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For The Record  

FTR #782 All’s Well That’s Orwell, Part 2: The Ministry of Truth and the Ukrainian Crisis, Part 2 (Schmemann Uber Alles)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram con­tin­ues analy­sis of the instal­la­tion in the Ukraine of a gov­ern­ment com­posed large­ly of polit­i­cal forces evolved from, and man­i­fest­ing ide­o­log­i­cal con­ti­nu­ity with, the fas­cist OUN/B.

Hav­ing staffed the 14th Waf­fen SS (Gali­cian) Divi­sion and the Ein­satz­grup­pen (mobile exe­cu­tion squads) in the Ukraine, the OUN/B was a piv­otal ele­ment in the post­war Gehlen spy out­fit in its CIA and BND incar­na­tions, the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations and the GOP eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion.

OUN/B has been deeply involved with covert oper­a­tions and fig­ures in the inves­ti­ga­tion into the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy, as well as the de-sta­bi­liza­tion of the Sovi­et Union dur­ing the cli­mac­tic phase of the Cold War. With a pro­found pres­ence in the GOP’s eth­nic divi­sion, as well as the con­tem­po­rary Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal infra­struc­ture, the OUN/B is any­thing but an his­tor­i­cal rel­ic. The devel­op­ment of the OUN/B in both the U.S. and the Ukraine is explained in great his­tor­i­cal depth in AFA #37.

The Orwellian aspects of the Ukrain­ian cri­sis could not be exag­ger­at­ed and are explored at greater length in this pro­gram.

(We have done five pro­grams to date about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis: FTR #‘s 777778779780781.)

The pro­gram begins by review­ing some of the Yuschenko regime’s delib­er­ate and fun­da­men­tal remak­ing of Ukrain­ian his­tory and ide­ol­ogy. Hav­ing lit­er­ally cre­ated an Orwellian “Min­istry of Truth,” Yuschenko’s gov­ern­ment paved the way for the polit­i­cal mid­wif­ing of the Swo­boda party–the heirs to the OUN/B.

Swing­ing the spot­light to this side of the Atlantic, the broad­cast high­lights the Orwellian nature of U.S. media cov­er­age of the events in the Ukraine. In par­tic­u­lar, the dis­grace­ful behav­ior of The New York Timesthe CIA’s #1 pro­pa­gan­da asset–is set forth here.

If Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavarov said that “2 + 2+4,” the Times would present it thus­ly: “In a joint press con­fer­ence, Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavarov repeat­ed their alle­ga­tion that 2 plus 2 equals 4. Inces­sant­ly repeat­ed by the Russ­ian media since the seces­sion­ist vote in the Crimea was sched­uled, this is a major theme of Russ­ian math­e­mat­i­cal pro­pa­gan­da.”

Accord­ing to The Min­istry of Truth (in this case The New York Times), Swo­bo­da is now “mod­er­ate.”  We guess that is what hap­pens when the leader of the group meets with the Sec­re­tary of State (John Ker­ry.) Swoboda’s mod­er­a­tion is indi­cated by their unwill­ing­ness to “open­ly” advo­cate throw­ing fire­bombs at the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment secu­rity forces.

The Times por­trays as out­landish pro­pa­gan­da the [accu­rate] Russ­ian claim that the new gov­ern­ment of the Ukraine is com­posed of Nazis to a con­sid­er­able extent. The Per Anders Rudling text excerpt­ed above pro­vides ample doc­u­men­ta­tion of this.) The Gray Lady sim­i­lar­ly por­trays the Russ­ian [accu­rate] claim that the cur­rent gov­ern­ment is com­posed of polit­i­cal heirs to Stephan Ban­dera. Again, that is a fact, NOT Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da.

A sig­nif­i­cant ele­ment of the dis­cus­sion cen­ters on the Times’ edi­to­r­i­al board mem­ber Serge Schme­mann. Of White Russ­ian extrac­tion, his fam­i­ly back­ground and jour­nal­is­tic behav­ior raise the ques­tion of whether Schme­mann might have links to the anti-com­mu­nist axis emi­gre milieu.

Born in France dur­ing the clos­ing days of World War II, Schme­mann grew up speak­ing Russ­ian and came to the U.S. when his fam­ily moved here in 1951. We won­der if the Schme­mann fam­ily and Serge, in par­tic­u­lar, may have had con­tact with anti-Sovi­et intel­li­gence and/or fas­cist net­works? Might they have had links to the Promethean League? Might they have had some links to Third Reich intel­li­gence and/or the Gehlen org? Might Serge have links with some ele­ment of CIA or oth­er intel­li­gence agency?

IF so, might that account for the edi­to­r­ial bias of the Times with regard to the Ukrain­ian cri­sis?

Schme­mann wrote a bad­ly slant­ed book review he wrote in 1988. He was dis­mis­sive of Christo­pher Simpson’s accu­rate assess­ment of the role of anti-Sovi­et Axis col­lab­o­ra­tors with­in the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion and their per­ma­nent, destruc­tive imprint on U.S. for­eign and nation­al secu­rity pol­i­cy. The polit­i­cal axis defined by Yka­te­ri­na [Chu­machenko] Yuschenko and her hus­band and their role in real­iz­ing the Ukrain­ian Min­istry of Truth, dis­cussed in FTR #781, bears ample wit­ness to the accu­ra­cy of Simp­son’s analy­sis, as does AFA #37.

One of the ele­ments loom­ing large in the Ukrain­ian cri­sis is the pan-Turk­ist move­ment. Allied with Nazi Ger­many in World War II and fas­cist in nature, the pan-Turk­ists had long sought to carve up the Sovi­et Union and restore the Ottomon Empire. The pro­gram devotes con­sid­er­able time to an excerpt from AFA #14 (record­ed in Jan­u­ary of 1986.)

The focal point of the dis­cus­sion is the Promethean League. An anti-Sovi­et net­work sim­i­lar to the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League, the Promethean League was estab­lished between the world wars. Sub­si­dized by Mar­shall Pil­sud­ski’s Pol­ish intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus, the group was phys­i­cal­ly based in Poland, but heav­i­ly sup­port­ed by French intel­li­gence and ide­ol­o­gists based in France. Fea­tur­ing Pan-Turk­ist and Ukrain­ian ele­ments, many of the Promethean League groups jumped first to the Third Reich and lat­er to ele­ments of West­ern intel­li­gence and allied orga­ni­za­tions.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Swo­bo­da leader Oleh Tyan­hy­bok, was hon­ored by vet­er­ans of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion (Gali­cia); in April of 2011, Swo­boda returned the favor, hon­or­ing the vet­er­ans of the 14th Waf­fen SS in Lvov; Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Erdo­gan’s sup­port for the Crimean Tatars; the pres­ence of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood affil­i­ate Hizb Ut-Tahrir in the Crimea; the role of Theodor Ober­lan­der in the mobi­liz­ing of Turko­phone minori­ties on behalf of the Third Reich; Ober­lan­der’s role as polit­i­cal offi­cer of the Ein­satz­gruppe Nacht­gall.

1. The pro­gram reviews some of the Yuschenko regime’s delib­er­ate and fun­da­men­tal remak­ing of Ukrain­ian his­tory and ide­ol­ogy. Hav­ing lit­er­ally cre­ated an Orwellian “Min­istry of Truth,” Yuschenko’s gov­ern­ment paved the way for the polit­i­cal mid­wif­ing of the Swo­boda party–the heirs to the OUN/B.

“The Return of the Ukrain­ian Far Right: The Case of VO Svo­boda,” by Per Anders Rudling;  Ana­lyz­ing Fas­cist Dis­course: Euro­pean Fas­cism in Talk and Text edit­ed by Ruth Wodak and John E. Richard­son;  Rout­ledge [Lon­don and New York] 2013; pp. 228–255, more.

Note that this book is in Google Books.

. . . . . Swept to pow­er by the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion, the third pres­i­dent of Ukraine,Viktor Yushchenko (2005–2010), put in sub­stan­tial efforts into the pro­duc­tion of his­tor­i­cal myths. He tasked a set of nation­al­is­ti­cally mind­ed his­to­ri­ans to pro­duce and dis­sem­i­nate an edi­fy­ing nation­al his­tory as well as a new set of nation­al heroes. . . . .

. . . . . The OUN wings dis­agreed on strat­egy and ide­ol­ogy but shared a com­mit­ment to the man­u­fac­ture of a his­tor­i­cal past based on vic­tim­iza­tion and hero­ism. The émi­grés devel­oped an entire lit­er­a­ture that denied the OUN’s fas­cism, its col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nazi Ger­many, and its par­tic­i­pa­tion in atroc­i­ties, instead pre­sent­ing the orga­ni­za­tion as com­posed of democ­rats and plu­ral­ists who had res­cued Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust. The dias­pora nar­ra­tive was con­tra­dic­tory, com­bin­ing cel­e­bra­tions of the sup­pos­edly anti-Nazi resis­tance strug­gle of the OUN-UPA with cel­e­bra­tions of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien, a Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tionist for­ma­tion estab­lished by Hein­rich Himm­ler in 1943 (Rudling, 2011a, 2011c, 2012a). Thus, Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS vet­er­ans could cel­e­brate the UPA as “anti-Nazi resis­tance fighters” while belong­ing to the same war vet­er­ans’ orga­ni­za­tions (Bairak, 1978). Unlike their coun­ter­parts in some oth­er post-Sovi­et states, Ukrain­ian “nation­al­iz­ing” his­to­ri­ans did not have to invent new nation­al­ist myths but re-import­ed a nar­ra­tive devel­oped by the émi­grés (Dietsch, 2006: 111–146; Rudling, 2011a: 751–753). . . . .


As pres­i­dent, Yushchenko ini­ti­ated sub­stan­tial gov­ern­ment pro­pa­ganda ini­tia­tives. In July 2005, he estab­lished an Insti­tute of Nation­al Mem­oryassigned the archives of the for­mer KGB (now the SBU, Sluzh­ba Bezpe­ki Ukrainy, the Ukrain­ian Secu­rity Ser­vice) for­mal pro­pa­gan­dis­tic duties and sup­ported the cre­ation of a “Muse­um of Sovi­et Occu­pa­tion” in Kyiv (Jilge, 2008: 174). Yushchenko appoint­ed the young activist Volodymyr V’’iatrovych (b. 1977) direc­tor of the SBU archives. V’’iatrovych com­bined his posi­tion as gov­ern­ment-appoint­ed mem­ory man­ager with ultra-nation­al­ist activism; he was simul­ta­ne­ously direc­tor of an OUN(b) front orga­ni­za­tion, the Cen­ter for the Study for the Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment. State insti­tu­tions dis­sem­i­nated a san­i­tized, edi­fy­ingly patri­otic ver­sion of the his­tory of the “Ukrain­ian nation­al lib­er­a­tion move­ment,” the lead­ers of which were pre­sented in icono­graphic form as hero­ic and saint­ly figures, mar­tyrs of the nation (Rasevych, 2010; Rudling, 2011c: 26–33, 2012b). . . .

. . . A recon­structed his­tor­i­cal mem­ory is cre­ated as ‘true mem­ory’ and then con­trasted with ‘false Sovi­et his­tory’ ”(Jilge, 2007:104–105). Thus, Valen­tyn Naly­vaichenko, SBU direc­tor under Yushchenko, described the task of his agency as being to dis­sem­i­nate “the his­tor­i­cal truth of the past of the Ukrain­ian peo­ple,” to “lib­er­ate Ukrain­ian his­tory from lies and fal­sifi­ca­tions and to work with truth­ful doc­u­ments only” (Jilge, 2008:179). Ignor­ing the OUN’s anti­semitism, deny­ing its par­tic­i­pa­tion in anti– Jew­ish vio­lence, and over­look­ing its fas­cist ide­ol­ogy, Naly­vaichenko and his agency pre­sented the OUN as democ­rats, plu­ral­ists, even right­eous res­cuers of Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust. . . . 

