Comments of the Russian MID on the EU authority on human rights

March 22, 2017

The EU has long lost its moral right to act as an authority on human rights issues

The following statement is an important step taken by the MID. Until recently, they refrained from directly pointing out that the European nations that are orchestrating the anti-Russian campaign are the same nations that participated in the  war on the USSR in 1941-1945. Some of them sent their armies to invade Russia and to burn Russian towns and villages and to hang Russians women and children, some of them were busy producing tanks, ammunition and ropes, while others were treating the injured invaders and financing the war.

Let’s list the crimes of the Western nations against the Russians every time we write about their political representatives, governments and military alliances.

Today marks the 74th Anniversary of the horrific massacre, Ukrainian nationalists & Nazis burned 150 people alive

 Comment by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information and Press Department on a declaration by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the European Union on Crimea and the European Parliament resolution on Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and situation in Crimea

March 20th, 2017

We were perplexed by the March 18 declaration by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the European Union on Crimea, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia. Apparently, Brussels remains detached from reality and refuses to acknowledge the obvious, positive changes in the lives of the people in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, which are now part of the Russian Federation.

Instead of repeating unsubstantiated assertions by Kiev regarding alleged “human rights violations” and the “annexation of Crimea,” European officials wishing to receive objective information regarding the situation in Russia’s Crimea would do better to visit the peninsula and see with their own eyes what is happening there, as many unbiased public and political figures from EU member countries have already done.

The EU invokes international law but seems to forget about its gross violations in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and, for that matter, Ukraine, with the goal of toppling unwanted regimes in which its member countries took an active part. The EU has yet to respond adequately to the regular marches and rallies of Waffen-SS veterans in Latvia, which not only insult the memory of millions of victims, but also ignore the rulings of the Nuremberg Tribunal, as well as the UN General Assembly resolutions on inadmissibility of the glorification of Nazism.

Fabrications about “threats to international security” and the “ongoing militarisation” of Crimea also come as a surprise. The EU prefers not to notice the deployment of US missile defence elements in Romania and Poland, the ever more frequent NATO exercises in the Black Sea, and the increased NATO military presence in Eastern Europe, which have a negative impact on the security situation in Europe, including the Black Sea region.

The attempt to portray the EU’s blanket discriminatory restrictive measures against Crimeans as part of the “policy of non-recognition” of the reunification of Crimea with Russia appears cynical. In the context of EU visa policies, they are reminiscent of “visa reprisals” and run counter to a range of norms of international law. The same applies to the EU’s appeals to UN member states to impose sanctions on Russia.

The adoption by the European Parliament on March 16 of the resolution on Ukrainian Political Prisoners in Russia and Situation in Crimea once again demonstrates a prejudiced approach to human rights. Clearly, the EU has long lost its moral right to act as an authority on human rights issues. For the sake of dubious political expediency, Brussels prefers to turn a blind eye to the actions of the Kiev regime and the Ukrainian nationalists blocking water and energy supplies to Crimea, non-payment of pensions and benefits, as well as the blocking of railway links with southeastern Ukraine, not to mention the numerous migrant issues in the EU itself, including the disappearance of migrant children and violations of their rights, the status of “non-citizens” in Latvia and Estonia, growing racism and xenophobia throughout the European Union, and the blatant human rights violations in the course of involvement of a number of EU countries in the infamous secret CIA prisons. Those are the cold hard facts. However, MEPs in their resolutions on Crimea prefer to see only the mythical deterioration of the situation of the Crimean Tatar population, despite the fact that real progress in restoring its rights was made only after reunification of the peninsula with Russia.

To reiterate, Crimea and Sevastopol are an integral part of the Russian Federation, and methods of political or economic pressure, to which the European Union persistently resorts, are futile efforts and will not change this fact.

Was the Russian Revolution a US Regime Change Operation?

Posted on March 17, 2017

Russian Tsar Nicholas II and family–all murdered by the Bolsheviks

[ Ed. note – Lately RT has been featuring on its website an ongoing retrospective on the 1917 Russian Revolution. This of course was a momentous event in history, and the way RT has chosen to mark it is kind of creative. With each new day they publish a “news story” on events of a hundred years ago, though the story is written in such a way as to make it seem as if the events are happening in the present.

For instance, today’s report focuses on the Western media’s reaction to the fall from power of Tsar Nicholas II, whose forced abdication took place on March 15, 1917. And if you check out the piece, you will see that a good portion of the US media seem to have been pretty chipper over the developments.

Another aspect of the retrospective is a Twitter account that has been set up in the name of a fictitious Russian newspaper, the Russian Telegraph, or “RT” for short (cute), and featuring comments of real-life figures from history as if they are being tweeted live in the moment. For instance, here is a tweet posted on January 22, 2017:

Fate has it that I’m in the US & having all my expenses paid. I don’t have any plans to return to Russia

 It’s rather interesting that Leon Trotsky, whose real name was Lev Davidovich Bronstein, was in the US having all his expenses paid less than two months before the forced abdication of the Tsar. It kind of makes you wonder to what extent the Russian revolution may have been a US regime change operation–or perhaps not so much a regime change carried out by the US government as by US Jews.

It’s worth keeping in mind that just three years prior to the Russian Revolution, America had undergone a revolution of its own of sorts–with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. The passage of that act, on December 23, 1913, and the setting up of the Federal Reserve, brought about the end of US financial independence and pretty much turned us into the serfs of global bankers. In a way this event, which took place in America, provides a strange sort of parallel to events in Russia three years later when the vast majority of the Russian people became serfs of the Bolsheviks, who were in large part Jews.

Below are two articles which shed some light on the extent of Jewish involvement in both. The first, dealing with the Russian revolution, is by Mark Weber and appears to have been written a number of years ago. Weber shows that a substantial percentage of the Bolsheviks were Jews, or as he puts it, “they [Jews] played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years.” His discussion is limited to Russian Jews, and he has very little to say about what foreign support they may have been getting, but it would have been almost impossible for the Bolsheviks to have succeeded in overthrowing the Russian government without some sort of outside backing.

The second article was posted back in December of 2013 at the blog Kenny’s Sideshow (rest in peace, Kenny) on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. The article highlights Jewish influence in the act’s passage, which as you will see was considerable. Kenny also makes the links–between US Jews and the Russian revolution.

One other thing I’ll mention is that since its creation in 1913, the Federal Reserve has had 15 chairmen, six of whom have been Jewish, including Charles S. Hamlin, the very first Fed chairman, and Janet Yellen, who holds the position today. This means that more than a third of all the Fed chairmen have been Jewish. ]

***

The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia’s Early Soviet Regime

Assessing the grim legacy of Soviet communism

By Mark Weber

In the night of July 16-17, 1918, a squad of Bolshevik secret police murdered Russia’s last emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, along with his wife, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their 14-year-old son, Tsarevich Alexis, and their four daughters. They were cut down in a hail of gunfire in a half-cellar room of the house in Ekaterinburg, a city in the Ural mountain region, where they were being held prisoner. The daughters were finished off with bayonets. To prevent a cult for the dead Tsar, the bodies were carted away to the countryside and hastily buried in a secret grave.

Bolshevik authorities at first reported that the Romanov emperor had been shot after the discovery of a plot to liberate him. For some time the deaths of the Empress and the children were kept secret. Soviet historians claimed for many years that local Bolsheviks had acted on their own in carrying out the killings, and that Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, had nothing to do with the crime.

In 1990, Moscow playwright and historian Edvard Radzinsky announced the result of his detailed investigation into the murders. He unearthed the reminiscences of Lenin’s bodyguard, Alexei Akimov, who recounted how he personally delivered Lenin’s execution order to the telegraph office. The telegram was also signed by Soviet government chief Yakov Sverdlov. Akimov had saved the original telegraph tape as a record of the secret order.1

Radzinsky’s research confirmed what earlier evidence had already indicated. Leon Trotsky — one of Lenin’s closest colleagues — had revealed years earlier that Lenin and Sverdlov had together made the decision to put the Tsar and his family to death. Recalling a conversation in 1918, Trotsky wrote:2

My next visit to Moscow took place after the [temporary] fall of Ekaterinburg [to anti-Communist forces]. Speaking with Sverdlov, I asked in passing: “Oh yes, and where is the Tsar?”

“Finished,” he replied. “He has been shot.”

“And where is the family?”

“The family along with him.”

“All of them?,” I asked, apparently with a trace of surprise.

“All of them,” replied Sverdlov. “What about it?” He was waiting to see my reaction. I made no reply.

“And who made the decision?,” I asked.

“We decided it here. Ilyich [Lenin] believed that we shouldn’t leave the Whites a live banner to rally around, especially under the present difficult circumstances.”

I asked no further questions and considered the matter closed.

Recent research and investigation by Radzinsky and others also corroborates the account provided years earlier by Robert Wilton, correspondent of the London Times in Russia for 17 years. His account, The Last Days of the Romanovs – originally published in 1920, and reissued in 1993 by the Institute for Historical Review — is based in large part on the findings of a detailed investigation carried out in 1919 by Nikolai Sokolov under the authority of “White” (anti-Communist) leader Alexander Kolchak. Wilton’s book remains one of the most accurate and complete accounts of the murder of Russia’s imperial family.3

A solid understanding of history has long been the best guide to comprehending the present and anticipating the future. Accordingly, people are most interested in historical questions during times of crisis, when the future seems most uncertain. With the collapse of Communist rule in the Soviet Union, 1989-1991, and as Russians struggle to build a new order on the ruins of the old, historical issues have become very topical. For example, many ask: How did the Bolsheviks, a small movement guided by the teachings of German-Jewish social philosopher Karl Marx, succeed in taking control of Russia and imposing a cruel and despotic regime on its people?

In recent years, Jews around the world have been voicing anxious concern over the specter of anti-Semitism in the lands of the former Soviet Union. In this new and uncertain era, we are told, suppressed feelings of hatred and rage against Jews are once again being expressed. According to one public opinion survey conducted in 1991, for example, most Russians wanted all Jews to leave the country.4 But precisely why is anti-Jewish sentiment so widespread among the peoples of the former Soviet Union? Why do so many Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians and others blame “the Jews” for so much misfortune?

A Taboo Subject

Although officially Jews have never made up more than five percent of the country’s total population,5 they played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years. Soviet historians, along with most of their colleagues in the West, for decades preferred to ignore this subject. The facts, though, cannot be denied.

With the notable exception of Lenin (Vladimir Ulyanov), most of the leading Communists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews. Leon Trotsky (Lev Bronstein) headed the Red Army and, for a time, was chief of Soviet foreign affairs. Yakov Sverdlov (Solomon) was both the Bolshevik party’s executive secretary and — as chairman of the Central Executive Committee — head of the Soviet government. Grigori Zinoviev (Radomyslsky) headed the Communist International (Comintern), the central agency for spreading revolution in foreign countries. Other prominent Jews included press commissar Karl Radek (Sobelsohn), foreign affairs commissar Maxim Litvinov (Wallach), Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld) and Moisei Uritsky.6

Lenin himself was of mostly Russian and Kalmuck ancestry, but he was also one-quarter Jewish. His maternal grandfather, Israel (Alexander) Blank, was a Ukrainian Jew who was later baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.7

A thorough-going internationalist, Lenin viewed ethnic or cultural loyalties with contempt. He had little regard for his own countrymen. “An intelligent Russian,” he once remarked, “is almost always a Jew or someone with Jewish blood in his veins.”8

Critical Meetings

In the Communist seizure of power in Russia, the Jewish role was probably critical.

Two weeks prior to the Bolshevik “October Revolution” of 1917, Lenin convened a top secret meeting in St. Petersburg (Petrograd) at which the key leaders of the Bolshevik party’s Central Committee made the fateful decision to seize power in a violent takeover. Of the twelve persons who took part in this decisive gathering, there were four Russians (including Lenin), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and six Jews.9

To direct the takeover, a seven-man “Political Bureau” was chosen. It consisted of two Russians (Lenin and Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), and four Jews (Trotsky, Sokolnikov, Zinoviev, and Kamenev).10 Meanwhile, the Petersburg (Petrograd) Soviet — whose chairman was Trotsky — established an 18-member “Military Revolutionary Committee” to actually carry out the seizure of power. It included eight (or nine) Russians, one Ukrainian, one Pole, one Caucasian, and six Jews.11Finally, to supervise the organization of the uprising, the Bolshevik Central Committee established a five-man “Revolutionary Military Center” as the Party’s operations command. It consisted of one Russian (Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and two Jews (Sverdlov and Uritsky).12

Contemporary Voices of Warning

Well-informed observers, both inside and outside of Russia, took note at the time of the crucial Jewish role in Bolshevism. Winston Churchill, for one, warned in an article published in the February 8, 1920, issue of the London Illustrated Sunday Herald that Bolshevism is a “worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality.” The eminent British political leader and historian went on to write:13

There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate, Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek — all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combatting Counter-Revolution [the Cheka] has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses.

