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The US Could’ve Prevented This War Just By Protecting Kyiv From Nazis

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 09/05/2022 - 11:23am in

Tags 

USA, Nazis, War

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/abda9ada14a6c8e2cb1188a6ed71a974/href

As we hydroplane toward the brink of nuclear armageddon while Bono and the Edge play U2 songs in Kyiv, it’s probably worth taking a moment to highlight the fact that this entire war could have been avoided if the US had simply pledged military protection for Zelensky against the far right extremists who were threatening to lynch him if he enacted the peacemaking policies he was elected to enact.

To be clear, what we are indulging in here is entirely an act of fantasy. In imagining what would have happened if the US had pledged to protect the Ukrainian government from an undemocratic violent overthrow at the hands of fascists instead of waging a horrific proxy war, we are imagining a world in which the US government acts in the highest interest of all instead of working continuously to dominate the planet no matter how much madness and cruelty it needs to inflict upon humanity. A world in which the US hadn’t been taking steps toward the orchestration of this proxy war for many years.

With that out of the way, it’s just a simple fact that for a fraction of the military firepower the US is pouring into Ukraine right now, it could have prevented the entire war by simply protecting Ukrainian democracy from the undemocratic impulses of the worst people in that country.

https://medium.com/media/859c27ce3e74b469717ac967bf17a821/href

When he was asked by The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel last month what he thinks is preventing Kyiv from signing a peace agreement with Russia, John Mearsheimer, whose analysis of this conflict has been prophetic for many years, replied as follows:

I think that when Zelensky ran for president he made it very clear that he wanted to work out an arrangement with Russia that ended the crisis in Ukraine, and he won. And what he then tried to do was move toward implementing the Minsk II agreement. If you were going to shut down the conflict in Ukraine, you had to implement Minsk II. And Minsk II meant giving the Russian-speaking and the ethnic Russian population in the easternmost part of Ukraine, the Donbas region, a significant amount of autonomy, and you had to make the Russian language an official language of Ukraine.

I think Zelensky found out very quickly that because of the Ukrainian right, it was impossible to implement Minsk II. Therefore even though the French and the Germans, and of course the Russians were very interested in making Minsk II work, because they wanted to shut down the crisis, they couldn’t do it. In other words, the Ukrainian right was able to stymie Zelensky on that front.

When Mearsheimer says that the Ukrainian right was able to stymie Zelensky, he doesn’t mean by votes or by democratic processes, he means by threats and violence. In an article last month titled “Siding with Ukraine’s far-right, US sabotaged Zelensky’s mandate for peace,” journalist Aaron Maté wrote the following:

In April 2019, Zelensky was elected with an overwhelming 73% of the vote on a promise to turn the tide. In his inaugural address the next month, Zelensky declared that he was “not afraid to lose my own popularity, my ratings,” and was “prepared to give up my own position — as long as peace arrives.”

But Ukraine’s powerful far-right and neo-Nazi militias made clear to Zelensky that reaching peace in the Donbas would have a much higher cost.

“No, he would lose his life,” Right Sector co-founder Dmytro Anatoliyovych Yarosh, then the commander of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, responded one week after Zelensky’s inaugural speech. “He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk — if he betrays Ukraine and those people who died in the Revolution and the War.”

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In a 2019 interview with Maté, the late great scholar Stephen Cohen made the following comments:

But ultimately you have a situation now which seems not to be widely understood, that the new president of Ukraine, Zelensky, ran as a peace candidate. This is a bit of a stretch and maybe it doesn’t mean a whole lot to your generation, but he ran a kind of George McGovern campaign. The difference was McGovern got wiped out and Zelensky won by, I think, 71, 72 percent. He won an enormous mandate to make peace. So, that means he has to negotiate with Vladimir Putin. And there are various formats, right? There’s a so-called Minsk format which involves the German and the French; there’s a bilateral directly with Putin. But his willingness — and this is what’s important and not well reported here — his willingness to deal directly with Putin, which his predecessor, Poroshenko, was not or couldn’t or whatever reason — actually required considerable boldness on Zelensky[‘s part], because there are opponents of this in Ukraine and they are armed. Some people say they’re fascists but they’re certainly ultra-nationalist, and they have said that they will remove and kill Zelensky if he continues along this line of negotiating with Putin.

Zelensky cannot go forward as I’ve explained. I mean, his life is being threatened literally by a quasi-fascist movement in Ukraine, he can’t go forward with full peace negotiations with Russia, with Putin, unless America has his back. Maybe that won’t be enough, but unless the White House encourages this diplomacy, Zelensky has no chance of negotiating an end to the war, so the stakes are enormously high.

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In an article titled “Why Russia Went to War Now,” Antiwar’s Ted Snyder explains that Putin likely made the decision to invade because Kyiv wasn’t respecting Minsk II and because future NATO membership with Ukraine was being kept on the table while weapons poured into the country from the US.

“Zelensky wouldn’t talk to the leaders of the Donbas, Minsk was dead and Russia feared an imminent operation against the ethnic Russian population of the Donbas,” Snyder writes. “At the same time, Washington had become a leaky faucet on promises of flooding Ukraine with weapons and open doors to NATO: two red lines Putin had clearly drawn.”

But, again, Zelensky couldn’t enact Minsk because it had been made abundantly clear to him that he faced a horrific death by fascist lynch mob if he did. If the choice is between taking a chance on a US proxy war and getting Gaddafied in the public square, I think many leaders around the world would opt for the former.

So Zelensky made peace with the Nazis, whose will for Ukraine aligned with Washington’s.

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But what this means is that every major factor which led to Russia’s decision to invade could have been nullified by the US government. A guarantee of no NATO membership for Ukraine could have been made. The weapons supplies could have been stopped. And Zelensky and his government could have received protection from the US military against the armed fascists who would repeat their violent acts of 2014 upon them.

It would have been wins all around. We wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of nuclear armageddon. Ukraine would have been spared the horrors of an insane proxy war. Western powers wouldn’t be sending arms to literal Nazi factions. And the US would actually be protecting Ukrainian democracy, instead of just pretending to.

But, again, we are only indulging in fantasy here. Fighting Nazis, protecting democracy and waging peace are not things the US empire actually does in real life. The US is the most tyrannical and murderous regime on earth, by a truly massive margin, and it will happily risk the life of everyone on earth if it means securing planetary rule.

But sometimes it’s nice to imagine the kind of world we might be living in if we were not ruled by psychopaths.

_______________

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A History of NATO and Nazis, with Asa Winstanley

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 19/03/2022 - 1:59am in

This week Lowkey is joined by Asa Winstanley, an investigative journalist living in London, who writes about Palestine and the Middle East. He hails from the south of Wales and has been visiting Palestine since 2004. He writes for the groundbreaking Palestinian news site The Electronic Intifada, where he is an associate editor, and also writes a weekly column for the Middle East Monitor.

Following the NATO Bucharest Summit in 2008, several conclusions were reached and published in a joint statement of those attending. One read: “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agree today that these countries will become members of NATO.”

At the time, the Russian government made absolutely clear that Ukraine becoming part of NATO was an existential threat to Russia’s security. In 2003, the Ukraine NATO Civic League was founded with the aim of gradually integrating the state into the military alliance. Across the decade-and-a-half since, the U.S. has pushed further and further, steering Ukraine to the point of no return.

Today, Russia has NATO missile systems pointed at it from Poland and Romania. If missiles were to be placed in Ukraine aimed at Russia, they would be only 500 km from Moscow. Asa Winstanley makes the point that, were someone to suggest an equivalent arrangement by Russia with Mexico against the United States, the U.S. would likewise respond with force. The economic side of this war has seen Russia cancel from the global economy and effectively separated from Europe. The closing of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a major victory for U.S. liquid natural gas producers, who can now take over the market for gas in Europe overnight.

Since 2019, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has integrated Neo-Nazis into the Ukrainian state to serve as a bulwark against Russia. We now have the clear situation of NATO arming and training Nazi organizations. But this is not an aberration of history. NATO and the United States have embraced Nazis many times before. Lowkey and Winstanley delve into the sordid story of these strange bedfellows. “This is a big unspoken part of our history,” Winstanley said.

Winstanley explores the post-WW2 period of European history and reveals examples of Nazis being rehabilitated, subsumed into the U.S. machinery of empire, and dispatched as Cold Warriors. He points to an irony of history that the Soviet Union itself tried to join NATO at one point:

If you look at the history of NATO, the Russians, the USSR at the time, knew what this was about — it was about creating an anti-Russian military alliance at the beginning of the Cold War. The Russians said OK, it is a defensive alliance, we’ll join. They applied to join and of course, they were rejected.”

Winstanley also expands on his investigation into Israel’s controversial arming of Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Azov battalion with Taavor rifles. Another unspoken aspect of the present is the relationship between Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch Igor Kolomoisky and President Zelensky. Kolomoisky was his top funder in the 2019 election and also a key benefactor of the Azov battalion. Pointing out this uncomfortable truth has led to significant ramifications in the digital sphere. Winstanley, who is currently suspended from Twitter for pointing out the NATO alliance with Neo-Nazis, said, “We are reaching a really dangerous moment where this McCarthyism is being whipped up.”

Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.

The post A History of NATO and Nazis, with Asa Winstanley appeared first on MintPress News.

‘Russkii Mir,’ the Russian Equivalent of ‘Blood & Soil’ Ideology at the Heart of Putin’s War, Explained and Rejected by Theologians in New Statement

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 7:52am in

A new statement by Orthodox Christian theologians—some of whom sign from Russia—dramatically illustrates what’s at...

As US Reaches a 1940s Fork in the Road — Which Path Will We Choose?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/01/2022 - 8:45am in

Readers of the Editorial Board are familiar with my obsession with political time—or how one...

Nazis attack family home of Sydney anti-racist activist

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/12/2021 - 4:27pm in

On Saturday 4 December, just on sundown, the family home of well-known anti-racist activist, Indigenous rights supporter and socialist, Paddy Gibson, was attacked by Nazis. Thankfully, his children were not at home at the time of the attack

Three white men with cropped hair and Eureka flag shirts came to the front door of the house. They banged on the door and shouted: “We need to talk to Paddy. Are you Paddy?” After looking through the peep hole, it became obvious that the Nazis were threatening to break in and harm the occupants.

The three Nazis then began to smash on the front door; they ripped the security grille off a window frame and smashed the glass window with a chair.

Police were called but took 30 minutes to respond.

Neighbours were immediately on the scene, calling out to ensure everyone in the house was safe, and giving the all clear when the Nazis had left the premises.

Paddy said: “The police are aware that I have received death threats before in the lead up to major Black Lives Matter rallies due to a prominent organising role, but this is a significant escalation from the far right.

“I can only assume that some sections of the far right are feeling emboldened by the situation here and overseas to go on the attack like this. But we won’t be intimidated and are even more determined to organise against racism.

“The support from friends, family, colleagues, union workmates and comrades has been awesome. People in the local community are outraged that Nazis could be so brazen in such a strongly multicultural area.

“There is no place for Nazis in this community and there will be an even greater organised response to any attempt by the far right to threaten or intimidate anyone.”

Demonisation

Adjunct Professor George Newhouse, the CEO of the National Justice Project, called on authorities to take prompt steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Governments around Australian have failed to take the threat of violent racist and militant groups seriously and this is the end result.

“In the US we have seen lives lost because of the demonisation of the Black Lives Matter movement by the right. It’s time for our leaders to heed the calls for racial justice and protect those who are calling for change.”

Greens MP David Shoebridge said: “This is a line in the sand that should never be crossed in politics with extremist right wing thugs threatening the home of a prominent anti-racist activist.

