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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Is There Hope?


In the spirit of Easter 
by Justin Raimondo

This Easter day, 2014, is fraught with meaning, at least for me. This is a holiday of hope, and I’m wondering: is there any?

I have to admit, at times, that pessimism overcomes me. The way lies take hold, and persist, does not bode well for the triumph of truth. Take, for example, the recent story about a leaflet supposedly distributed by the "Peoples Republic of Donetsk," the breakaway region of eastern Ukraine that wants union with Russia. Handed out by mysterious individuals in black balaclavas standing in front of a synagogue, the leaflet instructed Jews that they had to register with the local authorities or face deportation and the seizure of their property: it bore what looked like the official stamp of the Republic and was purportedly signed by the Republic’s self-proclaimed chief executive. 

Such an obvious provocation was quickly denied by the Donetsk rebels, and just as quickly debunked by responsible journalists – but that didn’t matter. The story is still circulating all over the place: indeed, I’ve never seen a story spread quite so quickly. Even well after its dubiousness was clear, American and British "news" outlets ran with it, albeit appending comments by various locals as well as the Donetsk authorities describing it as a "provocation" meant to discredit the pro-Russian side.

The US government ran with the story: immediately after the Geneva talks produced a shaky Easter truce – which was soon broken – John Kerry gathered about him a veritable thundercloud of self-righteousness and denounced the leaflet. US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt declared it "the real deal" – except it wasn’t.

But that no longer mattered. The story had spread beyond the realm of truth and falsehood and ascended to sheer truthiness. It was part of the "narrative" being woven by Western governments and their media handmaidens, a word-cloud of epithets and vague associations that now hang over the Russians and their Ukrainian supporters – and, as it happens, a complete inversion of the facts on the ground.

For the real anti-Semitic presence in Ukraine is clearly in Kiev, not the east: there the outright fascist cadre of Right Sector and Svoboda, the two ultra-nationalist right-wing parties that provided the "muscle" for the Kievian insurrection, enjoy widespread support – and they aren’t shy about their origins as the spearhead of the neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine.

The Donetsk leaflet was clearly "black propaganda" – an incident staged by the Ukrainian coup leaders (or their Western backers) to impugn the pro-Russian rebels and muddy the waters when it comes to accusations of fascism leveled by many Western commentators at Kiev. Such concepts as "truth" and "falsehood" don’t enter into it: with the help of the Western media, the Russians-are-Nazis meme enters the public consciousness – a public that skims headlines without actually reading the story below.

Mission accomplished.

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