Archive | December 29th, 2015

Nazi ambassador flings Nazi label at Nazi leaders

NOVANEWS

Israeli ambassador flings Nazi label at Israeli leaders, after latest authoritarian step

Ambassador Caspi posts image of Hermann Goering to warn Israel about what it is becoming
Ambassador Caspi posts image of Hermann Goering to warn Israel about what it is becoming

In Peace Now’s daily news digest, this quote tops the list today:

Quote of the day:
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are under attack and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
–A quote by Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering, posted by Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, on Facebook, following the passing of the NGO bill.**

Caspi has removed the quotation. He clearly intended the comment as a warning to Israeli leaders. He is now under investigation for the statement. The NGO bill is a new law that forces leftleaning human-rights groups that receive substantial funds from overseas to wear labels when they come to the Israeli Knesset. Peace Now continues, “Another hot topic today was the comparisons to Nazis.”

Hebrew University lecturer Dr. Ofer Cassif wrote on Facebook that Justice Minister Shaked is ‘Neo-Nazi scum’ and told Army Radio afterward, “I think it’s fair to compare Israel to Germany in the 1930s, and not to the years of genocide. Cassif pointed to the Im Tirtzu video and Shaked’s NGO law. The article in Ynet noted that the Facebook posts come in the wake of the passing of the NGO bill, but it doesn’t mention that the bill requires the (mostly left-wing) NGO representatives to wear a special badge when they visit the Knesset committees to indicate that they receive more than 50% of their contributions from foreign states. Cassif shared on Facebook the post by his colleague Professor Amiram Goldblum, who sharply criticized Shaked for not revealing that she received ‘blood money’ contributions from a Jewish Belgian donor who is now in jail for selling arms to rebels in Sierra Leone. Private donations are not required to be revealed by the bill. Cassif was not alone in his comparison of Israel’s right-wing government to the Nazis. Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, posted a quote by a Nazi war criminal that described how fascist governments get their people to follow them, by “denouncing the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” Caspi added: “We’re on the right path…” Now, the ambassador faces punishment by the Foreign Ministry. Oddly, the article by Yedioth’s Itamar Eichner did not mention the context of the posting of the quote: the government’s approval of the NGO bill that labels left-wing Israeli human rights organizations.

Let’s be clear: anyone on the American left who used Nazi analogies for Israel was shunned for doing so, but Israeli leaders throw the Nazi stuff around readily. (For good reason; we all know that victims model their abuser when they gain any power.)

The Nazi charges of course go to the treatment of Palestinians. The NGOs all care about Palestinians. In its news list, Peace Now also mentions the latest failure in the investigation of the Duma murderers, Jewish zealots who torched a sleeping Palestinian family in occupied territory last summer. (Peace Now is virtually alone among liberal Zionist groups in recognizing the significance of the Duma murders as evidence of lawlessness, racism, and the fear among Palestinians.)

Many friends are saying that Israel is cracking up. “The end,” “Imploding,” “It’s over,” are two comments I’ve heard in the last day or two. Even J Street seems rattled (“deeply concerned and disappointed”). New Yorker editor David Remnick just got back from Jerusalem and said on the radio this morning that the situation is “tragic” and that Israel bears the greater share of responsibility for the failure of peace talks.

This crisis has long been evident to Palestinians. The knife attacks are of course a symptom of their loss of any faith in the many promises of freedom they have been given. Now the questions are: How long can Israel play out this crisis, as yet another burp in the managed-conflict model of persecution. And having long said that the status quo is unsustainable, will American leaders at last take a stand against apartheid and colonization? Who will speak up here, and show real leadership? Bernie? (And, to be parochial: how many secular American Jews will openly take on their parents and say what they believe in their hearts, that Jewish nationalism, the idea of a “Jewish democracy” established on lands belonging largely to others, is a snare and a delusion?)

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israeli-ambassador-authoritarian#sthash.4ykBYUSn.dpuf

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Russia, US Agree On New Syrian Prime Minister, Allow Assad To Run For Presidency

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Alrai Media 
Sources in the U. S. are high on the “opinion” that “the United States and Russia have agreed on the next phase of Syria relating to the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the settlement of the military situation of the allies of the United States in the region who consist of the largest number of organizations financed by the very states in the region who were brought to the table”.
The sources said “Russia and America have agreed on a principle that entitles President Assad himself to be nominated, if he wants to run, in the upcoming elections. Russia already stated the requirement of the recognition of the legitimacy of Assad from the international community and, consequently, to ensure that no prosecution in the future or charge (war criminal) will happen to him, and then it’s Assad himself who will decide if he wants to proceed with his candidacy or not.
Russia asked Assad if he wants to contest the election and if he is confident of a victory, he replied in the affirmative, and agreed with the Russian and American parties that the principle of elections and candidates should respect the Syrian people solely and will not be a source of attraction between Syria and countries in the region. The international community should not be working to bring down Assad through the ballot box”.
Sources confirm that “it was agreed that the next prime minister of Syria, whatever the results of presidential elections, is a person approved by the parties, a (London) businessman who is known to represent the moderate opposition and will have two important main drafts of a new constitution for the country, and will start the reconstruction and national reconciliation process, but we are well aware of the difficulty of the cease-fire and attempts of the takfiri Salafi organizations to reject reconciliation, such as “the Nusra Front” and “Ahrar al-Sham” and others, but we have agreed to consider all those who reject the cease-fire, under UN auspices, an enemy and target of an important project and a recipient of funding with political motives in the region”.
According to sources, “America confirmed to Russia it needs some time to integrate the different organizations working under different banners to persuade them to agree to a cease fire, and in order to control the factions that want to continue to fight, it is possible for a term to be agreed upon of a few months to achieve this basic requirement to prepare for the elections. But Russia stressed that the military operations against the extremists and all those who are fighting in the ranks of al-Qaeda or (Daesh) is the main goal of the project and they will remain in Syria to eliminate them all”.
*********************************************************
[O.R: Although Alraimedia are based in Kuwait, the author is very reliable, and was the first journalist to report on Russia’s 3rd airbase in Syria. The crux of the matter is that Russia has forced everyone’s hand, revealing that they were in no position to trump Russia’s ‘Royal Flush’. Although it will more than likely take a couple more years to fully cleanse Syria of Takfiri rats, the strength of the U.S. proxies has plateaued and is now on the decline. The supply lines have been destroyed, and the involvement of the S400 has destroyed any hopes of a NATO no-fly zone. 
 
It is more than likely that the U.S. will move onto Iraq, where Obama will seek to build his legacy as his presidential tenure comes to an end. Other factors, such as the Taliban and Libya, are open projects still, and could see Russian involvement in the future as the threat to Russia’s borders from Wahhabi fanatics is still present.]

