A Victory Day primer on ‘good fascists’ vs. ‘bad fascists'

Neil Clark
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
A Victory Day primer on ‘good fascists’ vs. ‘bad fascists'
On May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day to mark the 72nd anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in the Great Patriotic War. Perhaps this is a good time to reflect upon the way some nations are letting their guard down when it comes to fascism.

There’ll be a special military parade on Red Square (televised live on RT) and commemorations in other Russian cities. But I’m afraid it won’t get too much – if any – coverage in the West. In recent years, the 27 million Soviet citizens who died in World War Two have been airbrushed out of history. They have become the forgotten victims of Hitler’s genocidal wars of aggression.

In fact, there’s never been a time since WWII when Western double standards regarding the fight against fascism – both historical and contemporary – have been so glaring, or so obscene.

On the one hand, the elites warn us 24/7 of the dangers of the far right in France, and raise the specter of the German dictator with a funny moustache to stop people in Western countries from voting for anti-globalist nationalist or neo-nationalist parties. On the other hand, they side with fascists, neo-Nazis and unashamed Hitler-lovers in Ukraine. The absolutely crucial role of the Red Army in defeating the Nazi aggressors is not just ignored, but in a disgusting example of Cold War 2.0 revisionism, (which I discussed here

the Soviets are held equally responsible – along with the Nazis – for starting WWII.

Ukraine is the CIA theme park (to use John Pilger’s memorable phrase) where the shiny New World Order ‘liberal’ corporate fascism of today meets the old fascism of yesteryear.

It was recently reported that a 94-year-old Jewish Red Army veteran, Boris Steckler, is under investigation for the death in a 1952 gun battle of a nationalist Ukrainian insurgent, Nil Khasevych, who had been accused of collaborating with the Nazis.

Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, was quoted in the Guardian as calling the murder investigation an “injustice.” He said that Khasevych’s actions, not Steckler’s, should be condemned. “He was an active fighter when they destroyed Jews and Poles… It’s the Ukrainian Insurgent Army [UIA] that committed a war crime.”

Dolinsky’s right. But no one in the Western corridors of power is listening. Just imagine for a moment if the Russian authorities had announced it was investigating a Jewish man – six years away from his 100th birthday – for the killing of a man from a group accused of carrying out horrific crimes with the Nazis over 60 years ago. You can be sure Establishment commentators would be falling over themselves in a rush to file their ‘outraged’ articles showing how it proved Russia was ‘anti-Semitic’ and how the ‘far right’ were in control. There would be, I’m sure, renewed calls by the ‘outraged’ opinion-formers for boycotts of next year’s football World Cup. ‘Zero tolerance of fascism and anti-Semitism!’ would be the cry.

But it was in Western ally Ukraine, so there’s silence. And certainly no calls for boycotts of this week’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev. Heaven forbid.

It’s not as if the Steckler case is a one-off.

The UIA, of which Khasevych was a member, was complicit – along with the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) – in committing acts of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Poles and Jews during WWII. More than 100,000 members of the second Polish Republic perished. And guess what? In 2015, the Ukrainians introduced a new law making it a criminal offence to question the legitimacy of their actions – and those of the OUN.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the move, but normally vocal ‘anti-fascist’ pundits in the West – who have been known to label people with opposing opinions ‘genocide deniers,’ kept schtum. They know the rules of the game.

Again, just imagine if this had happened in Russia, or any other ’Official Enemy’ country.

Rehabilitating Nazism – and criminalizing criticism of those who collaborated with it – is fine, so long as the country’s government is pro-Western and anti-Russian.

Judeophobia’s ok, too – so long as those responsible don‘t like Putin.

If Marine Le Pen had wanted to lose the epithet ‘fascist’ then – let’s face it – all she had to do was to declare her love of a neo-con foreign policy and say she wanted to bomb Syria and ‘turn the screws’ on Moscow. Then she would have been hailed as a ‘strong and stable’ leader.

What determines whether you’ll be denounced as a ‘fascist’ nowadays is not your program or your rhetoric, or how much you admire Hitler and Mussolini, but how useful you are to the trans-national elite. If you aid their cause, you’ll get a free pass, even if you have a tattoo of Adolf on your biceps and goose-step down the street every morning with a swastika armband.

Think of the number of times you’ve read articles in Britain, the US and in other Western countries, warning us of the dangers of the Hungarian far-right Jobbik party – and indeed attacking the conservative nationalist government of the ‘Viktator’ Viktor Orban; and compare it to the number of pieces you’ve seen attacking the anti-Semitic far right in neighboring Ukraine and the fierce clampdown on free speech and political association there.

What’s the difference? Jobbik – and Orban’s administration – want better relations with Moscow, ultranationalists in Ukraine want confrontation.

Anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism in one country is worth a lot of column inches; in another, it’s not worth any.

Ukrainian authorities have been happily banning respected public figures from the country for holding the ‘wrong’ views on Crimea and Western ‘liberals’ don’t say a word. In 2016, no less a personage than Mikhail Gorbachev was banned from Ukraine for five years for – wait for it – “the public support of Crimea’s annexation.” My fellow OpEdger, Bryan MacDonald, wrote about the West’s non-reaction here.

Last week, American tough-guy actor Steven Seagal was banned by Kiev – also for five years – and accused of – I kid ye not – “committing socially dangerous activities… that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security.” Fellow actor Gerard Depardieu has also been banned. Imagine the outcry if an ‘official enemy’ country was doing this? 

Meanwhile as the Morning Star newspaper reports, the third anniversary of the Odessa trade union massacre has passed, “with still no prospect of justice for the victims from the Kiev authorities.”

Over 40 people were killed when neo-Nazi thugs committed their vile act, but the atrocity is barely mentioned in the West. It’s 10,000-1 that Hollywood will make a film about it. 

Why? Because it was the ‘right’ kind of far-right extremists who did it – i.e. anti-Russian ones.

The West wanted the old government in Ukraine out, and could only do that with the help of neo-Nazis, who could give the Maidan protests their cutting edge. The staunchly pro-Israel US Senator John McCain – the man who labeled Hungary’s Orban a ‘neo-fascist dictator’ – had no qualms in sharing a platform with the ultranationalist Oleg Tyahnybok, who had written in the past of Ukraine being run by a “Muscovite-Jewish” mafia and had called for more to be done to halt the “criminal activities” of “organized Jewry.”

As I noted here:     

“Imagine if a left-wing, anti-war figure had shared a platform with someone who had publicly expressed views such as these. But McCain did – and his fellow neocons were strangely silent.”

How hypocritical of the holier-than-thou Western establishment to warn us about fascism in one European country, but to condone or support much more violent forms of it in another.

And how utterly despicable to rewrite the history of WWII and cast the country which suffered the most in the conflict – the Soviet Union – as being its co-instigator.

Zero tolerance for fascism? Try telling that to the Western elites.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.