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Russian routed in Ukraine, but is Putin in danger of losing power?

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Exactly 200 days after Russia invaded Ukraine, the defenders of the country managed to pull off a stunning rout of Russia’s forces, retaking an estimated 3,000 square kilometres of territory a town right up to the Russian border.

The war is not over, but a classic feint that threatened the central city of Kherson drew off Russian forces from Donbas where Kyiv concentrated its best troops and modern US weapons to strike a hammer blow that scattered Russian defenders and caused chaos.

Social media rapidly filled with emotional footage of local residents rushing out to meet the advancing Ukrainian forces with cheers, flags and tears of relief as they were liberated.

Basking in the success of the counteroffensive Ukraine’s Defence Ministry wryly commented on Russia’s abandonment of its military hardware as it retreated in disarray.

“Russia is trying to maintain its status as the largest supplier of military equipment for the Ukrainian army, and even to improve its status, knowing that lend-lease will soon come into effect”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has turned into an abject failure, but does it threaten his position?

“No exaggeration to say that the apparent scale of the collapse of the Russian army poses potentially the biggest threat to Putin’s rule since he came to power 22 years ago. Hardliners are furious, security chiefs unwilling to be made scapegoats. Next week [could] be very interesting,” Marc Bennetts, the Times correspondent in Moscow, tweeted.

Social media was set abuzz after municipal deputies in the Moscow district of Lomonosovsky publicly called for Putin to resign and called him a “traitor” in a statement released online.

In a very rare public show of dissent, the deputies said that “everything went wrong” after Putin returned to his second term of office and that they believe a change of power is necessary for the sake of the country.

The deputies claim that Putin’s aggressive rhetoric and his subordinates has thrown Russia back into the Cold War era, in an assessment largely shared by Western commentators. They also poured scorn on economic data that shows Russia’s economy has doubled in size under Putin’s tutelage and the quality of life has materially improved.

“Your views, your management model are hopelessly outdated and impede the development of Russia and its human potential,” the deputies said in their statement. The deputies appealed to close Putin confidant Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, saying that the system of local self-government does not actually work in Moscow, and dual power has developed at the district level, which hinders any initiatives of local residents and their representatives.

A similar protest earlier this week by seven deputies from St Petersburg’s local government ended with a summons to the local police where they were fined, RFE/RL reports. The lawmakers demanded parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, charge Putin with high treason over his decision to launch his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“One of the goals declared by the President of Russia is the demilitarisation of Ukraine, and we see that exactly the opposite is happening. It’s not that we fully support the goals declared by President Putin, but simply within the framework of his own rhetoric, he harms the security of the Russian Federation, Palyuga explained in an interview with The Insider. “We want to show people that there are deputies who do not agree with the current course and believe that Putin is harming Russia. We want to show people that we’re not afraid to talk about it.”

The loss in Ukraine was so large that even the military authorities had to admit to the setback, saying the Russian forces had withdrawn from several key cities and were “regrouping”. However, state-controlled media carried almost no reports on the scale of the losses and Muscovites in particular were distracted by the annual city day celebrations as life on the street in the rich Russian cities has changed little since the war started.

However, the news was seeping out and the Ministry of Defence was placed in the humiliating position of having to admit that it was pulling out of the Kharkiv region and abandoning Izyum, a key Russian-held city and a major logistics base for Russian supplies in the region.

“To achieve the declared aims of the special military operation to liberate Donbas, the decision has been taken to regroup Russian troops located in the Balakliya and Izyum areas in order to boost efforts in the Donetsk area. With that aim, over the last three days an operation has been carried out to draw down and redeploy the Izyum-BAlakliya forces to the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Russia’s military spokesman said in his latest update of the military action.

As the troops pulled back Russia struck civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv on the evening of September 11 plunging the city into darkness.

The retreat is a major failure and the tone on Russia’s political chat shows immediately changed. A top Russian political pundit was on the evening shows and raised some uncomfortable questions as the blame game got underway.

“The people that convinced President Putin that the special operation will be fast and effective, we won’t strike the civilian population, we will come in with our National Guard along with Kadyrovites, will bring things to order. These people set us all up,” Nadezhdin said. “Someone told him that Ukrainians will surrender, that they will flee, that they’ll want to join Russia.

“Now we are at the point where we have to understand that it’s absolutely impossible to defeat Ukraine using those resources and colonial war methods with which Russia is trying to wage war… A strong army is opposing the Russian army, fully supported by the most powerful countries, in the economic and technological sense, including European countries… I’m suggesting peace talks about stopping the war, and moving on to deal with political issues… Either we mobilise and have full-scale war, or we get out,” Nadezhdin went on to conclude.

Putin remains popular

Putin is not threatened by a popular revolt as he has once again played the “enemy at the gate” nationalist card that was so effective in 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimea and his approval rates, like then, have rallied on the back of Kremlin war propaganda.

Putin’s approval rating hovering above 80%, and 50.7% of those polled approved of the Russian government’s work, according to the most recent poll from state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) released at the end of last week.

Putin’s approval rating inched back up 0.8 percentage points to 80.3% in just the last week, but before the rout of Russia’s forces in Ukraine was reported.

“Asked if they trust Putin, 80.3% of the respondents answered in the affirmative (down 0.8 percentage points over the past week). Thus, 76.8% approved of the president’s activities (down 1.3 p.p. over the past week),” the pollster said, Tass reports.

In addition, 50.7% of those polled (down 0.1 p.p.) approved of the Russian government’s work, while 51.5% (down 0.3 p.p.) approved of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s endeavours. At the same time, 61.5% of the respondents said they trusted Mishustin (down 1 p.p. over the past week).

If regime change is to come, it is much more likely to be a palace coup, lead by disgruntled members of the siloviki, or security services faction in the Kremlin.

However, Putin has long cultivated his relations with the FSB, which remains the core of his powerbase, and has been careful never to do anything that undermines this organ. Filled with hardliners, the security fraction has supported the war in Ukraine. But the unknown now is how they will react to Russia’s crushing defeat in this battle. The knee jerk reaction will be to crack down even harder on dissent inside Russia and escalate the economic war with the West, say many pundits.

Russia has reached a crossroads where it is very difficult to say what will happen next. Analysts, pundits and even the Kremlin have been caught out by the speed and scale of the Ukrainian rout of the Russian forces. Analysts that have been following events closely from the start have had to admit they were taken totally by surprise by the events of this weekend.

“Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the northeast – liberating in a day territory that took Russia a month or more to conquer – is breath-taking. Inspiring, even,” tweeted Sam Greene, the Professor of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) at Kings College in London. “But it should also be sobering. Apart from anything else, it reveals just how much we struggle to analyse this war.”

“Focusing on objectives rather than achievability does not mean that we should ignore reality. Quite the opposite: the reality is that much of what we think we know about achievability is a fiction. Ukrainian troops on the outskirts of Donetsk seemed a fiction just yesterday,” Greene added.

In what may be unrelated news, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov brought up the topic of peace talks again in an interview on September 11.

“Russia does not reject negotiations with Ukraine, but their further delay by Kyiv will complicate the possibility of reaching an agreement with Moscow,” Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiya-1 TV channel on Sunday.

Lavrov noted that Putin conveyed Moscow’s position during a meeting with the State Duma and faction leaders. “The president told the meeting participants that we do not deny negotiations, but those who do should understand that the longer they postpone this process, the more difficult it will be for them to negotiate with us,” the minister said.


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Russian routed in Ukraine, but is Putin in danger of losing power? – bne IntelliNews

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It is likely that he will face Left socially and politically also. https://t.co/cnhKgeQPk4 Quoted tweet from @nytimes: There are 29 billion British coins in circulation with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on them. On all of them, she faces to the right. Now it’s King Charles III’s turn to be on the coins, but he’ll most likely be facing the other direction. nyti.ms/3RIGBlw

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It is likely that he will face Left socially and politically also.

https://t.co/cnhKgeQPk4

There are 29 billion British coins in circulation with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on them. On all of them, she faces to the right. Now it’s King Charles III’s turn to be on the coins, but he’ll most likely be facing the other direction. nyti.ms/3RIGBlw

The post It is likely that he will face Left socially and politically also.
https://t.co/cnhKgeQPk4

Quoted tweet from @nytimes:

There are 29 billion British coins in circulation with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on them. On all of them, she faces to the right. Now it’s King Charles III’s turn to be on the coins, but he’ll most likely be facing the other direction. nyti.ms/3RIGBlw first appeared on My News Links.


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С 12 сентября упрощенный визовый режим ЕС с Россией больше не работает: оформлять визы будет сложнее и дороже. При этом, в отличие от туристов, в ЕС ждут журналистов, диссидентов, членов семей европейцев и представителей гражданского общества dw.com/a-63087629?mac…

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С 12 сентября упрощенный визовый режим ЕС с Россией больше не работает: оформлять визы будет сложнее и дороже. При этом, в отличие от туристов, в ЕС ждут журналистов, диссидентов, членов семей европейцев и представителей гражданского общества dw.com/a-63087629?mac…

The post С 12 сентября упрощенный визовый режим ЕС с Россией больше не работает: оформлять визы будет сложнее и дороже. При этом, в отличие от туристов, в ЕС ждут журналистов, диссидентов, членов семей европейцев и представителей гражданского общества dw.com/a-63087629?mac… first appeared on My News Links.


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“Именно сейчас, перед наступлением зимы, нам необходимо поддержать Украину, чтобы она еще в этом году смогла освободить как можно больше своей территории”. Срочно увеличить поставки немецкого оружия Киеву призвал сопредседатель партии “зеленых” Омид Нурипурdw.com/a-63088091?mac…

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“Именно сейчас, перед наступлением зимы, нам необходимо поддержать Украину, чтобы она еще в этом году смогла освободить как можно больше своей территории”. Срочно увеличить поставки немецкого оружия Киеву призвал сопредседатель партии “зеленых” Омид Нурипурdw.com/a-63088091?mac…

The post “Именно сейчас, перед наступлением зимы, нам необходимо поддержать Украину, чтобы она еще в этом году смогла освободить как можно больше своей территории”. Срочно увеличить поставки немецкого оружия Киеву призвал сопредседатель партии “зеленых” Омид Нурипурdw.com/a-63088091?mac… first appeared on My News Links.


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7:39 AM 2/9/2021 – Investigate The Investigators! How many of the current and past FBI agents participated in the organizing, planning, and the execution of the Capitol Riot? The estimates of the rioters with the military background is between 20 and 50%. What are the estimates of the rioters with the FBI background? In my humble opinion, the FBI is the biggest and the most clear, imminent, and present threat and danger to the American Democracy. It is the tool of the totalitarian suppression of Freedom and dissent. Abolish the inept, incompetent, and brainless FBI! Investigate all the past and the current FBI CRIMES in depth, exhaustively and objectively. The FBI criminals should not have any part of the State Power! Keep the FBI guard dogs on a short leash or this hungry bunch will devour you, this country, and everything in sight. Michael Novakhov

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7:39 AM 2/9/2021 – Investigate The Investigators!
How many of the current and past FBI agents participated in the organizing, planning, and the execution of the Capitol Riot?
The estimates of the rioters with the military background is between 20 and 50%. What are the estimates of the rioters with the FBI background?
In my humble opinion, the FBI is the biggest and the most clear, imminent, and the present threat and danger to the American Democracy. It is the tool of the totalitarian suppression of Freedom and dissent.
Abolish the inept, incompetent, and brainless FBI! Investigate all the past and the current FBI CRIMES in depth, exhaustively and objectively. The FBI criminals should not have any part of the State Power!
Keep the FBI guard dogs on a short leash or this hungry bunch will devour you, this country, and everything in sight.
Michael Novakhov
FILE — In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters loyal to President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Arguments begin Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump on allegations that he incited the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:04 a.m. EST

Alleged Oath Keeper leader Thomas Caldwell was former FBI agent with top-secret clearance, attorney says

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Those details were revealed in a motion filed Monday asking a judge to let Caldwell out of custody, citing his long military career and ability to pass vetting for the high security clearance. His attorney also claimed that Caldwell has disabilities from his military service that would have prevented him from storming the Capitol.

The FBI did not immediately return an inquiry about Caldwell’s past employment status late Monday.

The claims about Caldwell’s high security clearance and FBI service add to concerns about extremism in the military and law enforcement. The indictments against numerous alleged rioters with military and police ties have led local agencies to launch investigations and the Pentagon to order each military branch to dedicate time to addressing the problem in the coming months.

“The presence of law enforcement officers in the riot reinforces and substantiates the greatest fears many in the public had in the nature of law enforcement in the United States,” Michael German, a former FBI special agent and fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, told The Washington Post.

“It’s incumbent on the Justice Department, if it wants to restore that confidence, to act quickly” to hold the most violent Capitol rioters accountable, he added.

Caldwell lives in Berryman, Va., and had been involved in local GOP politics. He was arrested on Jan. 19 in Virginia on charges of conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

The government alleges that Caldwell, whom an FBI agent identified as having “a leadership role in the Oath Keepers,” sent Facebook messages coordinating with members of the self-styled militia and sharing video from within the Capitol.

“Us storming the castle,” Caldwell allegedly said in one message that accompanied a video that showed a crowd within the Capitol, according to the criminal complaint. “Please share. Sharon was right with me! I am such an instigator!”

His case is one of several prosecutors are building against Oath Keepers and Proud Boys to make the case that the assault on Congress was premeditated and organized by extremists. Federal prosecutors are considering whether to file sedition charges against some of the accused rioters, the Associated Press reported.

In Monday’s motion for bond, Caldwell denied being a member of the Oath Keepers.

“Caldwell is not a member of the organization, nor has he ever been a member of the organization, and if he were, such membership would be protected activity under the First Amendment,” wrote his attorney, Thomas K. Plofchan.

The motion also questioned whether the Facebook messages allegedly posted by Caldwell prove his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot, arguing that he was “merely relaying news that was circulating through the crowd that some people were inside.”

Plofchan identified Caldwell as a retired lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, and said Caldwell worked as a section chief in the FBI from 2009 to 2010 after retiring from military service. His attorney listed multiple service awards Caldwell earned and also said he has had a “top-secret security clearance” since 1979.

After leaving the FBI, Caldwell founded a consulting firm that has done business with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Army Personnel Command, the motion said.

Caldwell has several service-related injuries and other disabilities, his attorney said, including injuries to both shoulders, degenerative lumbar disc disease, and chronic knee pain. He underwent spinal fusion surgery in 2010 that failed, the filing said, and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Moving, sitting for extended periods of time, lifting, carrying, and other physical activities are extremely painful and Caldwell is limited in his ability to engage in them,” the motion said.

His attorney also claimed that witnesses “will testify that [Caldwell] never entered the U.S. Capitol Building and that his physical limitations would have prevented him from forcibly entering any building or storming past any barrier.”

Plofchan noted that prosecutors did not include photos of Caldwell in the criminal complaint, although two co-defendants in the case are shown in photos.

“The Government has not identified any photo or video that shows Caldwell in the U.S. Capitol Building, on the grounds after overcoming any barrier,” the motion said.


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Audio Posts – Shared News Links Review – 7:40 AM, January 13, 20021

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Schumer Brings Pragmatism, Experience and Ego to Role of Senate Majority Leader | Voice of America

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WASHINGTON – Capping nearly a half-century in politics, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is on the verge of taking control as majority leader of a closely divided Senate, placing him at the center of the legislative battles to come when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20.

Schumer, 70, the first New Yorker and the first Jew to hold the position of Senate Majority Leader, will succeed Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky at a perilous moment: The country is gripped by the deadly COVID-19 epidemic, the economy is in tatters, and the nation is reeling from last Wednesday’s rioting at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters.

Indeed, Schumer likely will assume his new leadership role in the midst of another contentious fight to eject Trump from the White House, even as the Republican president’s term nears its end.

With a new Senate controlled by the Democrats unlikely to act on an article of impeachment until after Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20, Schumer’s first order of business will be to devise a strategy to simultaneously confirm Biden’s Cabinet and pass critical policy initiatives while conducting an impeachment trial of Trump.

In a letter to Senate colleagues this week, Schumer vowed that impeachment won’t interfere with the Democratic Party agenda, which includes passage of a coronavirus pandemic stimulus package providing $2,000 individual payments and state and local assistance.

He also listed other goals, such as “bold legislation to defeat the climate crisis” and efforts to fix the health care and childcare systems, according to the Associated Press.

Biden has encouraged Schumer and other Democratic leaders to pursue a “bifurcated” approach by dividing legislative days between an impeachment trial and getting his nominees for top government posts confirmed by the Senate.

Although Trump would be out of office by the time the Senate is able to act on the impeachment charge, Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats note that Trump would be barred from running for president again in 2024 if he is convicted of inciting violence against the government.

Timing of Senate handover uncertain

It took an improbable Democratic sweep of two Senate seats in Georgia runoff elections Jan. 5 to shift control of the Senate from the Republicans to the Democrats — and elevate Schumer from minority leader to the top leadership job.

It is currently impossible to pinpoint the specific day on which Schumer will take control of the Senate, because of how closely divided the body is and because of some peculiarities of election law.

The chamber will ultimately be split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes in favor of Democrats. However, before that can happen a replacement for Harris, who is currently a senator, and the two senators-elect from Georgia, who won runoff elections last week, must all be seated.

Harris’s appointed replacement, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, can be seated as soon as Harris is inaugurated. But Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the two incoming senators from Georgia, could have to wait until as late as January 22 to take their positions, depending on when state officials certify their elections.

A history of pragmatism

Although Schumer’s position as his party’s leader inevitably places him at a political flashpoint, his history in state politics and the U.S. Congress over the past 45 years has been marked by a broad streak of pragmatism and a willingness to make deals across the aisle.

In particular, Schumer has served as a bridge between the parties on issues related to the financial services industry, one of the most important sectors, if not the most important, in his state’s economy. He is often criticized by members of his own party for being too solicitous of Wall Street.

He also sought to strike bipartisan deals on contentious issues. He was a member of the “Gang of 8” — a group of senators that in 2013 led a successful bipartisan effort to pass a comprehensive immigration reform law in the Senate. The legislation ultimately died in the House.

Over the years, Schumer has been a reliable supporter of many policy aims associated with the Democratic Party. In particular, he has been a strong advocate for gun control, expansion of access to health insurance, and the right of women to choose to have abortions.

However, he has also been willing to break from his party. He has, at times, resisted efforts to raise taxes on people earning considerably more money than average Americans, pointing out that in high-cost areas like New York, income levels that would be considered very high elsewhere are necessary to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.

Schumer’s strong support for Israel has also left him at odds with his party on occasion. He voted against the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration in 2015, and spoke in favor of President Trump’s controversial decision to move the United States’ embassy in Israel to the contested city of Jerusalem.

A skilled political campaigner and organizer, Schumer has never lost an election in his career. He also headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, leading the party in retaking control of the Senate in 2006 by ousting half a dozen Republican incumbents. In the next election, still under Schumer’s leadership, the DSCC helped the party gain an additional eight seats.

His skills as a politician will be fully tested in the tightly controlled Senate, where the “filibuster” rule can make it difficult to pass any legislation with fewer than 60 votes, and where even measures that can be passed with a simple majority will have to please the most conservative Democrats in the body.

“Schumer is constrained both by the filibuster and also the preferences of his least-liberal members,” said Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “That list starts with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

“It seems like the $2,000 stimulus checks will be a very early agenda item for the new Congress. Can Schumer structure it in such a way that he can secure the vote of Manchin, who has said that he doesn’t view the checks as a top priority? Or, if he loses Manchin, could he find Republican votes? How this unfolds is an interesting early test for Schumer as majority leader.”

A son of Brooklyn

Schumer’s elevation to one of the most powerful positions in the country comes as the culmination of a political career that has spanned nearly five decades. Beginning as a state assemblyman in New York in 1975, Schumer worked his way ever upward, spending eighteen years as a member of the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate for the first time in 1998.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950, Schumer still lives in the borough’s Park Slope neighborhood with his wife of more than 40 years, Iris Weinshall. They have two adult daughters. Schumer attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, passing the bar in the state of New York in 1975, though he never practiced law.

Schumer is the second cousin of comedian and actress Amy Schumer.

Schumer is often the subject of jokes on Capitol Hill because of his sharp elbows and fondness for publicity. Former Senate Majority Leader and Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole once said, “the most dangerous place in Washington is between Charles Schumer and a television camera.”

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Military leaders condemn ‘sedition and insurrection’ at Capitol, say Biden won

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Key Points
  • The nation’s top military commanders condemned Wednesday’s acts of “sedition and insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol.
  • The message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff comes nearly one week after thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in at least five deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, answers a question during a virtual town hall at the Pentagon, May 28, 2020.
Chad J. McNeeley | Department of Defense

WASHINGTON — In an extraordinary letter Tuesday to the U.S. military, the nation’s top commanders condemned last week’s acts of “sedition and insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol, while acknowledging Joe Biden’s election victory.

The message did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, made it clear that the military intends to stand by the constitutional transfer of power to the next administration.

“As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civilian authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” wrote the nation’s highest military officers.

VIDEO2:1002:10
A federal emergency declaration is in place to boost security ahead of Biden’s inauguration

“As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law,” the chiefs wrote.

The message to the troops comes nearly one week after thousands of the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in at least five deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump told reporters that people found his comments at a rally that sparked the violence at the Capitol “totally appropriate” and called the fallout “absolutely ridiculous.”

The president also briefly discussed the blowback he said would follow potential impeachment proceedings.

“For [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Democratic leader] Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.

VIDEO0:4700:47
Trump: Big Tech making big mistake

On Wednesday, the House plans to decide whether to make Trump the first president ever impeached twice.

The assault on the Capitol delayed congressional proceedings to tally electors’ votes and confirm Biden’s win in the Nov. 3 election.

Biden’s victory was projected by all major news outlets in mid-November and confirmed by Electoral College votes in mid-December. The Republican president has falsely insisted he won in a “landslide,” baselessly claiming his reelection was stolen through massive electoral fraud.

As protesters besieged the Capitol on Wednesday, Trump told supporters in a tweeted video, “You have to go home now.” The president stopped short of condemning the violence and told the mob, “We love you, you’re very special.”

US President Donald Trump looks on after presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Celtics basketball legend Bob Cousy in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 22, 2019.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

On Monday, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., called on acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller to investigate whether active-duty or retired military members took part in the deadly mob.

If such individuals are identified by criminal investigators, Duckworth said, Miller must “take appropriate action to hold individuals accountable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran who retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army National Guard, noted that “upholding good order and discipline demands that the U.S. Armed Forces root out extremists that infiltrate the military and threaten our national security.”

A U.S. Army officer resigned Monday after commanders at Fort Bragg confirmed that they were reviewing Capt. Emily Rainey’s involvement in the riot.

In a Tuesday evening statement, the Army said it is working with the FBI to determine whether any participants in last week’s riot have any connection to the Army.

“Any type of activity that involves violence, civil disobedience, or a breach of peace may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or under state or federal law,” an Army spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement.

In a nearly three-minute video posted on Thursday, the president called for national “healing and reconciliation.”

“To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay,” Trump said, in his first address to the nation following the violence that rocked Washington.

“Now tempers must be cooled, and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America,” Trump added.

The president also acknowledged that “a new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.”

VIDEO3:2503:25
President Trump releases video in response to the Capitol riot

A day later he said that he would skip President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Vice President Mike Pence said he will attend Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.

Traditionally, the incoming and outgoing presidents ride from the White House to the U.S. Capitol together for the inauguration ceremony.

Trump is not the first outgoing president to skip the inauguration of his successor. The others were Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson, according to the White House Historical Association. Like Trump, Johnson was also impeached.

The National Guard said Monday that it has authorized up to 15,000 troops to support the security of the inauguration. Defense officials added that there were approximately 9,000 National Guard members at former President Barack Obama’s inauguration. For Trump’s ceremony in 2017, more than 7,000 troops were mobilized.

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FBI report warned of ‘war’ at Capitol, contradicting claims there was no indication of looming violence

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A situational information report approved for release the day before the U.S. Capitol riot painted a dire portrait of dangerous plans, including individuals sharing a map of the complex’s tunnels, and possible rally points for would-be conspirators to meet up in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and South Carolina and head in groups to Washington.

“As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,” the document says. “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

BLM is likely a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice. Pantifa is a derogatory term for antifa, a far-left anti-fascist movement whose adherents sometimes engage in violent clashes with right-wing extremists.

Yet even with that information in hand, the report’s unidentified author expressed concern that the FBI might be encroaching on free speech rights.

The warning is the starkest evidence yet of the sizable intelligence failure that preceded the mayhem, which claimed the lives of five people, although one law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary action, said the failure was not one of intelligence but of acting on the intelligence.

An FBI official familiar with the document said that within 45 minutes of learning about the alarming online conversation, the Norfolk FBI office wrote the report and shared it with others within the bureau. It was not immediately clear how many law enforcement agencies outside the FBI were told, but the information was briefed to FBI officials at the bureau’s Washington field office the day before the attack, this official said.

The official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing investigations, added that the report was raw intelligence and that at the time it was written, the FBI did not know the identities of those making the online statements.

The FBI already faces tough questions about why it was not more attuned to what was being discussed in public Internet conversations in the days leading up to the attack, and why the bureau and other agencies seemed to do little to prepare for the possibility of mass violence.

The document notes that the information represents the view of the FBI’s Norfolk office, is not to be shared outside law enforcement circles, that it is not “finally evaluated intelligence,” and that agencies that receive it “are requested not to take action based on this raw reporting without prior coordination with the FBI.”

Multiple law enforcement officials have said privately in recent days that the level of violence exhibited at the Capitol has led to difficult discussions within the FBI and other agencies about race, terrorism, and whether investigators failed to register the degree of danger because the overwhelming majority of the participants at the rally were White conservatives fiercely loyal to the President Trump.

“Individuals/Organizations named in this [situational information report] have been identified as participating in activities that are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the document says. “Their inclusion here is not intended to associate the protected activity with criminality or a threat to national security, or to infer that such protected activity itself violates federal law.

“However,” it continues, “based on known intelligence and/or specific historical observations, it is possible the protected activity could invite a violent reaction towards the subject individual or others in retaliation or with the goal of stopping the protected activity from occurring in the first instance. In the event no violent reaction occurs, FBI policy and federal law dictates that no further record to be made of the protected activity.”

The document notes that one online comment advised, “if Antifa or BLM get violent, leave them dead in the street,” while another said they need “people on standby to provide supplies, including water and medical, to the front lines. The individual also discussed the need to evacuate noncombatants and wounded to medical care.”

On Jan. 6, a large, angry crowd of people who had attended a nearby rally marched to the Capitol, smashing windows and breaking down doors to get inside. One woman in the mob was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer; officials said three others in the crowd died from medical emergencies. Another Capitol police officer died after suffering injuries.

On Friday, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, told reporters “there was no indication” of anything planned for the day of Trump’s rally “other than First Amendment-protected activity.” D’Antuono added, “we worked diligently with our partners on this.”

The FBI said in a statement that its “standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products,” but added that FBI field offices “routinely share information with their local law enforcement partners to assist in protecting the communities they serve.”

The FBI did not detail specifically who saw the document before the mob attack on Congress or what, if anything, was done in response.

For weeks leading up to the event, FBI officials discounted any suggestion that the protest of pro-Trump supporters upset about the scheduled certification of Joe Biden’s election could be a security threat on a scale with racial justice protests last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody.

While the nation’s capital is one of the most heavily guarded cities on the planet, local and federal law enforcement agencies sought to take a low-key approach to last week’s event, publicly and privately expressing concerns that they did not want to repeat the ugly clashes between protesters and police last year.

Some law enforcement officials took the view that pro-Trump protesters are generally known for over-the-top rhetoric but not much violence, and therefore the event did not pose a particularly grave risk, according to people familiar with the security discussions leading up to Jan. 6.

Even so, there were warning signs, though none as stark as the one from the FBI’s Norfolk office.

FBI agents had in the weeks before the Trump rally visited suspected extremists hoping to glean whether they had violent intentions, a person familiar with the matter said, though it was not immediately clear who was visited or if the FBI was specifically tracking anyone who would later be charged criminally. These visits were first reported Sunday by NBC News.

In addition, in the days leading up to the demonstration, some Capitol Hill staffers were told by supervisors to not come into work that day, if possible, because it seemed the danger level would be higher than a lot of prior protests, according to a person familiar with the warning. Capitol Police did not take the kind of extra precautions, such as frozen zones and hardened barriers, that are typically used in major events around the Capitol.

Now, the Justice Department and federal agents are scrambling to identify and arrest those responsible for last week’s violence, in part because there is already significant online discussion of new potential clashes Sunday and again on Jan. 20 when Biden will be inaugurated.

Federal agents remain in a state of high-alert in the days leading up to the inauguration as authorities brace for possible violence not just in Washington, but around the country, officials said.

The FBI recently issued a different memo saying that “armed protests” were being planned “at all 50 state capitols” and in D.C. in the days leading up to the inauguration, according to an official familiar with the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive law enforcement matter.

The memo — first reported on by ABC News and later confirmed by The Washington Post — is a raw intelligence product, compiling information gathered by the bureau and several other government agencies, an official said. Some of it is unverified, and the threat is likely to differ significantly from place to place, the official said.

But the data it highlights to law enforcement are nonetheless troubling — including that there was information suggesting people might storm government offices, or stage an uprising were Trump to be removed from office, the official said.

In a statement, the FBI declined to comment specifically on the memo about state capitols but said: “Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners.

“The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights,” it continues. “Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”

Julie Tate contributed to this report.

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· · · · · ·

Washington Post: FBI warned of violent ‘war’ at Capitol in internal report issued day before deadly riot – CNNPolitics

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Washington (CNN)The FBI warned of a violent “war” at the US Capitol in an internal report issued a day before last week’s deadly siege, but it wasn’t acted on urgently enough to prevent the domestic terrorist attack, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Post said that last Tuesday, an FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia, issued an “explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and ‘war.'” The report “painted a dire portrait of dangerous plans, including individuals sharing a map of the complex’s tunnels, and possible rally points for would-be conspirators to meet up” in several states before heading to Washington, DC.
The report runs contrary to statements made by law enforcement officials who have indicated to CNN that authorities missed key signs ahead of the siege, which left five dead and ransacked the Capitol. It’s likely to raise additional questions about why authorities were unprepared to respond to the riot and federal readiness to thwart future threats at a time when the FBI is warning of armed protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The report referenced an online thread in which conspirators discussed their plans, quoting individuals as saying: “‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.'”
The information was “briefed to FBI officials at the bureau’s Washington field office the day before the attack,” the Post reported. The newspaper, however, said the document is clear that the information presented was not “finally evaluated intelligence,” and that agencies receiving it “are requested not to take action based on this raw reporting without prior coordination with the FBI.”
The newspaper also reported that the FBI was careful with its description of the individuals and organizations listed in the report, with the bureau writing that the activities they engaged in are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution and that though they were mentioned in the report, “Their inclusion here is not intended to associate the protected activity with criminality or a threat to national security, or to infer that such protected activity itself violates federal law.”
But the report also warned that “based on known intelligence and/or specific historical observations, it is possible the protected activity could invite a violent reaction towards the subject individual or others in retaliation or with the goal of stopping the protected activity from occurring in the first instance,” according to the Post.
Officials told CNN last week that going into Wednesday, they had no intelligence indicating there was a threat the US Capitol could be overrun. In the wake of the attack, federal and local officials have said they did not have intelligence suggesting any violent mob was preparing to attack the Capitol, even as demonstrators were publicly saying on social media they were not planning a typical protest.
The Post’s report prompted Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, to call for his panel to open a probe about the matter.
Former Virginia Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman, who is working with several former national security officials to analyze open source information about the attack, also called for an investigation.
“There is a clear breakdown of communications and operational chain of command. It would be interesting to see what the internal intelligence memos were for Capitol Police and support elements. My guess is that the intelligence reports would have had a possible Capitol incursion,” he told CNN.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
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The Capitol, cameras and selfies

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NEW YORK (AP) — One of the defining images of the Capitol Hill siege was of a man dangling from the balcony of the Senate chamber. Clad in black and with a helmet over his head, he might have been hard to identify even after he paused to sit in a leather chair at the top of the Senate dais and hold up a fist.

But Josiah Colt made it easy. He posted a video to his Facebook page moments later, bragging about being the first to reach the chamber floor and sit in Nancy’s Pelosi’s chair (he was wrong). He used a slur to describe Pelosi and called her “a traitor.”

A little later the 34-year-old from Boise, Idaho, posted again. This time, he sounded more anxious. “I don’t know what to do,” Colt said in a video he’d soon delete but not before it was cached online. “I’m in downtown D.C. I’m all over the news now.”

Colt was far from the only one documenting the insurrection from within last Wednesday in Washington. Many in the mob that ransacked the Capitol did so while livestreaming, posting on Facebook and taking selfies, turning the United States Capitol into a theater of real-time — and often strikingly ugly and violent — far-right propaganda.

“This extremist loop feeds itself. The folks who are watching and commenting and encouraging and sometimes giving some cash are supporting the individual on the ground. And he’s supporting their fantasies,” says Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.

“Selfie culture,” Segal says, “has become so much part of the norm that it’s almost second nature when you’re carrying out a terrorist insurrection.”

Taken together, the various fragmented feeds from Wednesday’s incursion form a tableau of an ill-conceived insurrection — as full of “I was here” posturing for social media as of ideological revolution — and one that was given far more latitude than most peaceful Black Lives Matters protests were in 2020. In hundreds of images, the fallacy of a far-right brand of “patriotism” was laid bare.

The modern Capitol had previously been besieged before only in Hollywood fiction. Marauding aliens in “Mars Attacks!” Ensnarling ivy in “Logan’s Run.” Blown to bits in “Independence Day.” But the imagery of last week’s siege offered something else: a warped cinema verité of right-wing extremism with waving Confederate flags and white-power poses in Capitol halls.

Though many involved Wednesday in Washington were Trump supporters without designs on violence, the visuals illustrate that some were clearly there to summon mayhem if not outright bloodshed. The call to the Capitol drew many of the right’s extremist factions — some of whom helped lead the charge.

