Bashing Real Democracy
by Stephen Lendman
Media scoundrels reacted as expected. They didn’t surprise. They march in lockstep with official Washington policy.
They bashed Sunday’s legitimate Donetsk and Lugansk referendums. They reflect real democracy.
They exposed America’s sham process. Perhaps they’ll inspire people everywhere to follow their courageous example.
Not according to The New York Times. It twists important truths daily. It does so irresponsibly. On May 11, it headlined “Ukraine Vote on Separation Held in Chaos,” saying:
“Separatists in two provinces of eastern Ukraine conducted chaotic and sometimes violent plebiscites on Sunday that offered voters just one question about self-rule, while raising many more about where events in the region were headed.”
“Opponents appeared to be staying away from the polls, as many had said they would.”
“The ballot papers that could be seen in transparent ballot boxes in two cities, Donetsk and Slovyansk, were almost all marked yes.”
“But the voting took place in such a raw state of lawlessness that no one other than the organizers and perhaps their Russian patrons seemed likely to accept the results as a democratic expression of the voters will.”
“The interim central government and many leaders in the West have said that the separatists in eastern Ukraine were proxies for the Russian intelligence services, and were trying to destabilize the country after mass protests drove Ukraine’s former pro-Russian leader from power.”
“Referendums offered no reliable gauge of (popular) support.”
“Despite their slapdash nature, the referendums in the east risked escalating the smoldering conflict in Ukraine by entrenching the political wings of pro-Russian militant groups, giving them a chance to claim at least the semblance of a popular mandate, while facing the authorities in Kiev with the awkward problem of appearing to defy voters.”
Coup-appointed presidential chief of staff Sergiy Pashinskiy was quoted, saying:
“The so-called referendum in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions is an attempt by the terrorists to cover up their crimes.”
“In fact, there is no referendum taking place.” Voting went on only in about one-third of the region, he claimed. Organizers will be prosecuted, he added.
Fact: Times managed news misinformation rubbish substitutes for accurate reporting.
Fact: It does so systematically.
Fact: It does willfully.
Fact: It does daily.
Fact: Eastern Ukrainians aren’t separatists.
Fact: They’re not terrorists.
Fact: They’re not militants.
Fact: They’re factory workers, miners, farmers, shopkeepers, and store clerks.
Fact: They’re freedom fighters.
Fact: They’re Ukraine’s best and bravest.
Fact: Like-minded residents support them.
Fact: They include ordinary people of all stripes, doctors, lawyers, academics, accountants, other professionals, students, mothers, grandparents, and religious figures.
Fact: They share one common trait.
Fact: They’re democrats.
Fact: They support the real thing.
Fact: They reject illegitimate Kiev putschists.
Fact: Everyone everywhere should.
Fact: Voting was well organized.
Fact: It wasn’t “slapdash.”
Fact: So-called “chaos” was state-sponsored.
Fact: Donetsk and Lugansk regions are virtual war zones.
Fact: Residents risked life and limb to vote.
Fact: Turnout was huge.
Fact: It was unprecedented.
Fact: Nearly 80% of eligible voters overall.
Fact: They left no doubt where they stand.
Fact: Near unanimity chose democracy.
Fact: So-called “opponents” were near non-existent.
Fact: So-called “raw state of lawlessness” was state-sponsored.
Fact: So-called “Russian patrons” don’t exist.
Fact: Voters acted on their own volition.
Fact: They’re “proxies” for no one.
Fact: They want real democracy.
Fact: They want the real thing.
Fact: They want peace, law and order.
Fact: They want stability nationwide.
Fact: They deplore fascism.
Fact: They reject what no one should tolerate.
Fact: Referendum results showed clear popular self-rule sentiment.
Fact: Voters inspired other Ukrainians to follow their example.
Fact: They inspired people everywhere to do so.
Fact: They exposed Kiev’s dark side.
Fact: State-sponsored terrorism reflects it.
Fact: Fascist regimes operate this way.
Don’t expect Times correspondents, commentators or editors to explain. They support wealth, power and privilege exclusively.
They deplore social justice. They oppose real democracy. They’re on the wrong side of history. They disgracefully back wrong over right.
