2008 at 11:08 am  

    #4 I’m unsure what your point is but the Ossetians in that region have either sought complete independence or the desire to become a republic as part of Russia for around 17 years.

    would you have been cheering NATO troops on were they to go in in such a situation to liberate someone whose citizenship choices can not be avoided?

    Since you brought it up, the issue of Serbia’s ‘territorial integrity’ is of no concern next to the desire of Kosovans to gain their independance.

  7. Golam Murtaza — on 9th August, 2008 at 11:12 am  

    Incredible that there can be such a fierce conflict over so small a place. I understand the population of South Ossetia is about 70,000. That’s significantly less than the Channel Island of Jersey (or about the population of a medium sized English town).

  8. Archer — on 9th August, 2008 at 12:51 pm  

    Incredible that there can be such a fierce conflict over so small a place

    Where have you been for the past 60 years?

    Arabs, liberals, Muslims, anti-Semites etc have been going ape shit over a few miles of land and a couple of hundred goat herding Palestinians in the middle east, in a place called Israel I believe.

    Crazy isn’t it?

  9. MaidMarian — on 9th August, 2008 at 12:54 pm  

    Kulvinder (6) – My apologies, I am just gearing up for the inevitable useful idiots to come out again and tell me that it was the Georgians bombing themselves for the benefit of western media stooges/it was all the US and Israel’s fault/ Vladimir Putin is a man of peace and NATO = Nazi line.

    My friends and I have a wager on which of us can find the first such useful idiot.

    I disagree over your balance over territory and citizenship desires, but respect your opinion.

    Best of luck to you.

  10. marvin — on 9th August, 2008 at 1:08 pm  

    Russia is becoming learned in ‘spin’ me thinks. A big thanks goes to New Labour ;)

    “A good day to buy bad news” springs to mind.

  11. Leon — on 9th August, 2008 at 5:15 pm  

    Leon, don’t get carried away by our human rights and democracy defenders.

    Where did I do that? I was merely pointing out that the US and the EU must be watching all this with interest considering it’s yet another indication of the centre of geo political power tilting east…

  12. Cover Drive — on 9th August, 2008 at 5:59 pm  

    Yes Leon, interesting times. This a sign of Russia’s re-emergence. I think the US and UK will just watch from the sidelines. Expect a lot of anti-Russian western propaganda. Suddenly the poor Georgians, *who invaded South Ossetia first*, are the innocent victims of Russia’s act of aggression.

    Although Georgia is not part of NATO it wants to be but Russia doesn’t want the US in their neck of the woods. This is Russia reasserting its influence over its former Caucasuses. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev summed this message up best: “Historically Russia has been, and will continue to be, a guarantor of security for peoples of the Caucasus.”

    Interestingly there’s a CIF article on this:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/08/georgia.nato

    I love some of the comments; the ones that have received the most recommendations are quite sympathetic of Russia’s stand. ;-)

  13. MaidMarian — on 9th August, 2008 at 6:10 pm  

    Cover Drive – Thanks for that, I won my wager!

  14. Cover Drive — on 9th August, 2008 at 7:41 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    …it was the Georgians bombing themselves for the benefit of western media stooges/it was all the US and Israel’s fault/ Vladimir Putin is a man of peace and NATO = Nazi line.

    Where the hell did you get this from? Do you get your news from Fox News or some other neo-con mouthpiece? :-)

  15. Cover Drive — on 9th August, 2008 at 9:09 pm  

    So it’s OK for the US to go and invade and bomb other countries, support corrupt puppet governments and despotic regimes, etc but it’s not OK for Russia to support a tiny autonomous region even though its duty bound to do so. Hmmm…makes perfect sense – straight out of the neo-con textbook.

    MaidMarion, did you read that comment with the highest number of recommendations on CIF? That really made my day!

    Keep apologising for US acts of sheer incompetent misadventures all over the world as long you like, but no other country since the Second World War has single-handedly made this world a less safe place today than the US through its own blunders.

  16. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2008 at 12:34 am  

    CoverDrive – ‘MaidMarian’ actually has 2 as and no os.

    I have not read or seen nearly enough quality coverage to nail my colours to anyone’s mast on this one. What I will say is that you may well be very happy to assume that anyone not NATO is virtuous and carries with them truth and light. I am not.

    I take my news incidentally from Russia Today as I made clear at post 4. Of course I suppose it is actually easier to call me stupid and a thick stooge than read my comments and take me at face value.

