The New York Times, BBC and numerous other news outlets reported last week that the Bush White House knew — and kept from the American people — that it was indeed Georgia’s U.S.-trained forces that started the war in the Caucus region last summer. They did so by slaughtering civilians in the capital of South Ossetia before a single Russian soldier crossed the border into that region.
We published reliable accounts from numerous sources that were already saying this three months ago. (While our main purpose here is not to brag about this point, it crosses our mind that this is just one more reason we hope our readers will consider supporting our current fund drive to the best of their ability.)
Message to the mass media: With war and peace in the balance, “better late than never” in reporting the facts just won’t cut it. We say: “Better never late” in reporting the real story. In a world where powerful nations remain armed to the teeth with stockpiles of nuclear weapons, we cannot afford to let unrepentant cold warriors, harboring no regard for the truth, trigger a dangerous hot war that could destroy the world.
Fortunately, the election of Barack Obama gives us new hope. He has said he is committed to reducing the world’s nuclear armament stockpiles. John McCain, whose top foreign policy adviser was a paid lobbyist for Georgia, was, true to his history as a hawk, all too eager to confront the Russians.
The Bush-McCain reaction to the events in Georgia was just one more disaster in their long list of foreign policy disasters. Their approach led to increased estrangement from the one nation whose cooperation we cannot do without if we are ever to control the spread of nuclear weapons. Russia possesses nearly half of the world’s nuclear arsenal.
A common front by the United States and Russia is crucial to turning the world toward nuclear disarmament. Yet even before the Georgia provocation, the ultra-right instead insisted on placing missiles in countries that line Russia’s border.
The sea change in American politics Nov. 4 will, hopefully, enable the building of relations of cooperation and respect between Russia and the United States and open the way for worldwide nuclear disarmament.