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On the Ground in Gori
August 18, 2008 10:13 AM   Subscribe


 
(Oh, mind you, it looks like the photos the WSJ has posted are all from the recent conflict.)
posted by chunking express at 10:19 AM on August 18, 2008


Nice pictures, thanks.
posted by languagehat at 10:30 AM on August 18, 2008


These are Russian Combat photos from Georgia, from a Russian site. Be advised that some are of casualties and are *very* graphic and unpleasant (e.g., open wounds, corpses, &c.).

http://lsd-25.ru/2008/08/14/voyna-v-yuzhnoy-osetii-89-fotografiy-arkadiya-babchenko/
posted by wenestvedt at 10:55 AM on August 18, 2008


Oh, mind you, it looks like the photos the WSJ has posted are all from the recent conflict

Not much destruction is being shown. Those Red Army soldiers don't seem to be living up to their fearsome reputation.

Far worse pictures seem to be coming out of Iraq, under the benevolent American occupation, almost everyday.

One does not have to see too many photos to shudder at the thought of that backwater being a full-fledged member of NATO and drawing all of Europe into their petty disputes with the Russians.
posted by three blind mice at 11:00 AM on August 18, 2008


Not much destruction is being shown. Those Red Army soldiers don't seem to be living up to their fearsome reputation.

Western journalists are not being allowed access to many Russian-occupied areas.

Much more destruction at wenestvedt's link.
posted by enn at 11:05 AM on August 18, 2008


Not much destruction is being shown. Those Red Army soldiers don't seem to be living up to their fearsome reputation.

Far worse pictures seem to be coming out of Iraq, under the benevolent American occupation, almost everyday.


Jesus Christ. Get a grip.
posted by languagehat at 11:07 AM on August 18, 2008


(Though I should clarify that I don't read Russian and have no idea how much of that destruction is attributable to the Red Army, the Georgian Army, irregular forces, or anybody else.)
posted by enn at 11:11 AM on August 18, 2008


I'm not sure 18 photographs from a photo journalist at Magnum is going to give you a comprehensive view of the war. I linked to the photos because I liked them, that's all. I'm sure you can find more gruesome stuff without looking all to hard. (In fact, you can find such photos in this very thread.)
posted by chunking express at 11:13 AM on August 18, 2008


Not much destruction is being shown. Those Red Army soldiers don't seem to be living up to their fearsome reputation.

The U.S. Media don't really like to show what actually happens in war, for some reason.
posted by delmoi at 11:19 AM on August 18, 2008


Interestingly, while we're hearing about all kinds of bad stuff happening in the Georgian region where the Russians have advanced, the Russian media is full of tales of Horror from the time the Georgians attacked south Ossetia, which one person who's been there so far says is bogus.

Obviously there's no real way to know what's going on at the moment, but the last time the Georgians sent there army into South Ossetia there was at least some pillaging. We shouldn't pretend like these guys are angels or something.
posted by delmoi at 11:26 AM on August 18, 2008




We shouldn't pretend like these guys are angels or something.

Well, that's the amusing thing about the situation (if you have a sufficiently dark sense of humor): the Georgians did to the Ossetians exactly what the Russians are doing to the Georgians, but few people are willing to curse both sides, so Russophiles emphasize the Georgian atrocities and downplay Russia's, and Georgeophiles do the reverse. Meanwhile, villages are burning and lines of refugess are fleeing for miles in every direction. But we've got to have a side to root for, dammit!
posted by languagehat at 12:10 PM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ukraine Baits the Bear While Condi and Dubya Do Nothing

That article was a bit hysterical. Ukraine is a much larger and more important country then Georgia, and it don't have a disaffected, pro-Russia ethic minority the same way Georgia did. Instead, you have a mostly homogeneous nation where people closer to Russia are more pro-Russian and people closer to the west are more pro-west. Attacking Ukraine would be extremely counterproductive since Russia is fairly popular over there anyway.
posted by delmoi at 12:13 PM on August 18, 2008


Just to be clear: chunking, I wasn't looking for war pr0n, either -- instead I wanted to point out another source of images of this conflict. The page I linked to shows blood, yes, but also regular citizens reacting to the deaths and violence (and even a picture of a tank turret thrown into a house!).

Comments I have read elsewhere about that series of pictures (taken by Arkady Babchenko, a photo journalist who is a former Russian soldier) explain things like background to the graffiti on the tanks & AFVs.

Moot now, though: looks like they exceeded their bandwidth.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:13 PM on August 18, 2008


I was actually addressing three blind mice. The set of photos you posted is interesting as well, that was the point I was trying to make. (And the set is back up now, for the time being I guess.)
posted by chunking express at 12:27 PM on August 18, 2008


Jesus Christ. Get a grip.

What? WTF you talking about. He's right.

Our media is going on and on about this awful tragedy in Georgia and what monsters the Russians are and in these pictures we don't see it.... but we have seen much, much, worse for over FIVE god damned years in Iraq and the media don't issue the same sorts of implicit condemnations of OUR actions.

