“NATO includes all former fascist powers in Europe” - Expert
Voice of Russia is looking into the US and NATO role in Ukraine crisis with Rick Rozoff, a US journalist covering NATO enlargement and analyst with the Canadian Independent Center for Research on Globalization.
This past Saturday, April 12th, a scheduled forum or what was actually built as teaching occurred in Chicago at a Union Hall, that of the United Electrical workers on Ashland Avenue in Chicago. And it was build through Facebook and through leaflets, and so forth. There were five of us who spoke on the various aspects of the crisis in Ukraine, in my own case, speaking about NATO military buildup in and around Ukraine over the past 15 years.
And roughly towards the end of the speakers part, before questions were posed to the speakers we could hear noises and four people entered the room, one of whom was an older man. He appeared to be in control and three younger men were of the sort that provide muscle, if you will, in situations of the sort I’m going to be describing. They had come into the building. We then heard pounding noises on the glass doors outside.
And although I didn’t see it personally, the organizer of the event and the person who provided security estimated that fifty or so Ukrainian Americans and\or Ukrainian-born extremists were attempting to break into the building and to break up the demonstration.
A friend of mine whom I told about the event subsequently told me he was outside the building and he estimated along the lines of 50 to 75 people milling around outside the building. He also saw them try to storm the building with the evident intent, at the very least, of disrupting the meeting and preventing us from discussing the crisis in Ukraine, but potentially also to inflict physical violence on both the presenters, including myself, and the attendees at the event.
This follows, incidentally, two or so weeks an attempt to march against fascism in Chicago not strictly in Ukraine, but also against the Golden Dawn, for example, in Greece. And the demonstration was held outside the Ukrainian consulate in Chicago.
And I’m told that in the neighbourhood, I was in there for that, of 300 Ukrainian Americans, the Ukrainian nationals, quite clearly, the supporters of, probably, the Fatherland Party of Yulia Timoshenko, but also Svoboda Party – the right-wing extremist party were present. And we were verbally and otherwise intimidated. They outnumbered the antifascist protesters.
So, if I may, I think we can discern a pattern emerging of using the very same sort of street thugs to intimidate, disrupt and to even physically assault people entertaining political opinions contrary to those endorsed by the neo-Nazis in Kiev and by their supporters in the West.
And in fact, this is quite similar to their conduct in Kiev.
Exactly! And most recently, I presume many of your listeners have seen the video, if they haven’t, it is posted on YouTube, of the Ukrainian presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev being physically assaulted by thugs waiting for him outside a media site, I think a television station.
And this is what we’ve seen since last November, that rowing bands of however very well organized, you know, militarily disciplined, in fact, they are operating equivalent of military commandos, which suggests they’ve received professional training – those in Kiev and, I would argue, here.
So, what we are seeing is something evocative…and I'm not saying this for rhetorical purposes, I mean this quite literally. It is something we’ve heard about in the past in Europe, say, with the Nazi brown shirts or storm troopers converging on a demonstration or on a public event and using physical violence to disrupt it. This is the appearance and this is the nature of what we are talking about both in Kiev and in Chicago.
When I’ve been talking to some Western analysts and when I was trying to make a point that Europe and the West are in fact supporting radicals and fascists, they were telling me that fascists have not been instrumental in the Ukrainian crisis. But as far as I understand they were the key instrument of producing the coup. Is it a pattern, is it a some kind of standard approach to use those radical forces to produce the radical change? But what happens to them then? In Ukraine the new authorities in Kiev are now trying to distance themselves away from those radicals. But what do you think can happen? Do you think that it is a sincere desire or is it just a pretence? And if this is sincere, do you think that the ultra rightists are going to give up?
Those are very astute and penetrating questions. And I wish they had been asked more often. A couple of matters I think we have to address. First of all, there is no question but that – the organizational spine or backbone, certainly the muscle – to use that word again – that was used to depose legally elected and internationally recognized head of state in Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
Incidentally, the presidential elections have been scheduled for only a year later, the next March. So, this coup d'état, and that’s all it is, it is a violent, bloody seizure of state power, extraconstitutional, to say the least, could not have been perpetrated but for the presence of Svoboda and youth gangs, and particularly the Right Sector, and other neo-Nazi organizations.
Prior to the event this past Saturday we were speaking about earlier, a slide show had been compiled and shown. And it had had extensive photographs of the variation of the Nazi swastika, that has become the Right Sector’s logo, plastered all over Kiev, including the city heart, the administrative center in the nation’s capital, along with the large banners of Stepan Bandera. But we also saw large banners or posters of Adolf Hitler. We saw American confederate flags flying from government buildings in Kiev.
So, for people to disingenuously suggest that this was a popular movement of peaceful and democratically-minded people and that the right-wing groups are simply peripheral of marginal is bluntly a lie. They are the very backbone, they were the very driving force of the coup d'état that occurred in February.
Now we know that the head of the Right Sector was killed by the new junta. And I agree with you “government” is too kind and certainly not an accurate term to describe the regime in Kiev right now. Junta is a much better one, given the circumstances. They have moved of course public relations wise only to dissociate themselves from the very neofascist thugs who have placed them in power.
And I’m not the only one, I’m sure, who has compared this to the Night of the Long Knives in Nazi Germany in the early 1930es, that is immediately after Hitler had used the brown shirts and other extremist elements to help gain power by intimidating the populus, he then turned on the extremist elements, evidently on the orders of his major financial backers, in part to rehabilitate the image, I suppose, of German fascism and Nazism.
And I have to say, I want to explain this in a moment, I fear this is what is going on right now, which is that on the orders of the US personnel who ordered the coup d'état, stipulated who would be heading it up after Yanukovych was deposed. I’m talking about Victoria Nuland in the first instance in the State Department, who did name Arseny Yatsenyuk as being the de facto head of state who would succeed Yanukovych weeks before the event.
I’ve no doubt that the US personnel, including the CIA Director John Brennan, who recently visited Ukraine, is giving orders to their proxies, to their clients in Kiev to clean up their image – if you will – and start removing the swastikas and the confederate flags, and the posters of Stepan Bandera, and pretend to be a democratic government.
Now, you raised another fascinating question – whether the right wing having tasted power and been given key cabinet positions, in many instances with Svoboda, and security positions with some of the neo-Nazi people are ready to go back to their caves and give up the fight. I don’t believe they are. So, what you may see is the series of civil conflicts in Ukraine, including those between the more extreme rightist elements – the neo-Naziz – in Kiev and the neo-Nazi installed nominal government of Yatsenyuk & Co. That’s one possibility.
But there is something else we have to talk about. I know in a polite society one isn’t allowed to discuss these matters, but for the sake of truth we have to. The NATO is a consortium of Western military powers, that we are aware of. It is also an aggregation of all the major colonial powers over the last 500 years, including those who divided up Africa a century and a half ago.
So, they – Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey – are members of the NATO. But NATO also includes all the former fascist powers in Europe – Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Croatia. To expect the NATO to have moral qualms about supporting fascism is I’m afraid naïve.
They’ve supported it in Croatia, starting in the early 1990es. They’ve supported the remnants of fascist elements in places like Bosnia and Kosovo. Certainly in Estonia and Latvia, who as of ten years ago became full members of the NATO, while the parades are held celebrating the SS military units and so forth.
So, looking behind the NATO’s public image, there is the stench of neofascism and to believe for a moment that the West would not use this, surreptitiously rather than publically, but nevertheless, I think is a degree of naivety we cannot afford to entertain.
It is absolutely striking what you told us about NATO. Tell me, people in the West, I mean the public sentiment, are they aware of the fascist danger?
I fear no. However, to indicate the degree to which people in the West either minimize or completely unaware of the threat of neofascism or the revival of fascism in Europe, it has to be situated within the context of the general lack of information that people in the West generally seek out. I mean, this is a tremendous paradox and maybe the greatest paradox in history that with the degree of information available to all of us through the World Wide Web, the average, even educated person in the West right now is less well informed than my father was, who only had a high school degree.
And I’m serious about this. They do not read the newspapers, they are uninformed about geography and history, and such like. I have to assume, to some degree this is by conscious intent on behalf of the government and other forces in the West to keep people, if possible, abysmally uninformed. But it also I think a moral factor with the people themselves who do not expend the energy and the time necessary to inform themselves of these matters.
But let me tell you this. We are inundated in the West with rabid Russophobia that is both indicative of the depth of the Cold War, but in some ways even worse. You know, for example, it is nothing unusual to hear and read in the US mainstream media characterizations of Russians as Russians, that if applied to any other ethnic, linguistic or racial group would be openly recognized as being racist.
For example, the Russians are inherently paranoid. The Russians have an inherent authoritarian streak that is apparently built into them constitutionally. I’ve hear in the recent weeks references to Crimea as being a Soviet Republic. Currently! I’ve heard references to the Russian military officials, alleged deployments rather in Crimea, as being those of the Red Army. And these are in established and allegedly reputable news services in the West.
So, the average American and the average westerner I think is in part in the dark of these matters, because to the degree to which they do not utilize the internet to read the foreign news reports and depend simply on their own television news or local newspapers, they are walking away with this sort of distorted misinformation.
And I think a simple answer to your question is that – no, I don’t believe most people in the West are aware of the danger’s degree to which fascism has been rehabilitated in Europe in many cases – in Belgium, in Croatia, in the Baltic states most notably, but elsewhere, in Greece now and certainly in Ukraine.