 

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Police grill artist for defecating on Nazi flag

NOVANEWS

By: TUT

Investigators question Natali Cohen Vaxberg for fifth time over 2014 video in which she relieved herself on national symbols

ed note–one of those ‘good Jews’ who is ‘anti-Zionist’…
Seriously, as we say here often, the ‘problem’ with Jews from the very beginning of  their interaction with humanity and the ‘trail of tears’ that has marked the history of the ‘anti-Semitism’about which they are constantly screeching has never been about race, but rather about the mental illness that afflicts them as a result of the rel-igious/cultural indoctrination that is imposed upon them and which then guides their behavior. While  Palestinians and  other  true  Semites try and engage the public in an  intelligent discussion/debate about the facts surrounding the problem of Israel, what do we get from one of God’s chosen defecators? Her own version of ‘Holy shit’.  The only thing distinguishing her from her cohorts in JVP and other groups of ‘good  Jews’ who oppose the occupation is that they are more sophisticated in their approach.
The truly discouraging thing was how many people I personally ran into on the intern-et, people who claim to be in support of the Palestinians and opposed to the sufferi-ng imposed upon them thought that Mz. Cohen  was a hero for  engaging in the kind of barbaric behavior that she did.

Times of Israel

Police questioned a controversial artist last week for the fifth time over a video she published last year in which she defecated on the national flag.

Natali Cohen Vaxberg posted a video online of herself defecating on the country’s national flag. She was placed under house arrest for a few days in November 2014, several months after it was released.

Vaxberg, who has gained notoriety for similar stunts, was detained for questioning and placed under house arrest in Tel Aviv last November for defiling a national symbol, a police spokeswoman told AFP at the time.

The police told Haaretz Saturday that anytime there’s suspected criminal activity, officers investigate, and that the decision to press charges was up to the relevant authorities.

Cohen Vaxberg’s video, entitled “Shit Instead of Blood,” features her in a bathroom squatting over — and defecating on — various national flags from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas, including those of Israel and the Palestinians.

The video, first posted in mid-July, is overlaid with music by classical composer Frederic Chopin.

Cohen Vaxberg, who is described by local media as holding extreme left-wing views, earlier in 2014 courted controversy in another video filmed at Jerusalem’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem.

In that video, she gives a speech posing as the Holocaust itself and saying it was the “best thing” to happen to Jews, because it led to the creation of Israel and the persecution of Palestinians.

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Judaism for Beginners

NOVANEWS

By: TUT

judaism5

When I was very young, a Jewish friend told me this Shalom Alechem type of story:

“A non-Jew came to a rabbi and said, ‘Rabbi, I am thinking of converting to Judaism but I don’t want to have to study the Torah for years and years. I will do it on one condition: if you can teach me all I need to know about it while I am standing on one leg.’

The Rabbi said, ‘It’s simple. All you have to remember is this: Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you.’

I believed it and was impressed by the humanism of Judaism. It was, after all, the religion of the people who had suffered so much. It has been very many years since I discovered that it had been a story that Jews tell the hapless Goyim — a complete reversal of Torah’s spirit and its specific commandments.

I was reminded of it when I saw two videos posted by Nahida (whose poetry is one of the most beautiful expressions of the Palestinian soul and sensitivity).

I don’t know if you can watch them while standing on one leg but they are priceless for a Goy’s understanding of the Torah — the heart of Judaism — and an edifying encounter with the Jews’ most revered exegete of the Torah, Maimonides.

“The ‘bettlefild’ is wherever a single Jew exists”

Maimonides on conquering Syria, Alepo, Iraq, then Iran….kill, kill, kill

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Nazi ‘Wedding of Hate’ Video?

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Why Are Israelis So Shocked by the ‘Wedding of Hate’ Video?

Thanks to the country’s mainstream, the West Bank has become the land of unlimited possibilities for the average Israeli Jew. This is the soil that gave rise to those young dancers with their bouncing sidelocks and their guns.

Amira Hass, Haaretz

The horror expressed by the Israeli mainstream at the “blood wedding” video is more repulsive than the clip itself. The shock is at the messianic, disruptive representation of the settlement enterprise, the handiwork of successive generations of the Israeli mainstream.

The police are shocked. Every month on Rosh Hodesh, the start of the Hebrew month, a “sivuv she’arim” is held in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The ceremonial circling of the gates of the Temple Mount, accompanied by shofar-blowing and reading of Psalms, is organized by El Har Hamor, a nonprofit association that seeks to rebuild the Temple. The Israel Police provide security for the event, which takes place between shuttered Palestinian stores. Men in white kippot dance, sidelocks bouncing – just like in the video – and pound on the closed doors.

According to documentation from October, they also sing songs similar to the ones in the video (“Burn down the mosque” and “We will avenge one of the two eyes of Palestine, curse them”), and while the Arabs shut themselves into their homes, the dancers chant “Death to Arabs.” Not only are the police there, they also try to prevent leftists from recording the events.

The Judea and Samaria district police are shocked. This is the police district that systematically closes investigations of Israeli violence against Palestinians. Out of 1,104 investigations opened after Palestinians complained of violent injury or property damage over a 10-year period, from 2005 to August 2015, 940, or 91.6 percent, were closed without charges being filed, according to the Yesh Din legal defense NGO. In 85 percent of the cases, the closure was due to failure of the police investigation. The reason given in 624 of the cases was “offender unknown,” while in 208 cases it was “insufficient evidence.”

Examples? On Passover Eve 2011, a group of Israelis injured Bruce Lee Eid of Burin, a village south of Nablus. One of the Israelis shot Eid, wounding him severely in the abdomen and right hand. This attack was one of many designed to prevent the villagers from building on their lands. Soldiers fired tear gas at Palestinians who came to defend their neighbor. The incident was filmed, the origin of the assailants (the Givat Ronen outpost) was known, but the case was closed.

In another case, from October 2011, a few Israeli Jews from Combatants for Peace accompanied Palestinians from the village of Jalud on their first olive harvest in 10 years. In all those years the Israel Defense Forces (were they also shocked by the wedding video?) had kept them from working their land to avoid friction with the messianists from the local outposts (such as Esh Kodesh).

Masked Israelis, accompanied by an armed, unmasked Israeli in civilian clothes (perhaps the security coordinator) came, threw a stun grenade, fired into the air and attacked the harvesters with clubs, injuring three Israelis and two Palestinians. Soldiers and Border Police officers who were there fired tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinians. The case was closed despite the wounded Israelis and the presence of soldiers who were witnesses.

The culture of “unknown offenders,” “insufficient evidence” and do-nothing soldiers nurtured the atmosphere of “we can run riot and no one will touch us” seen in the wedding video.

Here’s a less-than-wild guess: The justices of the High Court of Justice are also “shocked” by the video. Two out of three justices last week allowed a person who was convicted of assaulting a Palestinian youth to continue to offend against a different Palestinian, by cultivating a vineyard on private Palestinian land. With the High Court’s approval, five years after appropriating land that did not belong to him, Zvi Strock, son of Habayit Hayehudi MK Orit Strock, can continue to keep Fawzi Ibrahim off his land for another year.

Strock did not return the land, a full year after an IDF appeals committee ordered him to do so. Now he is requesting an additional one-year extension so that the process can be done “peacefully.” That sounds like a clear threat: If he is removed earlier, it will not be peaceful. The mainstream (the state and the High Court) heard the threat, and knuckled under.

