A Special Report from the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism
Pravda, the Russian political newspaper, ran a story with the headline, “The leader of the free world: Obama or Putin?” Patrick J. Buchanan, a veteran conservative commentator who once worked for President Ronald Reagan, has made his choice.
In fact, he argues in his latest column that Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine is comparable to Sam Houston’s “Remember the Alamo” stand for Texas independence. He says, “Compare how Putin brought about the secession and annexation of Crimea, without bloodshed but with popular approval, with how Sam Houston and friends brought about the secession of Texas from Mexico, and its annexation by the United States in 1845.”
Buchanan wants people to believe the founding of Texas and the separation from Mexico is somehow akin to Putin’s brazen attempt to reconstitute the Soviet empire by seizing Crimea. But it seems mighty strange that Buchanan, a critic of illegal immigration from Mexico, would now accuse Americans of using Putin-style tactics to keep Texas free of Mexican control.
Crimea was an assault, using masked men without Russian military insignia, in order to lay the groundwork for a quickie election whose result was guaranteed in advance. This hardly constitutes “popular approval.”
NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Philip M. Breedlove, writes in his article, “The Importance of Identity,” that “Many media outlets have reported claims that these troops are ‘local militias’ who are wearing Russian-style fatigues because such attire is available in army shops across the former Soviet Union. Other outlets are repeating an assertion that armed men deployed to Ukraine’s Crimea region are simply ‘self-defense forces.’” The general proceeds to debunk these reports, noting evidence that the Russian military forces are “acting on clear orders to undermine Ukraine forces in Crimea.”
In another article, “Who Are the Men Behind the Masks?,” he writes that “It’s hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang forward from the population in eastern Ukraine and systematically began to occupy government facilities. It’s hard to fathom because it’s simply not true. What is happening in eastern Ukraine is a military operation that is well planned and organized and we assess that it is being carried out at the direction of Russia.”
Buchanan fought with Reagan in the 1980s to expose Soviet disinformation and propaganda. Now he accepts Russian disinformation and propaganda.
How on earth can Putin’s illegal power grab in Ukraine, rubber-stamped by a Putin-controlled Russian legislature, compare with a deliberate process that involved a popular vote for a state constitution for Texas, accepted and ratified by the United States Congress?
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom