Vice is obsessed with white supremacy in Ukraine and Russia, but in reality, its views on the subject are all about America.
Several Vice articles about the conflict there were dedicated to white supremacy — on both sides — even before the present Russian invasion started, as if the conflict between the two was just a dust-up to see which country could be bigger Nazis.
“The war in Ukraine divided the loyalties of the global far-right, with some supporting the Ukrainian side, backing them as fellow nationalists repelling Russian aggression, while others sided with Russia, motivated in part by a notion of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a staunch defender of a white traditionalist Europe,” Vice wrote last year.
White supremacists have poured into Ukraine for years, prompting international concern, according to Vice, as “Ukraine became a magnet for white supremacists from around the world, who fought on both sides of the conflict, living out their battlefield fantasies.” Vice then pulled in the FBI, to make it clear that these people are a threat to America.
“[T]he FBI has said in a criminal complaint it believes Azov [Battalion] is training and radicalizing US white supremacists,” said Vice. The Azov Battalion is a group of about 2,000 right-wing members, including about 10-20% neo Nazis, who fight on behalf of Ukraine as a kind of national guard.
In 2020, Ukraine deported two Americans who tried to join the unit for military training.
While the concern is real, it’s much smaller than Vice would have you believe. And it’s not like the conflict is the first time a war radicalized people: War radicalizes people.
Hitler was radicalized by World War I and the German Marxist revolution; Osama Bin Laden was radicalized by the war in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
But the influence of war isn’t always negative. Gandhi’s experience in the World War reinforced his dedication to non-violence after he had recruited Indians to service in the trenches of Europe. Siegfried Sassoon, before he was an anti-war poet, was a decorated officer in the British Army who suffered a gunshot wound in World War I—the result of which makes him an oft-quoted advocate of peace.
War attracts radical elements. But it should be noted that the revolutions caused by the wars in the 20th Century were led mostly by communists — that is, from the left, not the right.
In fact, Chinese communists support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as an outlet against Western sanctions levied against Putin, was instrumental in Putin greenlighting the Ukraine invasion.
Without that communist support, Putin would have been totally isolated economically.
So, make no mistake: Vice is not concerned with white supremacy in Ukraine and Russia.
Vice’s coverage of the issue is used entirely as a means of denigrating conservatives in the United States as dangerous racists and radicals and trying to demonstrate that the U.S. is an irredeemably racist nation.
Who really cares? White supremacists in Russia, Ukraine and NATO. I’m just watching white on white crime unfold. pic.twitter.com/6SHGCgxmwC
— Romey Rome (@ManFelo74) March 2, 2022
In other articles, Vice quotes marginal right figures such as Steve Bannon — who was fired by former President Donald Trump — Andrew Torba and Nicholas Fuentes as proof that most conservatives support Russian white nationalism.
“I wish Putin was president of America,” Fuentes told his 45,000 subscribers on Telegram on after the invasion started according to Vice.
“It may seem confusing that much of the American far-right, who increasingly describe any policies they dislike as ‘communism,’ would be rooting for Russia, given the history of the Soviet Union. But for at least a decade, Russia has been cultivating deep ties and even bankrolling ultranationalist and far-right movements elsewhere,” concluded Vice, apparently unaware the “elsewhere” doesn’t include the United States of America.
But America’s right– far, center or near—isn’t rooting for Putin.
Vice conveniently omits that Democrats killed the sanctions that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — whom Vice called the “Fiery New Prince of the Religious Right”— proposed against Russia to stop the invasion of Ukraine just six weeks ago.
“The Biden administration had argued that the sanctions would undercut U.S. efforts to deter the threat from Russia,” CNN reported at the time.
Nicholas Fuentes 45,000 followers on Telegram likely cheered Biden and the Democrats when the sanctions went down to defeat.
Most recently, Vice has chastised the press for noticing that Ukraine is a developed country as opposed to Afghanistan and Iraq — which are not — and that war is now in Europe, where these journalists, even the Americans, live.
Vice is claiming once again, that it’s white supremacy at work.
“Western mainstream media outlets have come under fire for what critics call ‘racist’ and ‘white supremacist’ coverage that paints Ukrainians as being more worthy of the world’s sympathy—than citizens in similarly strife-torn Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen—because they are ‘white,’” Vice wrote.
In fact, it’s not surprising that these European residents, who live on a continent that that has been long been at peace, but 80 and 100 years ago suffered cataclysmic destruction in two wars, would recoil now that war has broken out close to home.
And it’s also not true that any of these American networks cited by Vice — CBS and NBC — were insensitive to the suffering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq caused people there, any more than American networks ignored the suffering of the Vietnamese during that war.
In fact, Vice is really doing what they have accused others of doing: Dismissing the war in Ukraine as something that is happening to white people, who had it coming.
“This [white supremacy] discounts the fact that a number of conflicts in these distant parts of the world were exacerbated, supported by or even involved states in Europe and North America,” political scientist Ian Chong from the National University of Singapore told Vice about media coverage of the war.
So, when we see these stories by Vice, it’s easy to see where Whoopi Goldberg got the idea that World War II and the Holocaust was just “two white groups of people” fighting it out.
Similarly, Vice’s obsession with white supremacy trivializes what’s at stake in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and turns it into a parody of an intra-race war.
Goldberg was made to apologize for her miscalculation.
But Vice will never do that, because it’s message is subtler, if more insidious. Still, Vice means the same thing as Whoopi.