Bulletin N° 606
Subject: ON THE EFFECTS OF ILLUSIONS AND OPTICAL ILLUSIONS ON THE HUMAN MIND FOR POLICING ‘THE NEW WORLD ORDER’.
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The recent murder of a homeless man by the Albuquerque police, which was filmed by a police camera, has caused considerable alarm throughout the United States over the possibility that a police state has emerged right under our noses, where police can violate human rights in front of cameras with impunity. This Nazi-like execution by police officers of an unarmed poor person is unfortunately not unusual in the United States. The police are not always under executive control, and powerful police fraternities organized into a continental network are truly a danger to civil society and to human rights.
We might have expected that the existing fascist political economy –where most of the conditions of production and distribution of goods and services is under the control of authoritarian management— would give rise to a militarized police state where local paramilitary groups can act out their frustrations against scapegoats with impunity. Such acts are sure to be encouraged as a desired alternative to the emergence of organized social forces in civil society, aiming to replace private ownership of authoritarian capitalist institutions with real people’s power that would make policy democratically for social well-being and not for private profits. In George Orwell’s instructive book, Homage to Catalonia, we see the will, if not the ability, of civil society to create such a system of planned economy during the fight against fascism in Spain.
In leiu of such efforts, we today are saturated with illusion which defeat us before we even begin to think about our true needs and about forming a different kind of society. [See the seduction by the masters of illusion, creating virtual realities, practically custom made for each one of us, offering escape from the pain of real life which we know all too well. Ultimate Optical Illusions Compilation 2014! = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDq9_ORp-c]
The 12 items below suggest that the multiple worldwide crises today are converging into the crystallization of an international police state, where advanced technology has been designed to control populations through fears, compensations, and/or illusions. We encourage CEIMSA readers to think about the paradoxes in their lives, and to reject the manipulations that have isolated and paralyzed them into believing that being ‘normal’ is being safe & secure. We join Erving Goffman in asking ourselves: When we are normal, against whom are we actually acting normal? [This paradox is discussed in his book, Stigma (1963).]
Item A. is an exchange between Richard Greeman, director of the International Victor Serge Foundation and David Hookes, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Computer Science at Liverpool University, discussing tactics and strategies within the National Security State.
Item B., from an anonymous source, is a brief description and a review of Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer’s book, Brave New World Order (1992), describing the modalities of building of a police state in North America and beyond.
Item D., from Information Clearing House, is an article by Ray on the of 21st-century version of ‘Democracy in America.’
Item E., from The Real News Network, is a report by the renowned economist Bill Black, discussing the monopoly power of transnational banks and their secret war on wage rates in the European Union and elsewhere.
Item F., from Michael Parenti, author of Democracy for the Few, is an article on Ukraine and democracy in Crimea.
Item G., from Professor Edward Herman, is an article by Paul Rosenberg on the history of 7 decades of US collaboration with European Fascism in Ukraine.
from Garance Upham, is an article by Zachary Zeck, ‘Why Did BRICS Back Russia On
Item J. is an audio interview on Electronic Politics with US Historian Staughton Lynd, speaking with George Kenney about the history and the future of social change in the US.
Item K., from The Real News Network, is a report by Mark Weisbrot, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., reporting on his recent trip to Venezuela.
Item L., from Grenoble graduate student Aïda Diop, is the English film version of Michel Ende’s famous novel, MOMO (1973), a children’s story of the thieves of time.
And finally we invite CEIMSA readers to view a Bill Moyers classic (1987) in which he exposes the inner workings of the secret government --even more relevant today!
Professor of American Studies
University of Grenoble-3
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
From Richard Greeman & David Hookes :
Dates: 3 & 4 April 2014
Subject: The NSA, the FBI, and Tactics and Strategies for Whose ‘New World Order’?
An Open Exchange Between Richard Greeman and David Hookes
From: Richard Greeman [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 03 April 2014 00:59
Subject: NSA and FBI: Their Bite is Worse than their Bark by Richard Greeman
Glenn Greenwald’s discovery that the FBI and other U.S. secret police agencies are now using the Internet to play the same ‘dirty tricks’ tactics to discredit, subvert and incriminate targeted individuals and radical organizations as they did in the Sixties through COINTELPRO, comes as no surprise to me. The difference today is that back then they would send a human ‘investigator’ to talk to your boss and get you fired, whereas now they can ruin you on Facebook. Nor, as an activist from the J. Edgar Hoover era whose phone was tapped and mail opened as far back as the Fifties, am I particularly appalled that the NSA is collecting trillions of random emails and phone conversations every day from just about everyone on the planet.
In the first place, these indiscriminate intrusions have universally discredited the U.S. so-called ‘intelligence community,’ bring protests from Angel Merkel to Jimmy Carter. And in the second place, how will theses bozos ever find the subversive needle in that humongous digital haystack of Mega-Mega-Megabytes stored in that giant new complex out in Utah (?) Especially since they don’t have people competent in foreign languages to interpret them any more? One is again reminded that ‘military intelligence’ is to intelligence as military music is to music.
Don’t blame the Net.