Needless to say, the most intense passions of revenge have been excited in the breasts of the Russian people.

David R. Francis, United States ambassador in Russia, warned in a January 1918 dispatch to Washington: “The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90 percent of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution.”14

The Netherlands’ ambassador in Russia, Oudendyke, made much the same point a few months later: “Unless Bolshevism is nipped in the bud immediately, it is bound to spread in one form or another over Europe and the whole world as it is organized and worked by Jews who have no nationality, and whose one object is to destroy for their own ends the existing order of things.”15

“The Bolshevik Revolution,” declared a leading American Jewish community paper in 1920, “was largely the product of Jewish thinking, Jewish discontent, Jewish effort to reconstruct.”16

As an expression of its radically anti-nationalist character, the fledgling Soviet government issued a decree a few months after taking power that made anti-Semitism a crime in Russia. The new Communist regime thus became the first in the world to severely punish all expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment.17 Soviet officials apparently regarded such measures as indispensable. Based on careful observation during a lengthy stay in Russia, American-Jewish scholar Frank Golder reported in 1925 that “because so many of the Soviet leaders are Jews anti-Semitism is gaining [in Russia], particularly in the army [and] among the old and new intelligentsia who are being crowded for positions by the sons of Israel.”18

Historians’ Views

Summing up the situation at that time, Israeli historian Louis Rapoport writes:19

Immediately after the [Bolshevik] Revolution, many Jews were euphoric over their high representation in the new government. Lenin’s first Politburo was dominated by men of Jewish origins.

Under Lenin, Jews became involved in all aspects of the Revolution, including its dirtiest work. Despite the Communists’ vows to eradicate anti-Semitism, it spread rapidly after the Revolution — partly because of the prominence of so many Jews in the Soviet administration, as well as in the traumatic, inhuman Sovietization drives that followed. Historian Salo Baron has noted that an immensely disproportionate number of Jews joined the new Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka And many of those who fell afoul of the Cheka would be shot by Jewish investigators.

The collective leadership that emerged in Lenin’s dying days was headed by the Jew Zinoviev, a loquacious, mean-spirited, curly-haired Adonis whose vanity knew no bounds.

“Anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Cheka,” wrote Jewish historian Leonard Schapiro, “stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator.”20 In Ukraine, “Jews made up nearly 80 percent of the rank-and-file Cheka agents,” reports W. Bruce Lincoln, an American professor of Russian history.21 (Beginning as the Cheka, or Vecheka) the Soviet secret police was later known as the GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MVD and KGB.)

In light of all this, it should not be surprising that Yakov M. Yurovksy, the leader of the Bolshevik squad that carried out the murder of the Tsar and his family, was Jewish, as was Sverdlov, the Soviet chief who co-signed Lenin’s execution order.22

Igor Shafarevich, a Russian mathematician of world stature, has sharply criticized the Jewish role in bringing down the Romanov monarchy and establishing Communist rule in his country. Shafarevich was a leading dissident during the final decades of Soviet rule. A prominent human rights activist, he was a founding member of the Committee on the Defense of Human Rights in the USSR.

In Russophobia, a book written ten years before the collapse of Communist rule, he noted that Jews were “amazingly” numerous among the personnel of the Bolshevik secret police. The characteristic Jewishness of the Bolshevik executioners, Shafarevich went on, is most conspicuous in the execution of Nicholas II:23

This ritual action symbolized the end of centuries of Russian history, so that it can be compared only to the execution of Charles I in England or Louis XVI in France. It would seem that representatives of an insignificant ethnic minority should keep as far as possible from this painful action, which would reverberate in all history. Yet what names do we meet? The execution was personally overseen by Yakov Yurovsky who shot the Tsar; the president of the local Soviet was Beloborodov (Vaisbart); the person responsible for the general administration in Ekaterinburg was Shaya Goloshchekin. To round out the picture, on the wall of the room where the execution took place was a distich from a poem by Heine (written in German) about King Balthazar, who offended Jehovah and was killed for the offense.

In his 1920 book, British veteran journalist Robert Wilton offered a similarly harsh assessment:24

The whole record of Bolshevism in Russia is indelibly impressed with the stamp of alien invasion. The murder of the Tsar, deliberately planned by the Jew Sverdlov (who came to Russia as a paid agent of Germany) and carried out by the Jews Goloshchekin, Syromolotov, Safarov, Voikov and Yurovsky, is the act not of the Russian people, but of this hostile invader.

In the struggle for power that followed Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin emerged victorious over his rivals, eventually succeeding in putting to death nearly every one of the most prominent early Bolsheviks leaders – including Trotsky, Zinoviev, Radek, and Kamenev. With the passage of time, and particularly after 1928, the Jewish role in the top leadership of the Soviet state and its Communist party diminished markedly.

Put To Death Without Trial

For a few months after taking power, Bolshevik leaders considered bringing “Nicholas Romanov” before a “Revolutionary Tribunal” that would publicize his “crimes against the people” before sentencing him to death. Historical precedent existed for this. Two European monarchs had lost their lives as a consequence of revolutionary upheaval: England’s Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and France’s Louis XVI was guillotined in 1793.

In these cases, the king was put to death after a lengthy public trial, during which he was allowed to present arguments in his defense. Nicholas II, though, was neither charged nor tried. He was secretly put to death – along with his family and staff — in the dead of night, in an act that resembled more a gangster-style massacre than a formal execution.

Why did Lenin and Sverdlov abandon plans for a show trial of the former Tsar? In Wilton’s view, Nicholas and his family were murdered because the Bolshevik rulers knew quite well that they lacked genuine popular support, and rightly feared that the Russian people would never approve killing the Tsar, regardless of pretexts and legalistic formalities.

For his part, Trotsky defended the massacre as a useful and even necesssary measure. He wrote:25

The decision [to kill the imperial family] was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing. The execution of the Tsar’s family was needed not only in order to frighten, horrify, and instill a sense of hopelessness in the enemy but also to shake up our own ranks, to show that there was no turning back, that ahead lay either total victory or total doom. This Lenin sensed well.

Historical Context

In the years leading up to the 1917 revolution, Jews were disproportionately represented in all of Russia’s subversive leftist parties.26 Jewish hatred of the Tsarist regime had a basis in objective conditions. Of the leading European powers of the day, imperial Russia was the most institutionally conservative and anti-Jewish. For example, Jews were normally not permitted to reside outside a large area in the west of the Empire known as the “Pale of Settlement.”27

However understandable, and perhaps even defensible, Jewish hostility toward the imperial regime may have been, the remarkable Jewish role in the vastly more despotic Soviet regime is less easy to justify. In a recently published book about the Jews in Russia during the 20th century, Russian-born Jewish writer Sonya Margolina goes so far as to call the Jewish role in supporting the Bolshevik regime the “historic sin of the Jews.”28 She points, for example, to the prominent role of Jews as commandants of Soviet Gulag concentration and labor camps, and the role of Jewish Communists in the systematic destruction of Russian churches. Moreover, she goes on, “The Jews of the entire world supported Soviet power, and remained silent in the face of any criticism from the opposition.” In light of this record, Margolina offers a grim prediction:

The exaggeratedly enthusiastic participation of the Jewish Bolsheviks in the subjugation and destruction of Russia is a sin that will be avenged Soviet power will be equated with Jewish power, and the furious hatred against the Bolsheviks will become hatred against Jews.

If the past is any indication, it is unlikely that many Russians will seek the revenge that Margolina prophecies. Anyway, to blame “the Jews” for the horrors of Communism seems no more justifiable than to blame “white people” for Negro slavery, or “the Germans” for the Second World War or “the Holocaust.”

Words of Grim Portent

Nicholas and his family are only the best known of countless victims of a regime that openly proclaimed its ruthless purpose. A few weeks after the Ekaterinburg massacre, the newspaper of the fledgling Red Army declared:29

Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies by the scores of hundreds, let them be thousands, let them drown themselves in their own blood. For the blood of Lenin and Uritskii let there be floods of blood of the bourgeoisie — more blood, as much as possible.

Grigori Zinoviev, speaking at a meeting of Communists in September 1918, effectively pronounced a death sentence on ten million human beings: “We must carry along with us 90 million out of the 100 million of Soviet Russia’s inhabitants. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated.”30

‘The Twenty Million’

As it turned out, the Soviet toll in human lives and suffering proved to be much higher than Zinoviev’s murderous rhetoric suggested. Rarely, if ever, has a regime taken the lives of so many of its own people.31

Citing newly-available Soviet KGB documents, historian Dmitri Volkogonov, head of a special Russian parliamentary commission, recently concluded that “from 1929 to 1952, 21.5 million [Soviet] people were repressed. Of these a third were shot, the rest sentenced to imprisonment, where many also died.”32

Olga Shatunovskaya, a member of the Soviet Commission of Party Control, and head of a special commission during the 1960s appointed by premier Khrushchev, has similarly concluded: “From January 1, 1935 to June 22, 1941, 19,840,000 enemies of the people were arrested. Of these, seven million were shot in prison, and a majority of the others died in camp.” These figures were also found in the papers of Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan.33

Robert Conquest, the distinguished specialist of Soviet history, recently summed up the grim record of Soviet “repression” of it own people:34

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the post-1934 death toll was well over ten million. To this should be added the victims of the 1930-1933 famine, the kulak deportations, and other anti-peasant campaigns, amounting to another ten million plus. The total is thus in the range of what the Russians now refer to as ‘The Twenty Million’.”

A few other scholars have given significantly higher estimates.35

The Tsarist Era in Retrospect

With the dramatic collapse of Soviet rule, many Russians are taking a new and more respectful look at their country’s pre-Communist history, including the era of the last Romanov emperor. While the Soviets — along with many in the West — have stereotypically portrayed this era as little more than an age of arbitrary despotism, cruel suppression and mass poverty, the reality is rather different. While it is true that the power of the Tsar was absolute, that only a small minority had any significant political voice, and that the mass of the empire’s citizens were peasants, it is worth noting that Russians during the reign of Nicholas II had freedom of press, religion, assembly and association, protection of private property, and free labor unions. Sworn enemies of the regime, such as Lenin, were treated with remarkable leniency.36

During the decades prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the Russian economy was booming. In fact, between 1890 and 1913, it was the fastest growing in the world. New rail lines were opened at an annual rate double that of the Soviet years. Between 1900 and 1913, iron production increased by 58 percent, while coal production more than doubled.37 Exported Russian grain fed all of Europe. Finally, the last decades of Tsarist Russia witnessed a magnificent flowering of cultural life.

Everything changed with the First World War, a catastrophe not only for Russia, but for the entire West.

Monarchist Sentiment

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the relentless official campaign during the entire Soviet era to stamp out every uncritical memory of the Romanovs and imperial Russia, a virtual cult of popular veneration for Nicholas II has been sweeping Russia in recent years.

People have been eagerly paying the equivalent of several hours’ wages to purchase portraits of Nicholas from street vendors in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. His portrait now hangs in countless Russian homes and apartments. In late 1990, all 200,000 copies of a first printing of a 30-page pamphlet on the Romanovs quickly sold out. Said one street vendor: “I personally sold four thousand copies in no time at all. It’s like a nuclear explosion. People really want to know about their Tsar and his family.” Grass roots pro-Tsarist and monarchist organizations have sprung up in many cities.

A public opinion poll conducted in 1990 found that three out of four Soviet citizens surveyed regard the killing of the Tsar and his family as a despicable crime.38 Many Russian Orthodox believers regard Nicholas as a martyr. The independent “Orthodox Church Abroad” canonized the imperial family in 1981, and the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church has been under popular pressure to take the same step, in spite of its long-standing reluctance to touch this official taboo. The Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Ekaterinburg announced plans in 1990 to build a grand church at the site of the killings. “The people loved Emperor Nicholas,” he said. “His memory lives with the people, not as a saint but as someone executed without court verdict, unjustly, as a sufferer for his faith and for orthodoxy.”39

On the 75th anniversary of the massacre (in July 1993), Russians recalled the life, death and legacy of their last Emperor. In Ekaterinburg, where a large white cross festooned with flowers now marks the spot where the family was killed, mourners wept as hymns were sung and prayers were said for the victims.40

Reflecting both popular sentiment and new social-political realities, the white, blue and red horizontal tricolor flag of Tsarist Russia was officially adopted in 1991, replacing the red Soviet banner. And in 1993, the imperial two-headed eagle was restored as the nation’s official emblem, replacing the Soviet hammer and sickle. Cities that had been re-named to honor Communist figures — such as Leningrad, Kuibyshev, Frunze, Kalinin, and Gorky — have re-acquired their Tsarist-era names. Ekaterinburg, which had been named Sverdlovsk by the Soviets in 1924 in honor of the Soviet-Jewish chief, in September 1991 restored its pre-Communist name, which honors Empress Catherine I.

Symbolic Meaning

In view of the millions that would be put to death by the Soviet rulers in the years to follow, the murder of the Romanov family might not seem of extraordinary importance. And yet, the event has deep symbolic meaning. In the apt words of Harvard University historian Richard Pipes:41

The manner in which the massacre was prepared and carried out, at first denied and then justified, has something uniquely odious about it, something that radically distinguishes it from previous acts of regicide and brands it as a prelude to twentieth-century mass murder.

Another historian, Ivor Benson, characterized the killing of the Romanov family as symbolic of the tragic fate of Russia and, indeed, of the entire West, in this century of unprecedented agony and conflict.

The murder of the Tsar and his family is all the more deplorable because, whatever his failings as a monarch, Nicholas II was, by all accounts, a personally decent, generous, humane and honorable man.

The Massacre’s Place in History

The mass slaughter and chaos of the First World War, and the revolutionary upheavals that swept Europe in 1917-1918, brought an end not only to the ancient Romanov dynasty in Russia, but to an entire continental social order. Swept away as well was the Hohenzollern dynasty in Germany, with its stable constitutional monarchy, and the ancient Habsburg dynasty of Austria-Hungary with its multinational central European empire. Europe’s leading states shared not only the same Christian and Western cultural foundations, but most of the continent’s reigning monarchs were related by blood. England’s King George was, through his mother, a first cousin of Tsar Nicholas, and, through his father, a first cousin of Empress Alexandra. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm was a first cousin of the German-born Alexandra, and a distant cousin of Nicholas.

More than was the case with the monarchies of western Europe, Russia’s Tsar personally symbolized his land and nation. Thus, the murder of the last emperor of a dynasty that had ruled Russia for three centuries not only symbolically presaged the Communist mass slaughter that would claim so many Russian lives in the decades that followed, but was symbolic of the Communist effort to kill the soul and spirit of Russia itself.
Notes

  1. Edvard Radzinksy, The Last Tsar (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 327, 344-346.; Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.
  2. From an April 1935 entry in “Trotsky’s Diary in Exile.” Quoted in: Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1990), pp. 770, 787.; Robert K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra (New York: 1976), pp. 496-497.; E. Radzinksy, The Last Tsar (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 325-326.; Ronald W. Clark, Lenin (New York: 1988), pp. 349-350.
  3. On Wilton and his career in Russia, see: Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976), pp. 141-142, 144-146, 151-152, 159, 162, 169, and, Anthony Summers and Tom Mangold, The File on the Tsar(New York: Harper and Row, 1976), pp. 102-104, 176.
  4. AP dispatch from Moscow, Toronto Star, Sept. 26, 1991, p. A2.; Similarly, a 1992 survey found that one-fourth of people in the republics of Belarus (White Russia) and Uzbekistan favored deporting all Jews to a special Jewish region in Russian Siberia. “Survey Finds Anti-Semitism on Rise in Ex-Soviet Lands,” Los Angeles Times, June 12, 1992, p. A4.
  5. At the turn of the century, Jews made up 4.2 percent of the population of the Russian Empire. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1990), p. 55 (fn.).
    By comparison, in the United States today, Jews make up less than three percent of the total population (according to the most authoritative estimates).
  6. See individual entries in: H. Shukman, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Russian Revolution (Oxford: 1988), and in: G. Wigoder, ed., Dictionary of Jewish Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991).
    The prominent Jewish role in Russia’s pre-1914 revolutionary underground, and in the early Soviet regime, is likewise confirmed in: Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, Roots of Radicalism (New York: Oxford, 1982), pp. 92-94.
    In 1918, the Bolshevik Party’s Central Committee had 15 members. German scholar Herman Fehst — citing published Soviet records — reported in his useful 1934 study that of six of these 15 were Jews. Herman Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum: Das jüdische Element in der Führerschaft des Bolschewismus (Berlin: 1934), pp. 68-72.; Robert Wilton, though, reported that in 1918 the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party had twelve members, of whom nine were of Jewish origin and three were of Russian ancestry. R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (IHR, 1993), p. 185.
  7. After years of official suppression, this fact was acknowledged in 1991 in the Moscow weekly Ogonyok. See: Jewish Chronicle (London), July 16, 1991.; See also: Letter by L. Horwitz in The New York Times, Aug. 5, 1992, which cites information from the Russian journal “Native Land Archives.”; “Lenin’s Lineage?”‘Jewish,’ Claims Moscow News,” Forward (New York City), Feb. 28, 1992, pp. 1, 3.; M. Checinski, Jerusalem Post (weekly international edition), Jan. 26, 1991, p. 9.
  8. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1990), p. 352.
  9. Harrison E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (Doubleday, 1978), p. 475.; William H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution (Princeton Univ. Press, 1987), vol. 1, pp. 291-292.; Herman Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum: Das jüdische Element in der Führerschaft des Bolschewismus (Berlin: 1934), pp. 42-43.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 318-319.
    This meeting was held on October 10 (old style, Julian calendar), and on October 23 (new style). The six Jews who took part were: Uritsky, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Sverdlov and Soklonikov.
    The Bolsheviks seized power in Petersburg on October 25 (old style) — hence the reference to the “Great October Revolution” — which is November 7 (new style).
  10. William H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution (1987), vol. 1, p. 292.; H. E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (1978), p. 475.
  11. W. H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, vol. 1, pp. 274, 299, 302, 306.; Alan Moorehead, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1965), pp. 235, 238, 242, 243, 245.; H. Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum (Berlin: 1934), pp. 44, 45.
  12. H. E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (1978), p. 479-480.; Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991), pp. 27-28, 32.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 319-320.
  13. “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A struggle for the soul of the Jewish people,” Illustrated Sunday Herald (London), February 8, 1920. Facsimile reprint in: William Grimstad, The Six Million Reconsidered (1979), p. 124. (At the time this essay was published, Churchill was serving as minister of war and air.)
  14. David R. Francis, Russia from the American Embassy (New York: 1921), p. 214.
  15. Foreign Relations of the United States — 1918 — Russia, Vol. 1 (Washington, DC: 1931), pp. 678-679.
  16. American Hebrew (New York), Sept. 1920. Quoted in: Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot (Cambridge, Mass.: 1963), p. 268.
  17. C. Jacobson, “Jews in the USSR” in: American Review on the Soviet Union, August 1945, p. 52.; Avtandil Rukhadze, Jews in the USSR: Figures, Facts, Comment (Moscow: Novosti, 1978), pp. 10-11.
  18. T. Emmons and B. M. Patenaude, eds., War, Revolution and Peace in Russia: The Passages of Frank Golder, 1913-1927 (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1992), pp. 320, 139, 317.
  19. Louis Rapoport, Stalin’s War Against the Jews (New York: Free Press, 1990), pp. 30, 31, 37. See also pp. 43, 44, 45, 49, 50.
  20. Quoted in: Salo Baron, The Russian Jews Under Tsars and Soviets (New York: 1976), pp. 170, 392 (n. 4).
  21. The Atlantic, Sept. 1991, p. 14.;
    In 1919, three-quarters of the Cheka staff in Kiev were Jews, who were careful to spare fellow Jews. By order, the Cheka took few Jewish hostages. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 824.; Israeli historian Louis Rapoport also confirms the dominant role played by Jews in the Soviet secret police throughout the 1920s and 1930s. L. Rapoport, Stalin’s War Against the Jews (New York: 1990), pp. 30-31, 43-45, 49-50.
  22. E. Radzinsky, The Last Tsar (1992), pp. 244, 303-304.; Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.; See also: W. H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, vol. 2, p. 90.
  23. Quoted in: The New Republic, Feb. 5, 1990, pp. 30 ff.; Because of the alleged anti-Semitism of Russophobia, in July 1992 Shafarevich was asked by the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC) to resign as an associate member of that prestigious body.
  24. R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (1993), p. 148.
  25. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 787.; Robert K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra (New York: 1976), pp. 496-497.
  26. An article in a 1907 issue of the respected American journal National Geographic reported on the revolutionary situation brewing in Russia in the years before the First World War: ” The revolutionary leaders nearly all belong to the Jewish race, and the most effective revolutionary agency is the Jewish Bund ” W. E. Curtis, “The Revolution in Russia,” The National Geographic Magazine, May 1907, pp. 313-314.
    Piotr Stolypin, probably imperial Russia’s greatest statesman, was murdered in 1911 by a Jewish assassin. In 1907, Jews made up about ten percent of Bolshevik party membership. In the Menshevik party, another faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, the Jewish proportion was twice as high. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 365.; See also: R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (1993), pp. 185-186.
  27. Martin Gilbert, Atlas of Jewish History (1977), pp. 71, 74.; In spite of the restrictive “Pale” policy, in 1897 about 315,000 Jews were living outside the Pale, most of them illegally. In 1900 more than 20,000 were living in the capital of St. Petersburg, and another 9,000 in Moscow.
  28. Sonja Margolina, Das Ende der Lügen: Russland und die Juden im 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin: 1992). Quoted in: “Ein ganz heisses Eisen angefasst,” Deutsche National-Zeitung (Munich), July 21, 1992, p. 12.
  29. Krasnaia Gazetta (“Red Gazette”), September 1, 1918. Quoted in: Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), pp. 820, 912 (n. 88).
  30. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1990), p. 820.
  31. Contrary to what a number of western historians have for years suggested, Soviet terror and the Gulag camp system did not begin with Stalin. At the end of 1920, Soviet Russia already had 84 concentration camps with approximately 50,000 prisoners. By October 1923 the number had increased to 315 camps with 70,000 inmates. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 836.
  32. Cited by historian Robert Conquest in a review/ article in The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.
  33. The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.
  34. Review/article by Robert Conquest in The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.; In the “Great Terror” years of 1937-1938 alone, Conquest has calculated, approximately one million were shot by the Soviet secret police, and another two million perished in Soviet camps. R. Conquest, The Great Terror (New York: Oxford, 1990), pp. 485-486.;
    Conquest has estimated that 13.5 to 14 million people perished in the collectivization (“dekulakization”) campaign and forced famine of 1929-1933. R. Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow (New York: Oxford, 1986), pp. 301-307.
  35. Russian professor Igor Bestuzhev-Lada, writing in a 1988 issue of the Moscow weekly Nedelya, suggested that during the Stalin era alone (1935-1953), as many as 50 million people were killed, condemned to camps from which they never emerged, or lost their lives as a direct result of the brutal “dekulakization” campaign against the peasantry. “Soviets admit Stalin killed 50 million,” The Sunday Times, London, April 17, 1988.;
    R. J. Rummel, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, has recently calculated that 61.9 million people were systematically killed by the Soviet Communist regime from 1917 to 1987. R. J. Rummel, Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917 (Transaction, 1990).
  36. Because of his revolutionary activities, Lenin was sentenced in 1897 to three years exile in Siberia. During this period of “punishment,” he got married, wrote some 30 works, made extensive use of a well-stocked local library, subscribed to numerous foreign periodicals, kept up a voluminous correspondence with supporters across Europe, and enjoyed numerous sport hunting and ice skating excursions, while all the time receiving a state stipend. See: Ronald W. Clark, Lenin (New York: 1988), pp. 42-57.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography(Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 55-75.
  37. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), pp. 187-188.;
  38. The Nation, June 24, 1991, p. 838.
  39. Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.
  40. “Nostalgic for Nicholas, Russians Honor Their Last Czar,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1993.; “Ceremony marks Russian czar’s death,” Orange County Register, July 17, 1993.
  41. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 787.

