Dark Humor: Western Media Makes Light of Political Repression in Ukraine

November 2, 2015 at 5:51 PM

ukraine-Odessa-massacreRight-Sektor-thug-odessa-fire

Political repression and violence are allegedly incompatible with Western liberal democratic values. Respect for human rights, freedom of expression, and protection of the rights of minorities are all purportedly the hallmarks of “free societies,” the goals toward which all nations should be striving. And yet, such standards of freedom and democracy are only selectively applied, and only when beneficial to the Western (US-UK-EU-NATO) agenda.

Western media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are quick to highlight abuses, both real and imagined, in countries where it is politically useful to do so, such as in North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and China. However, when it comes to the US-EU project in Ukraine, magically the liberal democratic values and human rights are no longer of central importance. Indeed, were one to read the Western media coverage of Ukraine, not only is political repression and violence not concerning, it’s downright funny.

The Real Story

An article published in the exalted liberal pages of Britain’s The Guardian ran with the headline The force awakens (in Ukraine): Darth Vader statue replaces Lenin monument (23 October 2015). The story highlighted the transformation of a statue of Lenin in the city of Odessa, into the Star Wars villain Darth Vader by Ukrainian artist Alexander Milov. The lighthearted tone of the piece, with tongue-in-cheek references to “the Force” (a Star Wars plot point) of the WiFi being radiated from the statue’s head belies the seriousness of the issue – the intimidation and violent repression of political forces in the ‘New Ukraine’ – which the author conveniently downplays.

The story makes only passing mention of the “decommunization laws” – conspicuously referenced in parentheses with a hyperlink, as if they were an afterthought – under which this statue has now legally been defaced and destroyed. In fact, the “controversial decommunization laws” were not merely an attempt to erase the symbols of Soviet history, but part of a broader process of political repression that has included violence, kidnappings, and death. In fact, the appropriation of the Lenin statue is merely an outgrowth of the repeated attacks upon the Communist Party and its grassroots organizers all throughout Ukraine, as the pro-fascist government and police systematically attacked, and ultimately dissolved the entire Party which had been traditionally one of the most popular in the country.

In a grossly dishonest bit of writing, the author of the article noted that, “Darth Lenin is in a factory in the Black Sea port city, which has been the location of clashes between separatist and pro-Ukraine forces, and recently saw pro-western former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili installed as governor of the region.” Note the twin distortions embedded in the excerpt.

Continue reading the article here

 

Portuguese Dictatorship, Left and Right in Anti-Democratic Europe, and the War in Syria

October 26, 2015 at 10:42 AM


Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on CPR Sunday (October 25, 2015) with security analyst Mark Sleboda and journalist/broadcaster Don DeBar. Eric, Mark and Don discuss the election results in Portugal and the anti-democratic actions of the Portuguese president who has refused to recognize the results. They also discuss the rise of the far left and new right in Europe, and what this means for European politics and organizing. The conversation also touches on the latest developments in the war in Syria, and other regional issues. All this and much more in this hour-long weekly conversation.

On Elections, Political Repression, and Anti-Colonial Resistance in Haiti: An Interview with Dady Chery

October 24, 2015 at 12:26 AM

Demonstrators carry defaced portraits of Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe during an anti-government protest in Port-au-Prince December 5, 2014. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to demand the resignation of President Michel Martelly Lamothe as a political crisis boils over in Haiti in the wake of the failure to hold scheduled elections. REUTERS/Marie Arago (HAITI - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org interviews Dady Chery, Co-Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and author of the new book We Have Dared to Be Free: Haiti’s Struggle Against Occupation.  Eric and Dady discuss the upcoming elections scheduled for October 25, 2015 and the political and social context within which they must be examined, including the role of the US and UN as neocolonial occupiers.  The discussion outlines the role of Bill and Hillary Clinton and how the election is relevant to Hillary’s presidential bid, as well as the important political developments in Haiti involving both the current government and likely future government.  Eric and Dady also probe the reality of political repression in Haiti, while also discussing the growing resistance, both peaceful and armed, to the ongoing occupation.  All this and much much more in this in depth conversation.

Obama, the NDAA, and the Politics of the US War Machine

October 23, 2015 at 2:59 PM


Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his commentary (October 23, 2015) on President Obama’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the political context within which this must be understood. Draitser argues that rather than seeing this as a move to limit military expenditures and boost social spending, it should be seen as Obama showing his unabashed support for militarism, refusal to close Guantanamo, and eliminating spending cuts on the military. Draitser says that Obama is simply framing his continued imperialism as being socially conscious, all the while funding terrorists in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine.

Russia in Syria, US Geopolitical Countermoves, and the Reality of the Deep State

October 19, 2015 at 10:43 AM


Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on CPR Sunday (October 18, 2015) with security analyst Mark Sleboda and journalist/broadcaster Don DeBar. Eric, Mark and Don discuss the war in Syria: shifting propaganda, US intentions, Russia’s moves, and the international significance of Moscow’s mission. They also examine how the US is responding to the changing situation in the Middle East and Central Asia, including Obama’s announcement that US troops will remain in Afghanistan. The conversation also touches on the nature of the deep state, what it actually looks like, and how it functions. All this and much more in this far-reaching conversation.