The white nationalist Tim Gionet, known online as “Baked Alaska” and a noted participant in the “Unite the Right” rally at Charlottesville, streamed live from congressional offices, gleefully documenting the break-in for more than 15,000 viewers on the streaming platform Dlive. The service, ostensibly for gamers, has grown into a tool for white nationalists because of its lack of content modulation.

Journalists chronicled the storming of the Capitol, some while being attacked. But the rioters’ self-documentation told another story: the on-the-ground culmination of an online alternative reality fueled by QAnon conspiracies, false claims of fraud in the election and Trump’s own rhetoric.

“In their minds they had impunity. I’m having trouble understanding how these people could believe that,” says Larry Rosenthal, chair of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies and author of the upcoming “Empire of Resentment: Populism’s Toxic Embrace of Nationalism.”

“They’re going to be prosecuted,” he says of those involved, and “they have provided the evidence.”

Federal law enforcement officials have pledged an exhaustive investigation into the rampage that left five people dead, including Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick. They are relying in part on the social media trail many left behind. “The goal here is to identify people and get them,” Ken Kohl, the top deputy federal prosecutor in Washington, told reporters Friday.

Among those arrested so far are Richard Barnett, photographed sitting in Pelosi’s office with his feet on her desk, and Derrick Evans, a newly elected Republican from West Virginia, who had posted video on social media of himself clamoring at the Capitol door. “We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!”

Colt landed on the Senate floor; photos suggested he had actually sat in a chair reserved for Vice President Mike Pence, who is president of the Senate. Colt issued an apology begging forgiveness for his prominent role. “In the moment I thought I was doing the right thing,” he said.

Jessie Daniels, a professor of sociology at Hunter College whose books include “Cyber Racism: White Supremacy Online and the New Attack on Civil Rights,” expects many of the images from the Capitol breach will reverberate online as far-right propaganda. The woman who died trying to break through a Capitol door, Ashli Babbitt will be made a martyr.

“She’s going to be on all the posters, trying to get people radicalized,” Daniels says.

For those who have been tracking and researching how the far right operates online, the live streams of well-known activists like Gionet were especially telling. Gionet streamed from within the Capitol, interacting with his followers on Dlive as he went. When the number of viewers ticked over 10,000, he cheered, “Shoutout to Germany!” Megan Squire, a professor of computer science at Elon University who has studied Dlive, estimates Gionet made $2,000 in donations while inside the Capitol.

“He’s making an enormous amount of money saying incredibly racist and anti-Semitic and violent things,” Squire says.

Following neo-Fascists from one platform to another, some have said, is a helpless game of catch-up. Daniels disagrees.

“There’s a lot of evidence that deplatforming people who are harmful from these platforms is effective,” Daniels says. “The pushback from tech people is that it’s whack-a-mole, that if they’re not here, they’ll go somewhere else. Fine. Let’s play whack-a-mole. Let’s do this. Let’s chase them off of every platform until they go away.”

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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‘Seditious Conspiracy’ And The Capitol Hill Attackers | Morning Joe | MSNBC – YouTube

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Serious Capitol riot charges could be on the way from prosecutors

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With a growing number of arrests and charges related to last week’s storming of the U.S. Capitol, multiple law-enforcement agencies are building a sprawling investigation into who participated in the violent event that claimed at least five lives and sent fearful lawmakers into hiding.

Nearly 100 people have been arrested so far for their roles in the attack carried out by thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters or in unrest surrounding the Capitol that day. Many currently face lesser charges such as unlawful entry, disorderly conduct and defacing public property. Only a few have been accused of more serious crimes such as felony violations of the Riot Act.

In the cases of those who attacked the Capitol, those initial charges could be a precursor of more serious allegations, said University of Texas law professor Bobby Chesney.

It’s common for authorities to make arrests based on readily-proven charges, such as trespassing on federal property, Chesney said. Then, weeks later, prosecutors seek grand-jury indictments on more serious charges.

“It remains to be seen how aggressive the Justice Department will be in terms of going after organizers and ringleaders,” Chesney said. “No doubt the FBI and DOJ would prefer to get past January 20, moreover, both for the sake of general calm and to avoid any prospect of a pardon shutting down a particular case.”

Heading up the task of identifying, locating, arresting and charging offenders falls on the shoulders of acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin. He told National Public Radio this week that “hundreds” could ultimately face charges.

No charges are off the table, Sherwin said. Seditious conspiracy, rioting and insurrection will be considered if warranted.

Federal trespassing citations likely will result in fines or probation, experts said. More serious misdemeanors and felony charges related to weapons, conspiracy and assault could incur prison time.

“Prosecutors have a tremendous amount of discretion and this was an unprecedented assault on our seat of government,” said University of Wisconsin Law Professor Keith Findley. “My guess is they’ll take that very seriously… They’ll have many, many options to charge independently, or stack offenses. There’s a lot on the table.”

But some, like Anne Milgram, a New York University law professor and former attorney general of New Jersey, criticized the lack of more serious charges for those accused of ransacking the Capitol.

“What we’ve yet to see is a connection to seditious conspiracy,” Milgram said. “It feels to me, and everyone who watched, that the goal of this mob was to stop Congress from certifying the vote … the charges right now do not match the harm.”

Milgram said she expects the heaviest charges to stem from the slaying of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Others have suggested several members of the mob could face felony murder charges in that case similar to a getaway driver in a fatal robbery.

Prosecutors have primarily focused on those caught on camera and identified by tipsters in photos and videos during the riot. Department of Justice officials, for example, have announced the arrests of notable viral participants, including Jacob Chansley, a.k.a. Jake Angeli, the Arizona man who wore a fur hat and horns; Adam Johnson, the Florida man photographed carrying Nancy Pelosi’s lectern; and Eric Munchel, the Tennessee man depicted in tactical gear carrying plastic wrist restraints.

Federal investigators also have the option of serving subpoenas on technology companies to preserve content that perpetrators might try to delete.

Pete Eliadis, president and CEO of Intelligence Consulting Partners, a security firm, faulted Capitol Police for failing to secure the building and make arrests on the scene, making the job harder for investigators.

But he believes the government will try to make an example out of the key figures whose viral images show their role in inciting violence.

“They want to make a statement that this will not be tolerated, so if they can make a plausible arrest, they will,” Eliadis said. “The ones who wanted the attention, they’re going to get the attention. It’s easier to focus on them than the masses coming through.”

Labeling the riot and finding the most accurate charges could be difficult without a domestic terrorism law, which Congress has considered for years, said Chris Bonner, a retired FBI agent who teaches courses on homeland security at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

“The very first thing people want to do is call something terrorism. There is no federal law covering domestic terrorism,” Bonner said. “If we’re going to decry something and criminalize it, we better have a law to cover it and then it better be equally applied across the ideological spectrum from extreme left to extreme right.”

Summer unrest a backdrop for charges

Federal prosecutions for the Capitol riot will undoubtedly draw parallels to unrest last summer over the killings of Black Americans by police.

Last year, following weeks of unrest in several cities after the death of George Floyd, Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen wrote a memo telling federal prosecutors to consider a sedition charge against protesters who conspired to “take a federal courthouse or other federal property by force.”

And federal prosecutors took over charging cases against more than 100 protestors in two particular hotspots – Portland and Seattle. However, dozens of those charges were low-level citations or misdemeanors. Most of the Portland cases have not gone to trial because the pandemic has backlogged the courts. That trend will likely continue for accused D.C. rioters; many may not see a trial before the end of 2021.

Michael Filipovic, federal public defender for the Western District of Washington state said the U.S. attorney took over several state court charges and sought to send a message with tougher penalties. He said comparing Wednesday’s riot to protests over the summer is difficult.

He anticipated misdemeanor charges for many Capitol trespassers, but more weighty charges to come soon.

“If prosecutors can prove you had a firearm, zip-ties and intent to detain or harm individuals, that’s something they’ll take very seriously where you’ll be looking at some felonies,” Filipovic said.

Edward Maguire, a professor of criminology at Arizona State University and associate director of the school’s Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, said he would expect to see charges that are more serious than those handed down during protests at President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

More than 200 people were arrested during protests dubbed “J20” during the 2017 inauguration and charged with more serious felonies, including inciting to riot, rioting, conspiracy to riot, destruction of property and assault on police officers.

Federal prosecutors ultimately dropped charges in all but a handful of cases where people pleaded guilty. They failed to win convictions in others that went to trial.

At the very least, Maguire expects to see felony rioting charges for those confirmed to have breached the Capitol.

“It would be appropriate for them to see jail time,” Maguire said of the Trump rioters who entered Capitol Hill. “This is an insurrection, and it should be charged as one.”

Maguire said social media and video surveillance of the riot would likely give prosecutors stronger cases of intent than the evidence they had from the J20 protests.

Of the early arrests made by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police, all but a handful involved curfew violation and unlawful entry. The remaining others were arrested on more serious weapons charges or for defacing public property.

They included suspects like David Fitzgerald of Illinois who was cuffed as he attempted to exit through the barricades while following news crews that were being escorted out, and Joshua Pruitt, a 39-year-old from D.C. who is one of the few facing felony violations of the Riot Act.

Capitol Police also focused their arrests on unlawful entry, charging more than a dozen suspects for the offense, including Michael Curzio, a 35-year-old Florida man released from prison in February 2019 following an eight-year sentence for attempted first-degree murder.

Charges against Mark Leffingwell were among the first federal charges to roll into D.C.’s District Court on Thursday. A Capitol Police officer wrote in a complaint that Leffingwell attempted to push past him into the Capitol, then began punching repeatedly. While in custody, Leffingwell “spontaneously apologized for striking” him. Leffingwell has been charged with entering a restricted building, assault on a federal law enforcement officer and violent entry or disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.

Some legal defenses would be a stretch

Social media from the accused rioters suggests some may attempt novel legal defenses. Some may claim the President instructed them to march to the Capitol, giving them legal cover, while others have already claimed they “got caught up in the moment.”

Neither will hold much water in court, said UW’s Findley.

“The law recognizes duress, coercion and necessity, but those are limited and require showing that the person had no choice but to commit the criminal act facing violence or death. We’re nowhere close to that,” Findley said.

A “heat of passion” defense would also require protesters to prove that a reasonable person would have been provoked to take the same action, Findley said.

Some Capitol trespassers spoke out on social media and on video after the riot that they believed they hadn’t committed a crime because police let them in — or that they simply walked through open doors. Others chanted outside they had a right to enter because Congress works for the people.

But both federal law and new rules from the pandemic explicitly prohibit members of the public from entering the building. All public tours have been cancelled since March 2020 and only lawmakers, staff, media and their guests with proper credentials are currently allowed in.

Back when tours were available, they did not include access to the Senate and House galleries, which required a separate pass obtained through the office of the visitor’s senators or representatives.

Many of the rioters also broke rules by bringing prohibited items into the building, including water, electric stun guns, guns, ammunition, knives, mace and pepper spray and large bags, according to the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

Inside the galleries there is no photography or video recording allowed except by the media and the government’s own cameras.

And smoking, which several rioters filmed themselves doing inside the building, is strictly prohibited.

Contributing: Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY 

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The FBI Story: “same old, same old” … #Capitol #Attack was planned openly online for weeks. Why was it not prevented by the #FBI? They were too busy monitoring all those sex chats – they get more kick out of it. Give them their #Medals Of #Freedom, for saving this poor nation!

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    The executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association has resigned amid backlash over a decision to send out robocalls urging people to march to the U.S. Capitol. https://on.msnbc.com/39msgqp 

    Top official at Republican AGs group resigns amid Capitol robocall controversy

    Adam Piper stepped down amid backlash over a decision to send out robocalls urging people to march to the U.S. Capitol.

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Washington Tense as DHS Chief Quits, FBI Warns of Armed Protests

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The abrupt resignation of Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf added to the mounting tension in Washington ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, with thousands of National Guard troops set to be deployed and the FBI warning of armed protests in all 50 state capitals.

As inaugural security preparations intensified, House Democrats accelerated their push to force the ouster of President Donald Trump before his term officially ends, threatening to impeach him for a second time unless he resigns for encouraging the march that led to last Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol.

But Vice President Mike Pence indicated that he’d reject demands to immediately oust Trump through the 25th Amendment to the Constitution as the two met in the Oval Office and agreed to work together for the remainder of the term, according to a senior administration official.

Investigations continued into the deadly Capitol riot, and Democrats in the House and Senate have said that Republican colleagues who continued to support Trump’s false claims that he won the election even after the insurrectionists had left, must be held to account.

Republicans also found themselves confronting another crisis, being shunned by once-reliable corporate allies who have been essential to financing their campaigns. At the same time, many of the president’s supporters around the country did not waver in their belief that the 2020 election had been stolen.

Earlier: GOP Lawmakers Hit by Boardroom Backlash for Bid to Undo Election

Earlier in the day, Wolf announced that “the evolving security landscape” had led to a decision to begin security for the inauguration on Jan. 13. The efforts were originally scheduled to begin on Jan. 19.

According to the FBI’s warning, the protests in state capitals would begin on Jan. 16 and at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 17, and continue through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, according to a law enforcement official.

Wolf said the decision came at the recommendation of Secret Service Director James Murray, adding that local, state and federal partners will work together during the extended security operations.

The National Guard has received approval to deploy as many as 15,000 personnel to Washington before and during the inauguration, as law enforcement in the nation’s capital and around the country braced for violence during the transition of power.

Read More: Trump and Pence Signal President Won’t Resign or Be Removed

The lingering sense of anxiety over last week’s violence refused to dissipate as historians struggled to come up with analogous events from the past, and were asked a question that once seemed unthinkable — was the U.S. headed toward a new civil war?

The feeling of disruption did not ease when Wolf announced that he would step down after “recent events,” including court rulings that held he had not been lawfully appointed to the post.

At least five federal judges have ruled that Wolf lacked authority as acting secretary of the department because his nomination in November 2019 was never confirmed by the Senate. Biden has nominated Alejandro Mayorkas to be his Homeland Security secretary.

Last week, in the wake of the riot, Wolf called on “the president and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday.” He said then that he wouldn’t step down before Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.

His sudden departure adds to the confusion surrounding federal and state security preparations for the inauguration. The Homeland Security Department plays a critical role in securing the actual inauguration and assisting state and local officials during times of crisis.

He said he would be replaced in an acting capacity by Pete Gaynor, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Wolf, a Trump loyalist, had been the chief of staff to Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary forced out by Trump in April 2019.

Read More: Democrats to Open Trump Impeachment Wednesday Unless Pence Acts

The National Guard deployment is a significant increase from the 6,200 troops from six states and the District of Columbia that have already been mobilized in the wake of last week’s attack.

Ten thousand of the troops are to arrive by Saturday and will stay through Jan. 20.

“We’ve received support requests from the Secret Service, Capitol Police and Park Police,” Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Monday. “Our troops have been requested to support security, logistics, liaison and communication missions.”

The meeting between Trump and Pence, in the Oval Office, marked the first time they have spoke since the president’s supporters entered the Capitol while the vice president was presiding over formal affirmation of their re-election defeat, according to two people familiar with the matter.

— With assistance by Sophia Cai, Jennifer Jacobs, and Billy House

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CDC: No sign of homegrown U.S. coronavirus variant, but scientists need to look harder

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Infectious-disease experts say there is no evidence the massive winter surge that is killing thousands of people a day in the United States is linked to the U.K. variant or to a homegrown strain. But they acknowledge their battlefield awareness is limited.

Some states have minimal capacity to conduct genomic sequencing that allows scientists to trace the random mutations that could give a virus variant some advantage over other strains. Like any virus, this one mutates randomly, and countless variants are in circulation.

The increase in the rate of new infections in the United States has been so rapid in recent weeks that scientists cannot rule out the possibility that an undetected variant is accelerating the spread. Other factors may be behind the surge, including holiday gatherings and the lack of adherence in some communities to public health guidelines designed to limit transmission, such as social distancing and wearing masks.

“It could be — a possibility — that we have our own mutant that’s being more easily transmissible,” Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday. “We don’t know. We’re looking for it. . . . If you look at the slope of our curve, which is very steep, it looks a bit like the curve in the U.K.”

Nearly 198,000 new coronavirus cases and more than 1,600 deaths were reported Monday in the United States. The seven-day running average for daily deaths has topped 3,200. Nearly 375,000 people have died of the virus in the nation since the beginning of the pandemic.

Officials in Indiana announced that the U.K. variant has been identified in their state. More than 60 cases of the variant strain have been identified across nine states since it was first detected stateside two weeks ago in Colorado.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box said in a statement Monday that viruses commonly mutate and that the best defense is to practice good hygiene and social distancing.

“Because this strain of the virus can be transmitted more easily, it’s more important than ever that Hoosiers continue to wear their masks, practice social distancing, maintain good hygiene and get vaccinated when they are eligible,” Box said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday its strain surveillance program and its partners are on track to more than double by week’s end the number of genomic sequences being uploaded to public databases compared with the sequencing rate in December. The CDC has organized virtual meetings with scientists and public health experts in an attempt to share information about variants of the virus in circulation.

“The general consensus is there’s no single variant driving current U.S. cases. That said, we need to be on the lookout for these variants of concern,” Duncan MacCannell, chief science officer with the CDC’s Office of Advanced Molecular Detection, said Monday.

Other scientists share that view.

“We don’t see any evidence of a particular variant ‘out running’ others,” Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at the Scripps Research Institute, said in an email. “That’s not to say there isn’t one, but we haven’t seen any evidence of it so far and we are looking, just not enough.”

William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in an email that “surveillance is such that we’d not detect any such variant until it was already emerged and well established.”

MacCannell estimated that less than 0.5 percent of current transmission in the United States involves the U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7. It has a suite of 17 mutations, including eight that affect the spike protein on the surface of the virus. British scientists believe it could be roughly 50 percent more transmissible than the more common coronavirus, which itself contains a mutation that appears to have boosted infectivity.

MacCannell said he expects that B.1.1.7 in coming weeks will make up a greater proportion of cases but said the pace and scale of that emergence is impossible to predict.

Scientists emphasize that these mutations do not appear to change the severity of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. There are multiple lines of evidence supporting the theory that this variant is more transmissible, but no evidence it is deadlier. One study published in Britain found no statistically significant difference in the rate of hospitalization among people infected with the new variant as opposed to the more common coronavirus strain.

But even if the variant doesn’t make an individual sicker, its increased transmissibility could result in more people becoming infected and, thus, increase deaths overall.

“Are the variants that are out there escaping the protection of the vaccine? Yes or no? That’s what they’re working on right now,” Fauci said, referring to scientists funded by his institute. “I need that answer and I need it very quickly.”

Another uncertainty is whether monoclonal antibodies used as therapeutic treatments will be effective against viruses that contain alterations to the portion of the spike protein targeted by those antibodies.

The maker of another medication used by some doctors to treat the coronavirus, remdesivir, said it is likely to be effective against variant strains, the CEO of that company said Monday.

Gilead Sciences is testing the drug on variants first detected in Britain and South Africa to determine its efficacy. Gilead has already found in laboratory tests that remdesivir maintains its effectiveness against 2,000 coronavirus strains, chief executive Daniel O’Day said.

“Remdesivir works at the source in the cell where the virus replicates, and what we know is, in these new variants, that part of the cell is not changing at all, in fact,” O’Day said Monday during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Hospitalized patients with covid-19 can receive remdesivir, which may shorten their recovery time. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last year, under an emergency use authorization.

The virus will continue to mutate and, through natural selection, evolve, a fact that does not surprise the scientific community but has taken on new salience amid the recent bulletins about problematic variants.

“I think there is a high level of concern,” MacCannell said, referring to the views of the scientific community. “We don’t know fully the functional implications of these mutations. . . . I would suspect a lot of the mutations that we’re seeing are helping to optimize the virus for increased transmission.”

The rollout of vaccines, he said, “will be another set of pressures on the virus. That is one of the critical reasons why we need to get large-scale national monitoring up and running.”

Andersen said the U.K. variant and another identified initially in South Africa probably will become dominant in the United States within months. “Our mitigation efforts are woefully insufficient to deal with those,” he warned.

That’s a conundrum for policymakers. There are few officials with any appetite for greater restrictions on businesses and personal mobility, even with variants posing a new challenge. But what has happened in the United Kingdom — where much of the country is locked down — is sobering.

There are more than 1 million new infections every week in the United States, and scientists at scattered universities and research institutions are looking at only a few thousand genomic sequences weekly. The CDC is putting out contracts to academic and research institutions in an effort to push that to a goal of 6,500 weekly sequences.

“This is a brand-new virus. We’re learning as we go. There are the unknown unknowns that we have to acknowledge,” said Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “We’re all working on this around-the-clock.”

Fauci said it is critical to suppress the spread of the virus, given that a high number of infections leads to a greater number of chances for mutations.

“The race is to suppress the virus before it mutates to the point where it’s actually going to give you trouble,” Fauci said. “I don’t worry about these things, I just take them very seriously.”

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Trump approves state of emergency declaration in US capital | US Elections 2020 News

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Order authorises federal assistance in Washington, DC after officials warned of threats before Joe Biden inauguration.

Donald Trump has approved a state of emergency declaration in the United States capital, the White House press office said late on Monday, after US law enforcement officials warned of threats before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The order authorises federal assistance to be extended through January 24 to support efforts in Washington, DC to respond to the emergency situation.

Specifically, it allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “identify, mobilise and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency”.

The move comes after pro-Trump rioters overran the US Capitol building on January 6 in support of Trump’s false claims that the US election was stolen from him. Five people were killed in the violence.

Earlier on Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in an internal bulletin warned of possible armed protests in all 50 states and in the US capital in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter on the weekend requesting tighter security ahead of the inauguration in light of the “chaos, injury, and death” at the Capitol on January 6.

Bowser asked the Homeland Security Department to extend emergency provisions to allow federal and local agencies to better prepare for the inauguration and requested daily intelligence and threat briefings from the FBI from January 11 to January 24.

Meanwhile, US Senators Chris Murphy, Kirsten Gillibrand and Martin Heinrich sent a letter to Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Monday asking for a full account of what happened during the Capitol riot.

The letter states that “over three and a half hours … elapsed between the initial breach of the barriers on the West side of the U.S. Capitol” and the arrival of the National Guard.

“On Jan 6 it took 4.5 hours before the U.S. military arrived to defend the Capitol. That is not acceptable and we request a full accounting of what needs to change,” Murphy tweeted.

Democrats are pushing to impeach Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol.

The US House of Representatives is expected on Tuesday to take up a measure calling on Vice President Mike Pence and members of Trump’s Cabinet to invoke a process under the 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of a president deemed unfit to fulfill their duties.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that the president poses an “imminent threat” to the nation and “must be removed from office immediately”.

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2:03 AM 1/12/2021 – Videos: ‘Long COVID’ haunts more patients than thought | COVID-19 Special | Videos: LIVE: The House convenes to begin drive to force Trump from office after Capitol storming | FBI reportedly warned Capitol Police of potential violence

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2:03 AM 1/12/2021 – Videos: ‘Long COVID’ haunts more patients than thought | COVID-19 Special | Videos: LIVE: The House convenes to begin drive to force Trump from office after Capitol storming | FBI reportedly warned Capitol Police of potential violence

From: deutschewelleenglish
Duration: 12:04

Over a year after the first coronavirus cases, some early patients are still suffering. “Long Covid” refers to symptoms that can last for months or that return after recovery. A new study from Wuhan China has found three quarters of hospitalised patients still experience at least one symptom half a year later. What we’re yet to discover is just how long “long Covid” can last. Survivors know all-too well how damaging the sickness can be – even after they get better. The road to recovery can be long and difficult.

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Trump’s disastrous end to his shocking presidency

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President Donald Trump is leaving America in a vortex of violence, sickness and death and more internally estranged than it has been for 150 years.

The disorientating end to his shocking term has the nation reeling from a Washington insurrection. The FBI warned Monday of armed protests by pro-Trump thugs in 50 states, which raise the awful prospect of a domestic insurgency. Health officials fear 5,000 Americans could soon be dying every day from the pandemic Trump ignored. Hospitals are swamped, medical workers are shattered amid a faltering rollout of the vaccine supposed to end the crisis.

It took 200 years for the country to rack up its first two presidential impeachments. Trump’s malfeasance has led the country down that awful, divisive path twice in just more than a year. With House Democrats expected to formally impeach the President for inciting a mob assault on Congress on Wednesday, he will rely on the Republican enablers who refused to rein in his lawlessness to save him from conviction again.

Millions of Americans have bought into the delusional, poisoned fiction that an election Trump lost was stolen, and there are signs that some police and military forces have been radicalized by the grievance he stokes.

The city Trump has called home for four years is being turned into an armed camp incongruous with the mood of joy and renewal that pulsates through most inaugurations. In a symbol of a democracy under siege, the people’s buildings — the White House and the US Capitol — are caged behind ugly iron and cement barriers.

This is the legacy President-elect Joe Biden will inherit in eight days when he swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution — an oath that Trump trampled when inciting the Capitol attack last week from behind a bulletproof screen while buckling the cherished US chain of peaceful transfers of power.

With unintended irony, Biden’s team has picked “America United” as the inaugural theme — a motto that is now more apt in defining Biden’s hoped for destination rather than the splintered land he will begin to lead.

 

Trump’s pattern of violence

 

It is becoming ever more obvious that the horrific scenes on Capitol Hill on Wednesday were not a one-off. Instead, they now look part of a pattern including the White supremacist marches in Charlottesville that Trump refused to condemn, and the gassing of peaceful anti-racist protesters in the square outside the White House so he could hold an inflammatory photo-op.

In a chilling new warning, the FBI revealed the possible next stage in this now nationwide wave of radicalization, saying armed protests were planned at state Capitols in all 50 states between January 16 and Inauguration Day, January 20. Even as a nationwide sweep widens for the perpetrators of last week’s outrage, the bureau said new protests were planned for Washington for three days around the inauguration.

There are threats of an uprising if Trump is removed by way of the 25th Amendment. The FBI said it was also tracking threats against Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In Washington, two Capitol Police officers were suspended and more are under investigation for allegedly helping the mob.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was shocked by the magnitude of the bureau’s intelligence on possible new violence.

“I don’t think in the entire scope of my career working counter terrorism issues for many, many years, I don’t think I ever saw a bulletin go out that concerned armed protest activity in 50 states in a three or four day period,” McCabe said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Biden told reporters that despite the warnings, he was not afraid of taking the oath of office outside next week — but the combination of a massive security effort to protect him from Trump’s supporters and social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic mean his will be the most hollowed out inauguration in years.

Trump’s acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf resigned on Monday, in a yet another sign that the country lacks effective government at a moment of stark danger. By contrast, senior officials from the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration worked closely together in the Situation Room on January 20, 2009, when there was concern about the authenticity of terror threat to the inauguration.

So far, after a massive domestic terror attack on the citadel of US democracy, there has been no major public briefing by any major federal law enforcement agency or the White House, an omission that fosters a sense of an absent government.

The current atmosphere of fear and wild political insurrection are a lesson in what happens when a figure as powerful as a President deliberately tears at America’s deep racial and social fault lines as a tool of his own power. Trump’s presidency revealed a new insight about the all-powerful modern presidency — the character of the person in the Oval Office chair really matters.

 

A Congress that can’t constrain a President

 

Momentum towards impeachment is now all but unstoppable in the House after Pelosi rejected a suggestion from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of some kind of censure motion.

McCarthy did acknowledge to Republican caucus members Monday that the President bore some responsibility for last week’s insurrection, according to a person familiar with the call. But some of his other responses to the outrage — an overhaul to the electoral certification process and legislation to promote voter confidence hinted at the insincerity of the Republican approach.

With a few exceptions, Republicans — who indulged and in many cases supported Trump’s blatantly false claims of electoral fraud for weeks — have responded to the uproar over last week’s Capitol attack by complaining that by pushing impeachment, Democrats are fracturing national unity. It’s as if the last four years never happened.

There are also questions over whether Republicans understand the seriousness of last week’s events. Remarks by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt are still reverberating through the Capitol.

“My personal view is that the President touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again,” Blunt said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

His comment eerily recalled the rationalizations of Republicans who declined to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial after he tried to get Ukraine to interfere in the election to damage Biden.

America has emerged from many dark periods since the Civil War. The country was torn by resistance to the Civil Rights movement. And the Vietnam War turned generations against one another. But the fact that millions of people now appear to deeply mistrust the electoral system that is the basis of US democracy means that the country’s internal political cohesion is now being tested as it has rarely been in the last century-and-a-half.

And the Republican indulgence of the President’s repeated political arson has revealed a massive constitutional blindspot. When one party’s lawmakers are in thrall to a strongman leader, their duty to ensure checks and balances to constrain presidential power is soon forgotten.

 

Trump to reemerge

 

Trump has not appeared in public for days. And the suspension of his social media accounts amid concern that he could stir up more violence mean the country has been unable to assess his mood.

But the President is due to make a trip to visit the border wall that he said Mexico would pay for but instead saddled the taxpayers with the bill. White House sources said that the President is determined to spend his last full week in office touting his achievements and is expected to release another round of controversial pardons. CNN reported Monday that former Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone have advised the President not to attempt what would be yet another epic abuse of power — an attempt to pardon himself.

The virus is meanwhile running rampant. Eleven states and Washington, DC, just recorded their highest 7-day average of new cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began. For the first time, the country is averaging over 3,000 deaths from the pandemic per day. Trump’s outgoing head of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield warned in a recent interview with McClatchy newspapers that the pandemic would get worse for the rest of January and parts of February and that the country could see 5,000 deaths a day.

And hopes that the nation could soon turn a corner are being tempered by the glitches in the vaccine roll out. Just as with the early stages of the crisis, poor coordination between federal and local and state authorities and the overall lack of a broader distribution plan are hampering the effort.

Like everything else, it will be up to Biden to fix it.

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Russian FSB Possibly Tied to SolarWinds Hack

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for January 11, 2021: Naval divers have found aircraft debris and human body parts from the crash of Flight SJ182 in Indonesia; Central Texas received up to six inches of snow on Sunday; new information allegedly points to the Russian FSB in the SolarWinds hack; ensuring the well-being of people with disabilities is critical during disaster response; 20 people, include 12 children, were rescued after their sailboats capsized off Santa Cruz Harbor; vog is forecast as trade winds return amid the ongoing eruption of the Kilauea Volcano; an earthen dam in Berea, Ohio, is undergoing emergency repairs to prevent its possible failure; and record high temperatures forecast for Southern California increase fire weather concerns.

1) Four minutes after takeoff out of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Flight SJ182 disappeared off radar. The Sriwijara Air flight, operated by a Boeing 737-500, departed Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Saturday and was carrying 62 souls on board when it crashed into the Java Sea. Naval search teams have located debris, along with human body parts, that are suspected to be from the downed aircraft.

2) Central Texas received several inches of snow Sunday afternoon, which knocked out power to thousands of customers across the region. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter storm warning through midnight on Sunday, for at least six counties, noting that up to six inches of snow could fall in the region. The unusual snowfall prompted school closures on Monday, although warming temperatures beginning on Monday are likely to melt the snow quickly.

3) New information regarding the SolarWinds hack suggests that the malware used may be tied to a hacking group known as “Turla.” According to Kaspersky — a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm — the backdoor used by the hackers was likely done on behalf of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Estonian authories pointed out the connection, and Kaspersky noted that three characteristics of a hacking tool, “Kazuar,” appear to have been present in the SolarWinds hack.

4) When disasters strike, those with disabilities may face life-threatening circumstances, such as a loss of power for life-sustaining medical equipment. Ensuring their well-being is critical during response efforts, and research shows that they are disproportionately affected by a disaster. It is imperative to ensure planning efforts include listening to the needs of those with disabilities, and also to bring community, health, and support workers to disaster planning tables, as they have a wealth of information on how to best support those with disabilities.

5) Multiple sailboats capsized outside the Santa Cruz Harbor on Sunday afternoon amid dangerous and rough surf. The incident occurred when four boats were struck by a large wave, tossing 20 people — including 12 children — into the ocean. Rescue crews and surfers were able to quickly rescue everyone from the dangerous waters, and no injuries or deaths were reported.

6) Increased vog from the Kilauea Volcano is expected over West Hawaii areas due to trade winds that have returned to the region. According to the Vog Measurement and Prediction Project at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the vog will affect North and South Kona districts, along with Ka’u. SO2 (sulphur dioxide) emissions also remain elevated, and lava activity is ongoing, but confined within the Haleamaumau crater.

7) An earthen dam in Berea, Ohio, is undergoing emergency repairs to prevent its possible failure. The Coe Lake dam has been eroding slowly over time, and a 100-foot section recently opened up, allowing water to flow back and forth between Baldwin Creek and Coe Lake. The back-and-forth flow has increased the erosion, which has reduced the lake by nearly 14 inches or about 10 million gallons. The reservoir is the backup water supply for the city, and the emergency repairs will be followed up by a more extensive repair at a later date.

8)Record high temperatures are set to move into Southern California later in the week, increasing the fire danger risk. Mild Santa Ana winds moved into the area on Sunday and were expected to last into Tuesday, slightly elevating the fire risk. Offshore winds are predicted through the end of the week with the temperature increase, which is likely to elevate fire concerns throughout the region once again.

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3:15 PM 12/25/2020 – The new Red–Green–Brown alliance, its political agenda, Covid-19, and the New Abwehr (hypothetically) …

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Red–green–brown alliance – Wikipedia
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Red–greenbrown alliance. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to navigation Jump to search. Political concept. The …

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Red–greenbrown alliance: | The term |red-greenbrown alliance|, originating in France, refers to the alleged al… World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation …

Red-green-brown alliance
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Red-greenbrown alliance · warblogger s and · Usenet posters who used it to refer to a perceived convergence in political positions or rhetoric between leftist …

Red–green alliance – Wikiwand
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In politics, a red–green alliance or red–green coalition is an alliance of “red” parties with “green” parties. The alliance is often based on common left political …

The Emerging Red-Green Alliance: Where Political Islam …
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Sep 9, 2020 — Request PDF | The Emerging Red-Green Alliance: Where Political Islam Meets the Radical Left | No matter how unlikely it may seem, radical …

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Feb 1, 2018 — Having lost his political ties in the United Kingdom, Yockey instead entered West Germany clandestinely, with army documents stating Yockey …

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Sep 1, 2017 — Trump inspires a ‘green and brown coalition’ in the borderlands … Judy Ackerman of neighboring El Paso’s Frontera Land Alliance reminded … for the border wall, Vasquez flatly rejected such potential political horse trading.

