The former German Commissioner to the European Union, Gunter Verheugen, has courageously gone on public record on German radio with the claim that “The source of the problem is not Moscow, nor us. The source of the problem is in Kiev, where for the first time in the XXI century, a European government is made up of Fascists.” This is not a theoretical point. It is the reality on the ground. The longer the West as a whole refuses to face this reality, the more probable war becomes. The West would like to believe that the revolutionaries in Kiev are like Poland’s Solidarity heroes. This is a lie. It is a lie propagated by cynical Polish politicians and supported by naïve youngsters who were not alive under Communism and who did not witness the day-to-day events of Poland’s transition from Communism to democratic republicanism. It is a lie which, if not quickly unmasked, will lead to another world war or a cold war that could have devastating economic consequences for the world.
The two Polish politicians principally responsible for Poland’s current policy in Ukraine and for fomenting the lie that the Ukranian revolutionaries are akin to Solidarity are former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and current Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. President Kwasniewski was a member of the Polish Communist party and its government all the way through the 1980s. He had nothing to do with the ideals of Solidarity. He became a proponent of EU integration and NATO alignment because this path offered the most lucrative means of self-aggrandizement to him and his colleagues. While I do acknowledge his minor role in bringing about a peaceful transition from Communism to freedom in Poland and the fact that he was later democratically elected for two terms, he can hardly be called a hero of the Solidarity movement. Mr. Kwasniewski is not a moral authority on Solidarity, though he is a useful tool for neoconservatives to propagate the lie that there is a direct moral and philosophical line from the struggle of Solidarity to the war against Iraq to the revolution in Ukraine. When President Bush famously asked “what about Poland?” in the 2004 Presidential debates and referenced President Kwasniewski as a supporter of the war on Iraq, Americans might have thought to themselves that Mr. Kwasniewski was in some way a product of the Solidarity movement. He was, in fact, a Communist up until the very end, and it is little wonder that he is useful to neoconservatives in making the case for foreign military interventions abroad in places like Iraq and Ukraine.
President Kwasniewski was a member of a Communist government that was murdering Priests like the Blessed Martyr Jerzy Popieluszko and which has, to this day, never answered for its crimes despite President Ronald Reagan promising that “the world’s conscience will not be at rest until the perpetrators of this heinous crime have been brought to justice.” Those perpetrators are now free men, protected by Mr. Kwasniewski’s political allies. Yet we are supposed to forget about the Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko’s example in the Solidarity movement and believe that President Kwasniewski represents the spirit of Solidarity? It is the height of moral hypocrisy that a man who worked for the government that murdered Father Jerzy Popieluszko has now been transformed by America’s neoconservatives into an international hero of Solidarity and Democracy who should be considered an authority on Ukraine. So much for President Reagan’s promise that the world’s conscience will not rest. Conscience dies when memory is distorted by profit driven war propaganda.
The other key Polish supporter of the Kiev revolution, Radoslaw Sikorski was not in Poland at all during most the 1980s and 1990s, and therefore had the luxury of being a Chicken-Hawk on the subject of Communism. The men and women who actually had to live in Poland during the 1980s and then in the 1990s during the difficult transition from a centralized economy to a free economy, were animated by a totally different principle: the Christian ideal of Love as professed by the Blessed Pope John Paul II and as practiced by the Blessed Martyr Father Jerzy Popiełuszko. Today, the only man in Poland who truly speaks in the spirit of Solidarity and the spirit of John Paul II and Father Popiełuszko is Father Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zalewski. Father Zalewski calmly explains, when given the opportunity, that the idealism of Solidarity is not what animates the current Polish government; he argues that the current Polish government is animated by crass political and economic interests.
The men who truly represent the spirit of Solidarity are Pope John Paul II and the Blessed Martyr Father Jerzy Popieluszko. Pope John Paul II condemned the idea of a war against Iraq and was summarily ignored by Poland’s political class, left and right, as well as being ignored by the neoconservatives who like to portray themselves as heirs to Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul II. Father Popieluszko spoke and worked for peace and justice and his death was a vivid reminder of the fate of true Christianity in the nominally better world of Pierestroika. If Europe truly wants to find a way out of its present woes, it must once again take the ideas of these men seriously, it must celebrate and emulate these men and their political teachings. They, like Solzhenitsyn, are Europe’s true guiding lights, and their path—because it points to Christ—is the only true path for peace and freedom in Europe. All else is dust. All else is government propaganda.