. . . . On June 30, 2011, the 70th anniver­sary of the Ger­man inva­sion and Stetsko’s “renew­al of Ukrain­ian state­hood” was re-enact­ed in Lviv as a pop­u­lar fes­ti­val, where par­ents with small chil­dren waved flags to re-enac­tors in SS uni­forms. . . .

. . . . Svoboda’s claims to the OUN lega­cy are based upon ide­o­log­i­cal con­ti­nu­ity, as well as orga­ni­za­tion and polit­i­cal cul­ture (Shekhovtsov, 2011b:13–14). Pre­sent­ing Svo­boda as the suc­ces­sor of Dontsov and the OUN, Tiah­ny­bok regards Svo­boda as “an Order-par­ty which con­sti­tutes the true elite of the nation” (Tiah­ny­bok, 2011). Like those of many oth­er far-right move­ments, Svoboda’s offi­cial pol­icy doc­u­ments are rel­a­tively cau­tious and dif­fer from its dai­ly activ­i­ties and inter­nal jar­gon, which are much more rad­i­cal and racist (Olszan´ski, 2011). . . .

Fol­low­ing vio­lent clash­es, the police detained more than 50 Svo­boda activists, armed with gas can­is­ters, smoke bombs and cat­a­pults. The Cherkasy branch of Svo­boda crit­i­cized the police for their alleged fail­ure “to stop and avert aggres­sion by Hasidic Jews to Ukraini­ans” (“Uman: Righ-twing activists detained,” 2011). Svoboda’s anti-Russ­ian and anti-Jew­ish rhetoric is accom­pa­nied by an anti-Pol­ish mes­sage. Svo­boda main­tains that Poland has played a neg­a­tive his­tor­i­cal role in Ukrain­ian lands. The par­ty demands an offi­cial apol­ogy from Poland for five hun­dred years of Pol­o­niza­tion, from the 15th to the 20th cen­turies, and indem­ni­ties for “the Pol­ish ter­ror and occu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian lands in the 20th cen­tury” (“Zaia­va VO ‘Svo­boda’ shchodoproia­viv ukrain­o­fo­bii,” 2010). Focus­ing on divi­sive and sen­si­tive issues, Svo­boda provoca­tively denies any involve­ment of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien in atroc­i­ties against the Pol­ish minor­ity in Gali­cia. For instance, on the site of Huta Pieni­acka, Svo­boda has placed a huge bill­board deny­ing the con­clu­sion of both Pol­ish and Ukrain­ian his­tor­i­cal com­mis­sions that the fourth police reg­i­ment, which was lat­er adjoined to the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien, burnt this Pol­ish vil­lage and slaugh­tered most of its res­i­dents on Feb­ru­ary 28, 1944. . . .

In Cana­da, in May 2010, Tiah­ny­bok received the gold­en cross “for his ser­vice to Ukraine” from the Broth­er­hood of the Vet­er­ans of the First Ukrain­ian Divi­sion of the Ukrain­ian Nation­al Army, as the vet­er­ans of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien call them­selves (“Esesovt­sy nagradil lid­er­aukrain­skikh nat­sion­al­is­tov,” 2010). Fol­low­ing the con­vic­tion and sen­tenc­ing of the death camp guard John Dem­jan­juk to five years of jail for his role as an acces­sory to the mur­der of 27,900 peo­ple at the Sobibór death camp,Tiahnybok trav­eled to Ger­many and met up with Demjanjuk’s lawyer, Ulrich Busch, pre­sent­ing the death camp guard as a hero, a vic­tim of per­se­cu­tion, who is “fight­ing for truth” (“Oleh Tiah­ny­bok iz dvo­den­nym vizy­tomvid­vi­dav Nimechynu,” 2010). . . .

. . . . Yurii Mykhal’chyshyn (b. 1982), Tiahnybok’s advis­er on ide­o­log­i­cal mat­ters, Svoboda’s top name in the elec­tion to the Lviv city coun­cil and its can­di­date for may­or in 2010, rep­re­sents a more rad­i­cal cur­rent in the move­ment.Proud­ly con­fess­ing him­self part of the fas­cist tra­di­tion, Mykhal’chyshyn rel­ishes the harsh­ness, extrem­ism and uncom­pro­mis­ing rad­i­cal­ism of his idols of the 1930s and 1940s. Con­stantly reit­er­at­ing that “We con­sider tol­er­ance a crime” and that “We val­ue the truth of the spir­it and blood over-all suc­cess and wealth” (Nasha Vatra , n.d.),Mykhal’chyshyn takes pride in the label “extrem­ist,” which he proud­ly shares with “Stepan Bandera,who cre­ated an under­ground ter­ror­ist-rev­o­lu­tion­ary army, the shad­ow of which still stirs up hor­ri­ble fear in the hearts of the ene­mies of our Nation”(Mykhal’chyshyn, “Ori­en­tyry”, n.d.). Mykhal’chyshyn serves as a link between VO Svo­boda and the so-called autonomous nation­al­ists. Mir­ror­ing the “autonomous anar­chists” of the extreme left, which they resem­ble in terms of dress code, lifestyle, aes­thet­ics, sym­bol­ism and orga­ni­za­tion, the “autonomous nation­al­ists” attract par­tic­u­larly mil­i­tant and extreme­ly vio­lent “event-ori­ent­ed” young fas­cists. . . . .

. . . . The glo­rifi­ca­tion of street vio­lence is a key com­po­nent of this polit­i­cal sub­cul­ture: in an extra ses­sion with the Lviv region­al Rada in front of the Ban­dera memo­r­ial in Lviv, Mykhal’chyshyn boast­ed that “Our Ban­derite army will cross the Dnipro and throw that blue-ass gang, which today usurps the pow­er, out of Ukraine. . . . That will make those Asi­atic dogs shut their ugly mouths.” . . . .

. . . . Explic­itly endors­ing Hamas, Mykhal’chyshyn regards the Holo­caust as “a bright episode in Euro­pean civ­i­liza­tion” . . . .

. . . . We rec­og­nize the heavy empha­sis on heroes and hero­ism from the nar­ra­tive of the émi­gré OUN and from Yushchenko’s legit­imiz­ing his­to­ri­ans. The dif­fer­ence is that, unlike these two influences, Mykhal’chyshyn does not deny Ban­dera and Stets’ko’s fas­cism. On the con­trary, their fas­cist ide­ol­ogy con­sti­tutes the basis for his admi­ra­tion. . . .

. . . . Yushchenko left behind a lega­cy of myths which helped legit­imized Svoboda’s ide­ol­ogy. Svoboda’s appro­pri­a­tion of many rit­u­als in hon­our of “nation­al heroes” from more mod­er­ate nation­al­ists is but one expres­sion of its increased polit­i­cal strength in post-Yushchenko West­ern Ukraine. . . .

. . . . On April 28, 2011, Svo­boda cel­e­brated the 68th anniver­sary of the estab­lish­ment of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien. Octo­ge­nar­ian Waf­fen SS vet­er­ans were treat­ed as heroes in a mass ral­ly, orga­nized by Svo­boda and the “autonomous nation­al­ists.” Near­ly 700 par­tic­i­pants (the orga­niz­ers claimed 2,000) marched down the streets of Lviv, from the mas­sive socialist–realist style Ban­dera mon­u­ment, to Prospekt Svo­body, the main street, shout­ing slo­gans like “One race, one nation, one father­land!,” . . . .

. . . . The pro­ces­sion was led by Mykhal’chyshyn . . . .

2.  So, accord­ing to The Min­istry of Truth, Swo­boda is now “mod­er­ate.” We guess that is what hap­pens when the leader of the group meets with the Sec­re­tary of State (John Ker­ry.)

Notice that Swoboda’s mod­er­a­tion is indi­cated by their unwill­ing­ness to “open­ly” advo­cate throw­ing fire­bombs at the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment secu­rity forces. Hey, that sure sounds mod­er­ate to us!

In 2010, Oleh Tyan­hy­bok, the leader of the group was hon­ored by vet­er­ans of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion (Gali­cia). In April of 2011, Swo­bo­da returned the favor, hon­or­ing the vet­er­ans of the 14th Waf­fen SS in Lvov.

“Front and Cen­ter in Ukraine Race, a Leader of the Far Right” by Andrew E. Kramer; The New York Times; 3/11/2014.

. . . . Mr. Yarosh has hint­ed at a role for his group in bal­anc­ing the influ­ence of a long­time play­er in Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, the for­mer prime min­is­ter who emerged from prison after the fall of the old gov­ern­ment with mem­bers of her polit­i­cal par­ty, Father­land, already hold­ing the posi­tions of act­ing pres­i­dent and prime min­is­ter.

Before the protests, the nation­al­ist par­ty Svo­boda had occu­pied the nation­al­ist niche to the right of Ms. Tymoshenko. But Svo­boda and Father­land are now allied. . . . [They were all along. Just check out FTR #779–D.E.)

The Svo­boda par­ty, mean­while, has mod­er­ated, and did not open­ly [!–D.E.] endorse the tac­tic of throw­ing fire­bombs when street fight­ing began in Jan­u­ary. Svo­boda was found­ed in 1991 under the name the Social­ist-Nation­al­ist Par­ty of Ukraine, with a sym­bol that resem­bled a swasti­ka. Its leader, Oleg Tyag­ni­bok, met Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry on Tues­day . . . .

3. We note the delib­er­ate slant­i­ng of cov­er­age of the Ukrain­ian cri­sis in the New York Times. Note how the Times spins the [accu­rate] Russ­ian claim that the new gov­ern­ment of the Ukraine is com­posed of Nazis to a con­sid­er­able extent. The ear­li­er pro­grams about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis should pro­vide ample doc­u­men­ta­tion of this.

“In Crimea’s Phan­tom War, Armed Men Face Unseen Foe” by Andrew Hig­gins and Ali­son Smale; The New York Times; 3/2/2014.

. . . Russ­ian media, a potent weapon in a bat­tle to demor­al­ize and divide what remains of Ukrain­ian state author­i­ty in Crimea, has announced a string of defec­tions, some true, some not, and kept up a drum­beat with accounts of how Ukraine has slipped into the hands of extrem­ists, ter­ror­ists and even Nazis. [They are–D.E.]. . .

4. Note how the Times sub­tly spins the accu­rate analy­sis of the new Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment as suc­ces­sors to Ban­der­a’s OUN/B forces. It is not “Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da.”

“As Putin Orders Drills in Crimea, Pro­test­ers’ Clash Shows Region’s Divide” by Andrew Hig­gins and Steven Lee Myers; The New York Times; 2/26/2014.

. . . . “I don’t want to live in a coun­try run by fas­cists,” said Sergei Gaenko, a retired law enforce­ment offi­cial, echo­ing a wide­spread view here that Mr. Yanukovych’s ouster was engi­neered by the polit­i­cal descen­dants of mil­i­tant Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists who, dur­ing World War II, some­times formed loose tac­ti­cal alliances with Hitler’s invad­ing army.

Crimea, he added, was “ille­gal­ly giv­en to Ukraine” by Niki­ta Khrushchev and he said it was time to “cor­rect an his­toric injus­tice.” Like many Rus­sians here, he scorned the new inter­im gov­ern­ment as made up of “Ban­derovt­si,” a deroga­to­ry Sovi­et term used to describe fol­low­ers of Stepan Ban­dera, a wartime Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist leader vil­i­fied by Moscow as a pro-Nazi trai­tor. .

5a. The New York Times not­ed that Oba­ma has not react­ed to the “demo­c­ra­tic” devel­op­ments in the Ukraine in the way that George W. Bush react­ed to the “Orange Rev­o­lu­tion.” Note how the Gray Lady ref­er­ences Paula J. Dobri­an­sky’s view­point. A mem­ber of the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil under Ronald Rea­gan, Dobri­an­sky was a Deputy Sec­re­tary of State under George W. Bush. The daugh­ter of Lev Dobri­an­sky, Paula is part and par­cel to the OUN/B milieu in the Unit­ed States.

“Wary Stance from Oba­ma on Ukraine” by Peter Bak­er; The New York Times; 2/24/2014.