Netanyahu ‘shocked,’ too

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is shocked, and the Defense Ministry is shocked. With their approval, dozens of bulldozers continue to nibble with the avarice of real-estate sharks at the land of dozens of Palestinian villages, in order to build homes for Jews. Go to Modi’in Ilit, to Alei Zahav, Barkan, Ariel. Without dancing or bouncing sidelocks, the state is doing much more than the “blood wedding” dancers could.
Thanks to the mainstream, the West Bank has become the land of unlimited possibilities for the average Israeli Jew. It’s a substitute for the welfare state that they ground down with a devotion that would do honor to Milton Friedman. This is the soil that gave rise to those young dancers with their bouncing peiyot and their guns.

Their messianism was born of the incessant secular Israeli disregard for international law and justice, which prohibit settlements in occupied territory. Their deranged messianism is fed by the consistent, deranged political objective of the settlement enterprise: to thwart the possibility of living in equality and peace with the Palestinian people in this land. Fed by and feeding.

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The Madness of NATO expansion: Seeking Russia’s Destruction since 1949

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Gary Leupp

© Flickr/ kvitlauk

In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia. Baker told Gorbachev: “Look, if you remove your [300,000] troops [from east Germany] and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east.”

In the following year, the USSR officially dissolved itself. Its own defensive military alliance (commonly known as the Warsaw Pact) had already shut down. The Cold War was over.

So why hasn’t NATO also dissolved, but instead expanded relentlessly, surrounding European Russia? Why isn’t this a central question for discussion and debate in this country?

NATO: A Cold War Anti-Russian Alliance

Some challenge the claim that Bush’s pledge was ever given, although Baker repeated it publicly in Russia. Or they argue that it was never put in writing, hence legally inconsequential. Or they argue that any promise made to the leadership of the Soviet Union, which went out of existence in 1991, is inapplicable to subsequent U.S.-Russian relations. But it’s clear that the U.S. has, to the consternation of the Russian leadership, sustained a posture of confrontation with its Cold War foe principally taking the form of NATO expansion. This expansion hardly receives comment in the U.S. mass media, which treats the entry of a new nation into NATO much as it does the admission of a new state into the UN—as though this was altogether natural and unproblematic.

But recall the basic history. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in April 4, 1949, initially consisting of the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Portugal, as a military alliance against the Soviet Union, and principally the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

It was formed just four years after the Soviets stormed Berlin, defeating the Nazis. (As you know, Germany invaded Russia six months before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; the U.S. and USSR were World War II allies versus the fascists; the key victories in the European war—Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk—were Soviet victories over the Nazis; that U.S. soldiers only crossed the Rhine on March 22 as the Red Army was closing in on Berlin, taking the city between April 16 and May 2 at a cost of some 80,000 Soviet dead. If you don’t know these things, you’ve been denied a proper education.)

In the four-year interim between Hitler’s suicide and the formation of NATO, the two great victors of the war had divided Europe into spheres of influence. The neighboring Soviet Union had contributed disproportionately to the fascist defeat: over eight million military and over 12 million civilians dead, as compared to the far-off U.S., with losses of around 186,000 dead in the European theater and 106,000 in the Pacific.

It might seem strange that the lesser hero in this instance (in this epochal conflict against fascism) gets all the goodies in the battle’s aftermath: the U.S. created a bloc including Britain, France, Italy, most of Germany, the Low Countries, Portugal, and most of Scandinavia, while the Soviets asserted hegemony—or tried to—over their generally less affluent client states. But the Soviets were not in any case interested primarily in drawing the richest nations into their fold; were that the case, they would not have withdrawn their troops from Austria in 1955.

Rather Russia, which had historically been invaded many times from the west—from Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, France, and Germany multiple times—wanted preeminently to secure its western border. To insure the establishment of friendly regimes, it organized elections in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and elsewhere. (These had approximately as much legitimacy as elections held under U.S. occupation in Iraq or Afghanistan in later years, or at any point in Latin America). They brought the Eastern European “people’s republics” into existence.

Comment: That’s not quite a fair comparison. Soviet Russia liberated those countries from a poisonous Reich; Iraq was destroyed by a poisonous Reich. There was mass public support for leftist, pro-Russian parties in eastern Europe in the immediate aftermath of WW2. There was never mass public support for rightist, pro-American parties in Iraq.

The U.S. and British grumbled about the geopolitical advances of their wartime ally. In March 1946 former British Prime Minister Churchill while visiting the U.S. alluded to an “iron curtain” falling across Europe. (Perhaps he was unwittingly using the expression that Josef Goebbels had used just thirteen months earlier. The German propaganda minister had told a newspaper that “if the German people lay down their weapons, the Soviets…would occupy all of Europe…An iron curtain would fall over this enormous territory…”) Very scary.

But the U.S. was working hard at the time to consolidate its own bloc in Europe. In May 1947 the U.S. CIA forced the Italian and French governments to purge Communist members of cabinets formed after electoral successes the previous year. (The U.S. had enormous clout, bought through the $13 billion Marshall Plan begun in April 1947, designed to revive European capitalism and diminish the Marxist appeal.)

The CIA station chief in Rome later boasted that “without the CIA,” which funded a Red Scare campaign and fomented violent, even fatal clashes at events, “the Communist Party would surely have won the [Italian] elections in 1948.” (Anyone who thinks the Soviets rigged elections while the U.S. facilitated fair ones as a matter of principle is hopelessly naïve.)

Meanwhile—before the establishment of NATO in April 1949—the U.S. and Britain had been fighting a war in Greece since 1946 on behalf of the monarchists against the communist-led forces that had been the backbone of the anti-fascist movement during the World War II. The Communists had widespread support and may well have won the civil war if the Soviets had only supported them. But observing the understanding about spheres of influence agreed to at Yalta and Potsdam, Stalin refused appeals for Soviet aid from the Greek (and Yugoslav) Communists. The Greek partisans surrendered in Oct. 1949, six months after the formation of NATO. (But NATO was in fact not deployed in this military intervention in Greece, seen as the first Cold War U.S. military operation under the broadly anticommunist “Truman Doctrine.”)

Comment: Actually, Western intel and military was all over the war against Greek people in the late 1940s.

Just a month after NATO was formed, the pro-U.S. leaders in west Germany unilaterally announced the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany. (The pro-Soviet German Democratic Republic was declared only six months later. As in Korea, the Soviets promoted reunification of occupied sectors. But the U.S. was intent on establishing client states, and dividing nations if necessary to stem Soviet inroads. This was also the case with Vietnam.)

Four months after the creation of NATO the Soviets conducted their first successful nuclear test. The Cold War was underway in earnest.

NATO was thus formed to aggressively confront the USSR and exploit fears of a supposed threat of a westward Soviet strike (to impose the Soviet social system on unwilling peoples). That threat never materialized, of course. The Soviets cordoned off East Berlin from the west by the Berlin Wall in 1961 to prevent embarrassing mass flight.