Nonetheless, all this electronic surveillance has given the Internet a bad name and encouraged digital paranoia on the Left. However, the adaptation of classic forms of police provocation to the 21st century digital world do not discredit the Internet or social media per se -- any more than the wire-tapping and steaming-open of envelopes discredited the telephone or the post office. On the contrary, Ben Franklin’s creation of the Colonial Post Office allowed the American Committees of Correspondence to organize the revolution, and it was the Internet that allowed our 21st Century patriots and heroes Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden to turn the tables on the imperialist security establishment by hacking their dirty secrets and then publicizing them where the whole world could see! (Why the military bozos let Privates -- even First Class -- like Manning have access to all that secret information beats me. Did I already mention that ‘military intelligence’ is to intelligence as military music is to music?)
So if we look at the Internet as a weapon in the class struggle, it has clearly been more useful to the watchdogs of the 99% than to the police dogs of the 1%. Speaking of the 99%, let’s not forget that Occupy and the Arab Spring would not have been possible without the Internet and social media. The proof of their advantage to the 99% is obvious in the fear the Internet inspires in the Chinese police state and in the fury with which the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has gone after Twitter and Facebook.
Spy Hysteria a Distraction.
In any case, all this hullabaloo about electronic spying by the national security state is to me a distraction from the real danger: the actual, physical police state violence being unleashed day after day on an unprecedented scale in the U.S. and around the world. This is the story that should be on page one, the real totalitarian threat. No one seems to have noticed that local and state police departments in the U.S. have now been thoroughly militarized and supplied with combat weapons, up to and including drones, to use on civilians. Alabama’s Bull Conner with his water canon and snapping police dogs were nothing compared to the souped-up near-leathal forms of pepper-spray, tear gas and percussion bombs are now routinely used for ‘crowd control.’ And like kids with a new toy, the cops love to use them -- even when there is no threat -- for example against peaceful students sitting down on the college lawn.
Moreover, forms of civil disobedience that used to be sanctioned by fines or by a few days or weeks in jail are now treated as acts of ‘terrorism’ and punished by long prison terms. Indeed, since the FBI has apparently run out of Moslems dumb enough to be entrapped in phony terrorist ‘conspiracies’, they have invented a new crime called ‘ecoterrorism’ in order to send to prison for decades green and animal rights activists guilty of nothing more than trespassing and/or sabotage (for example Marie Mason, 46-year-old mother of two, sentenced to 22 years for trashing an OGM lab at Michigan State). So ‘Green is the new Red’, and the mass demonstrations that we in the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements got away with in the Sixties would probably be repressed by brutal military force and harsh sentences today – if they ever could break out the police-ringed ghettos designated as ‘free speech zones.’
Spy and Punish.
‘Spy and Punish’ (Surveille et Punir) not ‘Discipline and Punish’ was the actual title of Michel Foucault’s famous 1975 book on the modern prison with its ‘panopticon’ total surveillance and isolated solitary cells -- a combination designed to produce maximum control of the population. Today’s combination of universal state surveillance with militarized policing and massive incarceration has the same totalitarian aim on the level of the society at large. Will it succeed? As we have seen, the massive and indiscriminate quality of NSA electronic spying has arguably undermined its usefulness to the state by discrediting the government and rendering marginal the chances of retrieving useful information in real time. Similarly, one is tempted to argue that the massive and indiscriminate quality of state violence, punishing the ‘innocent’ along with the ‘guilty,’ may also be counterproductive.
A long-suppressed U.S. government report now reveals what the government must always have known: that the use of torture has foiled no plots and fingered no high-level ‘terrorists,’ although it has sharply curtailed favorable opinion of the U.S. among people around the world. Guantanamo remains a glaringly visible cancer on American ‘democracy,’ yet the U.S. won’t close it. Meanwhile, Obama’s inhuman policy of indiscriminate assassination-by-drone on the basis of profiling, with its inevitable civilian casualties, has certainly done more to recruit new fighters to Al Queda than a thousand fanatical Islamic preachers. U.S. imperialism is visibly losing both the ‘war for the hearts and minds of men (sic)’ and the ‘war on terror,’ and its ‘victories’ in Iraq and Afghanistan have left nothing but ruin and resentment in their wake. Nearly a century ago, during the Russian Revolution, a former prisoner named Victor Serge was put in charge the archives of the Czarist secret police, the dreaded Okhrana, which had fallen into the hands of the revolutionaries. He discovered that all the revolutionary groups, including Lenin’s Bolshevik underground, were thoroughly riddled with double agents. However, rather than turning paranoid, Serge concluded that the Czar’s all-knowing Okhrana and vast Siberian prison system were ultimately impotent – unable to defend an indefensible, decadent empire based on extreme social inequality. His little book What Everyone Should Know About State Repression is still worth reading, and includes ‘simple rules for activists’ (like don’t conspire on the phone).
Their Power and Ours.
Which brings us back to the Internet and social media. Faced with today’s vast concentration of police-state violence directed against dissident individuals and organizations, the only way we of the 99% can ever fight back is to come together in such great numbers and with such speed that we are literally able to overwhelm the forces of repression. Only tactics like flash-mobs, mass sit-down strikes and other large-scale outpourings of popular indignation can defeat the forces of preventive counter-revolution that the capitalist police state has now assembled. And only the Internet and social media can potentially coordinate and spread them in real time.
One more point. ‘Violence’ versus ‘non-violence’ is no longer the question. The massed fire-power of even local police departments today has rendered any thought of Che Guevara-type armed insurrection obsolete because suicidal. Indeed, the Black Panthers already warned against left-wing ‘Custerism.’ This simple recognition of fact does not mean that we necessarily submit meekly to arrest in ritualized non-violent civil disobedience, although the Ghandian tactic of ‘filling the jails’ may at one point prove productive.
What it does mean is that we must eschew ritualized small-group violence, however satisfying to our enraged individuality, in favor of tactics that have the potential of effectively bringing together the maximum force of numbers of ordinary people in ways that will paralyze the forces of repression and induce even more ‘civilians’ – normal working people -- to join the struggle. As the poet Shelley put it, “We are many; they are few.” Simply by uniting to withdraw our labor-power through massive non-cooperation, we the 99% can bring the whole world economy to a grinding halt, and there isn’t fuckall their spies nor police-dogs can do to make it go. Thanks to the Internet and instant translation, there’s now a planetary platform where the working people of all lands CAN unite!
4 Avril 2014 18:55:22
Objet: RE: NSA and FBI: Their Bite is Worse than their Bark by Richard Greeman
Dear Richard and friends,
It is important to recognise US Imperialism is now using the internet not simply to spy on and harrass individuals but as an active weapon for generating pseudo-insurrections. I think that was clearly demonstrated in the events in the fascist-led coup in Kiev and in the seizure of power by the military in Egypt following mass demonstrations and so bringing to an end the so-called Arab Spring. It may also have been an element in the uprising against Assad . The events in Syria have at least one similarity with events in Kiev and Venezuela, namely the use of snipers as a provocation. The first casualties in Syria were Assad's (Sunni) police force killed by snipers from the protesters side of the barricades. Similarly the snipers in Kiev are now alleged by EU representative (Estonian foreign minister) to have been organised by the junta that have seized power in the name of 'democracy'. Baroness Ashton's,(non-elected EU Foreign minister), reaction when told about it was "Gosh!" she then carried on as this was a matter of no significance. Snipers are at work in Venezuela trying to bring down the elected government with the aid of middle-class students using social media to organise their 'revolt'. The CIA and MI6 are masters at fomenting pseudo -insurrection long before the internet e.g. in Iran in 1953 and Chile in 1973. The social media and the internet give them a much more powerful weapon.
In case people think this is leftist paranoia consult the website of the Alliance of Youth Movements which trains youth from all over the world to use social media to start protests and even insurrections. It is run by a senior figure in the US State Department.
Best comradely regards
Dr David Hookes BA MSc PhD
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Department of Computer Science
From Anonymous :
Dates: 6 April 2014
Subject: The Building of a Contemporary Police State.
The National Security State
The National Security State or Doctrine, generally refers to the ideology and institutions (CIA, Dept. of Defense) established by the National Security Act of 1947, an enduring legacy of then President Harry S. Truman, in support of his doctrine "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." (Ref. Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which "explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State.")
In his book Brave New World Order (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer identified seven characteristics of a “National Security State” :
The first characteristic of a National Security State is that the military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
A second defining feature of a National Security State is that political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
A third characteristic of a National Security State is that the military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that 'freedom" and "development" are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
A fourth feature of a National Security State is its obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
A fifth ideological foundation of a National Security State is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
A sixth characteristic of a National Security State is that it restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of "higher purpose" and vague appeals to "national security."
Finally, the churches are expected to mobilize their financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
From Democracy Now ! :
Dates: 21 March 2014
Subject: Ashkan Soltani, independent privacy and security researcher reports on police state tactics.
The latest disclosures from Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency is recording every single phone call made in an undisclosed foreign country. A surveillance system called MYSTIC stores the billions of phone conversations for up to 30 days. Agents are able to rewind and review any conversation within the previous month using a tool codenamed RETRO. One senior manager for the program compared it to a time machine. We speak to Ashkan Soltani, who co-wrote the Washington Post exposé on MYSTIC and has closely studied the cost of surveillance. He has co-written a series of other exposés for the Post that revealed how the NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking and how the NSA secretly broke into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world.
As Surveillance Costs Fall, Could the NSA Gain Ability to Record & Replay Every Call, Everywhere?
[Also, for a discussion of the decreasing cost of government surveillance, see: protecting the private ownership of profits.]
From Information Clearing House :
Dates: 1 April 2014
Subject: Democracy in American, 2014.
they are really trying to spread is not Democracy but Predatory Capitalism.
In the US, Democracy is Now a Sham
From Real News Network :
Dates: 4 April 2014
Subject: The War on Wages.
The media has failed to report on the causes and possible solutions for Europe's deflating economy.
The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
by Bill Black
From Michael Parenti :
Dates: 3 April 2014
Subject: [Clarity] Reflections on Ukraine.
A brief article on
events around Ukraine by me, below and attached.
Feel free to post or publish.
REFLECTIONS ON UKRAINE AND REGIME CHANGE
by Michael Parenti
More than 83 percent of the qualified voters of Crimea recently participated in a referendum to rejoin Russia. And of that number well over 93 percent voted to separate themselves from Ukraine and once more become a part of Russia, in what was a massively one-sided victory .
What should be kept in mind is that Crimea would never have pursued such an action, and Russia would never had been receptive to such a course, were it not that Ukraine was in the grip of disruptive forces that were driving toward "regime change."
"Regime change" is a form of action designed to make it impossible for the existing government to govern. We have seen this organized chaos and endless disruption in various other countries. Well organized groups are financed and equipped by outside western interests. Ultra-nationalists and mercenaries take hold of the protesting crowds and set the direction and pace of action, secure in the knowledge that they have the global reach of the western powers at their backs. The most retrogressive among them in Kiev launched slanderous attacks against Jews, Negroes, Chinese, Muscovites, and, of course, Communists.
In Ukraine, crypto-fascist groups like Svoboda, the Right Sector, and others have had ample funds to keep thousands of people fed and comfortable on the streets of Kiev for weeks, complete with well-made marching flags, symbols, and signs in various languages. Meanwhile the western media report everything the way the White House wants. And the "protestors" perpetrate acts of disruption, violence, and terror.
This disruption is something we have seen in numerous other countries---at this very time from Venezuela to Thailand. The goal of these western-financed attacks has been to make the world safe for the 1%, the global super rich. Ukraine citizens who think they are fighting for democracy will eventually discover that they are really serving the western plutocracy. They will be left with a new government filled with old intentions. Ukrainians will end up with nothing to show for their efforts except a still more depressed and more corrupt economy, an enormous IMF debt, a worsening of social services, and an empty "democracy," led by corrupt opportunists like Tymoshenko.
Russia has stepped in on behalf of Russian Crimea. So Russia is now maligned by the western global plutocrats who seek ways to put Moscow in isolated retreat. Putin is denounced and demonized at every opportunity. Has anyone in the U.S. media ever read Putin's speeches? They are so much more clear and sane than the lies put out by Obama (as in Obama's Brussels speech about how the U.S. has saved and democratized Iraq). The intent is to encircle and reduce Russia to a frightened satellite. But that is much easier said than done. Obama has very few tricks and trumps left to play.
Michael Parenti is an internationally known author. His most recent books include: The Face of Imperialism and Waiting for Yesterday (an ethnic memoir).
From Ed Herman :
Dates: 30 March 2014
Subject: Seven Decades of America’s Dirty Secret.
With a strong stomach you can find here some interesting material on the long link of Ukrainian fascists to important US politicians, parties and intelligence agencies. These creeps are still of some importance in Ukraine today, and their acceptability to McCain, Nuland and other US leader-hacks is understandable and in a great tradition.
Seven Decades of Nazi Collaboration: America’s Dirty Little Ukraine Secret
by Paul Rosenberg
As the Ukrainian crisis has unfolded over the past few weeks, it’s hard for Americans not to see Vladimir Putin as the big villain. But the history of the region is a history of competing villains vying against one another; and one school of villains – the Nazis – have a long history of engagement with the US, mostly below the radar, but occasionally exposed, as they were by Russ Bellant in his book Old Nazis, The New Right And The Republican Party (South End Press, 1991). Bellant’s exposure of Nazi leaders from German allies in the 1988 Bush presidential campaign was the driving force in the announced resignation of nine individuals, two of them from the Ukraine, which is why he was the logical choice to turn to illuminate the scattered mentions of Nazi and fascist elements amongst the Ukrainian nationalists, which somehow never seems to warrant further comment or explanation. Of course most Ukranians aren’t Nazis or fascists – all the more reason to illuminate those who would hide their true natures in the shadows…or even behind the momentary glare of the spotlight.
Your book, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party exposed the deep involvement in the Republican Party of Nazi elements from Central and Eastern Europe, including Ukrainian, dating back to World War II and even before. As the Ukrainian crisis unfolded in the last few weeks there have been scattered mentions of a fascist or neo-fascist element, but somehow that never seems to warrant further comment or explanation. I can’t think of anyone better to shed light on what’s not being said about that element. The danger of Russian belligerence is increasingly obvious, but this unexamined fascist element poses dangers of its own. What can you tell us about this element and those dangers?
The element has a long history, of a long record that speaks for itself, when that record is actually known and elaborated on. The key organization in the coup that took place here recently was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists [OUN], or a specific branch of it known as the Banderas [OUN-B]. They’re the group behind the Svoboda party, which got a number of key positions in the new interim regime. The OUN goes back to the 1920s, when they split off from other groups, and, especially in the 1930s began a campaign of assassinating and otherwise terrorizing people who didn’t agree with them.
As World War II approached, they made an alliance with the Nazi powers, they formed several military formations, so that when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, they had several battalions that went into the main city at the time, where their base was, Lvov, or Lwow, it has a variety of spellings [also 'Lviv']. They went in, and there’s a documented history of them participating in the identification and rounding up Jews in that city, and assisting in executing several thousand citizens almost immediately. They were also involved in liquidating Polish group populations in other parts of Ukraine during the war.
Without getting deeply involved in that whole history, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists to this day defend their wartime role, they were backers of forming the 14th Waffen SS Division, which was the all-Ukrainian division that became an armed element on behalf of the Germans, and under overall German control. They helped encourage its formation, and after the war, right at the end of the war, it was called the First Ukrainian division and they still glorify that history of that SS division, and they have a veterans organization, that obviously doesn’t have too many of members left but they formed a veterans division of that.
If you look insignia being worn in Kiev in the street demonstrations and marches to the SS division insignia still being worn. In fact I was looking at photographs last night of it and there was a whole formation marching, not with 14th Division, but with the Second Division, it was a large division that did major battle around the Ukraine, and these marchers were wearing the insignia on the armbands of the Second Division.
