Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

NonRant: Georgia and Iraq...

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Normally I would not even bother to comment about media idiocy and inconsistency: after all, it's just part of the entertainment business (selling your attention span to advertisers), so there is no reasonable expectation of principled or intelligent coverage, or that any journalist has the slightest idea how to find his arse with both hands.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. Those who think that journalism is about speaking truth to power, or some other falderol that assumes that every journalist on the planet is John Pilger, Robert Fisk or H.L. Mencken, simply need to get hold of themselves (or more accurately perhaps, they need to let go of themselves).

I have already admitted that I like the work of Gretchen Morgenson at the NY Times - but not enough to ever pay to read it, and of course I have never clicked on an ad-link from the Times site in my life. Ditto Fisk, Pilger, and any one of forty or so journalists whose work is worth reading (in an industry containing hundreds of thousands).

Anyhow - as I said above, I am usually not surprised or outraged by the idea of inconsistency or lack of principle in the mainswamp media. But the coverage on the French news regarding the unpleasantness in Georgia is so staggering that it obliges comment.

Last night we were treated to the ludicrous idea that it is essential that NATO foreign minsters have a pow-wow to declare that Russia stop doing whatever Georgia accuses it of doing. People are dying, said Bernard Kouchner... it must stop.

The journalist interviewing him failed at that point to reach across the table and slap Kouchner in the moosh; I saw what I thought was a flicker of intent - but perhaps the guy had just had a garlic sandwich.

At no point was the word 'Iraq' mentioned in the conversation or the coverage. When Preznit Deciderator declarified that it was bad because Georgia is a sovereign nation whose territorial integrity ought to be respected, I threw up in my mouth just a little bit.

And of course, nobody mentioned the gas pipeline that runs through Georgia, or the fact that tying Russia up in Georgia is what the US will require in order to curtail Russian ground force involvement in Iran when the US launches. Russia has already stated that it will consider any attack on Iran as an attack on Russia.

Odd, don't you think, that Georgia decided to have a crack at a Lincoln-esque suppression of the south Ossetia secession movement, having just had the benefit of about 2000 Israeli and US 'military trainers'? Odd, don't you think, that in doing so, they managed to kill 10 Russian soldiers (and wound 30).

Now imagine if China and Iran had sent advisers to New Mexico to help the nascent separatist movement there to further its plans. I know what you're thinking - the situation in Georgia is sort of the reverse, and I agree: this event was much more like Danzig in 1939... ethnic Russians who want to be part of Russia just as the Danzigers then wanted to be part of Germany. By denying the South Ossetians the right to rejoin Russia, Georgia is doing exactly what Poland did to Danzig. The US is doing what the UK did (helping the Georgians just as the Brits gave security guarantees to the Poles over Danzig)

In fact that is precisely what worries me: the parallels to pre-WWII Europe are there to be seen. Medvedev and Putin are not Hitler, but frankly without Churchill and Chamberlain's mishandling of Danzig, Hitler wouldn't have been Hitler either (by which I mean, the German regime would bot have descended into the barbarity for which it is accused).

To end on an upbeat note: if things play out the way I expect, you will be glad that your Beloved GT is not living anywhere near a major European city.

I am not naturally a fearful person - my last fear (of the dark, which was with me until my teens) was washed out somewhere in the bush while playing enemy-sniper to a team of would-be sergeants. That was back when I was 181567, almost a generation ago.

Boy, that's a blast from the past through the breezeway where my brain-hole ought to be.

How long has it been since I even thought of the olden 'trained killer' days? CS gas training with metre long ribbons of snot, crying and puking and trying to remember your name and number after being ordered to take your mask off. The ludicrous hole and blade sights of the Fabrique Nationale 7.62 SLR, and getting all the crap out of the groove in the bloody gas return plug (without using steel wool, naughty!). Hand-loading magazines - 20 rounds in 5-8 seconds, tops. Watching an M60 rip barrels to bits. All the other smells, filth and - let's face it - FUN of being in a Corps of Arms with a bunch of other idiots who didn't know any better (but who never, ever said stupid shit like 'Hoo-ah' - why are Yanks such fucking WANKERS, given that they are hopeless unless they arrive late when the rest of the world is pretty much exhausted?).

Seriously - don't get me started on the Yanks; any military who need to call themselves 'warriors' and fill their heads with that sort of shit, is always going to be second rate (which is why they need all that technology). They are the biggest source of blue on blue death in the world, too... because they are incompetent (as can be seen any time they are up against a fresh enemy with anything more advanced than pointed sticks). Plus there's that whole 'spreading freedom through atomic incineration of children' schtick that I can't just can't get my head around.

Never mind. Let's just say that there's nothing like military discipline for keeping a handsome young idiot in line for a while, but then you wind up with a sociopath on the loose, and often someone has to spend a lifetime trying to unfuck themselves.

I'm getting off the point here a tad.

That said, I am now convinced that we are days or weeks from a nuclear exchange... in which case real estate is going to be much more affordable.