    Concerning your comments at 14, I was in fact taking the piss out of the CiF chatterati – I assumed that was obvious but reading the thread you linked to I realise that that crowd are in fact now beyond parody

    Concerning 15, just because the CiF majority says one thing does not mean it is de fact right. I make no value judgement one way or the other on this – clearly there is an awful lot going on that is not being reported and I am making no confident judgment.

    I apologise for no one and it is beneath you to put words into my mouth. You may well feel that butter would not melt if I shoved it up the Russian posterior. I reserve judgment for the moment.

    You clearly have already made your mind up and I make no effort to change that.

    What a charmer you are.

  17. Cover Drive — on 10th August, 2008 at 6:04 am  

    I have not read or seen nearly enough quality coverage to nail my colours to anyone’s mast on this one.

    It might actually be worthwhile if you read a little bit about the topic before you make a comment. It beats the purpose of having a meaningful discussion when people do not. I don’t mind if you disagree with me but when you start arguing from the standpoint of virtually no information apart from your own hunch about something (e.g. Russian media) then a pointless argument is almost inevitable. The phrase “empty vessels make the loudest noise” comes to mind.

    Of course I suppose it is actually easier to call me stupid and a thick stooge than read my comments and take me at face value.

    Where have I made this accusation? I said Georgian president Saakashvili was a US stooge. If you look at your own comment in #4 it is you who is calling me an idiot.

    Concerning 15, just because the CiF majority says one thing does not mean it is de fact right.

    The CIF ‘chatterati’ is quite a broad range of people of all political persuasions, not just the liberal left. There are often cases where left-wing CIF writers get a roasting on there. I think it is fair to say the ‘chatterati’ represents a fair swathe of people. Sometimes you learn a lot just by reading the comments because many of the posters know more about the topic than you do.

    You may well feel that butter would not melt if I shoved it up the Russian posterior. I reserve judgment for the moment.

    Don’t get me wrong, I no lover of Russia. I’m not a Muslim or a commie. I just wanted to point out the differences in reporting in the western media toward Russia vis-a-vis the US invasion of countries such as Iraq.

    I make no value judgement one way or the other on this – clearly there is an awful lot going on that is not being reported and I am making no confident judgment.

    Here are you again owning up to the fact that you know nothing about the topic. You’ve based your whole argument down to the fact you think Russia Today (a news channel very few people in the UK watch) is biased. It probably is but the same could be said of other news channels like Fox News, except biased toward the US.

    I’m off to the Mediterranean for a week. I think I’ll stick to CIF after I get back. Have a nice day. ;-)

  18. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2008 at 11:52 am  

    Cover Drive – My my, Mr/s know-it-all. Untwist your underwear. If you look back I said that I was reserving judgment, not that I had not been following the story. I also said I wanted to see more quality. I’m sorry that you feel that is a weak stance, I disagree. But then you, again, probably find it easy to call me stupid in your wonderfully passive aggressive way.

    This is a media war and the cold-warriors/NATO haters are already out in force. The point I was making, probably not very well, is that I would hate this to end up like Kosovo. In that conflict there was no point any reporter saying anything because as soon as they did there were a thousand internet generals screamng ‘lies – you reporters are all on the side of…..’ CiF was and remains just the worst type of preening internet chatterati dilettantes.

    It is a story I follow with interest, I just don’t know at the moment. Incidentally, it is a shame that Russia Today is not watched more widely. Upto a couple of days ago it was excellent, much better than the BBC, Sky or the massively overrated al-jazeera.

    Before the internet it was OK in discussions to say, ‘I don’t know.’ I look back on those days with some fondness.

    Enjoy the Med, but I’d keep it to your self if I were you. The environment crowd around here don’t much smile on that sort of thing.

  19. izmir evden eve — on 10th August, 2008 at 3:26 pm  

    thanks .. bye

  20. Refresh — on 11th August, 2008 at 11:16 am  

    Says it all:

    ‘Don’t get me wrong, I no lover of Russia. I’m not a Muslim or a commie.’

    And that is not a criticism of Cover Drive, but recognition of what was achieved by ‘reds under the beds’ media coverage of the cold-war and what’s brewing in ‘long war’ against Islam, though better understood as the war for oil and pipelines.

  21. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 5:46 pm  

    I felt quite sad when I read this. This story epitomises China, and the mask that Beijing offers the world.

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