The media are fumbling the ball in Georgia today as badly as they did on the run-up to the concocted war in Iraq.
To what extent is the Bush Administration behind the ‘war’ in Georgia? We don’t know, we haven’t been told and, it seems, the media isn’t trying to find out. Time magazine made a tiny stab at it today in an article entitled Who Started the War in Georgia? in which it dismissed direct US involvement in the war with this: ‘Statements from President George W. Bush and others may have embolden Saakashvili to expect US assistance that in the end wasn’t forthcoming, but that’s a far cry from an active role in launching military action.’
The muted allegations are that the US encouraged Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to invade the secessionist province of South Ossetia which had voted to rejoin it’s northern province within Russia. But that’s as far as it has gone, at least in the Main Stream Media.
But elsewhere, the accusations are far more direct. In The Real News, Eric Margolis makes it clear in US missle deal enrages Russia that Saakashvili, who was probably groomed in the US to replace Eduard Shevardnadze as President of Georgia, in fact invaded South Ossetia with the full encouragement of the US which had sent advisors into the country when Saakashvili had been elected in 2004.
The larger question is why is the US so aggressively provoking the Russians? Not just in Georgia but in Poland where the US is planting its missiles and in its advocacy that break-away Soviet states spurn Russia and join NATO.
There is obviously a serious confrontation going on between the US and Russia but who is covering it? Where is the background? The overview? The context? The facts?
The American media seems to have learned nothing from its atrocious coverage of the run-up to the Iraq war and from its complicity in the war. And worse, the American people appear disinterested in demanding the media be held to account: they are simply walking away — from the newstand and the TV.
But the neocons aren’t walking away. Why should they? They continue to foist their world view on a witless President, and they can see four more years ahead.
The collapse of an objective media is the single greatest story of my generation and it will have an enormous impact on the generations to come.