A Money Changer’s Birthday

signingfed

An oil painting on the signing of the Federal Reserve Act. Woodrow Wilson surrounded by the scoundrels that created the “Beast” in 1913

By Kenny

A true day that will live in infamy.

Jacob H. Schiff, Paul Warburg and other bankers influenced Congress to pass the Federal Reserve Act (December 23, 1913). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was created in October 1913 to minimize predictable criticism. The bankers have manufactured panics, withdrawn credit and in the process have confiscated the citizen’s resources and personal property through phony bailouts, sanctioned by compromised politicians. These actions are calculated and designed to ultimately decimate the economy. The same bankers who promoted the Federal Reserve funded Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Molotov and Kirov (assumed names) in their godless, violent take-over of Russia. The bankers began making major profits when Bernard Baruch, Louis Brandeis and others manipulated their puppet Woodrow Wilson into entering World War I on borrowed money after the provoked attack on theLusitania.

 photo wilsonw_zps9jxvrbu7.jpg

In 1912, Alfred Owen Crozier in his book “US Money vs. Corporate Currency “Aldrich Plan” gave us one of the last warnings before the age of the Federal Reserve began.

Much of what he had to say still holds true today.

Selected excerpts:

The Wall Street and bank combine are now dickering for support with the management of both parties. It is said to be offering to finance the campaign of both sides if friendly candidates are nominated, and a real investigation of the “money trust” is prevented. It is willing to spend millions, because the play is for future billions and the political control of the republic.

Remember, those who have power to make money scarce or plenty have power over the business of every man, the happiness of every home, to make or break, to confer or destroy general prosperity. It gives them a hunger-hold on every man, woman and child. Shall this autocratic power be granted without reservation?

In all great national and international monetary and financial affairs the Rothschilds always play the ruling hand. They possess masterful genius and financial intellect. But it is the sheer weight of liquid or ready wealth held in such large quantity that all the nations of the world must go to the Rothschilds for financial assistance in time of peace, or before they can go to war whatever the provocation or emergency, that gives them supreme power in the world’s affairs. No war can be waged without money, and no large nation can get adequate money to finance a war from any one but the Rothschilds. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that whenever any war is begun the Rothschilds have consented thereto. They may finance both sides, because it is immaterial whether the interest profits they crave come from one or both countries. In fact the war furnishes an excuse recognized as legitimate for charging both nations higher interest rates not only on the new debts but on old obligations maturing and being refunded.

It is known, of course, that after the nations have fought for a while and murdered tens of thousands and wounded and permanently maimed hundreds of thousands of human beings on both sides, pressure exerted by other governments instigated by the financiers will force a quick com- promise, leaving the nations both in approximately the same condition as before except that each has vastly in- creased its debt and the annual interest burden on its people while the financiers have gotten rid of accumulated capital in exchange for high interest gold bonds that cannot be paid for perhaps thirty or fifty years. This surely is the result if not the deliberate plan.

Frequent rumors of war or warlike preparations each year have been ping-ponged back and forth between the countries in the public press. These have tended to excite popular fear, hate and patriotism and cause the people to consent and even to urge the governments to swell vastly the mortgage burden upon the peoples for funds to increase and equip still larger standing armies and to build greater and more expensive navies. By withdrawing millions of men. into armies and idleness it reduces production and the earning power of the people, increases the burden on those employed, and makes it more certain that existing bonds will not be paid but will be refunded and increased. Why not have bigger armies, navies, forts, guns, idleness of millions of soldiers, rumors of war or even occasional war, when such things are so fruitful, so necessary to cause the issuance of more bonds to provide profitable investment.

The growing, selfish and insolent Money Power, incorporated and unincorporated, violates every law regulating and restraining its conduct, treats the people and their government with contempt, and then invokes the protection of the laws and the courts to shield the stolen “vested rights*’ and privileges against violence that their own lawless course tends to incite.

The omnipotent and deadly octopus Congress is urged to legally set loose and install as the master of American banks, business, finance, industry, commerce and politics. Its poisonous and itching tentacles will gradually reach out and bind themselves about every home, farm, industry, bank, the public treasury, courts. Congress and the White House, gathering to itself supreme political power, sucking the wealth and substance of the people into Wall Street and dumping it into the Stock Exchange or the eager laps of the handful of men who will seek by moral if not by legal treason to rob the people of their God-given liberty, destroy the republic as a living reality and in its place erect an empire disguised as a democracy with incorporated wealth crowned as the ruling sovereign and all the people its subjects.

The History of the “Money Changers”

An Army within An Army

Darko Lazar

On March 2, Syrian army forces wrestled control of Palmyra from Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] terrorists for a second time in less than a year.

Russian Special Operation Forces [SSO]

In December 2016, the bulk of the Syrian army’s resources were focused on the battle for Aleppo, which served as the nerve center of the western-led effort to topple the Damascus government. Daesh capitalized on the opportunity and reentered Palmyra.

The joint Syrian-Russian preparations for another liberation of the city went on for a month. But the key battle lasted only 8 hours, while the entire operation took no more than 24 hours.

Syrian and Russian forces adopted a simple strategy. Knowing that the enemy was dug in around the northern section of Palmyra, the Russian air force focused their strikes precisely on these areas, leading Daesh to conclude that the ground offensive would come from the north. Instead, the initial wave of ground attacks came from the south.

Russia’s Special Operations Forces [SSO] led the charge and were instrumental in retaking Palmyra, as was also the case in April of last year.

In the face of the onslaught by SSO members, who literally fell out of the sky, Daesh militants did not stand a chance.

A number of Syrian army divisions, including the elite formation known as the ‘Daesh Hunters’, quickly swept into Palmyra before raising the Syrian flag over the ancient city.

“I cannot help but note the bravery and self-sacrifice of the Syrian soldiers, officers and militia fighters who went in without sparing their lives to accomplish this task and reclaim this city for the Syrian people,” said the commander of the Russian military contingent in Syria, Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov.

“I would particularly like to comment on the actions of our Air and Space Forces of Russia, which deprived the enemy of the ability to maneuver and promptly deliver reserves. Also the actions of the units of Special Operations Forces of the Russian Armed Forces [SSO] that conducted reconnaissance and hit the most important targets,” Kartapolov told Russia 24.

Although the SSO managed to avoid much of the spotlight, Moscow has not been trying too hard to keep their presence in Syria a secret, where the unit has been operational since 2015.

So what exactly is the role of the SSO? And why did the Russians, known for traditionally relying on their Spetsnaz commandos, feel the need to practically form an army within an army – made up of elite members from the country’s numerous security agencies?

The Russian fist with a global reach

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin revealed the role of the SSO in the capture of Crimea, as well as the rescue of ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych, long after the conclusion of both affairs.

As a matter of fact, there was almost no mention of the unit in public until February 27 of this year, when Putin congratulated them during the commemoration of Russia’s Special Forces Day.

“Through the hardest and most difficult and unusual situations, you have proved that you are able to act boldly, decisively and professionally,” Putin said.

“We are going to further increase the potential of the special operations forces. Their creation was an important step in the efficient development of the Russian Armed Forces, to improve their mobility and combat readiness,” he added.

While the number of SSO members, the unit’s structure and even the identity of their commander are highly classified, it is no secret that the Kremlin has invested an enormous amount of resources to train and equip the new military formation.

It is also known that the unit, which falls under the umbrella of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, possesses a wealth of battlefield experience, as well as the most advanced high-tech weaponry and gear, designed and manufactured specifically for the SSO.

Russian experts claim that the unit – modeled on the US Navy Seals with a Russian character – is capable of deploying and carrying out operations in any corner of the globe, often appearing where the enemy least expects.

Putin’s pledge to “further increase” the potential of the SSO only serves to highlight the Kremlin’s desire for developing the best global special operations units, which are capable of taking on tough assignments behind enemy lines and completing tasks that would otherwise require entire army divisions. Essentially, the SSO is designed to serve as a Russian fist with a global reach.

The planning for such a force has been in the making for quite some time, dating back to the former Soviet Union. But Mikhail Gorbachev decided against the idea, fearing that it might upset his ‘western partners’. Soon afterwards, the USSR disintegrated and Moscow had other things to worry about.

With the arrival of Putin, the idea was reborn and the Russian military found this president a lot more receptive, finally getting the green light in 2009 – shortly after the conclusion of the war in the Caucuses. Following years of meticulous preparation, the ranks of the SSO were finally filled in 2013.

Today, Russia’s Defense Ministry defines the SSO as a force focused on “special reconnaissance, sabotage, counterterrorism, counter- sabotage, counterintelligence, guerilla warfare, counter-guerrilla warfare and other activities.”

Heroes and legends

Almost exactly one year ago, during the initial liberation of Palmyra, a member of the SSO spent one week behind enemy lines, directing airstrikes against Daesh positions.

When his location was uncovered, Alexander Prokhorenko found himself surrounded by militants with no possible means of escape. The 25-year old took the decision to end his own life by calling in Russian warplanes to obliterate his position, killing scores of terrorists in the process.

Naturally, Putin personally presented the soldier’s family with a posthumous Hero of Russia award, the country’s highest honor.

Other prominent SSO names include Alexei Dyumin, who is widely believed to have headed up the unit during the crisis in Crimea. Some analysts also see him as Putin’s possible successor after the 2024 elections.

Most, if not all, of the stories circulating about Dyumin are pure speculation, since very little has actually been released to the public about the 44-year old career soldier.

During the night hours between February 27 and 28, 2014, Dyumin reportedly oversaw the capture of administrative buildings and other key infrastructure across Crimea’s capital Simferopol, successfully transferring authority from Ukrainian to Russian hands.

Days earlier on February 23, Ukraine’s ousted president was running for his life with members of the pro-Maidan movement hot on his trail. Yanukovych was resigned to his fate after managing to get only as far as the Ukrainian coastline. But Dyumin and his men apparently managed to helicopter Yanukovych out to safety at the last minute, using the headlights of his pursuers to establish visual contact.

Whether true or not, Dyumin was awarded the same honor as the fallen Alexander Prokhorenko, before being appointed by Putin as deputy defense minister and the governor of Russia’s Tula region.

Of course, all of this is just a small portion of the story about the SSO. Their future successes will be determined in part by their ability to conceal both the unit’s objectives, tactics and field experiences, helping to enlarge its aura of mystique and invincibility.

Support for allies 

The instrumental role played by the SSO in Syria suggests that one of the unit’s primary functions is not just the defense of Russia, but also its allies.

Such military formations also send a strong message to the western establishment that the ‘90s are long gone, and that the Russians will no longer be turning a blind eye to attacks or acts of sabotage directed at their friends; whether they are located across the border in Ukraine, or as far away as the Middle East.

What’s more, the rapid growth and expansion of the SSO proves that Moscow is now a high stakes player, ready to take on challenges against formidable foes the world over.

Source: Al-Ahed News

11-03-2017 | 12:11

‘White Trash’ – both a book and Trump revolution?

March 07, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri‘White Trash’ – both a book and Trump revolution?

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (2016) by Nancy Isenberg is a book which is credited with the groundbreaking idea of studying the history of poor Whites in America.

It’s a necessary book because it gives us a lot of badly-needed historical information to analyze the major divide in the United States today: between pro- and anti-Trump factions.

Hillary Clinton denounced Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables” – i.e., White Trash.

And her supporters applauded. If you are pro-Trump you “do not represent America”, and certainly not the best of America.

Anti-Trumpers enjoy this incorrect feeling of superiority, but this cannot be a long-term policy.

What’s needed is understanding, and a good place for Americans to start learning about the absolutely real historical oppression of the class known as White Trash is with this book.

After reading it, I found it quite logical that today’s White Trash support Trump’s conservative call for rolling back the administrative state – this book proves over and over that the US government has done very little to help poor Whites, while it’s done plenty to elevate and maintain the status rich Whites.

We communists generally call this “capitalism”.

While Europe had the revolutions of 1798 and 1848, finding an actual remedy to White Trash poverty was never a real issue in America: It was only temporarily a focus after the crisis of the Civil War, the Great Depression and Johnson’s “Great Society” programs of the 1960s.

This experience is the opposite of Trash in places like Cuba, Iran, the USSR, the mourning Trash of Yugoslavia, China and elsewhere – in these countries a 20th-century revolution put a permanent focus on the needs of the average Trash, and they delivered.

