The New Observer Uncategorized The Media and the Empire

The Media and the Empire

This is part of my series on how the media is covering the events in Georgia – in relation to the proposed law about transparency for media organisations and NGOs. The EU, UK and US are all telling the Georgian government what to do – and talking about the “peaceful protestors” in a way horribly and eerily reminiscent of the way they acted during the Maidan insurrection. (In passing; we note that ‘insurrections’ are fine when they lead to a US aligned regime coming to power).

These are a few extracts from an article in the Guardian by the paper’s Chief Reporter, not some rookie:

The fresh scenes of violence on Monday morning came as hundreds of masked officers charged down demonstrators who had been attempting to block off access to the parliament in the capital, Tbilisi.

Actually this one is interesting as it appears to be an admission that the protestors were trying to block the normal operation of parliament. When this happens in the US it is called an insurrection and people are thrown into jail for years. The UK has recently passed strong anti-protest laws which limit the ability of protestors to hamper the normal operation of life, let alone parliament. Yet, when this happens in Georgia, and the rioters are pro the EU and NATO, all is fine. They are peaceful protestors who should get their way. Strange.

The protest on Monday morning had been largely peaceful but there were outbreaks of violence when the riot police surged forward to isolate individuals, leading to plastic bottles being thrown at officers

[Update: 16-5-24 . This is a Channel 4 report from 15-4-24. To their credit Channel 4 clarified at the start of their report that the new law is being passed by an elected government. They also showed demonstrators trying to break into parliament. That is not “peaceful”. Unfortunately the Channel 4 report then descends into the usual nonsense. For example the anchor in the UK asks their local Georgian reporter: “why, when the US, the EU and the United Kingdom are all voicing their concern about this is the Georgian government which understands that ‘the people’ want to join the European Union going ahead with this”. Said in a whiny sort of voice. Again, “the people”; some of the people. Not ‘the people’. The Channel 4 report mentions a figure of 80% of Georgians supporting EU membership. Even if that is correct it doesn’t matter. There is an elected government; there are new elections scheduled for October. Since when was a law to be decided by mobs storming a parliament in between elections?]

Well, yes. And the miners at Orgreave charged the police first. (This is a notorious case when BBC editing made it look like miners had attacked police during a confrontation in the 1984 miners strike when in fact the police had initiated the confrontation). [1]

Opponents of the bill, including the US state department, claim it is inspired by Russian legislation passed in 2012, which they say has been used to persecute critics of the Kremlin. The EU has warned that passing the legislation will damage Georgia’s chances of joining the bloc.

I love this; “opponents of the bill, including the US state department”. I am pretty sure that if the Kremlin started issuing statements condemning the UK parliament for its handling of any particular issue, let alone praising rioters trying to block parliament, the chorus of condemnation this “interference” and “meddling” would be thunderous. I love the way that for the Guardian’s Chief Reporter, the State Department is just another “opponent of the bill”. From any point of view which still believes in the sovereignty of nations (which is the position of the United Nations for example), what is happening in Georgia has nothing to do with the US, at all. Zero. What we see here is that this journalist at least understands the world as an Empire. The US’s will and law extends everywhere, certainly over Georgia. Much of the Western media has a similar understanding. They completely accept and don’t even think it strange that the US arrogates to itself the right to determine the destiny of other sovereign nations. The media, far from being “free” is an official part of the Empire.