All people need food, shelter and health care. In an alleged democracy, none of them need the religion of market forces governing their ability to get them. Nor do those of us temporarily comfortable while enjoying the benefits that come to a minority which does well with capitalism (as it did with slavery) but now face a choking atmosphere that no individual status or identity as glorified house negroes of slavery days will protect us since the house itself, our planet, is under deadly attack.
Brutal abuse of logic, savage assaults on morality, perverted molestations of reason; do those describe Russian military behavior in the Ukraine or western political-media market practice? Incredibly booming profits in the death industry accompany the world tour of a Ukrainian political hustler for NATO as he is treated as an international hero for escaping his country on a world go-fund-me trip to raise more weapons to assure more murder of his people with a potential bonus of hosting a late night TV show in America while the bodies are being counted.
The incredible reporting (?) of the Russian defense of its borders has it being depicted as an ugly rape of neighbors led by a comic book madman supposedly bent on building an empire by defending his nation from an imperial monster failing desperately by the day and threatening to destroy the world in a frenzy of trying to maintain its criminal domination of the market god religion. This while its own nation shows signs of crumbling with citizens lashing out at one another and losing faith in all aspects of what passes for leadership but reduced to blaming special villains and identity groups while pursuing decency and freedom for other and often the same villains and identity groups. The one most dangerous and unjust group, the incredibly rich who own and operate what passes for a democracy under thought control, are only just beginning to get the attention they have always deserved.
Low election day turnouts are an American tradition but worse than ever as divisions forced on a public taught to identify as anything but a democratic majority – while paying lip service to something called “our” democracy, which amounts to slaves claiming “our” plantation – while foreign slaughter is accompanied by homeland mass murders that reduce citizens to more fear, sorrow and anger directed at everything but the systemic breakdown and focused by media on scapegoats.
Class society is composed of all of us but we are hardly all members of the same class in a market-dominated capitalism in which rulers separate us by everything but class. Do we have testicles or vaginas? We are all human beings. Lighter skin or darker skin? We are all human beings. But when a tiny minority among us are rich and everyone else ranges from fairly comfortable to relatively comfortable to uncomfortable to suffering severe discomfort to being ground to pulp by marketism, that defines class society, which is absolutely necessary under the market forces controlled by the rich and their servants in government, industry and media.
American dollar democracy finds 8% of us being millionaires, multi-millionaires, billionaires, and multi billionaires. The 92% majority, of course, control everything democratically. That is the definable truth if you believe deep nose-picking is a way of performing self lobotomy or that the tooth fairy is really a gay dentist. Sadly, a minority of us, including all too many voters, might as well be stuck in such a mental trap. But a growing majority sense that something is terribly wrong and that real change is necessary for humanity and not just one or another identity group’s survival is causing greater desire than ever for substantial change in the way we organize our society. Unfortunately, that desire is still under the control of the profit-making industries of division, violence, ignorance and more division.
It is possible to believe that a billionaire and a pauper are equal when shopping at the market, if one is among the nose picking tooth fairy faith. The rest of us must see the numbers which do not lie and get worse every day when it comes to what is called economic inequality. While that is the foundation of marketism which affords massive estates and riches so vast it takes several banks to hold them, hundreds of thousands of humans, whether possessing testicles, vaginas, or both, light skin, dark skin, or both, heterosexual, homosexual or both, do not have shelter, publicly beg for food and forage through garbage for clothing. This while millions of residents in a so-called democracy have no health care and more than a million die of a virus which is believed by some to have been created by one or another villainous force but hardly due to the capitalist market system which demands money for most of what is needed for survival while essentially telling those without enough money they can drop dead.
While formally educated and mentally deranged manipulators of policy are using Ukraine to affect murdering Russians and using Taiwan to encourage murder of Chinese, common sense and near universal desires for global peace are impossible to find in the mass murder market dominated and controlled by minorities at growing danger to the overwhelming majority of earth’s inhabitants. The socially diseased imperial beast calling itself a force for global peace and democracy has become a raving monster desperately in need of a truly democratic force of the American people to take control before the rest of the world, led by China, Russia and the many nations fed up with a disintegrating economic, social and political environment, have to exercise control, democratic or otherwise.
Peace is impossible while life is controlled by minority profiteers whose control of information is as menacing as its weapons making. The world outside the USA is growing restive, fed up, and beginning to tell us to bug off, as at the recent farce of an alleged meeting of Latin American countries formerly under our total domination showed. Nato countries reduced to suffering for obeying American orders to sanction Russia are being to think about banding together to sanction The USA. There has never been a greater time for real democracy in America but it won’t come about by making war on one another, which will only make the imperial situation worse. Our identity is as human beings, not sub-categories of humans with no need for food, clothing and shelter but only separate-but-allegedly-equal status slaves to a market god, and our fate is in coming together and acting as such. We need to do that in greater numbers and more quickly than ever.
Part 2B. The Violence of Ukrainian Ultranationalists
We’ve been examining how threats to life are driving much of the violence of the current crisis in Ukraine. In the last part, we discussed how threats to Russian lives posed by the US and NATO have in turn provoked Russia to take military action. In this part, we’ll look at some of the threats to life within Ukraine itself, threats that Ukrainians feel from other Ukrainians, particularly the violence of ultranationalists.
Some Ukrainians have feared for their lives and safety because of Ukrainian extreme right-wing violence, a form of violence that seems to be aggressive and clearly criminal, since the targets of its violence appear to often be unarmed and non-violent. Groups such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Svoboda Party—which used to be named the Social-National Party, Right Sector, Azov battalion, C14, the police regiments Dnipro 1 and Dnipro 2, and the Tornado, Donbass, and Aidar battalions are all linked with fascism and far right-wing violent extremism. Andriy Parubiy, the co-founder of Svoboda and Patriot of Ukraine, whose members became the core of Azov, reportedly regularly meets with Washington DC think tanks and politicians.1
As an aside, note that some consider fascism to be left-wing, rather than right-wing. It’s true that the very word Nazi comes from the words National Socialist, and the word “socialist” implies left-wing. However, others argue that while the Nazis were socialist in name, they were not socialist in action. In fact, the first groups that Hitler attacked and imprisoned were the left-wing political groups: socialists and Communists. Typically, Communism and socialism are considered left-wing, and fascism is considered right-wing.
For purposes of this essay, while I’ll continue to call them right-wing, it doesn’t matter to me whether you want to consider them left-wing or right-wing. A simple two-dimensional left-and-right line might not even be the best way to think about political viewpoints. But most importantly, my point in calling them far-right wing is not to disparage the right wing, or to suggest that the violence of the far-right wing is due to their being on the right wing. It’s due to their being “far,” which also doesn’t necessarily mean violent either.
Left-wing violence and left-wing dictatorships, such as that of a Communist totalitarian dictatorship, and right-wing violence and right-wing dictatorships, such as life under Chile’s Pinochet, are both horrendous, and they both violate the principles of left-wing and right-wing individuals who do not believe in such violence, dictatorship, or totalitarianism. Violence and aggression should be addressed with caring and concern and without bias, whether it is far-left wing or far-right wing. The deeper point is to address these groups, their aggressive ideas, their violence, and also their fears and grievances, no matter which side of the political spectrum they fall.
Perhaps in addition to the left-right horizontal line it would be more meaningful and purposeful to also draw a vertical line running through it and extending from cooperative, egalitarian non-violence at the top to dominating, hierarchical violence at the bottom so that there are four quadrants. Hopefully, whether we’re left or right, we can aim for the top.
It’s important to note that not all people in these groups are neo-Nazis, and perhaps some have views that are distinct in significant ways. Most or all of these groups do not formally embrace Nazi ideology. In fact, members of these groups have often vociferously denied that they are neo-Nazis. The label only angers them, and they explain that they are Ukrainian nationalists. At the same time, many of the groups do include some neo-Nazis in their membership. For example, in 2015 a spokesperson for the Azov battalion stated that 10 to 20 percent Azov’s recruits were neo-Nazis. The Svoboda Party supposedly expelled its neo-Nazi members when it was trying to transform its image and changed its name from the Social National Party to the Svoboda (Freedom) Party in 2018.
Perhaps a better term than neo-Nazi for these groups would be fascists, since Nazis are more specifically associated with Hitler’s Third Reich and perhaps many of these far-right-wing Ukrainians care much more about Ukraine than Hitler. An excellent article about the defining beliefs and fears of fascists is written by Dan Tamir, “When Jews Praised Mussolini and Supported Nazis: Meet Israel’s First Fascists.” 2 The article lists these defining characteristics of fascism: conviction of superiority of one’s group, a feeling of victimhood, feeling justified to commit any form of revenge, subjugation of the individual to the group, and belief in the supreme leader as having extraordinary, even divine or supernatural powers. Many also would include as a characteristic a repulsion to left-wing policies. While fascist beliefs are intolerant, ruthless, and violent, they appear to be goaded simultaneously by convictions of superiority and by fears and convictions of victimhood.
Not mentioned in the article is the idea that fascist governments are defined by some as existing when a strong, undemocratic tie exists between government and big business, so that government and businesses collaborate in harmful ways to serve each other’s purposes. To my knowledge, such collaboration is not something that’s being promoted by Ukraine’s far-right-wing violent extremists who seem extremely angered by the stealing, dishonesty, and corruption within government and the disproportionate power of oligarchs within the nation.
Many articles refer to Ukrainians’ violent far-right wing simply as ultranationalists, and this may be the best term for them, a type of extreme nationalism that includes violence and hatred towards those who are not of their ethnicity. But again, I don’t have access to any type of survey of these groups, and I don’t know whether they all look down on others or not. Most of all, it’s important to listen to the particulars of their beliefs. It would be a disservice to smear an entire group with the ideas and actions of its most violent and intolerant members, who may not even be representative of the entire group. In fact, in situations of conflict, this tactic, called pathological stereotyping, of defining and perceiving an entire group by the most repulsive behaviors and actions of unrepresentative members, is a tactic that only heightens misunderstanding and places harmony and reconciliation even farther out of reach. Of course, just because a group isn’t neo-Nazi doesn’t mean it’s harmless, non-violent, and just. It could be highly prejudiced, fascist, and violent whether it’s neo-Nazi or not.
With regard to US foreign policy, it’s critical to understand that US weapons and funding are helping, either intentionally or unintentionally, to support the behaviors of these violent Ukrainian extremists. It’s reportedly difficult to keep US aid and weapons from ending up in the hands of these groups. Yet these groups are not representative of the Ukrainian population as a whole. The Svoboda Party, for example, won 10 percent of the vote in 2015, and that was much more than it had ever gained. 3 In supporting these groups more than others, therefore, US policymakers can hardly say they’re supporting democracy within Ukraine. In fact, it’s impossible to help one side kill another side in a foreign nation’s civil war and call that assistance democratic and supportive of that nation’s population. Democracy involves caring equally for all, not obliterating the side you disagree with. For this reason, Biden’s sending weapons to Ukraine is an extremely undemocratic gesture. US policymakers try to make it seem democratic, as if the other side of the civil war is really a bunch of Russian puppets. But that’s not the truth of it.
With regard to the dangers from these groups in Ukraine, several articles, especially Lev Golinkin’s highly informative article in The Nation, provide much evidence. 4 Human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the UN, have reported and condemned rising far-right-wing paramilitary violence in Ukraine, including attacks on women’s rights marches, the LGBTQ community, and several attacks on the Romani (Gypsies), who were also the primary target of Hitler’s Nazis in terms of percentage of the ethnic group destroyed.5
The UN has accused the Azov regiment of violating international humanitarian law.5 Azov’s infliction of rape and torture in the Donbas region of Donetsk and Lugansk is documented for the years 2015–2016.6 Yet right-wing extremists from several nations on three continents, including the United States, have travelled to Ukraine to join with Azov. 7
In 2018, the far-right group C14 drove away a Romani community, chased Romani women and children, and burned down their tents. A few months later, using batons and other weapons, they attacked a Romani community, injured several, and killed one young Romani man. C14 was originally the youth wing of the Svoboda party. The seven suspects in the murderous attack were aged 16 and 17. 8
The UN insisted that Kiev cease persecution of the Romani, but months later, a human rights group reported that C14, in collaboration with Kiev’s police, was allegedly intimidating the Romani. Well prior to the 2014 coup, the BBC reported that Svoboda Party activists attacked and sprayed tear gas at a gay rights rally in Kiev. The party also was calling for a requirement that passports specify the holder’s ethnicity. 9
Meanwhile, at the start of the civil war in 2014, the Aidar battalion, referred to as a neo-Nazi battalion, fired weapons at a monastery and held 300 monks and other civilians hostage. 10 Amnesty International has documented cases of abuse it states were committed by Aidar in 2014 and are classified as war crimes, including extorting money, abducting, and beating Ukrainians suspected of collaborating with pro-Russian Ukrainians. Aidar’s leader himself honestly admitted, “‘I don’t deny people were looting there (in eastern Ukraine).’” The Tornado battalion, as well, was accused by Ukraine’s government of including about 40 members who have criminal records, though the types and severity of the crimes committed are not stated. The 2015 article states that eight members had been accused of crimes including rape, forcing captives to rape another man, murder, and smuggling.11
As Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies of Code Pink explain, the extreme right-wing Svoboda (Freedom) Party played a major role in Ukraine’s 2014 coup. The peaceful protests against the administration of President Viktor Yanukovich turned into violence, thanks to the armed behavior of the extreme right-wing Right Sector. 12 Russ Bellant, who has written about the ties of right-wing Nazi-collaborating Eastern European immigrants with US Republican Party campaigns since the 1950s, has stated that the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, an intolerant, violent organization from the 1920s that backed the all-Ukrainian 14th Waffen SS Division during WWII, is behind the Svoboda Party, a party supported by the US government and a party that was a force within the 2014 coup. 13
In stating the reasons for Russia’s invasion, Putin referred to this violence and to the war crimes of Ukrainian extremists, but US media makers called his grievances phony. Putin referred to the inhumane blockades which prevented Russia’s humanitarian aid from reaching Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia also claimed that Kiev cut off utilities, including water, to the republics. Again, US politicians and their obedient media makers dismissed these fears as phony.
This denial of Putin’s and Russia’s fears is the same callous, dehumanizing disrespect for another’s fears and the same denial of suffering, assault, and violence that has been present towards the victims of other forms of US prejudice, including prejudice against women, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and African Americans, as well as less-recognized forms of prejudice within our systems and institutions against the rights and dignity of children, employees, and the non-wealthy.
A truly evolved society is one which can recognize its own prejudices, not merely in hindsight, but in the present, when groupthink and mainstream media are at their zenith in applauding prejudice, and particularly in times of conflict when prejudice is harnessed and fueled to justify violence and injustice against certain people deemed evil, dangerous, and morally inferior. When people truly think someone else is dangerous and malicious, prejudice, itself dangerous, suddenly seems moral and is allowed to grow like cancer, disguised as good but actually taking over one’s cells.
While US policy and media makers have been busy drowning truth in the stew of their prejudice, in 2014, Amnesty International accused the Dnipro-1 battalion of war crimes, including the use of starvation of civilians as a weapon of warfare. Amnesty also accused Dnipro-1 of blocking humanitarian aid. An Amnesty International official also described as a war crime the actions of the Dnipro, Aidar, and Donbas battalions in blocking food and clothing to Donetsk and Lugansk, regions where more than half the people depend upon food aid. Golinkin reports that six months after this accusation, US Senator John McCain visited Ukraine and praised Dnipro-1. 14 Articles from German and British news sites reported on Ukraine’s attacks in 2014 that damaged a power plant in Donetsk, thus cutting off access to water, and on Ukraine’s cutting off the electricity supply and funding to the republics in 2017.15
In addition to the blockades of food, water, electricity, and humanitarian aid, and in addition to the physical attacks, abuse also comes in the form of symbolism. The use of Nazi symbolism, such as swastikas and swastika-like symbols, has been on the rise—Golinkin refers to an “explosion” of swastiskas. Statues and streets have been dedicated to Ukrainians connected with the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists who massacred thousands of Jews and Poles and collaborated with Nazis during WWII. Right Sector, who formed the most militarized parts of the 2014 coup, included demonstrators who wore anti-Semitic symbols. At the same time, Jewish Holocaust memorials, Jewish centers, and Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized and at least one synagogue was firebombed.
Verbal abuse against minorities has also escalated. Golinkin reports that torchlight marches celebrating Nazi collaborators have become a routine feature under the post-coup Ukrainian government. In a march in 2017 honoring Stepan Bandera, the former leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, thousands chanted, “Jews out!” Other forms of verbal abuse, such as by right-wing members of parliament, have been coarse, vulgar, and threatening towards minorities such as Jews and Russians. A politician, Golinkin reports, regretted that Hitler hadn’t annihilated the Jews completely. These remarks and these statements of goals are made without repercussions.
Hatred against Russia has become venomous amongst far right-wing extremists. One article reported that a Ukrainian man was attacked simply for speaking Russian. In 2015, Reuters quoted a member of the St. Mary’s battalion who stated that he’d like to create a Christian “Taliban” to reclaim eastern Ukraine and Crimea. “‘I would like Ukraine to lead the crusades. . . .Our mission is not only to kick out the occupiers, but also revenge. Moscow must burn.’”
In 2012, the European Parliament passed a resolution asking Kiev not to associate with the Svoboda Party due to its racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic views. But after the 2014 coup, Svoboda Party members were appointed to about one-quarter of the Cabinet positions in the interim government. One Svoboda Party member even assaulted a Ukrainian state TV station merely for broadcasting a speech given by Putin. In 2014, NBC reported that the party’s goals listed on its website included preserving Ukraine’s national identity, protecting Ukraine’s “living space”—the lingo used by Hitler, and criminalizing any displays of “Ukrainophobia.” 16 In other words, it’s okay to be fearful or even hateful and violent towards Russians, Jews, feminists, and gays, but it’s not cool to be fearful, hateful, or violent towards heterosexual male ethnic Ukrainians.
Israel itself has publicly requested Kiev to stop the epidemic of anti-Semitism. In 2018, the World Jewish Congress, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and 57 members of the US Congress denounced this Nazi glorification and anti-Semitism emanating from Kiev. Golinkin reports that, while many Ukrainian Jewish leaders supported the anti-corruption protests in 2014, 41 Ukrainian Jewish leaders have since condemned the growth of anti-Semitism. 17
The connections between violent far-right extremists, including neo-Nazis, and Ukraine’s government and legal apparatus are disturbing. Neo-Nazis work in Ukraine’s police, national guard, and military, which is said to be the reason why far-right-wing violence in the streets is given impunity. The Azov battalion was incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard in 2014 to become the Azov regiment. Shortly after the 2014 coup, the US began equipping and training Ukraine’s National Police, which is under the jurisdiction of Ukraine’s Ministry of the Interior, a cabinet post given to Vadim Troya, a veteran of Azov and Patriot of Ukraine. 18 Volunteer battalions have received some of their weapons from Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and others from oligarchs. Al-Jazeera’s article states that Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president at the time, praised Azov when it was integrated into the National Guard in 2014 as “our best warriors.”
Yet, while the post-coup Ukrainian government seems to have directly supported these groups and has also been accused by human rights organizations of ignoring their violence, at the same time, at least back in 2015, the post-coup Ukrainian government itself saw many of these volunteer unofficial battalions or certain criminal members within them as problematic. The Reuters article from 2015 pointed out that President Poroshenko stated that these illegal groups must disarm because they’re threatening to make the country even more unstable than it already is. He also stated that groups could not be both politically involved in government and also militant; they could only be one or the other, presumably because militant vigilantism in Ukraine is allowed only in order to support Ukraine’s police and protect the Ukrainian population as a whole, not a particular political party.
The Ukrainian Minister of the Interior and Ukraine’s military prosecutor were both intent on weeding out the criminal elements within these volunteer battalions and prosecuting them for crimes. However, as the article from 2015 reveals, hostility has occurred between these far-right wing groups and the Ukrainian government and police. Extremists are angered that the revolution of 2014 has still not been completed and that corruption still exists. They’ve also been angered by the government’s attempt to dismantle them. Right Sector and the police even had a shoot-out. Far-right-wing extremists poured manure in front of the office of Ukraine’s military prosecutor. 19
While the Ukrainian government is accused of collaborating with neo-Nazis by bringing the Azov regiment into military service, it’s possible that this was part of an attempt to control Azov. The 2015 Reuters article states that the Ukraine government, in an effort to bring Aidar and other volunteer battalions under control, ordered Aidar to reform into the 24th assault battalion as part of Ukraine’s official forces. In 2015, Aidar members were lighting tires on fire in front of Ukraine’s Department of the Interior in protest of government attempts to disband them. Therefore, incorporating them into official forces may have been an attempt to disempower their criminal elements while empowering their non-criminal elements. 20 Even Poroshenko’s praise could have been intended to be aimed at the non-criminal aspects of Azov, as a way of helping them to feel proud of being a part of the official forces and more inclined to stay non-criminal.
Clearly, ultranationalist violence has been an enormous, complicated problem for many in Ukraine. Since US media is so one-dimensional and narrow in scope, it’s not clear that US weapon shipments are something that most Ukrainian leaders would even advocate, given the consequences of building up the violent capabilities of far-right-wing extremists. Nonetheless, with brazen falseness and stuffing its ears to Putin’s, Israel’s, Ukrainian civilians’, and the Ukrainian government’s severe concerns, with callousness that denies the suffering of victims of neo-Nazi and other far-right-wing violence, American “experts” deny the whole problem by first inflating these accusations of neo-Nazism and far-right-wing extremist violence into an accusation that the entire government of Ukraine is neo-Nazi, and then by rejecting that accusation as ridiculous.
So-called US “experts” persist in “educating” Americans by uttering with unwarranted confidence the simple-minded argument that it’s impossible for Ukraine’s government to be neo-Nazi or to collaborate with neo-Nazis because Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy is Jewish. Infographics, which repetitively derides Russia and Putin with relish throughout the program, mocks Putin’s accusation of neo-Nazism within Ukraine’s government by stating that the idea of a Jewish president leading a Nazi government is “not only blatantly false…but ridiculous.” The tone of the narrator is meant to assure us that Infographics has accurately explained Putin’s concerns and validly denied its foundations.21
Other US “experts” and scholars also dismiss neo-Nazism, claiming it is no more a problem in Ukraine than in other nations. They seem to forget that the neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists in Ukraine are being armed with US and NATO heavy weaponry to fight on the front lines in Donetsk and Lugansk. Moreover, Ukraine is the only nation in the world with a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces.22
And if neo-Nazism has no more power in Ukraine than any other nation, then why were Ukraine and the US the only two nations that voted against the Feb. 2022 UN resolution to condemn the glorification of Nazism? In his July 2021 essay, Putin points out that Ukraine has repeatedly voted against past attempts to pass this resolution. In 2022, the resolution was passed with 130 nations voting in favor, 51—including the entire EU—abstaining, and only 2 voting against it: Ukraine and the US.23 The US supported its decision by falsely claiming that the resolution was a thinly veiled attempt by Russia to serve as fraudulent cover for its actions in Ukraine. This denial of neo-Nazi violence, vandalism, and symbolic, verbal, and physical abuse is maddening. Perhaps US policymakers should speak with the human rights groups and the victims of assault, rape, and robbery that have condemned neo-Nazi violence in Ukraine.
With its typical spineless sense of morality, the US government briefly forbade US support and training to Azov in 2015 but then lifted the ban in 2016, under some sort of unknown pressure from the Pentagon.24(US foreign policy is always made by this “pressure,” not by informed, cooperative thought and discussion.) The very presence of the Azov battalion on the front lines of war in Donetsk and Lugansk is yet one more factor that provoked Russia to invade Ukraine to protect Ukrainians from horror.
Nonetheless, with a sense of logic matching its sense of morality, US policymakers decided that Azov, whose violent presence was helping attract a Russian invasion, wasn’t so bad after all since it was fighting the invading Russians. Of course, perhaps US policymaker logic is the same as US National Security Adviser Brzezinski’s logic in 1979: arming the mujahideen in Afghanistan is a great idea because it will provoke the Soviets to invade and get mired in their own “Vietnam.” 25
It seems US policymakers are going to extremes to both support neo-Nazism and other forms of far-right-wing violence and also to deny its existence as a significant force in Ukraine, a behavior so peculiar that it deserves more attention. The use of President Zelenskiy’s Jewish ethnicity as “proof” of the lack of neo-Nazism as a force in Ukraine’s government and society is illogical on many levels. Of course, it’s understandable that Americans equate Nazism solely with anti-Semitism, since that’s pretty much all that’s emphasized in the US. We certainly don’t learn about Hitler’s viciousness towards socialists, Communists, the Romani, and Slavs in general—such knowledge would not have been conducive to fueling American Cold War anti-Soviet fear and hatred. And we certainly don’t learn about Jewish fascism as it exists in the form of Jewish Revisionism.
Beginning in the 1920s, Jewish Revisionists, perhaps psychologically traumatized by their own family backgrounds experiencing pogroms in Eastern Europe, believed in the necessity of the ruthless use of force to achieve their goals of Israeli statehood. Ironically, Jewish Revisionists admired Hitler and sought to collaborate with the Axis powers to rid themselves of Britain’s attempts to equitably manage and remedy the fact that enormous numbers of impoverished Arabs were not only being economically threatened by rising Jewish immigration but were being pushed out of Palestine.
So while Britain was attacking Nazi Germany which was slaughtering Jews, the Jewish Revisionists’ Irgun, at one point led by future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang, at one point led by future Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, launched terrorist campaigns against British personnel and Arab civilians. 26 The Irgun was a political predecessor of today’s Likud party in Israel, strongly supported by US policymakers who, in turn, receive financial contributions from pro-Likud lobbyists of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). 27
Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy is not necessarily fascist. He could simply be under pressure to cooperate with the extreme right-wing. But the point in mentioning this aside about Jewish fascists in Israel is to prove even further that this US “expert” claim that a Jewish president cannot exist or even collaborate with neo-Nazis within the same government is false.
So you have to wonder, if this US expert claim is false, what else is false? And why are Americans making up false stories? Is their argument against Russia and against Putin too shaky to stand on its own without lies?
Ukrainian fears for life from attack by far-right-wing violent extremists—both before and after the 2014 coup—are valid fears that deserve attention, not denial. At the same time, as we follow the Paradigm for Peace model which entails seeking to understand and analyze the Defensive and Aggressive Roots of Violence on all sides of conflict, we must also learn whether these far-right groups, including neo-Nazis, have feared for their own lives and safety.
One of the worst things to do to people is simply to condemn them without even trying to understand their fears and their point of view. It’s also poor human relations to condemn an entire group based upon the worst behavior of its members, if those members’ actions are not representative of the group’s typical behavior. We need to learn whether these ultranationalist groups hold legitimate grievances or even certain legitimate aspects of grievances that should be addressed.
For example, why do these groups attack the Romani? Is it possible that any members of these groups have been threatened in major or minor ways by the Romani? Were ultranationalists’ lives threatened? Or property? Or feelings? If so, were the offending Romani acting typically for Romani, or were they more poorly behaved than most? If so, why should an entire camp be attacked? To what extent are attacks on Romani simply a way for ultranationalists to fulfill certain psychological needs that are otherwise unmet? Such as needs for identity and superiority? Can we talk about this?
For those grievances that prove to be largely illegitimate, irrational, or immoral, we need to figure out which forces and circumstances in culture created those perspectives, for these people, while inflicting suffering upon others, seem to be suffering in their own way. So much rage and hate must be difficult to endure. And be sure not to confuse sending weapons to these groups with solving these groups’ problems, for the weapons are not solving their problems and are only making them capable of worse crimes, which will, in turn, make their cause and their very existence appear even more illegitimate.
In her work, Women of the Klan, Kathleen Blee shows how Ku Klux Klan members in the 1920s truly thought of themselves as good people. It’s important to understand this and find out why. Highly-prejudiced, violent extremist groups such as the KKK do have underlying fears, not necessarily about their lives, but often about their economic security, values and morality in society, their social standing in society, and their personal value.28) They tend to irrationally blame their problems on entire categories of people of certain ethnic groups, religions, or socioeconomic classes other than their own. Without excusing or supporting right-wing or left-wing extremists’ violence and callous hatred, we’ve got to listen to their fears and see if they possess certain legitimate grievances that can be alleviated or simply irrational fears that also need to be addressed.
In order to understand why right-wing Ukrainians honor Ukrainians who collaborated with Nazis during WWII and massacred thousands of Jews and Poles, we might also try to understand the rational and irrational fears of those WWII Ukrainians, such as the all-Ukrainian SS unit, who committed the murders. Is it possible that these Ukrainians felt, correctly or not, that their lives were endangered by Jews and Poles? If so, to what extent was this feeling a result merely of propaganda?
In the course of my research and writing, I’ve run the Paradigm for Peace model through the circumstances of Nazi Germany, and it’s easy to see that German Nazism emerged from severe threats to life, power, wealth, land, love, worth, and respect from WWI, the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression, and unequal international relationships of power, wealth, and trade. Nazi views about Jews and Communists and German convictions that Hitler was a man of peace fighting on the defense against aggressors, resulted from heavy, lengthy doses of propaganda.29 Not only that, US banks, law firms, and businesses directly helped build up Hitler’s arsenal.30 To what extent were Ukrainian Nazi collaborators during WWII and to what extent are ultranationalist Ukrainians today experiencing these same types of threats, these same types of propaganda, and these same types of access to weapons? To what extent are Americans?
Obviously, the point is not to understand to the point of agreeing that Jews and Poles should be murdered or that certain people are inferior. The point is to discover how these extremists have felt threatened, even if only psychologically, even if only as the result of propaganda, in order to help them feel physically, emotionally, socially, and psychologically safe without having to resort to violence or injustice, in order to help prevent people from ever experiencing such fears and frustrations and from ever feeling the need to respond to fears and frustrations so violently. As repulsive as it might seem to various people to try to understand neo-Nazis, or Russians, or US policymakers, it’s critical not to exclude any group from our efforts to understand fears and hopes and the forces in society that have shaped these minds.
While all fears cannot be remedied in conflict resolution and cooperative negotiation, especially since some may originate in the physical and emotional insecurities of childhood dynamics, school and community dynamics, or personal biologies, and while perfect understanding and harmony is impossible, these efforts, unlike weapon-corporation-sponsored efforts and good-guy-killing-evil-guy efforts, could actually move us forward instead of backward. Moreover, if some American, Ukrainian, or Russian fears are more irrational and are rooted, not in actual current threatening circumstances, but rather more deeply in the stress, trauma, threats, frustrations, or alienation of childhood or community dynamics, in the skewed information developed by propaganda, or in the skewed mentalities festering within certain organizational cultures, such an analysis can point to the need for reforms in societies’ priorities and traditions of human relations to help humans grow and develop with much more social and emotional security, caring, and friendship and with respect for the truth as something to seek, not contort.
Kathleen M. Blee, Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s, (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California, 1992
Ian Kershaw, The “Hitler Myth”: Image and Reality in the Third Reich (Oxford: Oxford University, 1987).
Christopher Simpson, The Splendid Blond Beast: Money, Law, and Genocide in the Twentieth Century (New York: Grove Press, 1993), 48, 63-65; and Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War” (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013), 38-39, 50-51.
Been missing Democracy Now (intentionally), Been Listening to Faux Left, and Seeing the House of Mirrors and Cities of Cards that Are the USA-UK-EU-Klanada-Israel-et al.
I have a friend who is into Jesus. He’s so into Jesus, that he even pisses off the traditional Jesus folk by challenging their doctrines (he cites the hypocrisy and lies of the Pharisees), and he likes to talk to Mormons (LDS) to question their “weird” religion, and he likes to say how Christ is the original son of god, and that all other religions have stolen from Christianity. He knows I am more than just an atheist, and he says that’s what he likes about me, that I am passionate about helping people, that I know a lot and that I can at least listen to him.
He’s all about how the bible is all the (the only) news fit to print, from above, both literal and predictive. You know, Ukraine and Russia, all in the bible. You know, the war will be China-Iran-Russia-Syria against Jerusulem. It all gets rather comic book-like, but then, people who have gone 67 years living in the USA, like he has, in a scattered life, with a childhood full of ADHD, and he has had years of depression, and years of anger, and years of working in used car sales, well, the time is now where he believes he has a calling to serve the poor. But through JESUS!
Except he thinks he is immune from politics, immune from the world, and he has it all down, like most fundamental and simplistic Christians do — the earth will end, by god’s will, prophesied in the bible, before climate change will do any destruction.
He’s a white Southern guy who ended up in New York, and worked with a lot of Black musicians, and he likes that music, jazz and all of that, but he gets really hateful when talking about Black Lives Matter. He says all news is fake, that “they” are all liars, but then in the same breath, he tells me about the person who started BLM and how she has several million dollar homes somewhere as if that news is somehow going to sink why black lives matter as a movement is real and righteous. I tell him that capitalism corrupts all, and the intent of BLM was and is good, but the leadership, like ALL leaderships, are corruptible, and they love the luxuries, man. In fact, my Jesus Man loves his nice house, though he has been homeless, and he says, if it weren’t for his spouse, he’d just pick up and go, live out of a van, if necessary, and serve the poor. Maybe, or maybe not. Yet, he is so tone deaf to movements, to the racism of this society, that he is an injured conservative, leaning for Christ, but not understanding that there millions of other Christians who have nuanced and looked at the teachings and the Bible and all of that, well, err, mostly crap. He believes that Christ existed/exists. Oh well.
Here, from USA Today, looking at the dirt on this BLM co-founder,
Khan-Cullors also noted that she is a public speaker, owns a gallery, has a deal with YouTube and teaches at a private liberal arts college in Arizona.
The claim that Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors bought four luxury homes is MISSING CONTEXT, because without additional information it could be misleading. While some social media users suggested that the purchases were evidence that Khan-Cullors had been enriched by the movement, our research revealed no evidence that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation funds were used to purchase property. Khan-Cullors has held several other jobs in addition to her work as the organization’s volunteer executive director, including writing a memoir and developing content for Warner Brothers. (Source)
This is how people in the USA fly. My friend may want a life as simple as possible, but he has a home on the coast, purchased two years ago with the sale of an over-priced Calif. home (What Would Jesus Say About Housing Flippers?) which got he and his wife, both on Social Security, a house with a million dollar view of the Pacific. However, their savings are going, they paid full price on the house, a new roof might be upwards of $20K, and the regressive property taxes in this shit-hole county are going up and up and up.
So, the Jesus-Is-My-Friend guy is looking to sell the place for a profit (he got it for $425K and now they, the realtor, say $560K is easily one first offer possibility). He’s looking in Washington, around Gig Harbor and Port Angeles, but the prices are way too high. He’s looking to go back to country southern roots, Lewisburg, where he says that cool $600 K in cash can get he and his wife a home of $200K or so, and then the rest will be in the bank.
The point is that even a communist like myself can sit down and have a beer with a fellow who believes in a second coming, believes in the literal translation of the bible, believes in a holy war a’comin’, and this is someone who professes he is not concerned about the worldly things, yet, he gets checked up by the VA, he does like to drink beer, he also likes to comment on a few things he says he somehow gets from that news he says is all lies.
Trying to talk to someone who believes that nothing counts but the holy ghost is problematic. How can I point out that, yes, BLM has an impetus that was spot on, and that, yes, BLM leadership supports Democrats with a big “D.” It’s as if we have three different languages utilized in our discourse. He can swoop down and attack BLM leadership, based on a faulty story, and then (a) I have to defend the principle of the matter, but then (n), I also am a communist who despises capitalism coming from the right and the center right, and now, of course, I despise the left and its rah-rah for Goldman Sachs, Raytheon, Mercenaries ‘R Us.
I try and discuss what White Lives Matter is, but then he defers to, “Yes, White lives do matter.” Then, the issue of, Blue Lives Matter comes up, and he then comes back with, “Yes, our policemen do matter.” Tone deaf. Broken thinker. Misunderstanding culture!
This is the blockheadedness of the American, even for some guy who wants to feed the poor and help the homeless, though he is still in that period of his life of, “Well, when we get settled, I want to do the work of Jesus . . . buy an old warehouse . . . get clothes and food in it . . . have the poor and homeless come in and help them. Turn it into a Christian Center for the Homeless.” He’s turning 68 soon.
He believes if there is a will, there is a way. I attempt to inform him that it takes codes, legal advice, a non-profit status, or a religious status, political connections, and, well, there has to be some training of both he and whomever he wants to help give “mutual aid.” Again, in principle, we should be able to do all sorts of things in this country without the code and law and financial enforcers interfering, but alas, we have allowed the country to turn into mush, where every aspect of our lives is controlled by fines-penalties-contracts-taxes-tolls-add-ons-tickets-fees-licenses-certifications-control boards-enforcement agencies. And more. He believes god and Jesus will take care of us.
Why was there a movement for black lives? Hell, the Jesus Freak thinks they got it wrong, and that Jesus-thinking people know the low down: Jesus is All-Knowing.
And, of course, my friend would never understand the movement against racism and overt hatred of Blacks and the dirty DNA of the USA’s white class in killing Indians, Mexicans, Africans here on Turtle Island.
A very schizophrenic or bipolar or simplistic way of seeing the world, looking to Jesus in/of/for the bible, and even calling me ‘Paul,’ like Paul of the bible. Bizarre. Here you go, Jesus freak, nuanced stuff about BLM —
We speak often about Cointelpro, the FBI’s CounterIntelligence Program. We must also study COIN, the US government’s program on Counter Insurgency. You know the difference between covert racism and overt racism? That’s the difference between Counterinsurgency and Cointelpro. Rather than an extreme violence that creates martyrs, the “Host Government,” as they referred to themselves in their own manual, uses methods of cooptation. Their approach is to take revolutionary forces, deradicalize them, and reroute them from a force against governmental violence and oppression into a force for the government. They gain “the support of that relevant population through political, psychological, and economic methods.”
When we examine the actions of the so-called “founders” of the “BLM Movement” we must also identify the ways those actions were supported and elevated by media and social media applications (tools of the government). We should remember that there has never been a time when there weren’t protests against their actions by organizers on the ground in all the communities they swooped into including Ferguson and Los Angeles, the very first city they received national recognition through and the city they operated from, respectively. There is a common theme in the narrative of organizers in cities across the country and in other countries: the streets were hot, the “founders” showed up and redirected attention from the organizers on the ground, they left and took the visibility with them, the streets cooled down. Subversion. Counterinsurgency. They practiced it at the local level repeatedly and had perfected it by the time the state murdered our siblings George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. They took over every moment of deep, passionate, fearless, heartfelt radicalization and used it to transform the primary, mainstream “liberation” narrative into one that is focused on registering voters and winning seats for the democratic party. Our radical, abolitionist, revolutionary response to them killing our family in the streets on behalf of the state is to vote. It’s Black Votes that now Matter to Black Lives Matter. Except, only, actually, to a small few. Minority rule. Very radical.
The rest of us now had another entity to protest and organize against. As we wrestled with the question: reform or abolish this entity, we had the responsibility, also, to not undermine the movement with public facing critique. This is why we worked so hard, quietly for years. When we spoke out, we had to. Not because of the money. Because of the deradicalization of one of the most revolutionary moments in generations. Because while people were setting police stations on fire, BLM was sending newsletters that said we’re moving from Protests to the Polls.
Yet, well, I can’t put the onus just on a Jesus Freak, because at the core, he is following a white man’s stuck-in-the-USA version of the Golden Rule, for sure, and he does decry the false prophets, all the hypocrisy of organized religions and churches, but he is still trapped in Capitalism, though he says he hates any “ism”! We can argue about my work with Catholic priests and nuns fighting and dying for the poor in Central America, or my work with ministers in Arizona to give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants from Central America, and in the end, he can’t just let it go and insists that “their” religion is not the “true” religion of Christ. I say that those friends of old were amazing people, and alas, I was the atheist, but it didn’t matter to them.
He’s in a gotcha world, for sure, and he continues to state there are no truths except Christ’s truths. A most despicable patronizing of the rest of us in the world who work on social-environmental-cultural-gender-arts justice. It’s as if all the work we do is for naught, since the second coming will be the lifting of the holy and the believers. However, he states my heart is in the right place, vis-a-vis the Golden Rule of the bible.
The maxim — Golden Rule — may appear as a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:
Treat others as you would like others to treat you (positive or directive form)
Do not treat others in ways that you would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form)
What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathetic or responsive form)
The idea dates at least to the early Confucian times (551–479 BCE), according to Rushworth Kidder, who identifies the concept appearing prominently in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and “the rest of the world’s major religions.” 143 leaders of the world’s major faiths endorsed the Golden Rule as part of the 1993 “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.” According to Greg M. Epstein, it is “a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely,” but belief in God is not necessary to endorse it. Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be “found in some form in almost every ethical tradition.”
Forget about talking about Ukraine and the Nazis there, and the unholy war of military financial AI thieving industrial complex leading the charge, leading the Biden Bumblers, leading the mental hijacking of the average American and average white European. My Jesus is My Friend, friend, wants nothing of this earthly world (except jazz, dance, beer, good food, art). But, the profits of real estate, banks, and where that “In God We Trust Money” goes, both and all vitally important to Jesus is the Only Path, friends, how do the holy ones square investing in any Fortune 5000 company? Or this now money money money, taxes for, military murdering madness:
The Biden administration has allegedly launched a campaign to recruit private military outfits such as Academi, Cubic, and DynCorp. This is part of an effort to keep a “light American footprint” while trying to bog down the Russians in a quagmire. (Source)
This is the Empire of Lies and Chaos. This is the Country of the Chosen Few, the ones who have the shekels and dollars entwined in dirty and perverse legalistic mumbo-jumbo ways . . . a world of dirty arts and entertainment, a world of sexually rotten psychology, a world of racism against brown-yellow-Slav-black. At the top of the pyramid in almost every sector, the Brother and Sisters of Elites, the ugly purity of chosenness.
For now, we have the Jewish Chancey Gardiner, ZioLensky, using his thespian skills (billions and billions of shekels behind him) to pull the wool over Goyim and Gaul.
Take a look at the optics, the video-making style:
The news not fit for Jesus Freaks or for the mainstream blob? — “’One less traitor’: Zelensky oversees campaign of assassination, kidnapping and torture of political opposition’ by Max Blumenthal, Esha Krishnaswam
Oh, that Middle East, the middle world of Zion:
Cycle of Violence: Israeli Authorities Prod Extremist Militias into Seeking ‘Vigilante Justice’: “All of this is part of the Jewish-supremacy ecosystem — the pro-occupation, pro-settlement, xenophobic hate, and violent right wing in Israel.” – Eran Nissan, Mehazkim COO by Jessica Buxbaum
It is the constant discussion with my Jesus Friend about the rich, and he believes there are good rich people. He talks of friends in California who buy clothes at Walmart and drink cheap wine out of jelly jars. They’ve got tens of millions. Inherited. And, we talk about how that money, which is about buying homes for relatives, in California, in the millions of dollars each, is not exactly what his Jesus had in mind.
This is how the rich get rich and stay rich — investment portfolios. Which dirty industry, or rotten offensive military corporation, or thieving war profiteering company do they invest in? They leave matters to the men and women in Dante’s fifth circle of Hell, investors, money makers:
Barton Biggs, the well-known former Morgan Stanley strategist, who sadly passed in 2012, asks an interesting question at the beginning of his book, Wealth, War & Wisdom: “How do you preserve wealth in times when the Four Horsemen are on the loose?” (By Four Horsemen, Biggs refers to “pestilence, war, famine and death.” See also Revelation 6:8.)
Would my friend’s Jesus like the concept of “gales of creative destruction” these various residents of those Circles of Hell profess are great opportunities during war?
Some advantages last longer than others, but all are temporary. Furthermore, there is overwhelming evidence that the duration of corporate competitive advantages has shortened, which is not surprising in a world where the rate of change is accelerating. It’s the nature of business evolution. Also bear in mind that wars, as Joseph Schumpeter might have said, are “gales of creative destruction” and in the aftermath lead to accelerated technological progress.
In the end, living and dying by the credo of “Christ is the Center of My Life/My Universe” is a tough one when a person still navigates quite profoundly in the real world of governments, corporations, taxation, price gouging and entitlement programs. (source)
Yep, which country would Jesus Bomb or Invest In or Invade?
Sure, we can have any number of slides down the relativism scale, but in the end, the Prince of Peace that fellow is called, would indeed, I think, if real, be out hammering the words — “No More Bombs-Bullets-Bodies for Capitalism’s Wars.”
Shit, it’s now Biblically Responsible Investing! “The whole concept behind BRI is this is God’s money and we’re only using God’s money to own businesses in our portfolios,” Ben Malick said. “I haven’t gotten any, ‘Whoa, that’s crazy!’” (source)
Oh, the hypocrisy of the entire investing spectrum. Socially Responsible Investing, Faith Based Investing, Green Investing! Oh, well, I think what Jesus Would Do is all up to the relative nature of this or that religion or this or that screening, as these bible investors mostly look at LGBTQA rights and abortion and pornography and fetal cells as their big screens to NOT invest in that fund or corporation. War or military or policing and surveillance? Despicable corporations for which there are literally hundreds of thousands? The Bible Thumpers are okay with them.
Investing in any company on a stock exchange is investing in people who believe in those who have and those who do not have. Dog eat dog. Survival of the fittest. Come on, they — Faith Based Investors — are not screening out the real culprits of capitalism.
And, so that axiom, How Would Jesus Invest His/Her/Their Money, hmm, maybe invest in all the technologies that help with the lifting up of drones?
Israeli forces used remote-controlled drones to drop dozens of tear gas canisters on crowds of worshipers, including women and young children. Video footage taken at the scene showed a number of worshipers being carried off in stretchers by medics. (Source)
Well, Would Jesus Go to a Xmas Party During Covid Lockdown?
Well, wondering if “Jesus Would Go With BDS, All the Way, Moses!”
“Over the past eight days, Israel has stormed the holy site seven times, injuring dozens of worshipers and arresting hundreds of Palestinians in the process. Meanwhile Israel has facilitated the entrance of thousands of Jewish settlers for the Passover holiday.” (Source)
But whatever you say about WWJD, the fact is that almost every nut-washer-bolt, wire, capacitor, motherboard, optic, ounce of paint, PR brochure, uniform, tire, belt buckle, rucksack, meal ready to eat, house, tent, A/C unit, all of that, all part of the Military Industrial Complex, and yes, a millionaire here and a millionaire there, he/she/they will invest in whichever mutual fund or ETF or what-have-you to keep those millions sparkling. Jesus or not, Bible or Naught.
And, to put a bow on this screed, how can I NOT discuss the continual destruction of, well, those of us who play outside the sandbox, who blur those comic book lines, who are willing to look into the belly of the beast without being consumed by the beast’s bile.
It goes without saying, Alice Walker is remarkable on so many levels. Her work has inspired millions of young writers. Her story, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is Self,” is a touchstone for many young women looking at themselves through their own deep “other” self while pushing through the ugly reality of cultural marketing of what it means to be a pretty or beautiful girl/woman/elder.
Alas, Alice has been yet again cancelled. Read Chris Hedges’ latest piece, “Alice Walker was disinvited to the Bay Area Book Festival after Zionist groups threatened to carry out protests. The public and presenters are complicit in her blacklisting if they attend” in Scheer Post.
Hedges interviewed Alice via phone. Her words at the end of this quote are profound:
The Bay Area Book festival delivered the latest salvo against Walker. The organizers disinvited her from the event because she praised the writings of the New Age author David Icke and called his book And the Truth Shall Set You Free “brave.” Icke has denied critics’ charges of anti-Semitism. The festival organizers twisted themselves into contortions to say they were not charging Walker with anti-Semitism. She was banned because she lauded a controversial writer, who I suspect few members of the committee have read. The poet and writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, who Walker was to interview, withdrew from the festival in protest.
Walker, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has been a very public advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel for many years. Her friendship with Icke has long been part of the public record. She hid nothing. It is not as if the festival organizers suddenly discovered a dark secret about Walker. They sought to capitalize on her celebrity and then, when they felt the heat from the Israel lobby, capitulated to the mob to humiliate her.
“I don’t know these people,” Walker said of the festival organizers who disinvited her. “It feels like the south. You know they are out there in the community, and they have their positions, but all you see are sheets. That’s what this is. It’s like being back in the south.”
This is the never-ending story with Neocons and Neoliberals. We have so many elephants in the room when it comes to the chosen people, now, or throughout history. To bring to the attention their words and their rule books and their own very racist DNA is to be labeled anti-semetic goyim:
Hedges goes for the throat here, and Chris is already in the drain spiral in his own world of cancel culture and retribution from the higher ups, the chosen ones.
I worked for two years as a reporter in Jerusalem. I listened to the daily filth spewed out by Israelis about Arabs and Palestinians, who used racist tropes to sanctify Israeli apartheid and gratuitous violence against Palestinians. Israel routinely orders air strikes, targeted assassinations, drone attacks, artillery strikes, tank assaults and naval bombardments on the largely defenseless population in Gaza. Israel blithely dismisses those it murders, including children, as unworthy of life, drawing on poisonous religious edicts. It is risible that Israel and its US supporters can posit themselves as anti-racists, abrogating the right to cancel Walker. It is the equivalent of allowing the Klan to vet speakers lists. (Source)
I have a friend who I helped extricate herself from an abusive marriage. She’s in New Mexico, living in a shit-kicker town. Luckily, her former counselor and his wife took her in and she’s in the back mother-in-law’s unit recovering. Good of them to assist her.
Both are Israeli, living in New Mexico. They are liberals in the Harris-Hillary sense, which means, they are conservative. They consider Israel their mother-ship, even though their are in their forties.
Around the fire, drinking wine, my friend says they speak Hebrew a lot, around her, a woman who speaks three languages, but not Hebrew. They go into Hebrew when the topic of Ukraine and that murderer Zelensky come up (they do not see Zelensky as a murderer, but rather a hero).
My friend is learning what it means to be a real socialist, and she sees how a narrow group of people have controlled her life on many financial and cultural levels. But she is healing, and the counselor is giving her the advice he should to keep her on an even keel to not return to the abuse.
But it is indeed ironic that Ukraine and all topics about the Middle East are coded in Hebrew.
Hedges writes (Source) , “Walker excoriates this religious chauvinism and mythology. She warns that theocracies, which sacralize state power, are dangerous. In the poem, she highlights passages in the Talmud used to condemn those outside the faith. Jews must repudiate these sections in the Talmud and the Old Testament, as those of us who are Christians must repudiate the hateful passages in the Bible. When these religious screeds are weaponized by zealots —Christian, Muslim or Jewish — they propagate evil.” Walker writes:
Is Jesus boiling eternally in hot excrement,
For his “crime” of throwing the bankers
Out of the Temple? For loving, standing with,
The poor? Was his mother, Mary,
Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only
That, but to enjoy it?
Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?
Are young boys fair game for rape?
Must even the best of the Goyim (us, again) be killed?
Pause a moment and think what this could mean
Or already has meant
In our own lifetime.
My own situation has put me in disagreement with a writing community on the voracity of their crocodile tears for “Ukraine.” I have poet friends writing poems with lines like, “one day we shall be pissing on Putin’s grave . . . .” That’s fine and dandy; however, when another poet, me, who happens to be highly actualized in politics as a systems approach to the world, my own beingness, pushes back a bit, then the poets just say, “well, I am not fully versed on the entire situation in Ukraine . . . how could anyone be . . . ”
The very act of using poetry to make a political point is great but tricky. My poem, “Tears of Rage Captured in a Poem and Harmonica Riff,” published here at Dissident Voice will not make it into the next issue of the journal for which the editors say they have a “special section on Ukraine . . . to give voice to their plight.”
Another form of cancel culture — just not publishing. For Alice, she has been banned from the Bay Area Book Festival. For god’s sake, boycott these Zionists’ projects.
Here is a speech Vladimir Putin DID NOT make — at least in this specific language — to the Russian people just before initiating the special military operations in Ukraine:
“It is my responsibility as the president to warn our citizens of secret, swift, and extraordinary buildup of US/NATO missiles — in an area well known to have a special and historical relationship to Russia and the nations of our hemisphere, in violation of American assurances, and in defiance of treaties and our own policies — this sudden, clandestine decision to station strategic weapons on our borders — is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo which cannot be accepted by this country.”
Does this have a familiar feel to it?
Here is the speech which President John F. Kennedy DID MAKE to the American people on October 22, 1962, when he warned of:
… a secret, swift, and extraordinary buildup of Communist missiles — in an area well known to have a special and historical relationship to the United States and the nations of the Western Hemisphere, in violation of Soviet assurances, and in defiance of American and hemispheric policy — this sudden, clandestine decision to station strategic weapons for the first time outside of Soviet soil — is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo which cannot be accepted by this country.
The Cuban Missile Crisis which resulted from the discovery of this military escalation by the Soviets, almost resulted in a world war and nuclear annihilation.
The tables have rotated 180º. Now it is the US which is putting the survival of humankind at risk, escalating the conflict in Ukraine by dumping more and more weapons into the conflict zone, demonizing Putin and everything Russian, apparently urging the Ukrainians to avoid a negotiated peace and to fight to the bitter end.
Do not for a moment forget . . .
There were solutions in place to prevent the entire Ukrainian situation from evolving into the terrifying mess we now see. First, there was the Minsk II Agreement of February 12, 2015, signed by Ukraine, guaranteed by France, Germany and Russia. It was ignored by Ukraine, never implemented. There is speculation that it was the US which prompted the stonewalling. Then, December of 2020, Russia itself proposed very concrete steps, as draft treaties, that could be taken to defuse the tensions and guarantee greater security for all of Europe and the world. These were formally submitted to both the US and NATO in writing. They were dismissed. Now with the conflict in full swing, Russia has repeatedly made clear its current position on ending this. What the Russians is demand is no different than what Kennedy demanded of the USSR. This has also been flatly rejected.
From the outset of the crisis, Russia has been maligned, vilified, rejected, canceled, viciously attacked at every opportunity for merely wanting the assurances and concrete reductions to the threat posed by NATO and the US on its borders, just as JFK laid out subsequent to his announcement of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
(As a revealing aside, the comprehensive scale of the vilification and attempted isolation of Russia across the planet, even in spheres completely unrelated to politics — dance, sports, art, music, cultural exchange programs, space exploration, pet shows — could not have been spontaneous. Any multi-layered attack of this scale had to have been in the works for some time. At least, that’s how I see it.)
So . . .
What conclusion can we draw from all of this? What message are we actually hearing from Biden, Blinken, Stoltenberg, Johnson, Scholz, Macron, and the rest of the US puppets around the world?
I can see only one: US/NATO wants war with Russia. Which frankly, hardly comes as a surprise. From documents, white papers, policy statements, speeches by officials in the State Department and various administrations along the way, all easily accessed by just looking, the dismemberment of Russia and looting its vast and varied natural resources has been on the agenda for at least three decades.
Yes, folks . . .
It’s war. Not liberation. Not freedom and democracy. It’s war.
— ancient Chinese or Indian or Iranian or Tralfamadorean proverb
To begin, a small observation: Instead of bailing out cash-strapped Weapons Dealers with sudden arms sales to Ukraine, perhaps we should send a team of our best Comedy Writers to its embattled President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whose “No-Fly Zone” jokes are not only not landing, but quite literally bombing upon the runways they are taxiing, and totally in vain? In other words, and contrary to Zelensky’s scripted joke early on, the Ukrainian comedian-president does need a “lift”– never mind the “ammunition.”
For the sake of clarity, the “AmericaNATOstani” in the title of this piece is an adaptation of Pepe Escobar’s conceptually fun coinage “NATOstan,” which describes quite accurately that antiquated Cold War monster in the form it deserves. However: What of the sense of humor of Zelensky’s apparent nemesis, Russian president Vladimir Putin, in this “Tale of Two Vlads”?
Well, Mr Putin made a wry reference to the U$A’s 2003 Iraq-Attack-Two campaign when he asserted that “De-Nazification” was a primary goal of his predictably unlikely — or unpredictably likely — invasion of neighboring Ukraine. “De-Ba’athification” in Iraq, of course, was a major Tony-Bush 2 talking point during that particular illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. In another slightly comical rhetorical move, Putin called his invasion of Ukraine a “Special Military Operation,” weirdly echoing the AmericaNATOstanis who euphemism’d their 2011 Regime Change operation in Libya as a “Humanitarian Intervention.” So, if his current gig doesn’t work out, maybe Putin’s got a back-up career in Stand-Up?
All jokes aside, the current “undeclared” War in Ukraine is bizarre and surreal as it is obviously brutal, no matter which Propaganda Media outlets you favor. People are dying, and being grievously wounded, while “cutting-edge” Weapons Systems are being tested. To the extent that Ukraine is a de facto NATO state, Russia is at war with NATO, which also means the United States.
From a Western media propaganda perspective, one fact sticks out: only Russian soldiers, including their Generals, and Ukrainian civilians are getting killed. The Ukrainian military, often derided despite being NATO-trained, have suffered, apparently, next to “zero” actual casualties during this egregious Russian assault. How can this be? Are the Ukrainians even fighting? Or, put another way: Who is fighting for the Ukrainians?
One answer to this conundrum can be gleaned from the March 13 attack upon a forward-operating NATO base outside of Lviv, in western Ukraine, quite close to the Polish border. Western sources immediately reported that the base had been flattened by a barrage of Russian cruise missiles, with uncharacteristically instant casualty counts. What to make of that?
Much has been made of the neo-Nazi elements in the current Ukrainian regime, although the Corporate Western Press has been at great pains to downplay it, despite FaceBook now proudly promoting neo-Nazi merch over their Internet waves, like “Swastikas are cool if it’s pro-Ukraine, dude!” So: What is Ukraine?
Once upon a time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (no qualifications for the job, by the way) declared that the United States does not recognize “spheres of influence,” which in practical-speak meant that the Entire World was the United States “sphere of influence,” so you local “deploreables” just gotta abide. Clinton, if I recall somewhat correctly, was referring specifically to the neighborhood of Russia, and letting Putin know that the Almighty United States of America would not recognize Russia as any kind of equivalent sovereign power. As we know now, Hillary was only speaking for the Banks, not a country like the United States, which has become primarily a “Front Company” for certain stakeholders.
The last paragraph here gets quite a bit ahead of the argument, of course, even though the “stakes” in this Game have clearly been plotted-out well before. Well, the “best laid plans” oft come to nought. Putin’s thrown a bit of a wrench into the Monkey Works with his invasion of Ukraine, and the geo-political fact that the U$A’s most staunch Middle Eastern allies, or Saudi’Israeli’a, are so far quite indifferent, indicates that Mr Putin’s improbable punch is landing, so to speak. President Joe Malarkey’s mumble-sense about “Democrashy” — not so much.
From what I have gathered, the consensus is this: Ivy League nitwits in charge of US Policy need to go, get real jobs somewhere that have zero influence on American policy, foreign or Other. These privileged idiots have destroyed the “American Brand,” and the Brand Prayed On, Tra-la-la, to the demonstrable detriment of a better situation for the rest of us. In other words, “Saving Private Ukraine” won’t save us from the collapse of the U$ Dollar, and that’s the real “Chernobyl!” in play behind Putin’s wantonly selective destruction of neighboring Ukraine. Putin kind of knows it, I think. Hopefully, Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time is not far from his bedstead; some Irony, meaning Levity, is needed to lead us all out of this potentially Thermo-Nuclear nonsense. Biden’s doddering, obviously, so a figure like Putin needs to stand up, whatever we all think he’s horribly doing in Ukraine (by the way, it’s the AmericaNATOstanis who set the trap in Ukraine, like a ritual sacrifice, as if the sacrifice of Ukrainian People would save or exculpate them from their own corruption, etc…). In case you don’t know it by now, “Don’t Look Up!”, because it’s your old Dr Strangelove…
Interesting Teach-in, well, discussion, with the speakers below. You will hear Scott Ritter divert from some of these speakers saying that the actions by Russia in Ukraine are legal, ethical and necessary.
Here is Ritter, just interviewed, Strategic Culture. Note that Ritter is called a traitor (for looking at the Russian military and political angles) and a Putin Stooge (this is it for Western Woke Culture) and he’s been banned on Twitter for a day, and then back up, and the seesaw of social media continues (more McCarthy: The New Democratic Opperative). You do not have to agree with militarism, but here we are, so the Western Woke Fascist Media and the Mendacious Political Class want nothing to do with, well, military minds looking at Russia (Ritter studied Russia big-time, and studied their military big time, both Soviet Union and Russia). He also is married to a Georgian. But again, this is it for the Western Intellect (sic).
Like we can’t watch Graham Phillips work, without being called, well, Russian Stooges. The Mainlining Mendacious Media calls him a Russian Sympathizer. Imagine that. For years,, he’s been a sympathizer (he is British, speaks Russian and goes to the actual places with camera in hand. Look at the one on Ossetia, the breakaway republic of Georgia. It is delightful (note the dinner he is served by the typical family):
Here, from, “The Ukrainian Conflict Is a U.S./NATO Proxy War, but One Which Russia Is Poised to Win Decisively – Scott Ritter” by Finian Cunningham, April 9, 2022
Question: Do you think that Russia has a just cause in launching its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24?
Scott Ritter: I believe Russia has articulated a cognizable claim of preemptive collective self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The threat posed by NATO expansion, and Ukraine’s eight-year bombardment of the civilians of the Donbass fall under this umbrella.
Question: Do you think Russia has legitimate concerns about the Pentagon sponsoring biological weapons programs in laboratories in Ukraine?
Scott Ritter: The Pentagon denies any biological weapons program, but admits biological research programs on Ukrainian soil. Documents captured by Russia have allegedly uncovered the existence of programs the components of which could be construed as having offensive biological warfare applications. The U.S. should be required to explain the purpose of these programs.
Question: What do you make of allegations in Western media that Russian troops committed war crimes in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities? It is claimed that Russian forces summarily executed civilians.
Scott Ritter: All claims of war crimes must be thoroughly investigated, including Ukrainian allegations that Russia killed Ukrainian civilians in Bucha. However, the data available about the Bucha incident does not sustain the Ukrainian claims, and as such, the media should refrain from echoing these claims as fact until a proper investigation of the evidence is conducted, either by the media, or unbiased authorities.
While one may be able to mount a legal challenge to Russia’s contention that its joint operation with Russia’s newly recognized independent nations of Lugansk and Donetsk constitutes a “regional security or self-defense organization” as regards “anticipatory collective self-defense actions” under Article 51, there can be no doubt as to the legitimacy of Russia’s contention that the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass had been subjected to a brutal eight-year-long bombardment that had killed thousands of people.
Moreover, Russia claims to have documentary proof that the Ukrainian Army was preparing for a massive military incursion into the Donbass which was pre-empted by the Russian-led “special military operation.” [OSCE figures show an increase of government shelling of the area in the days before Russia moved in.]
Finally, Russia has articulated claims about Ukraine’s intent regarding nuclear weapons, and in particular efforts to manufacture a so-called “dirty bomb”, which have yet to be proven or disproven. [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a reference to seeking a nuclear weapon in February at the Munich Security Conference.]
The bottom line is that Russia has set forth a cognizable claim under the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense, devised originally by the U.S. and NATO, as it applies to Article 51 which is predicated on fact, not fiction. (Ritter, Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression)
All the speakers, except maybe excluding John Kiriakou, have great points to make: Andrei Martyanov, expert on Russian military affairs, author The Real Revolution in Military Affairs; Chris Kaspar de Ploeg, author Ukraine in the Crossfire; James Carden, Adviser U.S.-Russia bilateral commission during the Obama administration & Ex. Editor of The American Committee for East-West accord; Scott Ritter, former U.S. Marine Intelligence officer, UN Arms Inspector, exposed WMD lie in U.S. push to invade Iraq; John Kiriakou, CIA whistleblower and Radio Sputnik host; Ron Ridenour, peace activist, author The Russian Peace Threat; Gerald Horne, historian, author, Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston; Jeremy Kuzmarov, CAM Managing Editor and author of The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce.
Imagine, the provocations.
The US government invoked self-defense as a legal justification for its invasion of Panama. Several scholars and observers have opined that the invasion was illegal under international law.
Oh, those Freedom Fighters, the back-shooting, civilian-killing, village-burning Contras:
Appendix A: Background on United States Funding of the Contras
In examining the allegations in the Mercury News and elsewhere, it is important to understand the timing of funding of the Contras by the United States. The following dates explain the periods during which the United States government provided funding to the Contras or cut off such funding.
Anastasio Somoza Debayle was the leader of Nicaragua from 1967 until July 1979, when he was overthrown by the Sandinistas. When President Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, he promptly canceled the final $15 million payment of a $75 million aid package to Nicaragua, reversing the Carter administration’s policy towards Nicaragua. On November 17, 1981, President Reagan signed National Security Directive 17, authorizing provision of covert support to anti-Sandinista forces. On December 1, 1981, Reagan signed a document intending to conceal the November 17 authorization of anti-Sandinista operations. The document characterized the United States’ goal in Nicaragua as that of interdicting the flow of arms from Nicaragua to El Salvador, where leftist guerrillas were receiving aid from Sandinista forces.
In late 1982, Edward P. Boland, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 1983 Defense Appropriations bill that prohibited the CIA, the principal conduit of covert American support for the Contras, from spending funds “for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua.” However, the CIA could continue to support the Contras if it claimed that the purpose was something other than to overthrow the government. In December 1983, a compromise was reached and Congress passed a funding cap for fiscal year 1984 of $24 million for aid to the Contras, an amount significantly lower than what the Reagan administration wanted, with the possibility that the Administration could seek supplemental funds later.
This funding was insufficient to support the Administration’s “Contra program” and the decision was made to approach other countries for monetary support. In April 1984, Robert McFarlane convinced Saudi Arabia to contribute $1 million per month to the Contras through a secret bank account set up by Lt. Col. Oliver North.
In October 1984, the second Boland amendment took effect. It prohibited any military or paramilitary support for the Contras from October 3, 1984, through December 19, 1985. As a result, the CIA and Department of Defense (DOD) began withdrawing personnel from Central America. During this time, however, the National Security Council continued to provide support to the Contras.
In August 1985, Congress approved $25 million in humanitarian aid to the Contras, with the proviso that the State Department, and not the CIA or the DOD, administer the aid. President Reagan created the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (NHAO) to supply the humanitarian aid. In September 1985, Oliver North began using the Salvadoran air base at Ilopango for Contra resupply efforts.
On October 5, 1986, a plane loaded with supplies for the Contras, financed by private benefactors, was shot down by Nicaraguan soldiers. On board were weapons and other lethal supplies and three Americans. One American, Eugene Hasenfus, claimed while in custody that he worked for the CIA. The Reagan Administration denied any knowledge of the private resupply efforts.
On October 17, 1986, Congress approved $100 million in funds for the Contras. In 1987, after the discovery of private resupply efforts orchestrated by the National Security Council and Oliver North, Congress ceased all but “non-lethal” aid in 1987. The war between the Sandinistas and the Contras ended with a cease-fire in 1990.
Although the Contras were often referred to as one group, several distinct factions made up the Contras.
In August 1980, Colonel Enrique Bermudez, a former Colonel in Somoza’s National Guard, united other former National Guard officers and anti-Sandinista civilians to form the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN). This group was known as the Northern Front because it was based in Honduras. In February 1983, Adolfo Calero became the head of the FDN.
In April 1982, Eden Pastora split from the Sandinista regime and organized the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE) and the Sandinista Revolutionary Front (FRS), which declared war on the Sandinista regime. Pastora’s group was based in Costa Rica and along the southern border of Nicaragua, and therefore became known as the Southern Front. Pastora refused to work with Bermudez, claiming that Bermudez, as a member of the former Somoza regime, was politically tainted. The CIA decided to support the FDN and generally declined to support the ARDE.
Again, let’s think about what is actually happening in Ukraine, and where the country is, and what the Russians in that country are facing, and, gulp, where is Ukraine? Thousands of miles away, like Panama and Nicaragua are from USA?
Here, a Dutch journalist:
Read her work:
As the war in Ukraine rages on, I visited the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as an embedded reporter with the Russian army.
Both of the republics are the trigger of the current conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared their independence on February 24, 2022, something a lot of people were waiting for since the CIA backed coup in Ukraine of February 2014. That coup had resulted in the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and new laws forcing the Ukrainian language on Russian-speaking residents. Luhansk and Donetsk consequently voted on their independence and Ukraine attacked them, precipitating the war.
European support for the so-called Maidan coup was considerable: the Dutch MP Hans van Baalen from the ruling Dutch VVD party (Mark Rutte), for example, was at the protests that helped trigger the coup, as was the former Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt. Both were seen cheering on the crowds, surrounded by right-extremists on the stage, shouting “democracy.”
So what is preemptive defense? Right to Protect? What is big ugly history of Nazi’s in Poland and Ukraine? What is that all about, uh, Americanum?
So, plans by ZioLensky for Dirty Bombs from the wasteland of Chernobyl, not a provocation?
How many were immolated in Waco? Why? Mount Carmel Center became engulfed in flames. The fire resulted in the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians, including 25 children, two pregnant women, and David Koresh himself.
Oh, the impatience of the USA, FBI, ATF, Attorney General, Bill Clinton, the lot of them.
Or, dropping bombs on Philly, to kill, well, black people:
How many died, and what happened to the city block? Bombs dropped on our own people, again! Police dropped a bomb on a West Philly house in 1985. The fire caused by the explosion killed 11 people, an atrocity that Philadelphia still grapples with today.
Oh, the irony.
Black Lives Do Not Matter, here, or in Ukraine. Below, representation of those lives killed by cops, of all races, in one year. Many of these in a year, 60 percent, did not involve a person with a gun, and a huge number, 40 percent, involved people going throug mental health crises.
Yes, the first casualty of war is truth, and with the USA as the Empire of Lies and Hate, the casualty is now a larger framework of a Zombie Nation of virtue signalers and those who want the fake news to be real, please!
So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission — most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.
There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all.
There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images. These Americans are no longer occupants of their own lives. Risking a paradox, what they take to be reality is detached from reality.
This majority — and it is almost certainly a majority — has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations — NPR, the BBC — serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.
Before proceeding to Bucha, the outrage of the moment, I must reproduce a quotation from that propaganda-is-O.K. piece The Times published in its March 3 editions. It is from a Twitter user who was distressed that it became public that the Ghost of Kiev turned out to be a ghost and the Snake Island heroes didn’t do much by way of holding the fort.
‘Why can’t we just let people believe some things?’ this thoughtful man or woman wanted to know. What is wrong, in other words, if thinking and believing nice things that aren’t true makes people feel better? (Patrick Lawrence, Special to Consortium News)
Daniel Boorstin’s The Image: A Guide to Pseudo- Events in America, has been cited by yours truly several times. It is a completely amazing work, sixty years ahead of its time, and it is almost completely ignored!.
I describe the world of our making, how we have used our wealth, our literacy, our technology, and our progress to create the thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life. …. The reporter’s task is to find a way to weave these threads of unreality into a fabric the reader will not recognize as entirely unreal. (Boorstin)
Controversy gripped the Greek political scene on April 7 as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was invited by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to speak before Greece’s parliament in a virtual address, appeared alongside two fighters of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. Although the Greek government and its media arms attempted to whitewash the Azov Battalion in the first weeks of the war in Ukraine, which failed, it actually ended up being counterproductive as it made Greek civilians aware to the fact that the neo-Nazi group were oppressing the 100,000+ ethnic Greeks living in Mariupol and its surrounding villages like Sartana.
Zelensky’s invitation to speak to the Greek Parliament was already mired in controversy as the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), left-wing MeRA25 and right-wing Hellenic Solution boycotted parliament that day. The appearance of the Azov fighters prompted MPs from the official opposition SYRIZA to storm out of parliament, despite the party initially being enthusiastic for Zelensky to speak before parliamentarians.
With Greek media and opposition parties, even those who supported Zelensky, blowing up at the appearance of the Azov Battalion, it took the Greek government almost three hours to try and distance themselves from the debacle, with government spokesperson Yiannis Economou saying: “including a message from an Azov Battalion member was wrong and inappropriate.
For their part, Mitsotakis and President Katerina Sakellaropoulou highlighted Zelensky’s speech but made no reference to the appearance of the Azov Battalion. SYRIZA, MeRA25 and fellow left-wing party KINAL (third largest party in Greece) are demanding explanations from the ruling New Democracy government. Even former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of the New Democracy party characterised the speech from the Azov Battalion fighter as “a big mistake.”
This scandal is now being moved to the forthcoming Conference of [Party] Presidents, and the opposition are seeking explanations as to whether the government was aware or agreed with Zelensky to give the floor to Azov Battalion fighters.
The appearance of the Azov Battalion in the Greek parliament should not be surprising when the Greek mainstream media were whitewashing the group to the point of even lionising them in interviews and claiming they had “nothing to do with the Ukrainian government” despite being a unit of the Republican Guard, which falls under the command of the Interior Ministry.
In addition, Manolis Androulakis, the last EU diplomat to evacuate Mariupol, deliberately lied to the Greek public and claimed in an interview that the “Azov do not kill their own”; i.e., civilians. This not only contradicts all available evidence from Mariupol civilians themselves, including from ethnic Greeks, but even contradicts Western liberal human rights organizations who have documented Azov Battalion crimes since 2014.With a Greek diplomat and mainstream media whitewashing the Azov Battalion, it is little wonder why Zelensky had the audacity to play a video message from the two Azov Battalion fighters claiming to be ethnic Greeks from Mariupol.
One of the biggest questions being raised in Greece at the moment is why did the two Azov Battalion fighters appear in Zelensky’s virtual address to the Greek Parliament to begin with when the Ukrainian president has always appeared alone during his tour of receiving the applause and adulation of European parliaments.
One of the supposed ethnic Greek fighters of the Azov Battalion identified himself as Mikhail. The other kept his face hidden. Speculation is rife whether the Azov Battalion member, who spoke in Ukrainian to the Greek parliament, is actually an ethnic Greek or not – but at this time it is impossible to verify, and more importantly, irrelevant to the fact that the Greek government has exposed itself to a massive humiliation at a time when its popularity is already dropping due to the declining economic situation and decision to send weapons to Ukraine.
As the Azov Battalion has the disdain of all Greeks – from liberals to the Far Right and the Far Left, except from the most radical neoliberal circles, it can be assumed that Zelensky attempted to foster a good image for the neo-Nazi group. The beginning of the war in Ukraine saw the pro-government Greek media engage in a massive whitewashing of the Azov Battalion, but as the weeks passed on, more and more testimonies from Greeks in Mariupol revealed the suffering they had endured under the Kiev regime and the Azov Battalion.
More revealing, ethnic Greeks from Essentuki, Chechnya and other parts of Russia were joining the Russian military to fight against the Azov Battalion in Mariupol, especially after news filtered that one ethnic Greek in the Russian military was killed, public opinion towards the Azov Battalion began to sway significantly. It can only be assumed that Zelensky attempted to restore the image of the Azov Battalion by presenting their own alleged ethnic Greek fighters.
What began as an exercise to tick off the Greek Parliament’s participation in Zelensky’s tour of Europe’s Parliaments, has now turned into a massive debacle. As Greece has a special responsibility for the 100,000+ Greeks in Mariupol, the country should not just blindly follow Western interests who have been silent about Donbass’ suffering since 2014. But alas, as New Democracy serve the interests of NATO and the West rather than Greek citizens and diaspora Greeks, it will once again have to deal with another blow to its already diminishing popularity.