So this is a very clear record, and the OUN, even in its postwar publications has called for ethno-genetically pure Ukrainian territory, which of course is simply calling for purging Jews, and Poles, and Russians from what they consider Ukrainian territory. Also, current leaders of Svoboda have made blatantly anti-Semitic remarks that call for getting rid of Muscovite Jews and so forth. They use this very coarse threatening language that anybody knowing the history of World War II would tremble at. If they were living here, it would seem like they would start worrying about it.
Obviously these people don’t hold monopoly power in Ukraine, but they stepped up and the United States has been behind the Svoboda party and these Ukrainian nationalists. In fact the US connections to them go back to World War II and the United States has had a long-standing tie to the OUN, through the intelligence agencies, initially military intelligence, and later the CIA.
Your book discusses a central figure in the OUN, Yaroslav Stetsko, who was politically active for decades here in America. What can you tell us about his history?
Yaroslav Stetsko was the number two leader of the OUN during World War II and thereafter. In 1959, Stefan Bandera, who was head of the OUN, was killed and that’s when Stetsko assumed the leadership. Stetsko in 1941 was the guy who actually marched into Lvov with the German army June 30, 1941 and the OUN issued a proclamation at that time under his name praising and calling for glory to the German leader Adolf Hitler and how they’re going to march arm in arm for the Ukraine and so forth. After the war, he was part of the key leadership that got picked up by the Americans.
There’s a number of accounts I’ve seen, at least three credible reports, on how they were in the displaced person camps, the Allied forces set up displaced persons camps and picked up tens of thousands of these former allies of Hitler from countries all over the East, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania – there weren’t Polish collaborators I think most people know the Germans heavily persecuted and murdered millions of Polish residents – but Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and so forth, Belorussia. They had them in these camps they built and organized them, where the Ukrainians were assassinating their Ukrainian nationalist rival so that they would be the undisputed leaders of Ukrainian nationalist movement, so they would get the sponsorship of the United States to continue their political operation, and they were successful in that regard. So when Bandera was out of the picture, Stetsko became the undisputed leader of Ukrainian nationalists.
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in 1943 under German sponsorship organized a multinational force to fight on behalf of the retreating German army. After the battle of Stalingrad in ’43 the Germans felt a heightened need to get more allies, and so the Romanian Iron Guard, the Hungarian Arrow Cross, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and others with military formations in place to assist came together and formed the united front called the Committee of Subjugated Nations and again worked on behalf of of the German military. In 1946, they renamed it the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, ABN. Stetsko was the leader of that until he died in 1986.
I mention this in part because the OUN tries to say well during the war we fought the Germans and the communists. The fact of the matter is that they were the leadership of this whole multinational alliance on behalf of the German the last two years of the war and in the war thereafter. All the postwar leaders of the unrepentant Nazi allies were all under the leadership of Yaroslav Stetsko.
What happened when Stetsko, and others like him from other German allied forces came to the United States?
In the United States, when they came, his groups organized ‘captive nations’ committees, they became, supposedly, the representatives of people who are being oppressed in Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries, by the Soviet. But they were, in fact, being given an uncritical blank check to represent the voices of all these nations that were part of the Warsaw Pact when in fact they represented the most extreme elements of each of the national communities.
The Captive Nations Committee in Washington DC for instance was run by the person who headed the Ukrainian organization of nationalists, that was true in a number of places. In my hometown area near Detroit as well, they played a major role. In the early 50s, when they were resettled in the United States, there was at least 10,000 of them that were resettled, when you look at all the nationalities. They became politically active through the Republican national committee, because it was really the Eisenhower administration that made the policy decision in the early 1950s, and brought them in. They set up these campaign organizations, every four years they would mobilize for the Republican candidate, whoever it would be, and some of them like Richard Nixon, in 1960, actually had close direct ties to some of the leaders like the Romanian Iron Guard, and some of these other groups.
When Richard Nixon ran for president in 1968, he made a promise to these leaders that they would if he won the presidency he would make them the ethnic outreach arm of the Republican National Committee on a permanent basis, so they wouldn’t be a quadrennial presence, but a continuing presence in the Republican Party. And he made that promise through a guy named Laszlo Pasztor, who served five years in prison after World War II for crimes against humanity. He was prosecuted in 1946 by non-Communist government that actually had control of Hungary at the time. There was a period from ’45 to ’48 when the Hungarian Communist Party didn’t run Hungary. They were the ones who prosecuted him. He had served as a liaison between the Hungarian Nazi party and Berlin; he served in the Berlin embassy of the Hungarian Arrow Cross movement. This is the guy that got picked to organize all the ethnic groups, and the only people that got brought in were the Nazi collaborators.
They didn’t have a Russian affiliate because they hated all Russians of all political stripes. There were no African Americans or Jewish affiliates either. It was just composed of these elements, and for a while they had a German affiliate but some exposure of the Nazi character of the German affiliate caused it to be quietly removed, but other [Nazi] elements were retained.
Your book was researched and published in the 1980s. What was happening by that point in time, after these groups had been established for more than a decade?