Tele­vi­sions around the White House were aglow with pic­tures of Ukraini­ans in the streets, demand­ing to be heard and top­pling a gov­ern­ment aligned with Rus­sia. It was an invig­o­rat­ing moment, and it spurred a pres­i­dent already rethink­ing his approach to the world.

That was a dif­fer­ent decade and a dif­fer­ent pres­i­dent. While George W. Bush was inspired by the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion of 2004 and weeks lat­er vowed in his sec­ond inau­gural address to pro­mote democ­racy, Barack Oba­ma has approached the rev­o­lu­tion of 2014 with a more clin­i­cal detach­ment aimed at avoid­ing insta­bil­i­ty.

 Rather than an oppor­tu­nity to spread free­dom in a part of the world long plagued by cor­rup­tion and oppres­sion, Mr. Oba­ma sees Ukraine’s cri­sis as a prob­lem to be man­aged, ide­ally with a min­i­mum of vio­lence or geopo­lit­i­cal upheaval. While cer­tainly sym­pa­thetic to the pro-West­ern pro­test­ers who pushed out Pres­i­dent Vik­tor F. Yanukovych and hope­ful that they can estab­lish a rep­re­sen­ta­tively elect­ed gov­ern­ment, Mr. Oba­ma has not made glob­al aspi­ra­tions of democ­racy the ani­mat­ing force of his pres­i­den­cy.

“I just think this pres­i­dent is not going to lean for­ward on his skis with regard to democ­racy pro­mo­tion,” said John Lewis Gad­dis, a Yale Uni­ver­sity his­to­rian who advised the Bush White House as speech­writ­ers worked on the for­mer president’s Jan­u­ary 2005 inau­gural address promis­ing to com­bat tyran­ny abroad. “If any­thing, he’s going to lean back and let nat­ural forces take us there, if they do.” . . . . “The administration’s Ukraine pol­icy is emblem­atic of a broad­er prob­lem with today’s for­eign pol­icy — absence of a strate­gic vision, dis­in­ter­est in democ­racy pro­mo­tion and an unwill­ing­ness to lead,” said Paula J. Dobri­an­sky, an under sec­re­tary of state for Mr. Bush. . . .

5b. Note that the rhetor­i­cal pres­sure on Oba­ma com­ing from Paula Dobri­an­sky is com­ing from some­one con­nected to the OUN/B milieu and its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the GOP and Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion.

“Is the US Back­ing neo-Nazis in the Ukraine?” by Max Blu­men­thal [Alter­net]; Salon.com; 2/25/2014.

. . . In Wash­ing­ton, the OUN‑B recon­sti­tuted under the ban­ner of the Ukrain­ian Con­gress Com­mit­tee of Amer­ica (UCCA), an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion com­prised of “com­plete OUN‑B fronts,” accord­ing to Bel­lant. By the mid-1980’s, the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion was hon­ey­combed with UCCA mem­bers, with the group’s chair­man Lev Dobri­an­sky, serv­ing as ambas­sador to the Bahamas, and his daugh­ter, Paula, sit­ting on the Nation­al Secu­rity Coun­cil. Rea­gan per­son­ally wel­comed Stet­sko, the Ban­derist leader who over­saw the mas­sacre of 7000 Jews in Lviv, into the White House in 1983.“Your strug­gle is our strug­gle,” Rea­gan told the for­mer Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor. “Your dream is our dream.” . . .

6. A gen­tle­man named Serge Schme­mann is an impor­tant mem­ber of the Times’ edi­to­r­i­al board. He was for­mer­ly the Times’ Bonn bureau chief, when that city was the for­mer West Ger­many’s cap­i­tal. We haven’t seen many bi-lines fea­tur­ing Mr. Schme­man­n’s recent­ly. He has been fea­tured in edi­to­r­i­al mus­ings in recent Sun­day Times edi­tions.

We remem­ber Schme­mann from a bad­ly slant­ed book review he wrote in 1988. He was dis­mis­sive of Christo­pher Simp­son’s accu­rate assess­ment of the role of anti-Sovi­et Axis col­lab­o­ra­tors with­in the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion and their per­ma­nent, destruc­tive imprint on U.S. for­eign and nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy.

The role of Ms. Chumachenko/Yuschenko and her hus­band in remak­ing Ukrain­ian his­to­ry and ide­ol­o­gy to pave the way for the rise of Swo­bo­da, Pravy Sek­tor and oth­er OUN/B clones bears bru­tal tes­ti­mo­ny to the accu­ra­cy of Simp­son’s analy­sis.

“Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Nazi Sci­en­tists” by Serge Schme­mann; The New York Times; 5/8/1988.

. . . .But Mr. Simp­son argues fur­ther that the recruit­ment of East Euro­peans and oth­er anti-Com­mu­nists by the C.I.A. after the war served to keep Wash­ing­ton on a cold-war track to this day. He talks of ”the scars that secret emi­gre anti-Com­mu­nist pro­grams have left on life in the Unit­ed States,” down to the sur­vival of the ”lib­er­a­tionist cause” in the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion’s ”cold-war strat­e­gy.”

There are sev­er­al prob­lems here. Most seri­ous­ly, Mr. Simp­son’s log­ic has the effect of smear­ing anti-Com­mu­nism with the taint of Nazism. ”Lib­er­a­tionism” may not be a unique­ly Nazi idea, he writes, ”but the fact remains that ideas and the­o­ries have his­to­ries, just as nations do. . . . The true ori­gins of lib­er­a­tionism as a coher­ent phi­los­o­phy lie in Nazi Ger­many and in the Nazis’ polit­i­cal war­fare cam­paign on the east­ern front, and nowhere else.” Today ”lib­er­a­tion activists” may have a rea­son­ably sophis­ti­cat­ed agen­da, he con­tin­ues, but ”the one posi­tion they cling to above all . . . is an implaca­ble para­noia toward the USSR that would per­mit no arms con­trol treaties, no trade and indeed no East-West coop­er­a­tion of any type, only relent­less prepa­ra­tion for war.” That is a seri­ous charge, and, in the light of the real case his­to­ries of Nazi mass mur­der­ers, it is patent­ly unfair. . . .

. . . . Mr. Simp­son claims that some­thing called the Cap­tive Nations move­ment, in which the C.I.A. had a hand, hin­dered Pres­i­dents Kennedy, John­son and Nixon in their search for detente with the Sovi­et Union. Even if it did, is that real­ly a ”blow­back” from the recruit­ment of Nazis?

Mr. Simp­son like­wise seems to make a fair­ly heady leap from argu­ment to con­clu­sion in describ­ing how clan­des­tine oper­a­tions to ”roll back Com­mu­nism” back­fired in East­ern Europe. In the case of the Ukraine, he claims, ”instead of ral­ly­ing to the new ‘demo­c­ra­t­ic’ move­ment, there is every indi­ca­tion that many of the ordi­nary peo­ple of the Ukraine gave increased cre­dence to the Sovi­et gov­ern­men­t’s mes­sage that the Unit­ed States, too, was real­ly Nazi at heart and capa­ble of using any sort of deceit and vio­lence to achieve its ends.” . . .

7. Serge Schme­mann has a White Russ­ian back­ground. Born in France dur­ing the clos­ing days of World War II, Schme­mann grew up speak­ing Russ­ian and came to the U.S. when his fam­i­ly moved here in 1951. We won­der if the Schme­mann fam­i­ly and Serge, in par­tic­u­lar, may have had con­tact with anti-Sovi­et intel­li­gence and/or fas­cist net­works? Might they have had links to the Promethean League (see below for details)? Might they have had some links to Third Reich intel­li­gence and/or the Gehlen org? Might Serge have links with some ele­ment of CIA or oth­er intel­li­gence agency?

IF so, might that account for the edi­to­r­i­al bias of the Times with regard to the Ukrain­ian cri­sis?

“Serge Schme­mann’: Wikipedia.com

Born in France [4/12/1945], the son of Alexan­der Schme­mann and Juliana Ossorguine (a descen­dant of Juliana of Lazare­vo, a Russ­ian Ortho­dox Saint),[2] he moved to the Unit­ed States as a child, in 1951. He grew up speak­ing Russ­ian at home, but he vis­it­ed his ances­tral home­land for the first time only in 1980 when he arrived with his fam­i­ly as Moscow cor­re­spon­dent for the Asso­ci­at­ed Press. It was not until 1990 that the Sovi­et author­i­ties allowed him to vis­it his grand­par­ents’ home vil­lage near Kalu­ga. . . . .

. . . .Writ­ing for The New York Times, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Inter­na­tion­al Report­ing in 1991 for his cov­er­age of the reuni­fi­ca­tion of Germany,[1] . . .

8. Note that Serge’s father Alexan­der was the son of an emi­gre Czarist offi­cer and resided in France dur­ing the peri­od that the Promethean League was very active there. Alexan­der Schme­mann was being edu­cat­ed in France dur­ing the course of the Nazi occu­pa­tion of that coun­try.

“Alexan­der Schme­mann”; Wikipedia.com

. . . . Alexan­der Schme­mann was born on 13 Sep­tem­ber 1921 in Tallinn, Esto­nia, into a fam­i­ly of Russ­ian White émi­grés. His grand­fa­ther had been a sen­a­tor and a mem­ber of the State Coun­cil and his father an offi­cer of the Impe­r­i­al Life-Guards. When he was a child his fam­i­ly moved to France, where he was edu­cat­ed in Russ­ian schools and at a French lycee before becom­ing a stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Paris (1940–1945) . . .

9. In the past, we have not­ed that the sup­pos­ed­ly “mod­er­ate” Islamist gov­ern­ment of Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan isn’t “mod­er­ate” at all. Descend­ed from the Al-Taqwa/­Mus­lim Broth­er­hood milieu, it is both Islamist and Pan-Turk­ist in its out­look. Erdo­gan and his for­eign min­is­ter have been pos­tur­ing in defense of the Crimean Tatars and–doing some­thing he has become known for–con­jur­ing the Ottoman Empire in their polit­i­cal pro­nounce­ments.

“Turkey Moves to Pro­tect Crimea’s Tatar Minor­i­ty”; Mid­dle East Online; 3/13/2014.

Turkey, which has kept a low pro­file in the Ukraine cri­sis, is mak­ing moves to pro­tect Crimea’s eth­nic Tatar minor­i­ty as the region pre­pares for a ref­er­en­dum on join­ing Rus­sia this week.

Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan has pledged to sup­port Crimea’s Turk­ish-speak­ing Tatar minor­i­ty, which Ankara fears could be side­lined in a March 16 vote on switch­ing over to Krem­lin rule.

“Turkey has nev­er left Crimean Tatars alone and will nev­er do so,” he said, after a phone call to Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin ear­li­er this month.

Turkey’s For­eign Min­is­ter Ahmet Davu­to­glu vowed to pro­tect the “rights of our kins­men” after meet­ing with Ukrain­ian offi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Tatar com­mu­ni­ty dur­ing an unsched­uled vis­it to Kiev ear­li­er this month. . . .

10. Of con­sid­er­able impor­tance in the con­text of the Crimean Tatar pop­u­la­tion of the Ukraine is the fact that Hizb ut-Tahrir has a cadre in that his­tor­i­cal­ly peace­ful and ecu­meni­cal pop­u­la­tion group. Hizb ut-Tahrir is both Islamist and asso­ci­at­ed with Pan-Turk­ism. The group has net­worked with the NPD, the top Ger­man neo-Nazi par­ty.

“Crimean Tatars on Guard Against Join­ing Rus­sia” by Noah Snei­der; The New York Times; 3/14/2014.

. . . . While the Tatars have a his­to­ry of peace­ful resis­tance, the poten­tial for rad­i­cal­iza­tion does exist. Tatar mil­i­tants have fought along­side the oppo­si­tion in Syr­ia, and Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islam­ic group banned in sev­er­al coun­tries includ­ing Rus­sia, has 1,000 mem­bers in Crimea, accord­ing to Fazil Amza­yev, a spokesman for the group’s local chap­ter. . . .