“When politicians from the Prime Minister down provide cover for the far right then this creates a political space for violence.

“We need to see a rapid and thorough police investigation to send a clear message to right wing extremists that political violence will never be tolerated,” Mr Shoebridge said.

Lizzie Jarrett a Gambaynnggirr, Dunghutti and Bundajlung campaigner who has organised many Black Lives Matter rallies, said: “Paddy has been there on the front line fighting alongside many of our families that suffer police violence, child removal and racism in many other forms.

“He also fights for people of all backgrounds who are suffering injustice. All of us doing this organising get horrible threats from far-right groups and it needs to stop.

“Our community stands with Paddy and his family, we will not be intimidated by these Nazis and we will continue to fight side by side against the putrid racism and violence we are subjected to on our lands.”

Support Paddy and his family: donate here.

The post Nazis attack family home of Sydney anti-racist activist appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Fascism wasn’t needed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 04/11/2021 - 3:36am in

The attack on the US Capitol Building gave new impetus to an ongoing media debate over whether Donald Trump (and others like him) should be called a fascist. There is a limit to how fruitful debates like this can be, of course. There is no simple rule on how we can use a word. The question is why we want to use it.

Many of those who push for the “fascist” label think it’s the best chance of mobilising people to take a political threat seriously. Nick Cohen argues somewhat along these lines.

On the other hand, many of those who resist the label believe that the wrong diagnosis will lead to the wrong treatment. In this piece, the historian Richard J. Evans points out ways in which Trump differs from Hitler and Mussolini and warns:

rather than fighting the demons of the past — fascism, Nazism, the militarised politics of Europe’s interwar years — it is necessary to fight the new demons of the present: disinformation, conspiracy theories and the blurring of fact and falsehood.

It was pointed out to me that Evans fails to mention racism in this connection. That is a troubling oversight. For many, that is the heart of the Trumpist threat and the main reason for conjuring the demons of the past around it. In How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, the philosopher Jason Stanley writes:

The dangers of fascist politics come from the particular way in which it dehumanizes segments of the population. By excluding these groups, it limits the capacity of empathy among other citizens, leading to the justification of inhumane treatment, from repression of freedom, mass imprisonment, and expulsion to, in extreme cases, mass extermination.

Stanley is aware that “many kinds of political movements involve such a division; for example, Communist politics weaponizes class divisions”. But, he goes on, fascist politics specifically creates division by “appealing to ethnic, religious, or racial distinctions”.

His book is mostly about contemporary movements. Almost all the references to historical fascism, however, are to National Socialism. The first chapter, on appeals to “the mythic past” and traditional family values, quotes a Mussolini speech — “we have created our myth”. But the myth referred to by Mussolini is not explicitly linked with the past. And Mussolini’s fascism, while it emphasised tradition, presented itself as driving forward into the future more than falling back into the past. Mussolini supported traditional values only insofar as they served his religion of the State, and his support was transparently pragmatic.

By contrast, Stanley is able to draw on a wealth of Nazi statements to support his characterisation. He has Alfred Rosenberg directly referring to Germany’s “mythical past” (the same as Luther had done). He has Gregor Strasser and Paula Siber celebrating traditional gender roles. Etc. For Nazism, his story makes perfect sense.

This pattern continues throughout the book. When Stanley seeks historical precursors to the type of fascism he describes, the best fit is always with the Nazis. References to other types of fascism are rare and on points of extreme abstraction, for instance an Italian fascist magazine is quoted saying that: “The mysticism of Fascism is the proof of its triumph”.

Why is this important? What distinguished Nazi fascism was the foundational character of its racism. Mussolini exploited racism, but again he thought that each nation should promote its own ideal racial type, leading to an endless struggle – struggle is the very essence of human history, blah blah blah. The Nazis thought that the world should be dominated by one racial type. Their goal was not endless struggle for its own sake but a final resolution of perfect domination — a pax Aryana.

