Last February, when ethnic Russian rebels were closing in on the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, the New York Times rhapsodically described the heroes defending the city and indeed Western civilization – the courageous Azov battalion facing down barbarians at the gate. What the Times didn’t tell its readers was that these “heroes” were Nazis, some of them even wearing Swastikas and SS symbols.
The long Times article by Rick Lyman fit with the sorry performance of America’s “paper of record” as it has descended into outright propaganda – hiding the dark side of the post-coup regime in Kiev. But what makes Lyman’s sadly typical story noteworthy today is that the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has just voted unanimously to bar U.S. assistance going to the Azov battalion because of its Nazi ties.
When even the hawkish House of Representatives can’t stomach these Nazi storm troopers who have served as Kiev’s tip of the spear against the ethnic Russian population of eastern Ukraine, what does that say about the honesty and integrity of the New York Times when it finds these same Nazis so admirable?
And it wasn’t like the Times didn’t have space to mention the Nazi taint. The article provided much color and detail – quoting an Azov leader prominently – but just couldn’t find room to mention the inconvenient truth about how these Nazis had played a key role in the ongoing civil war on the U.S. side. The Times simply referred to Azov as a “volunteer unit.”
Yet, on June 10, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act – from Reps. John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan, and Ted Yoho, R-Florida – that would block U.S. training of the Azov battalion and would prevent transfer of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to fighters in Iraq and Ukraine.
“I am grateful that the House of Representatives unanimously passed my amendments last night to ensure that our military does not train members of the repulsive neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, along with my measures to keep the dangerous and easily trafficked MANPADs out of these unstable regions,” said Conyers on Thursday.