There’s someone I’ve known for a long time, who has been posting a lot of online notes lately that put up links to some historical article, accompanied by somewhat extensive (relatively speaking, for the setting) notes of their own comments, revolving around the history of World War II. Much of it has been focused specifically on Nazi Germany, and the Nazis in general. I’m not making all of it public, here, not personally identifying them and making all their notes part of something here. For background, this is somebody who is into Elder years age range, not a naïve youth, who has been a dedicated student of history throughout their life, including military history, regards themselves as very well informed about world events, and has, shall we say, been around the block. This is someone who joined the Army as a volunteer in the mid-sixties, went to Vietnam and into combat as a GI. He very likely might have continued on in a career in the Army, very likely to have gone on to become a commissioned officer.
That didn’t turn out to be the case, after he was seriously wounded one day, ending his time in combat and beginning long recuperation, eventually honorably discharged and classified as having a partial disability. His thinking changed, becoming a vocal opponent of the Vietnam adventure. In short, he is definitely not a warmonger.
One of the recent online posts was the following link, and below the link, I’m quoting an excerpt from his comments, a particular section that has some serious problems.
The other man is the son of the Gauleiter of Poland’s General Gouvernamont. Hans Frank. As a major Nazi player, Frank was tried in the central trials at Nuremburg, judged guilty, and hanged. His son has no doubt of his complicity and guilt. He has befriend Horst,but as the film goes on … he finally denounces him as a Nazi. When Horst arrives at the village in Ukraine where the killing took place, he is greeted as the son of the “savior” of Ukrainians. By, of course, driving out the Jews, communists, Russians, etc. At that point, he is a person of high interest and respect. At that point, we see the evil of Nazism emerge. He is proud to be photographed with these Ukrainians who were part of the “Final Solution” by choice. The Russians under Stalin treated the Ukrainians horribly, BEFORE the WAR. Now, Putin treats them nearly as bad.
The most specific problem there is the statement about “Now, Putin treats them nearly as bad”. For some time, I have personally tried to shed a little light on what has been happening in Ukraine, and the accompanying political lunacy, for the man, while he has clearly bought in completely to the narratives of fiction and gross nonsense about it, along with the occasional statement saying that the current Russian president is just like Stalin, maybe Stalin and Hitler in one, out to recreate the Soviet Union and take over the world, or at least eastern Europe, completely at odds with reality.
As an extra twist, he has been an earnest advocate of the idea that Hillary Clinton should be President of the United States, which was also the case in 2008. Somehow, he seems blind to the reality that Mrs. Clinton is, as much as anybody, a hardcore member of the neocon club, a “neoconservative” imperial warmonger (as much as that phrase might sound like hyperbole, it fits exactly). The man involved here obviously shares a common form of blindness edging into delusion, which is an idea that “the neocons, that’s a Republican thing”, and Hillary Clinton could not possibly be a neocon because, after all, she puts a “D” next to her name.
As I pointed out in my response that I’m including here, a prime player in what has happened in Ukraine is Victoria Nuland, an appointee of Secretary of State Clinton, and one item I left out in the following, that should be added, is Nuland’s previous job resume item of being a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
My note that I posted as a response is as follows, with some minor edits where I had split things up into smaller parts, and replacing the name of the person I addressed with an initial.
I was reading with interest until I got to a bit in the middle, and smacked into something really wrong. The bit about “The Russians under Stalin treated the Ukrainians horribly, BEFORE the WAR. Now, Putin treats them nearly as bad.”.
Seriously, J, for a guy with as much historical study behind you as you have and so much interest in current affairs, you NEED to do some research and get this right. I’ve tried to tell you before.
Unfortunately, and this is potential BIG trouble, the picture has been COMPLETELY distorted, just flat out wrong, about what has happened in Ukraine, thanks to the neocon bunch, because it fits their plans to, for one thing, build this whole narrative of a kind of cult of negative personality about Putin, personally, as some kind of Bond movie villain (which is a whole stupid thing of its own, because it hasn’t been about HIM), and the Russians in general. Partially because the whole neocon thing has been about them literally ruling the world, with any obstacles to that being a “threat”. That means any government in the world not obedient to them. We’ve been seeing this for years. Now, it’s Russia, and “Assad must go” “regime change” in Syria. Iraq… Libya…
[note- I forgot Iran proclaimed as another evil threat, with constant howling to go attack the country.]
Remember how, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia was deemed alright again, since all the problems of the USSR conflict was gone, and then, suddenly, it was different, just a few years ago? The neocons had plans to attack Syria, and Russia got in the way and diffused that. (Which is a whole other problem… that was SUPPOSEDLY about “Assad crossed the Red Line and used poison gas weapons on his own people”… except… he DIDN’T. Don’t believe that, if you insist, but not without reading the article by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh did about it.
So, suddenly, Russia, Putin, personally, are the new villains again. Not because they’re any threat, to anybody. Because they got in the way.
So, what happened in Ukraine?
There is a big cultural split in Ukraine. The north/west dominated by loads of people we might call “ultra-right-wing Ukrainian nationalists”, including honest to god NAZIS. Call them “neo-Nazis” if you like. These are people who are essentially the same culture as the people who supported Nazi Germany during World War II, even as Ukraine was part of the USSR. This is crucial to understand. THEY NEVER WENT AWAY.
They hate Russia, they hate Russians, they hate all things Russian, they hate that Ukraine was long a part of Russia, and they also seem to hate all the Usual Suspects that Nazis hate. I can point you to gobs of detailed examinations of these goons. I’ve already tried. You blew it off as “Russian propaganda” or “stuff from the Ultra-Left”, or whatever the hell it was, and I still don’t know if you even looked at any of it.