11. One of the ele­ments loom­ing large in the Ukrain­ian cri­sis is the pan-Turk­ist move­ment. Allied with Nazi Ger­many in World War II and fas­cist in nature, the pan-Turk­ists had long sought to carve up the Sovi­et Union and restore the Ottomon Empire. The pro­gram devotes con­sid­er­able time to an excerpt from AFA #14 (record­ed in Jan­u­ary of 1986.)

The focal point of the dis­cus­sion is the Promethean League. An anti-Sovi­et net­work sim­i­lar to the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League, the Promethean League was estab­lished between the world wars. Sub­si­dized by Mar­shall Pil­sud­ski’s Pol­ish intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus, the group was phys­i­cal­ly based in Poland, but heav­i­ly sup­port­ed by French intel­li­gence and ide­ol­o­gists based in France. Fea­tur­ing Pan-Turk­ist and Ukrain­ian ele­ments, many of the Promethean League groups jumped first to the Third Reich and lat­er to ele­ments of West­ern intel­li­gence and allied orga­ni­za­tions.



5 comments for “FTR #782 All’s Well That’s Orwell, Part 2: The Ministry of Truth and the Ukrainian Crisis, Part 2 (Schmemann Uber Alles)”

  1. Here’s a great and very long inter­view of Russ Bel­lant on the OUN‑B and its ties to both Svo­bo­da and the GOP and why it’s still very rel­e­vant his­to­ry today:

    For­eign Pol­i­cy In Focus
    Sev­en Decades of Nazi Col­lab­o­ra­tion: America’s Dirty Lit­tle Ukraine Secret

    An inter­view with Russ Bel­lant, author of “Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Repub­li­can Par­ty.”

    By Paul H. Rosen­berg, March 18, 2014

    As the Ukrain­ian cri­sis has unfold­ed over the past few weeks, it’s hard for Amer­i­cans not to see Vladimir Putin as the big vil­lain. But the his­to­ry of the region is a his­to­ry of com­pet­ing vil­lains vying against one anoth­er; and one school of villains—the Nazis—have a long his­to­ry of engage­ment with the US, most­ly below the radar, but occa­sion­al­ly exposed, as they were by Russ Bel­lant in his book Old Nazis, The New Right And The Repub­li­can Par­ty (South End Press, 1991). Bellant’s expo­sure of Nazi lead­ers from Ger­man allies in the 1988 Bush pres­i­den­tial cam­paign was the dri­ving force in the announced res­ig­na­tion of nine indi­vid­u­als, two of them from the Ukraine, which is why he was the log­i­cal choice to turn to illu­mi­nate the scat­tered men­tions of Nazi and fas­cist ele­ments amongst the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, which some­how nev­er seems to war­rant fur­ther com­ment or expla­na­tion. Of course most Ukra­ni­ans aren’t Nazis or fascists—all the more rea­son to illu­mi­nate those who would hide their true natures in the shadows…or even behind the momen­tary glare of the spot­light.

    Your book, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Repub­li­can Par­ty exposed the deep involve­ment in the Repub­li­can Par­ty of Nazi ele­ments from Cen­tral and East­ern Europe, includ­ing Ukrain­ian, dat­ing back to World War II and even before. As the Ukrain­ian cri­sis unfold­ed in the last few weeks there have been scat­tered men­tions of a fas­cist or neo-fas­cist ele­ment, but some­how that nev­er seems to war­rant fur­ther com­ment or expla­na­tion. I can’t think of any­one bet­ter to shed light on what’s not being said about that ele­ment. The dan­ger of Russ­ian bel­liger­ence is increas­ing­ly obvi­ous, but this unex­am­ined fas­cist ele­ment pos­es dan­gers of its own. What can you tell us about this ele­ment and those dan­gers?

    The ele­ment has a long his­to­ry, of a long record that speaks for itself, when that record is actu­al­ly known and elab­o­rat­ed on. The key orga­ni­za­tion in the coup that took place here recent­ly was the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists [OUN], or a spe­cif­ic branch of it known as the Ban­deras [OUN‑B]. They’re the group behind the Svo­bo­da par­ty, which got a num­ber of key posi­tions in the new inter­im regime. The OUN goes back to the 1920s, when they split off from oth­er groups, and, espe­cial­ly in the 1930s began a cam­paign of assas­si­nat­ing and oth­er­wise ter­ror­iz­ing peo­ple who didn’t agree with them.

    As World War II approached, they made an alliance with the Nazi pow­ers, they formed sev­er­al mil­i­tary for­ma­tions, so that when Ger­many invad­ed the Sovi­et Union in June 1941, they had sev­er­al bat­tal­ions that went into the main city at the time, where their base was, Lvov, or Lwow, it has a vari­ety of spellings [also ‘Lviv’]. They went in, and there’s a doc­u­ment­ed his­to­ry of them par­tic­i­pat­ing in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and round­ing up Jews in that city, and assist­ing in exe­cut­ing sev­er­al thou­sand cit­i­zens almost imme­di­ate­ly. There were also involved in liq­ui­dat­ing Pol­ish group pop­u­la­tions in oth­er parts of Ukraine dur­ing the war.

    With­out get­ting deeply involved in that whole his­to­ry, the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists to this day defend their wartime role, they were back­ers of form­ing the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion, which was the all-Ukrain­ian divi­sion that became an armed ele­ment on behalf of the Ger­mans, and under over­all Ger­man con­trol. They helped encour­age its for­ma­tion, and after the war, right at the end of the war, it was called the First Ukrain­ian divi­sion and they still glo­ri­fy that his­to­ry of that SS divi­sion, and they have a vet­er­ans orga­ni­za­tion, that obvi­ous­ly doesn’t have too many of mem­bers left but they formed a vet­er­ans divi­sion of that.

    If you look insignia being worn in Kiev in the street demon­stra­tions and march­es to the SS divi­sion insignia still being worn. In fact I was look­ing at pho­tographs last night of it and there was a whole for­ma­tion march­ing, not with 14th Divi­sion, but with the Sec­ond Divi­sion, it was a large divi­sion that did major bat­tle around the Ukraine, and these marchers were wear­ing the insignia on the arm­bands of the Sec­ond Divi­sion.

    So this is a very clear record, and the OUN, even in its post­war pub­li­ca­tions has called for eth­no-genet­i­cal­ly pure Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ry, which of course is sim­ply call­ing for purg­ing Jews, and Poles, and Rus­sians from what they con­sid­er Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ry. Also, cur­rent lead­ers of Svo­bo­da have made bla­tant­ly anti-Semit­ic remarks that call for get­ting rid of Mus­covite Jews and so forth. They use this very coarse threat­en­ing lan­guage that any­body know­ing the his­to­ry of World War II would trem­ble at. If they were liv­ing here, it would seem like they would start wor­ry­ing about it.

    Obvi­ous­ly these peo­ple don’t hold monop­oly pow­er in Ukraine, but they stepped up and the Unit­ed States has been behind the Svo­bo­da par­ty and these Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists. In fact the US con­nec­tions to them go back to World War II and the Unit­ed States has had a long-stand­ing tie to the OUN, through the intel­li­gence agen­cies, ini­tial­ly mil­i­tary intel­li­gence, and lat­er the CIA.

    Your book dis­cuss­es a cen­tral fig­ure in the OUN, Yaroslav Stet­sko, who was polit­i­cal­ly active for decades here in Amer­i­ca. What can you tell us about his his­to­ry?

    Yaroslav Stet­sko was the num­ber two leader of the OUN dur­ing World War II and there­after. In 1959, Ste­fan Ban­dera, who was head of the OUN, was killed and that’s when Stet­sko assumed the lead­er­ship. Stet­sko in 1941 was the guy who actu­al­ly marched into Lvov with the Ger­man army June 30, 1941 and the OUN issued a procla­ma­tion at that time under his name prais­ing and call­ing for glo­ry to the Ger­man leader Adolf Hitler and how they’re going to march arm in arm for the Ukraine and so forth. After the war, he was part of the key lead­er­ship that got picked up by the Amer­i­cans.

    There’s a num­ber of accounts I’ve seen, at least three cred­i­ble up reports, on how they were in the dis­placed per­son camp, the Allied forces set up dis­placed per­sons camp and picked up tens of thou­sands of these for­mer allies of Hitler from coun­tries all over the East, Hun­gary, Latvia, Lithua­nia – there weren’t Pol­ish col­lab­o­ra­tors I think most peo­ple know the Ger­mans heav­i­ly per­se­cut­ed and mur­dered mil­lions of Pol­ish res­i­dents – but Bul­gar­ia, Roma­nia, Croa­t­ia, and so forth, Belorus­sia. They had them in these camps they built and orga­nized them, where the Ukraini­ans were assas­si­nat­ing their Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist rival so that they would be the undis­put­ed lead­ers of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist move­ment, so they would get the spon­sor­ship of the Unit­ed States to con­tin­ue their polit­i­cal oper­a­tion, and they were suc­cess­ful in that regard. So when Ban­dera was out of the pic­ture, Stet­sko became the undis­put­ed leader of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists.

    The Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists in 1943 under Ger­man spon­sor­ship orga­nized a multi­na­tion­al force to fight on behalf of the retreat­ing Ger­man army. After the bat­tle of Stal­in­grad in ’43 the Ger­mans felt a height­ened need to get more allies, and so the Roman­ian Iron Guard, the Hun­gar­i­an Arrow Cross, the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists and oth­ers with mil­i­tary for­ma­tions in place to assist came togeth­er and formed the unit­ed front called the Com­mit­tee of Sub­ju­gat­ed Nations and again worked on behalf of of the Ger­man mil­i­tary. In 1946, they renamed it the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations, ABN. Stet­sko was the leader of that until he died in 1986.

    I men­tion this in part because the OUN tries to say well dur­ing the war we fought the Ger­mans and the com­mu­nists. The fact of the mat­ter is that they were the lead­er­ship of this whole multi­na­tion­al alliance on behalf of the Ger­man the last two years of the war and in the war there­after. All the post­war lead­ers of the unre­pen­tant Nazi allies were all under the lead­er­ship of Yaroslav Stet­sko.

    What hap­pened when Stet­sko, and oth­ers like him from oth­er Ger­man allied forces came to the Unit­ed States?

    In the Unit­ed States, when they came, his groups orga­nized ‘cap­tive nations’ com­mit­tees, they became, sup­pos­ed­ly, the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of peo­ple who are being oppressed in East­ern Europe, the Baltic coun­tries, by the Sovi­et. But they were, in fact, being giv­en an uncrit­i­cal blank check to rep­re­sent the voic­es of all these nations that were part of the War­saw Pact when in fact they rep­re­sent­ed the most extreme ele­ments of each of the nation­al com­mu­ni­ties.

    The Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee in Wash­ing­ton DC for instance was run by the per­son who head­ed the Ukrain­ian orga­ni­za­tion of nation­al­ists, that was true in a num­ber of places. In my home­town area near Detroit as well, they played a major role. In the ear­ly 50s, when they were reset­tled in the Unit­ed States, there was at least 10,000 of them that were reset­tled, when you look at all the nation­al­i­ties. They became polit­i­cal­ly active through the Repub­li­can nation­al com­mit­tee, because it was real­ly the Eisen­how­er admin­is­tra­tion that made the pol­i­cy deci­sion in the ear­ly 1950s, and brought them in. They set up these cam­paign orga­ni­za­tions, every four years they would mobi­lize for the Repub­li­can can­di­date, who­ev­er it would be, and some of them like Richard Nixon, in 1960, actu­al­ly had close direct ties to some of the lead­ers like the Roman­ian Iron Guard, and some of these oth­er groups.