Every American, every citizen of a Western democracy with long democratic traditions, understands the Jeffersonian maxim “Love your country, fear your government.” We understand that liberty requires eternal vigilance, and that just because a government is democratically elected does not guarantee that it will be a good and just government. Poles are only now learning this lesson. For centuries, they have struggled and dreamed of having their own country with their own government. They still cannot fathom that a Polish government, which is democratically elected by Poles and composed of Poles, might not actually serve the interests of Poles, and might actually act in a manner contrary to the highest moral traditions of the Polish nation. This is one of the most bitter lessons of democratic government—but it is a lesson that the Polish people must learn before it is too late. It is a lesson which Poles can ill afford not to learn. America, because of its power and location, can weather many terrible governments and foolish wars. Poland, due to its weakness and location, cannot. It must have a government that is realistic and morally humble or face war and partition. War and partition, after all, are the fate of a people incapable of self-government. Ukrainians are learning this lesson the hard way now. Having naively believed in Western propaganda and fomented revolution since 2004, they now witness their country coming apart as Russian Ukrainians, disenfranchised by the recent coup d’état, now bid for independence and reunification with Russia. Meanwhile, as Commissioner Verheugen noted, the result of the Kiev Revolution is a fascist government in Europe.
I have already written of the fascist language laws put into effect by the revolutionary Ukrainian government. Here, I will only give two other examples. First, it is critical to recall the words and deeds of Pope John Paul II and the Blessed Martyr Jerzy Popiełuszko. These were above all men of love and peace. They would never favor violent revolution, and they worked very hard to make sure that Solidarity was a movement for peaceful change even in the face of a Soviet military occupation. Compare that to the barbarian weapons used by the revolutionaries in Kiev against the police force of a democratically elected government. These barbarian tools of war are clearly the product of psychopathic fascists, not of Christians who are determined to fight for justice. These weapons tell us a lot about just who the revolutionaries in Kiev were. To make such weapons and then bring them with you into a crowd of men, women, and children—one must have absolutely no moral conscience. To lend political support to people who build and use such weapons in order to beat police officers, occupy government buildings, and intimidate those who think differently is the height of ignorance. Such barbaric weapons were not present amongst the men and women who composed the Solidarity movement. Solidarity used American fax machines, underground newspapers, the Eucharist, and smuggled books to topple Communism. The Kiev revolutionaries use weapons that look like something out of the very worst torture chamber of the Dark Ages.
Secondly, there is the matter of the revolutionary Ukrainian government directly copying one of Adolf Hitler’s most brutal policies. When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, one of his first acts was to incorporate the paramilitary NAZI stormtroopers into the formal German army. It is a well-documented historical fact that Germany’s regular army officers hated the NAZI stormtroopers and considered them illegal hooligans. In order to solidify his power over Germany, Hitler had to assure the regular army of their primacy over and above Ernst Rhom’s Stormtroopers who, earlier, had propelled Hitler to political prominence during the Beer Hall Putsch. The politics of the matter were delicate. Many of Rhom’s Stormtroopers were, like Hitler, bitter veterans of the First World War who had saved Germany from a Communist take-over following the abrupt collapse of the German military effort. In the disorderly and hectic days following the German capitulation during World War I, the Soviet Union invaded Poland, bound for Berlin to reinforce German Communists who had already incited Communist revolutions in cities like Munich. With the formal German army in disarray and political crisis rampant, Rhom’s Stormtroopers filled the vacuum, taking it upon themselves to defend their nation against impending Soviet invasion (an invasion that never came, thanks to the Polish victory over the Soviet army in the battle of Warsaw in 1920). The actions of the Stormtroopers in defending Germany from Bolshevism earned them a modicum of respect in German society. However, by the time of the Beer Hall Putsch, when the Stormtroopers turned their guns on the legitimate German authorities and the German army, that respect had begun to wither away. Germans, while largely empathizing with political rhetoric blaming the Versailles treaty for German woes, had no tolerance for a paramilitary revolutionary nationalist movement acting independent of the law. Hitler, whose political fortunes were on the rise by the early 1930s, knew this and acted accordingly upon becoming Chancellor. Arresting and executing Rhom, who refused to stem his nationalist-revolutionary fervor, Hitler made sure to pacify the Stormtroopers while at the same time placating them: he made them all regular soldiers in the German army. These are historical facts.
