Monday, June 22, 2015

In Wake of Emanuel AME Massacre Gray Lady Silent on Ukraine's Love of Dixie Battle Flag

On the Gray Lady's Opinion page today there is an interesting juxtaposition. On the left hand there is the lede unsigned editorial, "The Fantasy Mr. Putin Is Selling," which is a recapitulation of the main USG talking points regarding Russia and Ukraine (Putin's aggression; Western sanctions will cripple Russia); while on the right hand is a Morris Dees and J. Richard Cohen Op-Ed column, "White Supremacists Without Borders," about the global popularity of neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, neo-Confederate ideology that motivated mass murderer Dylann Roof.

What goes unmentioned in both is that the Ukrainian government that the United States stalwartly backs is rife with neo-Nazis, and that following the coup of president Viktor Yanukovych in February of last year the battle flag of the Confederacy was displayed in Kiev's city hall.

If you Google "Ukrainian Confederate Flag" stories pop up about the pro-Russian rebels' use of a standard that bares a resemblance to the Army of Northern Virginia. All the stories appear to trace back to a single report, "Ukrainian Rebels Channel U.S. Confederates," published last year at this time in the pro-Western, English-language, tiny-circulation Moscow Times. This was picked up by Slate which ran a story with images of the Novorrosiyan flag flying in Donetsk and the Dixie battle flag flying in front of the statehouse in South Carolina.

The Moscow Times story is obviously part of a counterintelligence campaign. No one questions that the putschists openly paraded the Confederate flag -- not a flag that bears a resemblance to a Confederate army standard -- in Kiev, and that the Confederate flag, as Dees and Cohen make clear in today's column, is part of the paraphernalia and iconography of white supremacy.

Since it is fruitless to ask that The New York Times balance its demonization of Putin and its Russophobia with a condemnation of the Ukrainian use of Nazi and Confederate symbols, we should take the time to note the "newspaper of record" supports white supremacy abroad at the same time it pleads for tolerance and an end to race hatred at home.

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