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Democracy long gone in US as Metropolitan Opera Dir. Gelb demands artists denouce Pres. Putin, fires renowned Russian soprano Netrebko after she politely said it’s not right to force artists and public figures to make political statements and denounce homelands

October 3, 2022

As it happens, Met Opera Director Peter Gelb’s wife is Ukrainian-Canadian. When asked if America was at war with Russia, Gelb replied, remarkably, “The Met is, and indirectly, the US is, obviously. We may not say we’re at war with them, but we are at war with them.””

5/27/22, “Waging Proxy War in Ukraine Won’t Save Us From Ourselves,” The Nation, David Bromwich

The policing of public opinion over Ukraine goes to extremes unimagined during the fight against Hitler.”

On March 3, [2022] the Metropolitan Opera severed its relations with the singer Anna Netrebko because, in speaking out against the Ukraine war,

she failed to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin and

said a word in defense of artistic freedom:

“I am opposed to this war. I am Russian and I love my country but I have many friends in Ukraine and the pain and suffering right now breaks my heart. I want this war to end and for people to be able to live in peace….I want to add,


forcing artists, or any public figure,

to voice their political opinions in public and

to denounce their homeland is not right.”

Would any foreign artist in living memory have been so publicly dishonored

for not reciting the prepared script?…

On May 13, [2022] Steny Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader in the House of Representatives,

said that the US is now “at war” with Russia.

Congressional Republicans were overwhelming, and Democrats

unanimous, in voting for a $40 billion

war-assistance package to be sent to Ukraine.

Apparently without any serious debate,

we find ourselves on the brink of all-out war in defense of a favored nation,

against a nuclear-armed power, Russia….

While we instruct the world in democracy,

our own politics has become a scene of uninhibited aggression

that undermines our standing as instructors….

What we have seen in the last 10 years, intensified in the last five,

and raised to a fever pitch in the last two,

is the ascent of mob psychology and hysteria on an exorbitant scale.

It shows in our lazy, frightened acceptance of censorshiplately elevated to the point

where Facebook and Twitter could jointly announce

a ban on all messages, news, and communications

that “undermine trust in the Ukrainian government.”

This kind of blackout was considered beneath our dignity in the fight against Hitler and the Cold War.


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