Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Putin's Irish useful idiots vote down European Parliament resolution on Russia

Russia and Ukraine were the biggest states in the Soviet Union after its collapse in 1991 (December 26, 1991). Ukraine held an independence referendum in early December 1991 with the blessing of Russia. Voter turnout was at 84% and a stunning 90.3% voted for independence. Two-thirds of the estimated 1-1.5mn Soviet military personnel stationed on Ukrainian territory backed independence. Hundreds of foreign observers and correspondents were in Kyiv.

The new independent republic held about 5,000 nuclear missiles. Only Russia and the United States had more weapons. In 1994 the Ukrainian government decided to give up its nuclear arms in exchange for security guarantees from the US, the UK and Russia. The agreement is known as the Budapest Memorandum.

Putin, the Russian dictator, dismissed the Budapest Memorandum and since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, he has threatened to use nuclear weapons in the country.

The Crimean peninsula was annexed in 2014 after a pro-Kremlin government in Ukraine was ousted. The president fled to Russia in February after protests in which more than 100 people died. Russian troops began an invasion of Crimea later in the month.

In a televised address before the invasion in February 2022, Putin explicitly denied that Ukraine had ever had “real statehood,” and he claimed that the country was an integral part of Russia’s “own history, culture, spiritual space.”

Putin also said Russia would "seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine,” stating, “your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine.”

The Soviet Union long denied collaboration with Nazi Germany under the secret 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, only acknowledging and denouncing it in 1989 under Mikhail Gorbachev. In September 1939 the Nazis invaded Poland from the west and Soviet Communists invaded from the east.  

Kievan Rus’ – a medieval state that came into existence in the 9th century had Kyiv as its capital and was founded hundreds of years earlier than Moscow while Ukraine has its own distinct language and customs.

Putin could not tolerate an emerging democracy on his borders with the prospect of Ukraine joining the European Union. However, joining NATO was not on the agenda of the organisation. 

Useful idiots

Alexey Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said last August, "A dangerous Russian narrative, which Putin’s 'useful idiots' in the West are happy to pick up: Ukraine will not be able to return the occupied territories militarily. It’s a delusion! We can and we will. First – the destruction of the invaders, then – diplomacy. The only language that the Russians understand."

The term "useful idiot", for a naive or unwitting person, was believed to be first recorded in 1864 in 'The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, and Art,' a London periodical. The context was politics in France.

In the past decade, Vladimir Putin built up admirers in Europe among the right and the left. Trump's admiration gave Putin an audience in the United States including Fox News.

Never mind the murder of political opponents and journalists, in Europe he bankrolled so-called populist parties.

Since the invasion Irish members of the European Parliament (MEPs) – Clare Daly and Mick Wallace – have supported Putin and they have appeared in several interviews with state media mouthpieces of Russia and China.  

Calling for a ceasefire and an end to Western military supplies would be a gift for the dictator. 

Daly told China's Global Times last April "I never believed that NATO was there to safeguard peace and security in Europe. And if people thought that it was established for that, it certainly never succeeded in delivering. NATO's purpose is US control of Europe. Its first Secretary General, Lord Hastings, said that it existed 'to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.' NATO has never brought peace anywhere in the world." 

Sinn Féin, an Irish party, was a supporter of Putin and in 2015 SF abstained in a European Parliament resolution. It complained that the resolution was "unbalanced" as it condemned rights abuses in Russia and criticised Russia's annexation of Crimea. In 2019 the then-MEP Lynn Boylan said that the EU was being "overly confrontational" towards Russia.

In December 2021 Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus voted against a resolution in the European Parliament, that supported Ukraine’s independence and said Putin’s military build-up at Ukraine’s borders represented a threat to Europe’s peace. It called on Russia to respect its international obligations.

SF did a U-turn after the actual invasion and it purged its website of references to Putin and Russia.

Last week a large majority in the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning Russia's fake referenda and annexation of Ukrainian regions. 504 members voted in favour of increased military aid to Kyiv and 26 voted against  and among them were two Irish MEPs Clare Daily and Mick Wallace. Luke Flanagan abstained which was the badge of a coward.

An amendment by the Left group was rejected. It called for "negotiations and dialogue" and said Ukrainian regions should have a "certain degree of autonomy ...where appropriate, as well as neutral status for Ukraine."

The vote on the amendment among Irish MEPs was: In favour  the Left's Daly, Flanagan, Wallace; Abstention: Sinn Féin/Left's Chris MacManus and Against: FG, FF, Green MEPs.

Shame on the Irish useful idiots who forget their own history of colonialism.

Article by Vladimir Putin "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians" — July 12, 2021. This is the  Kremlin's English version 

Putin's versions of history are myths – it's a crime to raise the August 1939 agreement between Hitler and Stalin when the two dictators split Eastern Europe into German and Russian zones with Poland disappearing from the map again. Publishing "incorrect history" can lead to large fines and up to 5 years in prison. 

Ukraine, George Orwell and emergence of state sovereignty

Useful idiots from Bernard Shaw to President Michael D Higgins

The term useful idiot has been misattributed to Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) the first leader of Soviet Russia. However, the communists did welcome both naïve and apologists of mass murder from the West, who believed that a new model of society was in the works.

'Reporting: Writings from the New Yorker' from David Remnick in 2008: "The habit of wilful obfuscation regarding the Soviet Union has a long painful history among some of the revered intellectuals of the century. The desire to wipe away the catastrophe of the Soviet Union makes for a depressing psychological portrait.

Remnick, the editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, quotes George Bernard Shaw, "We cannot afford to give ourselves moral airs when our most enterprising neighbour — the Soviet Union — "humanely and judiciously liquidates a handful of exploiters and speculators to make the world safe for honest man." Elsewhere Shaw said, "Mussolini, Kemal, Pilsudski, Hitler and the rest can all depend on me to judge them by their ability to deliver the goods and not by ... comfortable notions of freedom. Stalin has delivered the goods to an extent that seemed impossible."

The useful idiots of the 1930s ignored the mass murder.

Shaw was in Russia for 9 days in 1931 and he spent 3 hours with an impressive Stalin. The Soviet Union was on the cusp of a man-made famine that would kill about 5m people. Among them, according to a study conducted by a team of Ukrainian demographers, were at least 3.9m Ukrainians.

Stalin sent his secret police to Ukraine to kill the political elite.

Shaw held a press conference in London about his trip. To dispel the myth about severe hunger in the Soviet Union he said that in Russia he “ate the most slashing dinner in his life.”