The recent 70th
anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of
fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is
preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their
criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose
war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern
kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.
"To initiate a war of aggression," said the Nuremberg
Tribunal judges in 1946, "is not only an international crime, it is the supreme
international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains
within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the
Holocaust would not have happened. Had
the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in
Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State,
or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery. They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned
by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theater known as news.
Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are
delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent,
repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe
launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were
aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata
and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and UNICEF
reported that "most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten."
The public sodomizing of the Libyan president Muammar
Gaddafi with a "rebel" bayonet was greeted by the then US Secretary of State,
Hillary Clinton, with the words: "We came, we saw, he died." His murder, like the destruction of his
country, was justified with a familiar big lie; he was planning "genocide"
against his own people. "We knew ... that if we waited one more day," said
President Obama, "Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a
massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the
conscience of the world."
This was the fabrication of Islamist militias facing
defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be "a real
bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda." Reported on March 14, 2011, the
lie provided the first spark for NATO's inferno, described by David Cameron as a
Secretly supplied and trained by Britain's SAS, many of
the "rebels" would become ISIS, whose latest video offering shows the beheading
of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in Sirte, the city destroyed on their
behalf by NATO bombers.
For Obama, Cameron and Hollande, Gaddafi's true crime was
Libya's economic independence and his declared intention to stop selling
Africa's greatest oil reserves in US dollars. The petrodollar is a pillar of
American imperial power. Gaddafi audaciously planned to underwrite a common
African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote
economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this
would happen, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to
"enter" Africa and bribe African governments with military "partnerships."
Following NATO's attack under cover of a Security Council
resolution, Obama, wrote Garikai Chengu, "confiscated $30 billion from Libya's
Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of an African
Central Bank and the African gold backed dinar currency."
"humanitarian war" against Libya drew on a model close to western liberal
hearts, especially in the media. In 1999, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sent NATO
to bomb Serbia, because, they lied, the Serbs were
committing "genocide" against ethnic Albanians in the secessionist province of
David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], claimed
that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" might have
been murdered. Both Clinton and Blair evoked the Holocaust and "the spirit of
the Second World War." The West's heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army
(KLA), whose criminal record was set aside. The British Foreign Secretary, Robin
Cook, told them to call him any time on his mobile phone.
With the NATO bombing over, and much of Serbia's
infrastructure in ruins, along with schools, hospitals, monasteries and the
national TV station, international forensic teams descended upon Kosovo to
exhume evidence of the "holocaust." The FBI failed to find a single mass grave
and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily
denouncing "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines." A year later,
a United Nations tribunal on Yugoslavia announced the final count of the dead in
Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma
murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide. The "holocaust" was a lie. The NATO
attack had been fraudulent.
Behind the lie, there was serious purpose. Yugoslavia was
a uniquely independent, multi-ethnic federation that had stood as a political
and economic bridge in the Cold War. Most of its utilities and major
manufacturing was publicly owned. This was not acceptable to the expanding
European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive
east to capture its "natural market" in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and
Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991 to lay their plans
for the disastrous eurozone, a secret deal had been struck; Germany would
recognize Croatia. Yugoslavia was doomed.
In Washington, the US saw that the struggling Yugoslav
economy was denied World Bank loans. NATO, then an almost defunct Cold War relic,
was reinvented as imperial enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo "peace" conference in
Rambouillet, in France, the Serbs were subjected to the enforcer's duplicitous
tactics. The Rambouillet accord included a secret Annex B, which the US
delegation inserted on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of
the whole of Yugoslavia -- a country with bitter memories of the Nazi occupation
-- and the implementation of a "free-market economy" and the privatization of
all government assets. No sovereign state could sign this. Punishment followed
swiftly; NATO bombs fell on a defenseless country. It was the precursor to the
catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Libya, and
Since 1945, more than a third of the membership of the
United Nations -- 69 countries -- have suffered some or all of the following at
the hands of America's modern fascism. They have been invaded, their governments
overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted, their
people bombed and their economies stripped of all protection, their societies
subjected to a crippling siege known as "sanctions." The British historian Mark
Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. In every case, a big lie was
"Tonight, for the first time since
9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over." These were opening words of
Obama's 2015 State of the Union address. In fact, some 10,000 troops and 20,000
military contractors (mercenaries) remain in Afghanistan on indefinite
assignment. "The longest war in American
history is coming to a responsible conclusion," said Obama. In fact, more
were killed in Afghanistan in 2014 than in any year since the UN took records.