    When Richard Nixon ran for pres­i­dent in 1968, he made a promise to these lead­ers that they would if he won the pres­i­den­cy he would make them the eth­nic out­reach arm of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee on a per­ma­nent basis, so they wouldn’t be a qua­dren­ni­al pres­ence, but a con­tin­u­ing pres­ence in the Repub­li­can Par­ty. And he made that promise through a guy named Las­z­lo Pasz­tor, who served five years in prison after World War II for crimes against human­i­ty. He was pros­e­cut­ed in 1946 by non-Com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment that actu­al­ly had con­trol of Hun­gary at the time. There was a peri­od from ’45 to ’48 when the Hun­gar­i­an Com­mu­nist Par­ty didn’t run Hun­gary. They were the ones who pros­e­cut­ed him. He had served as a liai­son between the Hun­gar­i­an Nazi par­ty and Berlin; he served in the Berlin embassy of the Hun­gar­i­an Arrow Cross move­ment. This is the guy that got picked to orga­nize all the eth­nic groups, and the only peo­ple that got brought in were the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors.

    They didn’t have a Russ­ian affil­i­ate because they hat­ed all Rus­sians of all polit­i­cal stripes. There were no African Amer­i­cans or Jew­ish affil­i­ates either. It was just com­posed of these ele­ments, and for a while they had a Ger­man affil­i­ate but some expo­sure of the Nazi char­ac­ter of the Ger­man affil­i­ate caused it to be qui­et­ly removed, but oth­er [Nazi] ele­ments were retained.


    Your book was an impor­tant rev­e­la­tion but was not alone. Your book notes that Jack Ander­son report­ed on the pro-Nazi back­grounds of some of the eth­nic advi­sors as far back as 1971, yet when your report came out almost two decades lat­er, every­one respond­ed with shock, sur­prise, and even denial. What lessons should we draw from this his­to­ry of buried his­to­ry? And how should it influ­ence our think­ing about the unfold­ing cri­sis in the Ukraine?

    I don’t believe it’s ever too late to become famil­iar­ized and edu­cat­ed about the his­to­ry of this phe­nom­e­non both the wartime his­to­ry and our post­war col­lab­o­ra­tion with these folks. There were a num­ber of exposés writ­ten about the émi­gré Nazis. There was a 1979 book called Want­ed and it did a num­ber of case sto­ries of these peo­ple being brought in to the Unit­ed States, includ­ing the Tri­fa sto­ry. Christo­pher Simp­son did a book called Blow­back that dis­cussed the pol­i­cy deci­sions, it’s an incred­i­ble book. He’s a pro­fes­sor at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty and he did years of research through the free­dom of infor­ma­tion act and archives, and got the pol­i­cy doc­u­ments under which the deci­sions were made to bring these folks togeth­er, and not just into the Unit­ed States but to deploy them around the world.

    Like my book, it didn’t get the atten­tion it deserved. The New York Times book review­er was neg­a­tive toward the book. There are peo­ple that real­ly don’t want to touch this stuff. There’s a lot of peo­ple who don’t want it touched. I think it’s real­ly impor­tant for peo­ple who believe in open­ness and trans­paren­cy and demo­c­ra­t­ic val­ues, who don’t want to see hate groups come back to pow­er in oth­er parts of the world to know what hap­pened.

    There’s not very many Amer­i­cans that real­ly even know that the Waf­fen SS was a multi­na­tion­al force. That’s been kind of kept out of the received his­to­ry. Oth­er­wise peo­ple would know that there were Ukrain­ian Nazis, Hun­gar­i­an Nazis, Lat­vian Nazis, and they were all involved in the mass mur­der of their fel­low cit­i­zens, if they were Jew­ish, or even if they were co-nation­al­ists that were on the oth­er side of the issue of the war. They were just mass mur­der­ers, across East­ern Europe. And that his­to­ry, those facts aren’t even well-known. A lot of peo­ple didn’t even know this phe­nom­e­non even exist­ed.

    I think all Amer­i­cans have a respon­si­bil­i­ty to know what their gov­ern­ment is doing in the for­eign pol­i­cy in Europe as well as else­where around the world, as well as Latin Amer­i­ca as well as Africa. Since our pol­i­cy was to uphold apartheid in South Africa why weren’t Amer­i­cans chal­leng­ing that more? They began chal­leng­ing that in the 80s, but the apartheid regime was run by the Nazi par­ty. They were allied with Ger­many in World War II, they were the Nation­al­ist par­ty and they took pow­er in 1948 and the Unit­ed States backed that for decades. We backed the death squads in Latin Amer­i­ca, even though they mas­sa­cred tens of thou­sands of peo­ple – 30,000 peo­ple in Chile alone. Amer­i­cans aren’t being atten­tive to what their gov­ern­ment is doing abroad, even though it’s been doing done with their tax dol­lars and in their name, and I think we just have a gen­er­al respon­si­bil­i­ty.

    I went to these meet­ings, I went to these con­fer­ences, I went over a peri­od of years. I met with them direct­ly, most of the peo­ple I wrote about, I met with them per­son­al­ly or in group meet­ings. Peo­ple can’t afford to do that on their own, time­wise, but there’s enough lit­er­a­ture out there they can read and pur­sue it, they will get enough enough of a han­dle to get what the real pic­ture is, to demand change. I’m not total­ly par­ti­san in this, but I think the Repub­li­can Par­ty was extreme on this, but the Democ­rats fold­ed and didn’t chal­lenge this when they knew it was going on.

    There is an old Roman poet that once said truth does not say one thing and wis­dom anoth­er. I’m a believ­er in that. Tell the truth and wis­dom will fol­low.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 18, 2014, 8:53 am
  2. There are all sorts of good rea­sons for keep­ing fas­cists out of your gov­ern­ment. For instance, fas­cist chief pros­e­cu­tors might have trou­ble remain­ing impar­tial:

    Kyiv Post
    Nation­al­ist Svo­bo­da Par­ty mem­bers of par­lia­ment assault First Chan­nel TV man­ag­er (VIDEO)

    March 19, 2014, 3:45 p.m. | Ukraine — by Olga Rudenko

    Sev­er­al mem­bers of the nation­al­ist Svo­bo­da Par­ty scan­dalous­ly assault­ed the act­ing CEO of state-owned First Nation­al TV chan­nel. On March 18, law­mak­ers Ihor Mirosh­nichenko, Andriy Illenko and Bohdan Beniuk arrived at the TV head­quar­ters with sev­er­al oth­er men and forced Olek­san­dr Pan­te­ley­monov to quit his post.

    In the video, which was first pub­lished by Svo­bo­da spokesman Olek­san­dr Aronets and repub­lished by Ukrain­s­ka Prav­da after Aronets removed it, the mem­bers of par­lia­ment are seen ques­tion­ing Pan­te­ley­monov in his office about Per­shiy broad­cast­ing Russ­ian President’s Vladimir Putin’s speech about Crimea sep­a­ra­tion that took place in Moscow on March 18.

    “Our view­ers have the right to know…” Pan­te­ley­monov starts mum­bling expla­na­tions, but gets inter­rupt­ed by the law­mak­ers shout­ing “Know what? Know what?”

    In the video, Pan­te­ley­monov is seen try­ing to explain him­self and speak­ing polite­ly, while the law­mak­ers sur­round him and shout rude­ly.

    Mirosh­nichenko, the lead­ing voice of the group, pro­ceed­ed to accuse Pan­te­ley­monov of direct­ing an edi­to­r­i­al pol­i­cy aimed at dis­cred­it­ing the Euro­Maid­an Rev­o­lu­tion at the behest of the for­mer state author­i­ties and demand­ed that Pan­te­ley­monov leave his post imme­di­ate­ly.

    Pan­te­ley­monov refused to do so and men­tioned that it was the Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters that con­trolled the TV sta­tion.

    “Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters is over. I’m telling you — write the paper,” Mirosh­nichenko shout­ed in the manager’s face as he grabbed him and pulled him through the room to his desk.

    Mirosh­nichenko then pushed Pan­te­ley­monov into his chair, Beniuk held him by the neck and Illienko passed him some paper. As Pan­te­ley­monov refused, Mirosh­nichenko and Beniuk beat him and slapped his face.

    Even though the video doesn’t show it, the law­mak­ers did force the man­ag­er to quit.

    As soon as the video was post­ed on the evening of March 18, it went viral and the actions of the law­mak­ers were wide­ly con­demned. Many were con­cerned that such actions com­ing from one of the par­ties that were brought to pow­er after the Euro­Maid­an Rev­o­lu­tion would fuel Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da that has focused on vio­lence and nation­al­ism in Ukraine.

    “These are not our meth­ods. The actions of these law­mak­ers are unac­cept­able,” was the reac­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­se­niuk, Svoboda’s polit­i­cal ally.

    The assault was also con­demned by Ukraine’s Inde­pen­dent Media Union.

    Even Svo­bo­da par­ty head and Miroshnichenko’s friend Oleh Tyah­ny­bok con­demned the attack. “Such actions were fine yes­ter­day (dur­ing the protests), but now they are inap­pro­pri­ate,” Tyah­ny­bok said in offi­cial state­ment.

    After the scan­dal erupt­ed, Svoboda’s Aronets delet­ed the video and all the eyes turned to the pros­e­cu­tor gen­er­al Oleh Maknit­skiy. Also a Svo­bo­da par­ty mem­ber, Maknit­skiy is now expect­ed to impar­tial­ly inves­ti­gate the assault.

    On the morn­ing of March 19, Makhnitskiy’s office released a state­ment promis­ing to just­ly deal with the case. Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov also con­demned the assault and said he was ready to have police help the pros­e­cu­tor general’s office in inves­ti­gat­ing the case.


    It begins. Hide the chil­dren.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 19, 2014, 7:07 am
  3. Yep!

    Ukraine-Europe deal may cause unrest in east
    Charles McPhe­dran, Spe­cial for USA TODAY 12:19 p.m. EDT March 21, 2014

    KHARKIV, Ukraine – Hav­ing lost con­trol of Crimea, Ukraine moved Fri­day to strength­en ties to Europe in a pact that may spark polit­i­cal unrest in the east­ern part of the coun­try where sub­stan­tial pop­u­la­tions of eth­nic Rus­sians want to secede as well.

    The Euro­pean Union and Ukraine signed ele­ments of a polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic agree­ment Fri­day, com­mit­ting Ukraine to a deal that Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych had reject­ed in favor of bet­ter ties to Moscow.

    That rejec­tion sparked mas­sive protests in the Ukrain­ian cap­i­tal of Kiev, where most peo­ple favored clos­er ties to Europe. The protests led to Yanukovy­ch’s over­throw but also gave rise to anti-Kiev protests in Crimea and a vote there Sun­day to secede.

    Fri­day, Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin offi­cial­ly annexed Crimea.

    In the east­ern Ukrain­ian city of Kharkiv, pro-Rus­sia and and pro-Europe pro­test­ers have clashed spo­rad­i­cal­ly for weeks. The city, near the bor­der with Rus­sia, was for decades under con­trol of the com­mu­nist Sovi­et Union, Rus­si­a’s pre­de­ces­sor, and signs of this past are every­where.

    Sovi­et-style archi­tec­ture is omnipresent as are stat­ues of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Sovi­et dic­ta­tor­ship, which dis­solved in 1991. Unlike in Kiev, where Lenin’s stat­ue was torn down and its bust scrawled with graf­fi­ti, in Kharkiv, the Sovi­et founder tow­ers over the city’s cen­tral Free­dom Square.

    In late Feb­ru­ary, pro-West­ern demon­stra­tors want­ed to pull down the stat­ue but decid­ed against it because they wor­ried it would have col­lapsed the roof of the sub­way below.

    The attempt angered Ukraini­ans who look fond­ly on the days of the Sovi­et Union, some of whom hold a dai­ly vig­il at the stat­ue. The most­ly aging crowd accus­es pro­test­ers in Kiev of being vio­lent fas­cists and thugs try­ing to destroy a cul­ture that ven­er­ates Sovi­et dic­ta­tor Josef Stal­in’s vic­to­ry over Adolf Hitler in World War II.