I went to their meetings in the 1980s, and they put out material that really make clear who they were there 1984, one of their 1984 booklets praised the pro-Nazi Ustashi regime in Croatia, and these Ustashi killed an estimated 750,000 people and burned them alive in their own camp in Croatia. And here they are praising the founding of this regime, and acknowledging that it was associated with the Nazis, and it was signed by the chairman of the Republican National Committee. You couldn’t make this stuff up. It was just crazy.
I interviewed the Kossack guy, he showed me his pension from service in the SS in World War II, and how he was affiliated with free Nazi groups in the United States, and he was just very unrepentant. These are the umbrellas that were called ‘Captive Nations Committees’ by these people that Stetsko was over, and was part of, too. The Reagan White House brought him in, and promoted him as a major leader and did a big dinner – [UN Ambassador] Jeane Kirkpatrick was part of it, George Bush as Vice President, of course Reagan – and Stetsko was held up as a great leader., And proclamations were issued on his behalf.
When Bush was running for president in 1988, Bush Senior, he came to these basically one of the leading locations of the Ukrainian nationalists in North America, which is in just outside of Detroit, a suburb of Detroit to their cultural center, and one of their foremost leaders in the world is headquartered out of it, at the time, he got Bush to come there and they denounced the OSI and Bush just shook his head, he wouldn’t say anything about it.
The OSI was the Offices of Special Investigations, it was investigating the presence of Nazi war criminals in the United States, and deporting those that were found to have lied on their history when they applied to come into the United States after the war. They had deported a number of people from all over the United States. They had a lot of open investigations, and all these émigré Nazis were trying to bring all the political pressure they could to stop these investigations, including the Ukrainian nationalists ones.
So they denounced them, the OSI investigations, in front of Bush, Bush nodded his head, but he wouldn’t say anything because he didn’t want to sound like he was sympathetic to the Nazi war criminals, but at the same time he didn’t want to offend his hosts by disputing the issue with them. So, the issue of World War II was still being played out over four decades later, in the politics of the presidency, and unfortunately Bush and Reagan continued to be on the side that we tried to defeat in World War II.
What was the response when your book came out, with all this information? How was the information received, and what was the political reaction?
Prior to the book’s publication, Washington Jewish Week had done a story about some of the ethnic leaders of the Bush campaign and their history, like denying the Holocaust, or being involved with these émigré Nazi groups. They named a couple of them that weren’t part of the Heritage Groups Council, but they were part of the Bush campaign.
Then when I published the book, it brought out a lot more names, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe did stories on them. It got to the point where when reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer would call them about one of their ethnic leaders of the Bush campaign the standard response was he’s no longer part of the campaign, and they’d say that almost as soon as the name would get mentioned. So that they would call that person, and I’ll give the example of Florian Galdau, he was, he ran the Romanian Iron Guard in New York City. He had wartime record. [Romanian Archbishop Valerian] Trifa himself was implicated in the mass killing of Jews in Bucharest in 1941, I believe. Galdau’s record is clear, because when Trifa was prosecuted he was one of the people targeted by the Office of Special Investigations, and he was forced into deportation in the 1980s, but in those records, they identify Florian Galdau as one of his operatives, so his history is known, except apparently to the Bush campaign.
So when he was identified by the Philadelphia Inquirer, they immediately said he wasn’t part of it, so the Philadelphia Inquirer called Florian Galdau, and he said, “No, I’m part of it. They never said anything to me. As far as I know I’m still part of the campaign.” And that was the pattern.
The Republican National Committee said after the election that they were going to put a blue ribbon committee together and do an investigation of the charges in my book. I was never contacted, nobody affiliated with the book project, the publisher wasn’t contacted none, none of the sources I worked with was contacted. And after about a year, with nobody raising any issues or questions about it they just folded it up and they said well we have not had the resources to investigate this matter.
I did publish an op-ed in the New York Times about two weeks after the election was over, and I think that was the last time anybody said anything publicly about it that got any kind of forum. I think they were allowed to just die and wither away, that is those leaders. The Republican idea was probably to bring in another generation of people who were born in the United States as these émigré’s died off, but they never did anything about this history that Richard Nixon had bequeathed them with. The Reagan White House had really made deep political commitments and alliances with them, they didn’t want to look like they turned their back on them; and Bush wanted them for his reelection campaign, so he wasn’t going to turn his back on them either.
If you want an anecdote, I know that 60 Minutes was working on a piece that Bradley’s team was working on, and Nancy Reagan herself called the executive producer and said that we would really like it if you would wouldn’t do this story, and they killed it. Because, basically, it’s not just about Nazis and the Republican national committee were Nazis in the White House, it inevitably raises the question of who are they how did they get here, who sponsored them and it goes back to the intelligence agencies at that point. And some people don’t like treading there, if it’s tied to an intelligence agency, they prefer to just stay away from the subject. So, some people at 60 Minutes were frustrated by it, but that’s what happened. I think that they were able to effectively kill the story when people tried to cover it. They were able to persuade news managers to not delve into it too much.
What’s happened since you wrote your book, and most of the World War II generation died off? What have the OUN and its allies been up to since then that we should be aware of?