Comment: Not so. ‘Mass flight’ from East to West was happening through Berlin, but many Berliners were free to cross into West Berlin every day for work, then return in the evenings. The Soviet reason – and the reason with a basis in reality – for erecting the wall was the US-led dirty tricks campaign:

 

During the 1950s, American cold-warriors in West Germany instituted a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion against East Germany designed to throw that country’s economic and administrative machinery out of gear. The CIA and other US intelligence and military services recruited, equipped, trained and financed German activist groups and individuals, of West and East, to carry out actions which ran the spectrum from juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything to make life difficult for the East German people and weaken their support of the government; anything to make the commies look bad.

It was a remarkable undertaking. The United States and its agents used explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods to damage power stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, public transportation, bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses of others; used acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory, bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings; attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations, false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out attacks on participants with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards to cause confusion, shortages and resentment; sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions … all this and much more.

Like most everything else held up as an example of ‘evil Soviet Communism’, the US had to repeatedly provoke the Soviets into taking actions that could subsequently be cast as ‘evil’. Classic psychopathy in action.

But they never invaded West Germany, or provoked any clash with a NATO nation throughout the Cold War. (Indeed, in light of the carnage visited on Europe since 1989, from civil wars in the Balkans and Caucasus to terrorist bombings in London, Madrid and Paris to the neo-fascist-led putsch in Ukraine last year, the Cold War appears in retrospect as a long period of relative peace and prosperity on the continent.)

Comment: Indeed, Russia facilitates forces that counter-balance evil in this world.

Comparing U.S. and Russian/Soviet Aggression during the Cold War

NATO expanded in 1952, enlisting the now-pacified Greece and its historical rival, Turkey. In 1955 it brought the Federal Republic of Germany into the fold. Only then—in May 1956, seven years after the formation of NATO—did the Soviets establish, in response, their own defensive military alliance. The Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance (Warsaw Pact) included a mere eight nations (to NATO’s 15): the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania.

Warsaw Pact forces were deployed only once during the Cold War, to crush the reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968. (They were not used during the suppression of the “Hungarian Revolution” of 1956, occurring five months after the founding of the alliance. That operation was performed by Soviet troops and loyalist Hungarian forces.) The Czechoslovakian intervention occasioned Albania’s withdrawal from the pact, while Romania protested it and refused to contribute troops. Thus, practically speaking, the Warsaw Pact was down to six members to NATO’s 15. The western alliance expanded to 16 when Spain joined in 1982.

Between 1945 and 1991 (when the Warsaw Pact and the USSR both dissolved themselves), the U.S. had engaged in three major wars (in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf); invaded Grenada and Panama; and intervened militarily in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, Nicaragua, Haiti and other countries.

During that same period, the Soviets invaded eastern European nations twice (Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968), basically to maintain the status quo. Elsewhere, there was a brief border conflict with China in 1969 that killed around 150 soldiers on both sides. And the Soviets of course invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to shore up the secular regime faced with Islamist opposition. That’s about it. Actually, if you compare it to the U.S. record, a pretty paltry record of aggression for a superpower.

That Islamist opposition in Afghanistan, as we know, morphed into the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the group founded in Iraq by one-time bin Laden rival Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that’s now called ISIL or the Islamic State. Referred to—almost affectionately—by the U.S. press in the 1980s as the “Mujahadeen” (“those engaged in jihad”), these religious militants were lionized at the time as anti-communist holy warriors by Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Brzezinski told the president six months before the Soviets sent in troops that by backing the jihadis the U.S. could “induce a Soviet military intervention.” The U.S., he declared, had “the opportunity of giving the USSR its Vietnam War” and could now “bleed” the Soviets as they had bled the U.S. in Vietnam.

Comment: The Soviets did no such thing to the US in Vietnam. To believe such is to believe the schizoidal fantasies of a madman.

(Linger for a moment on the morality here. The Soviets had helped the Vietnamese fight an unpopular, U.S.-backed regime and confront the horrors of the U.S. assault on their country. Now—to get back, as Brzezinski out it—the U.S. could help extreme Islamists whose minds are in the Middle Ages to “induce” Soviet intervention, so as to kill conscript Soviet boys and prevent the advent of modernity.)

Comment: Again, the Soviets did no such thing in Vietnam. Brzezinski only said that to craft a plausibly-acceptable rationale for diabolical US imperial designs.

Brzezinski seated with President Carter
The anti-Soviet jihadis were welcomed to the White House by President Ronald Reagan during a visit in 1985. Reagan, perhaps already showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, trumpeted them as “the moral equivaent of America’s founding fathers.” This is when the great bulk of U.S. (CIA) aid to the Mujahadeen was going into the coffers of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a vicious warlord now aligned with the Taliban. One of many former U.S. assets (Saddam Hussein included) who had a falling-out with the boss, he was the target of at least one failed CIA drone strike in 2002. 

Thus the Soviets’ one and only protracted military conflict during the Cold War, lasting from December 1979 to February 1989 and costing some 14,000 Soviet lives, was a conflict with what U.S. pundits have taken to calling “Islamist terrorism.”

The Soviets were surely not facing anticommunists pining for “freedom” as this might be conceptualized in some modern ideology. The enemy included tribal leaders and clerics who objected to any changes in the status of girls and women, in particular their dress, and submission to patriarchal authority in such matters as marriage.

The would-be Soviet-backed revolutionaries faced religious fanatics ignorant about women’s medical needs, hostile to the very idea of public clinics, and opposed to women’s education, (In fact the Soviets were able to raise the literacy rate for women during the 1980s—a feat not matched by the new occupiers since 2001—but this was mainly due to the fact that they maintained control over Kabul, where women could not only get schooling but walk around without a headscarf.)

Those days ended when the Soviet-installed regime of Mohammad Najibullah was toppled by Northern Alliance forces in April 1992.

Things only became worse. Civil war between the Pastun Hekmatyar and his Tajik rivals immediately broke out and Hekmatyar’s forces brutally bombarded the capital—something that hadn’t happened during the worst days of the Soviet period.

As civil war deepened, the Taliban emerged, presenting itself as a morally upright, Sharia-based leadership. Acquiring a large social base, it took Kabul in September 1996. Among its first acts was to seize Najibullah, who had taken refuge in the UN compound in the city three years earlier, castrate him, and hang him publicly, denying him a proper Muslim burial.

Just as the neocons were crowing about the triumph of capitalism over communism, and the supposed “end of history,” the Frankenstein’s monster of Islamism reared up its ugly head. There were no tears shed in western capitals for Najibullah. But the Taliban were viewed with concern and distaste and the UN seat remained with the former Northern Alliance regime controlling just 10% of the country.

How the Cold War Encouraged “Radical Islam”

Surely the U.S.—which had packed up and left after the Soviet withdrawal, leaving the Pakistanis with a massive refugee problem and Afghanistan in a state of chaos—had bled the Soviets, and anyone daring to ally with them. And surely this experience contributed to the realization ofBrzezinski’s fondest wish: the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But it also produced Islamist terrorism, big time, while the U.S.—having once organized the recruitment and training of legions of jihadis from throughout the Muslim world to bleed the Soviets—was and is now obliged to deal with blow-back, and in its responses invariably invites more terror.

Is it not obvious that U.S. military actions against its various “terrorist” targets in the “Greater” Middle East, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya have greatly swelled the ranks of al-Qaeda branches as well as ISIL?

And does not the course of events in Afghanistan—where the Kabul government remains paralyzed and inept, warlords govern the provincial cities, the Supreme Court sentences people to death for religious offenses, much of the countryside has been conceded to the Talibs and the militants are making inroads in the north—convince you that the U.S. should not have thrown in its lot with the jihadis versus the Soviet-backed secular forces thirty-five years ago?

In a 1998 interview by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn Brzezinski was asked if he regretted “having given arms and advice to future [Islamist] terrorists.”

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

In other words, winning the contest with Russia—bleeding it to collapse—was more important than any risk of promoting militant Islamic fundamentalism. It is apparent that that mentality lingers, when, even in the post-9/11 world, some State Department officials would rather see Damascus fall to ISIL than be defended by Russians in support of a secular regime.

NATO to the Rescue in the Post-Cold War World

Since the fall of the USSR, and the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact, what has NATO been up to? First of all, it moved to fill a power vacuum in the Balkans. Yugoslavia was falling apart. It had been neutral throughout the Cold War, a member of neither NATO nor the Warsaw Pact. As governments fell throughout Eastern Europe, secessionist movements in the multi-ethnic republic produced widespread conflict. U.S. Secretary of State Baker worried that the breakup of Yugoslavia’s breakup would produce regional instability and opposed the independence of Slovenia.

But the German foreign minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl—flushed with pride at Germany’s reunification and intent on playing a more powerful role in the world—pressed for Yugoslavia’s dismantling. (There was a deep German historical interest in this country. Nazi Germany had occupied Slovenia from 1941 to 1945, establishing a 21,000-strong Slovene Home Guard and planting businesses. Germany is now by far Slovenia’s number one trading partner.) Kohl’s line won out.

Yugoslavia, which had been a model of inter-ethnic harmony, became torn by ethnic strife in the 1990s. In Croatia, Croatians fought ethnic Serbs backed by the Yugoslav People’s Army; in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs quarreled over how to divide the land. In Serbia itself, the withdrawal of autonomy of the provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina produced outrage among ethnic Albanians. In 1995 images of emaciated Bosniak men and boys in Serb-constructed prison camps were widely publicized in the world media as Bill Clinton resolved not to let Rwanda (read: genocide!) happen again. Not on his watch. America would save the day.

Or rather: NATO would save the day! Far from being less relevant after the Cold War, NATO, Clinton claimed, was the only international force capable of handling this kind of challenge. And thus NATO bombed, and bombed—for the first time ever, in real war—until the Bosnian Serbs pleaded for mercy. The present configuration of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a dysfunctional federation including a Serbian mini-republic, was dictated by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and his deputy Richard Holbrooke at the meeting in Dayton, Ohio in November 1995.

Russia, the traditional ally of the Serbs, was obliged to watch passively as the U.S. and NATO remapped the former Yugoslavia. Russia was itself, in the 1990s, under the drunken buffoon Boris Yeltsin, a total mess. The economy was nose-diving; despair prevailed; male longevity had plummeted. The new polity was anything but stable. During the “Constitutional Crisis” of September-October 1993, the president had even ordered the army to bombard the parliament building to force the legislators to heed his decree to disband. In the grip of corrupt oligarchs and Wild West capitalism, Russians were disillusioned and demoralized.

Then came further insults from the west. During Yeltsin’s last year, in March 1999, the U.S. welcomed three more nations into NATO: Czechoslovakia (later the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Hungary, and Poland. These had been the most powerful Warsaw Pact countries aside from the USSR and East Germany. This was the first expansion of NATO since 1982 (when Spain had joined) and understandably upset the Kremlin. ‘What possible reason is there to expand NATO now?’ the Russians asked, only to be assured that NATO was not against anybody.

The Senate had voted to extend membership to Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1998. At that time, George Kennan—the famous U.S. diplomat who’d developed the cold war strategy of containment of the Soviet Union—was asked to comment:

I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” averred the 94-year-old Kennan. “I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever… It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expansion advocates] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are – but this is just wrong.

Comment: Exactly as we said above: the Western oligarchy have always done everything to bait Russia into actions that it can later hold up as ‘proof’ of Russia’s evil intentions. That Kennan – supposedly one of the ‘wise men’ of US foreign policy – would be disappointed that the US would do as it has always done shows that he was one of the naive believers in the ‘Cold War/East-West/Capitalism-Communism’ dichotomy.Behind the ideological smokescreen, it’s much simpler than that. As a US Senate committee established, way back in the late 19th century: ‘There can only be one United States in this world’.

Russia, being the largest country on Earth, is the US’ main rival for ‘world policeman’.

NATO Versus Serbia

In that same month of March 1999, NATO (including its three new members) began bombing the Serbian capital of Belgrade, the first time since World War II that a European capital was subjected to bombardment. The official reason was that Serbian state forces had been abusing the Albanians of Kosovo province; diplomacy had failed; and NATO intervention was needed to put things right. This rationale was accompanied by grossly exaggerated reports of Serbian security forces’ killings of Kosovars, supposedly amounting to “genocide.”

This was largely nonsense. The U.S. had demanded at the conference in Rambouillet, France, that Serbia withdraw its forces from Kosovo and restore autonomy to the province. Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic had agreed. But the U.S. also demanded that Belgrade accept NATO forces throughout the entire territory of Yugoslavia—something no leader of a sovereign state could accept. Belgrade refused, backed by Russia.

A “senior State Department official” (likely U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) boasted to reporters that at Rambouillet we intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. . . . The Serbs needed a little bombing to see reason.” Henry Kissinger (no peacenik) told the press in June: “The Rambouillet text, which called on Serbia to admit NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, was a provocation, an excuse to start bombing. Rambouillet is not a document that an angelic Serb could have accepted. It was a terrible diplomatic document that should never have been presented in that form.”

The U.S. had obtained UN approval for the NATO strikes on Bosnia-Herzegovina four years before. But it did not seek it this time, or try to organize a UN force to address the Kosovo problem. In effect, it insisted that NATO be recognized as the representative of “the international community.”

It was outrageous. Still, U.S. public opinion was largely persuaded that the Serbs had failed to negotiate peace in good faith and so deserved the bombing cheered on by the press, in particular CNN’s “senior international correspondent,” Christiane Amanpour, a State Department insider who kept telling her viewers, “Milosevic continues to thumb his nose at the international community“—because he’d refused a bullying NATO ultimatum that even Kissinger identified as a provocation!

After the mass slaughter of Kosovars became a reality (as NATO bombs began to fall on Kosovo), and after two and a half months of bombing focused on Belgrade, a Russian-brokered deal ended the fighting. Belgrade was able to avoid the NATO occupation that it had earlier refused. (In other words, NATO had achieved nothing that the Serbs hadn’t already conceded in Rambouillet!)

As the ceasefire went into effect on June 21, a column of about 30 armored vehicles carrying 250 Russian troops moved from peacekeeping duties in Bosnia to establish control over Kosovo’s Pristina Airport. (Just a little reminder that Russia, too, had a role to play in the region.)

This took U.S. NATO commander Wesley Clark by surprise. He ordered that British and French paratroopers be flown in to seize the airport but the British General Sir Mike Jackson wisely balked. “I’m not going to have my soldiers start World War III,” he declared.

I think it likely this dramatic last minute gesture at the airport was urged by the up-and-comi

Posted in USA, Europe, RussiaComments Off on The Madness of NATO expansion: Seeking Russia’s Destruction since 1949

Organizer of Crimean blockade brags that Turkey promised him a battalion

NOVANEWS

VIKTOR DRACHEV

 

Lenur Islyamov, one of the organizers of the so-called Crimean blockade, says that the Turkish defense ministry has promised to provide his group with assistance for the formation of a 560-man volunteer battalion, to be comprised of Crimean Tatar nationalist volunteers.In an interview for the Odessa Crisis Media Center, cited by Russia’s RIA Novosti, Islyamov, the Tatar nationalist organizer who earlier published photos of himself posing with Turkish Grey Wolves militants, and who has since declared that his activists were preparing for a ‘naval blockade’ of Crimea, said that the Turkish defense ministry would assist his group by providing it with clothing and footwear.

According to the radical activist, the new formation will consist of 560 volunteers. By January 15, the formation will be assigned a number as an official military unit. The unit’s main objective, Islyamov says, will be the “defense of the Crimean border from inside Crimea itself,” in addition to “attacks” against unspecified targets.

One of the organizers of the so-called Crimean food and energy blockades, Islyamov emphasized the need to continue and to expand these two initiatives, and to add a naval component to the blockade. In his words, “small boats can attack ships carrying goods to Crimea,” and there are other, “more interesting methods” of organizing a blockade.

Last week, Turkish and Ukrainian media reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had met with Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov, two Ukrainian politicians considered to be the other organizers of the Crimean blockade.

Asked for comment on Islyamov’s statements by Russian radio station RSN, Crimea Governor Sergei Menyailo suggested that Turkey has effectively struck another ‘stab in the back’ against Russia. “This is not right. This is another stab in the back against Russia. Turkey is showing its true colors,” the governor noted.

For her part, Irina Yarovaya, the head of the State Duma Committee on Security and on Combating Corruption, suggested that if Islyamov’s boasting turns out to be true, this will only further sully Turkey’s reputation. “If Turkey, through the country’s ministry of defense, has committed to assist Ukrainian national-saboteurs, the reputation of Turkish authorities will face a further devaluation, and they will secure their status as accomplices and traitors.”

Comment: That status is already firmly established. Turkish authorities have attacked Russia, invaded Iraq, and brutally attacked the local Kurdish population

Commenting on the Tatar radical’s remarks, Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense, emphasized that Turkey has long been involved in attempts to play the ‘Crimean Tatar card’ against Russia.

“Essentially, this is a continuation of the policy of playing the Crimean Tatar card; the Turkish leadership has been playing it for a long time. After the reunification of Crimea with Russia, this policy has seen a marked increase, which, of course, has not escaped our attention.”

According to the senator, there is also evidence that Turkey is helping with the formation of the new battalion not only materially, but with the ‘human factor’ as well, with Turkish citizens rumored to be enlisted.

Posted in Russia, Turkey, UkraineComments Off on Organizer of Crimean blockade brags that Turkey promised him a battalion

DEA shamed by federal judge for fabricating sham cases to justify war on drugs

NOVANEWS
Justin Gardner
Since the War on Drugs began in earnest under Nixon and Reagan, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has ruined millions of lives for nonviolent, victimless behavior. The DEA’s drug crusade is not limited to the homeland either, as it also has sole responsibility for pursing international drug investigations.After 9/11, among the many travesties of the Patriot Act was a little-known section that gave the DEA powerful new abilities, under the guise of “narco-terrorism.” The agency says that these new pursuits are promoting national security, and it uses the purported success to lobby Congress for more funding.

However, according to ProPublica, these narco-terrorism cases are merely staging threats, not stopping them. Many targets of the DEA have no actual involvement in terrorist groups and are the hapless victims of entrapment.

A federal court recently showed the reality of this when it threw out a conviction because the DEA relied on a known “fabricator.” This Afghan informant, identified during trial only as Qari, formed almost the entire basis of the DEA’s case against alleged narco-terrorist Haji Bagcho.

“In a 24-page ruling, issued last Friday, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle vacated the narco-terrorism count against Bagcho, saying “the government violated the defendant’s right to due process by failing to turn over favorable impeachment evidence.” She wrote, “Evidence that the DEA’s Kabul office was told that Qari had been deemed a liar by another government agency, yet it still elected to use him as a witness would serve to undermine the reliability of the government’s investigation and its sources.”

Qari was paid $45,000 by the DEA for acting as a confidential informant while the usual income in Afghanistan was less than $600. A previous court had already designated Qari a “fabricator and/or information peddler,” and that other agency mentioned in Huvelle’s ruling had deemed his information “unrealistic and sensational.”

The DEA pleaded ignorance in using Qari, saying its failure was due to “discrepancies in the spelling of Qari’s name.”

Only a month ago, ProPublica and the New Yorker “examined some 37 narco-terrorism cases highlighted by the DEA and found that a disturbing number of them also unraveled. In most of the cases, the only evidence of a link between drugs and terrorism entered into evidence was provided by the DEA, which used paid informants to lure targets into staged narco-terrorism conspiracies.”

The case of Harouna Touré and Idriss Abdelrahman provides another example. The DEA launched an elaborate scheme to entrap the two smugglers in a narco-terrorism plot, involving fabricated tales of thousands of FARC fighters ready to collaborate against the U.S. This was the first narco-terrorism case brought against al Qaida, and DEA was hoping to make a big show.

“As the Malians’ case proceeded, however, its flaws became apparent. The defendants emerged as more hapless than hardened, childhood friends who believed that the DEA’s informants were going to make them rich. “They were lying to us. And we were lying to them,” Touré told me from prison. Judge Barbara Jones, who oversaw the final phases of the case, said, “There was no actual involvement by the defendants or the undercovers … in the activities of either al-Qaida or the FARC.” Another judge saw as many problems with the statute as with the merits of the case. “Congress has passed a law that attempts to bind the world,” he said to me.”

These sting operations, better known as entrapment, are a favorite tool of law enforcement—from local police departments to the FBI to the DEA in Afghanistan. Besides being a waste of taxpayer money, they are a morally reprehensible way for the state to carry out its dirty drug war. Even judges are not buying it anymore.

Posted in USAComments Off on DEA shamed by federal judge for fabricating sham cases to justify war on drugs

Golan Heights plan to set up united resistance front against Nazi regime

NOVANEWS
The residents of Syria’s Golan Heights will soon set up a united resistance front against the Nazi regime of I$raHell, a provincial official stated on Sunday.“We will see the integration of popular resistance in both the free and occupied territories of the Golan Heights,” member of Syria’s Quneitra Provincial Council Ra’afat al-Bokar told FNA on Sunday.

Al-Bokar reiterated that the residents of the Golan Heights have continued their popular resistance ever since the Nazi occupation of some parts of the strategic heights by the Nazi regime in 1967.

“I confidently say that the people have and will never halt their resistance; we will soon witness integrated efforts by popular resistance forces throughout the Golan Heights against Israel,”  the provincial official added.

Nazi regime captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967, when it also took control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, although the move was never recognized by the international community and was labeled as a blatant violation of international law.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on Golan Heights plan to set up united resistance front against Nazi regime

Anti-Muslim hysteria: Map reveals extent of fascist revival across EU

NOVANEWS
FAR-RIGHT parties are on the march across Europe as the unprecedented migrant crisis gripping the continent fuels a surge in support for nationalist movements.

Far-right parties have made significant gains across Europe this year

This shocking map shows how anti-immigration campaigners have enjoyed huge gains in this year’s elections, whilst thousands have taken to the streets to protest against the overwhelming influx of migrants and refugees.

From Greece to Germany and Switzerland to Sweden, far-right protestors and parties have stormed the mainstream of European politics as voters rebel against years of predominantly socialist rule.

In France Marine Le Pen’s controversial Front National came within a whisker of winning control over swathes of the country, whilst the traditionally liberal societies of Scandinavia turned their backs on moderates amid unprecedented migratory pressure.

As 2015 draws to a close, Express.co.uk has taken a look at the worrying shift towards the far-right and the inept responses of mainstream politicians which could see the continent once more gripped by fear and intolerance.

AUSTRIA 

Any mention of far-right politics carries dark historical connotations for the Austrians as the nation gave birth to Adolf Hitler.

But extremist politicians have benefited from a surge in support largely due to the ongoing migrant crisis. Austria has been overwhelmed by the flow of migrants in 2015, with hundreds of thousands of people arriving on its borders seeking passage to a better life in neighbouring Germany.

The far-right Freedom Party (FPO) has stepped into the chaotic political vacuum that has ensued, quietly but confidently positioning itself as a protector of Austria’s heritage and borders against the tide of refugees. In late September the party stormed to success in local elections, doubling its share of the vote to more than 30% and securing 18 seats in Upper Austria, second only to the ruling regional conservatives.

In early October the FPO continued its meteoric rise, giving the socialist mayor of Vienna a major scar, securing nearly a third of the vote in what is traditionally one of Europe’s most liberal capitals. They have also consistently performed well in national opinion polls this year, with most carried out since May showing the far-right party in the lead – some by as many as 10 points.

The next Austrian general election will take place by the end of 2018 and the mainstream parties are now facing a major battle to keep the far-right FPO out of power.

DENMARK 

The far-right Danish People’s Party (DF) has been so successful in recent elections that it now has the balance of power and could topple the Danish coalition government. The party finished second in June’s general election after securing 21% of the vote and 37 seats in the country’s 179-seat parliament.

Leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl eventually opted to form a ruling coalition with the conservatives, but has recently threatened to “topple” the government by pulling out if there is any attempt to soften its stance on immigration. The head of the deposed Social Democrats has called for a compromise over Denmark’s tough immigration laws, but the DF is so powerful that now seems extremely unlikely.

The party, founded in 1995, campaigns against mass migration and multiculturalism, with former leader Pia Kjærsgaard stating that she did “not want Denmark as a multiethnic, multicultural society”. In 2010 it proposed a complete ban on all immigrants from outside Europe, excluding refugees in need of shelter.

The rise of the far-right in Denmark mirrors a similar situation in other Scandinavian countries, which are sparsely populated and critics say are ill-suited to take in huge numbers of migrants from the Middle East.

FINLAND 

The Finns Party (PS) – known as the ‘True Finns’ – has enjoyed a meteoric rise similar to the Danish People’s Party (DP) and is now a major player in Finland’s coalition government. The nationalists became Finland’s second largest political party when they won 17.7% of the votes in April’s general election and entered into a pact with the ruling Conservatives.

Like the DP, the eurosceptic party espouses essentially left-wing economic policies but allied to a hardline stance on immigration. Its leadership publicly denounces racism and discrimination although comments by some of its MPs, including Teuvo Hakkarainen who used an offensive word to describe black people and mocked Islamic calls to prayer.

Founded in 1995 the PS has risen to prominence in recent years because of concerns about immigration. It made its breakthrough to become the third largest party in Finland 2011 – the same year an opinion poll revealed that 51% of its voters agreed with the statement “people of certain races are unsuited for life in a modern society”.

FRANCE 

The Front National (FN) party stunned Europe and the world when it stormed to victory in the first round of the French local elections earlier this month. Led by the charismatic Marine Le Pen, daughter of its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, the far-right party tapped into concerns about high immigration and home-grown extremism in the aftermath of the bloody massacre in Paris.

It scooped an astonishing 28% of the national vote in the first round of the elections, polling first place in six of France’s 13 administrative regions and winning more than six million votes. The party was routed in the second round of voting, but only because Francois Hollande’s socialists dropped out of the running in two regions and urged their voters to back former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservatives instead.

Such a pact between the Labour and Tory parties in the UK would be unthinkable, and underlines the desperation of moderate French politicians who have been outflanked and out-thought by the rapid rise of the FN. Despite the result political commentators have said the momentum remains behind France’s far-right, and Ms Le Pen is expected to make a major push for the presidency next year.

GERMANY For decades Germany has prided itself on the almost complete non-existence of far-right politics in the country. But the recent refugee crisis, and Angela Merkel’s decision to throw open the country’s doors to unlimited numbers of migrants, has stoked tensions and fears that nationalist politics could make return.

Recent opinion polls suggest such concerns are not unfounded, with the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party making huge gains off the bank of anti asylum-seeker statements. The party – whose name means Alternative for Germany – is campaigning under the slogan “Asylum requires borders – Red card for Merkel”. It scored 8% of the electorate in an opinion poll published this month, which marks a doubling in its support since September. At the same time Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats, who have pursued a policy of demonising and denouncing right-wing and populist parties, saw their support slip from 40% to 37%.

Elsewhere the openly far-right group Pegida held one of its biggest ever rallies in Dresden in October, with 20,000 people taking to the streets to protest against immigration. The movement’s attitudes towards immigrants have been repeatedly compared to those of the Nazis, and a speaker at the Dresden rally spoke of his regret that “the concentration camps are out of action”.

This year has also seen a sharp rise in the number of attacks against immigrant housing, according to German charities. The Amadeu Antonio Stiftung and PRO ASYL groups compiled statistics showing that there were 429 attacks on refugee shelters up to the end of October, including 93 arson attacks, compared with 153 attacks for all of 2014.