Again judging from these pictures in THIS thread. Not that there may not be war crimes and slaughter going on behalf of the Russians (and Georgians). But the fact is a comparison between the events, IE: both being superior INVADING forces (the Russians and the US) and; and between the two wars— is natural and relevant.
posted by tkchrist at 12:54 PM on August 18, 2008


What? WTF you talking about. He's right.

No, you're right: a comparison between the events is natural and relevant. That's not what he's saying. He's saying "Hey, the Russians are pussycats, they're not doin' nothin'—the U.S. is the bad evil villain." Which is the kind of childish nonsense that has kept the left marginalized for most of my lifetime.
posted by languagehat at 1:46 PM on August 18, 2008


That's not what he's saying.

I'm pretty sure it was.
posted by tkchrist at 2:01 PM on August 18, 2008


Which is the kind of childish nonsense that has kept the left marginalized for most of my lifetime.

BTW. If it was merely "childish nonsense" that kept political communities marginalized then the there would be no Christian Right or Neo-con movement in power, either. It's in ample supply there, too.

The power establishment has no desire to change it ways. And the left sells change. The right sells status quo.

The left is marginalized because it has 1/100 the power and money of the Right.
posted by tkchrist at 2:06 PM on August 18, 2008


Well, I'm just glad the Russians haven't reached Atlanta yet!!
posted by jeffburdges at 2:15 PM on August 18, 2008


The left is marginalized because it has 1/100 the power and money of the Right.

I wonder how you classify 'left' and 'right' here. Right now, the Obama campaign has a nearly 2/1 fund raising advantage over McCain. Now you could argue that Obama is actually a "centrist" I guess, but still.

We'll have to see what happens with Obama. Bill Clinton may personally be a liberal, but he never pushed a liberal agenda after his Universal Health care proposal failed. So this country hasn't had a real liberal president since Jimmy Carter.

So who knows, but there is a real possibility of left-wing attendance coming up, or we could end up with pathetic, centrist DLCism for the next few years.
posted by delmoi at 2:19 PM on August 18, 2008


tkchrist - you're wrong. please read his comment again. he's drawing a facile (because it doesn't recognise that a selection of photos is not necessarily representative) comparison (with the other half being nothing more than "seems" and "almost"s) - there's no meat in there at all.

the extent to which the left should compromise or not has nothing to do with whether or we need to tolerate crap like that. you can be committed, left, and intellectually sound. if your later comments are intended as a defense of 3bm then you are drawing a false dichotomy - that post is crap, no matter whether leftish opposition sells out or not.
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 2:55 PM on August 18, 2008


Campaign war chests do not necessarily reflect where the power rests. Corporate power is generally in alignment with the right. Though they will pay off whoever will serve. But ideologically "status quo" is what they want and it's what they get.

Besides parties are not all that fixedly aligned with individual principles in this country.

The anti-war left, to whom LH was alluding, is not marginalized solely becuase of childish antics but because the core message is "We are doing something terrible, something unpardonable and immoral, here."

And the establishment never wants to hear that no matter how it's presented. Tough I personally favor a more reasoned presentation I believe pointing out the soul crushing hypocrisy of our media and administration fretting like school girls over fucking Georgia's "Sovereignty" is god damned absurd in light of what we have done, and continue to do, in Iraq.
posted by tkchrist at 3:03 PM on August 18, 2008




tkchrist, I'm on your side, but you're so blinded by your rage at the Establishment that you're unable to see you're defending the indefensible. Try reading the comment I was responding to just for its own sake—not as a blow against the Man but as a statement of fact. If you can't see that not sure this is a good idea is right, I don't know what to tell you.
posted by languagehat at 3:15 PM on August 18, 2008




Fox News: 12 Year Old Girl Tells the Truth about Georgia

Man, that's great. You can see the Fox interviewer would love to reach through the screen and slap the girl around: "You little fool, that's what the Russians want you to say!"
posted by languagehat at 3:29 PM on August 18, 2008


I have rage at the Establishment? Not sure what kind of "rage" manifests as sullen depression punctuated by bouts of weeping and derisive drunken laughter quickly followed by the sober purchase of property outside of the national borders. But okay.

Can I then label your comments as representative of a malaise and apathy that have also blinded you? Oh... and you are attacking "the un-assailable?" Would that be fair?

No. I don't think so. Neither are your characterizations.

Anyway. His comment IS a statement of fact. In that we have far more objective evidence of a large variety and scope of atrocious crimes committed by the US in Iraq than we presently have of the Russians (or Georgians) in Georgia. These are facts.

And. Yes. Georgia being a member of NATO could have easily escalated this into a full fledged European wide war.
posted by tkchrist at 4:01 PM on August 18, 2008


tkchrist: Once again, I'm on your side. If you want to go to the wall for some idiot MeFi comment not even made by you, far be it from me to stop you. It was a stupid comment, but I understand why you have a hard time seeing that. But you might want to access a more varied set of news sources if you seriously think there's no evidence of war crimes committed in Ossetia and Georgia, however ill that fits with your desire to see the U.S. as the unique source of evil.
posted by languagehat at 5:27 PM on August 18, 2008


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