You’d think an old soldier like Jim Molan — the Steven Bradbury of the Senate — would retain some Cold War-era wariness of Russia and its implacable hostility to the West. But it turns out that his enthusiasm for retweeting the fake (and racist) claims of extreme-right groups extends to disseminating the work of a Russian-controlled fake news site.

As Crikey contributor Irfan Yusuf has pointed out, last year Molan shared a number of tweets from “Voice of Europe”, a far-right fake news site controlled by Russia that, apart from disseminating racist attacks on Muslims, has been active in supporting Catalonian separatism.

Molan, who has previously called for a ban on Muslim immigration, insists there’s nothing wrong with disseminating these kinds of social media posts. Like many people called racist, Molan appears angry to be labelled as such. “I’ve put my life on the line for Islamic countries … for people to say this is racist I find deeply offensive,” he is quoted as saying.

Perhaps Molan is referring to his command of allied forces in the assault on Fallujah in Iraq in 2004. Perhaps we can ask the surviving residents of Fallujah, and the communities that have endured a dramatic surge in miscarriages and birth deformities in the city after the assault, about whether they think Molan put his life on the line for them. It’s a much more real issue than clicking on social media posts smearing Muslims.

Peter Fray

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