Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Viktor Yushchenko, Iraq and "Fascist Thugs"

One of the political organizations supporting the “Orange Coalition” is the UNA-UNSO or Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self-Defense. Last April, the UNA-UNSO posted the following “Appeal to Ukrainian troops in Iraq” on its English-language portal:

Basing upon 400-years experience of national liberation movement of Ukrainian people we appeal to Ukrainian military contingent in Iraq to turn your bayonets against USA troops and join the rebels. Ukraine and progessive mankind will be proud of you!

Via an article published on his personal homepage in July, Viktor Yushchenko has taken some pains to distance himself from the UNA-UNSO, whose members are there qualified as “fascist thugs”. But the same article distinguishes the UNA-UNSO apparently in question from another UNA-UNSO, this one headed by Andriy Shkil. Shkil is acknowledged to be a member of the Yulia Timoshenko Block [YTB], which is a component of the “Orange Coalition”. The article specifies:

It was reported that last Saturday in Kyiv there was a «parade» of the «UNA-UNSO» party that has nothing in common with the «UNA-UNSO» organization headed by Andriy Shkil, YTB member. During this meeting Kovalenko’s «UNA-UNSO» declared the support of Yushchenko with the fascist signs, «SSS»[sic.] symbols and gestures in Hitlerite manner.

An idea of Andriy Shkil’s political orientation can be garnered from the following passages from an article published in English on another UNA-UNSO website – presumably now the “good” UNA-UNSO whose members Viktor Yushchenko does not regard as “fascist thugs” – and which refers to an issue of the Shkil-edited magazine “Natsionalist”:

Inside, an article appeared, entitled “Nationalism in the World: Past, Present, Future,” written by Andriy Shkil’, editor-in-chief of Natsionalist, chairman of the Dontsov Supporters’ Club, and head of the Lviv branch of UNA. Mostly devoted to the New Right, it also mentioned their precursors, including Gobineau, and “his worthy student Walter Darre, who developed the idea of artificial selection [eugenics] to improve the human race.” Mein Kampf and its author (whose name is not given) are praised for “reexamining these ideas on the highest level.” Several of Darre’s ideas are applied to the Ukrainian situation: Christianity’s mistaken view of the equality of human beings, the necessity for the revival of paganism as an essential spiritual feature of the nation and as a precondition for the creation of a new national elite, with eugenics as a means of cleansing and renewing the people.

Thus, the UNA values the experience of the European Right, and other radical regardless of their political orientation. Like Dontsov, they view the spiritual side of their political program to be of great significance. They appreciate the philosophical underpinnings of German Nationalism, for its philosophy with underpinnings from Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Spengler.

In another article, the author cites things that the Ukraine could copy from the German National Democratic and Republican parties: the Neo-Nazi street fighters against foreigners, and the Republican loyalty to the Nazi past, and the NDP’s racist “social biology.”

Note this is the same Andriy Shkil and apparently the same “good” UNA that Viktor Yushchenko’s personal website is careful to make clear is welcome in the Orange coalition.

It should also be recalled in this connection that Viktor Yushchenko has made the withdrawal of Ukraine’s contingent from Iraq a centerpiece of his presidential campaign: a position which – though falling somewhat short of suggesting that these troops join the Iraqi insurgency – is bound to be pleasing to the “fascist thugs” of the UNA-UNSO and perhaps helps to explain their continued support for Yushchenko despite his (in any case, notably selective) protestations.

At what point is the Anglophone media, either "old" or "new", going to devote to this evidence - which has been kindly made available in English by the principals themselves! - the attention it deserves and draw the consequences? Evidently, if at all, when it is already too late....