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Jun 8, 2012 — If Labour does indeed become an electoral transit station, then the political calculus of the 2014 election becomes extremely problematic.

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Brown Appoints Green Party Mayor Bruce Delgado to Water Board; · Green Mayor Gayle … BLUE-GREEN ALLIANCE If Villaraigosa wins in LA, he won’t be the only … REAL PAYCHECK PROTECTION Ever since labor stepped up its political …

Companies hide political opposition to sustainability
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Jul 17, 2018 — When corporations take credit for green deeds, their lobbying may tell another story … call talking green while lobbying brown – is a form of greenwashing, … As the past and present presidents of the Alliance for Research on …

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Boyce, James K., “Green and Brown? Globalization … bureaucratic incompetence) and unwillingness (for example, the political influence of those who … alliances also can increase the bargaining power of local communities (see, for example …

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SS5a nrf’. m»r £hctlon- Mont8°mery to™*h a s ley’s selection of Brown will in- … what many observers say is a for- alliance in an O’Malley-Brown Montgomery County to balance midable … Several political ob- … Andrew A. Green contributed to.

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Feb 19, 2020 — Climate Justice in Black and Brown Communities … whose mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order … Darryl was instrumental in leading the passage of Clean Up Green Up, a City of Los Angeles … Alliances Director, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon.

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Oct 25, 2019 — The ascendant Green Party’s moderate approach might placate some … leader of Saxony’s Alliance 90/The Greens; Katja Meier, a Green … He wants to change the atmosphere around politics first, in order to change politics itself. … at the center of one of the biggest brown-coal mining areas in the country.

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Germany’s Big Green Mood Lacks Radicalism

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On a Monday night in August, Robert Habeck sat on a train to Berlin from the eastern German city of Cottbus, attempting to eat a falafel sandwich. The yellow sauce was dripping, first on the floor, then on his gray trousers. The pita bread was falling apart, bits of red cabbage were sticking to his nose. A handful of journalists were watching this mess closely, but Habeck—blue shirt, rolled-up sleeves, healthy tan—didn’t seem to care.

Habeck, who has been coleading the German Green Party with Annalena Baerbock for almost two years now, certainly doesn’t want to be a normal politician. He presents himself as something different: a normal person. When he gets a fact wrong in an interview, he apologizes publicly the next day. He takes off his shoes during train rides, exposing holes in his socks, to the delight of detail-seeking reporters. And sometimes, he devours a falafel sandwich in front of an audience. Messily, yes—but with confidence.

Before Habeck, 50, became a professional politician, he was a novelist and playwright. He wants to change the atmosphere around politics first, in order to change politics itself. This strategy—approachability, diplomacy, friendliness—is not only crucial to his personal success; Habeck is, according to surveys, one of the most popular politicians in Germany and many people believe he could become the next chancellor. It’s also key to understanding the astonishing recent rise of his party.

Robert Habeck, who has co-led Germany’s Green Party for almost two years, could become the country’s next chancellor. (Photos courtesy Lukas Hermsmeier)

The Greens, who started as an anti-party party in the 1980s, have become what the Social Democrats used to be: a Volkspartei, or mass party. More and more Germans trust them, and only them, to tackle the climate challenges in a severe—and yet moderate—way. The party promises green technologies, green culture, green growth. In short, the right dose of change, which millions can agree on.

While the party won only 8.9 percent of the vote in the last election in 2017, recent polls have given them between 22 and 27 percent—right behind or on par with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. The next general election in 2021 could bring about what many progressives have desired for a long time: a coalition of Greens, Social Democrats, and the Left Party. In such a scenario, Germany could become the first-ever major Western country with a green leader.

Twenty nineteen has been the year of the Greens. In several other European countries such as Norway, Austria, Finland or Portugal, ecologist parties got record votes. In the European Elections in May, the Greens–European Free Alliance increased its number of seats in the EU Parliament by nearly 50 percent. For the first time in years, it felt like there might be some some kind of European counterforce to the right-wing nationalist wave embodied by authoritarians like Viktor Orbán, Marine Le Pen, and Nigel Farage.

It’s a fitting time for this political shift: The earth is—undeniably—burning, melting, and dying, and unlike centrists, environment-focused parties seem invested in doing something beyond repeating empty, green-seeming phrases. At the UN Climate Action Summit in September, Angela Merkel announced that her country wants to become “climate-neutral” by 2050.

“We all have only one Earth,“ the chancellor said. Her policies, however, could make you think that there are some Earths yet to spare. Year after year, Germany has missed its self-set climate targets. The “climate package” that Merkel’s government passed in September was called “catastrophic,” “a bad joke,” and “disastrous” by German scientists and environmental organizations. Even the German Economic Institute criticized it as insufficient. When it comes to climate politics, Merkel is little more than a politer and quieter version of Trump.

The backlash to ineffectual climate politicking, has, at least, grown stronger. In response to their failing governments, climate movements, such as Extinction Rebellion and the Sunrise Movement, are calling for radical measures. At the end of September, millions of mainly young people, inspired in part by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, took to the streets in more than 150 countries for the largest climate strike in history. It’s thanks to activists like Thunberg, persistent scientists, a number of intellectuals, and green political parties that global warming has entered mainstream debates—40 years late.

No other country has seen such a large-scale green uprising as Germany’s, though. Since last December, thousands of students have gone on strike across the country every single week, making Fridays for Future (FFF) the biggest German protest movement since the “peaceful revolution” of 1989. The Green Party has gained 15,000 new members this year, bringing its membership up to more than 90,000 in total. New words have even entered the German discourse; Flugscham, for example: flight shame.

Climate movements have been growing across the world. But why are the Greens so unprecedentedly strong in Germany, both on the streets and in the parliaments?

If you ask party members and voters, you hear three main things: First, climate change is more noticeable, even in Germany, where farmers suffer from droughts, insect populations die, and meteorologists warn of record floods. “Many people who live in rural areas or smaller cities have told me that they can feel the global heating directly,” Sven Giegold, Green member of the European Parliament, told me on the phone. While climate awareness has grown, Giegold explained, the government’s apathy has become more striking. The Green’s persistence on environmental issues over the last 40 years gives them crediibility.

“It’s not a hipster thing. It’s for normal people,” Giegold said.

Second, the party has expanded its electorate. In the EU election, the Greens won hundreds of thousands of votes from every other party across the political spectrum. Leftists have criticized the party’s increasing centrism. But as long as the party is successful, nobody within it will dare to rebel. “The Greens are, in contrast to other parties, open enough that I can tell them that they are still too white,” said Aminata Touré, one of the very few Afro-German politicians in the country, and, according to party leader Habeck, “one of the greatest talents.” The 26-year-old, who recently was elected as the vice president of the state parliament in Schleswig-Holstein, stands for a new generation of Green politicians. “If you are part of the government,” Touré said, “you have to make compromises. That’s how politics work.”

26-year-old Aminata Touré is one of the few Afro-German politicians in the country. (Lukas Hermsmeier)

And third, every person I talked to for this piece praised the new leadership for their ability to unite the party. The Greens, for a long time divided into a radical wing (the “Fundis”) and a more pragmatic wing (the “Realos”), seem to have reached a consensus: They want to come into power.

It is this very tactic though—trying to please (almost) everybody in order to govern—that is also the party’s greatest risk.

Prior to his falafel-filled train ride to Berlin that August evening, Robert Habeck had attended a town hall meeting hosted by his party in the city of Cottbus. Cottbus, 65 miles southeast of Berlin and not far from the Polish border, is also at the center of one of the biggest brown-coal mining areas in the country. It has lost a quarter of its population since the wall came down 30 years ago. Numerous extreme-right organizations, such as Zukunft Heimat, Identitäre Bewegung, or the hooligan group Inferno, are based in or near Cottbus. In the last major regional elections, the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) won the majority of votes.

Attacks against refugees and people of color have increased in Cottbus over the years. Many residents, however, see the Green Party—with its EU- and refugee-friendly policies, its calls for renewable energies and organic food production—as a threat. In the days before Habeck arrived in Cottbus, political opponents hung up posters with his face and the message “Hostile intentions.” Habeck, as he later admitted, was anxious ahead of the event.

Around 300 people, many of them over 60, sat in a half circle in the old Town Hall, as the Green leader entered the stage.

“I can feel the tensions,” Habeck said. “Our stance against brown coal is met with resistance.” Even before anyone in the audience could say a single word, Habeck pleaded guilty. For far too long, he said, western German Greens like him had ignored their eastern counterpart, Alliance 90 (which fused with the Greens in 1993). For far too long, he continued, his party had ignored the specific problems in the east. “How could we be so blind?” Habeck asked.

For two intense hours, Habeck took on questions relating to these very problems: the postindustrial unemployment rate, the downsizing of public transport, the lack of hospitals; things that helped the far right to rise. Habeck promised a redistribution of money from wealthier to poorer households, but it seemed more important that he listened intently to every single question from the audience, even those that received boos from the crowd.

An engineer from Jänschwalde, a small village near Cottbus, where hundreds of people lost their jobs after a large section of a big brown-coal power plant shut down, attacked Habeck for prioritizing the environment over the economy.

“That’s socialism!,” the man said. The audience mumbled; Habeck stood still. His party, he explained, gives incentives to private companies that invest in solar energy. “That’s the opposite of socialism,” he said calmly. At the meeting’s end, the audience applauded enthusiastically. People asked the father of four sons for selfies. Even in Cottbus, hostile territory, the Green base is growing.

In the past, the Greens were known to be successful in certain areas and milieus—and nearly invisible in others. Kreuzberg for example, a heavily gentrified district in Berlin, has been a Green stronghold for decades. Voting Green there became part of an identity, aligned with a lifestyle that includes recycling, riding a bike, and buying expensive organic food. Or, as some leftists call it: “Green class chauvinism.”

The typical Green voter has been a young, well-educated and higher-earning person, living in an urban area. That is still the case. In the EU elections, however, the Greens not only won nine of the 10 biggest German cities; they also became the strongest force in rural regions such as the Wendland, in smaller East German cities such as Jena, and in blue-collar-towns such as Dortmund.

Even traditionally conservative regions of Germany have been conquered by the Greens. In the election in Bavaria in October 2018, they became number two and won the capital, Munich. Baden-Wuerttemberg, the wealthy home state of Daimler and Porsche, is lead by a Green premier already since 2011.

The Greens, not only in Germany, benefit from the ongoing erosion of the traditional centrist parties—especially the Social Democrats, who have lost millions over millions of voters across Europe in the last two decades. This process—some call it Pasokification, named after the fall of the Greek social democratic party Pasok from a comfortable majority of 44 percent in 2009 to less than 5 percent in 2015—has dramatically altered the political scene in countries like Italy and France. But not only social democracy has been in decline. In the United Kingdom, for example, the governing Conservatives recorded their worst result ever in the European election. The UK Green party, by contrast, secured its best results in 30 years.

“The next legislative period is going to be fun,” Green EU MP Giegold said. “The other parties will need us.”

There was a time when the Greens were the party of anger. They protested and opposed the establishment; some of them even longed for the revolution.

Now, “the AfD is the party that attacks the establishment,” Habeck told me after the Cottbus town hall. “The difference, however, is that the Greens always wanted to democratize society, while the far right wants to attack democracy itself,” Habeck continued. “Today, our party is rooted in the center of society. Our role is it to defend the values of the republic: the constitution, freedom of the press, cultural freedom.”

In 2010, he published a book with the title Patriotismus: Ein linkes Plädoyer, “Patriotism—A Left-Wing Appeal.”

Habeck’s political opponents love to hate on him and his Greens. Far too soft, many leftists moan. Far too radical, many conservatives and liberals rant. Besides,: what will become of Germany, the car-and-sausage nation and export world champion if it is led by a Green? Jörg Meuthen, leader of the AfD, even threatened to leave the country in the event of Habeck’s becoming chancellor.

The story of the Greens began in the ’70s, when environmentalists, anti-war activists, feminists, and other leftists began intense organizing in action groups and grassroots initiatives across the country. German students had been protesting against capitalism, ecological destruction, authoritarianism, patriarchy, and their very own Nazi parents already since the ’60s. One outgrowth of these movements was the far-left militant Red Army Faction, a network responsible for the murders of politicians, industry executives, police officers, and soldiers who, in their eyes, personified the Schweinesystem, the “pig system.” It was an especially tense time in Berlin, divided by a wall, at the hot center of the Cold War. As now, some Germans were wondering if it’s even ethical to bring a child into this world.

In January 1980, the various groups and local parties officially joined forces. The first Green parliamentarians stood out with both their focus on environmental issues and their appearance. Some nursed their babies, others knitted during debates. Joschka Fischer, who later became Germany’s foreign minister, wore sneakers when he was sworn in and caused trouble when he called the parliamentary president an “asshole.”

The mere fact of a high share of women—thanks to intraparty gender parity rules—was a provocation for many members of the Bundestag. When Green lawmaker Waltraud Schoppe spoke about “everyday sexism” and “marital rape” in her very first and now-legendary parliamentary speech in 1983, the male-dominated ranks of the traditional parties were in an uproar (“Witch! Witch!”).

The first Green Party program from 1980 reads, unlike the current party platform, almost like a socialist manifesto. And it serves as a reminder that the Green rise of 2019 can’t be understood without recognizing the decades-long history of Green organizing and politics in Germany.

“The ecological global crisis is intensifying day by day,” the first party program asserted. “Commodities are becoming scarcer, one poisoning scandal after the other, animal species are being exterminated, plant species are ceasing, rivers and oceans are turning into cesspools, humankind is about to become mentally and emotionally stunned in the midst of a late industrial and consumer society, we are burdening the following generations with a sinister legacy.”

There are only a few people from the early days who are still involved in politics. Hans-Christian Ströbele is one of them. The renowned lawyer helped found the party and remained one of its most successful, radical, and party-critical representatives for almost 40 years. Ströbele left the German parliament in 2017, but still writes articles, tweets, and occasionally accepts visits from journalists.

Hans-Christian Ströbele, a lawyer who helped found Germany’s Green Pary, left the Bundestag in 2017. (Lukas Hermsmeier)

On a sunny afternoon in July, Ströbele’s wife, Juliana, opened the door to their apartment in an elegant, white Gründerzeit building by the Spree river in Berlin-Mitte. “Christian,” she said, “sits in the office.”

Ströbele, who celebrated his 80th anniversary some weeks prior, slowly pulled himself up from his chair. Afflicted with a nerve disease, he looked thin. The black bike Ströbele was known to ride through Berlin until a few years ago still stood in the house’s entrance, gathering dust. His other trademark, wild, bushy, white eyebrows, remained in peak shape.

In the early ’70s, Ströbele took up the cases of the RAF founders Ulrike Meinhof and Andreas Baader—until the moment he was accused of being part of the group’s terror infrastructure himself. A court sentenced him to 10 months on probation. Ströbele still denies the accusations, but “wouldn’t do anything differently today.”

A few years after his work for the RAF ended, the Green project started.

“We entered the parliament with the goal not to become like the other parties and career politicians. It was us against the world!” Ströbele recalled. “But this stance has been lost for a long time.” It was a gradual process: Several founding members, such as the “radical ecologist” Jutta Ditfurth, left the party in the early ’90s. The moderate wing, which coalesced around Fischer, gained more influence. The “long march through the institutions” was finalized when the party became a junior partner in a coalition with the Social Democrats in 1998. For the first time ever, the Greens were part of the federal government.

It was a red-green coalition in name only, with decidedly neoliberal politics that included less taxes for rich people and a welfare reform (Hartz IV) with significant cuts to unemployment benefits and increased pressure on the jobless to find work. Foreign Minister Fischer’s decision to send German troops first to Yugoslavia and some years later to Afghanistan was heavily criticized. Ströbele became the in-house opposition, as former Green comrades turned into political opponents. “I’ve seen people changing through power,“ Ströbele says.

Ströbele’s politics, meanwhile, have not wavered. In the last decades he has supported guerilla fighters in El Salvador, he visited Edward Snowden in Moscow, and just last month he took to Twitter to defend a politician from Left party who cause controversy for wearing an “Antifa” pin in the German parliament. “They [Antifa] know much more about the machinations of the Far-Right and FASCISTS than the intelligent service,“ Ströbele tweeted.

Asked about the current green movement, the Green founder gave an ambivalent answer. “Our issues have reached the majority of the population, which is great,” he said.

“But if you look at the Fridays for Future protesters, for example, who I obviously support, it’s dangerous how much they are accepted while having very little impact on the policies.”

The discrepancy between the felt power of the green movement and its effect so far on actual politics in Germany is indeed striking. Germany has been governed by Angela Merkel for 14 very long years, and neither her Christian Democrat party, nor her coalition partner, the Social Democrats, seem to have understood what structural changes it would take to tackle this global crisis.

Yet many people in the German political and media sphere pretend that the country is already far too green-minded. Michael Theurer, for example, the parliamentary group leader of the liberal party FDP, recently blustered that Germany was becoming an “eco-dictatorship” on account of the Greens’ attempts to curb the number of domestic flights and reduce the consumption of meat. AfD leader Alexander Gauland named the Greens its main rival after the EU election in May. “They are going to destroy Germany,” he said.

While it’s true that the Greens’ success has pushed the government toward certain enrivonmental policies, their political opponents’ warnings about a “Green hegemony” and a “radicalized” Green party are based more in desperation than reality.

The Greens’ program is, in fact, rather moderate. While the German Environment Agency, for example, proposes a carbon price of €180 ($197) per ton, the Greens are asking for only €40 ($43). Some of the party’s policies might have sounded progressive some years ago—its call for decreasing the value-added tax on train tickets from 18 to 7 percent, to name one. In 2019 though, even Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer, a conservative from Bavaria, has proposed the exact same number. When it comes to anti-capitalist measures such as the nationalization of energy companies, the Left Party is far ahead of the Greens.

At the last party convention in March, Fridays for Future activist Luisa Neubauer gave a speech in which she criticized the Greens for their lack of concrete policies and a clear vision. “We won’t grow out of this crisis,” the 23-year-old student said in front of hundreds of party members in Berlin. “If even the Greens can’t manage to find clarity about it,” she continued, “then I’m not sure why we’re marching on the streets.”

Luisa Neubauer, 23, is an activist who organized some of Germany’s first school strikes with the Fridays for Future movement. (Lukas Hermsmeier)

Neubauer’s words were received with massive applause. Party leader Habeck thanked her, “for kicking our ass.” Once again, the Green leadership’s strategy was obvious: synthesizing the different factions into one friendly force.

I met Neubauer, who has become Germany’s most famous climate activist, last July in the western German city of Dortmund, where Fridays for Futures held its first summer congress. For five days, more than 1,400 teenagers and children (some came with their families) were discussing politics, cooking vegan fare, partying and sleeping in tents. Neubauer—long, brown hair, blue jacket, colored wristbands—looks, even by her own admission, younger than her age. In her speeches and interviews, however, she sounds so clear and balanced that it’s hard to believe that she only recently finished college.

Neubauer became friends with Greta Thunberg at the climate summit in Katowice, Poland, last December, and soon after organized the first school strikes in Germany. Since then, she has been invited by CEOs, government officials, TED Conferences, virtually every German prime-time talk show, and even French President Emmanuel Macron to talk about the protest movement’s demands.

One-and-four-tenths-million Germans joined the climate strikes in September, more than in any other country. Neubauer rejects the notion that this enthusiasm will be a passing fad.

“The advantage of this movement,” she said, “is that we’re backed by the sciences.” As the young activist sees it, the years after the 2016 Paris Agreement were crucial for movement building. More people started realizing how dramatic the situation is and how little the German government is willing to change. “Angela Merkel failed us,” Neubauer said. “I mean, this woman is a physicist. If she doesn’t understand what’s happening to our planet, who does?”

On their website, Fridays for Future lists its demands, addressed to the German government: a coal phase-out by 2030, 100 percent renewable energies and net carbon neutrality by 2035. “Our only demand is basically that Germany keeps up with its own targets,” Neubauer said.

Her statement encapsulates the current state of the broader green movement: They politely ask the established parties to please stop killing the earth.

Even Extinction Rebellion, a protest movement many have deemed as “too radical,” tries to avoid proper confrontation in Germany. When activists blocked several traffic hubs in Berlin in October, most of them teamed up with the police to clear the streets peacefully. A few days later, XR activists visited the Green Party headquarters, urging the party to tell the “truth about the ecological catastrophe.” Habeck himself let the protesters inside the building. The party boss was smiling, the activists were singing. Everybody seemed pleased that nobody was made actually uncomfortable.

On our train ride from Cottbus to Berlin, Habeck told me that he and his coleader Annalena Baerbok “try not to speak of ‘we, the Green Party,’ but rather just ‘we,’ to address everyone within society.”

“Language does not represent something that would exist without it, but actively produces reality,” Habeck wrote in his 2018 book Wer wir sein könnten, “Who we could be.”

So far, Habeck’s plan to open his party to a broader votership through reconciliatory language and a green capitalist platform works. The matured Greens have never been stronger in their results and more optimistic in their appearance. They are, as Habeck said in a radio interview in August, “a quasi–ruling party in waiting.”

Was Habeck’s statement, two years before the next election, an accidental moment of arrogance, or was it simply a dry description of the Greens’ growing power? At the very least, it was a window into the party’s new mindset. The fact is that the Greens don’t act like the opposition party anymore. They want to be a party for everybody: leftists as well as conservatives, Friday for Future activists and CEOs, patriots and tech-liberals.

“Radical realism” has become a Green catchphrase—but this moderate approach seems less and less likely to save the environment the party holds so dear.

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The coming alliance of populists and greens

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The first photographs of our planet from the moon made it look as finite and delicate as a glass ball. The images are credited in some quarters for the battery of environmental laws that passed the US Congress after 1969. Another theory behind the shift in consciousness cites a spate of earthlier events in the same year: an oil spill near Santa Barbara, a river fire in Ohio.

Whatever the emotional prodding for the green reforms, we can at least be sure of their formal enacter. It was Richard Nixon who founded the Environmental Protection Agency. It was Nixon who signed the Ocean Dumping Act and the Endangered Species Act. Elected as a populist, he authorised a tremendous growth in federal power. And he did it for a cause that even then (the era of Greenpeace’s founding and the first Earth Day) had liberal connotations.

This was incongruous enough half a century ago. It is unthinkable now. On the face of it, populists and environmentalists are the two least reconcilable movements in world politics. One defines itself against transnational governance and the other counts on it to abate climate change. One electrifies the middle-aged and older while the other mobilises the young. The crossfire between US President Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg on Twitter last month captured the acrimony in miniature.

Such is the surface tension that we miss what unites the two sides. At the core of both movements is a mistrust of capitalism. For the populist, it undermines nationhood. For the green, it imperils all life. Their lines of approach are different, but both converge on a position that is recognisably Malthusian. Populists assume that immigrants leave less of the (presumably fixed) national wealth for native-born citizens. The greenest greens equate economic and even demographic growth with the depletion of the planet. There is a measure of hokum in each claim. But it is compatible hokum. Given time, the intellectual overlap might be the stuff of a political coalition.

We are said to have lived through a realignment in recent years, from left versus right to former UK prime minister Tony Blair’s glib but yet-to-be-bettered “open versus closed”. The sorting process is incomplete, though. Like citizens of a hastily partitioned country, there are people stranded on the wrong side of the new line.

Corporate Republicans swallow their qualms about Mr Trump’s tariffs for the sake of tax cuts. The Grand Old Party is still a union of the most pro-market people in America and the most nostalgic authoritarians. This is not — if Ms Thunberg will excuse the phrase — sustainable. Time is likely to bring about a more coherent delineation, between those who are at ease with modernity and those who would like to unwind it some. If so, populists and environmentalists could find themselves on the same side.

In France, some of the gilets jaunes, who once howled at fuel taxes, are marching with greens. In Britain, there is a fad for agricultural autarky among your dig-for-victory kind of Brexiter.

It is natural to see this romantic conservatism as an Old World thing. But it has been a part of American thought since Thomas Jefferson envisioned an agrarian republic. Woodrow Wilson, no less than Nixon, paired backward social views with an environmental conscience. The diaries of George Kennan, the great diplomat, and a conservative if not a Republican, teem with grumbles about minorities and modern women — but also about the motor car and the despoliation of nature. To equate American conservatism with the free market is to fall foul of recency bias. The movement predates Ronald Reagan.

“There is more to life than economic growth.” What stands out about this line, beyond its smarminess, is that it could come from a traditionalist as easily as from a young green. Because these tribes are so outwardly different, their collaboration seems fanciful. But then electoral coalitions are often jarring. Segregationist Southerners helped to vote through the New Deal. The GOP has long reconciled rich capitalists and workers who hate trade.

If anything, an alliance of greens and populists would be more coherent, at least in substance, and perhaps even in style. Both spit the word “liberal” (or “neoliberal”) as slander. Both have what we might delicately call an extra-parliamentary wing.

No one is suggesting eyeball-to-eyeball teamwork here. Mr Trump rallies and Extinction Rebellion marches will never blend. But each side can vote against the market without having much to do with the other. What they lack in fellow-feeling they can make up for in decisive numbers.

janan.ganesh@ft.com

Two extremes with a dark joint history / From Scott Dziengelski, Washington, DC, US

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Trump inspires a ‘green and brown coalition’ in the borderlands

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Border protestPeter Sloan / Southwest Environmental Center

More than 100 people showed up this week at a protest in Sunland Park to denounce existing and planned border walls and the bigger border security agenda emanating from the White House.

For borderlanders like Angelica Rubio, the U.S-Mexico border wall proposed by the Trump administration is a deeply personal affront.

Speaking in the shadows of a U.S. fence undergoing an upgrade that separates Sunland Park, N.M. from the Ciudad Juárez neighborhood of Anapra, as U.S. Border Patrol agents looked on, Rubio, a N.M. state representative, joined more than 100 people this week at a protest denouncing existing and planned border walls and the bigger border security agenda emanating from the White House.

A daughter of Mexican immigrants, Rubio told the crowd of protesters gathered in Sunland Park on a breezy, late summer evening how she grew up worrying about deportations. She criticized Trump administration plans to build a big borderland barrier, hire thousands of new Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and increase immigrant detention.

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“This is actually the first time I’ve been this close to the wall,” the Las Cruces lawmaker, a Democrat, said, breaking into tears. “Friends, we’re here tonight because there’s already a wall. We’re here because the wall is a symbol of hate.”

Viviana Arciniega also struck a personal note in her remarks at an event billed as a protest/community town hall. Telling the crowd she was brought to the U.S. by her Mexican parents when she was three years old, Arciniega recalled growing up surrounded by hard-working immigrants who toiled away in the economically important dairy, chile and onion farms of southern New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley, all with the purpose of making a better life for their children.

A beneficiary of the Obama Administration’s embattled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which grants temporary relief from deportation proceedings to certain minors who came to the U.S. without papers and allows them to obtain jobs and pursue educational careers, Ariciniega said she went to work after her father was severely injured in an auto accident.

But the possibility that the Trump administration could cancel DACA has profoundly alarmed the young New Mexican — and many others like her.

“Sadly, DACA is now in danger of being taken away from me and those children who only want a better future,” Arciniega said. “I feel very hopeless at this moment. I’m scared. Honestly, I’m horrified.”

A long controversy

The Monday action where Rubio and Arciniega shared their stories assembled people from different backgrounds who expressed varying reasons for opposing Washington’s current U.S.-Mexico border security strategy. It was organized by a diverse coalition of groups — the ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights, N.M. Comunidades en Acción y de Fe (NM CAFé), the Southwest Environmental Center and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation.

“Take your wall and shove it,” “Defund Hate” and “Nos hablamos por la frontera” (“We speak for the border”) were among the visible messages written on protest signs, some of which were shaped like butterflies.

Billy Garrett, a Doña Ana County commissioner, portrayed an international swath of politically contentious geography as the “land of connections that unite us,” sprinkled with sky islands and carved out by the intersection of four major ecosystems — the Sonoran Desert, the Chihuahuan Desert, the southern Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Madres.

Speaking to the group, Garrett contrasted the initial $1.6 billion border wall funding sought by the Trump administration with basic infrastructure, broadband and affordable housing deficits in Doña Ana County. Here, many underdeveloped rural communities, or colonias, are situated on the periphery of the City of Las Cruces and its twin, modernesque pillars of White Sands Missile Range and New Mexico State University.

“Those billions would be better spent on real needs,” Garrett said. “The cost to bring Doña Ana County up to standard is probably a billion dollars.”

Judy Ackerman of neighboring El Paso’s Frontera Land Alliance reminded demonstrators that controversy over the border wall didn’t begin with the Trump presidency.

Ackerman said she was arrested protesting the construction of an 18-foot fence at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park adjacent to the river in El Paso’s lower valley in December 2008. A 342-acre nature refuge owned by the City of El Paso and operated by the University of Texas El Paso, Rio Bosque is set amid a continuously growing binational metro area; the habitat is known to host more than 200 bird species plus mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The border fence cut off the wetlands from its mother river, according to the Rio Bosque website.

The Rio Bosque fencing, as well as the fencing that now snakes along a mesa above Sunland Park, was originally authorized by the U.S. Congress in 2006. During the Bush administration and into the Obama administration, nearly 600 miles of barriers were constructed along the Mexican border. Then, as now, immigrant advocates, border residents and environmentalists rallied against the project.

Opponents assert that border walls threaten wildlife and rare plants, slap a death sentence on desperate migrants forced into crossings in physically hostile environments, and more than symbolically divide two countries that are economically, culturally and historically linked in myriad ways.

new report from the intergovernmental International Organization for Migration (IOM) found that more than 1,000 migrants perished near the U.S.-Mexico border between 2014 and 2016. From Jan. 1 to July 31 of this year, 239 additional such deaths were registered, a 17 percent increase over the comparable period for 2016, even though U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions plunged by nearly half during this time, according to the IOM.

Mostly, the deaths have occurred in adverse desert terrain, especially in Arizona and Texas, and in the Rio Grande and connecting canals where deceptive looking waters conceal deadly currents.

According to the IOM:

“In 2017, 57 people have drowned in the border river, a 54 percent increase over the 37 recorded between 1 January and 31 July 2016. This is likely due to the fact that heavy rainfall in recent months has increased the depth and speed of the border river. Nonetheless, migrant deaths in the Río Grande seem to be on the rise in recent years, with 43 such deaths recorded in 2015, and 63 in 2016. However in the case of migration over any body of water, it is difficult to determine the true number of migrant fatalities.

There are few official sources on migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border, and most of those which are available are only updated on an annual basis. The only sources of information on migrants who have gone missing in the Río Grande are often statements from survivors or family members. The true number of migrant fatalities in 2017 is likely to be higher than the available data indicate.”

In the El Paso sector, five people drowned in the Rio Grande in less than a week during a particularly fatal spell in July. And on Sunday afternoon, A U.S. Border Patrol agent rescued a man from a canal paralleling the river in downtown El Paso — but a second man could not be saved and a body suspected of being of the same individual was later recovered downstream, according to the El Paso Times.

Last February, then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly laid out in a memo the rationales and objectives of the new administration’s border wall and security policies. According to Kelly, the strategy is “designed to stem illegal immigration and facilitate the detection, apprehension, detention and removal of aliens who have no lawful basis to enter or remain in the United States.”

In an August visit to Yuma, Arizona, President Donald Trump credited an existing local wall for reducing the number of illegal crossings by 70 percent since its construction was approved in 2006. Trump has also justified his border wall strategy as a necessary tool for curbing the flow of illicit drugs from south of the border.

A grassroots coalition emerges

In many ways, Gabe Vasquez, southern New Mexico outreach coordinator for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, represents the rainbow of faces in a movement that’s emerged, or reemerged, in opposition to Trump administration border policies.

Another borderlander with roots on both sides of the international line, Vasquez elicited claps at Monday’s demonstration when he pointed out that the City of Sunland Park is seeking to build a border crossing — not a barrier — at the very spot where the protest was unfolding.

He later compared colonias near Las Cruces — where residents struggle with paperwork and lengthy, bureaucratic processes to get arsenic cleaned up from their water supplies — with the willingness of the Trump administration to shell out $25 billion for a “racist monument,” a reference to an estimate of how much it might cost to cover the entire length of the nearly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border with a wall.

In an interview, Vasquez gave varied reasons for opposing the border wall, including threats posed to animal populations like endangered Mexican pronghorn antelope, which would find it challenging to move back and forth across a blocked border in search of water and food, especially in bouts of drought. Confining species to a restricted habitat likewise jeopardizes genetic diversity, he said.

Vasquez said he supports the federal lawsuit opposing the border wall filed this year by the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity and Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva — though the New Mexico Wildlife Federation has not directly joined the litigation due to limited resources.

Asked about the diverse attendance at the Sunland Park border fence protest/town hall, Vasquez said Washington’s border policies are stirring a new convergence of forces — or a “green and brown coalition,” as he put it.

“The border is this kind of place for the synthesis of ideas. It’s about our culture, tradition and wildlife,” the Las Cruces-based activist said. “You have Texas and New Mexico getting together. You have immigration advocates and environmentalists coming together — I should say conservationists, because I consider myself a conservationist. It’s conserving our land, our culture and our way of life.”

The border wall and the Beltway

In a July vote of 235-192, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $827 billion national security spending package for next year that included $1.6 billion for the border wall.

According to a story published at thehill.com, border wall funding was slipped into the larger spending bill by a “procedural maneuver” of the Republican leadership that avoided an “up and down vote on it.” The Senate, where opposition to an expanded border wall is much stronger than in the House, now has until Sept. 30 act on the spending package.

Accordingly, organizers of the Sunland Park event asked attendees to sign postcards against Trump administration border policies that will be sent to members of the New Mexico congressional delegation.

As for President Trump’s recent statement about shutting down the federal government after Sept. 30 if Congress does not fund the border wall, a dispatch from the Reuters news agency observed that the threat “was a politically dangerous one before Hurricane Harvey tore through southern Texas over the weekend and it now looks even riskier.”