On May 12, The Times headlined “Kiev Condemns Separatist Vote as Russia Offers Tepid Support,” saying:
“Ukraine’s interim president, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, on Monday dismissed weekend referendums in the country’s restive east, calling them ‘a farce’ with no legal basis…”
He accused Moscow of trying to overthrow Kiev’s government. He bashed Kremlin officials irresponsibly.
He said they aim to disrupt May 25’s election. It reflects stage-managed illegitimacy writ large.
Claiming tepid Russian support doesn’t wash. Expect future Kremlin comments to leave no doubt about backing what deserves universal recognition.
Coup-appointed Kiev security chief Andriy Parubiy called Sunday’s referendums “Putin propaganda.”
“Europe needs to understand that because Hitler was not stopped at the beginning, it led to a huge war and millions and millions of victims,” he claimed.
“If Russia recogniszes (the results), Ukraine will defend its territory.”
Washington denounced the referendum results. It’s unwilling to recognize them.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said they “have zero credibility in the eyes of the world. They are illegal by anybody’s standards.”
It bears repeating. Sunday’s referendums were legitimate. Claiming otherwise doesn’t wash.
Self-determination is a universal right. Comparing legal self-rule to Hitler on the march shows how far Kiev putschists sunk. They’ll go to any extremes to denounce real democracy.
To conceal lawless rule. To pretend illegitimacy is proper. To continue waging aggressive war. To keep killing civilians.
To crack down hard on nonbelievers. To harden fascist rule. To crush legitimate opponents. To do it no-holds-barred.
The Washington Post headlined “Eastern Ukrainians vote for self-rule in referendum opposed by West,” saying:
Results threaten “to deepen divisions in a country already heading perilously toward civil war.”
It quoted Kiev’s self-appointed foreign ministry calling Sunday’s referendums a “criminal farce.” Run by a “gang of terrorists.”
Reflecting its view about Russian agents backing them.
“Many residents who oppose the separatist movement boycotted the vote,” said WaPo. But it did appear that turnout was relatively high.
“Relatively” grossly understates reality. At nearly 80%, it was unprecedented. So-called “opposition” was practically non-existent.
WaPo couldn’t get its facts straight. Fantasy substitutes for truth. Distortion for reality. Bald-faced lies for legitimate journalism.
The Wall Street Journal headlined “Pro-Russian Separatists Declare Victory in East Ukraine,” saying:
Doing so “ratchet(ed) up tensions between the West and Moscow, which by recognizing the results could push the country toward a break-up.”
Results suggest “weeks of instability and violence” to come.
“Amid an absence of electoral observers and a heavy presence of separatist gunmen patrolling the streets, the government in Kiev said the results of the vote were certain to be rigged.”
“(F)igures (released) are certain to arouse skepticism, since polls last month showed only 30% of voters in the Donetsk region supported independence from Ukraine.”
“Pro-unity activists said that many opponents of splitting from Ukraine simply stayed at home and that long lines were caused by a restricted number of voting stations.”
The Journal blamed victims for Kiev’s aggression. It said they “began armed confrontations in Mariupol” and elsewhere.
Twisting facts to fit Washington’s imperial agenda is longstanding scoundrel media policy. Calling freedom-fighting activists terrorists shows how far they’ve sunk.
Equating real democracy with separatism reveals more. Near self-rule unanimity showed alleged pre-election 30% support flat wrong.
Sunday’s record turnout belied claims about many self-determination opponents staying home. Hard facts expose scoundrel media Big Lies.
The Chicago Tribune headlined “Rebels declare victory in East Ukraine vote on self-rule.”
It called a historic triumph “makeshift…Potentially grace implications may follow.”
“Ballot papers…were printed without security provision…(V)oter registration was patchy…(T)here was confusion over what the vote was for.”
Not based on voter turnout. None on what they support. Scoundrel media post-mortems reflect sour grapes grousing. Taking issue with real democracy shows how strongly they oppose it.
Eastern Ukrainians spoke loudly. It bears repeating. Self-rule affirmation was near unanimous.
So was opposition to illegitimate Kiev fascist rule. The struggle for Ukraine’s soul continues. It just began. It remains to be seen what follows.
Regular updates will keep explaining the most significant geopolitical issue of our time.
Stay tuned for regular updates. Learn what everyone needs to know.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.