Ukraine is showing elements of forgetting the lessons of history

Photo by Sergei Supinsky/Getty: Nazi Ukraine-based Azov Battalion

Contributed by Joe Montero

Though the 1920’s and 1930’s fascism grew to a scourge in Europe and other places. Its financiers were the super-rich in Europe and the United States. One example was Henry Ford, who is said to have kept a picture of the German Fuhrer on his desk. Adolf Hitler was reputed to have a picture of Henry Ford on his desk. Ford didn’t stop here. He used his newspaper The Independent to spread Nazi views and was active in the American Nazi movement. He wasn’t alone.

Australia had the New Guard, with its own connections to our local toff society.

There are some parallels between then and what has today led to conflict in Ukraine, and the rise of Nazism as one of the major factors in that conflict.

It was what was called the Spanish Civil War that showed how far western governments would go to provide fascist movements with weapons, financial, and political support. The war in Spain was a rebellion launched against an elected government by a section of the military, the fascist Falangist political organisation, and militarily backed by the Third Reich and Fascist Italy under Mussolini. The United Kingdom, United States, and some other western countries, imposed sanctions on the Spanish government, locked it out of international trade, and gave logistical support to the fascists. The French government had been bankrolling the Falangists.  

All this was unofficial and seen as necessary to prevent the Bolshevisation of Spain and for the defence of the freedom and democracy of western civilisation.

All this was unofficial and seen as necessary to prevent the Bolshevisation of Spain and for the defence of the freedom and democracy of western civilisation. The elected Republican government of the day was led by typically European style social democratic party. What other governments and the super-rich were afraid of, was that  in the wake of the Great Depression, a crisis undermining the legitimacy of capitalism, which hit Spain particularly hard, the population might ask for too much.

Those who experienced the barbarity learned that despite positioning themselves as the defenders of freedom and democracy, the elite holding the real power, will not hesitate to use the jackboot to defend its power.

Spain proved to be the first battle of the Second World War. The west had unleashed a monster that came to bight the hand that had fed it.

Perhaps not yet as sharply as the last time, economic decline, the reducing legitimacy of political leadership is on the rise again. The powers that once ruled the world through their empires, spheres of influence, and control over the global financial system, are under challenge and once more turning to the use of fascism.

It begun with the dismemberment of Yugoslavia when Bill Clinton was in the White House. Differences were degenerated into war. First here was the use of the Nazi Ustasha, recruited and trained from the émigré population in other countries to turn diplomacy into a shooting war. There was even a training camp in Australia at the Dandenongs, near Melbourne, where the Australian army did the training. This was exposed on television.

The Taliban and al Qaeda, previously trained ands supplied by the United States in Afghanistan, and who share some of the characteristics of the western fascist movements, were brought into Bosnia to attack the Serbian population and create another war front. Together, these operations increased instability and created the cover for military intervention.

Bill Clinton mourns dead Al Qaeda jihadists, Bosnia 1993

The result was a tragedy for all but the foreign interventionists.

In Europe, the elite began to nurture organisations and movements of the far right. Wall Street financed the rise of what became the movement behind Donald Trump, and in Australia the rise of Pauline Hanson and the shift of the traditional conservatism of the LNP towards the radical right.

But at the points of the most acute tensions on the planet, it is the more openly fascist and race supremacist movements that have been favoured.

It is no accident that they now enjoy the funds to widely spread their toxic views online. It is no accident that big media now puts into headlines what only people with a swastika armband would have dared only a few years ago.

Nor should it be a surprise that so many people have accepted what they are being told. Even parts of the political left have jumped on the bandwagon, accepting the lead of the elite, notions of western exceptualism, and turned themselves into cheerleaders for foreign intervention, so long as it’s the western powers doing it.

We have been down this road before. It led to the Frist world War. It led to the rise of fascism that ended in the Second World War. The lesson about where this leads us has been lost and the world is repeating the same mistake.

Members of Nazi, Neo Nazi, and White Supremacist groups have gone to Ukraine and many more are lining up to follow – to fight for freedom. Our nice liberal leftists and self-nominated defenders of all that is decent choose to ignore this. How can you claim to be the real defenders of freedom, while becoming a de-facto apologist for these outfits?

Some find this type of political stupidity hard to understand. But to be fair, it’s not so easy to escape the influence of the prevailing atmosphere, and going along with the new cold war, where anything that doesn’t fit in with the narrative of the elite is a fiction created by the enemy, is the comfortable line of least resistance.

The stupid brigade can’t see that they are complicit in defending western supremacy or that one of the outcomes will be the creation of battle experienced Nazi, Neo Nazi, and White Supremacists, returning home to spread their poison.

This is the stupidity that led some to unquestioningly cheer the invasion of Iraq over a lie. Their predecessors cheered the call to kill the Hun and marched off to war. When it comes to the crunch, these are people who can be manipulated, at least, until the truth comes out and can’t ignore it any longer.

