Thursday, August 14, 2008

What We Have Here, is a Failure to Communicate

So, it may be a little annoying to have to divert your attention from the cheerleaders, the lip-synched performances and fuzzy mascots of the Beijing Olympics. It would be so much more convenient if world events took a pause and a traditional, Olympic ceasefire were actually plausible. Apparently, many still haven't caught on to the fact that there's a "conflict" raging on, not in America, but in (or near) Russia. Jason highlighted (on Facebook) the fact that this can be a little confusing for some.

Here's a little (horrible) map I drew to try to "get" the geography of it all:

I'm not an expert, but I'm skeptical of our media considering that it hardly explains how this "conflict" started, just that the US condemns Russia and that we should support Georgia, even if that means supporting their attacks against Ossetia, a part of Russia, who, as far as I can tell, doesn't want to separate.

Of course, there are opponents on either side, arguing that Georgia is liberating Ossetia, that Russia is full of propaganda or that the Georgian attack originated via US pressure. It seems pretty sketchy that there are reports of Auswitz-like round-ups of residents, reports of 1000-2000 Ossetian residents being killed etc. Perhaps the US might be eyeing their oil and hoping for a reason to get soldiers on the ground?

I appreciate the following comment from John Doe in response to Mary Whitt and Free Market and the Globe and Mail article Russia: Forget Georgian territorial integrity

It helps me to "get" the situation a little better by relating it to the Quebec referendum that occured in the nineties. It also highlights important differences as well. (Sorry about it being a quote of a quote of a quote):

john doe from toronto, Canada writes:

Free Markets from Canada writes:
"Georgia if it were a freedom loving country, it would let Ossetia and Abkhazia have their own independence? Just like Canada let Quebec have their independence? Right...."

Free Markets, you're obviously not Canadian, you're American. You're talking through your hat: Quebec has not even had a successful referendum in favour of separation, despite two

Martyn Whitt from toronto, Canada writes: "John Doe your analogy is wrong Kuwait was an indepedent nation, Ossetia has never been. Here's a slightly closer hypothetical analogy for you; the 6 Nations near Brantford don't let Canadians in to a section of territory for 16 years after being sponsored by and given U.S. passports."

Why don't we stick to the Quebec analogy? Picture this:

Quebec separates, but anglophones and francophones in the eastern townships and Ottawa valley decide, by a strong majority, to separate from Quebec. Quebec invades, Canada sends in troops massed at border.

Remember that Georgia was a part of the Soviet Union until just a few years ago.

Thoughts on this?


Blogger Devil Mood said...

I am completely freaked at tgat facebook thing. I think I'm going to throw up at the ignorance. I just abhor ignorance. Can that woman even write?

That Quebec analogy sounds reasonable, except Quebec and Canada were never at war, nor do they have a 'rival' called US. I think that added factor of tension must be equated too because a lot of Russia's actions are influenced by that fact. I mean, whatever they do, a woman called Condolezza shows up and comments ;)

Anyway, there's a ceasefire and let's hope things turn out for the best.

12:02 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your map is the best piece of art that I have seen today, bar none.

5:47 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

devil mood-I was freaked out but more amused. There will always be some people who have no clue what is going on in the rest of the world. They are here to help the rest of us laugh.

captain bee-Thanks, bee. Maybe I should enroll to be a cartographer. Did you like how I actually made the black sea black?

2:29 p.m.  

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