There are photos of people like John McCain and Victoria Nuland posing with them and glad-handing these bastards. Before the coup that we were told, well, all kinds of sheer bullshit about.
Enter Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. Wife of Robert Kagan, neocon leader and co-founder of the now (officially) defunct Project for The New American Century. Know those guys? Remember the Wolfowitz doctrine? Also, an ugly twist you might not want to face, an appointee of Secretary of State Clinton, and also likely Secretary of State for President Hillary Clinton, if that’s what we get… which is a whole can of worms of its own.
The infamous “fuck the EU!” comment phone call was between Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, discussing who to install as new leaders of Ukraine after the coup that was about to happen A FEW WEEKS LATER.
However Nuland and the neocon crew thought they might manage a new vassal state puppet regime in Ukraine, what happened was a whole bunch of the Nazi bunch took power, big power, and part of the game was launching forth militias and paramilitary gangs that probably could be best compared to the German SA.
So, what did they do? These goons went after people in the southern areas of Ukraine, and Crimea. Crimea was a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine, that had been part of Russia until 1954, when Ukraine and Russia were both part of the USSR, when Khrushchev made a gift of Crimea to Ukraine. The USSR split, Crimea was part of Ukraine. The Russians still had the Black Sea naval base there that apparently has been there, like, two centuries. After the Soviet breakup, it became Russian Navy again under a long term agreement. Crimea is evidently a predominantly Russia area culturally. (Like I said at the top.) The neo-Nazi goons went after people in southern Ukraine, anybody they saw as “Russian” or “Russian sympathizers”, and they were brutal.
IN the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, they MASSACRED people, including an incident when they barricaded people inside a building and SET THE BUILDING ON FIRE, burning trapped people alive. (Anybody managing to escape was quickly murdered on the street.)
In Crimea, there were similar horrors, terrifying people there, what some would call a “pogrom”. There was also the Russian naval base, and a large force protecting it. This is one topic where the actual truth has been buried. There was no “Russian invasion and seizure of Crimea”. Seeing what was happening, the Russians apparently realized immediately that their naval base was in real danger (which also gets us into what the Washington neocons wanted), their only naval base on the Black Sea to defend Russian coastline. They moved to secure things, and this gets into more confused narratives because of misinformation propaganda, about “little green men” and “Russian invasion”… evidently part of it was the Russian military trying to quietly move to secure the area and not want to play into bullshit about “see! see Russian invasion! they’re attacking poor little Ukraine!”, and part of it was also other factors; Ukrainian military who saw what was happening and realized their own government was taken over and attacking THEIR people, basically turned on them, and they joined in with the Russians, and older ex military guys who were basically the same story, joining in.
The Crimean parliament called a referendum, and every report on the vote showed over 80% turnout and over 90% voting to separate from Ukraine and the new regime seizing power (why should be apparent), and rejoin Russia. So, among other things, they immediately got Russian military protection.
(I can direct you to reading about what people there thought before the coup, as the coup was happening, and the aftermath of what they think of being Russia again now.)
But there’s much more.
The new regime taking over Ukraine also threatened the eastern provinces of Ukraine, again, predominantly Russian in essence, who also were massive supporters of the democratically elected and then overthrown Yanukovych (who, apparently, was also a corrupt rat bastard). They flat out refused to accept the new coup regime, declared themselves independent little states, and were promptly attacked by the Ukrainian military under orders from the new Kiev junta. (Which brings up more stories, where many Ukrainian soldiers were not happy about this, and being ordered to destroy OTHER UKRAINIANS, with surrendering forces, desertion, young men leaving the country before they could be drafted for this horror…) Now, one result of that apparently is that because the Ukrainian regular army was not quite up to plan because of that sort of thing, the hardcore Nazi types charged in, both in their own units, and with others taking command in high ranks of the regular army.
These people in the east have been under attack like this on and off ever since. They have fought back, literally fighting for their lives and homes, apparently a mix of Ukrainian army who split, and seized weaponry, including weapons and supplies from surrendering or deserting Ukrainian army, and more ex military or civilians joining in. Another key note, this is where we get more bullshit about “Russian invasion” where there WAS NONE.
So ever since, we’ve been hearing complete fiction about all of it, “Russian invasion and seizure of Crimea” and how those nasty Russians (or Putin PERSONALLY) took it, and should give it right back (oh, and your naval base too), for “freedom and democracy and self-determination”, completely ignoring democracy in Crimea where people then, and still, overwhelmingly CHOSE what there is now, and know they would have deadly trouble if they were “given back”.
There is still ongoing noise in DC about “providing ‘defensive weapons’ to Ukraine”, for “their war with Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine”, which has nothing to do with DEFENSE of poor little underdog freedom-loving Ukraine… it’s to supply the new gang in power in Ukraine for a civil war to either destroy, or drive into exile, all “Russian element” in the east (which seems to be pretty much everybody except those who have moved in from the west) and take control of those eastern provinces who want nothing to do with them. (more…)
So to wrap this up, the line about how Putin, personally, that evil bogeyman, is being mean to Ukrainians or something, is complete fiction, literally simple bombardment of propaganda, and, again, loads of people doing honest journalism have been covering it all extensively, with a lot more detailed hard information than what we get for “news” from Washington (“Russian aggression!” “Russia invasion!”). So there’s that.
But maybe more to the point in context here, is, with all of this having happened, and still happening, what we have is not just that we have people in power trying hard to start World War III over non-existent “Russian aggression”, bad enough as it is, but that for the first time since World War II, there is a government in power in Europe with people in HIGH dominant positions of power who are ACTUAL… FUCKING… NAZIS. Even worse, “we” (not that you or I had any say in it) HELPED PUT THEM THERE.
Please get this straight. This is not trivial.