    “My father says he would cut his pen­sion in half, so riot police have mon­ey to throw rocks at pro­test­ers,” said young com­mu­nist Max­im Androsovsky, who went to Kiev to take part in protests against the pro-Euro­pean group Maid­an, named for the square where the anti-gov­ern­ment protests were cen­tered.

    “There’s no such thing as a peace­ful Molo­tov cock­tail,” he added, refer­ring to home­made gaso­line bombs thrown by pro-West­ern pro­test­ers.

    In a refu­ta­tion of pro-Moscow sen­ti­ment Fri­day, Ukrain­ian Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk signed in Brus­sels core chap­ters of the agree­ment with the EU that Yanukovych reject­ed. Por­tions of the agree­ment on free trade will be signed after Ukraine has held pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in May.

    Her­man Van Rompuy, the Euro­pean Coun­cil pres­i­dent, said the agree­ment would bring Ukraine and its 46 mil­lion peo­ple clos­er to a “Euro­pean way of life.”


    Yes, accord­ing to the EC pres­i­dent, “the agree­ment would bring Ukraine and its 46 mil­lion peo­ple clos­er to a ‘Euro­pean way of life’ ” which would be pret­ty excit­ing if that was­n’t a ref­er­ence to the post-2008 ‘Euro­pean way of life’ so you have to won­der how long this dis­con­tent with clos­er EU ties is going to be lim­it­ed to Ukraine’s eth­nic Russ­ian pop­u­la­tion.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 21, 2014, 12:56 pm
  4. Because the sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine just was­n’t Orwellian enough...

    Ukraine just cre­at­ed its own ver­sion of Orwell’s ‘Min­istry of Truth’

    By Christo­pher Miller

    KIEV, Ukraine –- The Ukraine gov­ern­ment has estab­lished a depart­ment that crit­ics are call­ing the “Min­istry of Truth” — bor­row­ing a term from George Orwell’s clas­sic dystopi­an nov­el 1984.

    Offi­cial­ly called the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion Pol­i­cy, the new office will be head­ed by Yuriy Stets, head of the Infor­ma­tion Secu­ri­ty Depart­ment of the Nation­al Guard of Ukraine. A close ally to Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko, Stets was for­mer­ly chief pro­duc­er of the TV chan­nel that Poroshenko sill owns.

    While its main objec­tive appears to be con­fronting Russia’s for­mi­da­ble pro­pa­gan­da machine, the Min­istry is like­ly to also restrict free speech and inhib­it jour­nal­ists’ work — par­tic­u­lar­ly in war-torn east­ern Ukraine, accord­ing to observers.


    At a demon­stra­tion out­side par­lia­ment, Ukrain­ian jour­nal­ists decried the new min­istry, which deputies approved in the Verk­hov­na Rada late on Tues­day, along with the rest of the country’s Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters.

    About 40 jour­nal­ists and activists from Ukrain­ian watch­dog groups Ches­no (Hon­est) and Stop Cen­sor­ship! held posters that read “Hel­lo, Big Broth­er.” They urged law­mak­ers enter­ing the par­lia­ment ahead of Tuesday’s ses­sion to vote against appoint­ing Stets as its head.

    The cre­ation of the min­istry comes on the heels of crit­i­cal reports from jour­nal­ists and rights groups about its use of con­tro­ver­sial weapons in east­ern Ukraine, as well as pos­si­ble war crimes com­mit­ted by its armed forces.

    Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment is clear­ly frus­trat­ed with by its lack of suc­cess in dis­sem­i­nat­ing its mes­sages. “You must under­stand, we are being killed by [Russ­ian] guns as well as their pro­pa­gan­da,” a top secu­ri­ty offi­cial told Mash­able when explain­ing why he sup­port­ed the cre­ation of the min­istry.

    A report released last month by The Inter­preter web­site describes just how Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da works, and how effec­tive­ly it is being used as a weapon of the Krem­lin. The report out­lines a “hybrid war” that com­bines dis­in­for­ma­tion “to sow con­fu­sion via con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and pro­lif­er­ate false­hoods” with “covert and small-scale mil­i­tary oper­a­tions.”


    Still, there are some in the gov­ern­ment who do not endorse the min­istry. A senior offi­cial in the Pres­i­den­tial Admin­is­tra­tion, who spoke anony­mous­ly because he feared reper­cus­sions from offi­cials for talk­ing to a jour­nal­ist, said he was “very con­cerned” about the min­istry and how it would be used.

    “Hon­est­ly, I’m not sure such a min­istry is need­ed,” the offi­cial said, adding that oth­ers inside the admin­is­tra­tion have also ques­tioned the move.

    “The way to fight Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da is with hon­est­ly and trans­paren­cy, not try­ing to beat Rus­sia at its own game.”

    The Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion Pol­i­cy was pushed through with lit­tle notice and even less debate on the par­lia­ment floor. That could be because the pres­i­dent him­self pushed the con­cept on mem­bers of his par­ty, the largest fac­tion in par­lia­ment, and has great sway over the rul­ing coali­tion.

    Deputies whom Mash­able spoke with ahead of the par­lia­ment ses­sion on Tues­day said Poroshenko per­son­al­ly urged them to sup­port the min­istry in a tense last-minute meet­ing called late Mon­day night.


    For­mer inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist turned law­mak­er Ser­hiy Leshchenko, who was elect­ed in last month’s vote on the tick­et of the president’s par­ty, was present at the meet­ing. He says Poroshenko “was very seri­ous” about con­firm­ing Stets the fol­low­ing day in par­lia­ment.


    Oksana Roma­niuk, direc­tor of local media watch­dog Insti­tute of Mass Infor­ma­tion and Ukraine rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Reporters With­out Bor­ders, told Mash­able that “the gov­ern­ment wants to con­trol the media’s mes­sages first, and sec­ond, they want to con­trol access to the mes­sages.”

    Details on how the min­istry will oper­ate are murky. No doc­u­ments were made avail­able to the pub­lic or deputies, and Stets did not reply to Mash­able’s requests for com­ment. But Roma­niuk fears the gov­ern­ment has giv­en itself “carte blanche.”

    Reporters With­out Bor­ders said it “firm­ly oppos­es” the infor­ma­tion min­istry. “Putting the gov­ern­ment in charge of ‘infor­ma­tion pol­i­cy’ would be major ret­ro­grade step that would open the way to grave excess­es,” said Christophe Deloire, the watch­dog orga­ni­za­tion’s sec­re­tary-gen­er­al.


    “Dear team Poroshenko, the pur­suit of absolute pow­er in this coun­try means a final career,” Tatyana Niko­laenko, chief edi­tor at Ukraine’s Insid­er mag­a­zine, wrote on Face­book. “If you cre­ate this ‘Min­istry of Truth’ the pres­i­den­t’s rat­ing will col­lapse as quick­ly as it rose in the win­ter of this year.”

    She added: “You can not win the infor­ma­tion war [against Rus­sia] with it, because with the cre­ation of the Min­istry you’ll give Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da end­less ref­er­ences to [Nazi Min­is­ter of Pro­pa­gan­da Joseph] Goebbels and Orwell.”


    But Kiev sees the cre­ation of the min­istry as a nec­es­sary move to fight Russia’s inces­sant pro­pa­gan­da, which has been par­tic­u­lar­ly suc­cess­ful over the course of the ongo­ing cri­sis.

    The con­cept was first float­ed on Sun­day, when Inte­ri­or Min­istry advi­sor Anton Herashchenko men­tioned it in a post on Face­book. In it, he men­tioned the need to counter the Russ­ian mes­sage.

    “There is an idea to cre­ate the struc­ture of the Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion Pol­i­cy, whose main task is the pro­tec­tion of Ukraine’s infor­ma­tion space of the Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da and counter-pro­pa­gan­da in Rus­sia, in the tem­porar­i­ly occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries of Crimea and [east­ern Ukraine]. This issue is long over­due and I would even say too late,” Herashchenko wrote.

    Stets relayed his thoughts on the new min­istry in his own Face­book post on Mon­day.

    “I see it this way: dif­fer­ent states with dif­fer­ent his­tor­i­cal and cul­tur­al expe­ri­ences in times of cri­sis came to need to cre­ate a body of exec­u­tive pow­er that would con­trol and man­age the infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty of the coun­try,” Stets wrote.

    Accord­ing to Stets, none of the cur­rent state struc­tures could effi­cient­ly han­dle those tasks.

    “The infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions space remain unco­or­di­nat­ed now, full of con­tra­dic­tions and influ­ence of for­eign agents, and under con­di­tions of geopo­lit­i­cal wars becomes a weak part of the coun­try, a sub­ject of ene­my attacks,” he added.

    So the “Min­istry of Truth” idea was first float­ed on Sun­day and made into law with lit­tle par­lia­men­tary debate the next day? Bra­vo.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 2, 2014, 3:46 pm
  5. Uh oh, this prob­a­bly isn’t going to help with the Russian/Turkey ten­sions:

    Morn­ingstar Online
    Grey Wolves Fas­cist Killed Russ­ian Pilot

    Nov 2015, Fri­day 27th
    post­ed by James Tweed­ie in World

    Turk­men Brigade mur­der­er a Turk­ish cit­i­zen with far-right links

    THE rebel leader who boast­ed of mur­der­ing a Russ­ian pilot shot down over Syr­ia is a mem­ber of the Turk­ish Grey Wolves fas­cist para­mil­i­tary group.

    The Morn­ing Star can reveal that Alparslan Celik (right) — deputy com­man­der of the Turk­men Brigade that shot at the para­chut­ing crew of the Su-24 tac­ti­cal bomber downed in a Turk­ish ambush — is a Turk­ish cit­i­zen from Elazig province.

    Lieu­tenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov — ear­li­er incor­rect­ly iden­ti­fied as Major Sergei Rumyant­sev — was killed by Turk­men forces after eject­ing from his jet on Tues­day.

    His nav­i­ga­tor Cap­tain Kon­stan­tin Murakhtin was cap­tured but res­cued by Syr­i­an and Russ­ian spe­cial forces on Wednes­day — the first known use of Russ­ian ground forces in Syria’s civ­il war.

    Mr Celik quick­ly claimed that his sup­pos­ed­ly native Turk­men mili­tia had killed both pilots.

    But Turkey’s Dogan news agency report­ed last year that he is a Turk­ish cit­i­zen whose father Ramazan was may­or of Keban munic­i­pal­i­ty for the ultra-nation­al­ist Nation­al Move­ment Par­ty (MHP).

    The Grey Wolves is the para­mil­i­tary wing of MHP and has been linked to the mur­ders of hun­dreds of left-wing and lib­er­al activists since the 1970s.

    Celik Jnr has post­ed pic­tures of him­self per­form­ing a Grey Wolves salute and his father report­ed last year that he had gone to fight “until mar­tyr­dom, if nec­es­sary.”

    The Turk­men Brigade had been los­ing ground to Syr­i­an army forces backed by Russ­ian air pow­er in north­ern Latakia province — close to the Turk­ish bor­der — in the days pri­or to the inci­dent.

    Col Peshkov has been posthu­mous­ly award­ed the Hero of Rus­sia medal, the nation’s high­est mil­i­tary award.

    Cpt Murakhtin and Naval Infantry­man Alexan­dr Pozyn­ich, who was killed in the res­cue oper­a­tion, were award­ed the Order of Courage.


    “But Turkey’s Dogan news agency report­ed last year that he is a Turk­ish cit­i­zen whose father Ramazan was may­or of Keban munic­i­pal­i­ty for the ultra-nation­al­ist Nation­al Move­ment Par­ty (MHP).”
    Yeah, it’s prob­a­bly not going to help ten­sions when it turns out that Alparslan Celik, the head of the Turk­men mili­tia unit who was boast­ing of killing the para­chut­ing Rus­sia pilot, was fea­tured in a Dogan news agency report from last year about being the sone of the MHP may­or of Keban and trav­el­ing to Syr­ia. Espe­cial­ly since his rel­a­tive­ly sparse twit­ter feed includes tweet of Grey Wolves founder Alparslan Turkes in March of 2013 and then no pub­lic tweets until a Jan­u­ary 2015 tweet of Alparslan and his Turk­men mili­tia mem­bers show­ing the Grey Wolves hand ges­ture.

