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FTR #784 “First, Tame the Intellectuals . . . .”

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1 [2]  Side 2 [3]

(We have done eight pro­grams to date about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis: FTR #‘s 777 [4]778 [5]779 [6]780 [7]781 [8]782 [9], 783 [10]784 [11].)

[12]

Pravy Sek­tor Activist

Intro­duc­tion: The title of the pro­gram is a quote from Adolph Hitler. The full quote is: “First, tame the intel­lec­tu­als. Then, take them to the fields and hitch them to your race­hors­es.” It applies direct­ly to the role of Amer­i­can and Ger­man polit­i­cal intel­lec­tu­als and jour­nal­ists in the fun­da­men­tal and delib­er­ate mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the events in and around the Ukraine.

In the Ukraine, prop­er, the fas­cist Swo­bo­da par­ty is tam­ing the intel­lec­tu­als in an alto­geth­er char­ac­ter­is­tic and–when necessary–brutal fash­ion. Sev­er­al Swo­bo­da par­lia­men­tary deputies roughed up the direc­tor of the largest state TV sta­tion [13] in Ukraine and forced his resignation–this because he broad­cast excerpts of Putin’s speech about the annex­a­tion of Crimea. The assault was led by Ihor Mirosh­ny­chenko, the Deputy Chair of the par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Free­dom of Speech and Infor­ma­tion! He is the same fel­low who referred to Ukrain­ian-born actress Mila Kunis as a “dirty Jew­ess.”

Oth­er, sim­i­lar, events have occurred else­where [14]in Ukraine.

[15]

Swo­bo­da leader Oleh Tia­hany­bok: This is what con­sti­tutes “mod­er­a­tion” to our media

Like the U.S. media, the Ger­man media have been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly mis­rep­re­sent­ing Swo­bo­da as some­thing oth­er than the fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion it clear­ly is. (Swo­bo­da dom­i­nates the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment [6], along with its fel­low OUN/B deriv­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion Pravy Sek­tor.) We note in pass­ing that the fascist/Nazi nature of the forces now hold­ing sway in Ukraine was empow­ered by the sytem­at­ic, delib­er­ate alter­ing [8] of Ukrain­ian his­to­ry under the Yuschenko gov­ern­ment.

The slant­ed media cov­er­age in the U.S. and that in Ger­many appear to be coor­di­nat­ed, to some extent. Die Zeit has been front and cen­ter in down­play­ing the fas­cism in Ukraine. Jochen Bit­tner of that pub­li­ca­tion is a guest edi­to­r­i­al con­trib­u­tor to The New York Times. (We won­der if Serge Schme­mann [9] might have some­thing to do with that devel­op­ment.)

Much of the pro­gram deals with the nature of the so-called demo­c­ra­t­ic oppo­si­tion in Rus­sia, about which we’ve heard so much cat­er­waul­ing of late. In par­tic­u­lar, the pro­gram high­lights the true polit­i­cal cache of Alex­ei Naval­ny, recent­ly fea­tured as an op-ed writer in The New York Times.

Hailed as a “demo­c­rat” in our media, Naval­ny might bet­ter be termed a “fascionalist”–a xeno­phobe who is seen as unit­ing the racist anti-immi­grant right in Rus­sia and the cor­po­rate, urban mid­dle class.

The pro­gram con­cludes with review of West­ern intel­li­gence sup­port for Cau­ca­sus jihadist ele­ments.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of Swo­bo­da’s cel­e­bra­tion of the Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS units from World War II; the move by Ger­man Green Par­ty del­e­gates to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment to lim­it for­mer Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Ger­hard Schroed­er’s lim­it to free speech after he open­ly ques­tioned Ger­many’s pol­i­cy toward Ukraine; dis­cus­sion of a Russ­ian fas­cist known as “the hatch­et;” Naval­ny’s affin­i­ty with Russ­ian neo-fas­cist ele­ments; review of the role of Arrow-Cross/­GOP vet­er­an Las­z­lo Pasz­tor in the Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion’s inter­face with the Russ­ian IRG in the 1990’s.

1. The Orwellian cov­er­age of the Ukraine con­tin­ues, with the absence of cov­er­age in the West of a stun­ning, rep­re­sen­ta­tive action by Swo­boda par­li­men­tary deputies. Angered by a state tele­vi­sion station’s broad­cast of Vladimir Putin’s speech announc­ing the absorp­tion of Crimea into the Ukraine, sev­eral Swo­boda par­lia­men­tary [13] deputies assault­ed him and forced him to sign a paper of res­ig­na­tion. The assault was led by Ihor Mirosh­ny­chenko, the Deputy Chair of the par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Free­dom of Speech and Infor­ma­tion! He is the same fel­low who referred to Ukrain­ian-born actress Mila Kunis as a “dirty Jew­ess.”

“Nation­al­ist Svo­boda Par­ty mem­bers of par­lia­ment assault First Chan­nel TV man­ager” by Olga Rudenko; Kyiv Post; 3/19/2014. [13]

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. . . .

2. The inci­dent described above is, sad­ly, not atyp­i­cal of what is going on in Ukraine. Note, also, the sys­tem­at­ic Ger­man media effort to “put listick on the Nazi” Swo­bo­da orga­ni­za­tion. Swo­bo­da leader Oleh Tyah­ny­bok met with the Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter, among oth­ers.

“A Fatal Taboo Vio­la­tion”; german-foreign-policy.com; 3/21/2014. [14]

The raids on TV edi­to­r­i­al boards by par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in the new Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, which Ger­many helped bring to pow­er, is pro­vok­ing mas­sive protests. Tues­day evening, Svo­bo­da Par­ty MPs stormed the office of the act­ing Pres­i­dent of the Nation­al Tele­vi­sion Co. of Ukraine (NTU) and forced him to resign with phys­i­cal blows and ver­bal insults. A sim­i­lar inci­dent took place the day before in Cherni­hiv. Dozens of jour­nal­ists in Kiev and the OSCE Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Free­dom of the Media have harsh­ly crit­i­cized these attacks, which are in line with Svo­bo­da’s elec­toral pro­gram promis­ing to revoke the licens­es of all media “spread­ing anti-Ukrain­ian pro­pa­gan­da.” Svo­bo­da’s par­ty pro­gram calls also for mak­ing the day of the found­ing of the Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army (UPA) a nation­al hol­i­day. The UPA had par­tic­i­pat­ed in the mas­sacres of Jew­ish Ukraini­ans and tens of thou­sands of Poles — accord­ing to esti­mates, up to 100.000 peo­ple. The Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter has lent this par­ty inter­na­tion­al social respectabil­i­ty and Ger­man media is char­ac­ter­iz­ing Svo­bo­da not as “fas­cist,” but mere­ly as “nation­al­ist.” A lead­ing Ger­man dai­ly claims that the leader, Oleh Tiah­ny­bok, has led his par­ty “out of the right-wing quag­mire.”

Svo­bo­da’s Media Spe­cial­ist

The raid on the Nation­al Tele­vi­sion Co. of Ukraine (NTU) car­ried out by a group of Svo­bo­da par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and thugs, has pro­voked new protests against the new Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment. Under the lead­er­ship of MP Ihor Mirosh­ny­chenko, the Svo­bo­da activists forced their way into NTU Pres­i­dent Olek­san­dr Pan­te­ley­monov’s office, accus­ing him of serv­ing Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da inter­ests because he had broad­cast excerpts of the speech, Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Putin had held that day. They phys­i­cal­ly assault­ed him and forced him to resign. Mirosh­ny­chenko is the Deputy Chair of the par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Free­dom of Speech and Infor­ma­tion. A video of the attack can be seen on the inter­net.[1] [Mirosh­ny­chenko is also the fel­low who termed Ukrain­ian-born actress Mila Kunis “Jew.”

