Orbán’s critics are up in arms. What an incredible leap from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to Lenin and Stalin. Accusing Western European politicians and intellectuals of being responsible for Stalinism or Maoism just because in the second half of the nineteenth century a German social scientist and philosopher developed a social model which years after his death was transformed in Russia into something that had nothing to do with Marx’s theories is preposterous. Marx’s original hypothesis that the lot of the proletariat would worsen turned out to be wrong and therefore, as the years went by, Marx’s ideas were transformed. Modern social democracy developed. Soviet Bolshevism had more in common with Russia’s Tsarist past than with Karl Marx. Viktor Orbán should know that only too well. His generation had to study Marxism-Leninism and, as far as we know, he was an enthusiastic member of KISZ, the Communist Youth Organization, while his father was party secretary at his workplace.
. . . it has to be noted that in the mid-to-late 2000s, the European Union and the Obama administration viewed Putin as a leader who was democratizing cautiously. During his first visit to Berlin, the entire Bundestag gave him a standing ovation. Then, in the Russian parliamentary elections in the fall of 2011, he had to pilfer 17 percentage points to be able to win. In the spring 2012 Presidential election, he again needed to cheat to attain a “victory,” though less so this time. I think these things have changed Putin. He realized that the policies he had pursued up until then did not automatically expand his power, so he launched a campaign of harsh repression at home (including the killing of journalists and political rivals, remaking the Russian criminal code, and restricting the freedom of assembly), and again began to assert the conquering pursuits of Great Russia.
Reading highly recommended!
The mass media coverage of the Hungarian Revolution offered an object lesson in the value of a free press. As the faltering Communist regime lost control of the borders, foreign correspondents were able to enter the country. Once there, the absence of government “minders” and censors allowed journalists to report what they saw, “without fear or favor of friend or foe.” The result: a balanced, independent, and accurate account of what was happening on the ground in Hungary.
Source: Journalists as Witnesses at Hungarian Revolution | RealClearHistory – 11/4/2016.
We call upon President Janos Ader and Prime Minister Viktor Orban to recall the award to Mr. Bayer.Hungary was a country plagued with antisemitism during WWII. The infamous Arrow Cross Militia were Hitler’s henchmen and oftentimes, they were more vicious than the Nazis themselves.It was precisely in Hungary, where Raoul Wallenberg, the young Swede, embarked in an unprecedented life-saving operation which actually spared the lives of scores of Jews and other innocent victims of the Nazis and their Hungarian partners.
Any form of racism and discrimination should not be rewarded but strongly condemned. Instead, it seems that seven decades later, the present Hungarian government has learned very little from Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy. This should be immediately rectified and addressed.
Related on the Web
Despite the unspeakable tragedies that my father experienced in Hungary during that darkest time of history, he never lost his love for his native homeland. During nearly three decades of Congressional service, Tom Lantos was a stalwart advocate for a free and democratic Hungary and a devoted friend to the Hungarian people. He passed his deep love of Hungary on to his children and grandchildren, many of whom have both studied and worked in Hungary. I am keeping that flame of love alive for the great-grandchildren who never met my father as I teach the language, the history, and the songs of Hungary to my own grandchildren.
The Knight’s Cross, which was bestowed on me by Prime Minister Bajnai, was a great honor that I hoped one day to pass on to my sons and daughters. It gives me real sorrow that I will not be able to do this. However, the government’s decision to award the Knight’s Cross to Zsolt Bayer has sullied this noble award. Mr. Bayer’s despicable record of overt and hateful anti-Semitism and racism is beneath contempt. He deserves censure, not honor, for his loathsome writings and speech. Indeed, earlier this year the publication he writes for was fined for engaging in hate speech on account of his words. I feel compelled to join the many others who have denounced the shamefulness of granting this state honor to a hate-filled xenophobe like Zsolt Bayer. Accordingly, with a heavy heart, I am returning the Knight’s Cross to the government of Hungary.
Several small extremist groups are active in Hungary, but MNA is unique in that it has extensive ties with Russian military intelligence. I dealt with this extremist group only once, in September 2014. It was in connection with a lesser-known right-wing portal called Hídfő (Bridgehead), which broke the story that Hungary was secretly supplying tanks to the Ukrainian army. Soon enough the Russian foreign ministry published an official statement stating that “weapons supplied to Ukraine by the EU-member countries … violate legally binding obligations—the Arms Trade Treaty.” The Russian foreign ministry was well-informed on the details: “Hungary’s Defense Ministry is supplying Ukraine with armored vehicles, including T-72 tanks, through a ‘proxy agency.’” It turned out that Hídfő was the official website of Magyar Nemzeti Arcvonal. For some time it has served as a vehicle of Russian disinformation, a growing concern in Europe and elsewhere. In fact, by now, at least according to national security officials, Hídfő is entirely under Russian direction, either directly or indirectly. The best summary of the history of MNA and its activities can be found in an investigative piece written by András Dezső and Veronika Munk of Index.
