In the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, host countries get to spotlight and proudly display their history and culture – generally glossing over their less happy times – which Russia certainly has had.
Strange then, that commentators from the United States of America during NBC Olympics coverage would not only gloss over but celebrate Russia’s Stalinist past. Like that old song, it’s one of those things that make you go hmm.
Hat tip to Matthew Balan at News Busters who writes,
NBC whitewashed Russia’s communist legacy in the lead segment of its Friday broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage narrated the network’s lionization of the largest country by land mass: “Russia overwhelms. Russia mystifies. Russia transcends. Through every stage of its story, it’s resisted any notion of limitation. Through every re-invention, only redoubling its desire to cast a towering presence.
Dinklage continued with a glorification of the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian state that slaughtered tens of millions of people between 1917 and 1991.
Most troubling of all was this line: The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments.
I don’t think the Bolshevik Revolution is something to be celebrated, but then again, that’s what revisionist history is all about. I wouldn’t consider Marxism, Socialism, or Communism one of history’s pivotal experiments – is it a “pivotal experiment” to allow a totalitarian regime to murder its own people?
There was a reason Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and demanded Mikhail Gorbachev “tear down this wall.” His stalwart stance and condemnation gave courage and strength to those who lived behind that wall.
I remember going behind that wall as a young Army Paratrooper, 1LT, when our Infantry Company Team participated in the Berlin Brigade Urban Combat training facility. We had one day of R&R during the three-week deployment to cross through Checkpoint Charlie and enter East Berlin. It was there I was awakened to the difference between liberty and freedom, and communism and subjugation. I knew then what I was fighting for and why I had a position on freedom’s rampart.
We cannot afford to forget the history of the Soviet Union realizing that modern-day Russia has only existed for 22 years. There are clear indications that former KGB Agent and now President Vladimir Putin would love to return to the days of the former Soviet Union. After all, just look at what is happening in Ukraine.
I hope the future of Russia is one of liberty and not one of regression. The history of Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev cannot be dismissed, nor repeated. It is a history that should not be whitewashed but honestly told.
I look forward to the day when America and Russia can find common ground for cooperation but right now, one country is led by a brutal strongman and the other by a weak Marxist/socialist. I’m afraid any united future with that combination is going in the wrong direction.