Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin used to be western world’s Uncle Joe and overall darling during the Second World War.
He would become a sworn enemy soon after the arms fell silent.
Volodymyr Oleksandrovich Zelensky is western world’s Ukrainian David who had risen against the Goliath of Russia in a conflict that may soon become the Third World War.
What will happen to his reputation if the unspeakable happens remains to be seen. That is, if anyone survives the Armageddon a.k.a. nuclear war.
Russia Today (known more by its abbreviation, RT) news service have tried to put together an analysis, combined with frequent looks back and comparisons, and the West’s views do not come out in shining glory.
To sum up: not all is gold that glitters, and the West’s propaganda machine seems unaware of this undeniable fact.
Yes, RT is a Russian news service, with ties to Russian establishment, including President Vladimir Putin’s government, but that still doesn’t mean their observations are to be ignored. Not only can they be correct. They also can (and often do) reflect their administration’s views.
Even if one claims to be Russia’s foe for ever and a day, it’s still good to know one’s foes’ views. When one prefers presenting balanced information instead of today’s propaganda, knowing both sides’ views becomes a must.
A couple of definitions
Who is Volodymyr Oleksandrovich Zelensky? A capable comedian and executive producer of his hugely popular television show, and an owner of his production house, who became politician and the wave of his entertainment industry made him Ukraine’s new President.
That should not count against him: America’s most effective and efficient President during the 20th century was a former actor, too. Ronald Reagan, anyone?
Who was Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin? A failed seminarian turned what would become known as a “professional revolutionary.” Outmanoeuvring all of the other successors to the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Iliych Lenin, Stalin would become his country’s undisputable and undisputed dictator. Eventually, he would end up with tens of millions of innocent lives as his victims, if not on his conscience: he had none.
To jot down the most recent similarity: just as Stalin used to go through his security services’ chiefs, having them executed for treason and other unspeakable crimes with amazing speed, so has Zelensky fired Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and the head of his country’s top security agency, Ivan Bakanov, citing allegedly rampant “treason” in both services.
He claimed that a large number of staffers at Kiev’s successor to the KGB, the SBU — which Bakanov headed since 2019 — were working for Russia. Almost seven hundred “criminal cases have been registered on high treason and collaboration activities of employees of the prosecutor’s office, pre-trial investigation bodies, and other law enforcement agencies,” Zelensky announced.
To make sure everybody gets his stern message, Zelensky warned of appropriate answers to any similar behaviour on the part of his law enforcement forces, whatever that was supposed to mean.
It has been well documented that America’s political establishment and media-entertainment complex have regularly reacted in similar situations by putting those they had been preferring on pedestals, while condemning their opposition.
What they have is a “goodies versus baddies” complex.
In this case, it didn’t matter that Zelensky banned opposition parties, shut down media outlets, silencing the critics of the regime.
In all fairness, Russia’s Putin hasn’t been handling his opposition using velvet gloves, either.
Except: on surface, Ukraine and Russia are at war, and, in wartime, basic rules, human rights and laws tend to be crushed.
The West’s attempts to silence those who beg to question their authorities’ (and media’s) denials of the right to second opinion would be strange if they weren’t irresistible proof that the real combatants are, actually, the U.S. and Russia.
The tactics the West has been using are strange, to say the least.
For example, some have been calling Ukraine’s President a “defiant hero.” Others would go so far as to claim he’s a “modern Churchill.” CNN went further, claiming Zelensky has out-Churchilled Churchill.
Those same media have been saying till then that Sir Winston Churchill was anathema. After all, to them, Churchill was “an imperialist rather than a pure believer in democracy.”
Zelensky had the main opposition party’s leader arrested. He had critical TV and online outlets banned. Nary a word of objection from the intrepid West’s leaders.
What’s up, Doc?
That same Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt had to turn 180 degrees after Adolf Hitler broke the non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. Till then, the Americans were primed to hate the “reds” and now, they were told to support their face. Many would view it as “fighting one mass murderer with the help of another.” A popular joke back then had it that the only difference between Stalin and Hitler was the size of their moustaches.
For a number of reasons, some more legitimate than others, the West took the Soviets’ side during the Second World War. American authorities opened the Office of War Information (OWI) and if this name reminds anyone of the newest information control efforts, they are on the correct path.
The OWI would cost U.S. taxpayers $11.3 billion ($190 billion in today’s money).
The media did their part: the Uncle Joe nickname first appeared on their pages. TIME magazine called Stalin its Man of the Year in 1943, an honour it had bestowed on Hitler just a few years earlier, in 1938.
The Man of the Year cover had been a TIME tradition since 1927. Charles Lindbergh became the first Man of the Year. The intrepid pilot admired Hitler and Nazi Germany.
The idiocy continued with Collier’s magazine claiming, in a cover story, too, that the Soviet Union was evolving “toward something resembling our own and Great Britain’s democracy.” That but a mere half-decade after the Great Purge, when Stalin wiped out somewhere in the region of a million people during an attempt to eliminate perceived political threats.
The New York Times chimed in: “Marxian thinking in Soviet Russia is out. The capitalist system, better described as the competitive system, is back.”
Considering the Gray Lady’s shady record of reporting on the Soviet Union, this should not have surprised anybody.
There were many o such examples. To Life magazine, Lenin was “a normal, well-balanced man who was dedicated to rescuing 140 million people from a brutal and incompetent tyranny.”
According to Life, “If Soviet leaders tell us anything, we can afford to take their word for it.”
Not much. The Pentagon insists that Ukrainian military efforts will become a source of in-depth study by future generations of the military.
That may very well happen. If there is any future: the West has been pushing the world into World War Three, and nuclear weapons tend to destroy everything they touch.
Meanwhile, the West has been describing Ukraine’s military as law-abiding citizens who wouldn’t harm a chicken, even if ordered to. The many Nazi elements, covered before February 24, 2022, have disappeared from the map. What made the Reuters change their song? In 2018, they reported that many volunteer militias in Ukraine use Nazi symbolism and recruit Hitler acolytes into their ranks.
It was only three years ago, in 2019, that about 40 U.S. senators signed a letter that demanded that some of those militias, including the infamous Azov Battalion, be designated as terrorist organizations.
Now? Zelensky is of Jewish origin, they argue, and that’s why he wouldn’t permit anything resembling Nazism even an iota.
Americans, with their warped sense of geography, hadn’t known that Ukraine ranked with amazing regularity as one of the poorest and most corrupt nations in Europe. Ukraine became a big news story during the 2014 U.S.-backed coup. Even then only one in six Americans were able to find the country on a map. The median guess was 1,800 miles off, a Washington Post survey found.
But why all this effort?
Elementary: the U.S. as a country, and its Administration as a family, have economic interests of their own to defend in Ukraine. That’s why they’re pouring billions of taxpayer money into the poor country. That the God-damned Russkies destroy most of U.S. military hardware upon arrival on Ukrainian soil is not an issue: let’s send them some more.
That’s why anyone who dares question the current U.S. (and NATO) policy can’t hope for better than a label of a Russian stooge or a traitor.
How about them stars?
Hollywood has always been a haven for illiterates who may look good on camera but whose knowledge of the real world is worse than shaky.
Their record in the campaign to sell Americans on Stalin and the Soviets is shocking. No wonder, many would appear on the released Soviet intelligence lists as “agents of influence.”
We’re watching the same now: U.S. film stars visiting Zelensky in Kyiv, telling him he’s their hero. U.S. film stars telling the U.S. Film Academy they’ll send their awards to smelters if Zelensky’s not invited to the next Oscar presentation night. (He couldn’t make it after all, but still, the show included celebrations of what it described was as heroism.)
Opera houses such as the Metropolitan in New York, literally firing today’s leading soprano (Anna Netrebko) in the midst of her contracted run because she’s Russian and wouldn’t publicly denounce her President.
It’s extended to sports, too: the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club banned Russian and Belarussian tennis stars from their annual Wimbledon Championship tournament.
Some in the North American National Hockey League (NHL, hockey world’s top league) are asking whether leading Russian stars should be allowed to return for next season, and whether their budding stars should be admitted in their Entry Draft.
One day they will regret it. If humanity still exists by then, and if they are at all capable of questioning themselves.
Judging by the latest developments, answers to both questions are getting too close to NO.