Receptivity to socialism in the US is higher now than at any time since the Great Depression, and this should be no surprise: The underground earthquake which produced the tsunami of Trumpism was the Great Recession, which vastly expanded the social strata unfairly derided as White Trash.

The subsequent failure of Obama to hold anyone accountable allowed everyone to see the false lies of the “American Dream” – White Trash has been (re-) reminded of the “1%” and how “only profits are capitalized, but losses are socialized”.

Oh yes, they fear the White Trash Revolution (WTR)

According to The New York Times review of this book: “’White Trash’ is indeed a bummer….”

LOL, yes, national truths can never be as satisfying as national myths.

The fact is that White Trash are starting to take over, and they must, democratically. The key is for the left to win them over.

This is an enormous challenge in a country as politically reactionary as the United States, where leftist thought has been systemically oppressed and exterminated by the FBI, media owners and a culture that has always adhered to racist, capitalist, empire-maintenance.

But so many leftists in the US, even the more sincere ones, will never win them over if they don’t both understand and sympathize with them.

One would think that the archetype of today’s “White Trash” politician would be Dubya Bush, but he is surprisingly not mentioned at all in the book. Bush was a fake redneck, after all, and a teetotaling, born-again one at that.

But an interesting quote can be drawn from the author’s discussion of Sarah Palin, the Vice-Presidential nominee of John McCain and the first redneck woman to appear on a presidential ticket.

“Writing in the New Yorker, Sam Tanenhaus was struck by Palin’s self-satisfied manner: ‘the certitude of being herself, in whatever unfinished condition, will always be good enough.’”

If Sarah Palin is White Trash – an American peasant – this is how the fake left views them: unevolved.

Palin is not a great political leader, sure, but my point is that anyone even resembling Sarah Palin has been contemptuously looked down on for more than 400 years.

Now imagine if Tolstoy had used the same description while writing about his archetypal “good peasant” Platon Karataev in “War and Peace”…would it have been out of place? I think not.

But Tolstoy’s great love allowed him to see the virtues in Russia’s peasants. For the New York Times, The New Yorker and a seemingly-gigantic majority of the mainstream media, America’s peasants and pro-Trumpers are not only without political intelligence but also moral virtue.

Tolstoy is usually defined as a Christian Anarchist – and this is extremely close to a Communist in 2017. After all, Cuba reconciled with Catholicism two decades ago; China is promoting Confucianism and it’s necessary yin component of Taoism; Iran has married many communist ideas with religion.

While Tolstoy uplifts, reading the New Yorker is like getting a root canal because their elitist sentiment is so smugly pro-establishment. Shouldn’t it be “good enough” to be yourself? Must we put on fancy airs and pretend to be something we are not?

But there is no archetypal “good” White Trash in America – they are despised, marginalized, oppressed and segregated in American life, as this book repeatedly proves.

The WTR is looking more and more like a real historical wave, especially if the National Front wins in France and topples the European Union. If Le Pen is voted in she’s promised a ‘Frexit’ referendum within 6 months if elected.

If the WTR is a historical trend, what does it supplant?

It supplants the Politically Correct Revolution (PCR), which was a great revolution, despite its many xenophobic detractors.

The PCR has enabled it to now be well-known that the US democracy was always a sham due to racism and sexism – prior to that you had to have read or listened to somebody like Malcom X. I.e., you were you on the fringe.

Yet I always found it funny that the most impassioned PCR adherents expressed such respect for the Trash of, say, India, and yet they would look down as though from Mount Olympus on poor White cultures in America?

Part of this fine: Giving the hicks – of the Andes Mountains or Central Africa or the Eskimos or whoever – their cultural due is absolutely necessary. Looking down on them only proves your inability to comprehend their culture.

Yet these PCR die-hards expressed SUCH contempt for the hillbillies in America – for White Trash – and they still do.

I am thankful to say that I had White Trash friends (I don’t to write ‘have’ and offend them, LOL) and they were great. They taught me a lot and certainly taught me that city folk and middle-and-upper class people were totally ignorant of many key aspects of life.

But in segregated, suburban, gated America, it seems very few getting out to the country and sincerely trying to make friends?

The WTR is feared by these supposedly “left” publications, because White Trash, and Trash in general, are on the verge of upsetting the established order. But it is not the order established by the PCR, but a rigid class order that was established from the moment of British colonization, as the author repeatedly demonstrates.

The WTR created by the end to the denial of their democratic power

The book elevates the importance that post-Civil War poll taxes were also unaffordable for White Trash. It is the banning of poll taxes with the 24th amendment in 1964, and not the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which finally gave poor, landless White Trash a true democratic voice.

This gives the WTR a truly historical basis which has been largely ignored by the PCR in favor of their false, class-ignorant, “poll taxes harmed only Blacks” theory.

The reality is that poll taxes – which would not even begin to be eliminated until the 1930s and would not be fully eliminated until 1964 – allowed all Trash regardless of color to finally participate in American democracy.

Because there has been no modern revolution in the US since 1776, American Trash have only had the slow slog of those forced to work within the constraints of the capitalist/social democratic system (due to the constant and violent suppression of communist thought).

Well, it has taken 50 years, but the White majority – who come from the 99% – has finally elected a president who did what White Trash have always asked for: End four centuries of oppressive rule by the moneyed elite, the landholders, the wage-stealers, the aristocratic class, the global capitalists (who also happen to be mainly White, for those who are permanently stuck in the PCR).

The WTR, after 50 years of mass media control, also finally surmounted the media domination of the capitalists. Trump was endorsed by just 2 of the top 100 newspapers; even right-wing Fox News fought him for months; Hollywood was a constant stream of anti-Trump messages.

Another thing the WTR did was overturn the idea that the president should be an aristocrat in nature, and the book proves this idea has been dominant for decades.

As the move to end poll taxes became inevitable, “…the longing for a more regal head of state was advanced. The Democrats swooned over Kennedy’s Camelot, and Republicans ennobled the Hollywood court of Reagan.”

Trump is no moral hero like Carter (LOL to that notion), no reformed alcoholic/Christian like Dubya, no (sellout) racial hero like Obama.

Trump is probably no “great man” but, as Tolstoy would agree, one drop of the historical WTR wave. This wave has eliminated Cameron, Renzi, Sarkozy, Hollande, Clinton and others.

It’s unfortunate that this wave includes xenophobia, but we must agree that the nationalism is no longer petty: average Americans and Europeans and are now victims of a global corporate imperialism and radically-new digital high-finance class.

Trump is not White Trash – he is a billionaire – but Trump is clearly the first White Trash President.

Trump was elected to smash the system

This is something which White Trash has wanted to do since always.

And what does that mean?

Smashing the system is what revolution is: you chase out the rich, you retake control of the armed forces and you finally reflect the democratic will.

This is an enormously rare event, and it has only been done recently in places like Cuba, China, Iran, the USSR and a few others. This has happened in places like Burkina Faso, only to be subverted by the West. This is also something which has not been done in Western nations since 1776 for the US, 1789 for France and never in the UK.

Trump is not a revolutionary, but he could accomplish some of these WTR dreams. He could reorient US foreign policy away from imperialism; he could reorient the US from free-trade global capitalism.

The WTR is an exciting idea, but it is just a phase and not an end.

The reason Trump is destined to fail – although he is about 50/50 after six weeks in office – is that he is trying to do it from within the system and through reforms.

That is not revolution, but a coup.

Still…history is also full of coups that turned out well for the average person, mainly in places where the bar was already set quite low.

Trump receives only one mention in the book, and his presidency will probably turn out like the author wrote:

“Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, billed as a ‘seductive weave of aspiration and Darwinism,’ celebrated ruthlessness. In these and related shows, talent was secondary; untrained stars were hired to serve voyeuristic interests, in expectation that, as mediocrities, they could be relied on to exhibit the worst of human qualities: vanity, lust and greed.”

We simply cannot fairly say if Trump will finish as an object of hero worship like a Castro or as a mediocrity who was hired to serve non-White Trash interests – his actions as president will determine that.

But we must realize that what Trump has achieved is based on the strategy of not bashing White Trash and their political interests.

And what are Trash interests?

Historically that has been land, just like in every country.

In every modern, anti-imperialist revolution “land reform” has been essentially the guiding policy: USSR, Cuba, Zimbabwe – the list goes on and on.

The book proves that White Trash was systematically excluded from good land as a matter of government policy. The idea that the Frontier provided a White Trash family the ability to claim, clear and hold good farmland for generations is totally disproven. “They are blamed for living on bad land, as though they had other choices.”

Out of sight, out of mind: the most restrictive and undemocratic laws in America are zoning laws, after all.

They are still used to keep White Trash segregated: gated communities, trailer parks, congressional redistricting…all are designed to keep rich Whites away from Trash of any color.

Highways block off Black-filled urban housing projects; trailer parks are on the outskirts of town and by the factory/railroad/cattle pens/dump.

I think some White Democrats express genuine concern about Black poverty, but you never hear them utter a sentence like in this book: “Trailer trash had become America’s untouchables.”

They certainly are.

As the author demonstrates, this is because extreme White poverty has been systematically obscured and ignored in America.

White Trash has always been a huge problem and it’s gotten much bigger due to the Great Recession.

Despite the decline of individual farming, land reform is still required in America because nothing has really changed: the biggest marker of class and status is the value of the land where you live.

Just like everyone in real estate knows: “Location is everything. Location determines access to a privileged school, a safe neighborhood, infrastructural improvements, the best hospitals, the best grocery stores.”

The obvious solution is for the government to force economic integration via rent controls, to subsidize poor people to live in rich areas and to use economic redistribution to uplift poor areas.

News flash: This is what communists have already done in places like Cuba. The most run-down areas of Havana are at least the most desirable real estate as they are just steps from the water. In any capitalist city Havana’s waterfront property would instead be the most valuable and reserved for the ultra-rich.

After the Iranian revolution the government first rebuilt south Tehran, the city’s poorest area. Ahmadinejad, so derided in the West, was a rock star in rural areas but an “illegitimate president” in the richer areas of the cities.

Doesn’t that sound familiar in 2017?!

Republican France has laws for housing integration on the books but they are never properly enforced, even under the fake-Socialist Francois Hollande.

The facts are all in:

Communism leads to more stable growth and actual equality while capitalism shuns equality and widens the gaps during any downturn.

Trump, and we see this from his pro-capitalist stance, is probably only going to exacerbate this lack of justice.

Again, the WTR is just a phase, and it’s a bumpy one, but it’s better than the previous era that followed the death of the USSR, the “TINA-UCV”:

There Is No Alternative-Unstoppable Capitalist Victory.

So what is White Trash, really?

In describing NASCAR fans the author writes: “They embraced a certain species of freedom – the freedom to be a boor, out in the open and without regrets.”

Does this not perfectly describe the electoral campaign of Donald Trump? Goodbye PCR!

Sloughing that off – as it became no longer just a necessary tool but an end in itself – is indeed progress.

But here in France we just call those types of boors “the French”.

And these people are far more interesting, fun and numerous than the other French archetype: aloof, stylish (rich) and sexually sadistic…but also “cosmopolitan”, pro-EU, fundamentally pro-capitalist, anti-Le Pen but still racist because the hijab is a “prison”, etc.

The gulf between the boor and the angelic yet earthy peasant Karataev is real.

But was Karataev angelic and earthy, despite being White Trash, due to the superiority of Russian genes? Certainly not.

Karataev was so wonderful and inspirational because he was not a real person but a fictional character; but we can assume Karataev, and his author, “learned” his socialism/Christian anarchism from his culture.

Karataev would probably be proud to be called a “redneck” today, but he would not have been proud to have been called a “boor”. He’d be a fun clown at a party, yes, but that is not a boor.

This book does a great service because it investigates, redeems and promotes the historical class oppression endured by America’s White Trash.

It seems clear that Trump and Bannon do not truly idolize the hidden virtues of White Trash – they idolize King Reagan and King Croesus– but it is still too early to say for certain.

They say getting money shows who a person really is – the same probably goes for power.

It is capitalism which accuses, however: “You White Trash must raise yourself up.” It is socialism, and only socialism, which lends both the helping hand and the shield from those who will certainly try to break brotherly bonds.