The majority have been killed --
civilians and soldiers -- during Obama's time as president.
tragedy of Afghanistan rivals the epic crime in Indochina. In his lauded
and much quoted book, The Grand Chessboard: American
Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew
Brzezinski, the godfather of US policies from Afghanistan to the present day,
writes that if America is to control Eurasia and dominate the world, it cannot
sustain a popular democracy, because "the pursuit of power is not a goal that
commands popular passion ... Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."
He is right. As WikiLeaks and Edward
Snowden have revealed, a surveillance and police state is usurping democracy. In
1976, Brzezinski, then President Carter's National Security Adviser,
demonstrated his point by dealing a death blow to Afghanistan's first and only
democracy. Who knows this vital history?
In the 1960s, a popular revolution swept Afghanistan, the
poorest country on earth, eventually overthrowing the vestiges of the
aristocratic regime in 1978. The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA)
formed a government and declared a reform program that included the abolition
of feudalism, freedom for all religions, equal rights for women and social
justice for the ethnic minorities. More than 13,000 political prisoners were
freed and police files publicly burned.
The new government introduced free medical care for the
poorest; peonage was abolished, a mass literacy program was launched. For
women, the gains were unheard of. By the late 1980s, half the university
students were women, and women made up almost half of Afghanistan's doctors, a
third of civil servants and the majority of teachers.
"Every girl," recalled
Saira Noorani, a female surgeon, "could go to high school and university. We
could go where we wanted and wear what we liked. We used to go to cafes and the
cinema to see the latest Indian film on a Friday and listen to the latest music.
It all started to go wrong when the mujaheddin started winning. They used to
kill teachers and burn schools. We were terrified. It was funny and sad to think
these were the people the West supported."
The PDPA government was backed by the Soviet Union, even
though, as former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance later admitted, "there was no
evidence of any Soviet complicity [in the revolution]." Alarmed by the growing
confidence of liberation movements throughout the world, Brzezinski decided that
if Afghanistan was to succeed under the PDPA, its independence and progress
would offer the "threat of a promising example."
On July 3, 1979, the White House secretly authorized support for tribal "fundamentalist" groups known as the mujaheddin, a program that grew to over $500 million a year in U.S. arms and other assistance. The aim was the overthrow of Afghanistan's first secular,
reformist government. In August 1979, the US embassy in Kabul reported that "the
United States' larger interests ... would be served by the demise of [the PDPA
government], despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and
economic reforms in Afghanistan." [The italics are mine.]
The mujaheddin were the forebears of al-Qaeda and Islamic
State. They included Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who received tens of millions of
dollars in cash from the CIA. Hekmatyar's specialty was trafficking in opium and
throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. Invited to
London, he was lauded by Prime Minister Thatcher as a "freedom fighter."
fanatics might have remained in their tribal world had Brzezinski not launched an
international movement to promote Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and so
undermine secular political liberation and "destabilize" the Soviet Union,
creating, as he wrote in his autobiography, "a few stirred up Muslims." His grand plan coincided with the ambitions
of the Pakistani dictator, General Zia
ul-Haq, to dominate the region.
In 1986, the CIA and Pakistan's intelligence
agency, the ISI, began to recruit people from around the world to join the
Afghan jihad. The Saudi
multi-millionaire Osama bin Laden was one of them. Operatives who would
eventually join the Taliban and al-Qaeda, were recruited at an Islamic college
in Brooklyn, New York, and given paramilitary training at a CIA camp in
Virginia. This was called "Operation Cyclone." Its success was celebrated in
1996 when the last PDPA president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Najibullah -- who had
gone before the UN General Assembly to plead for help -- was hanged from a
streetlight by the Taliban.
"blowback" of Operation Cyclone and its "few stirred up Muslims" was September
11, 2001. Operation Cyclone became the "war on terror," in which countless men,
women and children would lose their lives across the Muslim world, from
Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. The enforcer's message was and
remains: "You are with us or against us."
common thread in fascism, past and present, is mass murder. The
American invasion of Vietnam had its "free fire zones," "body counts" and
"collatoral damage." In the province of Quang Ngai, where I reported from, many
thousands of civilians ("gooks") were murdered by the US; yet only one massacre,
at My Lai, is remembered. In Laos and Cambodia, the greatest aerial bombardment
in history produced an epoch of terror marked today by the spectacle of
joined-up bomb craters which, from the air, resemble monstrous necklaces. The
bombing gave Cambodia its own ISIS, led by Pol Pot.
