12 August 2008
Georgia mounts last ditch propaganda offensive
Georgia appears to be mounting a last ditch propaganda offensive in the hope that western countries will be duped by it into coming to her aid. The Georgians are claiming that over half their territory has been occupied by the Russians, with the cities of Senaki and Gori occupied by the Russians.
Reports in both the Guardian and the New York Times from reporters within Georgia seem to back up this version of events, so why is your friendly Exile claiming that nothing of the sort has happened?
That Russian troops attacked Senaki is something that this blog reported on earlier. However, it was not part of a major invasion of Georgia, rather it was a raid to destroy the country's major air base. Once that objective was achieved the Russians claim that they evacuated the area. The BBC has reported the Russian version of events without comment, which suggests to me that it is far closer to the truth than anything coming out of Tblisi.
In the case of Gori, nothing has happened since we reported its abandonment by Georgian forces this afternoon that changes the conclusion that we reached then. The Georgians abandoned the city in panic but were never driven out of it by the Russians.
The hacks who are taking the Georgian version of events to heart are based in Tblisi, the Georgian capital, and are actually nowhere near the fighting zones. What they are getting are Georgian information handouts which make these claims, and then allowing group think to do the rest. Most people want consensus and that quite natural desire for consensus can very easily be reached by a small group of hacks who have allowed the wool to be pulled over their eyes by Georgian press officers.
The Russian version of events has been by and large proven to be correct ever since the conflict began on Friday. The Georgians for their part have consistently lied through their teeth about almost everything. Let's not start believing their tales now, because it looks to this writer as if they are trying to push public opinion into demanding that western armies go to their aid.