It almost looked like a scene from the Sergei Eisenstein 1925 movie Potemkin as the Black Sea fleet of Soviet-era heavy cruisers and destroyers filled the screen as the Democratic National Convention, led by retired Adm. John Nathman, paid tribute to veterans and the nation’s military.
Soviet navy ships, not U.S. navy ships? Yes, according to the Navy Times, it was the Russian Black Sea fleet, the same one based in Sevastopol like the Battleship Potemkin (sent to Odessa to quell a 1905 rebellion). This Russian Fleet was looming on the Jumbotron above 50 veterans brought on stage.
The Democrats did apologize — sort of.
“Due to vendor error, incorrect images appeared briefly on-screen behind 51 veterans during the convention and the DNCC apologizes for this mistake,” the statement said. “This error should not distract from the words of Admiral Nathman and others who spoke to President Obama’s strong record on issues that impact those who have served our nation. We’re proud of the service and sacrifice of our veterans and military families, and while they were an important and active part of our convention, Mitt Romney failed to even mention them in his speech in Tampa,” according to the Navy Times article Wednesday by staff writer Sam Fellman.
Oh, please, can’t the Democratic National Convention Committee just apologize, say it’s puzzled how Russian naval vessels wound up in a picture with F-5 trainer jets and leave it at that? This is not the issue to say you’re better than Mitt Romney. It’s as embarrassing as booing a motion to put God back in the Democratic platform. Just apologize and stop the cornball blame shifting. You’re looking like a ship of fools.
“One former Air Force pilot told Navy Times in an e-mail that the wing configuration and distinctive formation made it likely that these planes were the Turkish Stars, an aerial demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force,” Fellman wrote.
A.D. Baker III, a former editor of “Combat Fleets of the World” who inspected the image “surmised the photo was likely taken at least six years ago at a Navy Day parade near Sevastopol, Ukraine, where both the Ukrainian Navy and Russian Black Sea Fleets are based,” states the Navy Times.
At least the Democrats didn’t play Dimitri Shostakovich’s Potemkin 50th anniversary music.