Today, the world's greatest single campaign of terror
entails the execution of entire families, guests at weddings, mourners at
funerals. These are Obama's victims. According to the New York Times,
Obama makes his selection from a CIA "kill list" presented to him every Tuesday
in the White House Situation Room. He then decides, without a shred of legal
justification, who will live and who will die. His execution weapon is the
Hellfire missile carried by a pilotless aircraft known as a drone; these roast
their victims and festoon the area with their remains. Each "hit" is registered on a faraway console
screen as a "bugsplat."
"For goose-steppers," wrote the historian Norman Pollock,
"substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarization of the total culture.
And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at
work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the
fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. "I believe in American
exceptionalism with every fibre of my being," said Obama, evoking declarations
of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has
pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, "The sovereign
is he who decides the exception." This sums up Americanism, the world's dominant
That it remains unrecognized as a predatory ideology is the
achievement of an equally unrecognized brainwashing. Insidious, undeclared, presented
wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture. I
grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I
had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war
machine, at a cost of as many as 13 million soldiers. By contrast, US losses,
including in the Pacific, were 400,000. Hollywood reversed
The difference now is that cinema audiences are invited
to wring their hands at the "tragedy" of American psychopaths having to kill
people in distant places -- just as the President himself kills them. The
embodiment of Hollywood's violence, the actor and director Clint Eastwood, was
nominated for an Oscar this year for his movie, American Sniper, which is about a
licensed murderer and nutcase. The New
York Times described it as a "patriotic, pro-family picture which broke all
attendance records in its opening days."
There are no heroic movies about America's embrace of
fascism. During the Second World War, America (and Britain) went to war against
Greeks who had fought heroically against Nazism and were resisting the rise of
Greek fascism. In 1967, the CIA helped bring to power a fascist military junta
in Athens -- as it did in Brazil and most of Latin America. Germans and east
Europeans who had colluded with Nazi aggression and crimes against humanity were
given safe haven in the US; many were pampered and their talents rewarded.
Wernher von Braun was the "father" of both the Nazi V-2 terror bomb and the US
In the 1990s, as former Soviet republics, eastern Europe
and the Balkans became military outposts of NATO, the heirs to a Nazi movement
in Ukraine were given their opportunity. Responsible for the deaths of thousands
of Jews, Poles and Russians during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union,
Ukrainian fascism was rehabilitated and its "new wave" hailed by the enforcer as
This reached its apogee in 2014 when the Obama
administration splashed out $5 billion on a coup against the elected government.
The shock troops were neo-Nazis known as
the Right Sector and Svoboda. Their leaders include
Oleh Tyahnybok, who has called for a purge of the
"Moscow-Jewish mafia" and "other scum," including gays, feminists and those on
the political left.
These fascists are now integrated into the Kiev coup
government. The first deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy
Parubiy, a leader of the governing party, is co-founder of Svoboda. On February
14, Parubiy announced he was flying to Washington to get "the USA to give us highly
precise modern weaponry." If he succeeds, it will be seen as an act of war by
No western leader has spoken up about the revival of
fascism in the heart of Europe -- with the exception of Vladimir Putin, whose
people lost 22 million to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of
Ukraine. At the recent Munich Security Conference, Obama's Assistant Secretary
of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, ranted abuse about
European leaders for opposing the US arming of the Kiev regime. She referred to
the German Defense Minister as "the minister for defeatism." It was Nuland who masterminded the coup in Kiev. The wife of Robert D. Kagan, a leading "neo-con" luminary and co-founder of the extreme right wing Project for a New American Century, she was foreign policy adviser to Dick Cheney.
Nuland's coup did not go to plan. NATO was prevented from
seizing Russia's historic, legitimate, warm-water naval base in Crimea. The
mostly Russian population of Crimea -- illegally annexed to Ukraine by Nikita
Krushchev in 1954 -- voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia, as they had done
in the 1990s. The referendum was
voluntary, popular and internationally observed. There was no
At the same time, the Kiev regime turned on the ethnic
Russian population in the east with the ferocity of ethnic cleansing. Deploying
neo-Nazi militias in the manner of the Waffen-SS, they bombed and laid to siege
cities and towns. They used mass starvation as a weapon, cutting off
electricity, freezing bank accounts, stopping social security and pensions. More
than a million refugees fled across the border into Russia. In the western
media, they became unpeople escaping "the violence" caused by the "Russian
invasion." The NATO commander, General Breedlove -- whose name and actions might
have been inspired by Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove -- announced that 40,000
Russian troops were "massing." In the age of forensic satellite evidence, he
These Russian-speaking and bilingual people of Ukraine --
a third of the population -- have long sought a federation that reflects the
country's ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow.
