Clarity is a wonderful thing, and Yulia Tymoshenko’s United Opposition is offering a great deal of clarity for a change.
Tymoshenko has made a great deal of hay out of her status as a kind of beautiful, heroic symbol of democracy (a status she exploits to declare every election she loses a proof of creeping tyranny), and she at least deserves credit for hiring competent public relations firms who can perpetuate that image to anyone and everyone who will listen.
It is to their credit that so few people know that her party just allied itself with neo-Nazis.
Lest that be construed as an exaggeration, it is my dubious pleasure to introduce you to Svoboda and Oleh Tyahnybok. Tyahnybok is a charming sort of fellow the way Himmler undoubtedly was, and I don’t mean to exaggerate. As the Kyiv Post reports, Tyahnybok is best known for a rousing speech he gave in 2004 in which he “praised former Ukrainian Insurgent Army soldiers for ‘fighting with Russians, Germans, Jews and other scum that wanted to take away our Ukrainian state.'”
The Ukrainian Insurgent Army was one of the handful of fascist parties that fought an insurgent campaign against the Nazis, the Soviets, and indeed, pretty much everyone during World War II. As with most such groups, they took advantage of the chaos of the time to engage in a good, solid round of ethnic cleansing, this time focusing on Poles. When the Soviets finally fully overwhelmed the Germans, the UIA’s time came to an end.
Viktor Yushchenko, the head of the Our Ukraine faction and at the time the soon-to-be-President of Ukraine, promptly expelled Tyahnybok from his faction, and so like the good fascist he is, our man set about creating a party modeled on the National Socialists so closely as to even mimic their name — the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine — and engaged in the usual unconvincing absurdities neo-Nazis use to sell themselves these days: they aren’t anti-Semites, they’re just pro-racial divisions; they’re not racists, they just believe ethnic Ukrainians should be the only first-class citizens in Ukraine; and so on.
(Like the Nazis, they too like a generous pension state as well; they are specifically running against President Viktor Yanukovych’s pension reforms, among other things, apparently unconcerned by the fact that those reforms were needed for IMF funds that helped the country stay afloat.)
And Yulia Tymoshenko’s United Opposition has signed a coalition contract with them — essentially, they will pool their votes to form the next Government after the elections, should they have enough votes — without so much as a suggestion that the fascists will have to tone back on the, well, fascism. It is therefore less than a surprise that Jewish groups are outraged.
Tymoshenko herself must have approved this union; the United Opposition’s message has basically become an echo of Tymoshenko’s, and she has no trouble at all providing handy sound-bites and messages that are routinely carried through the mass-mailings her public relations firms send on behalf of her party.
In recent days, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has effectively aligned herself with the Opposition, joining Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in pulling for the pro-Russia Opposition. Merkel is playing for her political life while trying to save the European Union. Clinton is simply clueless.
Someone should ask Clinton, Merkel — especially Merkel — and every other world leader how they feel about staking Ukraine’s future on a woman who unhesitatingly allies with neo-Nazis? A woman who not only turned on her former President Yushchenko’s opposition to Vladimir Putin, but now on his repudiation of fascists?
When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. God only knows what you get when you lie down with Nazis.
Image Copyright Shutterstock.com/Dariush M.