Lessons from the war in Georgia

By Herbert Bix, Asia Times 

President Mikheil Saakashvili made it easier for them to cover the war by hiring Aspect Consulting, a European public relations firm that sent in a top executive to disseminate daily, sometimes hourly, falsehoods about rampaging Russians attacking Georgian civilians.

American journalists fostered Russophobic sentiment by disseminating completely one-sided war news, demonizing Russia as the evil aggressor, and championing “democratic”, peace-loving Georgia. The American business magazine Fortune decried the bear’s “brutishness” and its threat to an interdependent world; Forbes labeled Russia “a gangster state” ruled by a “kleptocracy”.

TV newscasters likened the Russian Federation to Nazi Germany at the time of the 1938 Munich crisis. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice even asserted an American moral right to lecture Russia on how a “civilized country” should behave in the 21st century. All of which led Russia’s former president Putin to comment sarcastically, “I was surprised by the power of the Western propaganda machine … I congratulate all who were involved in it. This was a wonderful job. But the result was bad and will always be bad because this was a dishonest and immoral work.”  …full article

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