I find it amazing that, in the age of the Internet and the camera phone, when a nuclear superpower goes to war with its neighbour, all we see in the Western media are two destroyed apartment buildings. The pictures, shot by a Reuters photographer in the Georgian town of Gori, are dramatic enough, but once you realise they’re all from the same spot, you start to wonder how representative this small slice of mayhem really is. Either the press corps in Georgia is hopelessly undermanned, or there simply isn’t anyone in South Ossetia with a camera to portray the reported devastation.
As the name of this blog might suggest, I’m the last person you should ask about what’s going on, and with a six-week-old baby at home, I won’t be covering this conflict. But in case you happen to be a fellow ignoramus, here are a couple of links to click:
- In The New York Times, James Traub gives an excellent overview of Georgia’s troubles. “The border between Georgia and Russia”, he writes, “has been the driest of tinder; the only question was where the fire would start.”
- The International Crisis Group, for its part, warned in a report in June: “Concerned by NATO’s plans for further extension to former Soviet republics and Kosovo’s unilateral but Westernorchestrated independence, Russia has stepped up manipulation of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts. Georgia remains determined to restore its territorial integrity, and hawks in Tbilisi are seriously considering a military option.”