Source: Russian military intelligence and the Hungarian National Front – Hungarian Spectrum – 10/27/2016
The National Bureau of Investigation ( “National Bureau of Investigation,” the Hungarian FBI) was Supposed to search Stephen Györkös’s house Earlier this week, but When The officers Showa up at his home the 76-years-old man opened fire at THEMIS , and the 46-years-old police officer died in the shooting immediately.
Russian Diplomats and members of the Russian military intelligence, GRU have been around the the Hungarian SubCulture militant for years, albeit not only around MNA. This started well before the eruption of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The Russians Were Trying to do it in a smart, less ostentatious way.
Related on BackChannels
During the last year or so Viktor Orbán has been busy trying to appease the European Union while hoping to get added benefits from Russia.
To his domestic critics Orbán’s performance yesterday was embarrassingly subservient. Attila Ara-Kovács, the foreign policy adviser to the Demokratikus Koalíció, described Putin as “a landlord” who came to look around his estate while Orbán the bailiff stood by, awaiting the master’s orders.
In Budapest late on Monday, about 1,000 people protested against Putin’s visit.
“We don’t agree with the fact that Viktor Orban receives Putin while the leaders of democratic Europe do not receive him,” said 57-year-old protester Gabor Faradi. He held a banner which read “We won’t be a Russian colony”.
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Putin-Khamenei | Moscow-Tehran | ME-E.Europe-SA (Some) : two dragons-two fires | one sickness.
Putin-Assad-Khamenei / Khamenei-Putin
I telegraph online impression via schematics like “mouth –> ear –> mind –> heart system” to get a much larger constellation in thought down to something almost memorable.
Nonetheless, reduction goes only so far: “overviewing” picks up some of the slack, which is often what happens here, and then, well, one must turn off the computer in favor of lengthier reading, which lately for me has been Pacepa & Rychlak’s Disinformation, an account of KGB’s accomplishments in the black arts accompanying libel, misdirection, misguidance, slander, and — I say this with “malignant narcissism” in mind — theatrical production.
Writing for The Guardian, Simon Tisdale recently commented on Putin and “The New Cold War” (11/19/2014) — “Last weekend’s G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, showed just how raw nerves have become – over Ukraine and, more broadly, over what the west has come to see as a pattern of expansionist, confrontational and often illegal behaviour by the Putin regime . . . ” — but perhaps not (yet) as aggression on two fronts.
With this week’s reappearance of the post-Soviet PFLP on the terrorist’s global stage, one might wonder if the attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem was not meant to distract from activity in Donbas.
In fact, my sources suggest that PFLP representatives met with Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister, earlier in November (possibly Sunday, November 2, 2014) and discussed, among other things, S300 missile shipments placed on hold in 2013.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State since October 8, 1997. Given Moscow’s overtures concerning cooperation, the lower level meeting would seem duplicitous at least:
“I suggested to Foreign Minister Lavrov that we intensify intelligence cooperation with respect to ISIL and other counter-terrorism challenges of the region and we agreed to do so,” Kerry said just after the meeting, using an alternative name for IS jihadists.
Somebody has lied.
As Sarajevo would ultimately like to join NATO and the European Union, they understand that every few years the Americans and the EU will put pressure on them to reduce their ties to Iran, particularly to its intelligence services. A sort of Balkan kabuki theater inevitably follows, with promises by the SDA to crack down hard, this time. A few Iranian “diplomats” are discreetly asked to leave the country, some of the more overt Iranian intelligence fronts in Bosnia shut their doors, usually only temporarily, and the Americans and Europeans are bought off for a couple years. And the Iranians remain.
Related from the same blog:
It is believed that MOIS cooperates with other intelligence agencies. One of these agencies is the Russian SVR, the KGB’s replacement. Despite the two agencies’ dissimilar doctrines and the complicated relationship between Iran and Russia in the past, they managed to cooperate in the 1990s, based not only on their intention of limiting U.S. political clout in Central Asia but also on their mutual efforts to stifle prospective ethnic turbulence. The SVR trained not only hundreds of Iranian agents but also numerous Russian agents inside Iran to equip Iranian intelligence with signals equipment in their headquarters compound. It is unclear whether this relationship is ongoing and whether the two intelligence agencies continue to cooperate.
From page 41 of the above cited piece: “Bin Laden’s phone records, obtained by U.S. investigators working on the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, show that 10 percent of phone calls made by Bin Laden and his lieutenants were to Iran.”
Khamenei, South America
The Mexican law student was surprised by how easy it was to get into Iran two years ago. By merely asking questions about Islam at a party, he managed to pique the interest of Iran’s top diplomat in Mexico. Months later, he had a plane ticket and a scholarship to a mysterious school in Iran as a guest of the Islamic Republic.
Next came the start of classes and a second surprise: There were dozens of others just like him.
While Iranian South American “feed and seed” programs may be continuing, the gist of a 2014 Congressional Research Service summary (by Mark P. Sullivan and June S. Beittel) suggests Khamenei’s regime may not be making as much progress as it would like. Rather than excerpt, I’ll leave it to the reader to look-see on this document: Latin America: Terrorism Issues. August 2014.
Putin – Post-Soviet Neo-Feudal Russia
Dawisha, Karen. Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Pacepa, Ion Mihai and Rychlak, Ronald J. Disinformation. Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2013.