In response to reports that the Trump administration might be willing to trade preservation of the DACA program for the border wall, Vasquez flatly rejected such potential political horse trading. “Those kind of negotiations are toxic,” he said.

Read the whole story
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Third Positionism, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, And The Western Left

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An Investigation Into Red-Brown Alliances: Third Positionism, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, And The Western Left

Originally posted on Ravings of a Radical Vagabond this is a comprehensive summary of Third Positionist fascist currents old and new, and the successful insertion of their ideas into leftist milieus and alternative media outlets.

This long post started as an investigation about the Left and Syria which I started after I read the Sol Process blog’s publication of three posts concerning shady pro-Assad sources used in leftist circles (which can be read here: part Ipart IIpart III), and which later expanded into a more extensive investigation. I also thank the acknowledgement of my blog post by Russia Without BS, whose blog was helpful in the initial stages of my research.

Note for safety purposes: this post will contain links to far-right pages for documentation and sourcing purposes, and any link to such a page will be in bold and italic, such as this.

On Some Obscure Strains Of Fascism

I will first provide some historical context by exploring the history of early alliances between revolutionaries and reactionaries and of some lesser known forms of fascism which, unlike the majority of Western fascists who supported the United States’ anti-Communism during the Cold War, instead actively supported and rallied around the Soviet Union.

The Feudal Socialists

Alliances between revolutionaries and reactionaries are by themselves nothing new, as already in the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx was criticizing the Feudal Socialists. Alliances between revolutionaries and reactionaries are by themselves nothing new: in 1848 Karl Marx was already criticizing the Feudal Socialists in the Communist Manifesto. The Feudal Socialists were members of the French and English aristocracies who had lost their privileges in the revolutions of 1830 and sought to restore the old aristocratic order by trying to appeal to the working class to attack the bourgeoisie: they presented themselves as protectors of the working class proclaiming that under their rule bourgeois exploitation did not yet exist while at the same time railing against the creation of a revolutionary proletariat which would undo the old order of society completely. The reactionary and aristocratic nature of their movements however meant that they never really gained any mass support. Those who adopted this strategy included a section of the Legitimists, the French royalists who sought a restoration of the Ancien Régime and supported the traditionalist House of Bourbon’s claim to the throne of France against the then ruling and more liberal House of Orléans.

The Maurrassians, the Sorelians and the Birth of Fascism

The Dreyfus Affair

The Dreyfus Affair was a crisis which erupted under the French Third Republic in 1894 when French army captain Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of allegedly handing over secret French military documents to the German army. Despite evidence exonerating Dreyfus, he was still arrested and court-martialed due to anti-Semitic prejudice against him. Dreyfus was not given a fair trial and was condemned to life imprisonment and dishonorably discharged, with anti-Semitic groups publicizing the affair and the public supporting the conviction.

Dreyfus’ family members were the only ones who kept on challenging the verdict and claim he was innocent until evidence surfaced that another army officer was the one who had given these documents to the German army, after which the pro-Dreyfus side gained increasing support and novelist Emile Zola wrote an open letter titled “J’Accuse!” (I Accuse!) which accused the government and the army of anti-Semitism and covering up the Dreyfus case, for which Zola was convicted of libel against the army and had to flee to England. His article had a profound impact and divided the France into two camps: the anti-Dreyfusards, comprising the Catholic Church, the army and the right wing who feared the reversal of the verdict would weaken the military establishment, and the Dreyfusards, made up of a coalition of moderate Republicans, Socialists and Radicals.

With the Dreyfusards gaining ground, a document implicating Dreyfus was revealed to be a forgery and Major Hubert-Joseph Henry confessed fabricating it. However the anti-Dreyfusards became a threat to the Republic and the Republican parties formed a coalition and a left-wing cabinet was set up to defend the Republic.

When Dreyfus was found guilty again in 1899, a year after the reopening of the case, the French President instead decided to pardon him, and Dreyfus was eventually freed and exonerated.

The Action Française and Charles Maurras

Among the most extreme nationalist movements of the late 19th century was the Action Française, founded in 1899 as part of the anti-Dreyfusard nationalist reaction, and which became dominated soon after by Charles Maurras, under whom it became a far-right neo-monarchist organization. Action Française combined support of an Orléanais monarchy based on legitimist principles and corporate representation under a neo-traditionalist state with a radical nationalism into an authoritarian, exclusionary and intolerant a ideology called “integral nationalism” conceptualizing the nation as an “organic whole” with the monarch as its head. Despite Maurras’ own agnosticism and interest in spiritualism and magic rather than Christianity, Action Française saw religion as a force of order and supported nationalism, tradition and religion, drawing its support from the Catholic public. According to Maurras’ and Action Française‘s vitriolic intolerant ideology, minorities labelled as the four “States within the State” – Jews, Freemasons, Protestants and Metics – were taking over society by secretly helping each other to positions of power. Action Française acquired a prominent position within the early 20th century nationalist movement in France through a cultivation of style and aesthetics and through an elitist yet at the same time most vitriolic propaganda. The activists of Action Française, Les Camelots du Roi (the Streethawkers of the King), sold its publications and engaged in street fights against leftists and liberals, and though it has been called the first pre-fascist “shirt movement” of radical nationalism, its upper-class elitist nature means it never sought to properly become an organized party or develop a militia. The Action Française was so extreme that the pretender to the throne rejected it and the Papacy later excommunicated Maurras in 1927.

With the outbreak of massive strikes in 1906 following the Courrières mining disaster where French 1109 coal miners died in a coal dust explosion, Action Française started involving itself in social issues by forging links with trade unions and cooperating with syndicalists against the Republic. Maurras proclaimed that the solution to the inevitability of class struggle in democracy was the installation of an authoritarian class collaborationist monarchy, and between 1906 and the outbreak of the First World War, Action Française collaborated with various syndicalist movements.

Georges Sorel and the Cercle Proudhon

Among Maurras’ collaborators was Georges Sorel, who started as an orthodox Marxist in the early 1890s and supported the Dreyfusard camp due to his conviction that socialism was a moral issue, although he later became disillusioned by how the politicians on the Left exploited the affair to join the parliamentary system and access the privileges of bourgeois institutions. Sorel’s belief of socialism being an ethical issue led him to later go through a process of significant revision of Marxism after supporting Eduard Bernstein’s revisionism against Karl Kautsky. Embracing accelerationism with the hope that the development of capitalism would modernize society and encourage class consciousness, Sorel rejected materialism as well as liberal democracy and political liberalism in favor of direct action, saw violence as an end in itself and considered that society needed to be saved and regenerated from what he considered as “humanity’s tendency to slide towards decadence”. Consistent to Sorel’s thought, however, was a rejection of bourgeois society and its values of rationalism, the Enlightenment and intellectualism and an embrace of pessimism and a cult of heroic ages and values, and his theory of myths, according to which the masses need myths to mobilize, and Sorel embraced philosopher Henri Bergson’s rejection of rationalism in favor of intuition. By the end of this process of revisionism, Sorel had become a revolutionary syndicalist for whom the “myth” of the general strike would mobilize the proletarian to act against the French Third Republic and its bourgeois system.

With the decline of strike activity in 1909 and disappointed by the push for reforms rather than revolution by the Confédération Générale du Travail, however, Sorel abandoned socialism and in 1914 he declared that “socialism is dead”. After Sorel read the second edition of the Maurras’ book Enquête Sur La Monarchie (Investigations on Monarchy) where Sorel was positively mentioned, a collaboration started between him and Maurras’ Action Française with the aim of overthrowing the bourgeois French Third Republic.

Following the failure of a common project between Sorel, his disciple Édouard Berth and the Action Française‘s Georges Valois of a national-socialist journal called La Cité Française, Valois and Berth founded a National Syndicalist political group called the Cercle Proudhon (Proudhon Circle) while Sorel, whom the group claimed as its mentor, refused to participate in the Cercle due to his own apprehensions towards the Maurrassians, and instead founded his own anti-Semitic and nationalist journal, L’Indépendance. Sorel however became dissatisfied with nationalism, left L’Indépendance in 1913 and opposed the union sacrée and the entry of France in the First World War in 1914 before later praising Lenin after the Russian Revolution in 1917.

The common theme uniting the Sorelians and the Maurrassians was their opposition to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution and the aim of the Cercle was to provide a common platform for nationalists and leftist anti-democrats. The Cercle Proudhon had a particular interpretation of the works of Anarchist theorist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, largely due to his influence on syndicalism, but also because Action Française itself was attracted to his anti-Semitism and support for the traditional patriarchal family, and their own reinterpretation of his opposition to bourgeois democracy, even though Proudhon himself was not a fascist or a proto-fascist. Out of the Cercle ProudhonGeorges Valois formed the Faisceau, the first French fascist party

The Sorelians and the Italian Fascists

At the same time that Sorel was preparing to launch La Cité Française, one his Sorel’s disciples in Italy was Arturo Labriola, who was also one of the main theoreticians of revolutionary syndicalism in Italy and in 1902 had started the publication of a revolutionary syndicalist called Avanguardia Socialista, to which contributed Sergio Panunzio, who later became one of the main theoreticians of Italian fascism. Around that time, the revolutionary syndicalists had left the Socialist Party in 1907 and the main socialist trade union, the CGL, in 1909, and founded their own Unione Sindicale Italiana (USI), becoming more heterodox in the process. Labriola developed his own theory of a “proletarian nation” according to which Italy was an exploited nation and revolutionary transformation concerned all of society instead of class alone. Among the other syndicalist leaders, Panunzio stressed the importance of violence, Robert Michels elaborated on mass mobilization and the need of new elites, and Labriola developed corporatist economic theories. These revolutionary syndicalists had an interpretation of Marxism whereby they advocated for developing Italian capitalism as a prerequisite for a revolutionary movement and were in favor of cross-class collaboration with the farmers and the workers and supported “proletarian nationalism” and Italian expansionism. In 1910, the journal La Lupa was founded by revolutionary syndicalist Paolo Orano and, like the Cercle Proudhon, united syndicalist leaders such as Orano, Labriola, Angelo Oliviero Olivetti and Michels, and nationalists around Enrico Corradini.

Some of Sorel’s Italian disciples even left the Socialist Party to join Italian nationalist Enrico Corradini, who in 1910 founded the Italian Nationalist Association. The Italian Nationalist Association itself was an upper class and elitist organization though, based on the suggestions of the syndicalists close to him, Corradini described Italy as an exploited “proletarian nation” which had to undergo a class collaborationist national revolution which would modernize and strengthen Italy and turn it into a militarist and imperialist power. This process transformed many revolutionary syndicalists into nationalist syndicalists, and many syndicalists and nationalists supported Italy’s 1911 war against the Ottoman Empire and its subsequent occupation of Libya. By 1914, the revolutionary syndicalists had significantly revised Marxism and some of its leaders became nationalists who supported Italy’s entry in the First World War on the side of the Entente, thus becoming national syndicalists who later counted among the founders of the Italian fascist movement and members of the regime of Mussolini.

The USI itself adopted a neutral stance during the war, and its interventionist national syndicalist wing was put in minority position and subsequently expelled; one of the expelled members, Alceste De Ambris, together with Angelo Oliviero Olivetti co-founded the Revolutionary Fasci of Internationalist Action, which called on Italian workers to support Italian intervention in the war. The next month Benito Mussolini, himself a former syndicalist who had read Sorel before later becoming an anti-Communist nationalist, founded the Autonomous Fasci of Revolutionary Action and started his own publication funded by pro-interventionist business interests, Il Popolo d’Italia (The People of Italy) after his expulsion from the Socialist Party for his support of Italian intervention in the war. Olivetti’s fascio merged with Mussolini’s to form the Fasci of Revolutionary Action in December 1914, whose purpose was to mobilize the masses into supporting the war, and in 1915 Il Popolo d’Italia first referred to it as the “fascist movement”. De Ambris became one of the founders in 1918 of the Unione Italiana del Lavoro, a national syndicalist union formed out of the interventionist wing expelled from the USI, and he co-authored the Fascist Manifesto in 1919 before later becoming an opponent of fascism and Mussolini and joining the anti-fascist Arditi del PopoloMichele Bianchi, a former revolutionary syndicalist turned national syndicalist who had helped De Ambris found the Unione Italiana del Lavoro, later joined Mussolini and helped him found the Italian Fasci of Combat and the Fascist Party, of which he became the first secretary general, and was one of the leaders of Mussolini’s March on Rome. Sergio Panunzio joined Mussolini’s first fascio, and Paolo Orano and Robert Michels later joined the Fascist Party. The Italian Nationalist Association also later merged into Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party and many of its members became important figures of his regime, and within it formed part of the “Fascist Right” faction opposed to the national syndicalist “Fascist Left” faction led by Olivetti, Panunzio and Bianchi.

The Conservative Revolution

In a similar vein as Maurras’ Action Française arose a movement known as the Conservative Revolution as part of the reaction against the Enlightenment. The Conservative Revolution traces its origin to Counter-Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his disciples in Germany, who combined cultural criticism and anti-rationalism, and to the denunciation of liberalism and rationalism as “un-German” by nationalists like Johann Fichte and Ernst Arndt. The Conservative Revolution developed in the backdrop of the drastic transformations Germany was experiencing in the 19th century, with Otto von Bismarck’s Unification of Germany and his establishment of a semi-authoritarian system with a weak parliament, with urbanization and the rise of class antagonisms and decline in Christian faith and specifically German culture accompanying the industrialization of Germany, and with Bismarck’s persecution of socialists and Catholics, which resulted in Germans blaming the parliamentary system and its parties for these conflicts, and the spread of the wish for the rise a Caesarist a national hero who would unify German society.

The Conservative Revolutionaries attacked materialist capitalist society, castigated the press, the political parties and the new political elites, and railed against the “spiritual emptiness of life” and the “decline of intellect and virtue” of urban and commercial mass society while at the same time romanticizing earlier rural communities of kings and peasants. Unlike the traditional conservatives who sought to preserve and restore the old order, the Conservative Revolutionaries combined conservatism with revolutionary ideas and sought to break away from the present they lived in to create a future society based on a past they idealized. The Conservative Revolution was a reactionary revolt against modernity and liberal, industrial society and, while it was anti-socialist and anti-Communist, its main target was liberalism, which its ideologues held as alien to German society and equated with secularism, rationalism and humanism, exploitative capitalist society and embourgeoisement, and on which it blamed all the ills of Western society. In contrast to this, the Conservative Revolutionaries posed as defenders of national redemption, supported a return to folk-community and glorified violence in their quest for national heroism.

The Conservative Revolutionaries initially welcomed the outbreak of the First World War, which they saw as a promising break with the past. Having supported the struggle against the West, which they saw as antithetical to Germany, the Conservative Revolutionaries reviled the liberal capitalist Weimar Republic, which represented everything they opposed, and it was precisely under Weimar Germany that they came to prominence. Though the older generations of the Conservative Revolution had sought to accommodate themselves to the Republic, its younger members who had experienced the war insisted it should be replaced by a dictatorship and either worked with the German far-right seeking to overthrow it or stayed out of the political arena to delegitimize it.

The main figure of the Conservative Revolution in Weimar Germany was Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, according to whom the world consisted of old and young nations, with Fate supporting the young over the old, and whereby he rationalized Germany’s defeat in the Great War by claiming that old Britain and France had co-opted the young and gullible United States. Therefore, for him, the future of Germany was eastwards, between the liberal West and collectivist Russia. Germany’s defeat and the German Revolution in which the German Empire was overthrown and replaced by the Weimar Republic gave rise to a sense of alienation and dissatisfaction among the middle classes and former officers among whom Moeller found his audience, and he subsequently animated the June Club, which was founded in 1919 and was based on national socialist and corporatist premises in addition to a strong anti-Westernism which became more pronounced after the Treaty of Versailles (the Club itself was named for the month the treaty was signed). The June Club was of considerable influence within conservative circles, and its meetings were occasionally attended by the future chancellor Heinrich Brüning and the future member of the Nazi party Otto Strasser, and in 1922 Hitler addressed one of Moeller’s seminars, though Moeller later described Hitler as “wrecked by his proletarian primitivism” after the failure of the Beer Hall Putsch. The Club published a journal called Gewissen (Conscience) which lamented the decline of Germany, showed concern for the German diaspora, criticized party politics and advocated for replacing the Republic by a dictatorship. The most influential of Moeller’s publications was Das Dritte Reich (The Third Reich), published in 1922 and in which Moeller summarized the resentments and aspirations of the Conservative Revolutionaries and laid down the vision of a conservative revolution which would establish a system of nationalist “socialism” uniting the classes in Germany into state he called the Third Reich, which constituted one of the most powerful anti-Republican ideas under the Weimar Republic. Moeller however had a nervous breakdown and committed suicide in 1925. Moeller’s myth of the Third Reich was appropriated by the Nazis though they later repudiated him in 1933 and denied he had had any influence on them, largely because Moeller himself was not an anti-Semite.

Oswald Spengler was another major figure of the Conservative Revolution. An opponent of liberal democracy, which he considered a “foreign concept” imported from England, he first published his magnum opus, The Decline of the West, in 1918 where he laid down his deterministic understanding of history according to which cultures develop like organisms which grow, develop, age and die, with their final stage of decline and death being when they become “civilizations”. According to his thesis, the transition from a “culture” to a “civilization” was marked by the appearance of rationalists such as Rousseau, Socrates and the Buddha, the decline of the culture-bearing elites and their replacement by the bourgeoisie, and accompanied itself by mass democracy, wars, expansionism and Caesarism: authoritarian rulers like Caesar or Augustus. For Spengler, the 19th and 20th centuries were when Europe declined from a “culture” into a “civilization”, with Napoleon being an equivalent of Alexander the Great who foreshadowed the age of Caesarism. The Decline of the West was a best-seller, largely because it comforted Germans by rationalizing the hardships of Germany as part of larger historical processes, though Moeller criticized it by claiming that, while Spengler had rightly predicted the decline of the West, Germany’s defeat had instead restored the promise of vitality. The next year Spengler published Prussianism and Socialism with the aim of uniting German socialists and conservatives against the Weimar Republic, and in which he rejected Marxism as an “English ideology” and instead asserted a corporatist, nationalist and militarist “socialism” under the authority of a monarchical and authoritarian Prussian state inspired by the “Soldier King” Frederick William I of Prussia. Spengler, who had initially voted for Hitler, faced isolation under the Nazi regime for his rejection of anti-Semitism and of racialist theories (Spengler instead adhered to a form of spiritual racism) and his criticisms of the Nazis.

Another prominent member of the Conservative Revolution was Karl Haushofer, one of the leading theoreticians of “geopolitics”, a theory of international relations developed by Friedrich Ratzel and Halford Mackinder, and which conceived relations between states in terms of social Darwinist competition according to which whoever controlled the area dominated by the Russian Empire would be the major world power. Haushofer had been a military attaché to Japan following the latter’s victory against the Russian Empire in 1905, a victory which inspired anti-colonial nationalists around the world and led to the Russian Revolution of 1905 which was itself a prelude to the Revolution of 1917. After serving in the German Army in the First World War, Haushofer became an advocate of an alliance between Germany and Russia, and eventually with China and Japan. Unlike the Nazis who prefered Western colonialism and white supremacist domination of the Third World, Haushofer instead advocated for German support for anti-colonial struggles against the British and French Empires. Haushofer however exerted influence on the Nazi party, especially through his pupil Rudolf Hess, and Hitler absorbed the concept of Lebensraum from Haushofer. Karl Haushofer eventually became disillusioned with the Nazi regime and his son Albrecht was involved in the German resistance and participated in the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944.

Other figures of the Conservative Revolution included Carl Schmitt, who rejected parliamentary democracy, elaborated legal theories resting on the idea that modern societies needed a “total state” to function and identified politics as the distinction between a “friend” and an “enemy”, and Ernst Jung, who supported a fascist version of the Conservative Revolution envisioning an “organic German nation”.

Shortly before Moeller’s suicide, June Club itself was dissolved and transformed into the more aristocratic Herrenklub (which Moeller had refused to join), which sponsored a journal called Der Ring, the direct successor of the then defunct Gewissen. The Conservative Revolutionaries’ influence was initially limited mostly to sections of the Republic’s institutions such as former members of the German Youth Movement (which was itself part of the Conservative Revolution) who had joined the civil service and the government in large numbers. These ideas also became widespread within the Reichswehr, the newly formed army of Weimar Republic, under the leadership of the chief of staff and later commander in chief Hans von Seeckt who was himself close to Conservative Revolutionary ideas, and which many former Freikorps members who shared ideas similar to those of the Conservative Revolutionaries joined. However, with the Great Depression, their ideas gained traction within German society and Der Ring hailed the undermining of the parliament by the succeeding Chancellors Heinrich Brüning, Franz von Papen (who had himself been a member of the Herrenklub and whose presidential cabinet was hailed as the culmination of the Conservative Revolution by Der Ring) and Kurt von Schleicher.

The Conservative Revolution itself was ambivalent towards the Nazis in that, while its members supported many aspects of Nazi ideology and welcomed its rise, they were elitists with a contempt for the masses reserving their ideas to an esoteric minority circle, and therefore saw themselves as paving the way for the creation of a “new Germany” in which they did not see a role for the Nazis, which they considered a vulgar mass movement and disliked those who joined it. Unlike the Nazis, the Conservative Revolutionaries expressed support for an alliance with the Soviet Union based on their own idea of a romantic and anti-capitalist “German socialism” (unlike Soviet socialism where the proletariat is the revolutionary element, their “German socialism” considered the “deeply revolutionary Völk” as its base), did not write about biological racism, and eschewed the use of the Republic’s institutions to obtain power. During the last days of the Weimar Republic, this ambivalence manifested itself in how they were were torn between opposing the Nazis, which meant supporting the Republic they despised, or siding against the Republic by supporting the Nazis, with whom they still had their differences despite shared similarities: while they welcomed the rise of the Nazis due to their shared reactionary ideals, they disliked the mass character of the Nazi movement

The attacks by the Conservative Revolutionaries on the Weimar Republic and its culture along with their spread of Caesarism and of a “sentimental brutality” shaped the mental and ideological climate that set the stage for the Nazis by making the German middle classes more receptive to Nazi ideology and paved the way for their rise: the Nazis gathered the millions of malcontents about whom the Conservative Revolutionaries had spoken and for whom they elaborated dangerous and elusive ideas. Many Conservative Revolutionaries welcomed Hitler’s rise as the way to fulfill their goal, and Der Ring supported Hitler’s Third Reich by identifying it with Moeller’s. Some Conservative Revolutionaries joined the Nazis, the most prominent example being Carl Schmitt, who went on to join the Nazi party in 1933 and become the “crown jurist” of the Nazi regime, writing the legal justification for Hitler’s massacre of the Nazi party’s Strasserist wing in the Night of the Long Knives, and later formulating the concept of Grossraum, which denotes an area dominated by a power representing a specific “political idea”, inspired by the American Monroe doctrine and based on international law to justify Hitler’s expansionism. Jung became an opponent of the Nazi regime and was murdered during the Night of the Long Knives, while other Conservative Revolutionaries opposed to the Nazis went into exile and some Conservative Revolutionaries participated in the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944.

German National Bolshevism

Laufenberg and Wolffheim

The very first National-Bolsheviks were Heinrich Laufenberg, a former member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who had been President of the Council of the Workers and Soldiers in Hamburg during the German Revolution, and Fritz Wolffheim, an ex-member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) who was then living in Hamburg, and who were both leaders of the Hamburg branch of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) during the 1910s. In 1919 they submitted to Karl Radek their policy of having the working class ally with the bourgeoisie into a nationalist dictatorship of the proletariat which would fight a national liberation war (a position which would strangely be adopted by various Marxist-Leninist and Maoist groups in the late 20th century) against the Entente powers occupying Germany following WWI. Laufenberg’s and Wolffheim’s proposal was rejected by Radek and labelled as an absurdity by Vladimir Lenin himself, and they were soon expelled from the KPD. Laufenberg and Wolffheim later helped the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD), but were soon expelled from it as well because of their National Bolshevism, their expulsion being Radek’s condition for admitting the KAPD to the Third Congress of the Comintern.

The Treaty of Rapallo

Following Germany’s defeat in the First World War, the Weimar Republic sought to circumvent the limitations on the Reichswehr imposed by the Treaty of Versailles through secret military collaboration whereby illegal and secret far-right German paramilitaries of the Schwarze Reichswehr, underground formations of the Reichswehr which included Freikorps, were permitted to train in Soviet territory and provide training for the newly created Red Army. This cooperation was formalized by the Treaty of Rapallo of 1922 and the secret Soviet-German Military Pactproposed by the Reichswehr‘s Hans von Seeckt and supported by the Reichswehr‘s conservative Prussian military elite, for whom the national interests of Russia and Germany were compatible despite their ideological differences, and the Reichsbank‘s president Hjalmar Schacht negotiated for Germany to give credits to the Soviet Union while German firms were allowed to establish factories for the production of war equipment in Soviet territory.

The start of the Occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium in 1923, meant to force Germany to continue paying war reparations, however threatened this cooperation and resulted in rising nationalism in Germany, especially among the working class, and the Comintern subsequently pushed for cooperation between the Communists and the ultra-nationalists. In June 1923 Radek gave a speech to the Enlarged Executive Committee of the Comintern praising Leo Schlageter, a far-right Freikorps member who together with his unit joined the NSDAP in 1921 and engaged in sabotage against the French forces occupying the Ruhr before being executed by them in May 1923. This was a followed by a period of cooperation between the KPD and the Nazis against the Versailles Treaty during which KPD member Ruth Fischer infamously attacked “Jewish capital” in an attempt to appeal to Nazi students, and the KPD’s newspaper reprinted articles by members of the German far-right such as Arthur Moeller van den Bruck even as its rank and file members were fighting against fascists on the streets.

This second National-Bolshevik wave died off during the period of growth Germany experienced from the mid- to late-1920s, though following the Comintern’s “social fascism” turn (itself partly a reaction to the SPD using Freikorps units to crush the Spartacist uprising, during which revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were murdered) the KPD cooperated again with the NSDAP in an attempt to bring down the Social Democratic Party-led government of Prussia in 1931, again with opposition from its rank and file base and again with support from the Comintern, which wished to end diplomatic talks between France and Germany. The next year, the KPD participated in a failed strike together with the NSDAP, while again rank and file Communists instead engaged in street battles against Nazi Brownshirts, and which were damaging to the KPD by revealing its poor organizing skills and lack of workplace support and making it appear confused while helping Nazi propaganda by giving credence to NSDAP claims of being a worker friendly party without harming the Nazis’ relationship with the industrialists. This strategy, also based on the flawed accelerationist idea that the fascists’ policies would lead to a proletarian revolution and summed by then leader of the KPD Ernst Thälmann’s slogan “After Hitler, Our Turn!”, actively helped the rise of the Nazis, and the KPD refused to form a United Front with the SPD and preferred directing its attacks against the social demorats even after the Nazis seized power and unleashed their violence on the German Left.

Ernst Niekisch

The third period of National-Bolshevism came with Ernst Niekisch, a member of the SPD who had participated in the foundation of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and was chairman of its Central Council. Niekisch was later expelled from the SPD for his extreme nationalism, after which he joined the Old Social Democratic Party of Germany, which he pushed towards a more nationalist direction and called for a “Prussian-Slavonic bloc” from Vlissingen to Vladivostok, and became involved with the Conservative Revolution, though he never adhered to the “Prussian socialism” of the Conservative Revolutionaries and maintained his original Communist outlook. Niekisch saw the Russian Revolution as a national form of class struggle, advocated for a nationalist form of Communism and together with Conservative Revolutionary Ernst Jünger he joined the Consortium for the Study of Soviet Planned Economy (ARPLAN), which aimed to establish cooperation between Germany and the Soviet Union, and which he saw as the only way of opposing the Treaty of Versailles. Niekisch was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Nazi regime in 1934 and was released after the Second World War, becoming an orthodox Marxist and moving to West Germany following the suppression of the 1953 workers uprising by the German Democratic Republic with Soviet support. Among those influenced by Niekisch was Otto Paetel, who formed the Group of Social Revolutionary Nationalists, which opposed the Versailles Treaty, supported close cooperation with the Soviet Union and saw anti-capitalism as the means to free Germany from Western occupation. Unlike Niekisch, who was staunchly anti-Nazi, Paetel attempted to work with the Hitler Youth and many members of his organization also belonged to the “left wing” of the Nazi party of Gregor and Otto Strasser.

The Brownshirts and the Strasserists

Following the Nazis’ seizure of power in 1933, many Communists from the KPD defected to the Nazis, being derisively labeled as “Beefsteak Nazis”- Nazis who were “Brown on the outside and Red on the inside”. These former Communists joined and had a significant presence in the Sturmabteilung (abbreviated as the SA, also known as the Brownshirts and the Stormtroopers), the Nazi paramilitaries led by Ernst Röhm.

Ernst Röhm

Ernst Röhm was a veteran of the First World War, and an officer in the Imperial German Army and the Reichswehr who served in the Freikorps which destroyed the socialist Bavarian Soviet Republic. In 1919, he joined the recently formed German Workers’ Party, which became the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the NSDAP, or the Nazi party) the next year, and Röhm soon became a close friend and ally of Hitler and helped him found the Sturmabteilung. In 1923 he participated in the Beer Hall Putsch, and after the failure of the coup he was tried and found guilty of high treason and discharged from the Reichswehr before spending two years as military advisor in Bolivia. Röhm was recalled back to Germany by Hitler after the latter’s electoral success in 1930 to take command of the SA. Röhm drastically expanded the SA and turned them into a paramilitary force which helped Hitler’s to power between 1930 and 1933 by fighting against Communists, engaging in racist and especially anti-Semitic violence, and intimidating opposition to the Nazis.

Röhm and the SA belonged to a left-wing section of the Nazi party adhering to a “socialist” form of Nazism advocating for the overthrow of the German upper classes, nationalizations, and programs to support the petite bourgeoisie which was still anti-Semitic and anti-Communist, and Röhm saw the Brownshirts as the core of the “revolution” envisaged by this wing of the Nazi party. Following Hitler’s seizure of power, Röhm began agitating for a fascist “revolution” and calling for the the formation of a “people’s army” by merging the Reichswehr into the much larger SA, which terrified the army, the Junker landowners and the industrialists whose support Hitler needed to secure his power and for his plans to rearm Germany. Hitler himself had considered the socialist slogans as merely propaganda to attract the masses and regarded the SA as a force whose purpose was to provide the violence needed to propel the Nazi party into power which had become expendable, and when the agitation of the SA dissatisfied with Hitler’s alliance with the German capitalists began threatening his goal of succeeding President Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler had Röhm killed and the SA leadership purged in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives, encouraged by Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Göring, who were Röhm’s enemies within the NSDAP. This was interpreted as a positive event by the KPD who tried appealing to SA members.

Gregor and Otto Strasser

Strasserism was a form of National-Socialism advocated by the brothers Gregor and Otto Strasser, both German veterans of the First World War who later served in the Freikorps which destroyed the Bavarian Soviet Republic. Gregor took part in the Kapp Putsch of 1920 which attempted to overthrow the Weimar Republic and replace it with a reactionary authoritarian state while Otto joined the Social Democratic Party and opposed the coup. Both Gregor and Otto later joined Hitler’s Nazi party, Gregor joining the SA and expanding the Nazi party in Bavaria taking part in the Beer Hall Putsch, following which he was imprisoned for a few weeks until his election to the Bavarian Landtag allowed him to be freed, and after Hitler was released from jail and the ban on the NSDAP was lifted in 1925 he organized and expanded the Nazi party in northern Germany while Hitler was banned from speaking publicly. Otto, who had been a friend of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck in the early days of the June Club, was allegedly the one who had introduced the idea of the Third Reich to the Nazis.

The Strasser brothers led a left-wing faction of the Nazi party adhering to a Völkisch and anti-Marxist form of “socialism” which advocated for nationalizations and a mass action, worker-based and anti-capitalist while still extremely anti-Semitic and anti-Communist form of Nazism, with Otto interpreting Stalinism as a Russian form of National-Socialism and advocating for cooperation with the Soviet Union and with the anti-imperialist peoples of the East such as China and India against the “declining” West. The Strasser brothers opposed Hitler’s alliance with industrialists, and this as well as rivalry between Gregor Strasser and Hitler led to clashes between them, and Otto was expelled from the Nazi party in 1930 and formed the Black Front before later going in exile and later returning to West Germany after the Second World War, where he remained active among neo-fascists. In 1930 Hitler removed Gregor from his position as head of the NDSAP’s propaganda which he had occupied since 1926, and gave his position to Goebbels. After Gregor was proposed the post of Vice-Chancellor in 1932, the rift between Strasser and Hitler increased, and Strasser resigned at the end of the year and retired from politics. Gregor Strasser was later arrested and killed and his faction of the Nazi party was purged during the Night of the Long Knives.

Francis Parker Yockey

As Anarchist researcher Kevin Coogan details in his book, Francis Parker Yockey was born in Chicago, Illinois in the United States, where he briefly flirted with Marxism in his youth before soon abandoning it for fascism. After reading Oswald Spengler and meeting Carl Schmitt, Yockey came under the influence of the Conservative Revolutionaries, including Haushofer, and was influenced by their ideas on cultural elites and geopolitics, their support of an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union and their advocacy of German support for anti-colonial struggles.

Yockey would later associate with fascists during the Interwar period and during the Second World War including Charles Coughlin, the German-American Bund, the National German-American Alliance, the Silver Shirts, the America First Movement, among others. During WWII, Yockey would enlist in the US army despite opposing the entry of the US in the war, disappearing for two months after pro-Nazi saboteurs with ties to his family were arrested by the FBI (the FBI suspected Yockey himself was on an espionage mission for Nazis in Mexico) before returning and being honorably discharged after a mental breakdown in 1943. Yockey soon applied for a post at the Office for Strategic Services but was refused a job there because of his Nazi sympathies.

The defeat of the Nazi regime did not weaken Yockey’s commitment to fascism and he instead became more active in pro-fascist activity, becoming dedicated solely to reviving fascism. However many of these groups were anti-Communist and therefore would refuse to work with Yockey, with George Lincoln Rockwell of the American Nazi Party and his allies spurning Yockey and calling him a “neo-Strasserist” due to the idea of an alliance between the Left and the Right and working with anti-Zionist Communists being central to Yockey’s ideas.

In 1946 Yockey obtained a position in the US War Department as attorney for the Nuremberg Trials, undoubtedly to help some of the Nazi war criminals being tried. In Germany Yockey would spend his time forming ties with German fascists operating underground against the Allies and agitating against the US occupation of Germany and against what he perceived to be the “biased procedures” of the trials, causing him to be fired from his position the next year.

Following this he fled to a small village in Ireland where he wrote his heavily Spengler-influenced book Imperium with the aim of reviving fascism. In Imperium he rejects the biological racism of the Nazis and opts for a cultural racism instead, though he still defended the Nazis by denying the Holocaust in his book (while privately acknowlegding the existence of the Holocaust and praising the Nazis’ atrocities) which he dedicated to Hitler, being one of the very first Holocaust deniers ever, and considered the rise of the Nazi regime as an “European revolution”. Yockey, like Spengler, was opposed to parliamentarism and other models derived from the French Revolution, but unlike Spengler who did not stress anti-Semitism, Yockey himself was an avowed anti-Semite, and the crux of the ideology laid out by his book was that Europe was being eroded by liberalism, which he saw as a “Jewish plot to undermine European culture”, and was occupied by the United States and the Soviet Union, and that therefore Europe had to eschew nationalism and nation-states to instead unite into a fascist superstate which would “rejuvenate European culture” and be capable of opposing the two superpowers of the Cold War. This idea of a superstate was influenced by Carl Schmitt’s concept of the Grossraum.

Shortly after writing Imperium, Yockey lived in London, UK, where he worked for a short time for the European contact section of fascist Oswald Mosley‘s Union Movement, allowing him to form ties with an underground fascist network throughout Europe, including Alfred Franke-Gricksch, a former SS official and the leader of the neo-Nazi Bruderschaft organization. Following Yockey’s falling out with Mosley, he formed with the support of baroness Alice von Pflugl and the help of former Mosleyites the European Liberation Front, whose aim was to “liberate” Europe from the US and the USSR.

Yockey’s perception of the United States was itself negative in that he considered it to be little more than a “bastardized colony of Europe which had devolved from the influence of non-European minorities” and had “come under Jewish control”, and he therefore considered the impact of American capitalism as more destructive than Soviet repression for European culture and thus considered Soviet control as preferable to American domination of Europe. Hence he urged fascists to not collaborate with American anti-Communism during the Cold War and unlike most fascists who collaborated with US intelligence during the Cold War, Yockey’s European Liberation Front instead remained neutral and had a pan-European approach of geopolitics, with Yockey praising Soviet policy in Germany and seeking to secretly organize neo-Nazis in West Germany who would then collaborate with the Soviet military against American occupation. His aim was of course to form the European fascist superstate whose designs he laid out in Imperium.

Having lost his political ties in the United Kingdom, Yockey instead entered West Germany clandestinely, with army documents stating Yockey was “promoting a National Bolshevist movement” and contacting ex-Wehrmacht and ex-Nazi officers, among whom the Socialist Reich Party, a Strasserist party whose founder the ex-Wehrmacht member Otto Ernst Remer praised Imperium. Remer attacked Konrad Adenauer as an American puppet, denied the Holocaust and dismissed the Nazi regime’s atrocities as “Allied propaganda”, and agitated against the Allied occupation of West Germany while never criticizing East Germany and the Soviet Union, instead saying that he would “show the Russians all the way to the Rhine” should a conflict erupt between the US and the USSR, with Remer’s SRP receiving funding from the Soviets in the early 50s, something the Communist Party of Germany with which the SRP temporarily worked against Adenauer did not receive.

Yockey then traveled around Europe, distributing copies of his book to prominent neo-fascists, including French fascist Maurice Bardèche (himself one of the very first post-war Holocaust deniers like Yockey) and Julius Evola.

In Europe, Yockey participated in a conference by the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), Europe’s first neo-fascist party founded by veterans of Mussolini Italian Social Republic, which was also attempting to form fascist networks. The conference amounted to little due to the aims of the various fascist groups involved present being at odds with each other and with internal strife within the MSI itself over whether to adopt an “Atlanticist” strategy and align with NATO and the West or a pan-European “Third Position” strategy opposed to both the Americans and the Soviets, with the anti-Communist MSI eventually allying with NATO and the US who were more concerned with opposing the Italian Communist Party instead of punishing fascists in these early days of the Cold War. Yockey’s advocacy of allying with the Soviet Union did not find very receptive audiences among these fascists, with many pan-European fascists including Julius Evola, who had erstwhile praised Yockey’s book, being skeptical his ideas.

Returning to the USA, Yockey worked with infamous anti-Communist US senator Joseph McCarthy and with H. Keith Thompson, an American fascist who was the American representative of the Socialist Reich Party and worked for the defence of Otto Ernst Remer. Thompson defended Hitler and the Nazi regime and would remain in connection with Yockey until his death. In 1950 he would give a speech at a conference by far-right preacher Gerald L. K. Smith’s Christian Nationalist Party where he would call the Nuremberg Trials a “sham” and claim the supposed existence of “global Jewish conspiracy”.

In the early 1940s Stalin initially adopted a pro-Zionist foreign policy (despite Lenin himself having condemned Zionism as a reactionary bourgeois movement) with the hope that Israel would be a socialist bulwark against British hegemony and supported the UN plan for the Partition of Palestine (and by extension endorsed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine) and the subsequent creation of the colonial Israeli state. The Soviet Union was the second state to recognize Israel after the United States, though the Soviet bloc soon did a foreign policy volte face and threw its support behind Arab nationalist movements after Israel emerged as a Western ally. However, far from being merely anti-Zionist and in opposition to Israel only, Soviet policy in Stalin’s later days became outright anti-Semitic and the Eastern bloc faced a wave of anti-Semitic purges in the 1950s which included the Night of the Murdered Poets and the Doctors’ Plot. It is in this context that Yockey, visiting Europe again, found himself attending the 1952 show trials in Prague during which eleven Jewish members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party including its secretary general Rudolf Slánský were executed on charges of being Zionists, Trotskyists, Western imperialists and Titoists (Slánský was, on the contrary, staunchly anti-Zionist). Yockey considered this to be the end of American hegemony in Europe and thought it “foretold a Russian break with Jewry”, which he saw as “a favorable development in the fight to liberate Europe”. For Yockey, the wave of anti-Semitic purges was a “declaration of war by Russia on the American-Jewish leadership” and he therefore cooperated with Soviet bloc intelligence and became a paid courier of the Czech secret services who themselves worked for the KGB, and he started advocating for a tactical alliance between fascists and the USSR to end the American occupation of Europe.

Back to New York, Yockey’s report on the Soviet bloc anti-Semitic purges led James Madole of the National Renaissance Party, an American Nazi party, to endorse the campaigns against “rootless cosmopolitans” and “Zionists” (which here is a coded anti-Semitic term referring to Jews rather than to the actual colonialist ideology of Zionism). Madole declared Communism as a mask for Russian nationalism following the triumph of Stalin over Trotsky, whom they saw as the leader of the “Jewish internationalist faction”, thus in his eyes transforming what fascists consider to be “Jewish Bolshevism” into National Bolshevism. The National Resistance Party itself started praising the Soviet Union and had portraits of Hitler and Stalin on its wall, attracting both Communists and Nazis, and certain American fascists started praising the Soviet Union as result.

Dissatisfied with the anti-Communism of the majority of the US far-right who was not very receptive to his National Bolshevik ideology and was at odds with his sympathy for the Stalinist USSR and for Third Worldist movements, Yockey traveled around the world, clandestinely going to East Germany and possibly to the USSR, writing propaganda for the Egyptian Information Industry and meeting Egyptian president Abel Gamal Nasser, under whom thousands of Nazi war criminals (including Yockey’s collaborator Otto Ernst Remer) fleeing Europe found refuge in Egypt.

Yockey spent some weeks in Cuba shortly after the Cuban revolution where dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown, seeking to form new ties again though his attempts failed, before being arrested by the FBI in 1960 and imprisoned. In jail, Yockey is recorded to have lamented the capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann and praised Hitler as a hero. Yockey eventually committed suicide in jail by swallowing cyanide, allegedly to protect his contacts.

Before his suicide, Yockey was visited in jail by Willis Carto, who would then become one of the main advocates of Yockey’s ideology in North America, although Carto rejected Yockey’s own rejection of biological racism and his anti-American and pro-Soviet position. Carto’s organization, the Liberty Lobby, distributed Yockey’s writings through its newspaper Spotlight, and its publisher Noontide Press republished Imperium.

Therefore Yockey’s core ideology could be seen as consisting of: a cultural rather than biological racism, rejection of nationalism in favor of a European superstate, and support for pro-Soviet and Third Worldist forces against American hegemony and liberal democracy, which he considered to be a “Jewish plot”. Yockey’s ideology has been very influential among post-war neo-fascists and his book is distributed among Nazis and white supremacists, with former leader of the neo-Nazi British National Party John Tyndall praising Imperium, and is influential among far-right neo-pagans and occultists.

The European New Right

Yockey would become the ideological predecessor of the Third Position and the European New Right, among whose prominent members are Jean-Francois Thiriart, Alain de Benoist and Aleksandr Dugin. A main feature of the European New Right is its criticism of American imperialism and of the “economism” of liberalism and its attempt to form alliances or infiltrate far-left opponents of Western imperialism and globalization.

Jean-Francois Thiriart

Jean-Francois Thiriart was briefly a leftist in high school before joining the National Legion and the Association of the Friends of the German Reich, two far-right organizations, later serving in the Waffen-SS for which he would be imprisoned after WWII. After his imprisonment he would retire from political life until the 1960s when he re-entered politics due to his belief that Europe was losing its status as a cultural center, especially after the independence of the Congo and the Algerian Revolution during which he organized in favor of Belgian settlers who wanted Belgium to reconquer the Congo as well as support for the French Secret Army Organization seeking to maintain Algeria as a French colony through a brutal and bloody campaign of massacring Algerians.

Thiriart saw the Belgian and French loss of the Congo and Algeria as pan-European affairs rather than in purely nationalist terms and he founded the organization Jeune Europe with the aim of creating a united Europe which would have its own nuclear arsenal and would be independent of the USA and the USSR whom he considered were dominating Europe and had turned it into a battlefield, thus echoing Yockey in his pre-1952 days, though Thiriart himself had never apparently known or read Yockey. Like Yockey, Thiriart also despised parliamentary democracy and instead advocated for an anti-egalitarian totalitarian state.

Thiriart would also try denying being a fascist and distancing himself from his Nazi past, instead calling the Left-Right division as outdated (in typical fascist rhetoric) and advancing a philosophy called Communitarianism which claimed to transcend the division between the Left and the Right though Jeune Europe had open ties with Nazis and used openly fascist imagery. Thiriart from then on advocated for a union of Europe and the Soviet Union, which he considered to be more Russian than Communist as from the early 50s, into a “massive white power bloc from Brest to Vladivostok”. Here he was echoing Yockey again.

Following the Sino-Soviet Split, Thiriart started advocating for supporting China against the Soviets in an attempt to make the latter lose its grip on Europe to pave the way for a rapprochement between Europe and Russia, as well as supporting revolutionaries in Latin America and the Black Power movement in the Unites States to end American hegemony on Western Europe. He would further restructure Jeune Europe along the line of a Leninist vanguard party, drop the open Nazi imagery of his organization and repudiate his earlier positions on Algeria and the Congo.

From then on, Thiriart moved towards a “National-Communist” perspective which was significantly influenced by Nicolae Ceaușescu’s adoption of an ultra-nationalist National Communism as state ideology, no doubt the result of Romania’s inclusion of former Iron Guard fascists within its intelligence apparatus, and Romania’s break with the Soviet Union and shift towards the People’s Republic of China. In 1966, Thiriart himself met Ceaușescu who contributed an article to Thiriart’s publication and would then help Thiriart met Zhou Enlai, from whom Thiriart attempted in vain to obtain Chinese support for Jeune Europe.

Thiriart worked with Argentine politician Juan Perón, who saw his own views of Latin American unity and integration as tied to Thiriart’s ones on European unity and who saw Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as heroes just like Thiriart did (for which obviously neither Castro nor Che themselves should be blamed), during Perón’s exile in Madrid where he also courted many members of the European far-right (Norberto Ceresole, who was for a time a close advisor of Hugo Chavez, was an associate of Perón. This red-brown tendency of Ceresole was also reflected by his association with Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson and with Roger Garaudy, a Holocaust denying Communist who was himself praised by Hassan Nasrallah and Muammar Gaddafi).

Thiriart would adopt a policy of forming ties with the Left from now on, praising Ho Chi Minh’s struggle against America which he saw as an inspiration, and visited many Arab states trying to obtain support for a potential armed organization who would fight “American occupation” in Europe, and speaking at a Ba’ath party conference and meeting with Saddam Hussein, who was then only a colonel in the army. However receptive the Ba’ath party was to Thiriart’s proposal, it scrapped this project following the Soviet Union’s refusal to support it. He also attempted to form ties with Palestinian resistance organizations during this period. Thiriart retired again from public life after his failure to obtain significant support, though his few public appearances would keep on being vehicles for his anti-Americanism.

[Note: During Thiriart’s retirement, one of his followers, Renato Curcio, would go on to found the Red Brigades radical leftist organization which was active in the 70s and 80s in Italy. Another disciple of Thiriart, Claudio Mutti, would form the Italian-Libyan Friendship Organization after Muammar Gaddafi took power in Libya and later took part in organizing a “Nazi-Maoism” movement with the help of pro-China student groups, forming the Lotta Di Popolo organization, and would later meet Aleksandr Dugin in the 90s before arranging for Thiriart to visit Russia. Some Italian militants influenced by Thiriart would even adopt Hitler, Mao, Gaddafi and Juan Perón as heroes, and had slogans supporting a “fascist dictatorship of the proletariat” and praised both Hitler and Mao together.]

The collapse of the Soviet Union encouraged him to start working with the National-European Communitarian Party (PCN) a small party made up of former Maoists and neo-fascists, and run by Luc Michel, who identified himself as a National-Communist and acted as Thiriart’s secretary. In 1992, Thiriart would lead a PCN delegation of National-Communists to Russia to meet fascists who were now able to operate openly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thiriart met Yegor Ligachyov, who was receptive to Thiriart’s idea of a union between Europe and Russia against America. Ligachyov suggested it should be in the form of a revived Soviet Union, which Thiriart accepted, paralleling Yockey’s post-1952 National-Bolshevik positions.

Thiriart died from a heart failure in late 1992, his followers setting up a second European Liberation Front to continue Thiriart’s project. The European Liberation Front kept contacts with the Russian coalition of the National Salvation Front and supported the National Salvation Front during the 1993 crisis opposing it to Boris Yeltsin in Russia.

Alain de Benoist

Among the neo-fascists to come out of Thiriart’s ideological orbit is Alain de Benoist, who has exerted a substantial influence on the New Right. In his teenage years, De Benoist joined Thiriart’s Jeune Europe out of sympathy for the French occupation of Algeria in the late 50s and would later be a member of the editorial board of Europe-Action, a successor organization of Jeune Europe after the latter was banned by the French government.

During this period De Benoist was a standard mainstream neo-fascist opposed to Communism, defending apartheid and supporting the American imperialist war in Vietnam. Dissatisfied with the then state of the far-right and its inability to challenge the Gaullist French state, De Benoist would instead opt for giving up on the biological racism and conspiracy theories of the far-right and instead favor a more intellectual approach, and in reaction to the radical leftist movement of May 1968 he founded the think tank GRECE (which is the acronym for Groupement pour Recherches et Etudes pour la Civilisation Europeenne, the French translation of Research and Study Group for the European Civilization). Inspired by the theories of Italian Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci on cultural hegemony (for which the by-then long deceased Gramsci should not be blamed), De Benoist would advocate for fighting an ideological war to influence mass culture as foundation for political change, a theory called “metapolitics”. GRECE consequently published material rehabilitating fascists such as ideologues of the Conservative Revolution and supporters of National-Bolshevism such as Ernst Niekisch.

De Benoist’s ideological evolution was also marked by a shift towards hostility to Christianity, which in his view had “colonized” Indo-Europeans by force, and support for a revival of pre-Christian European polytheism, which echoed Julius Evola. Accompanying this shift was an increasing anti-Americanism of De Benoist, who hated the “American way of life” and “it’s inane TV serials, chronic mobility, ubiquitous fast food, admiration of the almighty dollar and its quiescent, depoliticized populace”. He opposed free-market capitalism, appropriating left-wing critiques of liberalism by decrying it as an ideology reducing every aspect of human life to purely economic value, thus producing a totalizing consumer society which was inescapably totalitarian.

Paralleling Yockey and Thiriart before him, De Benoist came to consider American imperialism and liberal democracy as more dangerous than Soviet Communism, writing “Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army soldier than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn” in 1982 (which would be repeated in 2017 by Richard Spencer, a prominent figure of the American fascist “Alt-Right” movement), supporting Third World struggles while condemning NATO and voting for the Communist Party in the French elections of 1984.

Against accusations from other neo-fascists of having defected to the New Left, De Benoist would just like Thiriart before him claim he was out of the Left-Right spectrum and instead supported “a plural world grounded in the diversity of cultures” against a “one-dimensional world”. This concept, called “ethnopluralism”, meant that De Benoist had gone from a white supremacist to a supporter of separate ethnic and cultural identities and regionalism against what he was as a “homogenizing global market”, putting him at odds with the vision of a pan-European superstate of Thiriart.

This concept of “ethnopluralism” would find its way among wider far-right circles, with Jean-Marie Le Pen re-using it in his xenophobic declarations and neo-fascists adopting it to ‘soften’ their racist rhetoric.

The end of the Cold War signified the end of the Left-Right divide for De Benoist and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he would visit Russia in 1992, months before Thiriart’s own delegation, where he would meet many figures of the opposition to Boris Yeltsin and proclaim that politics consisted of anti-system forces against the “establishmentarian center”, effectively advocating for a Left-Right coalition against liberal democracy.

Third Positionist Fascism

Among the movements close to the European New Right is Third Positionism, a strand of fascism which stands in opposition to both capitalism and communism and has its origins in “classical” fascism and in the Strasser brothers.

The Movimento Sociali Italiano’s adoption of an electoral course during the 50s and 60s resulted in the formation of a number of neo-fascist offshoots of the MSI who preferred extra-parliamentary methods and sought to replace parliamentary democracy with a fascist dictatorship.

Terza Posizione

Among these were the Evola-influenced Ordine Nuovo and the Avanguarda Nazionale which would be dissolved by the Italian state in 1973 because they were attempting to revive fascism, which was illegal in Italy’s post-war constitution. Following their dissolution, many of their ex-members along with members of Mutti’s Lotta di Popolo would come together to form Terza Posizione, whose ideology was based on Julius Evola’s work and was one of the “pioneers” of post-war Third Positionist fascism. Following the 1980 Bologna massacre in which a suitcase blew up in a train station in Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people and wounding 200 others, the group would come under investigation as prime suspect behind the attacks and two of its prominent members, Roberto Fiore and Massimo Morsello, fled to the United Kingdom.

The International Third Position

In the UK, Fiore met Nick Griffin and Derek Holland, former members of the far-right National Front who had formed a Third Positionist faction within the NF called the Political Soldier wing, which opposed to the NF’s own electoral politics. In 1986, dissensions within the NF led Griffin and Holland to break away from the NF and form their own organization named the Official National Front (ONF). Unlike the National Front, the ONF supported ethnic regionalism in the UK and praised Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar Gaddafi and Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, a position close to that of Otto Ernst Remer’s, and in 1988 Griffin and Holland traveled to Libya on invitation by the Libyan government.

Following a further split in the Official National Front, Griffin, Holland and Fiore would become the founding members of the International Third Position (ITP), and Holland and fellow ITP member Colin Todd visited Iraq shortly before the Gulf War as part of a ITP delegation. Patrick Harrington meanwhile went on to found the National Liberal Party, the party and later think tank Third Way, and Solidarity-The Union for British Workers.

The ITP would itself undergo multiple splits, with Griffin leaving in 1990 and later joining the British National Party (BNP), and later succeeding John Tyndall at the party’s head before being expelled from it in 2014 and founding his own party, the British Unity. Another member, Troy Southgate, left in 1992 to later form in 1998 the “National-Anarchist” National Revolutionary Faction, which again true to Third Positionist habits appropriates left-wing imagery and aesthetics for a reactionary, fascist ideology. “National-Anarchism” cannot be considered a legitimate form of Anarchism since only did it not develop out of any existing Anarchist thought, but Anarchists themselves have been at the forefront of opposition to fascism for many decades.

The Tricolour Flame, Forza Nuova and CasaPound

The Movimento Sociale Italiano would rebrand as a supposedly more moderate conservative party (though it maintains its fascist imagery and does not repudiate the party’s ties to Mussolini’s regime), leading its hardliner fascist faction to form Tricolour Flame, a Third Positionist fascist party.

A pro-Fiore and pro-Morsello faction within Tricolour Flame would grow while they were in “exile” in the UK and later split from Tricolour Flame and became an ultra-Catholic fascist party of its own named Forza Nuova, and when Fiore and Morsello returned to Italy, they were made the leaders of Forza Nuova. Once allied to the Ukrainian far-right Svoboda party, Forza Nuova later shifted to a pro-Russian and pro-Donbass position after the Euromaidan, with one member even going to, ironically, fight against “Kiev fascists”.

A sibling of Forza Nuova is CasaPound, named after fascist and anti-Semite Ezra Pound, which also grew out of Tricolour Flame, and whose members call themselves the “Fascists of the Third Millennium”. CasaPound is virulently xenophobic and anti-immigration, and has been behind many attacks against leftists and refugees in Italy while also adopting the New Right concepts of “ethnopluralism” and of metapolitics, and appropriating leftist methods such as squatting and occupying buildings, criticizing globalization and austerity, supporting workers and running social centers. Among CasaPound’s affiliates is Solidarites-Identites (Sol.ID), an “ethnopluralist” NGO which is active in Syria, Burma, Kosovo, Palestine and South Africa.

Red-Browns in Russia

Russian National Bolshevism

The origins of Russian National Bolshevism differ from interwar German National Bolshevism and have their roots in the Russian Civil War which followed the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent counter-revolutionary power grab by the Bolshevik Party, when Lenin made concessions to Russian nationalists to stabilize the newly formed Soviet Union and many Tsarist White movement members and defectors from the proto-fascist Black Hundreds switched sides and joined the Bolsheviks.

[Note: Many prominent revolutionaries at that time condemned the counter-revolutionary acts and the authoritarianism of the Bolsheviks, with Emma Goldman becoming disillusioned with the situation in Russia and denouncing the Soviet Union as state capitalist, Otto Rühle saying that the struggle against fascism begins with the struggle against Bolshevism, and Russian Anarchist Voline, who had participated in the Russian and Ukrainian revolutions, labeling the USSR under Stalin as red fascism.]

Among former White movement supporters who joined the Bolsheviks was Nikolai Ustrialov, who saw the Bolshevik Revolution as the way to reestablish Russia as a great power, called for the end of the Russian Civil War and for Russian nationalists to collaborate with the Bolsheviks, which Ustrialov and Russian emigres in Prague published in their publication named Smena Vekh while adopting the “National Bolshevik” name after Ustrialov read Niekisch. The Soviet government subsequently subsidized Smena Vekh, which became influential in the USSR and though Ustrialov himself initially praised Stalin before being executed during his purges, a number of Smenavekhites became influential ideologues in the Soviet establishment.

Following the failure of the Spartacist uprising in Germany and Stalin’s victory in the power struggle which followed Lenin’s death in the Soviet Union, the mixture of nationalism and Marxism-Leninism of the Soviet Union developed into some kind of National Bolshevism as result of the USSR’s adoption of the “Socialism in One Country” policy in 1925, the adoption of which was also partly motivated by the need to reassure Germany that the Soviet Union’s priority was to maintain the Treaty of Rapallo instead of exporting revolution.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

Another period of Red-Brown collaboration followed the crisis resulting from the failure of the Western powers’ appeasement policy towards Hitler when he violated the Munich agreement (from which the Soviet Union had been excluded) by annexing Czechoslovakia, leading Stalin to openly negotiate a potential alliance against Hitler with Britain and France, while also secretly negotiating with Germany. To the shock of Western powers and Communists around the world, in August of that year the German-Soviet Credit Agreement and the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact were signed, followed by about five hundred German Communists who had previously sought exile in the Soviet Union being deported by Stalin back to Germany. These treaties were accompanied by secret protocols dividing Eastern Europe into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence, and the next month the Nazis and the Soviets invaded Poland, with the Soviet and Nazi troops holding joint parades at Brest-Litovsk and Lvov. After this the USSR and Germany held further talks which resulted in another treaty whereby the Nazis ceded Lithuania to the Soviets in exchange for Stalin recognizing Hitler’s occupation of Warsaw and Lublin, and which included protocols concerning a population transfer between Germany and the Soviet Union as well as sharing of intelligence to repress Polish resistance to the occupation. More talks in Moscow concerned the expansion of economic and political cooperation between the Nazis and the Soviets, which Molotov and Ribbentrop openly declared would be a “solid foundation for peace in Eastern Europe”.

[Note: When Jean-Francois Thiriart came out of retirement in the 80s, he praised the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and declared that it made the Soviet Union the geopolitical heir of Nazi Germany.]

When Britain and France declared war on Germany in reaction the invasion of Poland, the Comintern instead suspended all anti-fascist activity and forced Communist parties to condemn the war as imperialist and oppose war credits, causing the collapse of the anti-fascist Popular Fronts. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed another economic agreement in 1940 whereby the USSR sold raw material to the Nazis, who would provide the USSR with war equipment, helping Germany circumvent the sanctions imposed by Britain, and unresolved talks about the possibility of the USSR joining the Axis ensued. The agreement ended only when Hitler violated the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, prompting the USSR to enter the war on the side of the Allies, during which Stalin used nationalist rhetoric about fighting the “Great Patriotic War” to mobilize the Red Army.

This nationalist policy was continued by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union throughout the ensuing Cold War, where it made use of both Russian nationalism and Marxism-Leninism for mobilization, and the nationalist factions of the Soviet establishment tolerated and supported National Bolshevism, especially through the Communist Youth League and the Red Army.

Post-Soviet Fascism

With the catastrophic collapse of the Soviet Union and the whole Eastern bloc, numerous fascist and ultra-nationalist movements emerged and took advantage of the rise in poverty, decrease in standards of living and corruption resulting from the massive privatization of Boris Yeltsin’s made in USA disastrous “shock therapy” to strengthen their positions. As part of the backlash against Yeltsin, Aleksandr Barkashov, a former member of Pamyat (an anti-Semitic organization which blames a “Zionist Masonic plot” for the Russian Revolution and for all of Russia’s ills) and the founder and leader of neo-Nazi group Russian National Unity, allied with former KGB officer Aleksandr Stergilov (himself an open anti-Semite), to form the Russian National Assembly (RONS), which wanted to remove Yeltsin through constitutional means and advocated the unification of all Slavs from the former USSR and of which many members were active duty intelligence officers, Stergilov explaining that the security organs “were always composed of patriotically-minded people”.

This process of unification of the opposition to Yeltsin culminated with the formation of the National Salvation Front, the alliance of the most hardline of Yeltsin’s opponents composed of fascists, Russian ultra-nationalists, Tsarist monarchists and Stalinists, which coalesced out of resentment at Russia’s downfall from a major world power to a weak state plagued by instability and crises, and had close ties to a parliamentary bloc called “Russian Unity”. The co-chairman of the National Salvation Front was Aleksandr Prokhanov, who was also the editor in chief of Dyen, the mouthpiece of the National Salvation Front, which published the vilest anti-Semitism such as excerpts of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and expressed support for Western neo-Nazis. Also involved in the National Salvation Front were Aleksandr Dugin, who was published in and helped edit Dyen, and Eduard Limonov, a former Russian exile who had been part of punk and leftist circles in the US, met Alain de Benoist in Paris, and participated in the Yugoslav war on the side of Radovan Karadzic before returning to Russia and joining the red-brown opposition to Yeltsin. Limonov was conscious that overt fascism had no means of succeeding in Russia because of the legacy of the Soviet Union’s participation in the Second World War and therefore he decided to attempt introducing it there through covert ways, and he and Dugin instead formed the National Bolshevik Front, which was itself part of the National Salvation Front and occupied a prominent position in the Russian counter culture. Another prominent member of the National Salvation Front was Gennady Zyuganov, who had previously taken part in discussions with Alain de Benoist and Jean-Francois Thiriart during their visit to Russia in 1991 and later founded the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), which despite its name is an ultra-nationalist and reactionary organization which opposes “cosmopolitanism”claims “Zionists” are plotting to take over the world, called for banning Jewish organizations in Russia together with fascist party Rodina in 2005, and whose member Albert Makashov is an outspoken and virulent anti-Semite (a red-brown trend which is very common among many Stalinist parties of states which were once part of the former Soviet bloc).

[Note: When Otto Ernst Remer returned to Germany in the 1980s, one of his followers was Bela Ewald Althans, a former collaborator of neo-Nazi Michael Kühnen with whom he was a leader of the Action Front of National Socialists before it was banned by the German government in 1983. After his expulsion from high school and being disowned by his parents, teenage fascist Althans became a follower of Remer, who introduced him to important members of the fascist underground, and became leader of Remer’s Freedom Movement, whose aim was the signing of a second Rapallo agreement.

In 1988, Althans traveled to the United States and stayed with former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon Tom Metzger, and in 1992 and 1993 he visited Russia on “fact-finding missions” sponsored by Holocaust denier and Hitler apologist Ernest Zundel, where he met Aleksandr Barkashov, who supported an alliance with Germany, unlike Limonov. Zundel enthusiastically declared that Russia would be the center of a future neo-Nazi movement, and visited Russia again in 1994 with Althans, where the former bought a gold embossed edition of Mein Kampf in Moscow and met with Barkashov’s Russian National Unity and opponents of Yeltsin like Stergilov, with whom Zundel claimed to have “talked of pan-Slavism in a new racialist form”, leading Zundel to declare Russians as “the racial guards on the eastern frontier” who were, according to him, “protecting Europe from Muslims and Chinese people”. In December of that same year, however, Althans was condemned to eighteen months in prison for distributing Holocaust denial videos, and in 1995 a three-and-a-half year sentence was added to his term while he claimed to no longer be a neo-Nazi in court. After his release, Althans dissociated himself from any far-right activity and disappeared from public life.]

Following Yeltsin’s decision to dissolve the Russian parliament in 1993, the National Salvation Front attempted to form a shadow government and wrestle power from him during the following crisis, resulting in a showdown opposing Yeltsin to a red-brown alliance which included the National Salvation Front and Aleksandr Barkashov’s neo-Nazis in front of the Russian White House, and after Yeltsin sent the tanks to storm the Russian White House, a large number of his red-brown opponents were killed or wounded and many opposition leaders were thrown in jail, Dyen was banned along with many opposition newspapers and, with Western cheerleading, Yeltsin consolidated his increasingly dictatorial power through a constitutional reform drastically increasing the President’s powers before decreeing new elections. The winners of these elections, however, included the the KPRF, which won 32 seats in the State Duma, and the misleadingly-named far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia of hardline far-right nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky (who had been close to Eduard Limonov around that time, Limonov having toured him around Paris in 1992, where he introduced Zhirinovsky to Jean-Marie Le Pen, who subsequently endorsed Zhirinovsky’s presidential bid), which won 59 seats, as result of the anti-Yeltsin protest vote. In February 1994, this Duma dominated by Yelstin’s opponents granted amnesty to Yeltsin’s imprisoned enemies, with Dyen reappearing under the name of Zavtra, Barkashov maching freely in Moscow and Limonov starting his own newspaper, Limonka.

Faced with economic and social deterioration in Russia, Yelstin took an increasingly racist populist turn and started targeting ethnic minorities in Russia in the mid-1990s and in 1994 invaded Chechnya. At this point the National Salvation Front began to disaggregate, prominent National Salvation Front members criticizing the war while Zhirinovsky, Limonov and Barkashov instead supported Yeltsin’s policies and the bloodbath unleashed in Chechnya, with Limonov leaving the Front and lambasting its members opposed to the war as “moderates”. Around this time Limonov broke with Zhirinovsky, who went on to throw his support behind Yeltsin in 1998. Limonov criticized Barkashov’s open Nazism and called it counterproductive since the memory of the Nazis’ atrocities and the legacy of the massive loss of lives of the Soviet people during the struggle against fascism in WWII meant that fascism and Nazism were rejected in Russia and, in his view, the only way for fascism to be introduced there was in more discreet forms. After Barkashov’s rebranding as a “serious politician” in 1995 to distance himself from the Nazi label, Limonov’s National Bolshevik Front continued collaborating with Barkashov’s Russian National Unity, which by 1998 had expanded into 64 of Russia’s 89 regions, running military camps indoctrinating youth into fascist ideology while local and regional authorities were lenient and even collaborated with Barkashov, the situation of Russia at that time being compared by Martin A. Lee to that of the Weimar Republic – a situation which helped the rise of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB official turned right-wing authoritarian whose popularity was boosted by his bloody and brutal handling of the war in Chechnya and was appointed by Yeltsin as acting president. Around that time the National Bolshevik Party experienced a split and in the spring of 1998 Limonov parted ways with his associate Aleksandr Dugin. Limonov went on to ally with liberal Garry Kasparov’s United Civil Front and join the opposition to Vladimir Putin in the 2000s. The National Bolshevik Party was among the organizers [archive] of the anti-Putin protests known as the Dissenters’ March and Limonov later became one of the leaders of The Other Russia opposition coalition together with Kasparov.

Aleksandr Dugin

Aleksandr Dugin was born in the Soviet Union in 1962 and joined the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1979 before being expelled from it because of his associations with the esotericist Golovin Circle led by fascist mystic Yevgeny Golovin, for which he translated Julius Evola’s works. Following the Demokratizatsiya under Mikhail Gorbachev, Dugin joined Pamyat and became a member of its Central Council in 1988 before Barkashov, who saw him as an ideological rival, had Dugin expelled from it in 1989 for attempting to introduce new ideas to the organization, after which he traveled to Western Europe where he met Alain de Benoist and Jean-Francois Thiriart, who strongly influenced his anti-Americanism and his support for Russian traditionalism. This proximity of Dugin to the European New Right explains why the ideology of the National Bolshevik Front he later founded was closer to Niekisch’s National Bolshevism than to that of the Smenavekhites.

Dugin then returned to Russia and founded Arktogaia, which published material expressing support for a conservative social revolution in Russia which would lead to the creation of a traditionalist, authoritarian and spiritual society. Around this time, Dugin proposed to Limonov (who was also regularly published on Matt Taibbi’s and Mark Ames’ The eXile in the later part of that decade) to form the National Bolshevik Front, which was materialized in 1993. The purpose of the National Bolshevik Front was to use a National Bolshevik reinterpretation of Russian history reconciling its monarchist and Communist periods to help the formation of anti-liberal coalitions at a time when the red-brown alliance was struggling against Yeltsin, and Dyen itself was associated with Arktogaia during this period (Gennady Zyuganov declaring that Russians were “the last power on the planet capable of mounting a challenge to the New World Order – the global cosmopolitan dictatorship” was clear evidence he was influenced by Dugin). It was also at that time that Dugin started publishing his own journal, Elementy with the primary aim of propagating a “revolutionary nationalist” ideology to radicalize the red-brown alliance and reconcile its fascist and Stalinist sections, and which praised figures of the Conservative Revolution and members of the Nazi regime, and published the first Russian translations of Julius Evola. This attempt to radicalize the red-brown alliance was exemplified in an essay by him written in 1992 and titled Fascism – Red and Borderless, where he tried to link Russia to European fascism by evoking the “left wing” of German fascism which supported an alliance with the Soviet Union and was eliminated by Hitler and tried blaming the Second World War on the West rather than on fascism.

In 1997, Dugin wrote The Foundations of Geopolitics as a lecturer at the Academy of the General Staff with the help of Leonid Ivashov, a Russian colonel and former Soviet military officer who was the head of the International Department of the Russian Ministry of Defense from 1996 to 2001. The Foundation of Geopolitics became the basis for Russia’s own school of geopolitics and was instrumental in establishing the acceptance of geopolitics in Russia after it had been considered a fascist discipline under the Soviet Union. Dugin however left the National Bolshevik Party in 1998 after being dissatisfied with it and sought to increase his contacts, writing the program of the KPRF, and becoming advisor to KPRF member and the Speaker of the Russian State Duma Gennady Seleznyov (which was crucial in helping Dugin’s rise from the fringe circles of Russia’s fascist scene to the Russian Federation’s establishment), while also praising figures of the NSDAP and Nazi Germany such as the Strasser brothers especially, and calling for a “fascist fascism”. As from 1998, Dugin also re-articulated his anti-Semitism by declaring those he deemed “subversive, destructive Jews without a nationality” as enemies while being supportive of Zionism and forming ties with Israeli ultra-nationalist groups who believe every Jewish person should live in Israel, which aligns with the ideology of “ethnopluralism” espoused by Dugin and the European New Right, but also with Dugin’s hope that these ultra-nationalists would destabilize the region and allow Russia to dominate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Dugin’s call for a “red and unbound fascism” means he adapted his ideology and turned it into what Roger Griffin and Matthew Feldman describe as “an aggressively open system“, integrating elements from across the political spectrum to fight its total enemy, that is liberalism represented by the United States. For this purpose, he combined his National Bolshevism to Eurasianism, an ideology developed by White émigrés who saw the Russian Empire as a “natural” necessity and considered the October Revolution to be a “conservative revolution” that preserved imperial continuity and national individuality of Russia and saved it from a period of Westernization and Europeanization started by Peter the Great. The result of this synthesis was a “Neo-Eurasianist” ideology whose worldview is one where a “Sea Power” centered around the United States and the United Kingdom form an “Atlanticist New World Order” which “dilutes national and cultural diversity” through globalization and is engaged in an eternal confrontation against a “Land Power” centered around a Russian-oriented “Eurasian New Order” which resists globalization. In Dugin’s view, the collapse of the Soviet Union brought about a “Unipolar World” dominated by the globalized, liberal West, and in reaction to this he advocates for [archive] the formation of a “Multipolar World” by creating an “Eurasian empire” with a hierarchical, “ethnopluralist”, patriarchal and traditionalist society, with himself as the heir of an alleged “Eurasian Order” which he claims had supposedly existed secretly for centuries. This shows how Dugin has adapted his ideology with time while its core remained the same throughout the years: in the early 90s, Dugin had claimed that representatives of this “Eurasian Order” had been present in the Abwehr, the Nazi regime’s military intelligence, and in the Sicherheitsdienst, the intelligence service of the SS (Dugin had called Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Sicherheitsdienst and one of the main architects of the Holocaust, a “convinced Eurasianist”, and claimed that Heydrich had been the victim of an “Atlanticist” plot), and labeled the KGB as an “Atlanticist” agent while calling the Waffen-SS and more specifically its division in charge of research the history of the “Aryan race”, the Ahnenerbe, “an intellectual oasis in the framework of the National Socialist regime”.

Another example of this adaptation is that since the early 2000s, he started distancing himself from the term “fascism” and adopted the labels of “Conservative Revolution”, “National Bolshevism” and “New Socialism” while instead claiming to be an anti-fascist and accusing his opponents of being Nazis and fascists, though Dugin never changed the core of his ideology and is still effectively a fascist. This also accompanied itself with attempts by Dugin to infiltrate the Western Left through an anti-Western but pro-Russian conception of “anti-imperialism”, as Eric Draitser, himself a left-wing journalist and former victim of Dugin’s manipulation recounts on CounterPunch, and also through direct collaboration, such as with members of Greek left-wing coalition Syriza in 2013. In 2001, he formed the Eurasia Movement and the Eurasia Party and in 2005 he formed the Eurasian Youth Union, and after he left the Rodina bloc in 2003 [archive] he has chosen a metapolitical strategy to realize his fascist goal. While Dugin’s influence in Russia is exaggerated, such as when he is called “Putin’s Rasputin”, he nevertheless is influential within sections of the Russian establishment (the head of United Russia’s ideological directorate and deputy culture minister in charge of the film industry, Ivan Demidov, is an Eurasianist close to Dugin) and military and used to be the head of the Department of Sociology of Internal Relations at the Moscow State University until thousands petitioned for him to be fired after he made calls to mass murder Ukrainians in 2014. Dugin has been hosted [archive] and promoted [archive] by Russian state television RT, formerly known as Russia Today, which now tries to downplay Dugin’s influence and distance itself from him. However Duginists like Mark Sleboda, Manuel Ochsenreiter and Tiberio Graziani are regularly hosted as experts on Russian state-owned international media, especially Sputnik International (formerly RIA Novosti and The Voice of Russia), the radio broadcaster owned by the Russian state.

Influence on Western Fascists

The European New Right and Third Positionists became more influential following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which meant the loss of the Communist bogeyman against which the majority of Western fascists had agitated throughout the Cold War, and the neoliberal counterrevolution started under Reagan and Thatcher in the 1980s accompanied by globalization meant that the new bogeyman for fascists was “globalism“, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory whereby a tiny secret elite was working to undermine national sovereignty to form a “One World Government” and uses immigration for these ends. A common fixation of these conspiracy theories is philanthropist billionaire George Soros, who is regularly blamed for being behind every sort of social movement. In Europe, the far-right rebranded itself by co-opting leftist causes such as LGBT rights and secularism and anti-establishment politics abandoned by the old left-wing parties which caved in to “Third Way” politics and using them for their own reactionary cause, and went from opposing Communism and supporting the United States to opposing the United States and what their anti-Semitic conspiracy theories call the “Zionist lobby” and instead rallying around the Russian state, especially after the rise to power of Vladimir Putin and his brand of authoritarian right-wing politics.

This influence of the New Right’s ideas among the larger fascist movement has also resulted in its integration within larger fascist networks spanning around the world. For example, one of Dugin’s disciples, Nina Kouprianova, is married to white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. Kouprianova has translated Dugin’s works which were published by Spencer’s publishing house, the Washington Summit Publishers. Spencer himself, before he came to the public eye, has been hosted on RT regularly as commentator concerning [archiveLibya [archive], Syria [archive], US foreign policy [archive], Vladimir Putin [archive] and was allowed to promote his white nationalism under the guise of discussing racist police violence [archive], discussing the Black Lives Matter movement [archive], discussing national security [archive]. More recently, Aleksandr Dugin has also been platformed on Infowars [archive], run by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex JonesAlex [archiveJones [archive] himself has been hosted by RT as a long [archivetime [archive] “expert” [archive] since the days when he used to host [archiveLyndon [archiveLaRouche [archive].

The LaRouche Movement

The LaRouchite Cult And Its Ideology

While Lyndon LaRouche and his movement are easily dismissed as being a ludicrous group of weird conspiracy theorists and cranks, researchers Chip BerletMatthew Lyons and Matthew Feldman say this outward image acts as a smokescreen for the real nature of this organization: a violent fascistic cult which is an inciter of hate against Jewish and British people as well as presently the prime worldwide distributor of coded anti-Jewish literature based on the anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The LaRouche Movement itself functions as a totalitarian cult with the aim of promoting Lyndon LaRouche, who exerts a dictatorial control over the whole movement, and is organized into a corporatist structure which is itself complemented by an intelligence division as well as multiple defunct and still-existent front groups and numerous publications.

The ideology of the LaRouche movement itself views the world as dominated by “an Anglo-Jewish oligarchy which is behind a conspiracy to weaken Western society through international banking, drug trafficking and Zionists, with the British being behind a plot to balkanize the US and the Queen as responsible for drug trafficking”. Their view of history is that one of an eternal war opposing good “Platonists” to evil “Aristotelians” according to which “good humanists” have been in a conflict for millennia against an “evil oligarchy” based initially in Babylon, then Venice and presently Britain’s House of Windsor, being effectively a form of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, and they often target Jewish people in positions of power, such as Kenry Kissinger and the Rothschild family, as members of this alleged conspiracy. LaRouche’s answer to this supposed conspiracy lies in a “humanist” dictatorship who would rule on behalf of industrial capitalists, with Lyndon LaRouche himself of course at its head. The core of LaRouche’s ideology can be described as a coded form of Illuminati, Freemason and “Jewish banker” conspiracy theories which are internally consistent despite being their outlandish appearance.

The organization’s methods of mass recruitment involve psychological manipulation by convincing its victims the whole world is a police-controlled environment perpetually feeding them misinformation, the result of which being a global collapse happening for which they are held responsible unless they submit fully to LaRouche, who will “teach them how to think”, and to his ideology which proclaims Lyndon LaRouche as the savior who will fix all this wrong. New members are made to undergo what amounts to psychological torture to erase their past and turn them into “new individuals” with new personalities subservient to the cult and younger members are forced into what amounts into indentured labor to raise funds. A Security Division is also present, responsible for supposedly protecting LaRouche and keeping dissident members in line, investigating members who appear disillusioned and making it difficult for anyone asking questions to to leave the organization.

The History of LaRouche

Lyndon LaRouche served as a non-combatant in the US army in the Second World War, after which he was briefly close to the Communist Party USA before joining the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in 1949. Within the SWP, LaRouche was part of a faction called the Revolutionary Tendency which was later expelled by the SWP in late 1963 and early 1964, following which he shortly joined the Spartacist League before founding the National Caucus for Labor Committees (NCLC) with the aim of gaining control of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) until the SDS expelled the NCLC in 1969.

Following this, the group expanded its activities, gaining adherents in Europe, and with its members becoming fanatically devoted to the group and its leader, and LaRouche himself adopting what Chip Berlet describes as “the same ideas and styles which took National Socialism and turned it into part of the European fascist movement”, and in 1973 the NCLC was responsible for a series of physical assaults called “Operation Mop-Up” on leftists in the United States including the CPUSA, SWP, the Progressive Labor Party and Black Power activists in an attempt to either gain political hegemony on the American left or destroy it, with the NCLC being compared to Hitler’s Brownshirts by US Communists. The NCLC from then on also adopted virulent sexism and homophobia in its theories while becoming more and more of a totalitarian cult-like group fully subordinate to LaRouche himself and adopting brainwashing techniques typically found in cults.

This same year LaRouche founded the US Labor Party (USLP) as a political wing of the NCLC and the next year first began to contact far-right groups while also devolving into conspiracy theories about a supposed global conspiracy by the Rockefellers. In 1976, during LaRouche’s first presidential campaign, he attempted to infiltrate far-right groups such as the American Conservative Union, the John Birch Society, the Young Americans for Freedom and the Ku Klux Klan while also forging links with Republican Party state organizations during the same decade. With the help of KKK grand dragon and American Nazi Party member Roy Frankhauser and former CIA officer Mitchell WerBell, with whom LaRouche arranged to provide the NCLC security force with armed training, he gained access to wider right-wing circles which included spies, mercenaries and intelligence operatives, and Frankhouser would later support LaRouche during his trial in the late 80s. LaRouche would start working through front groups such as the Schiller Institute (which was founded by Lyndon LaRouche’s wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche [archive]), Food for Peace and publications like Executive Intelligence ReviewNew Solidarity (later The New Federalist).

Around the time of the death of Nelson Rockefeller, LaRouche came under the influence of the Liberty Lobby of Willis Cartohimself a prominent Holocaust denier, admirer of Hitler and disciple of Francis Yockey. As he did in 1976, LaRouche again shifted, this time from conspiracy theories about Rockefeller to conspiracy theories of obvious anti-Semitic nature about a supposed worldwide conspiracy under the control of the “British Oligarchy”, with the Queen of England as their lackey. By the end of that same year, LaRouche had moved fully to the far-right, with his newspaper New Solidarity becoming more and more anti-Semitic and full of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories about international bankers, influential Jewish families, the KGB and secret societies.

As researcher Dennis King records, LaRouche’s attitude towards the Soviet Union changed around this time, going from praising Leonid Brezhnev to demonizing Moscow and calling it the “Third Rome” and a center of the Russian Orthodox Church, which he believed was controlled by the “British oligarchs”. LaRouche called Mikhail Gorbachev the Anti-Christ when he took power.

LaRouche’s activities in the 70s also included harassment campaigns against the United Auto Workers and the United Steelworkers of America, and he started collecting and disseminating intelligence on progressive groups at this point, selling them to US as well as foreign intelligence agencies so that, by the 1980s, LaRouche had already developed an extensive and sophisticated telecommunications network through which political and economic intelligence was collected and then re-shared. LaRouche worked with several states’ intelligence, police and militaries, among whom the Shah of Iran for whom they investigated student dissidents and gave reports to the SAVAK, Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, the South African apartheid regime for which they prepared reports on anti-apartheid groups, the Argentine Junta, the US Reagan administration until the mid-80s and with the KGB between 1974 to about 1983, the LaRouchites themselves claiming they acted as an open channel between the CIA and the KGB while also taking responsibility for Reagan’s “Star Wars” missile defense program.

In many cases, LaRouche would defend the dictators with whom he worked through distortions such as by claiming Manuel Noriega was overthrown by the US because he resisted the US government’s cocaine trade [archive] even though Noriega had himself been a CIA collaborator involved with cocaine trade, and painting the brutal dictator Ferdinand Marcos as a sympathetic figure and denying his abuses [archive].

True to its virulent homophobia, the LaRouche Organization would in 1986 also sponsor Proposition 64, also known as the “LaRouche Initiative” in the US state of California, which would require any HIV positive individuals to be reported to state authorities and barred from schools and jobs in restaurants and possibly be quarantined. The proposition was defeated twice.

In the mid-80s however, following LaRouche candidates winning the Democratic primary in Illinois in 1986 (leading Democratic Party senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan to condemn his party for ignoring its infiltration by LaRouche) and subsequent investigations into LaRouche’s illegal fundraising bringing the organization to public light, the ties between the Reagan administration and LaRouche were severed. Many LaRouche Movement organizations were seized by the US government and LaRouche himself was imprisoned for fraud and conspiracy from 1989 to 1990, being defended by the former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, about whom I wrote more further below in this post.

With the loss of their US government connections, LaRouche instead moved to seek ties with other states’ political elites, and the collapse of the Soviet Union meant that LaRouche became interested in the Russian Federation, with the Schiller Institute for Science and Culture, a branch of the LaRouche organ the Schiller Institute, being established in Moscow in 1992. LaRouche himself would repeatedly visit Russia throughout the 90s while additionally trying to influence Russian economic policy-making, with the Schiller Institute presenting a LaRouche memorandum to the State Duma in 1995, and LaRouche himself presenting his own report to the Russian parliament that same year [archive], with his conspiracist economic theories being well-received by groups such as the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia as well as other ultra-nationalists.

In Russia itself, LaRouche’s position is that of absolute praise and support for Vladimir Putin [archive] and his administration along with nostalgia for the Soviet Union. LaRouche’s support for Putin is driven both by Putin foreign policy hostile to the European Union and the United States as well as LaRouche and Putin having similar positions on internal policy, both promoting reactionary ideas such as an authoritarian state, the primacy of traditional culture and religion as well as infrastructure projects.

At the same time as his rapprochement with the Russian establishment, LaRouche moved from biological to cultural racism, and started shifting towards more ostensibly left-wing positions in the 90s, organizing anti-war demonstrations and rallies and attempting to insert themselves in anti-war coalitions during the Gulf Warattempting to form coalitions with and control African-American civil rights groups since the 70s, opposing the death penalty, praising the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, supporting social programs against the Republican Party’s budget cuts, criticizing neoconservatives and organizing anti-war conferences in the prelude to the imperialist invasion of Iraq by George W. Bush. It was in this context that, in 2003, a British student in Paris named Jeremiah Duggan found himself in one such rally believing it to be a legitimate anti-war event at the Schiller Institute which however turned out to be a recruitment session for LaRouche’s network. After Jeremiah stood up to the anti-Semitic conspiracism during the event and announced he was Jewish, his body was found hours later on a roadside, having died in a state of terror. Jeremiah’s mother received two interrupted phone calls shortly before his death where Jeremiah cried out loud that he feared for his safety. German authorities however hastily ruled it as a suicide and closed the case within three months without having recorded any formal witnesses, and the coroner who later ruled his death was not a suicide however refused to accept evidence that Jeremiah had been killed.

LaRouche has been a “pioneer” of presenting fascism through a facade of progressivism, and already in 1981, the Liberty Lobby was defending LaRouche by declaring that “No group has done so much to confuse, disorient, and disunify the Left as they have… the USLP should be encouraged, as should all similar breakaway groups from the Left, for this is the only way that the Left can be weakened and broken”. This is evident in how, more recently, LaRouche was one of the many far-right groups who attempted to infiltrate the Occupy Wall Street movement and were rejected by it. RT has also hosted LaRouche and his movement many times, promoting him as a misunderstood civil rights leader [archive], as “expert” on the Egyptian Revolution [archive], and to speak about the New Silk Road project [archive].

The Proximity Between LaRouche And The New Right

The above mentioned positions of LaRouche and his cult, such as a Manichean view of history as a perennial war (“Platonists” opposed to “Aristotelians” for LaRouche, and a “Land Power” opposed to a “Sea Power” for Dugin), cultural racism, and geopolitical support for Russia as the key to humanity’s salvation coupled with opposition to the US and UK, are something they share with other groups such as Aleksandr Dugin and his neo-Eurasianists as well other New Right groups and “red-brown” organizations such as the KPRF, hence leading to increased indirect contacts between these various reactionary groups. LaRouche and Dugin being very different from each other in that the former has a vision wrapped under a rhetoric of science and rationalism while the latter’s is based on Russian revival steeped in mysticism however prevent any substantial alliance between them.

The result is that LaRouche and Dugin share many common allies, which Matthew Lyons suggests might be open channels for sharing ideas between these two movements.

Sergey Glazyev

An interesting ally of both LaRouche and Dugin is Sergey Glazyev, who was Minister of External Economic Relations under the Yeltsin administration before resigning in protest over Yeltsin’s decision to dissolve the State Duma which led to the failed coup attempt of 1993. Glazyev was elected to the State Duma in 1994 and became chairman of the parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee, forming ties with LaRouche around this time and being praised by LaRouche “as a leading economist in opposition to Boris Yeltsin’s regime”. Glazyev’s interviews and writings were published on the LaRouchite publication Executive Intelligence Review, which also published [archive] the English translation of a conspiracist book by Glazyev. In 2001, LaRouche himself spoke [archive] a State Duma hearing on the Russian economy at the initiative of Glazyev, then chairman of the Duma Committee on Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship, who headed the hearing. In 2012, Sergey Glazyev was appointed by Putin as presidential aide to coordinate the work of federal agencies in developing the Customs Union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, a project which both LaRouche and Dugin happen to support.

Glazyev happens to be close to Aleksandr Dugin as well, though described as not an Eurasianist by the Duginists themselves, and assisted to the foundation of Dugin’s Eurasia Party in 2002 [archive] while Dugin was himself temporarily a member of Glazyev’s Rodina bloc in 2003. Glazyev and Dugin are both members of the Izborsky Club, a far-right-think tank founded and headed by Aleksandr Prokhanov [archive] which glorifies both the Tsar Peter the Great and Josef Stalin, and Sergey Glazyev also happens to be on the Supervisory Board of the far-right think tank Katehon [archive], as was Aleksandr Dugin until early 2017. The name Katehon appears to be a reference to the katechon, the Biblical restrainer of the Anti-Christ, which Zurab Chavchavadze, who is on its Supervisory Board [archive], believes was the role of Tsarist Russia due to its position as a “worldwide bastion of Christianity” [archive]. Another member of its Supervisory Board is Andrey Klimov, who is a member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and was a member of its General Council until 2016.

Novorossiya and Crimea

Konstantin Malofeyev

The president of Katehon is Konstantin Malofeyev, a Russian businessman who who aspires to revive the Russian monarchy. In May 2013, Malofeyev attended the 7th conference [archive] of the Christian Right, anti-LGBT, anti-abortion World Congress of Families, on whose board is Aleksey Komov [archive], the head of international projects of the Saint Basil the Great Foundation [archive], the “charitable foundation” of Malofeyev [archive]. Malofeyev’s position at the World Congress of Families was to present the Christian conservatism of the West in the 1980s in favorable terms compared to the state atheism of the Soviet Union, before contrasting it to the situation in 2010, where he claimed that religious freedom was “under attack” in the West and evoked all the tropes one might hear on Fox News such as the “War on Christmas”, the “LGBT agenda” and “political correctness”. To this, he contrasted the situation in Russia, where the Church has been experiencing a revival, religion is taught in schools and homophobic laws have been on the rise, and Malofeyev promised [archive] that “Christian Russia can help liberate the West from the new liberal anti-Christian totalitarianism of political correctness, gender ideology, mass-media censorship and neo-marxist dogma”.

[Note: The members of the board of the Saint Basil the Great Foundation [archive] include Zurab Chavchavadze, and the Bishop Tikhon Shevkunov, a member of the Izborsky Club [archive] and of the Supreme Council of the Russian Orthodox Church [archive], with influential ties to the state and rumored to be the personal confessor of Vladimir Putin.]

[Note: A partner of the World Congress of Families is the Sanctity of Motherhood Program, an anti-abortion organization headed by Natalia Yakunina [archive], the wife of Vladimir Yakunin, who was the director of Russian Railways until 2015. In 2017, the World Congress of Families sponsored [archive] the Rhodes Forum 2017 [archive] of Yakunin’s foundation, the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations [archive] (WPFDC). In September 2014, two of Vladimir Yakunin’s organizations which also both have Natalia Yakunina as vice president, the Center of National Glory and the Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called [archive], organized the “Large Family and Future of Humanity” international forum [archive] with the support of Malofeyev’s Saint Basil the Great Foundation. The conference, held at the State Kremlin Palace and animated by Yakunina, was intended to be the 8th conference of the World Congress of Families until it was forced to suspend its participation following the crisis in Ukraine [archive]. On what appears to be the conference’s Facebook page, is a now dead link [archive] (but relayed by the Christian News Wire [archive]) to a post on the website of World Congress of Families’ Russian section about a meeting by the International Planning Committee of the conference whose members included Malofeyev, Yakunin, Yakunina, and Jack Hanick, a former Fox News employee Jack Hanick, a devout Roman Catholic turned Russian Orthodox Christian [archive] who believes “God called on Russia” to fight the LGBT rights movement.]

A month later, after the adoption of the law against “gay propaganda” and “offending religious feelings” in Russia, a delegation of French anti-gay activists, joined by [archive] the National Organization for Marriage’s president Brian Brown, spoke to the State Duma [archive] on the 13th of June 2013 on the invitation of the Duma’s Committee on Family, Women and Children, whose chairperson Elena Mizulina was then a State Duma MP for the A Just Russia party. Mizulina, who had previously called abortion a “national threat”, compared surrogate parenthood to nuclear weapons, and was the author of the homophobic law, had participated [archive] in anti-LGBT roundtable talks together with French anti-LGBT activists in early June in Paris hosted by the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, itself headed by far-right Russian politician and former State Duma MP for the fascist Rodina party, Natalia Narochnitskaya [archive]. The delegation included:

  • Aymeric Chauprade, then an advisor to Marine Le Pen and member of the French National Front before leaving it in 2015. Chauprade had participated in the “Large Family and Future of Humanity” conference in 2014
  • Fabrice Sorlin, president of Dies Irae [archive], a traditionalist Roman Catholic and far-right nationalist organization named for a hymn about the Last Judgement. Sorlin led the delegation
  • François Légrier, a former National Front candidate for the legislative elections and president [archive] of the Catholic Movement of Families
  • Odile Téqui
  • Hugues Revel, who leads the far-right Catholiques en Campagne [archive]

The same day, Malofeyev’s charity co-organized a roundtable discussion at the Kremlin [archive] together with the State Duma commitee on family, women and children, and on “Traditional Values: The Future of the European Peoples”, which was attended by [archive] Malofeyev, the French delegation, Sergey Gavrilov of the KPRF and Elena Mizulina.

In 2014, Malofeyev, as well as the leaders of the far-right party Rodina (which I talk of later), Dmitry Rogozin and Aleksandr Babakov, were in instrumental in helping Jean-Marie le Pen and the French National Front obtaining massive loans after Chauprade had introduced Le Pen to Malofeyev. That same year, Malofeyev organized an anti-LGBT conference in Vienna where the participants included:

  • Konstantin Malofeyev himself
  • Aleksandr Dugin
  • Ilya Glazunov, a far-right Russian nationalist painter
  • Marion-Marechal Le Pen from the French National Front
  • Aymeric Chauprade
  • Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma, the head of the Spanish Carlist monarchist movement
  • Serge de Pahlen, the husband of the Fiat fortune heiress Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen
  • Heinz-Christian Strache, the chairman of the far-right Austria Freedom Party (FPÖ), which signed a cooperation treaty with Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party in 2016
  • Johann Gudenus of the FPÖ
  • Johann Herzog of the FPÖ
  • Volen Siderov, the leader of far-right Bulgarian party Ataka
  • Croatian far-right groups
  • Georgian nobles
  • Russian nobles
  • a Catholic priest

Malofeyev is also the Chairman of the board of directors of the Tsargrad group of companies, which in 2015 launched Tsargrad TV (Tsargrad being the Slavic name of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire) with the help of Jack Hanick, and which has as editor in chief Aleksandr Dugin [archive] and chairman of its supervisory board Leonid Reshetnikov [archive], who is also on the Supervisory board of Katehon, is a member of the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Defense and of the Scientific Councils of both the Russian Security Council and Ministry of Affairs, and until January 2017 was the director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies [archive]. Tsargrad TV, which provides a platform to fascists such as Aleksandr Dugin and Alex Jones, is “based on Orthodox principles in the same way as Fox News” according to Malofeyev, who is a founder and shareholder of the channel and was its general producer until November 2017 [archive], having resigned from this position shortly after being made a member of the council [archive] of the Society for the Development of Russian Education: Two-Headed Eagle, a Russian monarchist organization.

[Note: Leonid Reshetnikov has blamed the Second World War on an “Anglo-Saxon elite”, which is a position similar to that of Dugin in his essay on red and borderless fascism.]

[Note: The World Congress of Families lists the Sanctity of Motherhood and the Saint Basil the Great Foundation as its partners [archive], and its Russian section lists Tsargrad TVKatehon and the Saint Basil the Great Foundation among its partners [archive].]

The Formation of Novorossiya and the Annexation of Crimea

Malofeyev is a former employer of Aleksandr Borodai, who was once a deputy director of the FSB and had also formerly worked at Zavtra [archive] where he continues to be published as an “expert” [archive]. Malofeyev is also a former employer of Igor Girkin (more commonly known as Igor Strelkov), a former FSB member who was in charge of Malofeyev’s security when he visited Kiev and Crimea in 2014 and contributed to Zavtra between 1998 and 2000 [archive]. According to investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Malofeyev drafted the plan for the creation of the so-called Novorossiya statelet which was was formed in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. When the two “People’s Republics” making up Novorossiya were created in 2014, Girkin became the Defense Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic while Borodai became Prime Minister. Aleksandr Proselkov, the head of the Rostov branch of Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement [archive], became Deputy Foreign Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic [archive], and the Deputy Prime Minister was Andrey Purgin, who was himself a member of Donetskaya Respublika, a pro-Russian organization which had been created in response to the 2005 Orange Revolution, and participated in protests with and went to the summer camps of the Eurasian Youth Union (a youth wing of Aleksandr Dugin’s International Eurasianist party formed with the support of the Russian government of Vladimir Putin in reaction to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and which received at least 18.5 million rubles in the form of presidential grants from 2013 to 2014). Donetskaya Respublika had also worked with the Russia Bloc, Bravtsovo and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU), which are all far-right organizations. Bravtsovo’s and the PSPU’s respective leaders, Dmytro Korchynsky and Natalya Vitrenko are members of the High Council of Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement [archive].

[Note: Natalia Vitrenko’s misleadingly-named PSPU, a far-right party, has worked with the Ukrainian Communist Party [archive] (which adheres to a Soviet nationalist red-brown politics not unlike that of the KPRF) in 2007, led a delegation to Libya in April 2011 where she awarded Muammar Gaddafi with an “anti-NATO resistance fighter” title [archive], and in July 2011 joined the All Russia’s People’s Front founded by Vladimir Putin, who became its leader in 2013. As well as being a member of Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement, Vitrenko is also a close associate of LaRouche [archive] and promotehis movement, being another close ally of both Dugin and LaRouche.]

Aleksandr Dugin and Aleksandr Prokhanov were both present at the founding congress of the Novorossiya Party [archive] in late May 2014, which was also attended by Pavel Gubarev (a former member of Barkashov’s neo-Nazi Russian National Unity as well as former member of Vitrenko’s PSPU [archive], who was governor of the Donetsk People’ Republic from March to November of that same year) and Valeriy Korovin, a member of the Izborsky Club [archive] and a leader of the Eurasian Youth Union. In early June 2014, discussions between Gubarev and Prokhanov took place [archive], during which it was decided that the Izborsky Club would develop Novorossiya economically and ideologically, and Gubarev was invited to join the Izborsky Club and create a new branch for it in the Donetsk People’s Republic. The next day, the Izborsky Club announced that it would advise the drafting of a new constitution for Novorossiya [archive]. In mid-June 2014, a Donetsk branch of the Izborsky Club was created, with Pavel Gubarev as its chairperson [archive], and the Izborsky Club itself reported that Gubarev, Girkin and Borodai had been elected as its members [archive]. After Girkin was dismissed as the Donetsk Republic’s Defense Minister in August that year, he was seen accompanying Aleksandr Dugin and Konstantin Malofeyev at the Valaam Monastery in Russian Karelia the next month, and Borodai is presently on the committee of The Two-Headed Eagle [archive] along with Malofeyev.

The referendum for the accession of the Crimean peninsula to the Russian Federation also saw fascists and neo-Stalinists close or part of the National-Bolshevik network as observers, which is unfortunately not a new phenomenon: already in the late 2000s and early 2010s, a number of elections in Europe and the former Soviet bloc had been monitored [archive] by the CIS-EMO, which was founded and headed by Aleksey Kochetkov [archive], who had been a member of Barkashov’s Russian National Unity in the 1990s, and whose experts included Thiriart’s associate Luc Michel, Mateusz Piskorski (see below) and Giulietto Chiesi [archive] (former Moscow correspondent for the Italian Communist newspaper L’Unità who has since become a red-brown militant and is on the Experts Council of the Russian Eurasianist magazine Geopolitika together with Aleksandr Dugin [archive], and became a member of the Izborsky Club in 2014 [archive] and supports Aleksandr Dugin’s ideas [archive]). The observers of the Crimean referendum had been invited by the Eurasian Observatory for Democracy and Elections, headed by Luc Michel and included:

  • Johannes Hubner of the FPÖ
  • Johann Gudenus of the FPÖ
  • Ewald Johann Stadler, a fromer member of the FPÖ
  • Frank Creyelman of Vlaams Belang
  • Luc Michel of the National-European Communitarian Party
  • Jan Penris of Vlaams Belang
  • Christian Vergoustraete of Vlaams Belang and the Alliance of European National Movements
  • Pavel Chernev of Ataka
  • Kiril Kolev of Ataka
  • Johan Backman, a neo-Stalinist who does not recognize Estonia and Latvia as states
  • Aymeric Chaperaude of the French National Front
  • Hikmat al-Sabty of German left-wing party Die Linke
  • Torsten Koplin of Die Linke
  • Piotr Luczak of Die Linke and chairperson of the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis
  • Monika Merk of Die Linke and Secretary of the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis
  • Manuel Ochsenreiter
  • Charalampos Angourakis, of the Communist Party of Greece, which is known for cooperating with the police and the state, has engaged in anti-refugee actions, and occasionally cooperates with Golden Dawn
  • Bela Kovacs of Jobbik and treasurer of the Alliance of European Nationalist Movements
  • Lev Malinsky of BenOr Consulting
  • Sergey Podrazhansky, the former editor of Israeli right-wing newspaper Vesti
  • Fabrizio Bertot, of Lega Italia
  • Claudio D’Amico of Lega Nord
  • Valerio Cignetti, of the Tricolour Flame and General Secretary of the Alliance of European National Movements
  • Miroslavs Mitrofanovs of the Latvian Russian Union
  • Tatjana Zdanoka of the Latvian Russian Union
  • Adam Krysztof of the Polish social-democratic party Democratic Left Alliance
  • Mateusz Piskorski of the Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland. Piskorski was a member of Polish fascist group Niklot, a leader of far-right Polish party Zmiana [archive], is an associate of Aleksandr Dugin, and vice-director of the German Center for Eurasian Studies [archive]
  • Andrzej Romanek of Solidary Poland
  • Milenko Baborak of the Dveri Movement
  • Nenad Popovic of the Democratic Party of Serbia
  • Zoran Radojicic
  • Oleg Denisenko of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF)
  • Pedro Mourino of the Partido Popular
  • Enrique Ravello, former member of CEDADE and Terre et Peuple, and present member of Plataforma per Catalunya
  • Srda Trifkovic, an Islamophobe and anti-Semite who has worked with the Serbian Radical Party, is a supporter of Radovan Karadzic [archive], defended Karadzic in during the latter’s trial and denies the Srebrenica genocide [archive]. Trifkovic is the Foreign Affairs Editor [archive] of the openly far-right [archiveChronicles Magazine and a contributing editor to neo-fascist platform The Alternate Right run by Richard Spencer.

