The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What Counts as ‘Russian Disinformation’?

Posted on | March 22, 2022 | Comments Off on What Counts as ‘Russian Disinformation’?

Everybody’s having a laugh at the New York Times which, attempting to smear conservatives as purveyors of “Russian disinformation,” prompted Candace Owens to point to how often the Times (and other liberal outlets) have reported on the same facts that are now called “disinformation.” (Hat-tip: Instapundit.) Just the other day, for example, I noticed that it is now considered “Russian disinformation” to mention that Ukraine has a neo-Nazi problem.

Neo-Nazis and the Far Right
Are On the March in Ukraine

The Nation, Feb. 22, 2019

The author of that article, Lev Golinkin, is a Ukranian-born Jew, and The Nation is a left-wing journal that is certainly not pro-Putin, so why are we now required to ignore this information?

[In 2012] Ukraine’s Maidan uprising ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, to the cheers and support of the West. Politicians and analysts in the United States and Europe not only celebrated the uprising as a triumph of democracy, but denied reports of Maidan’s ultranationalism, smearing those who warned about the dark side of the uprising as Moscow puppets and useful idiots. Freedom was on the march in Ukraine. . . .
Post-Maidan Ukraine is the world’s only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces. The Azov Battalion was initially formed out of the neo-Nazi gang Patriot of Ukraine. Andriy Biletsky, the gang’s leader who became Azov’s commander, once wrote that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade…against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” Biletsky is now a deputy in Ukraine’s parliament.
In the fall of 2014, Azov—which is accused of human-rights abuses, including torture, by Human Rights Watch and the United Nations — was incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard.
While the group officially denies any neo-Nazi connections, Azov’s nature has been confirmed by multiple Western outlets: The New York Times called the battalion “openly neo-Nazi,” while USA TodayThe Daily Beast, The Telegraph, and Haaretz documented group members’ proclivity for swastikas, salutes, and other Nazi symbols, and individual fighters have also acknowledged being neo-Nazis.

Far be it from me to draw conclusions about political events on the other side of the world on the basis of stuff I read on the Internet. Maybe this “ultranationalism” in Ukraine is misunderstood, and maybe negative reports about the Azov Battalion and other alleged neo-Nazis in Ukraine really are “Russian disinformation.” The point is, we don’t know, and maybe it doesn’t matter — like, if you’re fighting off a foreign invasion, do we need to impose a litmus test on who’s doing the fighting?

Is Ukraine corrupt? According to the New York Times‘ own reporting from 2018, the answer is, “yes.” Is Ukraine more corrupt than Russia? Probably not, and I don’t think Ukraine is more “ultranationalist” than Russia, either. So why is the New York Times now attacking Candace Owens and others for talking smack about Ukraine? In a word, politics.

Democrats seem to have the idea that smearing Republicans as Putin stooges — traitors! enemy agents! — is the way they’re going to avert a bloodbath in the midterm elections. And the New York Times is doing what it always does, producing Democratic Party propaganda.



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