Fast forward to Ukraine. The revolutionary government of Ukraine was brought to power largely thanks to Fascist paramilitary organizations under the rule of the fascist “Svoboda” party, much like Hitler was brought to power thanks to the paramilitary organization of Ernst Rhom. A Svoboda party member is now the Ukrainian Minister of Defense. One of the first acts of the new government was to legalize the paramilitary arm of the Svoboda party and make them a legitimate extension of the State’s security forces. This policy is identical to the policy of Adolf Hitler. Svoboda, like the Nazi Stormtroopers, does not limit itself to using violence against Russians; it also uses violence against Ukranian liberals and progressives. In fact, the only difference between what the Ukranian government has done and what Adolf Hitler did is that Svoboda did not have to, at any point since the fall of the Soviet Union, defend Ukraine against armed Communist revolution. Instead, Svoboda fomented the very sort of nationalist revolution that Ernst Rohm dreamed of fomenting in Germany. It is of course true that the Prime Minister of Ukraine routinely condemns Svoboda’s use of violence, like when Ukrainian members of Parliament from Svoboda beat and terrorized the head of a television station and forced him to sign a resignation, but the Prime Minister of Ukraine does nothing to eject Svoboda from government because it is the Svoboda paramilitary which made his government possible.
Let us take a good look at these men from Svoboda, these “Democratic Freedom fighters”—and let us look at what they do on live television, how they physically beat and intimidate a man, with no charges, no trial, no presumption of innocence before guilt—just brutal disgusting force—and let us ask ourselves: why is America supporting these people? Aren’t they exactly like the people who eat Syrian soldiers’ hearts? How can President Obama support a government which behaves like this? How can anyone seriously consider letting Ukraine into the European Union and pretend that Ukraine meets the requirements of the EU in terms of rule of law, democratic process, freedom of the press, and protection of individual rights?
I imagine to myself that some calm and calculating men in the Department of Defense have decided that temporarily supporting Svoboda is a small price to pay for the ultimate goal of isolating Russia, expanding NATO, and achieving a broader range of strategic NATO hegemony. I actually am also inclined to hope that the only reason that President Obama has not formally acknowledged Crimea as Russian is because he wishes to use the status of Crimea as a negotiating card in future diplomacy. I also imagine that the EU members who now support the Ukrainian revolutionary government may be relying on a similar calculus. However, all of their calculus is, in my estimation, worthless. It is worthless because in the end, good government and good political action can only result from one source: human goodness. This is why Solidarity succeeded; because it was guided by Pope John Paul II and the Blessed Martyr Father Jerzy Popieluszko. Only Solidarity, guided by true Christian virtue, could do what all of the wars and calculations and power politics of Europe failed to do in the twentieth century: bring peace and freedom to the Continent. Men like Pope John Paul II and the Blessed Martyr Father Jerzy Popieluszko made sure that there were no weapons, no barbaric methods, no hatred, no hysteria, no Jacobin revolutions, no need for American bombs. These men and the people who followed them showed the world a high, principled example of Christian courage. In contrast, the psychopathic democratic revolutionaries in Kiev who construct barbaric, dark ages weapons, who threaten crippling terrorist attacks that would destroy the West, who beat and choke people on camera, and the cynical Western politicians who swoop in from luxurious and safe abodes in the West to rile up angry mobs while micro-managing multiple wars in foreign lands—they have nothing to do with Solidarity, nothing to do with freedom and nothing to offer the world except blood. They have only succeeded in destroying Western credibility and making a man like Vladimir Putin look like a model of Statesmanship, charity, and restraint.
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