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Shepard Smith bounces Ossetian woman blaming Georgia for aggression

Reported by Chrish - August 17, 2008 -

Most of what we've seen on FOX regarding the Georgia-Russian conflict has indicated that Russia is the provocateur and Georgia, the shining democratic ally, has been the victim. There is dissent among scholars and FOXNews.com has an article that articulates both sides, in contrast to their television coverage.

Neil Cavuto is insinuating that "the Cold War is back,: the talking points are that John McCain is knowledgeable and capable of taking charge while Obama's calls for restraint and diplomacy are unacceptable,

The article on the website at least acknowledges that there is another perspective on the conflict but does nothing to determine the truth, presenting the two story lines as equal in value and letting people decide which they want to believe.

"Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili insists Russia's invasion of his country was in the works for "a long time," with Russian troops poised at his border long before the crisis exploded — an assertion drawing conflicting reaction from experts closely monitoring the region.

"Blaming the victim for the aggression (is not the right thing). We chose to resist,” Saakashvili told FOX News Friday. "This was clearly a very well thought-out, prepared plan.”

Ronald Suny, an expert on the region and a professor at the University of Michigan, disagrees, and points the finger at Saakashvili, saying he "absolutely started the crisis," by invading the breakaway region of South Ossetia in an attempt to draw American support into the Caucuses.

“I’m shocked. I watched him on several news conferences now," Suny said. "I’m stunned by the length he goes to create his own reality.

"You have to ask yourself, why did Saakashvili do this? What was he thinking?"

Gary Schmitt, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, disagrees. Schmitt, director of advanced strategic studies at the conservative economic and foreign-policy think tank, said blaming Georgia for Russia’s aggression is comparable to saying "a young girl gets raped in the street for wearing a miniskirt."

(Hmmm, where have we heard that scenario before?)

The push on FOX has been to portray Georgia as an innocent victim, a tiny country attacked by a brutal aggressor, and an ally who might need American support. This serves two purposes: as the occupation of Iraq winds down with the exiting of Bush the war industry needs a new food source, and by all appearances John McCain has been thoroughly prepped to appear masterful in this particular foreign affair - he's supposedly known Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili for 25 years, since the latter was a teenager.

So when Shepard Smith was confronted on Studio B with an inconvenient truth from an Ossetian resident who witnessed the conflict first-hand he had no choice but to give her the virtual hook. He's pretty slick but even he couldn't pull this one off. H/T reader Stephen M for the video: