All This and World War II
"Ukraine: the opposition aren't all angels. Some are neo-Nazis," Tim Stanley writes at the London Telegraph, discussing the "Svboda" protest group, "which dominates the Western-most provinces of Ukraine:"
It is a member of the Alliance of European National Movements, along with France's National Front, the British National Party and Hungary's Jobbik. Its policies include taking farm land into national ownership and giving to people to hold on a "hereditry basis". No one who was not born in Ukraine can become a citizen; outsiders cannot adopt Ukrainian children. In 2005, one of the party's deputies founding the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center. It was later renamed after a German conservative revolutionary. That particular deputy described the Holocaust as "a bright episode in European civilisation" which "strongly warms the hearts of the Palestinian population." The best defence against Jewish corruption is childbearing Ukrainians. Women carrythe societal and racial morality … the 300 ovulations of every Ukrainian woman, as well as the 1,500 ejaculations of every Ukrainian man are the same national treasures as, say, energy resources or deposits of iron, coal or oil.
Some of Svboda supporters are people who believe that the German invasion of Ukraine in the 1940s was not an occupation but a liberation from "Jewish Bolshevism". Needless to say, they also don't like gay people.
"The involvement of Svboda in the protests doesn't delegitimise the opposition, but it is a reminder that this situation is really, really complex," Stanley writes at the start of his concluding paragraph, which dovetails well with Jonah Goldberg's latest G-File, which is now online.
We already mentioned his link yesterday to Timothy Snyder in the New York Review of Books, who discussed the origins of "National Bolshevism:"
The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism. Dugin’s major work, The Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, follows closely the ideas of Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi political theorist. Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.
The point man for Eurasian and Ukrainian policy in the Kremlin is Sergei Glazyev, an economist who like Dugin tends to combine radical nationalism with nostalgia for Bolshevism. He was a member of the Communist Party and a Communist deputy in the Russian parliament before cofounding a far-right party called Rodina, or Motherland. In 2005 some of its deputies signed a petition to the Russian prosecutor general asking that all Jewish organizations be banned from Russia.
The text of Jonah's email-blast G-File is now online at NRO, where Jonah writes, see I told you so:
Snyder’s rebuttals are good (I’ve trimmed them mostly for space). But they don’t cut to the heart of it.
First, let’s clear some underbrush. The idea that Communism and Nazism are opposites is more of a utilitarian idea than a core conviction for the Left. It is a rationalization that allows the Left to cut around the historical tumor of Nazism and fascism and say, That has nothing to do with us.
But the simple fact is that the hard Left has always endorsed or at least sympathized with national-socialist countries. What do you think Cuba is? It’s nationalistic and it’s socialistic. Venezuela under Chávez and now Maduro is nationalist and socialist. Nicaragua in the 1980s, etc., etc. Read a speech by any socialist dictator and swap out the word “socialize” for “nationalize”: The meaning of the sentences doesn’t change one iota. Nationalized health care is socialized medicine. Even Obama’s weak-tea socialistic rhetoric is usually dolled up in the rhetoric of nationalism, even militaristic nationalism. Let’s all be like SEAL Team Six! Let’s make this a “Sputnik Moment.”
Most of the Left in the U.S. didn’t really hate the German national-socialists until Stalin told them to. That the useful idiots thought Stalin’s command to turn on his one-time Nazi ally was rooted in deep ideological conviction just proves the depths of their idiocy.
After all, it’s not like the Left suddenly turned on Stalin when he embraced nationalism wholeheartedly and talked of fighting the Nazis as part of the “Great Patriotic War for Mother Russia.” But, hey, maybe I’m missing the deep Marxist themes in the phrase “Great Patriotic War for Mother Russia.
As Tim Stanley wrote in the London Telegraph, the protest in the Ukraine "is really, really complex," made more complex by the sense that both sides have factions that are itching to put the old bands from World War II back together again, to borrow Jonah's riff from his latest G-File.
Yesterday, Mark Steyn mentioned the left's "New Tribalism." But has the left's old tribalism ever gone away? Good thing that the White House is currently staffed with such able and thoughtful foreign diplomats, men capable of seeing all of the moves on the three dimensional chessboard as Joe Biden, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and their boss himself during this time of crisis.
Speaking of which, the White House infamously bungled the 2:00 am phone call from Benghazi on September 11, 2012; today, "Nobody Will Answer Chuck Hagel’s Phone Calls" to the Ukraine, Daniel Greenfield writes at FrontPage:
Ukraine Defense Minister Pavel Lebedev has refused to take multiple phone calls made personally by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon said Thursday.
“Secretary Hagel has been trying, himself, since early this week,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters. Lebedev refuses “to communicate, to accept a phone call” from Hagel or the Pentagon.
“We haven’t been able to connect with anybody from the Defense Ministry there in Ukraine,” he said. “We’ve been trying pretty diligently here in the Pentagon, we’ve been trying pretty diligently this whole week. I’d say it’s pretty unusual.”
As Greenfield writes, "It’s not unusual, it’s soft power. It’s what happens when no one takes you seriously anymore."