Monday, February 3, 2014

Watching Al Jazeera

My father and I watched Al Jazeera America for the first time today. It was a pretty effective bit of brainwashing whose subject was cartoon journalism but whose purpose was all about promoting emotion over thought, emotion over reason. During a commercial break they advertised an upcoming show on immigration. It offended the both of us but, as is usual in our case, for different reasons.

My father saw one more rerun of the nasty propaganda machine he had to suffer under in communist Romania. He knew the truth because he had known witnesses. The witnesses told simple stories that revealed simple truths. The Soviets, for 20 years on the Nistru river would shoot attempted border crossers in the water and the Romanians would collect the bodies and the wounded as they drifted into Romanian territory. Later, they started shooting them before they got to the river as they hardened the border. My father's witnesses were Romanian border guards who, in peacetime, had to pick up the dead and wounded at a pace fit for a small war.

In those days, a Soviet border guard would get a bonus and 20 days vacation for shooting a would be crosser. If they were in need of funds or a break in routine, they would sometimes threaten a local peasant with death if they didn't walk into the no-go zone. The guard would then proceed to shoot them and collect.

It's not a story you hear too often. I knew at least one of those men as a child. He never mentioned this story to me, though he told me others.

Usually I don't pass on the really brutal stories but today I've overloaded on Soviet apologists claiming moral superiority. We do not have the moral filters to weed out these evil degenerates for mass murder as we do for their Nazi cousins. It's a shame that we don't.

The dead weep.