[Note: The European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis was founded by Mateusz Piskorski, himself a participant [archive] of Thierry Meyssan’s Axis for Peace conference (see below) and the vice director of the German Center for Eurasian Studies [archive], whose president is Manuel Ochsenreiter. Ochsenreiter was formerly a host on Russian state-owned channel RT, where he was presented as an “expert” on German and Middle-Eastern Affairs (he has regularly [archivediscussed [archiveUkraine [archive], Crimea [archiveand the [archivewar in [archiveSyria [archive] on RT) before being outed as the editor of Zuerst!, a neo-Nazi German magazine which glorifies Hitler. In 2014, Yakunin’s Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called and Center of National Glory organized an “anti-fascist conference” in Saint Petersburg concerning the crisis in Ukraine, among whose participants was National Bolshevik Mateusz Piskorski.]

The Anti-Orange Committee

One of Dugin’s close collaborators was Geydar Dzhemal (who died in 2016), who was a member of the Golovin Circle alongside Dugin and later of Pamyat together with Dugin before being both expelled from it together, Dzhemal later theorizing his own fascist ideas based on Islamist theory and founding his own fascist think tank called the Florian Geyer Club. The attendants of the Florian Geyer Club’s various [archiveseminars [archive] included Aleksandr Dugin, Claudio Mutti (see below), Israel Shamir (see below), Nadezhda Kevorkova (a contributor to RT since 2010 [archive]) and fascists Maksim Shevchenko and Mikhail Leontyev. Shevchenko had already cooperated with Dzhemal in 2010 when, together with Sergey Markov from Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, they were part of a Russian delegation at a conference organized by the FPÖ concerning Color Revolutions, which was a year after he had invited Dugin to Vienna in 2009 and introduced him to the leaders of the FPÖ.

In 2012, Dugin, Leontyev, Shevchenko, Prokhanov and Nikolai Starikov joined the Anti-Orange Committee founded by Sergey Kurginyan, a former left-wing opponent of Yeltsin who has moved to the nationalist Right after the events of 1993, supports an alliance between the Left and the Right [archive], and now leads the Essence of Time movement, which describes itself as left-patriotic [archive] and aims to create a “USSR 2.0”, a movement which Anton Shekhovtsov says is National Bolshevik. The Anti-Orange Committee was founded in opposition to the anti-Putin Bolotnaya Square protests of 2011, whose speakers ironically included Yevgeny Kopyshev from the KPRF, nationalist Konstantin Krylov (see below), and representatives of the Left Front Stalinist opposition group (see below), and Dugin’s former associate Limonov had participated in demonstrations with the protesters earlier that same day in Moscow’s Revolution Square. The Committee adhered to a conspiratorial worldview where it perceived the protests against Putin to be the result of a Western conspiracy in cooperation with fascists who support WWII era war criminal and Nazi collaborationist Stepan Bandera. The name of the Committee itself as well as this conspiracy were both based on how Dugin and his acolytes, in accordance to their fascist worldview where the US is a center of liberalism which seeks to destroy Russian culture and Eurasian civilization, interpreted the 2005 US-supported Orange Revolution (and of which there are valid criticisms from the Left) in Ukraine as a Banderist plot concocted in the West against Russia, and which a large number of fascists repeat in the context of the Euromaidan and the Arab Spring.

[Note: Maksim Shevchenko was member [archive] of the Civil Chamber of the Russian Federation from 2008 to 2012 and has been a member [archive] of the Russian Federation’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights since 2012, and is part [archive] of its provisional body in charge of civil society and human rights in Crimea. Shevchenko is a member of the Izborsky Club [archive] together with Starikov and Leontyev. In 2017, Shevchenko joined the Left Front [archive].]

Boris Kagarlitsky

Among the participants of the Florian Geyer Club’s September 2011 seminar was Boris Kagarlitsky [archive], a former left-wing Soviet dissident who presents himself as a left-wing critic of Vladimir Putin but writes articles supporting Vladimir Putin and Donald [archiveTrump [archive], and associates with fascists [archive] such as Aleksey Belyaev-Gintovt (a member of Dugin’s Eurasian Youth Union [archive]), Yevgeniy Zhilin (the leader of the fascist organization Oplot), Konstantin Krylov (leader of the right-wing Russian Social Movement and one time member of the fascist party Rodina – see below), and Yegor Kholmogorov. According researcher Anton Shkehovtsov, Russian investigative journalists say Kagarlitsky has been working with the Kremlin from at least 2005 to control the section of the Russian Left independent of the KPRF and clamp down on the left-wing opposition to Vladimir Putin, and in 2005 he wrote a report which called the KPRF the most corrupt party of Russia while not investigating the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and United Russia, due to which Kagarlitsky was successfully sued by Gennady Zyuganov and was forced to apologize. Kagarlitsky’s organization, the Institute for Global Research and Social Movements, has received state funding in the form of presidential grants.

In early June 2014, Kagarlitsky was present through Skype at the founding conference of the “Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine” [archive], which was also attended by Richard Brenner from Workers’ Power (a British Trotskyist group which was dissolved and merged into the Labour Party in September 2015), Lindsey German from Counterfire, Alan Woods from Socialist Appeal and the International Marxist Tendency, and Sergey Kirchuk from Borotba (see below). In August 2014, Kagarlitsky was hosted by the UK-based Stop The War Coalition together with Tariq Ali and Lindsey German [archive].

Kagarlitsky’s position on the war in Ukraine has been to support the Novorossiyan forces and whitewash its fascist leaders [archive], and as result in June 2014 itself Denis Denisov, a Crimean left-wing activist from the Left Opposition, ended his collaboration with Kagarlitsky. Following Kagarlitsky’s reply that Denisov should reconsider his views and suggestion he should support the “self-organizing movement of solidarity with Novorossiya” instead, Volodymyr Zadyraka of the Autonomous Workers’ Union wrote a scathing criticism of Kagarlitsky’s pseudo-dissidence which in reality serves the Russian establishment and its imperialist policies, and which appeals to Western leftists whose politics are centered around geopolitics rather than concern for the lives of Syrians and Ukrainians.

In July 2014, Kagarlitsky’s Institute for Global Research and Social Movements co-organized a conference titled “The World Crisis and the Confrontation in Ukraine” in Yalta, Crimea together with Osnovaniye and the Center of Coordination and Support for Novaya Rus, both headed [archive] by Aleksey Anpilogov (a regular contributor [archive] for Zavtra). Among the attendees of the conference were:

Aleksandr Prokhanov, whose fascist newspaper Zavtra reported the conference [archive] noted that Prokhanov himself met with the attendees and that a meeting had taken place between the participants of the conference and members of the Izborsky Club, which was strangely also holding a conference in Yalta at the same time. A number of these attendees signed a manifesto [archive] adopted by the conference and drafted by Maksim Shevchenko.

In August 2014, another conference was organized, again by Angipilov’s Novaya Rus, in Yalta, called “Russia, Novorossiya, Ukraine: Global Problems and Challenges”, and which Darya Mitina (who headed the Moscow branch of the Foreign Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic [archive] and is a member of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party and Secretary of its Central Committee for International Relations [archive]) described as the successor to the July conference [archive]. Among [archive] the participants were:

  • Frank Creyelman of Vlaams Belang
  • Luc Michel of the National-European Communitarian Party
  • Pavel Chernev of Ataka
  • Angel Dzhambazki of the Bulgarian National Movement
  • Johan Backman
  • Márton Gyöngyösi of Jobbik
  • Giovanni Maria Camillacci of Forza Nuova
  • Roberto Fiore of Forza Nuova
  • Mateusz Piskorski, as representative of the Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland
  • Konrad Rękas, from the Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland
  • Bartosz Bekier of Falanga. Bekier was also named vice-president of Piskorski’s Zmiana [archive] the following year, in 2015
  • Nick Griffin of the British National Party
  • Sergey Glazyev
  • Maksim Shevchenko
  • Aleksey Anpilogov
  • Yegor Kholmogorov
  • Petr Getsko
  • Yegor Kvasnyuk
  • Andrey Kovalenko, the head of the Moscow branch of the Eurasian Youth Union [archive]
  • Israel Shamir
  • Yuri Kofner (see below)
  • Aleksandr Borodai
  • Igor Girkin
  • members of the Izborsk and Zinovyev clubs

[Note: Andrey Kovalenko is the founder and chairman of the National Course party [archive], the political wing of the National Liberation Movement headed by Yevgeny Fyodorov, himself a State Duma member for Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, who strangely believes rock music is “US-instigated sabotage”, and of whom Kovalenko is the assistant [archive]. The National Liberation Movement adheres to a conspiratorial view according to which the collapse of the Soviet Union meant that Russia lost its sovereignty and was turned into a colony of the United States, and sees Vladimir Putin as the leader of a “national liberation movement” supposedly “fighting against foreign influence”. National Course works with Nikolai Starikov’s Great Fatherland party, and has expanded in Sevastopol, Crimea. Like the “Anti-Orange Committee”, it appears to have been created in reaction to the Bolotnaya Square Protests of 2011.]

In September that year, the Izborsky Club organized roundtable talks [archive] whose participants were:

  • Aleksandr Nagorny, the secretary of the Isborsky Club
  • Aleksey Angilopov
  • Vladimir Rogov
  • Galina Zaporozhtseva, chairperson of an organization called “Mothers of Ukraine”, and curiously also a Zavtra contributor [archive]
  • Pavel Gubarev
  • Anton Guryanov, the chairman of the Council of People’s Deputies of the Kharkiv People Republic
  • Darya Mitina
  • Yegor Kvasnyuk
  • Sergey Chernyakhovsky of the Izborsky Club
  • Ekaterina Abbasova of Lugansk
  • Said Gafurov, the husband of Darya Mitina
  • Aleksey Belozersky, the deputy chairman of Aleksay Angolopov’s Novaya Rus

Election Observers from the Far-Right

In November 2014, observers for elections in Novorossiya were organized by Luc Michel’s Eurasian Observatory of Democracy and Elections, Mateusz Piskorski’s European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis, and the Agency for Security and Cooperation in Europe of Austrian far-right politician Ewald Stadler, and included:

  • Frank Abernathy from the US-based EFS Investment Partners LLC
  • Fabrice Beaur from the Eurasian Observatory of Democracy and Elections and the National-European Communitarian Party
  • Alessandro Bertoldi from Forza Nuova
  • Fabrizio Bertot from Forza Nuova
  • Tamaz Bestayev
  • Anatoly Bibilov, then Speaker of the Parliament for the Republic of South Ossetia
  • Branislav Blažić from the misleadingly named right-wing Serbian Progressive Party
  • Aleksandr Brod
  • Mikhail Bryachak from A Just Russia
  • Frank Creyelman of Vlaams Belang
  • Stevica Deđanski of the Center for Development of International Cooperation. He is also a state secretary at the Serbian Ministry of Mining and Energy, where his profile also lists him as leader of Nikita Tolstoy (a Serbian-Russian Friendship Association) and a Serbian Italian friendship association named Gabriele D’Annunzio, after one of the precursors of Italian fascism
  • Felipe Delgado of the Mediasiete Corporation
  • Aleksey Didenko from the far-right Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia
  • Vladimir Djukanovic of the Serbian Progressive Party
  • Jaroslav Doubrava from Severočeši.cz
  • Márton Gyöngyösi from Jobbik
  • Gábor Gyóni from the Eötvös Loránd University
  • Sasha Klein from Israel
  • Nikolay Kolomeytsev from the KPRF
  • Vladimir Krsljanin from the far-right Movement for Serbia
  • Georgios Lambroulis from the Communist Party of Greece
  • Renato A. Landeira from the Mediesiete Corporation
  • Viliam Longauer from the “Union of Fighters Against Fascism”
  • Max Lurie from Israeli Russian language news site Cursor Info
  • Lucio Malan from Forza Italia
  • Alessandro Musolino from Forza Italia
  • Manuel Ochsenreiter
  • Oleg Pakholkov from A Just Russia
  • Vladimir Rodin from the KPRF
  • Aleksandr Ronkin from Israeli Russian language newspaper Ekho
  • Slobodan Samardjiza
  • Jean-Luc Schaffhauser from the French far-right Rassemblement Bleu Marine
  • Georgi Sengalevich from Ataka
  • Leonid Slutskiy from the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia
  • Ewald Stadler from Die Reformkonservativen
  • Adrienn Szaniszló from Jobbik
  • Magdalena Tasheva from Ataka
  • Dragana Trifkovic from the Belgrade Center for Strategic Research, a former member of the Presidency of the right-wing Democratic Party of Serbia from which she was expelled [archive] in 2016. Trifkovic has collaborated with Manuel Ochsenreiter and written for his Zuerst! neo-Nazi magazine [archive]
  • Srđa Trifković
  • Evgeni Velkov
  • Galina Yartseva
  • Aleksandr Yushchenko from the KPRF
  • Sotirios Zarianopoulos from the Communist Party of Greece
  • Ladislav Zemánek from No to Brussels – Popular Democracy
  • Aleksey Zhuravlyov, the chairman of the Rodina party

Rodina

In 2003 Sergey Glazyev, Sergey Baburin (who had previously been a leader of the National Salvation Front), Dmitry Rogozin and other Russian politicians formed the Rodina bloc, a coalition which Dugin temporarily joined before disagreements over the group’s leadership, especially due to Dugin being disappointed by the party abandoning its initial National Bolshevik character in favor of what he saw as “crude nationalism” and his aversion to the monarchism of Rogozin [archive], caused him to leave. Rodina combines xenophobic, anti-LGBT, anti-abortion and ultra-conservative positions with opposition to oligarchs and the financial sector while adhering to a chauvinistic foreign policy and worshiping the Russian state in both its Tsarist and Stalinist forms, being effectively a fascist party.

In January 2005 a group of State Duma members including from Rodina and the KPRF, evoking anti-Semitic conspiracy theories by claiming that the world was “under the monetary and political control of international Judaism”, signed a petition to the prosecutor-general demanding the ban of all Jewish organizations in Russia on the same day Vladimir Putin was participating in the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz during WWII. Putin expressed shame over the petition, and while Rogozin had not signed the petition, he refused to condemn the Rodina members who had signed it. After this, frictions increased between Rogozin and Putin, and at the end of the same year Rodina came under investigation for running racist TV ads inciting racial hatred against migrants from the Caucasus and was barred from Moscow Duma elections in consequence.

Rodina has been described as a Kremlin project whose aim was to draw voters away from the National-Bolsheviks or from KPRF and liberals, eventually however becoming a force of its own, leading the Kremlin to oust its leader Dmitry Rogozin in 2006 and send him as ambassador to NATO to Brussels to rein the party in after Rogozin’s nationalist rhetoric led it to became too popular especially among opponents of Vladimir Putin, thus leading to fears it could overtake Putin’s United Russia in popularity, and Rodina itself was soon after merged into the A Just Russia opposition party in October that year. However Rodina was reinstated in 2012, with its chairman being Aleksey Zhuravlyov, a member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party who himself called the party “the President’s (Putin’s) black-ops force”, though control of the party would still be de facto in the hands of Rogozin, who has himself been Deputy Prime Minister and responsible of the Military-Industrial Commission for Putin’s administration since 2011.

In 2015, Rodina organized the “International Russian Conservative Forum” (IRCF), an attempt at forming a coalition of far-right parties. The conference was presided by Rodina’s chairman Zhuravlyov and was attended by [archive]:

  • Ataka
  • The Lombardy-Russia Cultural Association, itself founded by the far-right Lega Nord
  • Jared Taylor of the American Renaissance
  • The British Unity Party
  • The Alliance for Peace and Freedom
  • Igor Morozov, a member of the Federation Council of the Ryazan Oblast
  • Euro-Rus, a far-right group whose own page [archive] suggests both National Bolshevik and LaRouchite influences

The far-right Freedom Party of Austria and Serbian Radical Party were also scheduled to participate in the conference before dropping out of it.

The Alliance for Peace and Freedom itself includes:

  • Forza Nuova
  • The National Democratic Party of Germany
  • Party of the Swedes
  • Golden Dawn
  • National Democracy
  • Nation
  • The Danish Party

Later that same year, Rodina and the Russian Imperial Movement, another Russian far-right party, organized the founding conference of the World National-Conservative Movement (WNCM), which Alexander Reid Ross calls an attempt at creating a fascist internationale [archive] (Ross should know better than publishing this on the red-brown cesspool that CounterPunch is though). The chairman of the WNCM was Yuriy Lyubomirskiy, a member of Rodina. According to Anton Shekhovtsov, the WNCM was an outgrowth of the IRCF which had also been organized by Rodina that same year. An early warning sign of this attempt by Rodina to form a fascist internationale, according to Ross, was a conference organized in 2014 by the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (which I explore below in the post), which is itself close to Rodina.

The participants of the WNCM included:

  • The Alliance for Peace of Freedom
  • The UK Life League, close to Britain First
  • Britain First, from the United Kingdom
  • The British Unity Party, from the United Kingdom
  • Jeune Nation, from France
  • Jobbik, from Hungary
  • The Slovak National Party, from Slovakia
  • The Congress of the New Right, from Poland
  • The Network Carpatho-Russian Movement, from Ukraine
  • The All-Polish Youth, from Poland
  • Falanga, from Poland
  • Blue Poland, from Poland
  • Serbian Action, from Serbia
  • Euro-Rus, from Belgium
  • The Polish National Convention, from Poland
  • The Center for Research of Orthodox Monarchism, from Serbia
  • The National Popular Front (ELAM), from Cyprus
  • Die Russlanddeutschen Konservativen, from Germany
  • Mișcărea Conservatoare, from Romania
  • Mișcarea Național, from Romania
  • The Nordic Resistance (which includes the Swedish Resistance and the Finnish Resistance)
  • Noua Dreaptă, from Romania
  • The Traditionalist Communion, from Spain
  • Action Française, from France
  • Renouveau Français, from France
  • Unité Continentale, from France, which has sent volunteers to fight alongside the Novorossiyan forces
  • Generace Identity, from the Czech Republic
  • Nordic Youth, from Sweden
  • Slovak Brotherhood, from Slovakia
  • The Finns Party, from Finland
  • Suomen Sisu, from Finland
  • Indentitarian Action, from Chine
  • Issuy-Kai, from Japan
  • Dayaar Mongol, from Mongolia
  • The New Political Party, from Thailand
  • The National Alliance for Democracy, from Thailand
  • The Worker’s Party of Social Justice, from the Czech Republic
  • Front Nasionaal, from South Africa
  • The National Movement, from Poland
  • National Democracy, from the Czech Republic
  • The Bulgarian National Union, from Bulgaria
  • The Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), a Third Positionist neo-Nazi organization in the United States whose political wing is the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP). The TYN/TWP is part of the American neo-fascist movement known as the “Alt-Right“, and has been actively working to network fascist groups in the United States, and in 2016 joined the fascist coalition named the Aryan Nationalist Alliance and later that year founded the Nationalist Front, a coalition of far-right groups in the United States
  • Millennium, also known as the Italian Communitarian Party, an Eurasianist organization who shares an ideology close to that of Aleksandr Dugin’s neo-Eurasianism and has been cooperating with Dugin for years. Millennium has sent “anti-fascist” volunteers to eastern Ukraine to support Novorossiya
  • The League of the South, a member of the TWP’s Nationalist Front [archive]
  • The American Freedom Party
  • The American Renaissance, part of the American neo-fascist movement known as the “Alt-Right
  • The British National Party
  • Tomislav Sunic
  • David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan
  • Kevin McDonald
  • The Serbian Radical Party
  • Sam Dickson, a former lawyer for the Ku Klux Klan
  • The Russian National Cultural Center
  • Rodina
  • The Russian Imperial Movement
  • The Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a Syrian fascist party which I explore in the next part of this post

Which leads us to the war in Syria, where the fascist right has supported the Damascus regime, with the far-right all around the world rallying around Assad. It might be surprising at first, unless one is aware of the ties between the Ba’ath regime and the far-right going back to the days of the Cold War, when Hafez al-Assad sheltered Alois Brunner, the assistant of Adolf Eichmann. Brunner would help Assad restructure the Ba’athist state’s secret services on a model based on the Gestapo and the Waffen-SS. Another important link between the Syrian regime and fascists worldwide is the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.

The Syrian Social Nationalist Party

The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) is a fascist organization founded in 1932 by Antun Saadeh, an admirer of Hitler who was well-acquainted in Nazism, and is described as a “Levantine clone of the Nazi party in almost every aspect”, being extremely anti-Semitic from its onset (which was about a decade before the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of the colonial Israeli state), adopting a reversed swastika as party symbol and singing the party’s anthem to the tune of Deutschland über Alles, the national anthem by the Nazi regime. Saadeh would later however come to openly deny his organization was fascist after an attempt by the SSNP to obtain assistance in the form of military training from Nazi Germany was rejected by the then German consul to Syria, though his party never ceased to be a fascist organization in practice, as evidenced by a reactionary diatribe on the Facebook page of its Iraqi branch in 2017 railing against “Cultural Marxism”, political correctness and feminism [archive].

The SSNP’s ideology seeks the establishment of a “Greater Syria” [archive] which would include the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Cyprus and the Sinai, corresponding roughly to the borders of the ancient neo-Assyrian and neo-Babylonian Empires, and it differs from Nazi ideology in that rejects racialist conception of a Syrian nation and bases it instead on geographical and cultural terms, thus making the SSNP’s ideology closer to that of Francis Yockey and the European New Right.

In 1949, a series of three coups happened in Syria, the first overthrowing Syria’s first president and the third leading to Adib Shishakli, a military officer from the SSNP, seizing power and imposing military rule under which newspapers were banned and all political parties dissolved [archive]. Far from being an enemy of Israel, Shishakli’s regime accepted funding from the US in exchange of settling Palestinian refugees in Syria and giving them Syrian citizenship as part of the imperialist erasure of the Palestinian people while still supported by the SSNP. Shishakli would later be overthrown in a coup by the Syrian Communist Party and the Ba’ath Party in 1954 and the SSNP was banned in Syria in 1955 after a SSNP member assassinated Adnan al-Malki, an army officer from the Ba’ath Party.

Following Hafez al-Assad coming to power and the Lebanese Civil War during which the Lebanese branch of the SSNP allied with the Palestine Liberation Organization, Hezbollah and the Syrian army, the SSNP and the Syrian regime moved closer since Assad saw the SSNP as a useful proxy in Lebanon while the SSNP saw Assad as one way through which their project of a Greater Syria could be established due to Assad’s attempts to gain hegemony on Lebanon and Palestine. Thus the SSNP was slowly tolerated under Hafez’s dictatorship and under his son Bashar, the SSNP was allowed to join the Ba’ath led ruling coalition, and was legalized in 2005. When the crisis in Syria started in 2011, the SSNP threw its weight behind Bashar al-Assad, participating in pro-government demonstrations and fighting on the side of the state forces, and while the SSNP had joined the Syrian parliamentary opposition coalition in 2012, it withdrew from the coalition in 2014 because unlike its other members it supported the re-election of Bashar al-Assad.

The SSNP, Fascists and Syria

Before the outbreak of the Syrian Revolution, Issa el-Ayoubi, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of the SSNP [archive] who is presently the vice-president of the Voltaire Network [archive], attended the Axis for Peace conference by conspiracist Thierry Meyssan in 2005 [archive] (see below). The SSNP and the Lebanese branch of the Baath Party appear to have contributed interviews to an edition of Eurasianist magazine Geopolitica in 2007 to which Claudio Mutti, Tiberio Graziani and Webster Tarpley also contributed to [archive]. The unsurprising result was that since the people’s uprising started in Syria, Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah media consistently ran a number of conspiracy theorists more or less close to the fascist network including William Engdahl [archive], Webster Tarpley [archive] (who was in Syria in 2011 [archive]), Chossudovsky [archive], Thierry Meyssan [archive] and Kevin Barrett [archive] who immediately branded the uprising as a Western plot.

Conspiracy Theorists

F. William Engdahl and Webster Tarpley

William Engdahl and Webster Tarpley are “former” members of the LaRouche Movement, who are now professional conspiracy theorists associated with larger fascist circles where they promote conspiracies with a distinctly LaRouchite flavor.

While Engdahl claims to no longer be associated with far-right or conspiracist groups, he has been involved in 2011 discussions concerning the creation of a Eurasian Union with Aleksandr Dugin [archive]. Wikileaks employee, long-time (from 2000 until now) Zavtra contributor [archive] and Holocaust denier Israel Shamir, who had handed unredacted cables to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko a year before, attended these discussions.

Engdahl is presently on the Advisory Board of Veterans Today [archive], a virulently anti-Semitic website which promotes Holocaust denial extensively [archive] and lists Ernst Zundel on its Editorial Board’s In Memoriam section. In the introduction on Engdahl’s own website which carefully omits his involvement with LaRouche, he is listed as a Research Associate for the Centre for Research on Globalization [archive], a conspiracist website which describes itself as “a major source on the New World Order”. Engdahl is on the scientific committee of the Eurasianist journal Geopolitica, whose editor is Tiberio Graziani, himself a member of the High Council [archive] of Aleksandr Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement. Engdahl and Dugin are also both on the board of Eurasia, an Eurasianist journal headed by Claudio Mutti.

[Note: Aymeric Chauprade is on the Scientific Committee of Geopolitica.]

Engdahl also contributes to the New Eastern Outlook [archive], a journal published by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which strangely lists Engdahl’s website and the Holocaust denying Veterans Today as media partners [archive]. Content found on the New Eastern Outlook includes Islamophobic conspiracy theories [archive], Soros conspiracy theories [archive], “globalist” conspiracy theories [archive], “Rothschild” conspiracy theories [archive], and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Russian Revolution [archive]. Webster Tarpley, on the other hand, wrote around 110 articles for the Voltaire Network of Thierry Meyssan between 2009 and 2016 [archive] and since then appears to have founded his own conspiracist outlet [archive] named The American System Network.

When the Arab Spring started, RT hosted Engdahl, who claimed

RT hosted Tarpley too, where he claimed that:

Kevin Barrett

A PhD holder in Islamic Studies, Kevin Barrett is conspiracy theorist who regularly blames “Zionists” and Mossad for various crises in a way that, far from being legitimate leftist critiques of Zionism and the Israeli state, are in fact rooted in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. About Barrett, Matthew Lyons of Political Research Associates says that “when someone like Barrett talks about ‘Zionism,’ he’s not really talking about the movement of Jewish nationalism that created and supports the state of Israel, he’s talking about Jews — the demonic scapegoat mythical version of the Jews.”

Barrett happens to be a member of the Editorial Board of Veterans Today [archive] along with Engdahl, and contributes to the No Lies Radio, a conspiracist channel devoted mainly to 9/11 conspiracy theories and claiming the War on Terror is itself part of an elaborate conspiracy where jihadists are a tool for the US to create a “New World Order”, and to the American Free Press, a white nationalist and anti-Semitic publication which is also the successor of the Spotlight newspaper published by Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby.

RT hosted Barrett multiple times, where he claimed that:

Thierry Meyssan and the Voltaire Network

In a trajectory paralleling that of Lyndon LaRouche, Thierry Meyssan started as a leftist in the 90s as a member of the French left-wing Parti Radical de Gauche, and founded the Voltaire Network as a source of investigations into the far-right and in support of secularism before moving into the milieu of conspiracy theories in the 2000s by publishing 9/11: The Big Lie and Pentagate, two conspiracist books alleging the 9/11 attacks had been done by the US military-industrial complex to find a pretext for a supposedly long-planned war on Afghanistan, and which were among the prime vehicles for 9/11 conspiracy theories worldwide.

The following years were marked by increasing anti-Semitism on the Voltaire Network, with former members testifying administrators were speaking of “Jewish lobbies” and branded Jewish members of the Network involved in Palestinian solidarity as “Zionists” due to the influence of red-brown militants advocating for querfronts against Western imperialism, and Meyssan seeking to obtain financing from various authoritarian states. In 2005, Meyssan admitted Claude Karnoouh, a Holocaust denier, to the administrative council of the Voltaire Network during a general assembly where an anti-Semitic movie by Dieudonné Mbala Mbala was played.

[Note: Dieudonné Mbala Mbala, more commonly known as simply Dieudonné, started as a left-wing anti-racist activist opposed to the French National Front in the 90s before moving to the far-right in the 2000s, associating with neo-fascist Alain Soral and allying to Jean-Marie le Pen (who became the godfather of Dieudonné’s daughter), platforming Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson and disparaging Holocaust memorial in 2008, and wishing atrocities committed during the Holocaust on a Jewish celebrity in 2013, following which his shows were banned.]

In 2005, Meyssan organized the Axis for Peace Colloquium, whose theme was that 9/11 was an inside job, and that al-Qaeda is a proxy of the CIA and the MI5 against Syria and Iran, something LaRouche had also asserted two years prior [archive]. This conference [archivewas attended by [archive], among others [archive]:

In 2006, Meyssan visited Syria along with Dieudonné, Alain Soral and Frederic Chatillon, who organized their visit, and toured Syria with Manaff Tlass, the son of Mustafa Tlass, the former Syrian Minister of Defense and the head of the Syrian secret services under Hafez al-Assad. Mustafa Tlass had himself been trained by Alois Brunner, a Nazi war criminal and assistant of Adolf Eichmann who participated in the Holocaust before fleeing to Syria after WWII and helping Hafez al-Assad restructure the Syrian secret services on a model inspired by the Gestapo and the Waffen-SS.

[Note: Frédéric Chatillon is a former president of the far-right Groupe Union Défence (GUD) and presently an advisor to Marine Le Pen. Chatillon owns Riwal, a company which works with the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, and was an associate of Mustafa Tlass. When the popular protest movement started in Syria in 2011, Chatillon immediately blamed it on the “Zionist lobby”, and in November 2014 Chatillon’s GUD organized an “Awakening of Nations” conference [archive] whose participants included fascist groups like CasaPound, the Republican Social Movement, Liga Joven, ELAM, Nation, the Mouvement D’Action Sociale, and Synthèse Nationale.]

[Note: Alain Soral is a former French Marxist who was involved in the French Communist Party in the early to mid-90s before advocating for a red-brown alliance between the far-right and the far-left against capitalism and “global Zionism” in the late 90s and later joining the National Front. Soral became a friend of Marine le Pen and was an advisor of Jean-Marie le Pen during the latter’s presidential campaign of 2007 and integrated the Central Committee of the National Front [archive]. He created his own neo-fascist organization, Égalité et Réconciliation, that same year with Dieudonné and former GUD members Jildaz Mahé O’Chinal and Philippe Péninque, and supported by Frédéric Chatillon. Soral left the National Front in 2009 and has written the foreword of Aleksandr Dugin’s book The Fourth Political Theory. Soral is also in charge of [archive] far-right publishing house Kontre Kulture (whose name is reminiscent of the position of the National Bolshevik Party in the post-Soviet Russian counter-culture, and of the European New Right’s metapolitical approach for cultural hegemony, a rhetoric which is also present within the US reactionary movement) which has published, among others, Mein Kampf and Alain de Benoist.]

[Note: Another collaborator of Dieudonne and Soral [archive], Kemi Seba, who is the ideologue of a fascist form of Kemetism and Pan-Africanism inspired by the Nation of Islam. Organizations led by Seba enagaged in openly anti-Semitic activity and were been banned in France as result, and in 2009 he founded the Mouvement des Damnés de l’Impérialisme (Movement of the Wretched of Imperialism, abbreviated MDI) which, despite its name harking back to revolutionary Franz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, is in fact a fascist organization which describes itself as being “ethnopluralist”, promotes Holocaust denier Ginnette Skandrani (see below) and whose membership included Holocaust denier and Cambodian Genocide denier Serge Thion. Seba collaborates with Hezbollah, was received by Mahmud Ahmadinejad in 2015 [archive], and more recently was invited and welcomed to Moscow by Aleksandr Dugin [archive] in December 2017 with the aim of forming an alliance to create a “multipolar world” [archive] after he was deported from Senegal to France earlier that same year.

Close to this group is Yahia Gouasmi, who had once collaborated with Iranian intelligence in an assassination attempt against an Iranian dissident. Gouasmi founded and runs the Zahra Center [archive], which in 2008 organized a Quds Day rally (an initiative which was itself started by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini), attended by [archive] Dieudonne, Kemi Seba’s MDI, and Holocaust denier Ginnette Skandrani. In 2009, Gouasmi started the “Anti-Zionist Party” which, despite its name is not merely anti-Zionist and does not only oppose the Israeli state, but is outright anti-Semitic, its party program claiming France is controlled by a “Zionist lobby” and that “power needs to be given to France and French people again” [archive], and its candidates [archive] for the European elections of 2009 including fascists Dieudonne and Alain Soral, Emannuelle Grilli (former member of the far-right Renouveau Francais and member of the national-socialist Parti Solidaire Francais) and Holocaust deniers Maria Poumier and Ginnette Skandrani. Gouasmi appears to have met Hassan Nasrallah and been interviewed by Iranian state tv network SAHAR according to [archive] the website of another organization run by Gouasmi, the Shiite Federation of France (note: one must bear in mind that Gouasmi’s organization is not representative of Shi’a Islam and does not represent French Shiites either. Principled radical anti-racism requires fighting against anti-Shi’a sectarianism).]