GREECE 

Greek politics has become a tale of two extremes in recent years as the country battles a crushing economic depression and an overwhelming influx of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from neighbouring Turkey.

Despite electing a radical socialist government Greeks have also voted in their droves for the openly fascist Golden Dawn party this year. The violent group was one of the biggest winners in the country’s September general election, called by president Alexis Tsipras so that voters could have their say on a controversial EU bailout package.

Instead the election served to underline the growing popularity of neo-fascists Golden Dawn, who polled third overall with more than 7% of the vote. After the result was announced its spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, who sports a Swastika tattoo, triumphantly declared: ³Golden Dawn is a movement of power, it is not a protest movement any more.”

Greek prosecutors have accused Golden Dawn of being a criminal gang, not a political party, and most of its leaders stand accused of horrific crimes including murder, armed attacks, money laundering and people trafficking, which they deny.

Ordinary Greeks have been left feeling betrayed by other European countries over a series of suffocating bailout packages, which have stopped the country’s stricken economy from imploding but have also completely stifled any recovery. The country is also on the frontline of the current refugee crisis, with 7,000 migrants arriving on its shores every day. Golden Dawn, unsurprisingly, polled particularly well on the inundated islands of Lesbos and Kos and also picked up a large haul of votes in the Athens region.

With Greece’s economic problems and the migrant situation unlikely to end any time soon, there are fears that Golden Dawn could make a more serious play for power in the future.

HUNGARY 

Another nation feeling the extreme pressures of the migrant crisis, one in five Hungarians turned to an ultra far-right party in last year’s election. The central European state, which is governed by populist right-wing president Viktor Orban, has built a huge 110 mile long fence along its border with Serbia in a desperate bid to keep hundreds of thousands of German-bound migrants out.

But despite Mr Orban’s hardline stance against immigration, 20.7% of Hungarians voted for anti-semitic Jobbik in last April’s general election. A year later the party won its first by-election in the country, with Lajos Rig beating Mr Orban’s candidate despite sharing an article which accused the Jews of using gipsies as a “biological weapon” against native Hungarians.

The party’s leader, Gabor Vona, later said: ³The mood in Hungary is for a change in government, and with Jobbik, Hungary finally has the force to change the government.”

Jobbik has consistently gained on Mr Orban’s Fidesz party in the polls this year, and has scored as highly as 17% before dropping back to 15% in September. But the party has had a serious effect on the country’s politics – it was Jobbik which suggested constructing the razor wire fence later championed by Mr Orban, and he also followed their calls to deploy the army to the border to deter migrants.

Hungary has built a huge fence to keep out migrants
ITALY As in Greece, Italian voters are faced with economic hardship and a place on the Mediterranean frontline of the migrant crisis. Despite being ruled by the socialist government of Matteo Renzi, it is the far-right Northern League party which has made real strides in recent elections.

The nationalist party, whose candidates have made xenophobic comments towards Roma gypsies and immigrants, secured its best ever results in this summer’s regional elections. Standing on an anti-immigrant platform, the Northern League won the regions of Veneto – with a landslide 50% of the vote – and neighbouring Lombardy.

It also struck a humiliating blow against the ruling socialists by wooing 20% of the electorate in Tuscany, the left-wing heartland of Mr Renzi’s Democratic Party. The Northern League’s eccentric leader, Matteo Salvini, has previously said Roma camps to be razed, called the Euro a “crime against humanity” and even accused Pope Francis of betraying Christians by promoting dialogue with Muslims.

In Veneto, his party ordered officials to clear all refugee reception centres near tourist hotspots, claiming that the the sight of African migrants was having a “devastating effect” on local traders.

Mr Salvini has emerged as the self-proclaimed leader of the country’s political right, stepping into the void left by the downfall of former president Sylvio Berlusconi, and his party will be eyeing up more success when Italians next go to the polls by May 2018.

THE NETHERLANDS 

Opinion polls in Holland suggest that the country’s main far-right party, Party for Freedom (PVV) could be on track to storm to victory at the next general election. Support for the anti-immigration party has risen to record highs this year, with it opening up a cavernous 18 point lead on all its rivals.

On current predictions the eurosceptic group would win 37 seats in the Dutch parliament if there was an election tomorrow, securing around a quarter of the vote in a country known for being governed by coalition. Pollsters say that the party’s popularity is growing outside its traditional working class base, with the number of graduates willing to vote for it tripling in just a few months.

The PVV is run by controversial politician Geert Wilders, who has previously said that Europe should close its borders to Muslims and described the refugee crisis as an “Islamic invasion”. More recently he has supported Donald Trump over his similar proposed policy for the United States, saying he hopes he becomes the country’s next president.

Mr Wilders and his party have preyed on people’s fears over a potentially huge influx of migrants and have positioned themselves as champions of traditional Dutch society. Holland, which has a population of just 17 million, is braced to take in about 60,000 asylum seekers by the end of the year.

SWEDEN 

Another Scandinavian country seeing a huge surge in the popularity of the far-right, once more largely brought about by the European migrant crisis. Sparsely populated Sweden, home to just 9.5 million people, will take in a record 190,000 refugees from the Middle East this year alone.

Fears over how the predominantly Muslim migrants will integrate into society has seen traditionally liberal Swedes turn their backs on socialist politicians and instead embrace the anti-immigrant Swedish Democrats (SD).

The SD – which wants to close Sweden’s borders to immigrants and has neo-Nazi ties – has seen a surge in support with eight separate opinion polls this year placing it as the largest party in the country. Seven of those have put its support at over 25% – comfortably ahead of the ruling Social Democratic Party.

It is already the country¹s third-largest party, with 49 representatives in parliament, following success in last year’s general election and will be looking to make further gains when Swedes next head to the ballot box on 9 September, 2018.

SWITZERLAND

Even though Switzerland is neither part of the EU nor the Schengen free movement zone, concerns about the ongoing migrant crisis have played strongly on people’s minds. The small Alpine country, known for its chocolate, time pieces and secretive banks, lurched to the right in recent elections as centrist parties haemorrhaged support.

The ultra-conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which has warned of “asylum chaos” in Europe and wants to impose strict immigration quotas, secured its best ever result in October’s election winning 29.4% of the vote. The party’s rise has been fuelled by anger over a number of Switzerland’s bilateral agreements with the EU, including its pledge to take in Syrian refugees as part of the wider quota system agreed by member states.

Swiss media have referred to the result as a “rechtsrutsch,” or a slide to the right and have warned it will isolate the country even further from the rest of Europe. The controversial party was embroiled in a race row in 2007 after it unveiled an apparently racist poster about foreign criminals.

The publicity campaign, designed to highlight the SVP’s proposed policy of deporting all foreign criminals, showed three white sheep kicking a black sheep over a border to the backdrop of a Swiss flag. More than a fifth of Switzerland’s population is foreign, with most having lived in the country for many years but not holding Swiss citizenship.

Posted in Europe, France, Germany, Greece, ItalyComments Off on Anti-Muslim hysteria: Map reveals extent of fascist revival across EU

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