Middle- and upper-class America are desperately fighting the WTR, just as they have historically always fought off White Trash demands for justice and fairness. And it is true that there is no guarantee at this date that the WTR will not descend into fascism. Certainly, many of the same xenophobic and fascist elements are similar to the 1930s.

This is partially why the demonization of Trump supporters is something which should never be tolerated by any thinking or moral person – it only fuels the climate of ignorance and anger which fascism thrives upon.

Regardless, the separate point is that this book shows that the WTR – via the empowerment of White Trash – has been decades in the making in the United States.

Fortunately, socialism is centuries in the making across the world.

(This editorial is paired with a complete book review of “White Trash”.)

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

“Most of the World is Just Collapsing in Laughter” on Claims that Russia Intervened in the US Election

By Noam Chomsky

This interview took place at the University of Arizona, before a public audience, on February 2, 2017. I thank Marvin Waterstone for arranging the event, and Professor Chomsky, who approved this transcript for publication. The interview is presented in full, with only very slight editing for style. This interview originally appeared in the journal Class, Race, and Corporate Power. – D. Gibbs

March 05, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  “DC” –  David Gibbs: The main issue on everyone’s minds is the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has emphasized the extreme danger that Trump poses, due to the augmented risk of nuclear war and uncontrolled climate change. After inauguration, the Bulletin’s metaphoric clock has been repositioned at two and a half minutes to midnight, with “midnight” signifying catastrophe. Do you agree with the Bulletin regarding the alleged dangers posed by the Trump presidency?

Noam Chomsky: One of the dangers is unquestionable. Of the two existential threats – the threats to the termination of the species basically and most other species – one of them, climate change, on that I think there’s no basis for discussion. Trump has been very inconsistent on many things; on Twitter he’s been all over the place, but some of it is very consistent. That is: Do nothing about climate change except make it worse. And he’s not just speaking for himself, but for the whole Republican Party, the whole leadership. It’s already had impact, it will have worse impact. We’ll talk about this next week, but if there are ways out of this, it’s going to be not easy.

With regard to nuclear weapons, it’s kind of hard to say. He’s said lots of things. As you mentioned, the national security experts are terrified. But they’re more terrified by his personality than by his statements. So if you read people like say Bruce Blair1 one of the leading, most sober, knowledgeable specialists, he says, look, his statements are all over the map, but his personality is frightening, he’s a complete megalomaniac. You never know how he’s going to react. When he learned for example that he’d lost the election by about three million votes, his instant reaction was insanity; you know, three to five million illegal immigrants somehow were organized in some incredible fashion to vote. On any little issue – Miss Universe, or whatever it may be – he’s completely unpredictable, he’ll go off into outer space. His guru Steve Bannon is worse, he’s much scarier. He probably knows what he’s doing.

Over the years, there’s been case after case when there were very narrow decisions that had to be made about whether to launch nuclear weapons in serious cases. What is this guy going to do if his vaunted negotiating skills fail, if somebody doesn’t do what he says? Is he going to say, “Okay we’ll nuke them? We’re done?” Remember that in any major nuclear war, the first strike destroys the country that attacks; it’s been known for years. The first strike of a major power is very likely to cause what’s called nuclear winter, leads to global famine for years and everything’s basically gone. Some survivors straggling around. Could he do it? Who knows.

Some of his comments can be interpreted as potentially reducing the threat of nuclear war. The major threat right now is right on the Russian border. Notice, not the Mexican border, the Russian border. And it’s serious. He has made various statements moving towards reducing the tensions, accommodating Russian concerns and so on. On the other hand, you have to balance that against expanding our nuclear forces, add to our so-called depleted military, which is already more powerful than the rest of the world combined; attack in Syria, send forces to Syria, start bombing. Who knows what could be next? Michael Flynn, national security advisor,2 [his reaction] to the Iranian missile test the other day was very frightening. Now the missile test is ill-advised, they shouldn’t have done it. But it’s not in violation of international law or international agreements. They shouldn’t have done it. His reaction suggested maybe we’re going to go to war in retaliation. Would they do it? If they did, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Everything could blow up.

This crazy ban on the seven states, where we can’t accept immigrants, almost every analyst points out the obvious: It just increases the threat of terror. It lays the basis for terror. It’s just like the atrocities in Abu Ghraib and Bagram and Guantanamo. They’re the most fabulous recruiting techniques for Al Qaeda and ISIS. Everyone knows it. Now, you ban not the whole Muslim world. You ban seven states, seven states that have not been responsible for a single terrorist act. Those are the seven he banned. But, you leave the ones that really are responsible, like Saudi Arabia, which is the center for propaganda and funding and so on for radical Islamic Jihadism, well you can’t touch them because of business interests, also they have oil and so on and so forth. There’s actually an article in the Washington Post, I don’t know whether it’s tongue in cheek or not, which said the criterion for being on the list of banned states is that Trump doesn’t have business interests there. Maybe. But it’s this kind of wild unpredictability, megalomania, thin-skinned craziness that really has me worried, more than his statements. Now, on the climate change there’s just nothing to say, he’s perfectly straightforward.

Gibbs: Let us turn to the role of the media in reporting alleged Russian interference in the US electoral process. Mainstream journalists have called Trump a puppet of Russia, a modern version of the Manchurian Candidate. Others have criticized the media for accepting unsubstantiated claims about Russian influence, and reporting such claims as facts. Normon Soloman and Serge Halimi, for example, stated that press reporting on this issue amounts to a mass hysteria reminiscent of the McCarthy era, while Seymour Hersh called the media reporting on Russia “outrageous.”3 What is your view of this situation? 

Chomsky: My guess is that most of the world is just collapsing in laughter. Suppose all the charges are true, I mean every single one, it is so amateurish by US standards that you can hardly even laugh. What the US does is the kind of thing I described in Italy in 1948. Case after case like that, not hacking or spreading rumors in the media; but saying look, we’re going to starve you to death or kill you or destroy you unless you vote the way we want. I mean that’s what we do.

Take the famous 9/11, let’s think about it for a minute. It was a pretty awful terrorist act. It could have been a lot worse. Now let’s suppose that instead of the plane being downed in Pennsylvania by passengers, suppose it had hit its target, which was probably the White House. Now suppose it had killed the president. Suppose that plans had been set for a military coup to take over the government. And right away, immediately 50,000 people were killed, 700,000 tortured. A bunch of economists were brought in from Afghanistan, let’s call them the “Kandahar Boys,” who very quickly destroyed the economy, and established a dictatorship which devastated the country. That would have been a lot worse than 9/11. It happened: the first 9/11, it happened on September 11, 1973, in Chile. We did it. Was that interfering or hacking a party? This record is all over the world, constantly overthrowing governments, invading, forcing people to follow what we call democracy, as in the cases I mentioned. As I say, if every charge is accurate, it’s a joke, and I’m sure half the world is collapsing in laughter about this, because people outside the United States know it. You don’t have to tell people in Chile about the first 9/11.

Gibbs: One of the surprises of the post-Cold War era is the persistence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other US-led alliances. These alliances were created during the Cold War mainly or exclusively for containing the claimed Soviet threat. In 1991, the USSR disappeared from the map, but the anti-Soviet alliance systems persisted and in fact expanded. How do we account for the persistence and expansion of NATO? What in your view is the purpose of NATO after the Cold War?

Chomsky: We have official answers to that. It’s a very interesting question, which I was planning to talk about but didn’t have time. So thanks. It’s a very interesting question. For fifty years, we heard NATO is necessary to save Western Europe from the Russian hordes, you know the slave state, stuff I was taking about. In 1990-91, no Russian hordes. Okay, what happens? Well there are actually visions of the future system that were presented. One was Gorbachev. He called for a Eurasian security system, with no military blocs. He called it a Common European Home. No military blocs, no Warsaw Pact, no NATO, with centers of power in Brussels, Moscow, Ankara, maybe Vladivostok, other places. Just an integrated security system with no conflicts.

That was one. Now the other vision was presented by George Bush, this is the “statesman,” Bush I and James Baker his secretary of state. There’s very good scholarship on this incidentally. We really know a lot about what happened, now that all the documents are out. Gorbachev said that he would agree to the unification of Germany, and even adherence of Germany to NATO, which was quite a concession, if NATO didn’t move to East Germany. And Bush and Baker promised verbally, that’s critical, verbally that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east,” which meant East Germany. Nobody was talking about anything farther at the time. They would not expand one inch to the east. Now that was a verbal promise. It was never written. NATO immediately expanded to East Germany. Gorbachev complained. He was told look, there’s nothing on paper. People didn’t actually say it but the implication was look, if you are dumb enough to take faith in a gentleman’s agreement with us, that’s your problem. NATO expanded to East Germany.

There’s very interesting work, if you want to look into it by a young scholar in Texas named Joshua Shifrinson, it appeared in International Security, which is one of the prestige journals, published by MIT.4 He goes through the documentary record very carefully and he makes a pretty convincing case that Bush and Baker were purposely deceiving Gorbachev. The scholarship has been divided on that, maybe they just weren’t clear or something. But if you read it, I think it’s quite a convincing case, that they were purposely setting it up to deceive Gorbachev.

Okay, NATO expanded to East Berlin and East Germany. Under Clinton NATO expanded further, to the former Russian satellites. In 2008 NATO formally made an offer to Ukraine to join NATO. That’s unbelievable. I mean, Ukraine is the geopolitical heartland of Russian concern, quite aside from historical connections, population and so on. Right at the beginning of all of this, serious senior statesmen, people like Kennan for example and others warned that the expansion of NATO to the east is going to cause a disaster.5 I mean, it’s like having the Warsaw Pact on the Mexican border. It’s inconceivable. And others, senior people warned about this, but policymakers didn’t care. Just go ahead.

Right now, where do we stand? Well right at the Russian border, both sides have been taking provocative actions, both sides are building up military forces. NATO forces are carrying out maneuvers hundreds of yards from the Russian border, the Russian jets are buzzing American jets. Anything could blow up in a minute. In a minute, you know. Any incident could instantly blow up. Both sides are modernizing and increasing their military systems, including nuclear systems.

So what’s the purpose of NATO? Well actually we have an official answer. It isn’t publicized much, but a couple of years ago, the secretary-general of NATO made a formal statement explaining the purpose of NATO in the post-Cold War world is to control global energy systems, pipelines, and sea lanes. That means it’s a global system and of course he didn’t say it, it’s an intervention force under US command, as we’ve seen in case after case. So that’s NATO. So what happened to the years of defending Europe from the Russian hordes? Well, you can go back to NSC-68,6 and see how serious that was. So that’s what we’re living with.

Right now the threat to our existence is Muslim terrorists from seven states, who have never had a single terrorist act. About half the population believes that. I mean you look back at American history and American culture, it’s pretty striking. I mean this has been the safest country in the world forever, and the most frightened country in the world. That’s a large part of the source of the gun culture. You have to have a gun when you go into Starbucks, because who knows what’s going to happen. It just doesn’t happen in other countries.

There’s something deeply rooted in American culture. You can pretty much identify what it was. You take a look at the history. Remember, the US is not a global power until pretty recently. It was internal conquest. You had to defend yourself against what the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, an enlightened figure, called the attacks of the “merciless Indian savages,” whose known way of warfare was torture and destruction. Jefferson wasn’t a fool. He knew that it was the merciless English savages who were carrying out these acts. That is in the Declaration of Independence, recited piously every July Ffourth, the merciless Indian savages with no reason at all were suddenly attacking us. I mean, you can imagine the reasons. That’s one. Also you had a slave population, you had to protect yourself against them. You needed guns. One consequence of that was in southern culture, possession of a gun became kind of a sign of manhood, not just because of slaves but other white men. If you had a gun, you’re not going to push me around. You know, I’m not one of those guys you can kick in the face.

There was another element, which was kind of interesting. In the mid to late nineteenth century, the gun manufacturers recognized that they had a limited market. Remember that this is a capitalist society, you’ve got to expand your market. They were selling guns to the military. That’s a pretty limited market. What about all the rest of the people? So what started was all kinds of fantastic stories about Wyatt Earp and the gunmen and the Wild West, how exciting it was to have these guys with guns defending themselves against all sorts of things.

