Sputnik reported Monday that leading figures from Ukraine’s Azov Battalion and Right Sektor ultra-nationalist groups, responsible for forming the militant backbone of the 2014 coup d’etat and attacking trade unionists, LGBTQ people, ethnic Russians and Jews and a host of other minorities, had bragged online about their recent trip to Hong Kong to express their solidarity with the anti-Beijing struggle.
The swastika-tattooed militants posed in front of the wrecked Hong Kong Polytechnic University in apparel from the “Gonor” hooligan group some of them helped found, while groups online provided cover for the visit by claiming they had renounced their extremist beliefs and paramilitary activities.
“This is not about disenfranchised or disgruntled youth. This really is about ethnic separatism, ethnic extremism, ethnic terrorism,” peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia KJ Noh told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Tuesday about the core question of the Hong Kong protests.
“I think it’s incumbent on the United States to think deeply whether it really wants to go down that route and whether it really wants to escalate to the point of war. Because this is what we’re facing right now.”
“This is a virulent, neo-Nazi, paramilitary hate group. I mean, they’re really paramilitary shock troops, and I mean we know, it’s well-established, they committed war crimes and torture, including the burning to death of 42 people in Odessa. These are well-known SS tactics, from which they actually get their insignia and their inspiration,” Noh told Sputnik, noting their similiarities to Nazi Germany’s hardcore paramilitary group, the Schutzstaffel.
“This is hardly surprising, because the Hong Kong riots already had the markers of racist, fascist terrorism. You know that, you see that by the hate crimes that were committed, but especially, we’ve talked about it before on this show, on Hong Kong University on September 18, the students were celebrating the Mukden, which is like celebrating or glorifying the Holocaust,” Noh said of the 1931 Mukden Incident used by the Japanese Kwantung Army as an excuse to invade northeastern China.
“There have been Pepe the Frog memes; the protesters liberally use the word ‘Shina,’ which is a kind of genocidal, fascist terminology that the Japanese fascists used when they were killing off the Chinese,” he explained. “And of course we see this in the beating and the torturing and killing of innocent bystanders, Mandarin-speakers, all the race-baiting propaganda.”
“You know, the anthem, ‘Glory to Hong Kong,’ is a take-off of ‘Glory to Ukraine.’ And of course one of the leaders, Joshua Wong, sees the Ukraine as a model of liberation. Apparently nobody told him that Ukraine ranks 114th on the Human Freedom Index, and Hong Kong ranks third.”
“But again, as you said, the mere fact that they can enter this country is a validation of Hong Kong’s free, non-interfering system. These neo-Nazis have been banned almost everywhere else; they cannot enter most countries,” Noh told host John Kiriakou.
“What they’ve been doing so far, what they’ve been posting, they’ve been posting pictures of themselves in front of the trashed and destroyed sites that the Hong Kong rioters have destroyed, and they’ve been parading and prancing around and mentioning their solidarity” with the protesters’ struggle, he noted. “Just the mere fact of their presence is an incredible statement … a kind of brazen flaunting of extreme right hatred.”
Noh said US President Donald Trump didn’t want to sign the pair of pro-Hong Kong protester bills passed by Congress late last month, noting that he did so with a signing statement that only promises he will adhere to certain provisions of the bill that don’t interfere with the president’s constitutional authority.
“It has essentially torpedoed the trade negotiations for now,” Noh said, noting that new tariffs will soon enter effect on December 15, only worsening the global economic situation.
“Deeper and beneath” Trump’s immediate protectionist economic concerns are those of the “national security state,” which is populated with “anti-China hawks who only want to escalate the confrontation with China as much as possible,” Noh told Sputnik.
“This is just one part of a larger coordinated system of hybrid warfare” involving both legislative measures and “soft coup activities set up to delegitimize China in every aspect and to take this really into a battle footing,” he said. “This kind of antagonism with China has been war-gamed-out, and we can expect that it will get just fiercer and stronger.”
“And the key thing that we also have to watch out for is in times of war, we know that the first casualty is truth, so we can expect the information warfare to really increase as well.”