The Los Angeles Times yesterday became the latest among a handful of major U.S. newspapers to break with the Obama Administration’s propaganda offensive on Ukraine, when it published an op-ed by Robert English, Director of the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.
Prof. English states in his first paragraph that Russian President Putin’s denunciation of “neofascist extremists” in the movement that toppled the old Ukrainian government, and within the new government, “is worth heeding.” He cites as an example the Svoboda party, which has a number of posts in the new government. “Svoboda’s call to abolish the autonomy that protects Crimea’s Russian heritage, and its push for a parliamentary vote that downgraded the status of the Russian language, are flagrantly provocative to Ukraine’s millions of ethnic Russians and incredibly stupid as the first steps of a new government in a divided country. These moves, more than Russian propaganda, prompted broad Crimean unease. …”
English says that Svoboda, Right Sector, and other far-right organizations “are groups whose thuggish young legions still sport a swastika-like symbol, whose leaders have publicly praised many aspects of Nazism and who venerate the World War II nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, whose troops occasionally collaborated with Hitler’s and massacred thousands of Poles and Jews. But scarier than these parties’ whitewashing of the past are their plans for the future. They have openly advocated that no Russian language be taught in Ukrainian schools, that citizenship is only for those who pass Ukrainian language and culture exams, that only ethnic Ukrainians may adopt Ukrainian orphans and that new passports must identify their holders’ ethnicity — be it Ukrainian, Pole, Russian, Jew or other.”
“Is it so hard to understand Russians’ shock,” asks English, “that senior U.S. officials (such as Sen. John McCain, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland) flirt with extremists who have been denounced as anti-Semitic, xenophobic, even neo-Nazi by numerous human rights and anti-defamation groups? That they were snapping pictures and distributing pastries among protest leaders, some of whose minions were at that same moment distributing ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ on Independence Square?”
The Russians have seen this before, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when “millions of ethnic Russians or Russian speakers have endured loss of citizenship in the Baltic republics (where many lived for generations), have been driven out of Central Asian jobs and homes and have suffered particularly virulent discrimination in Georgia (the root cause of the 2008 war with Russia, but also broadly ignored in the West).”
After briefly musing on the oddness of the new Ukrainian democracy, English states pointedly, “The U.S. has hardly stood up for the Russians suffering discrimination and violence since the Soviet Union’s collapse. Now, with tacit U.S. approval of the Ukrainian extremists whose avowed goal is to ratchet up pressure on the country’s Russian minority, Putin’s warning doesn’t seem quite so paranoid.” English argues in conclusion that the U.S. should forcefully denounce the ethno-nationalists and embrace minority rights as vital to Ukraine’s democracy, noting sardonically, “Given our own hypocrisy — don’t violate agreements (except the one not to expand NATO eastward), don’t invade countries on phony pretexts (except Iraq) and don’t support minority secession movements (except Kosovo) — why wouldn’t we want to restore U.S. credibility by living up to our principles in this critical case?”
In an article posted by The National Interest on March 11, called “The West’s Illusions About Ukraine,” Professor David Hendrickson of Colorado College, takes on the systematic lying about Ukraine in the U.S. and Britain, and how this has shaped policy toward Russia and Ukraine. What he says is not new to us, but it is significant that it is published in a major establishment policy journal.
“It has yet to be reported in major western newspapers that the new government installed in Ukraine on February 26, after the deposition and flight of Viktor Yanukovych, includes eight figures associated with Ukraine’s far right,” Hendrickson begins. “The positions they have filled are not insignificant. They include deputy prime minister, chief prosecutor, defense minister and head of the national-security council, portfolios where the coercive power of the state resides. Svoboda, the main nationalist party, has made some attempt to shed its fascist lineage, but the World Jewish Congress last year asked the EU to consider banning it, and there is much in its history and outlook that should be deeply troubling to westerners.”
He goes on to cite Dmytro Yarosh, head of the Right Sector, who is now the Deputy Secretary of National Security in the interim government.”Right Sector is a paramilitary organization, like Greece’s Golden Dawn; their entry into a European government is an important milestone, and not of the celebratory sort.”
He notes that this has gotten no attention in the major US and UK press. He references a New York Times article on the new Ukraine government, which mentions Andrew Parubiy, but did not mention that Parubiy “was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler’s Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians. The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests-negotiating directly with the Yanukovych regime.”