    And just today a major pro-Kur­dish Turk­ish lawyer, Taher Elci, was just assas­si­nat­ed while mak­ing a speech call­ing for an end to the hos­til­i­ties between the Turk­ish state and the PKK (which Gary Brech­er, a.k.a. The War Nerd, see as “state killing” writ­ten all over it). So we could be look­ing at a peri­od of increased vio­lence and aggres­sion from the Turk­ish Deep State and affil­i­at­ed fas­cists and Islamists.

    But also note some­thing else rather sig­nif­i­cant that’s hap­pen­ing in par­al­lel: Erdo­gan has made it clear for a while now that a redraw­ing of the Mid­dle East­’s bor­ders is some­thing he has in mind. Recall, for instance, his speech last year when he declared Lawrence of Ara­bia a big­ger threat to peace in the Mid­dle East than ISIS and endorsed redraw­ing the Mid­dle East­’s map:

    The Dai­ly Beast
    Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Declares Lawrence of Ara­bia a Big­ger Ene­my than ISIS
    In a stun­ning speech, Erdo­gan railed against West­ern “spies” and jour­nal­ists and seemed to endorse the ISIS plan to redraw the region’s bor­ders.

    Jamie Dettmer
    10.13.14 1:00 PM ET

    GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan took on the icon­ic Lawrence of Ara­bia Mon­day in a furi­ous anti-West­ern dia­tribe. The Turk­ish pres­i­dent com­pared the out­side med­dling in the region now to the role the renowned British army offi­cer played dur­ing the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans dur­ing World War I. And West­ern diplo­mats here say the tirade bears a rather strik­ing resem­blance to some of the pro­pa­gan­da that has come out of the so-called Islam­ic State, wide­ly known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL.

    Last week, stung by West­ern crit­i­cism of Turkey’s con­spic­u­ous absence from the U.S.-led air com­bat against the ter­ror orga­ni­za­tion, and the refusal of the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment to res­cue the besieged town of Kobani, just across the Syr­i­an bor­der, Erdo­gan insist­ed he had no sym­pa­thy for the jihadists.

    But on one very impor­tant point of his­to­ry and geog­ra­phy it now appears there’s a seri­ous con­ver­gence of views between ISIS and Erdo­gan. In his speech Mon­day at a uni­ver­si­ty in Istan­bul, the Turk­ish pres­i­dent blast­ed the Sykes-Picot Agree­ment, a secret under­stand­ing (signed behind Lawrence’s back) that divid­ed up the Mid­dle East after World War I between British and French spheres of influ­ence. That deal opened the way for a British vow to estab­lish a Jew­ish home­land in Pales­tine and led to bor­ders drawn by the Euro­pean pow­ers that cre­at­ed mod­ern Syr­i­an and Iraq. His­to­ri­an David Fromkin summed up the mess that result­ed in the title of his book The Peace to End All Peace.

    “Each con­flict in this region has been designed a cen­tu­ry ago,” said Erdo­gan. “It is our duty to stop this.”

    In point of fact, T. E. Lawrence was opposed to the secret Anglo-French agree­ment, because it reneged on promis­es giv­en the Arabs by Lon­don in a bid to per­suade them to revolt against Ottoman Turk­ish rule. He tried might­i­ly to sab­o­tage the deal. But Erdo­gan is either unaware of that or sought to sim­pli­fy his­to­ry.

    ISIS, mean­while, has done some sim­pli­fy­ing of its own, and on sim­i­lar lines. Its mil­i­tants say explic­it­ly they are out to erase the bor­ders that Sykes-Picot estab­lished across most of the mod­ern Mid­dle East. In the sum­mer, after sweep­ing in from Syr­ia to seize Mosul, the sec­ond largest city in Iraq, they pro­duced a video called, yes, ”The End of Sykes Pico,” in which they blew up a bor­der out­post and lev­eled part of the earth­en bar­ri­er on the Iraqi-Syr­i­an bor­der. They declared tri­umphant­ly they would bull­doze oth­er West­ern-imposed bor­ders as well.

    The Erdo­gan speech was suf­fused with an angry anti-West­ern narrative—he also tilt­ed at West­ern jour­nal­ists, accus­ing them of being spies—and will no doubt thrill some of Erdogan’s sup­port­ers. In south­ern Turkey, some local offi­cials in his Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty (AKP) express sym­pa­thy for ISIS. But it will ring alarm bells in West­ern cap­i­tals at a time coali­tion offi­cials are redou­bling their efforts to try to per­suade a reluc­tant Turk­ish gov­ern­ment to play a for­ward-lean­ing part in the Amer­i­can-led war on the jihadists.

    Turkey is con­sid­ered cru­cial if Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s war aim to “degrade and defeat” ISIS is to be accom­plished. The coun­try has been the main logis­ti­cal base for the Islam­ic mil­i­tants, the main tran­sit coun­try for for­eign fight­ers to enter neigh­bor­ing Syr­ia and a key source of it’s rev­enue from the smug­gling of oil tapped in cap­tured oil fields. In his deter­mi­na­tion to top­ple Syr­i­an Pres­i­dent Bashar Assad, Erdo­gan has been accused of at best turn­ing a blind eye to the rise of ISIS and at worst active­ly encour­ag­ing it.

    At the week­end U.S. offi­cials announced a break­through in their efforts to per­suade Turkey to become a front­line ally, say­ing the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment had agreed that a NATO air­base at Incir­lik could be used by the anti-ISIS coali­tion. But the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment was omi­nous­ly silent Mon­day on that score and just hours after Erdogan’s speech Turk­ish offi­cials denied they had agreed U.S. war­planes could use Incir­lik air base for attacks on Islam­ic mil­i­tants.

    Erdogan’s com­ments Mon­day give a glimpse into the Turk­ish leadership’s rea­sons for deny­ing the use of Incir­lik. And they augur bad­ly for the over­all effort, reveal­ing the deep lev­el of dis­trust the Turk­ish pres­i­dent har­bors for the West. Cer­tain­ly the speech sug­gests that Amer­i­can hopes of per­suad­ing Turkey to come ful­ly on board are mis­placed.


    Erdo­gan argued there are mod­ern-day Lawrences in Turkey right now “dis­guised as jour­nal­ists, reli­gious men, writ­ers and ter­ror­ists.” And the remark was espe­cial­ly omi­nous on the day five for­eign journalists—three of them German—were hauled before a court for a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing in the south­east­ern Turkey of Diyarbakir, fol­low­ing their arrests at the week­end by anti-ter­ror­ist police. They had been cov­er­ing Kurds protest­ing Turkey’s refusal to help save the besieged Syr­i­an bor­der town of Kobani, where Kur­dish men and women have fought off an ISIS onslaught for 28 days.

    “We were pho­tograph­ing Kur­dish pro­test­ers build­ing a bar­ri­cade and we were accused of being provo­ca­teurs and of encour­ag­ing them to do so and of engag­ing in espi­onage,” says Ger­man free­lance pho­tog­ra­ph­er Chris­t­ian Grodotz­ki. “As they arrest­ed us they pushed us around and punched two of us and some Ger­man tourists were there and they kicked one of them in the stom­ach. It was a pret­ty rough arrest. They tried real­ly hard to get us to con­firm we were spies or trick us into sign­ing false con­fes­sions.”

    The jour­nal­ists have now been released but the cas­es against them will be con­tin­ued. Grodotz­ki says Erdogan’s remarks about jour­nal­ists being spies is like­ly to be seen by the police as the go-ahead for a no-holds barred approach towards the West­ern media.

    “This isn’t a speech one expects from an ally, espe­cial­ly when there are del­i­cate nego­ti­a­tions going on,” says an Istan­bul-based Euro­pean diplo­mat. “It reveals stark­ly what we are up against when it comes to Erdo­gan.” Anoth­er diplo­mat said: “The Turks are deter­mined to ensure that what­ev­er hap­pens in Syr­ia post-Assad, it is seen as their sphere of influ­ence and they have two aims: to keep Iran at bay and keep the West out.”

    “Erdogan’s com­ments Mon­day give a glimpse into the Turk­ish leadership’s rea­sons for deny­ing the use of Incir­lik.”
    Yes, that resusal to allow the use of the Incir­lik air­base for anti-ISIS oper­a­tions may very well have to do with a desire to not just see ISIS top­ple the Assad gov­ern­ment but also redraw the map of the Mid­dle East in a man­ner con­sis­tent with ISIS’s ambi­tions. As the diplo­mat puts it at the end:

    “The Turks are deter­mined to ensure that what­ev­er hap­pens in Syr­ia post-Assad, it is seen as their sphere of influ­ence and they have two aims: to keep Iran at bay and keep the West out.”

    And based on Erdo­gan’s speech, it appears that redraw­ing the maps of Syr­ia and Iraq (and pos­si­bly more) just might be seen as one way to achieve those aims. Of course, Turkey and ISIS alone can’t force a redraw­ing of the Mid­dle East­ern map. But if, say, the larg­er neo­con­ser­v­a­tive estab­lish­ment in the West was to get behind the idea, well, that could cer­tain­ly make a post-Sykes Picot world much more pos­si­ble. So it’s worth not­ing that one of the biggest neo­con­ser­v­a­tives around, John Bolton, just endorsed the Turkey/ISIS plan of break­ing up Iraq and Syr­ia and cre­at­ing a new Sun­ni state:

    The New York Times
    John Bolton: To Defeat ISIS, Cre­ate a Sun­ni State

    NOV. 24, 2015

    Amer­i­ca is debat­ing how to respond to the ter­ror­ist attacks in Paris. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, both Pres­i­dent Obama’s cur­rent pol­i­cy and oth­er recent pro­pos­als lack a strate­gic vision for the Mid­dle East once the Islam­ic State, or ISIS, is actu­al­ly defeat­ed. There are no answers, or only out­mod­ed ones, to the basic ques­tion: What comes after the Islam­ic State?

    Before trans­form­ing Mr. Obama’s inef­fec­tive efforts into a vig­or­ous mil­i­tary cam­paign to destroy the Islam­ic State, we need a clear view, shared with NATO allies and oth­ers, about what will replace it. It is crit­i­cal to resolve this issue before con­sid­er­ing any oper­a­tional plans. Strat­e­gy does not come from the ground up; instead, tac­tics flow deduc­tive­ly once we’ve defined the ulti­mate objec­tives.

    Today’s real­i­ty is that Iraq and Syr­ia as we have known them are gone. The Islam­ic State has carved out a new enti­ty from the post-Ottoman Empire set­tle­ment, mobi­liz­ing Sun­ni oppo­si­tion to the regime of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-Assad and the Iran-dom­i­nat­ed gov­ern­ment of Iraq. Also emerg­ing, after years of effort, is a de fac­to inde­pen­dent Kur­dis­tan.

    If, in this con­text, defeat­ing the Islam­ic State means restor­ing to pow­er Mr. Assad in Syr­ia and Iran’s pup­pets in Iraq, that out­come is nei­ther fea­si­ble nor desir­able. Rather than striv­ing to recre­ate the post-World War I map, Wash­ing­ton should rec­og­nize the new geopol­i­tics. The best alter­na­tive to the Islam­ic State in north­east­ern Syr­ia and west­ern Iraq is a new, inde­pen­dent Sun­ni state.

    This “Sun­ni-stan” has eco­nom­ic poten­tial as an oil pro­duc­er (sub­ject to nego­ti­a­tion with the Kurds, to be sure), and could be a bul­wark against both Mr. Assad and Iran-allied Bagh­dad. The rulers of the Arab Gulf states, who should by now have learned the risk to their own secu­ri­ty of fund­ing Islamist extrem­ism, could pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant financ­ing. And Turkey — still a NATO ally, don’t for­get — would enjoy greater sta­bil­i­ty on its south­ern bor­der, mak­ing the exis­tence of a new state at least tol­er­a­ble.

