Those hoping to tell the truth about Ukraine have made real headway, but the propagandists are still trying to drum up a new Cold War.
Too many people have noticed that "our" side in Kiev -- that is, the anti-Russian forces who benefited from our little coup -- are die-hard admirers of Stepan Bandera, Hitler's wartime ally in Ukraine. Thus, National Public Radio
decided to muddy the waters of history. They used a familiar tactic: "Some people say this
; some people say that
. Gosh, we may never know the truth."
Howard Rodman -- a friend to this blog and the Vice President of the Writer's Guild of America -- begs to offer a few words of response to NPR. The words below the asterisks are all his:
* * *
The Ukranian nationalist Stepan Bandera was a Nazi. He was responsible for the deaths of nearly 70,000 Poles, mostly women and children, in 1943. His party declared, "Moskali, Poles, and Jews that are hostile to us must be exterminated in this struggle, especially those who would resist our regime: deport them to their own lands, importantly: destroy their intelligentsia that may be in the positions of power..."
In short: Bandera was a genocidal mass murderer. But here's the rub: the Ukrainian parties that Victoria Nuland and the U.S. State Department support, notably Svoboda and the Right Sektor, worship Bandera. Their thugs chant his name. The Right Sektor street gangs that burnt pro-Russian demonstrators to death carried placards with Bandera's photograph.
What to do, what to do...
...NPR to the rescue!
In a piece on Bandera, entitled "Hero or Villain?" NPR's Ari Shapiro throws up his hands. Who knows? Breath mint or candy mint? Maybe he's both!
Imagine a "balanced" NPR piece on Eichmann headlined "Patriot or Butcher?" and you'll get some sense of the blasphemy of what our public radio is doing here (in service of American foreign policy). Ari Shapiro's piece sours the stomach, even as it curdles the blood. Listen, if you can. Listen wisely.
* * *
I'd like to take this opportunity to mention another journalistic horror that should have received mention some days ago. On May 15, the NYT published a defense of ending net neutrality
by Larry Downes of the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. Check it out:
The misinformation that periodically derails this 10-year-old debate belies the not-so-hidden agenda of those who would prefer transforming Internet access, to use their words, into a “public utility.”Oh, the terrors of public utilities!
Some want the Internet to become a 'public utility' to guarantee neutrality. But there's a reason why our public infrastructure is crumbling.
Under public utility law, federal and state regulators take over many of the business functions of providers of essential services, setting prices, approving service changes of all kinds, establishing standards and ensuring equal access to all competitors. If that sounds like the silver bullet for whatever problems may pop up to hinder future Internet innovation, ask yourself how well public utility oversight is working where it’s already established. Throughout the United States, roads and bridges are collapsing, power and water systems have deteriorated through poor maintenance, and gas pipes keep exploding.
One word: Enron
Remember what happened in 2000 and 2001, when most of California privatized electricity? Rates skyrocketed and brownouts hit much of the state -- except for Los Angeles, which maintained the traditional system. Remember "megawatt laundering" and other schemes for bilking the consumer?
Remember how those who told the truth about this scheme were derided as tin foil hatters? And then came those clandestine recordings of the Enroners gloating about their deeds...
Public utilities are, as the name implies, accountable to the public. Most of us have no major complaints about how water gets to the faucet -- and if we do have a complaint, we know how to make our voices heard. What would happen if we let private enterprise take full control of such things? Let's not kid ourselves: You know
what would happen.
Capitalism works fine, but only where truly robust competition exists. That principle used to be taught in high schools. Nowadays, it seems heretical.
As for bridges and roads: Most Democrats would love to spend more money on those items. Republicans and libertarians won't allow it. The tactic is familiar: The right-wingers won't let government do what it should, and then they say: "See? Government can't do the job!"