After some more discussion of Stepan Bandera and the “OUN cult,” Hendrickson comments: “While the important fact that the Ukrainian far right got vital portfolios in the new government received no notice in the West, it surely caught Moscow’s attention.” He goes through what he considers Russian missteps, and the folly of the U.S. handling of the situation. He says Kerry is conducting propaganda, not diplomacy, contrasting Kerry to Kissinger’s recent proposals. There is a road to de-escalation, he says, which “does not consist in showing Putin ‘who’s boss,’ as the US Russophobes (a majority of the commentariat and political class) wish to do, but rather in acknowledging certain basic principles” — which he says have been outlined by Kissinger, Thomas Graham, etc. He concludes that a major problem is the “cultural blinders” through which Washington views Russia and Ukraine — only neglecting to mention that these “blinders” are British-imposed.
Justin Raimondo, the founder and editor of the high-volume website, antiwar.com, wrote a scathing article on the Nazi character of the Ukraine “revolution” of Yats, Svoboda, and Yarosh, and also goes directly after Obama for supporting the fascist Ukrainian regime. He also goes after the academic “apologists” who are running a media-assassination drive against those who expose the neo-Nazis, racists, and terrorists.
The March 12 antiwar.com column says:
“As the real nature of Ukraine’s ‘democratic’ and allegedly ‘pro-Western’ opposition becomes all too apparent, the pushback from the regime-change crowd borders on the comic. The War Party is stumbling all over itself in a frantic effort to cover up and deny the frightening provenance of the neo-fascist gang they’ve helped to seize power in Kiev.”
In denouncing “Timothy Snyder’s two-part apologia for the ultra-nationalist coup leaders in the New York Review of Books,” Raimondo mentions that Svoboda “idolizes Stepan Bandera, leader of an armed gang that collaborated with the Nazis,” and that the party has “undeniably fascist roots and organizational links.” Raimondo also shows that the apologists like Snyder are ignoring the acts of terrorism committed by the neo-Nazis in the last three months in Ukraine and ignoring the fact that Svoboda and the Right Sector hold government and police posts.
“In any case, I don’t know which is more alarming: the entrance into government of a party that traces its origins back to a fighting battalion affiliated with Hitlers SS, or the sight of US officials whitewashing it. They’re flying the Confederate flag and the Celtic cross in Kiev, and the first African American President is hailing them as liberators. That’s one for the history books!”
Raimondo has also wrote two prior columns attacking the Ukrainian Nazis. On March 4, he wrote, “A Monster Reawakens: The Rise of Ukrainian Fascism,” and on March 2, “Crimea for the Crimeans.”
Again, the German Greens are reacting hysterically to new hard-hitting attacks by Linke politicians on the Yats regime in Ukraine. The day began with a press conference Thursday morning by Linke Bundestag group vice-chair Sahra Wagenknecht, attacking the German government for its unholy alliance with a Kiev government that is illegal and includes Nazis and anti-Semites. The Svoboda people have been cultivated by the German government although they are the sister party of the neo-Nazi NPD, Wagenknecht said. She charged the West and NATO with having a confrontationist approach, warning that any military intervention would mount into a “Third World War.”
Linke foreign policy spokesman Wolfgang Gehrke made a similar statement, attacking the Greens directly by saying that they were “on the extreme right-wing fringe” with their Ukraine policy. Linke Bundestag group chairman Gregor Gysi then reiterated in the parliamentary debate that Yats cannot be a partner for Germany and Europe, because he has Nazis and anti-Semites in his cabinet—at which point, Green group chairwoman Katrin Göring-Eckardt lost it, screaming repeatedly, “Don’t dare do that again, defaming the Maidan!” She, and fellow Green Marieluise Beck, who spoke later in the debate, had the gall to admit there were what she euphemistically called “right-wing nationalists” in Ukraine, but blamed Putin for provoking their rise.
Revealing even more brown in their green pro-Nazi face, the Greens in the European Parliament introduced a resolution today that calls for prohibiting former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder from making make any more pro-Russian/pro-Putin statements!