    The func­tion­al inde­pen­dence of Kur­dis­tan rein­forces this approach. The Kurds have final­ly become too big a force in the region for Bagh­dad or Dam­as­cus to push them around. They will not be cajoled or coerced into relin­quish­ing ter­ri­to­ry they now con­trol to Mr. Assad in Syr­ia or to Iraq’s Shi­ite mili­tias.

    The Kurds still face enor­mous chal­lenges, with dan­ger­ous­ly uncer­tain bor­ders, espe­cial­ly with Turkey. But an inde­pen­dent Kur­dis­tan that has inter­na­tion­al recog­ni­tion could work in America’s favor.

    Make no mis­take, this new Sun­ni state’s gov­ern­ment is unlike­ly to be a Jef­fer­son­ian democ­ra­cy for many years. But this is a region where alter­na­tives to sec­u­lar mil­i­tary or semi-author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments are scarce. Secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty are suf­fi­cient ambi­tions.

    As we did in Iraq with the 2006 “Anbar Awak­en­ing,” the coun­terin­sur­gency oper­a­tion that dis­lodged Al Qae­da from its strong­hold in that Iraqi province, we and our allies must empow­er viable Sun­ni lead­ers, includ­ing trib­al author­i­ties who prize their exist­ing social struc­tures. No doubt, this will involve for­mer Iraqi and Syr­i­an Baath Par­ty offi­cials; and there may still be some mod­er­ate Syr­i­an oppo­si­tion lead­ers. All are prefer­able to the Islamist extrem­ists.


    This Sun­ni state pro­pos­al dif­fers sharply from the vision of the Russ­ian-Iran­ian axis and its prox­ies (Hezbol­lah, Mr. Assad and Tehran-backed Bagh­dad). Their aim of restor­ing Iraqi and Syr­i­an gov­ern­ments to their for­mer bor­ders is a goal fun­da­men­tal­ly con­trary to Amer­i­can, Israeli and friend­ly Arab state inter­ests. Notions, there­fore, of an Amer­i­can-Russ­ian coali­tion against the Islam­ic State are as unde­sir­able as they are glib.

    In Syr­ia, Moscow wants to dom­i­nate the regime (with or with­out Mr. Assad) and safe­guard Russia’s Tar­tus naval base and its new Latakia air base. Tehran wants a con­tin­u­ing Alaw­ite suprema­cy, with full pro­tec­tion for Hezbol­lah in Lebanon and Syr­ia.

    As for Iraq, Rus­sia and Iran want the Sun­ni ter­ri­to­ries returned to Baghdad’s con­trol, rein­forc­ing Iran’s region­al influ­ence. They may wish for the same in Kur­dis­tan, but they lack the capa­bil­i­ty there.

    Sun­nis today sup­port the Islam­ic State for many of the same rea­sons they once sup­port­ed Al Qae­da in Iraq — as a bul­wark against being ruled by Tehran via Bagh­dad. Telling these Sun­ni peo­ple that their reward for ris­ing against the Islam­ic State in Syr­ia and Iraq will be to put them back in thrall to Mr. Assad and his ilk, or to Shi­ite-dom­i­nat­ed Bagh­dad, will sim­ply inten­si­fy their sup­port for the jihadists. Why would they switch sides?

    This is why, after destroy­ing the Islam­ic State, Amer­i­ca should pur­sue the far-reach­ing goal of cre­at­ing a new Sun­ni state. Though dif­fi­cult in the near term, over time this is more con­ducive to region­al order and sta­bil­i­ty.

    Cre­at­ing an Amer­i­can-led anti-Islam­ic State alliance instead of Moscow’s pro­posed coali­tion will require con­sid­er­able diplo­mat­ic and polit­i­cal effort. Amer­i­can ground com­bat forces will have to be deployed to pro­vide cohe­sion and lead­er­ship. But this would be nec­es­sary to defeat the Islam­ic State even if the objec­tive were sim­ply to recre­ate the sta­tus quo ante.

    The Anbar Awak­en­ing and the Amer­i­can military’s 2007 “surge” pro­vide the mod­el, as do Kur­dish suc­cess­es against the Islam­ic State. Local fight­ers armed, trained and advised by the Unit­ed States would com­bine with Arab and Amer­i­can con­ven­tion­al forces.

    The mil­i­tary oper­a­tion is not the hard­est part of this post-Islam­ic State vision. It will also require sus­tained Amer­i­can atten­tion and com­mit­ment. We can­not walk away from this sit­u­a­tion as we did from Iraq in 2011.

    The new “Sun­ni-stan” may not be Switzer­land. This is not a democ­ra­cy ini­tia­tive, but cold pow­er pol­i­tics. It is con­sis­tent with the strate­gic objec­tive of oblit­er­at­ing the Islam­ic State that we share with our allies, and it is achiev­able.

    “If, in this con­text, defeat­ing the Islam­ic State means restor­ing to pow­er Mr. Assad in Syr­ia and Iran’s pup­pets in Iraq, that out­come is nei­ther fea­si­ble nor desir­able. Rather than striv­ing to recre­ate the post-World War I map, Wash­ing­ton should rec­og­nize the new geopol­i­tics. The best alter­na­tive to the Islam­ic State in north­east­ern Syr­ia and west­ern Iraq is a new, inde­pen­dent Sun­ni state.
    When John Bolton backs Erdo­gan’s and ISIS’s calls for a new sec­tar­i­an map, well, we should prob­a­bly con­sid­er­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that mak­ing such a map real­i­ty is a seri­ous pos­si­bil­i­ty. Espe­cial­ly giv­en oth­er thorny real­i­ties like the fact that the Russ­ian mil­i­tary is now mak­ing it very clear hat a mil­i­tary defeat of Assad’s forces isn’t going to hap­pen any time soon.

    Also keep in mind this this talk of redraw­ing the map of the Mid­dle East isn’t new from a promi­nent neo­con. Back in 2006, Lt Colonel Ralph Peters (who has called for “mil­i­tary attacks on par­ti­san media” dur­ing wartime, a sen­ti­ment Erdo­gan can prob­a­bly relate to) wrote his “Blood Bor­ders” piece for the Armed Forced Jour­nal which made the case that par­ti­tion­ing the Mid­dle East along eth­nic and sec­tar­i­an lines was the best long-term solu­tion for peace in the region. Trib­al­ism for World Peace! The point being that redraw­ing the map of the Mid­dle East has been an idea bandied about by influ­en­tial peo­ple for a while now and based on what we’ve heard from Erdo­gan it seems rea­son­able that it’s been some­thing he’s had in mind for a while too which is some­thing that might add some con­text to Turkey’s covert but aggres­sive back­ing of a ISIS’s attempts to carve out a new de fac­to state with or with­out the over­throw­ing Assad’s gov­ern­ment.

    It also adds some con­text to sto­ries like Pres­i­dent Oba­ma hav­ing to call for Turkey to seal its bor­der in the areas where its known that ISIS fight­ers are flow­ing into and out of Syr­ia. Sure, Erdo­gan might be allow­ing those flows because he’d like to see the down­fall of Assad. But when a redraw­ing of the maps of Iraq and Syr­ia are also one of his goals, sim­ply main­tain­ing the exis­tence of ISIS as a de fac­to state (which is sit­ting on A LOT of oil) that makes putting Iraq and Syr­ia back togeth­er impos­si­ble might alone be enough of a moti­va­tion to keep those bor­ders open and those fight­ers flow­ing. In oth­er words, the mil­i­tary col­lapse of Assad’s forces may not be required for the achieve­ment of Erdo­gan’s strate­gic objec­tives for the region.

    Adding to the intrigue is anoth­er very fas­ci­nat­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty that’s emerg­ing as world pow­ers nego­ti­ate over the fate of Syr­ia and Iraq: Now that Rus­sia is direct­ly mil­i­tar­i­ly involved in ensure the Assad gov­ern­ment does­n’t mil­i­tar­i­ly col­lapse, the par­ti­tion­ing of Syr­ia and Iraq is prob­a­bly going to be seen as the only pos­si­ble solu­tion but it will be a solu­tion that will effec­tive­ly require the agree­ment of Rus­sia. And that rais­es all sorts of fas­ci­nat­ing poten­tial dynam­ics because Rus­si­a’s claim to Crimea is still con­test­ed by most of the world, not to men­tion the sta­tus of East­ern Ukraine. So...might we be in store for an upcom­ing grand bar­gain of sorts between Rus­sia, Turkey, and the West? Europe and the US rec­og­nizes Crimea as a Russ­ian state in exchange for Rus­sia back­ing a balka­nized Syr­ia and Iraq? Don’t for­get that Turkey has the capac­i­ty to cre­ate quite a few headaches in Crimea giv­en the large pop­u­la­tion of Tar­tars and the ties to pan-Turk­ist move­ments. Also don’t for­get that the down­ing of the Russ­ian jet hap­pened less than a week after some­one blew up pow­er pylon in Ukraine that were feed­ing elec­tric­i­ty into Crimea and it was Crimean Tar­tar activists, along with mem­bers of the Right Sec­tor, who endorsed the sab­o­tage and are block­ing Ukrain­ian repairs. As a result, Crimea is still with­out pow­er and when Rus­sia demand­ed that Ukraine repair the pylons, Kiev respond­ed by declar­ing a block­ade of all goods into Crimea. Also note that the man issu­ing demands on behalf of the Crimean Tar­tar pro­test­ers, Ukrain­ian MP and Crimean Tar­tar rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mustafa Dzhemilev, received Turkey’s high­est state award in April 2014:

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty
    Crimean Tatar Leader Receives Turkey’s High­est State Order

    By RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Ser­vice

    April 16, 2014

    The vet­er­an leader of Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, has received Turkey’s high­est state award.

    Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Abdul­lah Gul award­ed Dzhemilev with the Order of State of the Repub­lic of Turkey at a spe­cial cer­e­mo­ny in Turkey on April 15.

    Dzhemilev, who is a Ukrain­ian law­mak­er, thanked Turkey for its sup­port of Ukraine in “this very chal­leng­ing and dif­fi­cult time.”

    Dzhemilev, along with Ukrain­ian pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Petro Poroshenko, dis­cussed the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine with Gul on April 15.

    Dzhemilev and Poroshenko told jour­nal­ists that Gul assured them that Ankara will nev­er rec­og­nize the annex­a­tion of Ukraine’s Crimea by Rus­sia, will sup­port Ukraine’s efforts to estab­lish order in its east­ern regions, and will con­tribute to peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the Black Sea region.

    “Dzhemilev and Poroshenko told jour­nal­ists that Gul assured them that Ankara will nev­er rec­og­nize the annex­a­tion of Ukraine’s Crimea by Rus­sia, will sup­port Ukraine’s efforts to estab­lish order in its east­ern regions, and will con­tribute to peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the Black Sea region.”
    That was then. But this isn’t 2014 and now that Rus­sia is mak­ing a mil­i­tary solu­tion to the Syr­i­an civ­il war very unlike­ly any time soon you have to won­der whether or not Ankara’s pledge to “nev­er” rec­og­nized the annex­a­tion of Crimea is real­ly a pledge to “nev­er” rec­og­nize that annex­a­tion, or whether an agree­ment to break of Syr­ia and Iraq might turn that “nev­er” pledge into a “not at the moment, but we’ll see” pledge. There’s a pret­ty clear ratch­et­ing of ten­sions between Rus­sia and Turkey, but when you con­sid­er the post-Syke-Picot dreams of Erdo­gan and oth­er, there’s a pret­ty clear poten­tial quid pro quo sit­ting there too. And as we saw with ideas like “Blood Bor­ders” get­ting bandied about in 2006, it’s a quid pro quo that quite a few gov­ern­ments or strate­gist have prob­a­bly been think­ing about for a while.

    So when we’re think­ing about what could have moti­vat­ed Turkey to shoot down that plane, keep in mind that a ratch­et­ing of ten­sions with Rus­sia also dou­bles as quid pro quo appe­tiz­er.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 28, 2015, 4:51 pm

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