Soldatov, Andrei and Irena Borogan. The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB. New York: Public Affairs, 2010.
The delegation stressed that Syria has been exposed to a U.S.-western-Zionist conspiracy, which is backed by some regimes in the region with the aim of liquidating the Palestinian issue since Syria is the main supporter of the cause.
http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=16800 – 11/3/2014.
Putin, Eastern Europe
Do we have to ask [Putin] when it comes to Serbia, ask when it’s about the western Balkans? We cannot reconcile this with our values.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán openly admires the ‘illiberal’ models of Russia and China. Critics say his Fidesz party is using Putin-like tactics to cut the funding of newspapers and NGOs that conflict with the Orbán government.
Putin is clearly the dominant force in the relationship. Orban may be currently the master of all he surveys within his own borders but externally, he looks increasing like the leader of a client state that is gently but perceptively gravitating towards Moscow’s sphere of influence. Which in itself is a remarkable state of affairs considering the residual concerns over the 1956 invasion by the Soviet Union.
Putin, Western Europe
The radicals, of course, are most vocal. Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, the U.K.’s anti-immigrant, anti-EU party, has expressed his admiration for Putin “as an operator, not a human being.” Farage has demanded that the West stop opposing Russian actions in Ukraine and ally itself with Putin in the fight against Islamic extremism. Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s ultranationalist Front National, is another Putin admirer. And Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, has praised the Russian leader as a “pure democrat.”
I want to confess that I did something foolish once when I was young. Back in 1993, I abandoned my university studies in California and returned to Moscow. European nations had signed the Maastricht Treaty and I dreamed that Russia would join the European Union.
Putin, South America
(Posted to YouTube 11/13/2014).
Putin – ISIS
While the U.S. and Russia have pledged to share intelligence on the group, Russia—one of the main international backers of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government—is not a member of the U.S.-led “broad coalition” against ISIS announced last month. As one Russian foreign ministry official recently put it, “We do not expect any invitations and we are not going to buy entry tickets.”
Like others of his generation, he is part of a cadre of men who came of age in a massive, multinational, nuclear-armed superstate in the early 1970s. The faceless cogs who made this system work were unremarkable people like Putin, trained in ideology and imbued with the false faith that the USSR’s greatest days were yet to come.
In their later years, these men have experienced the normal anxieties and embarrassments of middle age. (In Putin’s case, she’s a gymnast young enough to be his daughter.) But middle age for the sovoks also brought many to realize they spent their lives serving a state based on lies and held together almost entirely by force.
So spend a moment imagining the better time for which these men yearn.
Update November 25, 2014
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Citing as models Singapore, China, India, Turkey and Russia, Mr. Orban added: “We have to abandon liberal methods and principles of organizing a society, as well as the liberal way to look at the world.”
The Hungarian leader traced his extraordinary conclusion to the global financial crisis, which he said had exposed the weakness of Western societies and mandated “a race to invent a state that is most capable of making a nation successful.” He was particularly scathing about the United States, claiming that “the strength of American soft power is deteriorating, because liberal values today incorporate corruption, sex and violence.”
3. Call German Prime Minister Angela Merkel
to discuss a) Greek political and economic
conditions, as well as the need for Troika
policies to blunt the suffering caused by
austerity and to defuse the appeal of
extremism; and b) coordinating policies on
4. Instruct the Director of National Intelligence
to investigate allegations of Russian and
Iranian financial or other support of
European far-right parties and present a
classified assessment of whether the
Kremlin is attempting to use such parties to
undermine the European Union or thwart
further NATO expansion. Release an
unclassified version to Congress and the
5. At the North Atlantic Council meeting at the
2014 NATO Summit, express concern
about the rise of neo-fascist parties in
Europe and its impact on security and good
governance in NATO member countries and
the strength of the Alliance. Instruct the U.S.
Ambassador to NATO and senior military
officials to raise these concerns—especially
with regard to Hungary and Greece—with
their European counterparts.
Off-the-cuff and fast blogging brought “canaries in the cave’ to mind, but in actuality the editorial board of The Washington Post and the downtown think-tank Human Rights First have voices far greater than metaphorical canaries in coal mines. However, as with the lesser birds, they are both sending a warning and should be heard loud and clear.
When referencing “the dictator Putin-Assad-Khamenei”, I had for a while to note the other axis of power that was Putin-Yanukovych. Yanukovych’s now long gone from Ukraine (online, we are all living dog years [more animals, egads]) but the principle remains: the despots know how to gang up on the democratic among souls, and in league, they are force with which to be reckoned.
I wonder if in Syria, Bashar the Butcher al-Assad didn’t give al-Nusra and the young ISIS a break in order to clear the field of the moderate and ensure his war would leave one despot, preferably himself, or another standing, which would suit defending the indefensible principle that is “political absolutism”.
Regarding Iranian and Russian sabotage, potential or real, of NATO, a review of Turkey’s position in relation to fascist Islamism and the Islamic State, which is using for its headquarters Turkey’s embassy in Mosul, Iraq, would seem also in order.
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