Sunday, August 17, 2008

Russia Losing the PR War?

The Foreign Policy Association's Russia blog has a post called The CNN Effect: A Tale of Two Wars. This is a great review of media coverage of the Russian-Georgian conflict which suggests Georgia won the PR war while taking the inevitable loss on the ground. Is it possible the Russians have lost their ability to sway the useful idiots in the US media??

What is troubling is the US media’s willingness to similarly tow the party line, but in the absence of any of the coercive measures, such as the state censorship, that the Russian press endures. There have been no William Dunbars on CNN, despite the fact that every report I’ve seen on the channel yesterday had been framed as “Russian invasion”, with endless clips of Saakashvili alleging Russian crimes etc, in a loop of totally pro-Georgian coverage. Georgia is a key US ally, the 3rd largest troop contingent in Iraq, and occupies a strategic, oil rich zone. The self-policing in the US media, which has basically been uncritically promoting government talking points, is very disturbing.

To the uninformed viewer, it was Russia, not Georgia, which used the cover of the Olympic games to invade; in reality, they both did.

The blog Classical Values is calling Georgia the victor based on the cease-fire agreements. A very detailed review of the latest developments.

I can't find a link now, but at the start of the conflict Russians were asking the Georgian President to step down and that he be tried for war crimes. That is not going to happen.

UPDATE 8.18: Let's see if this gains momentum...