This is important because there was one historical example that particularly inspired and emboldened them. It was the example of the United States of America.

Carroll Kakel’s book, The American West and the Nazi East, documents how Hitler’s doctrine of Lebensraum was an imitation of the American conquest of its Western frontier. The extermination of the Slavs was conceived in imitation of the extermination of North America’s native population. It showed the Nazis what Aryan peoples could achieve. Similarly, James Whitman’s Hitler’s American Model examines how the Nuremberg Laws were modelled on the Jim Crow laws and, more generally, how the idea of codifying racial domination into law was inspired by American examples. Americans might be surprised to learn that in some cases the Nazis found the model too extreme. Stanley also documents the American precursors to fascist tactics, drawing on W.E.B. Du Bois’ descriptions of paramilitary violence and segregationist laws in Black Reconstruction in America. Nor is it simply that the ideas that inspired the Nazis reside in America’s past. As Sandy Darity and Kirsten Mullen argue, many times the nation was presented with a subsequent opportunity to partially right the wrongs of the past, a different path was taken instead.

Given this, I wonder how the word “fascism” functions in America’s self-awareness.

“Fascism” is a very European-sounding word. It was invented by an Italian and inspired by an image from the Roman Empire — the most European of all institutions. But the elements of Trumpism that most resonate with Nazism were in America long before — that is, to some extent, where the Nazis got the idea. One danger in Americans using the term “fascism” is that it allows them to write off their own philosophies as foreign imports.

The truth is that, for dehumanization of segments of the population, fascism wasn’t needed. Even if we follow Robert Paxton’s suggestion and trace the birth of fascism to the Ku Klux Klan, the Klan were formed to enforce a racial contract signed long before they appeared. We could consider Jamelle Bouie’s suggestion that “Colonial domination and expropriation marched hand in hand with the spread of ‘liberty,’ and liberalism arose alongside our modern notions of race and racism”. The racial dehumanisation that inspired fascists preceded them. It didn’t require suspension of the rule of law; it was built into the rule of law. It didn’t require an attack on democracy; it was popular with voters. It didn’t require demagogues with explosive rhetoric; staid bureaucrats and ‘safe pairs of hands’ did the job just fine. Get rid of fascism, and you can keep most of what is blamed on it, since those things were there long before it.

Many of the mob that stormed the Capitol Building were inspired by Nazis. Many were adorned in Nazi symbolism. Many, no doubt, turned excited images of the Beer Hall Putsch over in their minds. But to see the building invaded by forces inspired by some Germanic ideology is to forget that this ideology borrowed plans conceived within that very building.

I’m not accusing those who use the term “fascist” of forgetting this. But still I worry about the effects of the term. Most people, when they hear “fascism” think of Hitler. You can hardly hear the term without drawing the little moustache in your mind. Fewer will think of Jim Crow or the Klan. Fewer again will think of Andrew Jackson and the Manifest Destiny.

And is fascism really the problem? Not only does the word sound foreign; the system is top-down. The fasces image represents strength in unity. The fasces with the axe — the version favoured by Mussolini — denotes what the Romans called a dictator. A dictator, at least in the popular imagination, imposes his will from above. Hitler is the dictator to whom the dehumanising racism of the Third Reich — with its forced labour, mass imprisonment, and extermination — can be traced, rightly or wrongly.

But what about the dehumanising acts permitted and imposed in America’s history? These were not brought in by dictators wielding emergency powers. They bubbled up from the bottom rather than being imposed from the top. They were brought in through the constitution and the rule of law, not by suspensions of it. What the Axis powers wanted, of course, was the sort of empire that the Allies had acquired without fascism.

It is possible, I submit, that we commit these sorts of acts because we want to, not because some political system drives us to them. We don’t need any ideology either. People just like this stuff; it’s a crowd-pleaser. In any case, fascism isn’t needed to prompt it. In fact, when fascists tried to emulate the American example, they were ultimately destroyed, rather than ascending into hegemony. Fascism may well have got in the way.