Once the OUN got sponsored by the American security establishment intelligence agencies, they were embedded in a variety of ways in Europe as well, like Radio Free Europe which is headquartered in Munich. A lot of these groups, in the ABN were headquartered in Munich under the sponsorship of Radio Free Europe. From there they ran various kinds of operations where they were trying to do work inside the Warsaw Pact countries. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, a number of them moved back into the Ukraine as well as the other respective countries, and began setting up operations there, and organizing political parties. They reconstituted the veterans group of the Waffen SS, they held marches in the 1990s in the Ukraine, and organized political parties, in alliance with the United States, and became part of what was called the Orange Revolution in 2004, when they won the election there.
The prime minister was closely allied with them. They worked with the new government to get veterans benefits for the Ukrainian SS division veterans, and they started establishing the statues and memorials and museums for Stepan Bandera, who was the leader of the OUN, and who I should say was despised by other Ukrainian nationalists because of their methods, because they were extreme and violent toward other rival Ukrainian nationalist groups as well. So Bandera wasn’t a universal hero, but this group was so influential, in part because of its US connections, that if you go online and you Google ‘Lviv’ and the word ‘Bandera’ you’ll see monuments and statues and large posters and banners of Bandera’s likeness and large monuments permanent erected monuments on behalf of Bandera so they made this guy like he’s the George Washington of the Ukraine.
That government was in power until 2010, when there was another election, and a new regime was elected with a lot of support from the East. Ukrainian nationalist groupings around the Orange Revolution were sharply divided against each other, and there was rampant corruption, and people voted them out. The United States was very aggressive in trying to keep the nationalists in power, but they lost the election. The United States was spending money through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was pumping money into various Ukrainian organizations, and they were doing the same thing in Russia and many other countries around the world as well. We’re talking about many millions of dollars a year to affect the politics of these countries.
When the occupations came in Independence Square in Kiev late last year, you can see Svoboda’s supporters and you can hear their leaders in the parliament making blatant anti-semitic remarks. The leader of the Svoboda party went to Germany to protest the prosecution of John Demjanjuk, the Ukrainian who settled in the United States, who was implicated as a concentration camp guard in the killing of innocent people. The German courts found him guilty and Svoboda leadership went to Germany to complain about convicting this guy. The reason they said they didn’t want any Ukrainian tainted with it because they live a lie that no Ukrainian had anything to do with the German Nazi regime, when history betrays them, and their own affiliations betray them. But they don’t like that being out there publicly, so they always protest their innocence of any Ukrainian being charged with anything, regardless of what the evidence is.
Your book was an important revelation but was not alone. Your book notes that Jack Anderson reported on the pro-Nazi backgrounds of some of the ethnic advisors as far back as 1971, yet when your report came out almost two decades later, everyone responded with shock, surprise, and even denial. What lessons should we draw from this history of buried history? And how should it influence our thinking about the unfolding crisis in the Ukraine?
I don’t believe it’s ever too late to become familiarized and educated about the history of this phenomenon both the wartime history and our postwar collaboration with these folks. There were a number of exposés written about the émigré Nazis. There was a 1979 book called Wanted and it did a number of case stories of these people being brought in to the United States, including the Trifa story. Christopher Simpson did a book called Blowback that discussed the policy decisions, it’s an incredible book. He’s a professor at American University and he did years of research through the Freedom of Information Act and archives, and got the policy documents under which the decisions were made to bring these folks together, and not just into the United States but to deploy them around the world.
Like my book, it didn’t get the attention it deserved. The New York Times book reviewer was negative toward the book. There are people that really don’t want to touch this stuff. There’s a lot of people who don’t want it touched. I think it’s really important for people who believe in openness and transparency and democratic values, who don’t want to see hate groups come back to power in other parts of the world to know what happened.
There’s not very many Americans that really even know that the Waffen SS was a multinational force. That’s been kind of kept out of the received history. Otherwise people would know that there were Ukrainian Nazis, Hungarian Nazis, Latvian Nazis, and they were all involved in the mass murder of their fellow citizens, if they were Jewish, or even if they were co-nationalists that were on the other side of the issue of the war. They were just mass murderers, across Eastern Europe. And that history, those facts aren’t even well-known. A lot of people didn’t even know this phenomenon even existed.
I think all Americans have a responsibility to know what their government is doing in the foreign policy in Europe as well as elsewhere around the world, as well as Latin America as well as Africa. Since our policy was to uphold apartheid in South Africa why weren’t Americans challenging that more? They began challenging that in the 80s, but the apartheid regime was run by the Nazi party. They were allied with Germany in World War II, they were the Nationalist party and they took power in 1948 and the United States backed that for decades. We backed the death squads in Latin America, even though they massacred tens of thousands of people – 30,000 people in Chile alone. Americans aren’t being attentive to what their government is doing abroad, even though it’s been doing done with their tax dollars and in their name, and I think we just have a general responsibility.
I went to these meetings, I went to these conferences, I went over a period of years. I met with them directly, most of the people I wrote about, I met with them personally or in group meetings. People can’t afford to do that on their own, timewise, but there’s enough literature out there they can read and pursue it, they will get enough enough of a handle to get what the real picture is, to demand change. I’m not totally partisan in this, but I think the Republican Party was extreme on this, but the Democrats folded and didn’t challenge this when they knew it was going on.
There is an old Roman poet that once said truth does not say one thing and wisdom another. I’m a believer in that. Tell the truth and wisdom will follow.
Reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy in Focus.
From Garance Upham :
Dates: 1 April 2014
Subject: Why Did BRICS Back Russia On Crimea?