Most are not "separatists" but citizens who want to live securely in their
homeland and oppose the power grab in Kiev. Their revolt and establishment of
autonomous "states" are a reaction to Kiev's attacks on them. Little of this has
been explained to western audiences.
On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned
alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed
the massacre as "another bright day in our national history." In the American
and British media, this was reported as a "murky tragedy" resulting from
"clashes" between "nationalists" (neo-Nazis) and "separatists" (people
collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine).
The New York
Times buried the story, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings
about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington's new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims -- "Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says." Obama
congratulated the junta for its "restraint."
If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his
pre-ordained "pariah" role in the West will justify the lie that Russia is
invading Ukraine. On January 29, Ukraine's top military commander, General
Viktor Muzhemko, almost inadvertently dismissed the very basis for US and EU
sanctions on Russia when he told a news conference emphatically: "The Ukrainian
army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian Army." There were "individual citizens" who were
members of "illegal armed groups," but there was no Russian invasion. This was not news. Vadym Prystaiko, Kiev's
Deputy Foreign Minister, has called for "full scale war" with nuclear-armed
On February 21, US Senator James Inhofe, a Republican
from Oklahoma, introduced a bill that would authorize American arms for the Kiev
regime. In his Senate presentation,
Inhofe used photographs he claimed were of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine,
which have long been exposed as fakes. It was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's
fake pictures of a Soviet installation in Nicaragua, and Colin Powell's fake
evidence to the UN of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The intensity of the smear campaign against Russia and
the portrayal of its president as a pantomime villain is unlike anything I have
known as a reporter. Robert Parry, one of America's most distinguished
investigative journalists, who revealed the Iran-Contra scandal, wrote recently...
"No European government, since Adolf Hitler's Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet across the West's media/political spectrum,
there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality even to the point of
ignoring facts that have been well established. ... If you wonder how the world
could stumble into world war three -- much as it did into world war one a century
ago -- all you need to do is look at the madness over Ukraine that has proved
impervious to facts or reason."
In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the
German media: "The use made by Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is
well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on
expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims
and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. ... In the
propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that
were the most important weapons."
In the Guardian on February 2, Timothy
Garton-Ash called, in effect, for a world war. "Putin must be stopped," said the
headline. "And sometimes only guns can stop guns." He conceded that the threat
of war might "nourish a Russian paranoia of encirclement"; but that was fine. He
name-checked the military equipment needed for the job and advised his readers
that "America has the best kit."
Garton-Ash, an Oxford professor, repeated the propaganda that led to the
slaughter in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, he wrote, "has, as
[Colin] Powell documented, stockpiled large quantities of horrifying chemical
and biological weapons, and is hiding what remains of them. He is still trying
to get nuclear ones." He lauded Blair
as a "Gladstonian, Christian liberal interventionist." In 2006, he wrote, "Now we face the next big
test of the West after Iraq: Iran."
The outbursts -- or as Garton-Ash prefers, his "tortured
liberal ambivalence" -- are not untypical of those in the transatlantic liberal
elite who have struck a Faustian deal. The war criminal Blair is their lost
leader. The Guardian, in which
Garton-Ash's piece appeared, published a full-page advertisement for an American
Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the Lockheed Martin monster were the
words: "The F-35. GREAT For Britain." This American "kit" will cost British
taxpayers 1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered across the
world. In tune with its advertiser, a Guardian editorial has demanded an
increase in military spending.
Once again, there is serious purpose. The rulers of the
world want Ukraine not only as a missile base; they want its economy. Kiev's new
Finance Minister, Nataliwe Jaresko, is a former senior US State Department
official in charge of US overseas "investment." She was hurriedly given
They want Ukraine for
its abundant gas; Vice President Joe Biden's son is on the board of Ukraine's
biggest oil, gas and fracking company. The manufacturers of GM seeds, companies
such as the infamous Monsanto, want Ukraine's rich farming soil.
Above all, they want
Ukraine's mighty neighbor, Russia. They want to Balkanise or dismember Russia
and exploit the greatest source of natural gas on earth. As the Arctic ice
melts, they want control of the Arctic Ocean and its energy riches, and Russia's
long Arctic land border. Their man in Moscow used to be Boris Yeltsin, a drunk,
who handed his country's economy to the West. His successor, Putin, has
re-established Russia as a sovereign nation; that is his crime.
The responsibility of
the rest of us is clear. It is to identify and expose the reckless lies of
warmongers and never to collude with them. It is to re-awaken the great popular
movements that brought a fragile civilization to modern imperial states. Most
important, it is to prevent the conquest of ourselves: our minds, our humanity,
our self respect. If we remain silent, victory over us is assured, and a