I grew up in that, when I was a kid. My friends and I used to play cowboys and Indians. We were cowboys killing the Indians, following the Wild West stories. All of this combined into a very strange culture, which is frightened. You look at the polls today, I think half the population supports this ban on these dangerous immigrants who are going to come in and do something, who knows what. And meanwhile the countries that really have been involved in terrorism, they’re out. It’s kind of like I think it was Oklahoma banning Sharia law. Now there’s probably fifty Muslims in Oklahoma, and they have to ban Sharia law, you know. This terror which is all over the country is constantly incited. The Russians were part of NSC-68, is a dramatic case. And that case, like most propaganda wasn’t totally fabricated. The Russians were doing a lot of rotten things, you can point to them. But the idea that if you consider what Hans Morgenthau called “I called abuse ofe reality,” the picture of the world was almost the opposite of what they presented. But somehow this sells and is continually repeated, at least in this kind of situation.

Gibbs: During the Cold War, the political left generally opposed military intervention. After 1991, however, the anti-interventionist movement collapsed and in its place has emerged the idea of humanitarian interventionism, which celebrates intervention as a defense of human rights. Military actions in the Balkans, Iraq, Libya have all been presented as acts of humanitarianism, which aimed to liberate oppressed peoples, and these interventions were at least initially popular among political liberals. Proposals for augmented US intervention in Syria often invoke the humanitarian principle. What is your view of humanitarian intervention?

Chomsky: Well, I don’t quite see it like that. Now, if you look back to the anti-intervention movements, what were they? Let’s take the Vietnam War – the biggest crime since the Second World War. Those of you who are old enough will remember what happened. You couldn’t be opposed to the war for years. The mainstream liberal intellectuals were enthusiastically in support of the war. In Boston, a liberal city where I was, we literally couldn’t have a public demonstration without it being violently broken up, with the liberal press applauding, until late 1966. By that time there were hundreds of thousands of American troops rampaging in South Vietnam. South Vietnam had been practically destroyed. The leading, the most respected Vietnam historian, military historian Bernard Fall7 – he was a hawk incidentally, but he cared for the Vietnamese – he said it wasn’t clear to him whether Vietnam could survive as a historical and cultural entity under the most massive attack that any region that size had ever suffered. He was talking about South Vietnam, incidentally. By that time, we did begin to get some protests. But not from liberal intellectuals; they never opposed the war.

In fact, it’s pretty dramatic when you get to 1975, very revealing, the war ends. Everybody had to write something about the war, what it meant. And you also had polls of public opinion, and they’re dramatically different. So if you look at the writings of intellectuals, there are two kinds. One said, l“Look, if we fought harder we could have won.” You know, the stab in the back. But the others, who were way at the left, people like Anthony Lewis of the New York Times, way out in left stream, his view in 1975 was the Vietnam war began with blundering efforts to do good. But by 1969, it was clear that it was a disaster, that was too costly to us. We could not bring democracy to South Vietnam at a cost that we were willing to accept. So it was a disaster. That’ is the left extreme.

Take a look at public opinion. About 70 percent of the population, in the polls, said the war was fundamentally wrong and immoral, not a mistake. And that attitude lasted as long as polls were taken in the early ‘80s. The pollsters don’t ask reasons, they just give numbers. So why did the people think it was fundamentally wrong and immoral? The guys who ran the polls, John E. Rielly, a professor at the University of Chicago, a liberal professor, he said what that means is that people thought too many Americans had beenwere being killed. Maybe. Another possibility is they didn’t like the fact that we were carrying out the worst crime since the Second World War. But that’s so inconceivable that wasn’t even offered as a possible reason.

Now what happened in the following years? Well, I think that among the educated classes it stayed the same. You talk about humanitarian intervention, it’s like Vietnam was a humanitarian intervention. Among the public, it’s quite different. Take the Iraq War, , it’s the second worst crime after the Second World War. It’s the first time in history, in the history of imperialism, there were huge demonstrations, before the war was officially launched. Actually it was already under way. But before it was officially launched, there were huge demonstrations everywhere. I think it had an effect. The public still was split.

And [after Vietnam] the type of interventions that are carried out are designed so as not to elicit public reactions. In fact, it was stated early in the first Bush [presidency], Bush I, in one of their documents they pointed out in the future, US wars are going to be against much weaker enemies. And they have to be won quickly and decisively before a popular reaction develops. And Iif you take a look, that’s what’s done. Look at Panama, for instance, over a couple of days; and Kosovo, no American troops. You wrote a great book about it.8 But I’m not convinced that it’s different from what it was.

Gibbs: With the end of the Cold War, there has been a decline of activism in the US and elsewhere around the issue of nuclear disarmament. Once again, this state of affairs differs from the period of the Cold War, when there was a mass movement that opposed nuclear weapons – recall the Freeze movement from the 1980s — but this movement largely disappeared after 1991. The danger of nuclear war remains as high as ever, but there is little public engagement on this issue, it would seem. How would you explain the disappearance of the anti-nuclear movement?

Chomsky: Well that’s absolutely right. The peak of anti-nuclear popular activism was in the early ‘80s, when there was a huge movement. And the Reagan administration attempted decided to defuse it and partially succeeded, by presenting the illusion of Star Wars, SDI, that somehow we’re going to eliminate nuclear weapons. The Reagan administration picked up the rhetoric of the anti-nuclear movement; they said “Yyeah, you’re right.” We have to eliminate nuclear weapons. And the way we’re going to do it is by having SDI, TStar Wars, the Strategic Defense Initiative, which prevent nuclear weapons from impacting. Well, that did defuse the movement.

And whthen the Russians collapsed, and it looked like as if maybe we can reduce the nuclear tensions. And for a while they actually were reduced. There was a reduction of nuclear weaponsreally were reduced on both sides. Various steps were taken. Nowhere near enough, but some of them were taken.

On the other hand, it’s very important to understand the official position of the United States. You should read it. So in 1995, this is Clinton, a very important document came out, still classified, but large parts of it were declassified. It’s called “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence.”9 What does post-Cold War deterrence mean? Deterrence means use of nuclear weapons. This was released by the Strategic Command, which was in charge of nuclear weapons planning and running nuclear weapons. I wrote about it when it came out and have been writing about it since. . Since then, I’ve never seen a reference to it. But it is an amazing document. Here’s what it says basically: It says we have to maintain the right of first strike, the right of the first use of nuclear weapons, even against nonnuclear powers. Nuclear weapons, they point out, are really constantly used, because they cast a shadow over other military actions. In other words, when people know we are ready to use nuclear weapons, they’re going to back off if we do something aggressive. So basically, nuclear weapons are always being used.

Now that’s a point that Dan Ellsberg has made for years. He said it’s kind of like if you and I go into a grocery store to rob it, and I have a gun. The guy may give you the money in the cash register. I’m using the gun even if I don’t shoot. Well that’s nuclear weapons — essential to post-war deterrence — they cast a shadow over everything. Then, it goes on to say that we must present a national persona of being irrational and vindictive, because that’s going to terrify people. And then, they’ll back off. And this is not Trump, this is Clinton. It’s not Nixon, you know. We have to be irrational and vindictive, because that’s going to frighten people. And we have to maintain this for years. And then we’ll be able to carry out the actions that we want to carry out.

That’s our nuclear weapons strategy, as of the early post-Cold War years. And I think this is a real failure of the intellectual community, including scholarship and the media. It’s not like you had headlines all over the place. And it’s not secret, the documents are there. And I think that’s probably the right picture. You know, people talk about Nixon’s “madman theory.” We don’t really know much about that. It was in memoirs, by somebody else.10 But this is real. This is the real mad man theory. We have to be irrational and vindictive, so people don’t know what we’re up to. This is not Trump and Bannon, it’s from the Clinton era.

Gibbs: I think we have time for one more question. In popular discussion, the phrase “national security” has come to mean security against military threats almost exclusively. This narrative downgrades the significance of nonmilitary threats, such as climate change, antibiotic resistant bacteria, or viral epidemics. It would seem that there is an imbalance between perceived military threats, which receive overwhelming governmental funding and press attention on the one hand, and nonmilitary threats, which receive relatively little on the other hand. How do we account for the apparent overemphasis on military threats?

Chomsky: Well [with] military threats, you can see them actually, you can imagine it. People don’t think about it enough. But Iif you think about it for a minute, you can see that a nuclear attack could be the end of everything. These other threats are kind of slow, maybe we won’t see them next year. Maybe the science is uncertain, maybe we don’t have to worry about it. Climate change is the worst, but there’s others.

Take pandemics. There could easily be a severe pandemic. A lot of that comes from something we don’t pay much attention to: Eating meat. The meat production industry, the industrial production of meat, uses an immense amount of antibiotics. I don’t remember the exact figure, it’s probably like half the antibiotics. Well antibiotics have an effect: They lead to mutations that make them ineffective. We’re now running out of antibiotics that deal with the threat of rapidly mutating bacteria. A lot of that just comes from the meat production industry. Well, do we worry about it? Well, we ought to be. You go into a hospital now, it’s dangerous. We can get diseases that can’t be dealt with, that are moving around the hospital. A lot of that traces back to industrial meat production. These are really serious threats, all over the place.

Take something you really don’t think about: Plastics in the ocean. I mean plastics in the ocean have an enormous ecological effect. When geologists announced the beginning of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, humans destroying the environment, one of the main things they pointed to is the use of plastics in the earth. We don’t think about it, but it has a tremendous effect. But these are things you don’t see right in front of your eyes. You need to think about them a little, to see what the consequences are. It’s easy to put them aside, and the media don’t talk about them. Other things are more important. How am I going to put food on the table tomorrow? That’s what I’ve got to worry about, and so on. It’s very serious, but it’s hard to bring out the enormity of these issues, when they do not have the dramatic character of something you can show in the movies, with a nuclear weapons falling and everything disappears.

Notes

1 For the recent opinions of Princeton University nuclear weapons specialist Bruce G. Blair, see Blair, “Trump and the Nuclear Keys,” New York Times, October 12, 2016.

2 Note that Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security advisor on February 13, 2017, several days after this interview took place

3 See Solomon, “Urgent to Progressives: Stop Fueling Anti-Russia Frenzy,” Antiwar.com, December 21, 2016, http://original.antiwar.com/solomon/2016/12/20/urgent-progressives-stop-fueling-anti-russia-frenzy/; Halimi, January, 2017, ; Jeremy , “Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Reporting Russian Hacking Story,”

4?: The End of the Cold War and the US Offer to Limit NATO Expansion,” International Security 40, no. 4, 2016.

5 On George F. Kennan’s warning about the dangers of NATO expansion, see Thomas L. Friedman, “Foreign Affairs: Now a Word from X,” New York Times, May 2, 1998.

6 Here, Chomsky references the National Security Council memorandum NSC-68, one of the key documents of the Cold War. This document was the topic of Chomsky’s lecture, which preceded the interview. The document text is now fully declassified and available online. See “A Report to the National Security Council – NSC 68,” April 14, 1950, made available through the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/coldwar/documents/pdf/10-1.pdf .

7 Regarding Bernard Fall’s writings on Vietnam, see Fall, Last Reflections on a War. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967.

8 The book Chomsky references with regard to the Kosovo intervention is David N. Gibbs, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009.

9 This e full text of this declassified document is now available online. See US Department of Defense, Strategic Command, “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence,” 1995 [no exact date indicated], made available through provided by the Federation of American Scientists, Nuclear Information Project,http://www.nukestrat.com/us/stratcom/SAGessentials.PDF.

10 The idea that President Richard Nixon subscribed to a “madman” theory of international relations first appeared in the memoir by former Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman, in Haldeman and Joseph DiMona, The Ends of Power. New York: Times Books, 1978, p. 98.

