Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dark Heart Of Russia

August 21, 2008

The South Ossetian village of Mul burns following Russian assault (EPA)

When a nation sends its army, navy, and airforce to do battle in another country, never does it hold something so improper as a concert 13 days into the occupation. Whether its going well or not.

In fact, the only reason why you would go to the trouble of high security for the concert participants, the attendees, etc, and the diversion of troops to accomplish to make a big show for the residents, the nation, and the world. This is something you do when you know your hand has been overplayed, so you try to "flip the script", and accuse the accuser of provoking you in the first place. "You pushed me to it! You made me do it to you!" This is many times acted out during an alcohol-driven rage between husband and wife. The Russians are known for their drinking.

On this day, the Russians have announced a cease fire 7 times; every day continuing to blockade naval ports, burn villages, and kill civillians. How could they stop in the middle of this carnage, death, and Stalin-esque behavior to hold a symphony concert?
A statue of former Soviet Communist dictator Joseph Stalin is seen from a window shattered by bullets in Gori, Georgia. Russian forces were continuing their occupation of the city, despite a ceasefire document demanding their withdrawal (AP)

If you understand the macabre, you understand the Russian. There is a certain quality that allows leader after leader for hundreds of years to practice similar acts of madness, without a protest from their people. As if it is as much a cultural experience as any other peoples may have. (Or because no one dares utter a word, lest they be sent away.)

And cultural it was. From the conductor himself, Valery Gergiev, who is the conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and a South Ossetian. He was conducting in London one moment, then flying into Georgia the next to conduct this, "victory concert."
Valery Gergiev conducts in the ruins of Tskhinvali.

And to add more irony, the conductor continues the propaganda with his own design on how this entire war went down:

Gergiev arrived on stage with a group of children and said that he had come to Tskhinvali “to see with my own eyes the horrible destruction of the city”. He told the audience that Tskhinvali reminded him of pictures of Stalingrad, the city where Soviet troops began to turn back the invading Nazi army. He flatly blamed Georgia for the destruction and repeated earlier Russian claims that 2,000 people had died, which led the Kremlin to accuse Georgia of genocide. (source)

Apparently, from his estate in England, he missed the finer details on just how this thing went down:

A bloodied woman after the Russians bombed Gori, whch is not in either of the breakaway regions.

A Georgian woman is left in tears as her apartment burns after being hit by a Russian shell in Gori (Bela Szandelszky/AP)

As part of Russia's tough response to Georgia's action in South Ossetia, troops moved into Orjosani, between the Georgian capital Tbilisi and the strategic town of Gori (AP)
[Notice even AP categorizes Russia as "tough", while also careful to paint Georgia as the original aggressor. The AP is purposely misleading in this caption. Georgia is not the one who began this conflict. This feud between South Ossetia and it's parent nation, Georgia, has seen the two trade rounds on a regular basis for years now. And all of a sudden, Russia chooses a friday, the first day of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, to claim that they just can't stand by anymore and watch the harrassment of their precious expatriots. Because Russia cares about people.]

During the Russian operation following the start of fighting, the main railway link between eastern and western Georgia, near the town of Kaspi has been destroyed (Reuters)

The conductor should have talked to these folks before he started to warm up the woodwinds:

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