Why Did BRICS Back Russia On Crimea?
by Zachary Zeck
There’s been no shortage of reports and commentaries on the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea, and Russia’s role in it. Yet one of the more notable recent developments in the crisis has received surprisingly little attention.
Namely, the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) has unanimously and, in many ways, forcefully backed Russia’s position on Crimea. The Diplomat has reported on China’s cautious and India’s more enthusiastic backing of Russia before. However, the BRICS grouping as a whole has also stood by the Kremlin.
Indeed, they made this quite clear during a BRICS foreign minister meeting that took place on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague last week. Just prior to the meeting, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggested that Australia might ban Russia’s participation in the G20 summit it will be hosting later this year as a means of pressuring Vladimir Putin on Ukraine.
The BRICS foreign ministers warned Australia against this course of action in the statement they released following their meeting last week. “The Ministers noted with concern the recent media statement on the forthcoming G20 Summit to be held in Brisbane in November 2014,” the statement said. “The custodianship of the G20 belongs to all Member States equally and no one Member State can unilaterally determine its nature and character.”
The statement went on to say, “The escalation of hostile language, sanctions and counter-sanctions, and force does not contribute to a sustainable and peaceful solution, according to international law, including the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter.” As Oliver Stuenkel at Post Western World noted, the statement as a whole, and in particular the G20 aspect of it, was a “clear sign that [the] West will not succeed in bringing the entire international community into line in its attempt to isolate Russia.”
This was further reinforced later in the week when China, Brazil, India and South Africa (along with 54 other nations) all abstained from the UN General Assembly resolution criticizing the Crimea referendum. Another ten states joined Russia in voting against the non-binding resolution.
In some ways, the other BRICS countries’ support for Russia is entirely predictable. The group has always been somewhat constrained by the animosities that exist between certain members, as well as the general lack of shared purpose among such different and geographically dispersed nations. BRICS has often tried to overcome these internal challenges by unifying behind an anti-Western or at least post-Western position. In that sense, it’s no surprise that the group opposed Western attempts to isolate one of its own members.
At the same time, this anti-Western stance has usually taken the form of BRICS opposition to Western attempts to place new limits on sovereignty. Since many of its members are former Western colonies or quasi-colonies, the BRICS are highly suspicious of Western claims that sovereignty can be trumped by so-called universal principles of the humanitarian and anti-proliferation variety. Thus, they have been highly critical of NATO’s decision to serve as the air wing of the anti-Qaddafi opposition that overthrew the Libyan government in 2011, as well as what they perceive as attempts by the West to now overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
However, in the case of Ukraine, it was Russia that was violating the sanctity of another state’s sovereignty. Still, the BRICS grouping has backed Russia. It’s worth noting that the BRICS countries are supporting Russia at potentially great cost to themselves, given that they all face at least one potential secessionist movement within their own territories.
India, for example, has a long history of fluid borders and today struggles with potential secessionist movements from Muslim populations as well as a potent security threat from the Maoist insurgency. China suffers most notably from Tibetans and Uyghurs aspiring to break away from the Han-dominated Chinese state. Even among Han China, however, regional divisions have long challenged central control in the vast country. Calls for secession from the Cape region in South Africa have grown in recent years, and Brazil has long faced a secessionist movement in its southern sub-region, which is dominated demographically by European immigrants. Russia, of course, faces a host of internal secessionist groups that may someday lead Moscow to regret its annexation of Crimea.
The fact that BRICS supported Russia despite these concerns suggests that its anti-Western leanings may be more strongly held than most previously believed. Indeed, besides backing Russia in the foreign ministers’ statement, the rising powers also took time to harshly criticize the U.S. (not by name) for the cyber surveillance programs that were revealed by Edward Snowden.
The BRICS and other non-Western powers’ support for Russia also suggests that forging anything like an international order will be extremely difficult, given the lack of shared principles to act as a foundation. Although the West generally celebrated the fact that the UN General Assembly approved the resolution condemning the Crimea referendum, the fact that 69 countries either abstained or voted against it should be a wake-up call. It increasingly appears that the Western dominated post-Cold War era is over. But as of yet, no new order exists to replace it.
From Information Clearing House :
Dates: 1 April 2014
Subject: Is democracy in the USA headed for extinction?
In Athens, democracy disintegrated when the rich grew super-rich, refused to play by the rules and undermined the established system of government.
From George Kenney :
Dates: 4 April 2014
Subject: Podcast interview re social change w/ Staughton Lynd.
One of the great American activists, Dr. Staughton Lynd, was kind enough to share with me some of his views about social change. It was a real pleasure to talk with Staughton, whose work, especially his book Class Conflict, Slavery and the United States Constitution (Cambridge University Press, 2009, Second edition), has much influenced my own thinking. His is an authentic voice from the civil rights and peace movements.
As always, if you like the show please forward the link.
From Real News Network :
Dates: 4 April 2014
Subject: U.S. Efforts to Destabilize Venezuela.
New exchange rate is intended to safeguard the importation of essential and primary goods.
Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
by Mark Weisbrot
From Aïda Diop :
Dates: 4 April 2014
Subject: Momo, the Thieves of Time.
I found a movie version of the book Momo, that you spoke about in class. It is the English edition of the German film.
Thank you for the links,