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في ذكرى الوحدة :متى يزور عبد الناصر ثانيةً دمشق؟

2 آذار/ مارس 2017, 08:34م

رفعت سيد أحمد

رفعت سيد أحمد

كاتب ومفكر قومى من مصر. رئيس مركز يافا للدراسات والأبحاث القاهرة. دكتوراه فى فلسفة العلوم السياسية من جامعة القاهرة – 1987. صدر له ثلاثون مؤلفاً وموسوعة عن الإسلام السياسى والصراع العربى الصهيونى

 في ذكرى الوحدة المصرية-السورية لم يعد يفيد لطم الخدود، أو جلد الذات، واجترار الحلم، لكن ما يفيد حقاً هو استخلاص العبرة والدرس وفهمه في إطار المتغيرات الجديدة التى تعصف بالمنطقة العربية سواء من داخلها أو من خارجها، فماذا تقول دروس التجربة الرائعة وربما اليتيمة للوحدة المصرية السورية ؟

جمال عبدالناصر

جمال عبدالناصر
في مثل هذه الأيام منذ قرابة الـ 60 عاماً، وقف زعيم لم يتجاوز وقتها الأربعين ربيعاً من عمره، في قلب دمشق، ليعلن عن قيام “الجمهورية العربية المتحدة”. الزعيم الشاب بمعايير الزمن وقتها كان جمال عبدالناصر، والزمان كان يوم 22-2-1958، والحدث هو اتحاد دولتين كبيرتين هما مصر وسوريا.
الحدث الذى يسميه البعض بالتجربة، استمر ثلاث سنوات وسبعة أشهر وستة أيام، لأنه ولأهميته القومية وخطورته على أعداء الدولتين تم الانقضاض عليه بانقلاب عسكري في 28-9-1961.اليوم وفي ذكرى هذا الحدث القومي الكبير لم يعد يفيد لطم الخدود، أو جلد الذات، واجترار الحلم، لكن ما يفيد حقاً هو استخلاص العبرة والدرس وفهمه في إطار المتغيرات الجديدة التى تعصف بالمنطقة العربية سواء من داخلها أو من خارجها، فماذا تقول دروس التجربة الرائعة وربما اليتيمة للوحدة المصرية السورية؟
هذا هو السؤال الذي توجهت به فى محاضرتي إلى الحضور في الندوة الاستراتيجية المهمة التي عقدها اتحاد المحامين العرب في مقره بالقاهرة يوم الاثنين 27-2-2017، وكانت إجاباتي وتأملاتي حوله هي الآتية :
Image result for ‫في ذكرى الوحدة :متى يزور عبد الناصر ثانيةً دمشق؟‬‎
أولاً : لعل أول الدروس وأبلغها أن أي وحدةٍ عربيةٍ حقيقية، تقوم على مقاومة الكيان الصهيوني ومن خلفه الحلفاء الغربيين والخليجيين، هي الوحدة الصحيحة ولذلك لن تكون مرحب بها من قبل هؤلاء الحلفاء؛ بل هي مرفوضة ومطلوب مقاومتها حتى تسقط، وأن الأولى دائماً بالرفض والمحاربة لدى هؤلاء هو مقاومة أي تقارب بين سوريا ومصر تحديداً. هكذا تقول سطور التاريخ وتجاربه منذ إسقاط أول وحدة عربية حديثة بين مصر وسوريا في زمن عبدالناصر وشكرى القوتلي. لماذا؟ لأن هاتين الدولتين تحديداً اللتان تمتلكان الإمكانات والقدرات الاقتصادية والسياسية والبشرية والتاريخية التي تؤهلهما – إذا ما اتحدتا – لإحداث تغيير نوعي واستراتيجي في المنطقة، وهذا ما يخيف الأعداء ويفرض عليهم دوراً عاجلاً لتفكيك هكذا وحدة، ومنع قيامها مستقبلاً بكافة السبل.
ثانياً : الدرس الثاني من دروس الوحدة المصرية-السورية أن الوحدة بين الدول المهمة في وطننا العربي -وبخاصة مصر وسوريا- لا تأتي أؤكلها، ولا تصمد على البقاء، إلا بوحدة سابقة وواسعة بين قوى المجتمع الحية في كلتا الدولتين، وليس بقرارٍ رئاسي يتخذه قادة مخلصون في قامة عبدالناصر؛ لا يشك أحد خاصة اليوم بصدق ونبل مقاصدهم الوحدوية، لكن بقاء الوحدة وقوتها كان سيكون أشد متانةً لو كان قد سبقه التمهيد الشعبي الواسع بين الهيئات والقوى والفاعليات، ساعتها سيكون إسقاط الوحدة التي ستعلن لاحقاً، قراراً وفعلاً عصياً على التحقيق، وهذا درس تاريخي بليغ نحتاج إليه اليوم فى ظل إحباط التجارب الوحدوية وفشلها، لأنها قامت على الفرد وبالفرد وإلى الفرد، ولم تذهب إلى الجميع حيث الشعب هو السند والحصن العصي على الهزيمة.
ثالثاً: إن ما تتعرض له سوريا ومصر اليوم من تحدي “الإرهاب المعولم” الملتحف زيفاً باسم الدين أو “الثورة” وهما منه براء، ومن تحدي العدوان الصهيوني العلني والمستتر رغم اتفاقات السلام الزائف؛ يستدعي درس الوحدة وضرورتها، فالعدو أضحى اليوم، عدواً واحداً، وهو ما ينبغى له أن يفرض على سوريا ومصر على التوحد ثانية على أرضية مقاومة حلف دولي وإقليمي من “الأشرار” – وفق تعبيرات الرئيس المصري الحالي عبدالفتاح السيسي – والوحدة هذه المرة، لا تكون بمعسول القول أو بقراراتٍ فوقية، بل بلحمةٍ وطنيةٍ وشعبيةٍ وعسكريةٍ واسعة، لا تخضع، وهنا الأهم، لاعتبارات خليجية إقليمية تقوم على ابتزازٍ سعودي لأزمات مصر الاقتصادية لكي تمنعها من هكذا وحدة، كما هو معلوم، الأمر هنا بات يمثل تهديداً مباشراً للأمن القومي المصري الذي ارتبط تاريخياً بالأمن القومي السوري، فالتحدي الإرهابي من “داعش” وأخواتها، وتحالفهم الضمني والمسكوت عنه مع مخابرات الكيان الصهيوني، سواء تم ذلك في الجولان، حلب، حمص، أو تم في سيناء المصرية، فإنه بات يمثل منظومةً واحدة من الأعداء ومن “حلف الأشرار” وهو حلف السعودية وقطر وتركيا ليسوا بعيدين عنه ومن الخطأ الصمت عنه أو القبول به وبابتزازه المستمر مما يُشل فاعلية الأيدي المصرية ويحول مصر إلى رقمٍ صغير للغاية في معادلات القوة في الإقليم والعالم.إن تحدي الإرهاب وإسرائيل، يفرض اليوم على مصر وسوريا، إعادة تجربة الوحدة، بلغةٍ جديدةٍ وبآليات عملٍ جديدة تقوم على تحريك واسع لقوى المجتمع وللجيش الوطني في كلتا الدولتين ضد هذا الحلف الغربي–الخليجي–الصهيوني.
رابعاً: يحدثنا التاريخ أن أحد أبرز أسباب الوحدة السورية-المصرية عام 1958 هو العدوان الثلاثي
على مصر بعد معركة تأميم قناة السويس، وتحرك الشعب العربي في غالب البلاد العربية للهتاف باسم مصر وبثورة جمال عبدالناصر، وكان الشعب السوري في طليعة تلك الشعوب وكان الأكثر دعوةً إلى ضرورة الوحدة حتى لا يتكرر العدوان، وتواكب هذا السبب مع إنشاء “حلف بغداد” وزيادة الأطماع والحشود التركية العدوانية على سوريا، مما دعا مصر عبدالناصر للتحرك والوقوف وبقوة إلى جانب سوريا، اليوم يأتي ذات الأعداء ليحفزوا جيش مصر وشعبها كي يعجلوا بالوحدة، فإن لم يكن، فعلى الأقل بالتنسيق والدعم لسوريا في مواجهة هذا الحلف الجديد، الذي يقوده نفس أعداء الأمس (تركيا–إسرائيل–السعودية) ومن خلفهم واشنطن وبعض العواصم الغربية. فهل تستجيب القيادة المصرية وتنقذ نفسها قبل أن تنقذ سوريا؟
إن قتل المسيحيين الأقباط قبل أيام في العريش على أيدى تنظيم “داعش”-ولاية سيناء، كأحدث جرائم هذا التنظيم وهي جرائم قائمتها عديدة وطويلة (منذ 2011 وحتى 2017). هذه الجريمة الأخيرة ليست الأيدي والأموال القطرية والسعودية والتركية وطبعاً الإسرائيلية ببعيدةٍ عنها، وبقليلٍ من التحري الأمني والاستخباراتي الدقيق سنجد تفاصيل مثيرة ومذهلة لدور تلك الدول في سيناء، وهي ذاتها الدول التى أدمت سوريا طيلة السنوات الست الماضية؛ باسم “الربيع العربي”، وهي نفسها التي وقفت ضد الوحدة المصرية-السورية قبل ستين عاماً. إن الأمر ليس صدفةً تاريخية بل هو استراتيجيات ومصالح تعيد إنتاج نفسها؛ الأمر الذي يفرض علينا إعادة طرح السؤال: هل نترك مواجهة هذا “الإرهاب” بدون وحدة وتنسيق واسعين بين مصر وسوريا؟
خامساً: من صدف الأقدار وربما من حقائقه الثابتة أن الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، والذي ورثت قوته النووية والسياسية روسيا–بوتين، كان يقف وبقوةٍ مسانداً الوحدة المصرية-السورية عام 1958، ودعمها بالسلاح وبالسياسة وكان حليفاً لعبدالناصر وللقوى التقدمية في سوريا في ذلك الزمان، واليوم وسوريا ومصر تخوضان معركة مع “الإرهاب المعولم” تقف روسيا معهما ليس بالمساندة السياسية فحسب بل بالدعم العسكري الواسع، وهي إن شئنا الإنصاف ليست صدفةً تاريخية بل مصالح استراتيجية مشتركة فرضها وجود أعداء مشتركين لروسيا في المنطقة والعالم، شاءت الظروف أن يتواجدوا ويدعموا الإرهاب في بلادنا، فما كان من روسيا إلا أن انحازت للدولة في كلٍ من مصر وسوريا في مواجهة هذا الإرهاب .
إن هذا يدعو اليوم كل من مصر وسوريا إلى تقوية العلاقات الاستراتيجية مع روسيا وتطوير آليات الصداقة معها سياسياً واقتصادياً وشعبياً، فمعسكر الأعداء واحد، والقواسم المشتركة في مواجهته وفي بناء التقدم والنهضة، أكثر اليوم مما كانت بالأمس. وهذا أحد أبرز دروس الوحدة السورية المصرية، التي علينا أن نتذكرها ونعمل بها.
ختاماً: سبق أن كتبنا في هذا المقام دراسةً عن تاريخية العلاقات المصرية–السورية ووضعنا لها عنواناً كان هو الشطر الثاني من بيت شعر من القصيدة الأشهر لأمير الشعراء العرب أحمد شوقى والذي يقول:
“جزاكم ذو الجلال بني دمشق .. وعز الشرق أوله دمشق”.
اليوم نعيد التذكير بهذا البيت وبدلالاته المعاصرة والجديدة ونعيد التأكيد في ذكرى الوحدة المصرية-السورية أن عبدالناصر عندما وقف ليعلن الوحدة قال مازجاً بين اللغة العربية واللهجة العامية المصرية:
“إنني أشعر الآن وأنا بينكم بأسعد لحظةٍ من حياتي، فقد كنت دائماً أنظر إلى دمشق وإليكم وإلى سوريا، وأترقب اليوم الذي أقابلكم فيه والنهارده .. النهارده أزور سوريا قلب العروبة النابض، سوريا اللي حملت راية القومية العربية. سوريا اللي كانت دائماً تنادي بالقومية العربية. سوريا اللي كانت دائماً تتفاعل من عميق القلب مع العرب في كل مكان، واليوم أيها الأخوة المواطنون، حقق الله هذا الأمل، ألتقي معكم في هذا اليوم الخالد بعد أن تحققت الجمهورية العربية المتحدة “.
ولا نزيد على قول عبدالناصر لكننا نسأل: وسط هذه الأمواج العاصفة من التحديات الإرهابية والصهيونية، متى يزور عبدالناصر ثانية دمشق؟
بعبارةٍ أوضح متى تدرك “قاهرة-السيسى” أن عزها بل وعز الشرق كله أوله دمشق؟ سؤال ينتظر الإجابة.
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Video: Russian communists march to honour Red Army

Thousands of Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF)supporters marched through the centre of Moscow to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day on Thursday.

The Defender of the Fatherland Day is a nationwide holiday celebrated annually on February 23, honouring those who served in the Red Army, who defeated Nazi Germany in World War Two. It marks the date of the establishment of the Red Army in 1918.

The rally began at Strastnoi Boulevard, with protesters marching to Revolution Square, where party members and CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov addressed the crowd.

The CPRF, founded in 1993, is the second largest political party in the country after United Russia.

 

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