Over the past couple of days, an increasing number of mainstream media in Germany have begun to address and expose the fact that neo-Nazis are in the interim regime in Kiev. Leftist websites and newspapers have — some of them repeatedly — attacked the Svoboda party and Pravy Sektor, and their predecessors in the Bandera tradition, from mid-February on, but now, even the two national state-run TV channels, ARD and ZDF, have since the March 8-9 weekend exposed the neo-Nazis in Kiev in primetime broadcasts watched by millions of Germans, including “Panorama” TV magazine, “Auslandsjournal”, “Aus der Anstalt,” and the “Anne Will Show.”
Numerous regional newspapers Wednesday and Thursday have run an article saying that the Maidan barricade fighters who were crucial in overthrowing the Ukrainian government view Stepan Bandera as their idol, that experts sound the alarm over the Svoboda party’s four cabinet posts, and that even Klitschko is not clean: his fellow UDAR party member Valentin Nalivaichenko, now head of the Ukrainian intelligence agency, some years ago wrote the preface to Pravy Sektor leader Dmytro Yarosh’s book, Nation and Revolution.
On the “Anne Will Show” Wednesday night, Philipp Missfelder, foreign policy spokesman of the German Christian Democrats, demanded that Arseni Yatsenyuk instantly purge his interim cabinet of these neo-Nazis. The “Aus der Anstalt” program, a widely-watched political comedy show, two nights ago attacked Yulia Tymoshenko (coming onstage in a wheelchair as she did on the Maidan, and in the company of Pravy Sektor types with molotov cocktails in hand) as an oligarch; exposed the regime-change in Kiev as done by professionals, including Victoria Nuland and the $5 billion spent for the insurrection in Ukraine, and John McCain. The show even called German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier) “Aussenmeier Frankenstein,” adding that the “first big foreign policy success of the new German government five weeks after its starting work, is that neo-Nazis are in power in Kiev.”
One may add Germany’s leading business daily, Handelsblatt, today. It did not mention the neo-Nazis in the Yats regime, but attacked the West’s “pitbull politics” vis-à-vis Putin, a policy of little brain but bared teeth, not reflecting but jumping into high risks—up to the risk of war. It is simply idiotic. Handelsblatt says, Russia is providing us with gas for heating for our living rooms, we deliver harvesting equipment and automobiles in return. Putin is not the one who has to practice restraint, “it is the pitbull inside us that has to be put back on the leash.”
Peter Munk Jensen, senior analyst from the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), the independent, government, leading strategic think-tank in Denmark, was interviewed on P1, the main national talk-show channel Thursday morning, about the major role of right-wing extremists in Ukraine during the seizure of power, and in the new Ukrainian regime. Half of the government ministers are members of Svoboda, the Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) and the Ukrainian National Coalition. They are against foreigners, Jews, non-Ukrainian languages, and are “closely related to Nazi and fascist ideology, using their symbols.” A lot of things from the “brown swamp.” They also want Ukraine to join NATO.
Look at Ukrainian history. There has been a right-wing nationalist foundation in west Ukraine. During World War II, people from west Ukraine “fought on the German side, joining the Waffen SS.” In the latest local elections, Svoboda got 30-40% in some sections of west Ukraine, but no more than 1% in the east.
He said that Russia, in its propaganda about the right-extremist groups, is playing on the deep fear of Nazism and fascism in the population, especially those who remember Hitler’s march across the country.
“We have not had very much focus on what is going on in Ukraine, with the rise of the right-wing. We are busy speaking about the Russian invasion, and the economic crisis.
Host: “We have spoken a lot about who is on our side, and who isn’t. It is, among others, all the right-wing extremists who are.”
Jensen replied, “Yes, you can say that. You could almost say that we are embracing them by opening EU up now for economic agreements, and political association agreements, which Yanokovych rejected.”
The host listed the European right-wing extremist groups to which Svoboda is linked, saying that earlier this morning we heard that members of the Swedish right-wing party, the Swedish Party, went to help in the fighting on the Maidan. Jensen said, that that is probably correct, and there are probably also members of other European right-wing parties who participated in the fighting on the Maidan. “It was the Right Sector, which now has two members in the government, who were at the very forefront of the barricades, including members who had received military training for two to three years in military training camps. They are extremely disciplined and militant, and were in the very forefront during the fighting with Yanukovych’s Interior Ministry’s troops.”