In 2008, Meyssan would declare [archive] he is willing to work with everyone from the far-right to the far-left against imperialism, effectively echoing both LaRouche and the European New Right, while also announcing he works with al-Manar, the official channel of Hezbollah, and with Iranian state media, as well as allowing Iranian authorities to publish his work. Therefore, conspiracist Meyssan unsurprisingly declared that the 2009 protests in Iran against electoral fraud was a “Color Revolution” plotted by the United States [archive] and especially Hillary Clinton [archive], a position similar to LaRouche’s who blamed the protest movement on the British. Meyssan’s conspiracy theories based on anti-American geopolitics appear to be influenced by both LaRouche and the European New Right, while his support for Hugo Chavez is something he shares only with the latter movement as LaRouche believes Chavez is a puppet of the British.

Meyssan’s website publishes William Engdahl [archive] (quoting his conspiracy theories about the Arab Spring in 2011 itself [archive]), who himself quotes Meyssan [archive] (whom he called a Damascus-based French Middle-Eastern Expert) in his own articles. Meyssan is himself a Katehon contributor [archive]. Meyssan’s website is listed by Soral’s Égalité et Réconciliation as a friendly website [archive], publishes Leonid Savin of Dugin’s International Eurasianist Movement [archive], and Mikhail Leontyev [archive], who himself references Meyssan in his articles [archive]. Meyssan has been hosted on RT too concerning the war [archivein Syria [archive] and Libya [archive].

Michel Chossudovsky and Global Research

Meyssan’s website is also an associate of The Center for Research on Globalization (more commonly known as Global Research), founded, edited and directed by Michel Chossudovsky, a former left-wing economist involved in the anti-globalization movement and Professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa who has since then moved towards Milosevic apologia [archive] and promoting the same idea as Meyssan and LaRouche that 9/11 was a CIA false flag plot whose aim is to usher the “New World Order” [archive].

Global Research called the Voltaire Network its “partner media group” in 2011 [archive], has been republishing Meyssan as from 2002 [archive] and has been quoted by Meyssan concerning Syria in September 2011 itself [archive] (Chossudovsky himself was a Voltaire Network contributor from 2009 to 2011 [archive]). Global Research has been [archivequoted by LaRouche, and Global Research reshared [archivearticles [archiveby [archiveLaRouche [archive] and by [archiveAleksandr Dugin [archive].

Among Global Research‘s former and present “Research Associates” are William Engdahl [archive] and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya [archive]. Engdahl, Nazemroaya and Chossudovsky all happen to be on the scientific committee of the Eurasianist journal Geopolitica, whose editor is Tiberio Graziani, a member of the High Council [archive] of Aleksandr Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement. Another “Research Associate” of Global Research is James Petras, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist who claims the United States is controlled by “Jewish power” [archive], blames Israel for 9/11 [archive] (while there are valid criticisms of the Israeli state and its policies, this is clearly an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory) and the 2008 financial crisis [archive] on something called the “Zionist Power Configuration”, which appears to be another formulation of the neo-Nazi “Zionist Occupation Government” anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, and has been criticized by leftist writers for this). Petras is [archivea [archiveregular [archive] on Holocaust denier Kevin Barrett’s show.

Chossudovsky is also a member of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation founded by former Malaysian Prime Minister and virulent anti-Semite Mahathir Mahamad, and collaborated with the Perdana Global Peace Foundation [archive]. Chossudovsky spoke at a conference on the “New World Order” by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation in 2015.

The Global Research website reflects its owner’s present membership within fascist circles, extensively [archivepublishing [archive9/11 [archiveconspiracy [archivetheories [archive] as well as a large number of other far-right conspiracist material presented as left-wing analysis (a phenomenon termed Confusionnism by French anti-fascists) such as:

Global Research also reshares posts [archive] from InfoWars [archive] and Global Research is itself [archivereshared [archive] by Infowars. Chossudovsky himself has been hosted by Alex Jones [archiveas well [archiveand by [archiveThe Corbett Report, another conspiracist outlet rambling about the “New World Order“[archive] and the “globalists” [archive] and hosts far-right figures such as Stefan Molyneux [archive]. James Corbett, who runs The Corbett Report, is himself the Film Director and Producer for Global Research TV [archiveand [archivehas been [archivehosted on RT [archive].

As early as 2007 and 2009, the Centre was publishing conspiracies concerning Syria and oil pipelines by Nazemroaya [archive] and Engdahl [archive], and as soon as the Syrian protest movement started in 2011, Chossudovsky the conspiracist himself advanced it was an imperialist plot to destabilize Syria [archive]. Chossudovsky, who was already a guest of RT since at least 2010 [archive], would be then given a platform on Russia Today, now known as RTto [archivevoice out [archivethese conspiracies [archive] on multiple occasions [archive].

The SSNP’s Networking

These are the recorded cases of the SSNP’s activity with the participation of other far-right groups I was able to find following the outbreak of the Syrian Revolution:

2011

Already in November 2011, Stefano Bonilauri of Claudio Mutti’s Stato e Potenza (see further below in the section about Kiyul Chung) visited the Assad regime on the behalf of the Coordination of the Eurasia Project, a Duginist organization [archive] (of which he is the director and signed an open letter [archive] to the European Parliament in support of Muammar Gaddafi in March of that year). Ouday Ramadan, the SSNP’s Italian representative, was photographed together with Bonilauri in Damascus.

2012

In April 2012, members of the Italian far-right Zenit Cultural Association (which lists Mutti’s Eurasia journal on its blog [archive], and whose leader Matteo Caponetti also founded the European Solidarity Front for Kosovo [archive]) and Controtempo groups organized [archive] a conference with Jamal Abo Abbas of the Syrian Community in Italy organization and Matteo Bernabei, editor of the far-right newspaper Rinascita. Some weeks later, Abo Abbas and Bernabei led a delegation to Syria which included Filippo Fortunato Pilato, an Italian fascist from Forza Nuova [archive].

In June 2012, Ouday Ramadan, the SSNP’s Italian representative and councillor of the Italian municipality of Cascina for the Party of Italian Communists (which would later rename itself as the Communist Party of Italy and then as the Italian Communist Party), and Filippo Fortunato Pilato, organized a protest in support of Assad whose participants included:

  • Udo Gaudenzi, a former member of Lotta di Popoli and editor of Rinascita
  • Fulvio Grimaldi and Marinella Correggia
  • Guiseppe “Joe” Fallisi, a singer and self-proclaimed Anarchist whose support for Gaddafi and Assad led him to associate with fascists
  • Hilarion Capucci
  • Jamal Abo Abbas
  • Giulietto Chiesa
  • Zenit
  • The European Social Movement
  • Stato e Potenza

In September 2012 [archive], Syrian Free Press, a pro-Assad website ran by Ramadan and Pilato [archive], and the Syrian Community in Italy association, organized a conference where the speakers included [archive]:

  • Ouday Ramadan
  • Hilarion Capucci
  • Ugo Gaudenzi
  • Fernando Rossi
  • Souaid Sbai
  • Mimmo Srour
  • Stefano Bonilauri
  • Joe Fallisi
  • Ernesto Ferrante
  • Alessandro Catalano

Another delegation [archive] led by Ouday Ramadan and including Stefano de Simone and Giovanni Feola, the founders of CasaPound, visited Syria shortly after the chemical attacks that same year.

2013

In June 2013, Ramadan and Pilato led the visit of a delegation to the Assad regime by the European Solidarity Front for Syria (ESFS), a coalition of various fascist organizations united in support for the Assad regime and whose coordinator and responsible is Matteo Caponetti [archive]. The delegation’s participants included:

  • the former Italian Communist Party senator Fernando Rossi
  • Stefano de Simone and Giovanni Feola, the founders of CasaPound
  • Fernando Rossi, a former senator for the Party of Italian Communists
  • Cristiano Perro of Stato e Potenza

In June 2013, a delegation including Bartosz Bekier, the leader of Falanga who had taken part in a pro-Assad demonstration at the invitation of the Syrian embassy in Poland the previous year, Frank Creyelman and Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang, Nick Griffin, Roberto Fiore, Luc Michel and Mateusz Piskorski visited Lebanon and met [archive] with the head of the SSNP’s youth branch, Wissam Samia, and members of Hezbollah before visiting Syria where it met the Syrian Prime Minister Wail al-Halki and the Deputy Prime Minister Faisal Mokdad.

In July 2013, the Greek Strasserist group Black Lily, which is part of the ESFS and shares actions [archive] of the ESFS on its blogs [archive], claimed to have sent volunteers in Syria to fight on the side of the Assad regime and Hezbollah [archive].

In September 2013, the ESFS led another delegation [archive] to Syria which was received in the Syrian parliament. Its participants were SSNP member Ouday Ramadan (described as “the ideologue of the Front” in a report), Fernando Rossi, Cristiano Piero of Stato o Potenza, Davide di Stefano and Giovanni Feola of CasaPound. Videos uploaded on Sol.ID’s channel show that Jamal Abo Abbas was also part of the delegation, which was received by high tanking members of the Syrian government.

In November 2013, the Jornadas [archivede la Disidencia [archive] were organized by the Republican Social Movement (MSR), a Spanish Third Positionist fascist group. Again, the SSNP was among the participants which included:

  • Alexandre Gabriac from Jeunes Nations
  • Jens Puhse from the NPD
  • Pedro Cantero López [archive] from the National-Syndicalist group Authentic Falange
  • Tomislav Sunic
  • Hassan Sakr, the SSNP’s Head of Foreign Affairs
  • Valentin Rusov
  • Aleksandr Dugin
  • The Antigones
  • Ernst Zundel

2014

In 2014, the SSNP received a “fact finding mission” [archive] from the European Solidarity Front for Syria again, the visit being published on Syrian state media [archive].

In 2014, Ouday Ramadan and Claudio Mutti worked together on an Italian translation of Antun Saadeh’s book [archive]

2015

In 2015, the SSNP was one of the various far-right parties who were present at the founding of the World National-Conservative Movement, an attempt at forming an international coalition of fascist organizations.

In June 2015, Hassan Sakr was welcomed [archive] at the European Parliament by the Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF), and Hassan Sakr spoke at a conference organized [archive] by the APF.

In July 2015, the European Solidarity Front for Syria’s members met with Golden Dawn MEPs at the initiative of Jamal Abo Abbas [archive].

The APF sent a “fact-finding committee” [archive] to Syria in 2015 where they met with members of the Ba’ath Party and the SSNP.

In September 2015, a delegation of the ESFS and the Blocco Studentesco (CasaPound’s youth wing) visited Syria [archive] and attended an International Youth Conference organized in Damascus from the 20th to the 24th of September [archive].

In September 2015, CasaPound’s affiliate Sol.ID organised a “Mediterranean Solidarity” conference in Rome, with the sponsors being Al-Manar (for whom Thierry Meyssan works) and the Syrian Ministry of Tourism (with which Frédéric Chatillon has worked). Among the participants were the following:

  • Rima Fakhri, from the political council of Hezbollah
  • Sayyed Ammar al-Moussaw [archive], the head of Hezbollah’s foreign affairs
  • Alberto Palladino, a CasaPound member who had been convicted for attacking left-wing activists
  • Franco Nerozzi
  • Giovanni Feoli from CasaPound and the responsible of the Italian branch of the European Solidarity Front for Syria
  • Luca Bertoni of the Lombardy-Russia Cultural Association
  • Ouday Ramadan, the Italian representative of the SSNP
  • Hassan Sakr, the SSNP’s Head of Foreign Affairs
  • Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross

[Note: To seek to appeal to far-right and the far-left alike and forming querfronts, the organizers of the conference also sent an invitation to Maher al-Taher of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for Palestinian Liberation who rejected the invitation after investigating the organizations and participants of the conference and finding out they were fascists, and condemned its organizers’ misuse and appropriation of the PFLP and of Maher al-Taher’s name [archive].]

[Note: The Syrian Ministry of Tourism has worked with Riwal, a company owned by Frédéric Chatillonan advisor to Marine Le Pen, former president of the French far-right Groupe Union Defense and an associate of Mustafa Tlass, who headed the Syrian secret services (the same ones reorganized under Hafez al-Assad by Alois Brunner, who trained Tlass – not a coincidence, Tlass has published anti-Semitic blood libel conspiracy theories).]

In November 2015, Sol.ID organized an event where Giovanni Feola of CasaPound, Carlomanno Adinolfi of Primato Nazionale and Jamal Abo Abbas (whom the Italy-based Observatory of Repression notes describes himself as a Syrian fascist) were scheduled to speak. A similar event in Portogruaro has been cancelled after popular mobilization against the fascists.

2016

In February 2016, a delegation by the ESFS led by Giovanni Feola was received by the Syrian Minister of Tourism [archive] and visited Hama [archive].

In 2016, the APF sent a delegation to Syria, meeting with both the Lebanese and Syrian branches of the SSNP, which it called its “sister party” [archive], asserting that their “practical plans really developed”, with future events being planned.

2017

In February 2017, members of Primato Nazionale visited Syria as part of a delegation by Sol.ID and the ESFS to Syria [archive]

In 2017, the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (AACCESS), whose excutive director Bassam Khawam is a member of the SSNP, funded the fact-finding committee of US Representative Tulsi Gabbard and traveled with her to Syria where she met with Bashar al-Assad. Tulsi Gabbard herself has ties to Steve Bannon, the editor of US far-right publication Breitbart, and is a supporter of India’s far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Gabbard criticized the revocation of Modi’s visa to the US following the anti-Muslim pogroms in the Indian state of Gujarat of which Modi was chief minister in 2002) and his ruling far-right Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and in 2013 Gabbard was hosted at a gala dinner by the India Foundation [archive], a far-right think tank affiliated to the BJP. The BJP is a political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a fascist organization which supported the Axis powers during the Second World War, has been behind increasing violence against Muslims and Christians in India, and which recently moved closer to the regime of Bashar al-Assad while obtaining support from Assad concerning India’s brutal occupation of Kashmir. Among those who accompanied Gabbard to Syria was Dennis Kucinich, whose multiple visits to Syria and meetings with Bashar al-Assad had been arranged by Khawam, who has donated to the campaign of Dennis Kucinich [archive]. Strangely, Kucinich has been hosted by Chossudovsky previously [archive].

The trend among these fascist organizations has been to describe Syria as a secular, sovereign country under attack by an “international Jewish plot” which uses jihadists as footsoldiers, a conspiratorial rhetoric which strangely is echoed among many sections of the Left today. Despite multiple attempts to explain the far-right’s support for Assad over the past years, most of them appear to have focused on the association between Hafez al-Assad and Alois Brunner rather than the role of the SSNP and of the network associated to Thierry Meyssan, from which the initial impulse to reach out to fascists internationally came.

There is also the question of how to approach Hezbollah. Many on the Left rightly supported it as a force of liberation following its brave resistance against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, however nearly a decade later the nature of Hezbollah has changed, going from resistance movement to mercenary for a fascistic regime, and its channel (which hosts the likes of Thierry [archiveMeyssan [archive], David Duke collaborator Ken [archiveO’Keefe [archive], Kevin [archiveBarrett [archive]) sponsoring conferences of CasaPound.

Mussalaha and Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross

Another organization part of this network of fascists is Mussalaha, which claims to be a “community-based non-violent popular stemming from within the Syrian civil society” [archive], yet is effectively a creation of the Syrian state [archive] and is under the authority of the Ministry of Reconciliation, which is occupied by Ali Haidar, the leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party [archive], thus being a front for both the Assad regime and for the same SSNP which is cultivating ties with many fascist organizations all across Europe.

Mussalaha’s representative is Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, a Carmelite nun who had previously worked with and is close friends with Jocelyne Khoueiry [archive], a member of Kataeb (Lebanese Phalangists) who were allied to the Israeli forces and responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacre during the Lebanese Civil War (Hillary Clinton campaign aide Peter Daou was a member of Kataeb during the war [archive]). Mother Agnes Mariam has been described as an instrument of Assad’s regime by Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, a Jesuit priest who worked with the non-sectarian grassroots opposition to the Assad regime.

Mother Agnes’ promoters include the Rassemblement pour la Syrie, a French organization whose activities include:

Mother Agnes-Mariam herself has been hosted [archive] by Civitas (on whose channel are featured interviews by fascist Alain Soral [archive] and “Freemason plot” conspiracy theories [archive]) and by TV Libertes [archive], a far-right confusionnist French channel founded by former French National Front members and by Phillipe Miliau, a former member of Alain De Benoist’s GRECE and former member of the Bloc Identitaire, a far-right European New Right organization.

[Note: Civitas has worked with [archive] Kataeb and SOS Chrétiens d’Orient, a far-right Catholic fundamentalist group close to the National Front which was responsible for arranging the delegation of far-right French politicians to Syria in 2016, led by Thierry Mariani, co-founder of The Popular Right (the hard right wing of Les Républicains) and which included Julien Rochedy, the former national director of the French National Front’s youth wing.]

Among the events Mother Agnes participated in are a conference promoted by Dieudonne’s and Alain Soral’s Egalite et Reconciliation fascist party and attended by John Laughland [archive] (the Director of Studies of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation of Natalia Narochnitskaya [archive]) and conferences [archiveby Laughland’s and Narochnitskaya’s think tank [archive]. Both Laughland and Narochnitskaya are on the Scientific Committee of Geopolitica together with Chossudovsky, Chauprade, Engdahl and Nazemroaya (Narochnitskaya is also a member of the Izborsky Club [archive]).

Thierry Meyssan has interviewed [archive] and published Mother Agnes Mariam [archiveon his website as early as May 2011 itself [archive], around two months after the start of the protest movement in Syria, which makes it not surprising at all that Mother Agnes Mariam then claimed the Ghouta chemical attacks were “false flag” attacks, even as Syrian activist Razan Zaitouneh, who was present in Ghouta, documented them to be real and done by the Assad regime.

Global Research has platformed [archive] her after republishing an article quoting Mother Agnes Mariam by Marie-Ange Patrizio [archive], a “journalist” of Meyssan’s Voltaire Network [archive].

Mother Agnes has also been interviewed [archiveby the LaRouche Movement [archive] twice in 2013, and by the UK Column [archive], another confusionnist media platform which posts Soros conspiracy theories [archive], Rothschild conspiracy theories [archive], and rails about [archivethe “globalists” [archive] and is affiliated to the British Constitutional Group [archive], a right-wing anti-EU organization header by Roger Hayes, himself a former UKIP member. In 2015, Mother Agnes also spoke at a conference by CasaPound.

These associations and the nature of Mussalaha as I explored in the above sections clearly position Mother Agnes-Mariam as a member of the far-right with fascist connections, so how did she manage to mislead peace activists involved in laudable causes into supporting a fascistic regime?

The answer lies in a certain Alan Lonergan, who is apparently involved in Irish-Palestian solidarity and is on the board of Sadaka [archive], the Irish Palestinian Alliance. However Lonergan is also the European Media Representative of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation [archive] of Mahathir Mohamad who is a virulent anti-Semite (Lonergan’s Twitter account unsurprisingly reveals a fondness for conspiracist media, especially Global Research), and of which Michel Chossudovsky is also a member. Lonergan arranged for Mother Agnes Mariam to meet Susan Dirgham and for her to visit Ireland [archive] in 2012, where she met Mairead Maguire. In Ireland, Mother Agnes Mariam was received by Sinn Fein deputy Sean Crowe at the Leinster House [archive], an event attended by a certain “Philipo Pilato”, called an Italian journalist though this is strangely the name of the same Forza Nuova member who organized pro-Assad protests and delegations and of whom a blog post was reshared by Global Research [archive] while the blog of Pilato’s own fascist Catholic fundamentalist Group for the Liberation of the Holy Land organization features the interview of Mother Agnes Mariam by Thierry Meyssan [archive] – Pilato appears to have also been a signatory of a petition by Lonergan’s organization [archive].

[Note: I might be stating the obvious here by saying that we must be firm in our commitment to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against the colonial Israeli state (I myself support the One-State Solution proposed by Ahmad Sa’adat, the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), while also being wary of attempts by fascists and anti-Semites who try infiltrating our movements and fighting these reactionaries. A struggle rooted in principled anti-racism fights against the nationalist and colonialist ideology of Zionism and against anti-Semitism, and against both imperialism and fascism.]

Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross thus led a Mussalaha “peace” delegation to Syria in 2013 including Maguire, Paul Larudee, Michael Maloof (senior writer for far-right website World Net Daily),Tim King (editor of Salem-News, a conspiracist [archive], Holocaust denying [archive] and virulently [archive] anti-Semitic website [archive]), and Marinella Correggia (an Italian journalist who runs Sibialiria [archive], a pro-Assad website promoting Mother Agnes Mariam [archive] and her Mussalaha [archive] since at least 2012, and linking to conspiracist websites such as Apophenia, the French format of Global ResearchNSNBC, and WhoWhatWhy; Coreggia herself had been present to far-right demonstrations in support of Assad the previous year).

[Note: Paul Larudee’s report whitewashes Maloof’s and King’s backgrounds while mentioning that Mussalaha’s president is Hassan Yaacoub, a member of the Free Patriotic Movement party headed by Michel Aoun, itself allied to Hezbollah. This alliance, known as the March 8 Alliance, also includes the Lebanese branch of the SSNP and the Lebanese branch of the Syrian Ba’ath Party.]

Mother Agnes Mariam was scheduled to speak at the International Antiwar Conference by the Stop The War Coalition in November 2013, but withdrew after Owen Jones and Jeremy Scahill refused to speak at the conference if Mother Agnes Mariam were to be present. Coincidence or not, Declan Hayes, a contributor to Katehon [archive], posted pictures on his blog [archive] of him meeting Jeremy Corbyn, with Mother Agnes Mariam present at the event (while Corbyn himself should not be blamed for the actions of a fascist entryist, this is nevertheless still legitimately worrying). The next year, Hayes and Mother Agnes Mariam welcomed a visit by Mairead Maguire to Syria [archive] sponsored by the Unified Union of United Ummah, an Iranian NGO.

In 2015, Mairead Maguire led another delegation to Syria [archive], on the invitation of Mother Agnes Mariam, Patriarch Gregorios III and Sheikh Sharif al-Martini, a member of the Mussalaha. Among the other members of the delegation were Sharmine Narwani (a “journalist” who works with Holocaust deniers – see below), Feroze Mithiborwala (a 9/11 Truther [archive], who believes the 2008 Mumbai attacks were a CIA-FBI-Mossad conspiracy [archive] and claims that Osama bin Laden has been dead since 2001 [archive] – Mithiborwala unsurprisingly uses Engdahl as source in his writing [archive]), Maria Monomenova (a collaborator of the KPRF and of Leonid Ivashov who has worked at his Academy of Geopolitical Problems [archive] and writes for the Russian Folk Line, which openly advocates for Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality (the state ideology of the Tsar Nicholas I) – Russian Folk Line’s editor-in-chief Anatoly Stepanov [archive] is also the Deputy Chairman of the Saint Petersburg branch of the Izborsk Club [archive]). Alan Lonergan was also listed as a delegate but could not go to Syria and instead acted as Press Officer for the delegation in Beirut.

[Note: this is not an attack on Máiread Maguire’s work for peace in Ireland. This is a critique on how activists with a good history of genuine activism were misled by a fascist entryist posing as a peace activist due to campist politics within the Left, where the war in Syria is one of the most contentious issues, with various leftists from various tendencies taking various positions on the war, going from uncritically supporting all opposition to Assad to uncritically supporting Assad himself, with more principled leftists who oppose both Assad and the reactionary elements of the opposition being stuck in between.]

Some Strange Stalinist Parties

The Workers World Party (WWP)

The Workers World Party is a small Stalinist party formed out of a faction led by Sam Marcy which split in 1958 from the Socialist Workers Party, a US Trotskyist party, due to disagreements between Marcy’s faction’s support for the Chinese revolution and the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian revolution, which was at odds with the positions of the SWP.

The WWP adheres to a crude form of “anti-imperialism” whereby it does not only oppose the United States’ imperialism, but instead dogmatically aligns itself with and offers absolute uncritical support for any entity opposed, at least nominally, to the US no matter how oppressive and reactionary that entity might be, a tendency whose adherents are commonly labelled as “campists“, “tankies” or “anti-imps” within leftist jargon (a more principled radical would instead agree that the United States is indeed an oppressive reactionary capitalist, settler-colonial, racist and imperialist entity which must be opposed, but that many of its opponents are also reactionary and oppressive forces, and that one can stand against US warmongering and against these governments and states). The WWP hence went to the lengths of supporting the Tiananmen Square massacre [archive] and later denying it [archive], defending [archive] the Khmer Rouge [archiveuntil 2000 [archive], Idi Amin [archive], Slobodan [archiveMilosevic [archivemultiple [archivetimes [archive] (more [archivehere [archive]) as well as Radovan Karadzic [archive], Ratko Mladic [archive] and denying [archive] the Bosnian [archivegenocide [archive], glorifying Saddam Hussein [archive] and denying the Kurdish genocide and the Halabja massacre [archive] committed by him (with US support) instead of merely opposing the invasion of Iraq by the US, uncritically supporting [archive] the sectarian insurgency (which included elements which later evolved into Da’esh and the Nusra Front) in Iraq even as it was killing Sufis and Shi’a and attacking leftists, and calling it the “Iraqi resistance” while Iraqi leftists were opposing both the US occupation and the insurgency. Far from stopping war, these grotesque positions of the WWP weakened the US anti-war movement by splitting it and provided the propagandists for the invasion of Iraq, such as former Trotskyist turned neoconservative Christopher Hitchens, with ammunition to attack the whole of the anti-war movement.

The WWP sent members [archiveto support Milosevic [archive] during the Yugoslav War and later sent a delegate to a grouping of Stalinist parties supporting the “Iraqi resistance” [archiveorganized by Subhi Tomaan associate of neo-fascist Thierry Meyssan [archive].

The WWP has been quoting Michel Chossudovsky since the 90s [archiveto defend Milosevic [archive] and is on record for using William Engdahl’s book A Century of War: Anglo-American Politics and the New World Order, whose title betrays an obvious LaRouchite ideological underpinning, as source concerning Myanmar [archive], which might also explain why its publications in the wake of Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan [archive] were no different from Engdahl’s conspiracies based about oil and geopolitics [archive].

This might also explain why the WWP dismissed the 2009 election fraud allegations in Iran and subsequent protests [archive] even as Global Research was publishing similar conspiracies by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist James Petras [archive] also published by Petras on neo-fascist Thierry Meyssan’s Voltaire Network [archive].

These doctrinaire positions of the WWP, as well as its authoritarian tendencies, opportunist strategies, willingness to cooperate with the police [archive] and tendency to attempt to control the coalitions it is part through authoritarian and undemocratic methods means it needs to resort to front groups. One such front group was Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (abbreviated as A.N.S.W.E.R. or the ANSWER Coalition) and when the WWP experienced a split which resulted in the formation of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) in 2004, the ANSWER Coalition became an affiliate of the PSL.

The WWP, Ramsey Clark and LaRouche

Another such front group [archive] of the WWP is the International Action Center (IAC), founded by the former US attorney Ramsey Clark [archive] and which he co-directs with WWP leader Sara Flounders. Ramsey Clark is a strange figure, having served as Attorney General under the administration of US president Lyndon Johnson, during which he was responsible for the creation of the Interdivisional Information Unit to coordinate the FBI’s COINTELPRO and the CIA’s Operation MHCHAOS (under which leftist groups like the Black Panther Party, the Revolutionary Action Movement, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Students for a Democratic Society, army deserters and the anti-war press were targeted) and indicted Benjamin Spock for advocating draft resistance during the Vietnam War. Clark retired from the political arena after Johnson dropped out of the Presidential elections in 1968, and adopted a policy of supporting, advising and defending war criminals and fascists opposed to the US such as:

Following the trial of LaRouche, Clark went from being mere legal representative to full supporter of LaRouche, and the Schiller Institute flew him to a conference organized by LaRouche’s movement in Copenhagen in 1990 where he gave a speech in support of LaRouche painting him as a victim of vilification by the US government because he was supposedly a “danger to the system” [archive]. Around this same time, Clark remained silent about the LaRouchites’ use of his name to insert themselves in the mobilization against the Gulf War, thus enabling LaRouche’s infiltration of the anti-war movement.

Clark traveled with WWP delegations to support Milosevic during the Yugoslav War [archive], attended Milosevic’s funeral in 2006 together with General Leonid Ivashov, Gennady Zyuganov and Sergey Baburin [archive] (then a co-leader of Rodina), co-signed an open letter together with Baburin [archive] in March 2009 in opposition to the independence of Kosovo before attending a pro-Milosevic rally by Serbian ultra-nationalists [archive] in April of that same year. Clark presently co-chairs of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic together with fascist Baburin [archive], who is himself also on the Scientific Committee of Eurasianist journal Geopolitica together with Chauprade, Engdahl, Chossudovsky, Narochnitskaya and Nazemroaya, and on the Scientific Committee of Eurasia with Engdahl and Dugin..

Clark is still associated with the WWP [archive] while also simultaneously maintaining his ties to the LaRouche network, having spoken to multiple LaRouche events in 2014 [archive], and in September 2016, the Schiller Institute held a “Securing World Peace Through Embracing the Common Aims of Mankind” conference whose speakers included:

  • Helga Zepp-LaRouche
  • Jeffrey Steinberg
  • Ramsey Clark [archive]
  • Richard Black, a State Senator for the US state of Virginia
  • Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations [archive]
  • US Congressman Walter Jones

Cynthia McKinney

Another crypto-fascist the WWP has worked with is Cynthia McKinney, a former US Congressperson for the Democratic Party with a history of 9/11 conspiracism and outright anti-Semitism. McKinney has been close to the vice-president of the LaRouche Movement’s Schiller Institute [archive] Amelia Boynton Robinson [archive] since 2005, and in 2009 she wrote an article blaming George Soros of plotting to install a “one-world government” [archive] (another form of far-right “New World Order” conspiracy theories) before later blaming the “Zionists” for her electoral failure after she ran for the 2008 US Presidential elections as candidate for the US Green Party (which was endorsed by the WWP [archive]).

In 2009 itself, McKinney attended a conference by the Perdana foundation of Mahamad Mahathir, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia (whose advisor Matthias Chang she had quoted in her Soros conspiracy article). Cynthia McKinney praised Mahathir on the website of the Green Party and was photographed in company of Holocaust deniers David Pidcock and Michele Renouf.

In 2011, McKinney led a delegation to Libya which included Ramsey Clark and conspiracy theorist Wayne Madsen [archive] where she spoke on Libyan state television, and which was broadcast on Chossudovsky’s Global Research TV [archive]. Neo-fascists Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Thierry Meyssan (who was a contributor to Eurasia [archive], a journal whose editor is neo-fascist Claudio Mutti, a close associate of Dugin and the founder of the pro-Gaddafi Italian-Libyan Friendship Society) and RT journalist Lizzie Phelan were all present in Libya that same year [archive].

Following the delegation, McKinney worked together [archivewith Michel Chossudovsky, conspiracist Wayne Madsen, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya (who was present in Libya together with Thierry Meyssan that same year) on a speaking tour [archive] at the same time the WWP’s International Action Center [archive] and the PSL’s ANSWER coalition were organizing her tour whose participants [archive] included Ramsey Clark, former member of the WWP and co-founder and leader of the PSL Brian Becker and representatives of the Nation of Islam (which was one of the many far-right groups funded by Gaddafi, had worked with LaRouche in the 90s and was already moving close to the Church of Scientology at that time), including [archiveLouis Farrakhan. This prompted a number of Palestinian activists to condemn her position and the ANSWER Coalition prevented Libyans from attending her speaking tour because they opposed McKinney’s pro-Gaddafi positions.

Sara Flounders and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya later both contributed to McKinney’s book on Libya [archive], published by Clarity Press, a publisher which lists Global Research as its partner website [archive], features books from multiple conspiracy theorists [archive] such as James Petras and Paul Craig Roberts and published Nazemroaya’s book The Globalization of NATO [archive], prefaced by Dennis Halliday, a former United Nations official who presently works with Mahathir’s foundation [archive]. The board of Clarity Press includes Chandra Muzaffar [archive], another associate of Mahathir’s foundation [archive].

In November 2012, McKinney as well as Michel Chossudovsky [archive], spoke at a conference [archive], opened by conspiracist James Corbett [archive], by Mahathir’s foundation again, where she framed the war in Syria in the context of anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theories. The next month McKinney and Sara Flounders were both part of a delegation [archive] to Pakistan.

More recent anti-Semitic incidents by McKinney include her promoting [archive] and meeting [archive] Dieudonné, promoting the “Dancing Israelis” 9/11 conspiracy theory [archive] and posting a Global Research article full of anti-Semitic “Rothschild” conspiracy theories on her Facebook [archive]. She has also openly voiced out conspiracy theories concerning the Boston Marathon bombings [archive].

The expected result of McKinney’s flirtations with Holocaust deniers, National Bolsheviks and associates of LaRouche has been that she took on the label of “Alt Left” and allied with Robert David Steele, a former CIA official who openly describes himself as a member of the so-called “Alt-Right” neo-fascist movement, with the aim of fighting the “deep state” in support of Donald Trump, a red-brown initiative named “Unrig” which she promoted on the show of Holocaust denier Kevin Barrett [archive] (on whose show she had already been hosted previously in 2014 [archive]).

The impact of Cynthia McKinney on the US Green Party has been lastingly negative, with its 2016 Presidential candidate Jill Stein sharing the oil pipeline conspiracy theory on Twitter [archive] and being hosted by live on RT by Vladimir Putin (a move which was condemned by Russian Green activists) under whom Russian human rights activistsanti-fascists and Anarchists