Those who pull the strings are experienced marketers and know that people will accept anything, so long as it blankets all news and is said often enough. This is the bread and butter of the marketing industry. And they are at their best when beating the drums of war.

Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters: Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has been a leading legitimiser of the fascist view of the world

Ukraine has taken this to another level. Censorship in the West, including Australia, has reached a scale not seen for a very long time. Only one story is allowed. Russia is bad and Putin is the demon at the head. Anything else is blocked out and Big Brother is watching critics more than ever. The militarisation of society will be ratcheted up as more resources are commandeered for a war footing.

The elite in our countries don’t want to secure a peace in Ukraine. They want war to extend their own control and have provoked Russia all along.

Even a year ago, Russia pleaded, yet again, for talks aimed at demilitarising and removing nuclear weapons from the border regions and for an end to the support, mainly by the United States and British governments of the Nazi movement in Ukraine. Both were ignored. NATO’s military expansion near Russia’s and growing nuclear threat continued.

Western support for the Nazi Azov Brigade Battalion led to attacks on the ethnic population and an armed coup in 2014. This led to the breakaway of Russian majority regions, led by the political left. Over 8 years, Azov’s brutal attacks on Russians continued with impunity.

The United States led the west to break the Minsk agreement designed to provide a road out of conflict, despite having agreed to them in the first place.

Russia did finally invade. Their strategy is fraught with danger, which can easily escalate out of control. Whatever one’s views on this, stopping the guns must be the priority.

It is clear enough that Russia’s intention is not to take Ukraine. The reason for saying this is that Russia has the firepower to do so overnight and has chosen to use it. Instead, the concentration has been on extending buffer zones around the break-away regions and firing just enough to push Ukraine’s government into peace talks and compromise.

These talks have begun, even if the west shows little enthusiasm for them. They are real and the best hope for achieving a ceasefire. But this will only be assured through the removal of Russian troops, together with a pull back of NATO, the recognition of the independence of the break-away regions, and de-Nazification of Ukraine.

This is a package that will allow both sides the way to avoid an even greater disaster, and to remove the threat of a war that might embroil the world.

The one thing we must be clear on, is that the western elite of the western powers do not want peace. They want to continue the surrogate war. The only possible counter to this is the rise of an anti-war movement that fights for the rights of all peoples and is explicitly anti-fascist in character.

3 Comments on "Ukraine is showing elements of forgetting the lessons of history"

  1. Linda Miller | 23 March 2022 at 1:01 am | Reply

    Your “package” echoes the view of former Deputy PM Julie Bishop! Your sarcastic abuse of the ‘nice liberal leftists’ for de facto supporting of fascists looks alarmingly like de facto support of Putin. On one hand you say our elite don’t want peace, yet accuse the majority of the people who, like you, are anti-war, anti-fascist, and want peace, of stupidly ‘going along with the new cold war’. I have to wonder what side you are on when you say “It is clear enough that Russia’s intention is not to take Ukraine. The reason for saying this is that Russia has the firepower to do so overnight and has (sic) chosen to use it”. You are mistaken to say Putin is “firing just enough to push Ukraine’s government into peace talks”. (Fucking for chastity.) Comrade I know you will regard me as stupid, backward and bamboozled, but I support the united front, including the tiny number of fascist nationalists, against Russian fascist aggression. Am I mistaken in believing that in the time of ‘superpower contention’ you regarded “soviet”/Russian imperialism as the greater enemy? In the present conflict it still is.

  2. Linda. There are some misrepresentations in your comment. There is no accusation of the majority who are anti-war, anti-fascist, and want peace. There is criticism of those suppose leftists who claim to be against imperialism but once again come out as its champions, who choose to neglect the history and cover up the role of a Nazi movement. They cover up that this the is a war that has been going on for 8 years and directed against the Russian ethnic population, funded and martialled through Washington. Russia came in at the last phase, After years of warning that continued aggressive NATO expansion and the demand on the ethnic Russian population for support. would force a response. The problem is politics by slogan rather than a careful examination of what is really going on on the ground. Ukraine is now split into one part under the control of a US puppet regime with a Nazi arm and the emerging left-wing peoples republics that have declared their independence and those that will soon do so in the south. last words. It is the US that has deployed military around the world and engaged in many acts of aggression against other nations. It is dominant in the global financial system and absorbs other economies. It threatens was on various fronts

  3. Linda Miller | 24 March 2022 at 12:53 am | Reply

    Thank you Joe. I should have stated that I agree with most of your analysis. Nor could I disagree with your additional ‘last wordsl’ on US aggression. But I remain opposed to what appears to me to be more of an invasion by Russia, than support for the Russian speaking regions.

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