Saturday, August 16, 2008

But do they really need us to save them?

It seems to me that the Georgians-as-victims narrative is, at some level, rather demeaning to actual inhabitants of places like Georgia. It leads people in the West to make grandiose pronouncements such as this one by Canadian columnist Andrew Coyne:

We can abandon any expansion of NATO beyond its present membership, as Russia demands. Or we can press on, understanding that we have a stake in the survival and success of democracy in the East, and that if we cannot democratize Russia we can at least contain its influence.*
We, we, we, we, we . . . Do you suppose people who actually live in some of these places might be capable of looking after — negotiating — what’s in their own best interest? Consider my timeline history** of Georgia and the Ossetians. Russian interventions in the region have been going on for hundreds of years. Sometimes the Russians have intervened at the request of the locals. The long history of the region leads me to suspect the inhabitants of places like Georgia know more -- certainly more than "we" ever will -- about how to meet their needs.

* H/tip Sullivan
** I have recently improved the timeline history.


  1. well, it is much deeper than simply over-simplify it to the point of who will save whom ! if at all it is relevant to use such a word as "save".

    because the whole story is twisted in Western media, showing only very deliberately chosen opinions and sides of this story.

    they overlook or totally ignore the facts that :
    1) Saakashvili is no better (if not worth) dictator than his predecessor Shavardnadze. only more appealing to West.
    2) his version of "Democracy" is a joke, but rather a dictatorial regime with one party (even Russia has several !), and arrests of political opposition.
    3) he has allowed ethnic cleansing.
    4) he was and still is CONVENIENT - and therefore installed by US, not elected as it is widely believed.
    5) he is a lunatic who has embarrassed his big bosses of US and NATO - always reading more in their promises and words than they really mean or willing to do to back their words !

    and he has intentionally made his own people hostages in this mess.

    and regarding Russia - it doesn't want to take over Georgia or even to annex its rebel provinces! it only tried to prevent a further discrimination against those ethnic minorities, many of whom happened to be their citizens. yes, surely Russia has its own interests in the Caucasus. but it DID try to solve the problem without military force: it has requested an URGENT SC UN meeting - the request which was brushed away as not important. WHY didn't Bush and Rice and Brown come to acknowledge that request and attempt to discuss it in order to prevent escalation of the situation?

    to me it is quite clear why:
    because they WANTED it to happen, and prepared for it, were ready for it with their propaganda machine. it has all been thoroughly calculated and worked out long before, perhaps even BEFORE Bush pushed his allies on last NATO summit to accept Georgia and Ukraine. somehow nobody mentions that that time Bush has promised to do everything to make it happen. and the current events - a simple logical continuation of that agenda !

    Andrew Coyen is typical russophob. and that blog (where his article is published) employs censorship which is not much different from mainstream media ! hysterical chorus of cheerleaders obsessed with Russia bashing.

  2. very good point about "WE" - thanks for bringing it up !

    let me add to it.

    such usage of "WE" is typical "argumentum de populum" FALLACY (appeal to majority). yet mainstream media doesn't bother to notice it, rather instead blows it up disproportionately! This word "WE" is also another tool in propaganda machine, along with other powerful Equivocations like
    "democracy", "war on terror", "freedom"...

    WHO are "WE"? does it include ALL the free (or "freedom loving") people? or all those who
    are RIGHT (and therefore can't be possibly wrong - circular reasoning?). or all those progressive (opposite to tyrannical / despotic), good (opposite to "evil") and all sorts of "positive" identifications? in other words "WE" becoming sort of hyper-summum-bonum of ALL those above mentioned good etc. folks?

    and then, as "argumentum de populum" fallacy works - "we" categorizes everybody into 2 crowds: those who are "with us" and those who are ... "against us" ! :) because there can't be anyone else than these 2, right?

    surely, "WE" implies - "WEST", which is of course first of all US, its closest ally UK, and
    then all their buddies who align themselves with "western values".

    another aspect is - it seems like it implies a majority of opinions (and therefore, accordingly by definition - democratic LOL)

    however here is surprise for those who use "we" appealing to the masses:

    "WE" ("West" / US & Co / "good" / "democratic" / "free") are NOT a majority in the world -
    in fact it is a minority ! because HUGE portion of the world - Latin America (pretty much everything down south of Texas), then Africa, Asia, Oceania - are not necessarily agree or align themselves with that "WE" ! and neither would accept without careful consideration those "WE" as the proponents of "Freedom"/
    "Good" & whatever else it self-claims. even in Europe and within the countries included in
    "WE" - there are MANY people who think differently (suffice it to read comments on Coyen's article!)

    so, I think someone has to teach Coyen to STOP using such FALLACIES as this shameless generalizing and "appeal to popular sentiment" - and talk and act as a RESPONSIBLE
    ADULT ! otherwise - better if he shut up and do not talk at all, since he has little to say except FALLACIOUS arguments !

    there are plenty of other fallacies (flaws) in his reasoning (and current mainstream media's hysterical yet methodical onslaught) - like the most evident is "argumentum ad hominem" (emotional appeal/ personal considerations), all sorts of switching the subject or diverting the attention from the facts which matter (fear, appeal to authority), "false cause", equivocations, and I bet many (if not all) other kinds. as well as all sorts of demagogy (as "false dilemma", straw man, unrelated facts etc).

    mainstream media is abundant with all these fallacies and demagogy, while Governments exploit to their best advantage this ability of media to brainwash public !

    luckily there are enough astute people who at least attempt to see through such flawed presentation of truth !

  3. Anonymous #1,

    Western leaders should have seen this coming. Perhaps, as you suggest, they did. But I hesitate to discount the stupidity/ incompetence factor.

    Interesting that a Russian UN Sec Council meeting proposal had been rejected. . .

    Anonymous #2,

    I thought: "we" does not include me; did anyone ask me if I wanted to sign up for this campaign? Did anybody ask you if you wanted this crusade? It seems we were not consulted. This use of "we" strikes me as very undemocratic! And ironic: What is it that "we" are called upon to defend in a far away land? Democracy.

  4. while guys like Coyen talk the talk, US army walks the walk :

    Karzai denounces U.S. airstrike that killed civilians,0,97835.story

    >>> airstrike by U.S.-led forces that his office said killed at least 70 civilians... <<<

    but of course THIS kind of events doesn't cause even remotely similar outcry in Western media as about "Russian invasion" or the chorus of cheerleaders' commenting on those articles !

    but then - hey, civilian causalities are inevitable and unavoidable, yeah, in "War on terror" / "fight of good and evil" / "spreading democracy" ? what else have I missed? oh, right: in "bringing FREEDOM" to people .... surely there are aplenty of other very reasonable explanations of why killing civilians by US soldiers is, well, not OK, but not so bad as what oh those evil Russians do to poor Georgians ! ;)


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