After its coverage of Nandigram and Tibet (note: those links are to my previous blog posts on the subject, and perhaps not very edifying), The Hindu is at it again. While most of the world press, that I have seen, is castigating the imperialist aggression of Russia (still believed to be led, despite his having stepped down, by Vladimir Putin) against small, harmless, democratic Georgia, The Hindu headlined its Sunday edition (which I saw, since we still buy the paper on Sundays) “Russian forces stop Georgian offensive against South Ossetia”, and lest any doubt on its stance remain, published a stinging editorial on Georgia’s “adventurism” today.
But this time I think the Hindu may have a point: if they are not actually themselves balanced, they may at least be balancing out the rest of the media.
Even the most pro-Georgia articles do agree that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are separatist with a pro-Russian population. They also agree that Georgia was the initial aggressor in sending in troops into South Ossetia. If separatism supported by the population is good in Chechnya, Tibet, and (for much of the western media, until recently) Kashmir, why is it bad in Georgia?
I am nowhere near sufficiently informed to draw a conclusion. But here are two relatively balanced-sounding Western articles (not surprisingly, both are from The Guardian): James Poulos and Mark Almond.
(PS: a nugget for those who were pained at my title. The former Russian president’s name is spelled “Poutine” by the French, which is closer by French phonetic rules to the actual pronunciation; as it happens, “poutine” is a harmless Quebecois snack but “Putin”, if pronounced phonetically in French, sounds like a rather impolite word. So I wonder what sort of headlines the pun-happy French have concocted on this occasion.)