Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

In Charlottesville, Echoes from a distant land

News-Herald Guest View

August 18, 2018
By Dennis Lamb , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

America's outrage over alleged neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville a year ago on 12 August 2017 continues unabated, fed and encouraged by East Coast mainstream media (MSM).

Yet, what happened in Charlottesville was nothing compared to what happened in Kiev, Ukraine, four years ago during the winter of 2013-2014, until culminating in the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's government on February 23, 2014. There were similarities between the two events: In both Kiev and Charlottesville far-right groups carrying Nazi symbols and chanting Nazi slogans like "Blood and Soil" demanded recognition of and honor for their long dead heroes. But those who demonstrated in Charlottesville were pikers compared to those in Kiev in terms of numbers, violence - and U.S. government support.

On January 1, 2014, 15,000 West Ukrainian far-right extremists carrying torches and neo-Nazi symbols marched through the streets of Kiev demanding the restoration of recognition of Stepan Bandera as a Ukrainian national hero. They have since marched every January 1st on the anniversary of Stepan Bandera's birthday.

So who was Stepan Bandera?

Who he was depends on who you ask. If you ask people from Ukraine's western area, you may be told he was a highly respected great patriot who fought for an independent Ukrainian state during WWII.

If you ask Russians, Poles, Jews or people from Ukraine's eastern area, you may be told he was an ally of Nazi Germany during WWII whose 7,000-member Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) brutally murdered as many as 100,000 men, women and children in what was then the eastern Polish provinces of Galicia and Volhynia in an effort to ethnically cleanse the area and attach it to Ukraine.

So he may have been both, hero and villain. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and those were volatile times. Atrocity begot atrocity. A seemingly balanced view of these events and what led up to them can be read by Googling Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.

To believe MSM, the demonstrators in Kiev throwing Molotov cocktails at unarmed policemen on January 22, 2014, were heroic fighters for democracy against a corrupt despotic pro-Russia Ukrainian puppet president. There was little reporting identifying the leaders of the demonstrators to be members of Ukraine's main far-right parties Right Sector and Svoboda. However, given that Svoboda reportedly organized the 15,000 neo-Nazi march through Kiev on 1 January and after the coup far-rightists organized paramilitary armed battalions that used Nazi insignia to attack those in the east who remained loyal to the democratically elected Yanukovych, it's reasonable to assume they were in the forefront of the attacks on police and security forces during the rioting in Kiev that left ca. 100 people dead, including 13 policemen, and more than 1,100 injured.

Where the Charlottesville events differed from Kiev was that the actions of those in Kiev had international consequences that seemingly grow more serious every day with Russian meddling in US elections and US-Russian relations approaching the point of war.

One would have to ask the Charlottesville far-right demonstrators whether the positive MSM press coverage and success of the far-right groups in Ukraine three and a half years earlier played a role in their decision to organize a similar demonstration in Charlottesville. It seems likely, however, that many, if not most, of the Charlottesville far-rightists must have watched admiringly the ultranationalists in Kiev marching and singing spiritedly with torches, neo-Nazi banners and symbols, and were inspired to emulate their Ukrainian counterparts in demonstrating for preservation of their own historic heroes and values.

One doesn't have to ask the Russians if the actions of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis and their American neoconservative allies in Kiev influenced their decision to seize Crimea after the coup. Having lost an estimated 20 million people during WWII fighting Nazi Germany and its allies, there was no way they would/could stand by and passively allow an American supported (to the tone of 5 billion dollars since 1991) anti-Russian neo-Nazi movement to overthrow a friendly government on its borders, outlaw Russian as an official language, take over its naval base in Sevastopol near Russia and turn it over to NATO.

Indeed, one wonders what President Obama was thinking in authorizing Senator John McCain and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to travel to Kiev in December 2013 preceding the coup. There Nuland blabbed about Washington's regime change plans openly on the telephone for the Russians to record and publish and McCain gave a rousing speech to demonstrators on Kiev's Independence Square using verbiage that could have been borrowed from Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin's speech to his followers in 1917 encouraging them to seize the Winter Palace.

When McCain met with opposition leaders, one the head of Svoboda, Ukraine's largest neo-Nazi party, and told them he had warned Ukrainian president Yanukovych there would be sanctions if any violence took place, one could almost see a light bulb light up over the Svoboda leader's head.

It was clear meddling. In that the coup had American fingerprints all over it and appeared to follow the same script Washington followed in overthrowing Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953, the Russians almost certainly saw the coup, not only as a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, but aggression whose ultimate target was Russia. Indeed, on 6 February, 17 days before the coup, Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to Russian president Putin, protested Washington's "crudely interfering" in Ukraine's internal affairs.

Yet MSM are silent about the seemingly obvious connection between the events in Kiev and Charlottesville and the role their biased, self-censured reporting on the events in Kiev may have played in leading to the death of an American in Charlottesville and worsening Russian-American relations.

Dennis Lamb, from Chelsea, retired from the CIA in 2002 after serving 30 years in its Directorate of Operations as a case officer and intelligence analyst. The thoughts outlined above represent his personal views and not those of his former employer.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web