Edi­to­r­i­al Coop­er­a­tion

This has not been the only such inci­dent. Accord­ing to the OSCE Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Free­dom of the Media, already on Mon­day, a group of unnamed indi­vid­u­als stormed the nation­al tele­vi­sion office in the Chernigov region, forc­ing its direc­tor, Arkadiy Bilibayev, to resign.[2] The “Right Sec­tor’s” mili­tia occu­pied the TV sta­tion “Tonis” and sug­gest­ed “edi­to­r­i­al coop­er­a­tion.”[3]

Oth­er Meth­ods

Svo­bo­da’s attacks have sparked protests. In Kiev, dozens of jour­nal­ists demon­strat­ed against intim­i­da­tion attempts using force to end non-con­formist report­ing. OSCE Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Free­dom of the Media, Dun­ja Mija­tović expressed her “out­rage.” The attack on NTU Direc­tor in Kiev is a “par­tic­u­lar­ly seri­ous inci­dent,” also because it was per­pe­trat­ed by mem­bers of the free­dom of speech and infor­ma­tion com­mit­tee of the Par­lia­ment. Svo­bo­da leader Oleh Tiah­ny­bok has now offi­cial­ly dis­so­ci­at­ed him­self from the attack, declar­ing that his par­ty must “under­stand” that it no longer is in the oppo­si­tion and there­fore, should use “oth­er meth­ods.” Tiah­ny­bok him­self has used vio­lence togeth­er with Mirosh­ny­chenko, as can be seen on the pho­to (right) tak­en in the Kiev par­lia­ment. A year ago, Mirosh­ny­chenko had made him­self a name, when insult­ing Ukrain­ian actress, Mila Kunis he referred to her as “Jew.”

“Typ­i­cal Russ­ian Pro­pa­gan­da”

While its fas­cist char­ac­ter becomes more evi­dent, from one day to the next, the Svo­bo­da Par­ty has under­gone quite a sur­pris­ing rhetor­i­cal car­ri­er in lead­ing Ger­man media organs. Where­as, in the fall of 2013, there was a basic con­sen­sus that the par­ty was rightwing extrem­ist, it has since gone through a major trans­for­ma­tion. As a dwin­dling num­ber of edi­to­r­i­al boards is char­ac­ter­iz­ing Svo­bo­da as “fas­cist” or “rightwing extrem­ist,” a grow­ing num­ber is using such attrib­ut­es as “rightwing pop­ulist,” “nation­al­ist,” or also, more recent­ly, “nation­al con­ser­v­a­tive.” Just a few days ago, a Ger­man dai­ly wrote that Svo­bo­da, pos­si­bly “before 2004, had nur­tured rightwing extrem­ist tra­di­tions.” How­ev­er, its leader Oleh Tiah­ny­bok has since “led the par­ty out of this rightwing quag­mire.” It would be “dif­fi­cult to find fas­cist or anti-Semit­ic remarks he [Tiah­ny­bok, (edi­tor’s note)] has made over the past few years,” accord­ing to the “Tagesspiegel.” Besides, the “fas­cism accu­sa­tion” is part “of the typ­i­cal Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da.”[4]

Fas­cist?

If one would take this alle­ga­tion seri­ous­ly, var­i­ous Svo­bo­da activ­i­ties under Tiah­ny­bok’s lead­er­ship in 2013 would no longer be con­sid­ered “fas­cist” or “rightwing extrem­ist.” This would include a neo-Nazi “Sven­skar­nas Par­ty” (Par­ty of the Swedes) meet­ing, March 23 — 24 2013 in Stock­holm, where Svo­bo­da was rep­re­sent­ed and one of the keynote speak­ers was from the Ger­man NPD par­ty. There would also be Svo­bo­da’s par­tic­i­pa­tion at the “Bore­al Fes­ti­val” in mid-Sep­tem­ber 2013 in Can­tù, Italy, where, along­side the “Sven­skar­nas Par­ty,” also Italy’s neo-fas­cist “Forza-Nuo­va” and the “British Nation­al Par­ty” were also present, or a meet­ing of a Svo­bo­da par­ty del­e­ga­tion with Sax­ony’s NPD region­al par­lia­men­tary group in late May.[5] The April 28, 2013, com­mem­o­ra­tion cel­e­bra­tion orga­nized by Svo­bo­da in Lviv for the 70th Anniver­sary of the found­ing of the “Gali­cian” SS Divi­sion, with a Svo­bo­da par­lia­men­tar­i­an in Kiev as keynote speak­er, would have noth­ing at all to do with fas­cism. The next day, Tiah­ny­bok met in Kiev with the Ger­man ambassador.[6] Accord­ing to the “Tagesspiegel’s” alle­ga­tions, Svo­bo­da’s memo­r­i­al cel­e­bra­tion in Octo­ber 2013 of the Octo­ber 14, 1942 found­ing of the “Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army” (UPA) would also not qual­i­fy as fas­cist. The UPA had mas­sa­cred around 100,000 peo­ple in the wake of the Nazi occu­piers, par­tic­u­lar­ly Jews.

Nation­al Hol­i­day

The Ger­man gov­ern­ment claims that “in the run-up to the 2012 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions” Svo­bo­da had revised its elec­toral pro­gram elim­i­nat­ing “rightwing extrem­ist state­ments” and insist­ing that, in his tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with Tiah­ny­bok on April 29, the Ger­man ambas­sador had under­lined that “anti-Semit­ic remarks are unac­cept­able from the Ger­man view­point.”[7] But Svo­bo­da’s pro­gram is still unam­bigu­ous. For exam­ple, the par­ty demands that all media organs spread­ing “anti-Ukrain­ian pro­pa­gan­da” have their licens­es revoked. The par­lia­men­tar­i­an Ihor Mirosh­ny­chenko used pre­cise­ly this argu­ment to jus­ti­fy his attack on NTU’s direc­tor. Accord­ing to its elec­toral pro­gram, Svo­bo­da seeks to out­law “any dis­play of Ukrain­o­pho­bia” and ban “sex­u­al per­ver­sion” — refer­ring also to homo­sex­u­al­i­ty. The par­ty calls for a “state pro­gram of patri­ot­ic edu­ca­tion and hard­en­ing the nature of the young gen­er­a­tion” and pro­motes “patri­ot­ic orga­ni­za­tions.” “Patri­o­tism” would be defined by Svo­bo­da’s view of his­to­ry: It plans to declare the crimes of the Nazi UPA and of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ist (OUN) col­lab­o­ra­tors a “nation­al lib­er­a­tion strug­gle” and wants to give UPA vet­er­ans “prop­er priv­i­leges,” and declare Octo­ber 14, the day the UPA was found­ed, a “nation­al hol­i­day” — the “Day of Ukrain­ian Weapon­ry.”[8]

“Gone Wrong More than Once”

When on Feb­ru­ary 20, the Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier (SPD) appeared in pub­lic at the side of Svo­bo­da leader Oleh Tiah­ny­bok, he lent that par­ty social respectabil­i­ty as an accept­able coop­er­a­tion part­ner. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[9]) A few days ago, for­mer EU-Com­mis­sion­er, Gün­ter Ver­heugen (SPD), was unam­bigu­ous in his views con­cern­ing Svo­bo­da. It is a fatal “vio­la­tion of a taboo” to accept “real fas­cists in a gov­ern­ment,” Ver­heugen declared: “Inte­grat­ing rad­i­cal forces, has gone ter­ri­bly wrong more than once in Euro­pean his­to­ry. This should not be forgotten.”[10]

3a. Anoth­er sto­ry in German-Foreign-Policy.com dis­cuss­es the “Min­istry of Truth” as it has oper­at­ed in Ger­many. Ger­man dailies are dis­tanc­ing them­selves from pre­vi­ous com­mit­ments to car­ry the “Rus­sia Today” pages, car­ried in var­i­ous West­ern pub­li­ca­tions.

More impor­tant­ly, Die Zeit has helped to set the pace with regard to pro­pa­gan­diz­ing the Ukrain­ian cri­sis. Note his links to var­i­ous transat­lantic pol­i­cy form­ing groups.

High­light­ing the over-the-top nature of the Transat­lantic pro­pa­gan­diz­ing of the Ukraine cri­sis is the move by Ger­man Green Par­ty del­e­gates to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment to lim­it for­mer Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Ger­hard Schroed­er’s lim­it to free speech after he open­ly ques­tioned Ger­many’s pol­i­cy toward Ukraine. (This should­n’t be too sur­pris­ing to vet­er­an lis­ten­ers, as the Ger­man Green Par­ty’s roots [16] are anchored not only in the Third Reich but the SS [17].)

“The Free World”; german-foreign-policy.com; 3/17/2014. [18]

In light of the pend­ing incor­po­ra­tion of the Crimea into the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, Ger­man politi­cians and media are step­ping up their Rus­so­phobe agi­ta­tion. The pub­lic’s “under­stand­ing for Moscow’s alleged motives” regard­ing the Crimea, remains “strik­ing­ly high,” com­plains a lead­ing Ger­man dai­ly. This reflects the view that West­ern glob­al aggres­sions are either “not bet­ter or even worse.” In this con­text, a lead­ing Ger­man news­pa­per, the “Süd­deutsche Zeitung,” has dis­con­tin­ued a Russ­ian PR insert, which it had begun car­ry­ing fol­low­ing a lucra­tive Euro­pean-Russ­ian eco­nom­ic con­fer­ence. Anoth­er lead­ing pub­li­ca­tion, the week­ly “Die Zeit”, has “apol­o­gized” for hav­ing print­ed dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed arti­cles about the Ukraine. The author, a free­lance jour­nal­ist, had also earned his liv­ing, doing edi­to­r­i­al work for the above-men­tioned Russ­ian PR insert. Last week, the lead­ing Ger­man Green Par­ty’s can­di­date for the Euro­pean par­lia­men­tary elec­tions tabled a motion for a gag order on for­mer Ger­man Chan­cel­lor, Ger­hard Schröder, who had crit­i­cized the EU’s Ukrain­ian pol­i­cy. This motion, to restrict his right of free­dom of expres­sion, has been ulti­mate­ly reject­ed by the Euro­pean par­lia­ment, how­ev­er, not by her Par­ty.

Two Blocks

From a pure­ly strate­gic point of view, Moscow, with yes­ter­day’s ref­er­en­dum and Crimea’s pend­ing incor­po­ra­tion into the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, suc­ceed­ed in launch­ing a first effec­tive counter-coup against the West­’s more than twen­ty-year offen­sive. For years now, with the EU’s and NATO’s east­ward expan­sion and its sub­se­quent “East­ern Part­ner­ship,” Berlin, Brus­sels and Wash­ing­ton have been able to attract coun­tries, sit­u­at­ed between Rus­sia and the West­ern Alliance and which had not yet opt­ed for one side or the oth­er. In 2008, the West suf­fered its first set­back, when Rus­sia coun­tered Geor­gia’s mil­i­tary aggres­sion by Abk­hazia and South Osse­ti­a’s de fac­to seces­sion from that coun­try. From the per­spec­tive of pow­er pol­i­tics, Crimea’s annex­a­tion — Moscow’s response to repeat­ed west­ern attempts to take over Ukraine — is the first real effec­tive counter-coup: Unlike Abk­hazia and South Osse­tia, the Crimean Penin­su­la, in the mid­dle of the Black Sea, is of great geo-strate­gic impor­tance (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1]). While busi­ness cir­cles are try­ing to sal­vage their deals with Rus­sia, Berlin, Brus­sels and Wash­ing­ton are aggra­vat­ing the polit­i­cal con­fronta­tion. Moscow’s chal­lenge to West­ern hege­mon­ic claims will not go unan­swered.

Free Expres­sion

Cur­rent­ly this is clear­ly reflect­ed in the lead­ing Ger­man media, which is seek­ing to swing pub­lic opin­ion to approval of the polit­i­cal con­fronta­tion. A lead­ing dai­ly, for exam­ple, is warn­ing that the pub­lic’s “under­stand­ing for Moscow’s alleged motives” is still “strik­ing­ly high,” reflect­ing the view that “what the Amer­i­cans do is not bet­ter or maybe even worse.”[2] Pro­po­nents of this view can in fact point to numer­ous US wars over the past few decades and to Ger­man aggres­sion, such as in Yugoslavia. Twen­ty years of repeat­ed west­ern vio­la­tions of inter­na­tion­al law — includ­ing wars of aggres­sion, also with Ger­man par­tic­i­pa­tion — accu­sa­tions of Moscow vio­lat­ing inter­na­tion­al law in the Crimea, has obvi­ous­ly lit­tle impact. The lead­ing media is there­fore inten­si­fy­ing the dose.

The Free Mar­ket

The cur­rent dis­sention over the dai­ly “Süd­deutsche Zeitung’s” month­ly PR-insert “Rus­s­land Heute” (“Rus­sia Today”) is but one exam­ple. “Rus­sia Today’s” offi­cial objec­tive is to trans­mit “a pos­i­tive image of Rus­sia.” The insert appeared for the first time in the “Süd­deutsche Zeitung” at the end of 2010, in the imme­di­ate after­math of an eco­nom­ic con­fer­ence in Berlin’s noble Adlon Hotel. At the con­fer­ence, Prime Min­is­ter Putin had called for an inten­si­fi­ca­tion of Euro­pean-Russ­ian eco­nom­ic rela­tions — mak­ing lucra­tive offers for Ger­man indus­try. Oth­er Euro­pean and US-Amer­i­can media, for exam­ple, the British “Dai­ly Tele­graph,” the French “Le Figaro,” Spain’s El País as well as the “New York Times” and “Wash­ing­ton Post” also car­ry “Rus­sia Today.” The “Süd­deutsche Zeitung” declared today that, because of the Crimea con­flict, it will no longer car­ry the pro-Russ­ian insert, co-financed by the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment, and, it has also ter­mi­nat­ed its coop­er­a­tion with “Rus­sia Today.”[3]

The Free Press

The cur­rent esca­la­tion in devel­op­ments has also had an affect on a renowned cor­re­spon­dent for East­ern Europe, who, over the past few weeks, has attract­ed atten­tion with his dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed arti­cles on the Ukrain­ian sit­u­a­tion. Moritz Gath­man­n’s arti­cles had also been pub­lished in the on-line edi­tion of the week­ly “Die Zeit.” Since 2010, Gath­mann, a free-lance jour­nal­ist, has also been a “guest edi­tor” for “Rus­sia Today.” March 8, the head of the West­deutsche All­ge­meine Zeitung’s (WAZ) inves­tiga­tive team, David Schraven, pub­licly twit­tered a com­plaint to “Die Zeit”: “it would be bet­ter to say that Moritz Gath­mann works in the ser­vice of Rus­s­la’s pro­pa­gan­da.” Two hours lat­er, the chief-edi­tor of “Die Zeit On-Line,” Jochen Weg­n­er, twit­tered back: “coop­er­a­tion ter­mi­nat­ed.” Since then, “Die Zeit On-Line” has been pub­lish­ing a dis­claimer under each of Gath­man­n’s arti­cles on its site: “Dis­claimer: The author works for the Russ­ian state-co-financed ‘Rus­s­land Heute’ jour­nal insert. This does not con­form to our basic prin­ci­ples. There­fore, we apol­o­gize.” In the cur­rent heat­ed debate, this is tan­ta­mount to the jour­nal­ist’s pub­lic pil­lo­ry­ing. This has made high waves on the media scene. It is not con­ducive to wage-earn­ing jour­nal­ists to go against the Rus­so­phobe main­stream.

The Free Elites

It should also be not­ed that there is obvi­ous­ly no con­tra­dic­tion with “Die Zeit On-Line’s” “basic prin­ci­ples” to close­ly coop­er­ate with Berlin’s and Wash­ing­ton’s for­eign pol­i­cy net­works. For exam­ple, “Die Zeit” edi­tor Jochen Bit­tner had par­tic­i­pat­ed in a coop­er­a­tion project spon­sored by the Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­na­tion­al and Secu­ri­ty Affairs (SWP) and the “Ger­man Mar­shall Fund,” which — pro­mot­ed by the Pol­i­cy Plan­ning Staff of Ger­many’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs — wrote the study, “Ele­ments of a For­eign Pol­i­cy Strat­e­gy for Ger­many.” Crit­ics draw par­al­lels between the con­tents of the project paper “New Pow­er. New Responsibility”[4] and stand­points expressed in Bit­tner’s arti­cles. “Die Zeit” has pub­lished no “dis­claimer” under his arti­cles. The same applies to the arti­cles writ­ten by “Die Zeit’s” co-pro­duc­er, Josef Joffe. His texts became one of the sub­jects of a media sci­ence dis­ser­ta­tion pub­lished last year. The author arrives at the con­clu­sion that Joffe not only min­gles in “elite transat­lantic ide­o­log­i­cal cir­cles (...), sup­ple­ment­ed with an EU com­po­nent” — a ref­er­ence to his mem­ber­ship in diverse orga­ni­za­tions for Ger­man and transat­lantic for­eign pol­i­cy — but, he even pro­motes key objec­tives of the Ger­man or transat­lantic estab­lish­ments, in part as pro­pa­gan­da with­in his texts. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[5])

The Free Speech

The lev­el reached by the inten­si­fi­ca­tion of Rus­so­phobe agi­ta­tion can be seen in an attempt by a “Green” Euro­pean par­lia­men­tar­i­an to par­tial­ly strip for­mer Chan­cel­lor Ger­hard Schröder of his right to free­dom of speech. Schröder recent­ly spoke quite crit­i­cal­ly on the EU’s Ukraine pol­i­cy and dur­ing a pub­lic event declared “I won­der if it was the right thing to do, to place a cul­tur­al­ly divid­ed coun­try, such as the Ukraine, before the alter­na­tive: asso­ci­a­tion agree­ment with the EU or cus­toms agree­ment with Rus­sia.” Rebec­ca Harms, the lead­ing Green Par­ty can­di­date in the upcom­ing Euro­pean par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, issued a state­ment say­ing that she con­sid­ers Schröder’s state­ments “part of a cam­paign” to “win more sym­pa­thy for Putin.” Last Thurs­day, togeth­er with anoth­er Green Par­ty politi­cian, Daniel Cohn-Ben­dit, she, there­fore, tabled a motion in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment that the par­lia­ment finds Schröder’s state­ment “regret­table” and “reit­er­ates” that the for­mer Ger­man Chan­cel­lor “should refrain from mak­ing pub­lic state­ments on Russia.”[6]

Only a Test Run

With amaze­ment, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment has reject­ed an attempt by the Ger­man Greens to restrict the right to free­dom of expres­sion in a prece­dence case. Nev­er­the­less, this inci­dent is but an indi­ca­tion that still stand­ing demo­c­ra­t­ic taboos could be bro­ken in the cur­rent fren­zy of Rus­so­phobe agi­ta­tion, with­out con­se­quences for the per­pe­tra­tors. The pow­er strug­gle over the Ukraine, as the back­drop, is per­ceived in Berlin as a “test run” [7] for the new Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy. To be suc­cess­ful, this new pol­i­cy must win broad pop­u­lar sup­port at home — by any means nec­es­sary.

3b. Note that Jochen Bit­tner is a con­trib­u­tor to the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times.

“Jochen Bit­tner” [The Opin­ion Pages]; [19]The New York Times [19]

4a. Indica­tive of the dog­mat­ic edi­to­r­i­al slant that The New York Times brings to the Ukraine cri­sis, an op-ed piece by Alex­ey Naval­ny was pre­sent­ed, with no dis­cus­sion of the polit­i­cal nature of this crea­ture.

“How to Pun­ish Putin” by Alex­ey Naval­ny; The New York Times; 3/19/2014. [20]

As I write this, I am under house arrest. I was detained at a ral­ly in sup­port of anti-Putin pro­test­ers who were jailed last month.

In Sep­tem­ber, I ran for may­or of Moscow as a pro-reform, pro-democ­ra­cy oppo­si­tion can­di­date and received almost a third of the vote despite hav­ing no access to state media. Today, my blog, which was until recent­ly vis­it­ed by over two mil­lion read­ers per month, has been blocked as “extrem­ist” after I called for friend­ly ties with Ukraine and com­pli­ance with inter­na­tion­al law.

For years, I have been telling jour­nal­ists that Pres­i­dent Vladimir V. Putin’s approval rat­ing would soon peak and then tum­ble. Russia’s econ­o­my is stag­nant, I said, and the Russ­ian peo­ple would soon weary of the president’s emp­ty promis­es. Even a ral­ly-round-the-flag mil­i­tary adven­ture — a “lit­tle war,” as it’s known in Rus­sia — would be impos­si­ble, I believed. Rus­sia no longer had ene­mies.

Then, on Feb. 28, Rus­sia sent troops to Ukraine in pre­cise­ly such a “lit­tle war.” I admit that I under­es­ti­mat­ed Mr. Putin’s tal­ent for find­ing ene­mies, as well as his ded­i­ca­tion to rul­ing as “pres­i­dent for life,” with pow­ers on par with the czars’. . . .

4b.  The coali­tion that assem­bled to attempt the oust­ing of Vladimir Putin embraces lib­er­als, left­ists and “nationalists”–that’s New York Times code for fas­cists, a word that Amer­i­can jour­nal­ists sel­dom use. That coalition–strained because of the promi­nence of fas­cist in its midst–is rem­i­nis­cent in some ways of the one that oust­ed the author­i­tar­i­an Hos­ni Mubarak. That event, as we have seen, has led to the rise of the Islam­o­fas­cist Mus­lim Broth­er­hood [21] in Egypt.

In the event that the Russ­ian coali­tion suc­ceeds in its goal of oust­ing Putin (some­thing the U.S. and the fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies would love to see), will we see the fas­cists ele­ments seiz­ing con­trol? Russ­ian and Egypt­ian soci­eties dif­fer great­ly, but fas­cists have his­tor­i­cal­ly been quite suc­cess­ful at seiz­ing pow­er through demo­c­ra­t­ic means and then deny­ing demo­c­ra­t­ic process to their oppo­nents and for­mer coali­tion part­ners.

Should the fascists–excuse me “nationalists”–either gain pow­er or sus­tain a suf­fi­cient­ly high pro­file to affect both pol­i­cy and per­cep­tion, among the pos­si­ble effects of that might be to dri­ve the oil-rich Cau­ca­sus [22] to secede from Rus­sia.  This would no doubt be much to the lik­ing of West­ern oil com­pa­nies, who’ve cov­et­ed that region for decades. One of the fas­cists’ rhetor­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal points con­cerns hos­til­i­ty toward peo­ple from that region.

The res­i­dents of the Cau­ca­sus will not be doing the Var­si­ty Rag if the enmi­ty toward them is insti­tu­tion­al­ized by the rul­ing polit­i­cal inter­ests.

The best known of the lead­ers of the Russ­ian oppo­si­tion, a “fas­cional­ist” named Alex­ei Naval­ny, is seen as capa­ble of unit­ing the Doc Martens-wear­ing cadre of the far right and the dis­en­chant­ed and eco­nom­i­cal­ly embat­tled mid­dle class. A polit­i­cal union of that type might well sweep into pow­er, reca­pit­u­lat­ing the com­bi­na­tion of racism/xenophobia and eco­nom­ic suf­fer­ing so effec­tive­ly used by fas­cists through the decades.

“Russ­ian Oppo­si­tion Leader Alex­ei Naval­ny: Unit­ing Nation­al­ists and the Urban, Edu­cat­ed Mid­dle Class”; Aid Nether­lands; 12/31/2011. [23]

. . . . Why Naval­ny? One rea­son is that dec­la­ra­tions like “I will slit the throats of these cat­tle,” though metaphor­i­cal, are no mere puffery. Unlike many in the Russ­ian oppo­si­tion, Naval­ny puts his words into action, and in a cli­mate where more than a few gov­ern­ment crit­ics have met their demise, this action puts his life on the line. Yet, he remains fear­less. “It’s bet­ter to die stand­ing up that live on your knees,” he told the New Yorker’s Julia Ioffe last spring. With that kind of gump­tion, it’s safe to say that Naval­ny has become a nag­ging pain in the ass of Russia’s cor­rupt elite. He’s done so not by stag­ing ral­lies, lead­ing a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion, or seek­ing polit­i­cal office. Naval­ny is an activist of the 21st cen­tu­ry: his weapons are a blog, Twit­ter, and a crowd­sourc­ing web­site. His army is mot­ley of “net­work ham­sters” ready to root out big mon­eyed cor­rup­tion by comb­ing through dry con­tracts post­ed on his site Rospil. The results are impres­sive. Since Rospil’s cre­ation in Decem­ber 2010, Naval­ny and his army are respon­si­ble for the can­celling of $1.2 bil­lion worth of state con­tracts. Giv­en all this, it’s amaz­ing that some­one has yet to slit his throat.

But Naval­ny is more than an anti-cor­rup­tion cru­sad­er and renowned blog­ger. The thir­ty-five year old Mus­covite lawyer is also emblem­at­ic of two forces that were once sup­port­ers of Putin, but are now increas­ing­ly turn­ing against him: the urban, edu­cat­ed mid­dle class, or ROG (russkie obra­zo­van­nye gorozhane) as pun­dit Stanislav Belkovskii has dubbed them, and Rus­sians with nation­al­ist sym­pa­thies. On the sur­face these two groups appear anti­thet­i­cal to each oth­er. The for­mer are often described as “hip­ster-gad­get-lovers” (khip­stery-gazhetomany) more inter­est­ed in Moscow’s cafes, clubs, and sushi bars, and, until two weeks ago, showed no inter­est in pol­i­tics besides rant­i­ng on their Live Jour­nal blogs and Twit­ter accounts. The nation­al­ists are por­trayed as racist work­ing class street thugs whose sense of Russ­ian vic­tim­hood speaks through fists and boots to the heads of migrants from Cen­tral Asia and the North Cau­ca­sus. Nev­er­the­less, both groups share com­mon ground: they’re by and large sus­pi­cious of the West and the Russ­ian lib­er­als who extol its val­ues, patri­ot­ic, despise cor­rup­tion, view immi­grants as destroy­ing the integri­ty of the Russ­ian nation and increas­ing­ly loathe Putin and his cronies. With a foot in each world, Naval­ny is emerg­ing as the log­i­cal per­son who could unite them around a new mass polit­i­cal move­ment based on what Alex­ei Pimen­ov recent­ly called “an anti-cor­rup­tion pathos plus the nation­al idea.” . . . .

5. One of the Russ­ian fascists–Maksim  Martsinkevich–has the nick­name “The Hatch­et.” One won­ders if he knows Makis Voridis, the Greek fas­cist [24] min­is­ter of trans­porta­tion and intrastruc­ture who has the nick­name “the Ham­mer.”

“Russ­ian Lib­er­als Grow­ing Uneasy with Alliances” by Michael Swirtz; The New York Times; 1/29/2012. [25]

. . . . For more than two decades, Russ­ian lib­er­als have been warn­ing of the dan­gers posed by nation­al­ism, often por­tray­ing it as a greater threat to free­dom and sta­bil­i­ty in this mul­ti­eth­nic coun­try than the soft author­i­tar­i­an­ism of Mr. Putin, Russia’s once and prob­a­bly future pres­i­dent. In recent years, the nation­al­ist move­ment has become large and increas­ing­ly malig­nant, respon­si­ble for a pat­tern of racist vio­lence against non-Slavs that includes kid­nap­ping, tor­ture and mur­der. Nation­al­ists have tak­en respon­si­bil­i­ty for sev­er­al behead­ings.

But in the effort to dri­ve out Mr. Putin, the oppo­si­tion, dri­ven by lib­er­al and mid­dle-class Rus­sians, has nonethe­less reached out to nation­al­ists, see­ing them as a vital bul­wark at a crit­i­cal moment.

Before he could make his case, Mr. Bik­bov was drowned out by a mix­ture of applause and boos, prompt­ing the mod­er­a­tor to remove his ques­tion from the dis­cus­sion. One audi­ence mem­ber called him a “lib­er­al fas­cist.”

As the nascent oppo­si­tion move­ment pre­pares for its next major day of protest, set for Feb. 4, the ten­ta­tive embrace of an alliance with nation­al­ists has emerged as a defin­ing step — but the con­se­quences of such a move are far from cer­tain. . . .

. . . . Mr. Pono­mary­ov said he ini­tial­ly resist­ed the inclu­sion of nation­al­ist lead­ers, but relent­ed when mem­bers agreed to sign a pact denounc­ing xeno­pho­bia and racism. A del­e­ga­tion of 10 nation­al­ists will join an equal num­ber of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from left-wing and lib­er­al groups and a del­e­ga­tion of the polit­i­cal­ly unaf­fil­i­at­ed in the lead­er­ship com­mit­tee of the so-called Cit­i­zens Move­ment, which will coor­di­nate future actions. There are lim­its to the lib­er­als’ tol­er­ance, how­ev­er. When an avowed white suprema­cist, Mak­sim Martsinke­vich, nick­named the Hatch­et, made the top three in an online vote for speak­ers at the sec­ond protest, orga­niz­ers stepped in, deny­ing him the micro­phone . . .

6. On Naval­ny’s posi­tion with­in the Russ­ian “oppo­si­tion.” Note that he par­tic­i­pat­ed in a march by the racist “nation­al­ists,” some of whom raised their hands in a Nazi salute.

“Alex­ei Naval­ny, Key Engine Behind Russ­ian Protests” by Lynn Berry and Vladimir Sachenkov [AP]; Salon.com; 12/27/2011. [26]

. . . . Naval­ny took part in last month’s Russ­ian March in which thou­sands of nation­al­ists marched through Moscow to call on eth­nic Rus­sians to “take back” their coun­try, some rais­ing their hands in a Nazi salute.

Many Rus­sians resent the influx of dark-skinned Mus­lims into Moscow and oth­er cities. Many also resent the dis­pro­por­tion­ate amount of bud­get mon­ey sent to Chech­nya and oth­er Cau­ca­sus republics, seen as a Krem­lin effort to buy loy­alty after two sep­a­ratist wars.

Naval­ny defends his asso­ci­a­tion with nation­al­ists by say­ing their con­cerns are wide­spread and need to be addressed as part of any broad move­ment push­ing for demo­c­ra­tic change, but many in the lib­eral oppo­si­tion fear that he is play­ing with fire.

Some oppo­si­tion lead­ers also seem alarmed by Navalny’s soar­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty.

“We are already see­ing signs of a Naval­ny cult,” Vladimir Milov wrote in a col­umn in the online Gazeta.ru. “I wouldn’t be sur­prised if grand­moth­ers from the provinces start show­ing up here ask­ing where they can find him so he can cure their ill­ness­es.” . . .

7a. Again, imag­ine if Naval­ny were to become Russ­ian pres­i­dent:

“Russ­ian Oppo­si­tion Leader Alex­ei Naval­ny: Unit­ing Nation­al­ists and The Urban, Edu­cat­ed Mid­dle Class” by Sean Guil­lo­ry; Exiled Online; 12/26/2011. [27]

. . . . Among his oth­er nation­al­ist fits, he wrote off the neo-fas­cist Move­ment Against Ille­gal Immi­gra­tion as harm­less as “girl scouts”; declared that immi­grants “will NEVER assim­i­late” and are a “bomb under our future”; called on Rus­sians to arm them­selves against “Mus­lim-look­ing crim­i­nals,” sup­port­ed the nation­al­ist inspired “Stop Feed­ing the Cau­ca­sus” cam­paign, and most recent­ly joined the orga­niz­ing com­mit­tee of the year­ly nation­al­ist pow­wow, the Russ­ian March. . . .

7b. We won­der how many of the “urban mid­dle class” about whom we hear so much may have evolved from some of the IRG ele­ments in the 1990’s that net­worked with Las­z­lo Pasztor–the Hun­gar­i­an fas­cist who head­ed the GOP’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion and was also the Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion’s [5] point man inter­fac­ing with Boris Yeltsin’s IRG.

“The Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion Goes East” by Russ Bel­lant and Louis Wolf; Covert Action Infor­ma­tion Bul­letin #35; Fall/1990.

With the rapid pace of polit­i­cal change sweep­ing East­ern Europe and the Union of Sovi­et Social­ist Republics, many oppor­tu­ni­ties have emerged for west­ern inter­ests to inter­vene in the pol­i­tics of  that region. In some cas­es, such a vac­uum has been cre­ated that vir­tual strangers to the area sev­eral years ago are now able to active­ly par­tic­i­pate in chang­ing those soci­eties from with­in.

These inter­ven­tions are not only being prac­ticed by main­stream orga­ni­za­tions. The involve­ment of the Unit­ed States Far Right brings with it the poten­tial revival of fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions in the East. One U.S. group, the Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion, has been plahy­ing a role in East­ern Euro­pean and Sovi­et pol­i­tics and has ties to Boris Yeltsin and the Inter-Region­al Deputies Group (IRG) in the U.S.S.R.

The Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion (FCF) was found­ed in 1974 by Paul Weyrich as the Com­mit­tee for the Sur­vival of a Free Con­gress. Weyrich, who had start­ed the Her­itage Foun­da­tion the year before, was heav­ily fund­ed by the Coors fam­ily for both orga­ni­za­tions.

Weyrich has kept one foot in the right wing of the Repub­li­can Par­ty while dal­ly­ing with the racist Right and the extreme Chris­t­ian Right. In 1976, for instance, he and a hand­ful of oth­er New Rights (William Rush­er, Mor­ton Black­well, Richard Viguerie) attempt­ed to take over the seg­re­ga­tion­ist  Amer­i­can Inde­pen­dent Par­ty (AIP), formed by George Wal­lace in 1968. The AIP was an amal­gam of Ku Klux Klan and John Birch Soci­ety ele­ments. . . .

. . . . The IRG was estab­lished by Andrei Sakharov, Boris Yeltsin and oth­ers in the sum­mer of 1989. By the end of that year, a train­ing school had been estab­lished for can­di­dates to put for­ward the IRG pro­gram. Their elec­toral suc­cess this year pro­pelled Yeltsin to the lead­er­ship of the Russ­ian Sovi­et Social­ist Repub­lic. He imme­di­ately began forg­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships with the deeply reac­tionary lead­ers of the Lithuan­ian Sajud­is par­ty. The IRG has also served as a source of right-wing pres­sure on Gor­bachev to dis­man­tle social­ism and the Sovi­et Union itself.

One of the key dan­gers in this agen­da is the polit­i­cal vac­uum it cre­ates, allow­ing ultra-nation­al­ist forces in a num­ber of republics to take pow­er. Such nation­al­ist and fas­cist ele­ments are already evi­dent in Lithua­nia and the Ukraine. In the lat­ter repub­lic, the pro-Nazi Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN) has gained influ­ence in sev­eral par­ties and has mobi­lized large demon­stra­tions that hon­or OUN lead­ers who abet­ted Hitler’s war on the East­ern Front. Sim­i­larly, sev­eral deputies Sajud­is deputies served in Ger­man mil­i­tary units in 1944, and Sajud­is has made dec­la­ra­tions against eth­nic Rus­sians liv­ing in Lithua­nia. Accord­ing to some reports, Poles have also been den­i­grat­ed.

It should also be not­ed that the “rad­i­cal reformer” Boris Yeltsin has dal­lied with Pamy­at, the fore­most Russ­ian fas­cist group to emerge in the last sev­eral years. Pamyat’s vir­u­lent anti-Semi­tism com­pares to the crude pro­pa­ganda of the ear­ly Ger­man Nazi Par­ty in the 1920’s.

The FCF is not entire­ly dis­con­nected from the his­tory of the OUN. The Trea­surer of the FCF board is George­town Uni­ver­sity Pro­fes­sor Charles Moser. Moser is also serves on the edi­to­r­ial advi­sory board of the Ukrain­ian Quar­terly, pub­lished by the Ukrain­ian Con­gress Com­mit­tee of Amer­ica, a group dom­i­nated by the OUN. The Ukrain­ian Quar­terly has praised mil­i­tary units of the Ger­man SS and oth­er­wise jus­ti­fied the OUN alliance with the Third Reich which reflects the fact that the OUN was polit­i­cally and mil­i­tar­ily allied with Hitler and the Nazi occu­pa­tion of the Ukraine.

The OUN, an inter­na­tional semi-secret cadre orga­ni­za­tion head­quar­tered in Bavaria, has received finan­cial assis­tance from the late Franz Joseph Strauss, the right­ist head of the Bavar­ian state. Strauss also had a work­ing rela­tion­ship with Weyrich. . . .

. . . . Final­ly, FCF’s insin­u­a­tion into the pol­i­tics of the East must be judged by their selec­tion of Las­zlo Pasz­tor [28] to head their Lib­er­a­tion Sup­port Alliance, “which seeks to lib­er­ate peo­ples in Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean Nations.”

Pasztor’s involve­ment in East Euro­pean pol­i­tics began in World War II when he joined the youth orga­ni­za­tion of the Arrow Cross, the Nazi par­ty of Hun­gary.

When the Arrow Cross was installed in pow­er by a Ger­man com­mando oper­a­tion, Pasz­tor was sent to Berlin to help facil­i­tate the liai­son between the Arrow Cross and Hitler.

Pasz­tor was tried and served two years in jail for his Arrow Cross activ­i­ties after an anti­com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment was elect­ed in 1945. He even­tu­ally came to the U.S. and estab­lished the eth­nic arm of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee for Richard Nixon. He brought oth­er Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors from the East­ern front into the GOP. Some were lat­er found to have par­tic­i­pated in mass mur­der dur­ing the war.

The dor­mant Arrow Cross has sur­faced again in Hun­gary, where there have been attempts to lift the ban on the orga­ni­za­tion. Pasz­tor spent sev­eral months in Hun­gary. When Weyrich lat­er con­ducted train­ing there, he was pro­vided a list of Pasztor’s con­tacts inside the coun­try. Weyrich reports that he con­ducted train­ing for the recent­ly formed and now gov­ern­ing New Demo­c­ra­tic Forum.

Pasz­tor claims to have assist­ed some of his friends in Hun­gary in get­ting NED funds through his advi­sory posi­tion with NED. In 1989 he spoke at the Her­itage Foun­da­tion under the spon­sor­ship of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations (ABN), a multi­na­tional umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion of emi­gre fas­cists and Nazis found­ed in alliance with Hitler in 1943. It is led by the OUN. Pasz­tor spoke for the “Hun­gar­ian Orga­ni­za­tion” of ABN, which is the Arrow Cross. . . . .

8. The pro­gram con­cludes by review­ing a fright­en­ing arti­cle about appar­ent U.S. sup­port for a Geor­gia-based jiha­di con­fer­ence. Rich with fos­sil fuels, the Cau­ca­sus region has long been the focal point of hos­tile activ­ity by for­eign inter­ests look­ing to secure those resources for them­selves, wrest­ing the area away from Rus­sia and/or the for­mer Sovi­et Union. In FTR #646 [29], we looked at the Bush administration’s close nation­al secu­rity con­nec­tions to the Geor­gian repub­lic, result­ing in a secu­rity agree­ment with that state, con­cluded on the eve [30] of Obama’s inau­gu­ra­tion.

In FTR #773 [31], we looked at the Boston Marathon bomb­ing, appar­ent blow­back from the West­ern-backed Cau­ca­sus jihadist war.

One can but won­der if petro­leum con­stituen­cies in the West are look­ing to use Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-con­nect­ed ele­ments [32] to foment the inde­pen­dence of those regions. The areas are also piv­otal in the tran­sit of hero­in, in addi­tion to logis­ti­cal sup­port for the war in Afghanistan.

In turn, it can be safe­ly sur­mised that Rus­sia will not give these areas up. What is to be under­stood here, is that the West is engag­ing in low-inten­si­ty war­fare against Rus­sia. Undoubt­ed­ly, that has much to do with Rus­si­a’s actions in the Ukraine.

“Gorin: More Details on the Geor­gia-Host­ed Jiha­di Con­fer­ence Emerge” by Julia Gorin; Jihad Watch; 4/12/2010. [33]

An analy­sis pub­lished Mon­day by Defense & For­eign Affairs offers some cor­rob­o­ra­tion for the Geor­gia-host­ed, U.S.-approved jiha­di con­fab in Decem­ber, the men­tion of which seemed to upset some read­ers.

Here are the rel­e­vant excerpts from the 16-page analy­sis, which is sub­scrip­tion-only and there­fore not link­able:

Mean­while, Geor­gia is active­ly seek­ing to exploit the spread of jamaats [jihadist mini-soci­eties] in the North Cau­ca­sus in order to go after the Russ­ian pipelines in hope of ensnar­ing the US into active­ly sup­port­ing a new con­fronta­tion with Rus­sia. In ear­ly Decem­ber 2009, Tbil­isi orga­nized a high-lev­el meet­ing of jihadists groups from the Mid­dle East and West­ern Europe in order “to coor­di­nate activ­i­ties on Russia’s south­ern flank.” The Geor­gian Embassy in Kuwait, for exam­ple, arranged for trav­el doc­u­ments for jihadists from Jor­dan, Sau­di Ara­bia and the Gulf States. (There is a large and very active Chechen/Circassian com­mu­nity in Jor­dan since the 19th Cen­tury that is heav­ily rep­re­sented in the intel­li­gence ser­vices and the mil­i­tary.) In Tbil­isi, Deputy Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Affairs Lord­kipanadze was the host and coor­di­na­tor. The meet­ing was attend­ed by sev­eral Geor­gian senior offi­cials who stressed that Saakashvili him­self knew and approved of the under­tak­ing. The meet­ing addressed the launch of both “mil­i­tary oper­a­tions” in south­ern Rus­sia and ide­o­log­i­cal war­fare. One of the first results of the meet­ing was the launch, soon after­wards of the Russ­ian-lan­guage TV sta­tion First Cau­casian.

The jihadists of the North Cau­ca­sus — includ­ing the Arab com­man­ders in their midst — came out of the ear­ly Decem­ber 2009 meet­ing con­vinced that Tbil­isi is most inter­ested in the spread of ter­ror­ism. The meet­ing was attend­ed by, among oth­ers, Mohmad Muham­mad Shabaan, an Egypt­ian senior com­man­der who is also known as Seif al-Islam and who has been involved in Cau­ca­sus affairs since 1992. He took copi­ous notes. Accord­ing to Shabaan’s notes, the Geor­gian gov­ern­ment wants the jihadists to con­duct “acts of sab­o­tage to blow up rail­way tracks, elec­tric­ity lines and ener­gy pipelines” in south­ern Rus­sia in order to divert con­struc­tion back to Geor­gian ter­ri­to­ry.

Geor­gian intel­li­gence promised to facil­i­tate the arrival in the Cau­ca­sus of numer­ous senior jihadists by pro­vid­ing Geor­gian pass­ports, and to pro­vide logis­ti­cal sup­port includ­ing the reopen­ing of bases in north­ern Geor­gia. Russ­ian intel­li­gence was not obliv­i­ous of the meet­ing. Seif al-Islam and two senior aides were assas­si­nated on Feb­ru­ary 4, 2010. The Rus­sians retrieved a lot of doc­u­ments in the process. Moscow sig­naled its dis­plea­sure short­ly after­wards when the pres­i­dents of Rus­sia and Abk­hazia signed a 50-year agree­ment on a Russ­ian mil­i­tary base in order to “pro­tect Abkhazia’s sov­er­eignty and secu­rity, includ­ing against inter­na­tional ter­ror­ist groups”.

A major issue still to be resolved is the extent of the US cul­pa­bil­i­ty.

The same analy­sis recalls when this mis­guided approach was used in the Balka­ns, and out­lines how, in order to not alien­ate Mus­lims while we tried to con­tain ter­ror from the Mid­dle East, we for­ti­fied ter­ror in the Balka­ns and jump-start­ed the glob­al jihad:

Ini­tially, the US-led West­ern inter­ven­tion in the for­mer Yugoslavia was aimed first and fore­most to sal­vage NATO (and with it US dom­i­nance over post-Cold War West­ern Europe) from irrel­e­vance and col­lapse. As well, the sup­port for the Mus­lims of Bosnia became the counter-bal­ance of the US con­fronta­tion with jihadism in the Mid­dle East. Antho­ny Lake, US Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton’s Nation­al Secu­rity Advis­er, for­mu­lated the log­ic for the US-led inter­ven­tion on behalf of the Mus­lims. The US nation­al inter­est “requires our work­ing to con­tain Mus­lim extrem­ism, and we have to find a way of being firm in our oppo­si­tion to Mus­lim extrem­ism while mak­ing it clear we’re not opposed to Islam. If we are seen as anti-Mus­lim, it’s hard­er for us to con­tain Mus­lim extrem­ism. And if we stand by while Mus­lims are killed and raped in Bosnia, it makes it hard­er to con­tinue our pol­icy,” Lake argued. That in the process the US would end up part­ner­ing with, sup­port­ing and arm­ing, the very same jihadist forces Clin­ton was seek­ing to con­tain meant noth­ing to Wash­ing­ton. The only thing Wash­ing­ton cared about was the image of a US ral­ly­ing to the res­cue of a Mus­lim cause.

Note that in the 90s the U.S., like Britain, per­mit­ted and facil­i­tated ter­ror­ist net­works to oper­ate in Bosnia and Koso­vo for the pur­pose of Serb-killing, and along with Ger­many we trained Alban­ian and Mid­dle East­ern ter­ror­ists in Alba­nia. Sure enough, the same decade saw U.S. offi­cials par­tic­i­pat­ing in a Decem­ber 1999 meet­ing in Azer­bai­jan very sim­i­lar to the Decem­ber 2009 meet­ing in Tbil­isi, where “pro­grams for the train­ing and equip­ping of muja­hedin from the Cau­ca­sus, Cen­tral and South Asia, and the Arab world were dis­cussed and agreed upon.” The men­tion of this meet­ing comes in as the analy­sis gives back­ground on how we decid­ed to sup­port ter­ror­ism against Rus­sia:

By 1999, the US had giv­en up on rec­on­cil­ing Azer­bai­jan and Arme­nia in order to con­struct pipelines to Turkey, and instead Wash­ing­ton start­ed focus­ing on build­ing pipelines via Geor­gia.
For such a project to be eco­nom­i­cally viable, the Russ­ian pipelines would have to be shut down. Hence, in ear­ly Octo­ber 1999, senior offi­cials of US oil com­pa­nies and US offi­cials offered rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Russ­ian “oli­garchs” in Europe huge div­i­dends from the pro­posed Baku-Cey­han pipeline if the “oli­garchs” con­vinced Moscow to with­draw from the Cau­ca­sus, per­mit the estab­lish­ment of an Islam­ic state, and close down the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. Con­se­quently, there would be no com­pe­ti­tion to the Baku-Cey­han pipeline. The “oli­garchs” were con­vinced that the high­est lev­els of the Clin­ton White House endorsed this ini­tia­tive. The meet­ing failed because the Rus­sians would hear noth­ing of the US pro­pos­al.

Con­se­quently, the US deter­mined to deprive Rus­sia of an alter­nate pipeline route by sup­port­ing a spi­ral­ing vio­lence and ter­ror­ism in Chechnya....The Clin­ton White House sought to active­ly involve the US in yet anoth­er anti-Russ­ian jihad as if reliv­ing the “good ol’ days” of Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herze­gov­ina and Koso­vo, seek­ing to sup­port and empow­er the most vir­u­lent anti-West­ern Islamist forces in yet anoth­er strate­gic region.

In mid-Decem­ber 1999, US offi­cials par­tic­i­pated in a for­mal meet­ing in Azer­bai­jan in which spe­cific pro­grams for the train­ing and equip­ping of muja­hedin from the Cau­ca­sus, Cen­tral and South Asia, and the Arab world were dis­cussed and agreed upon. This meet­ing led to Washington’s tac­it encour­age­ment of both Mus­lim allies (main­ly the intel­li­gence ser­vices of Turkey, Jor­dan, and Sau­di Ara­bia) and US “pri­vate secu­rity com­pa­nies” (of the type that did Washington’s dirty job in the Balka­ns while skirt­ing and vio­lat­ing the inter­na­tional embar­go the US for­mally sup­ported) to assist the Chechens and their Islamist allies to surge in spring 2000. Cit­ing secu­rity con­cerns vis-à-vis Arme­nia and Rus­sia, Azer­bai­jan adamant­ly refused to per­mit train­ing camps on its soil.

Now, just to keep our — includ­ing my — heads straight, let’s remind our­selves that this exer­cise that Robert Spencer was good enough to let me engage in on these pages was not a defense of Rus­sia; it was not meant to start an argu­ment about how bad or how not-that-bad Rus­sia is. The point is that for­eign rela­tions in a mad world require find­ing enough com­mon ground with not-so-great states so that we can work togeth­er where we can work togeth­er. It’s to min­i­mize the messi­ness of things. Why, when we had Rus­sia in its his­tor­i­cally most maleable form, did we insist on pro­vok­ing and pro­vok­ing and pro­vok­ing? Why did we make a bad sit­u­a­tion like Rus­sia worse when we had an oppor­tu­nity to make it bet­ter? As with all prob­lem­atic coun­tries that we nonethe­less find areas of coop­er­a­tion with, we nar­rowed even those areas by deal­ing with the Rus­sians in the bad faith that had been their trade­mark. Simul­ta­ne­ously, we moved away from pick­ing the less­er evil in a giv­en con­flict, and start­ed sid­ing with the greater.

It’s a sur­real sit­u­a­tion indeed when the actions of my sav­ior coun­try put me in the posi­tion of hav­ing to “defend” Rus­sia, whose peo­ple my par­ents thank their lucky stars to not have to live among any­more. I myself am a self-pro­claimed Rus­so­phobe; I just had no idea how much more patho­log­i­cal America’s Rus­so­pho­bia is. So for some­one who is loath to vis­it even Brighton Beach, I find myself in a sur­pris­ing posi­tion here, point­ing out where we went wrong and shoved Rus­sia back into old behav­iors.

Infu­ri­at­ingly pre­dictably, one of the com­ment posters sug­gested that the line I’m tak­ing here is one that’s paid for by Rus­sia. The same “tip” was offered to Robert by a fel­low blog­ger — in that tone of pro­vid­ing “some friend­ly, pro­fes­sional, and cau­tion­ary advice.” The likes of which I’m all too famil­iar with by now. (One Wall St. Jour­nal fix­ture advised me, “Your views on this [the Balka­ns] are deeply misjudged...You’re not doing your career any favors.” Thanks. Good thing I don’t have a career, then.) It cer­tainly would be nice if any­one paid me for any­thing I do, but it wasn’t to be in this life­time.

Regard­less, it shouldn’t seem strange for some­one to be point­ing out that our for­eign pol­icy is being guid­ed by peo­ple with a stronger anti-Russ­ian agen­da than anti-jihad agen­da. And notice where this kind of think­ing has got­ten us. Take the past two decades of West­ern pol­icy and media cov­er­age in the Balka­ns, which were based on infor­ma­tion that made its way into reporters’ note­books direct­ly from the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion of the Bosn­ian Gov­ern­ment run by the fun­da­men­tal­ist Mus­lim wartime pres­i­dent Ali­ja Izetbe­govic. The tem­plate was used again when politi­cians, reporters, NGOs and human rights orga­ni­za­tions duti­fully repeat­ed what was com­ing out of the KLA-run news­pa­pers and oth­er pro­pa­ganda organs of the Koso­vo sep­a­ratists. And so in ser­vice to con­sis­tency, hav­ing got­ten into this hole, we’ve kept dig­ging. With our Yugoslavia inter­ven­tion, as the Defense & For­eign Affairs analy­sis points out, we’ve end­ed up “demo­niz­ing the Serbs and the world of East­ern Chris­tian­ity as a whole.” Such that we’ve arrived at a place where the word “Byzan­tine” is now used to mean prim­i­tive or unciv­i­lized. While the Mus­lim world and Islam­ic her­itage rep­re­sent the height of cul­ture, tra­di­tion, her­itage and civ­i­liza­tion.

One inter­est­ing thing about the reac­tions to call­ing the U.S. on its aggres­sive alien­ation of Rus­sia via, for exam­ple, the use of jihadists is the sense of out­rage and shock at the sug­ges­tion that Amer­ica would sup­port these vio­lent groups, fol­lowed imme­di­ately by a defense or jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of such tac­tics (e.g. “we *should* help the Chechens against the Rus­sians”). Mean­while, these oh-so-incen­di­ary alle­ga­tions hap­pen to coin­cide with overt­ly stat­ed inten­tions and poli­cies. (See the late Sen­a­tor Tom Lan­tos and his ilk applaud­ing the cre­ation of a U.S.-made Mus­lim state in Europe, which the jihadists should “take note of,” Lan­tos hoped.)