National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

In his famous poem titled September 1, 1939, British poet W.H. Auden described the 1930s as “a low, dishonest decade.”

There are eerie similarities between the third decade of the 20th Century and the second decade of the 21st Century.  The third decade of the 20th Century gave the world Nazism and fascism and the Second World War. The second decade of the 21st Century is giving the world religious fascism and right-wing authoritarianism and is replacing democracy and pluralism with plutocracy and corporatism.

The jackboots are again on the march. Fascism and Communism are, after all, two sides of the same coin and both deliver the same toxic stew – the total obliteration of humanity, tolerance and democracy.

The current Canadian government apparently has no problem embracing the world’s current iteration of fascism. Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and other Ontario politicians attended a Ukrainian Independence Day event in Toronto last August which featured fundraising booths for the Ukrainian fascist party, Right Sector. When asked by journalists if he was aware of the proto-fascist group’s fundraising for its paramilitary battalion in the Ukraine, Alexander bristled and said he was “very proud” to be in attendance.

Alexander went on to tell his audience that “every” military option must be employed to deliver “comeuppance” to Russian president Vladimir Putin. “What is going on in eastern Ukraine really has to do with the incomplete process of ending the existence of the Soviet Union for good. Ending the oppression and ending the Faustian bargain that was made during the Second World War with Stalin’s Soviet Union, for good…”  (italics added)

Another gala event on November 29, 2014 organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress marked the one-year anniversary of the Euromaidan movement This time, the floor was given over to Valeriy Chobotar, a leader of the fascist Right Sector.

Alexander also attended a Toronto fundraising dinner on February 22, 2015 where the principal guest speaker was Andriy Prubiy, a deputy chairperson of the Ukrainian parliament and a founder of the Social-National Party of Ukraine, a fount of future extreme right groups including the Svoboda Party and a “commander” of the far-right shock troops which seized the “Euromaidan” protest in Kyiv in 2013-14.

Prubiy travelled to Ottawa the next day where he was feted by the Harper Conservative government and received a warm welcome from Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson and many Conservative MPs.

“We have been expecting this,” Alexander continued. “We have been expecting a crisis in Ukraine because there have always been Russians, since 1991 – everywhere, and now around Vladimir Putin – who want to put Humpty-Dumpty back together, who couldn’t accept that Ukraine could be an independent country. They are a menace to Russia, they are a menace to Ukraine, they are a menace to the whole world…

“We know, as you know, that Vladimir Putin is only going to face his comeuppance, that his whole, mad nightmare is only going to come apart at the seams, when the whole world is standing against him, with every option on the table, denouncing his illegal action and standing with Ukraine. With military assistance and wither every other form of assistance.”

Avoiding any mention of the equally frightening global Islamic fascist threat, not to mention a Third World War, Alexander continued: “There is going to be a great struggle. We are just at the beginning of this struggle.

“This is the biggest threat facing the world today, in my view. I think [also] in the view of the prime minister and our team…Yes, there is terrorism. Vladimir Putin is behaving like a terrorist…But it really has to do with the incomplete process of ending the existence of the Soviet Union for good. Ending the oppression and ending the Faustian bargain that had been made in the Second World War with Stalin’s Soviet Union for good…”

“There is absolutely no scenario going into the future that leads to peace and security for this world…that does not include a full international effort to give Ukraine the tools it needs to drive Russian forces from its border and to secure its borders for good…”

Gwynne Dyer, an independent journalist whose columns are published in 45 countries, has a very different perspective that should cool down the rhetoric of Alexander and the Harper government.

“The presence of Vladimir Putin on the Normandy beaches on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings …is a useful reminder of the fact that Russia is not some Asiatic tyranny on Europe’s eastern borders. It is a European country that has played a major role in the continent’s affairs for centuries,” he wrote in a column last June on the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

Not only were the Russians on the side of the Western Allies in the Second World War, Dyer writes, but “they did most of the heavy lifting in the war against Nazi Germany and paid by far the highest price.

“While the American and British and Canadian soldiers were landing on the French coast in June 1944, six million Soviet soldiers were fighting massive battles with the German army in eastern Europe…

“The price the Russians paid for their victory over Nazi Germany was huge.” Dyer continues. “At least 11 million military dead (compared to fewer than 1 million dead for the Western allies.) No other country in history has lost so many soldiers, but in the end it was the Red Army that destroyed Hitler’s Wehrmacht…”

Canada’s Conservatives and the West in general should cool their persistent anti-communist rhetoric and  acknowledge  the staggering statistic of 11 million dead young Russian men, in contrast to the fewer than one million for all the Allied armies put together. Yet the West – now beset with its existential fear of Islamic terrorism, not to mention the ongoing and growing gap of health, wealth and opportunity between the rich and the rest of us– still wants its citizens to believe the ultimate global catastrophe is a tattered and largely extinct 19th century doctrine known as communism.

Some of Alexander’s comments at the February fundraising dinner were startling.  The immigration minister told his audience that all military options must be employed to deliver “comeuppance” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“What is going on in eastern Ukraine really has to do with the incomplete process of ending the existence of the Soviet Union for good, ending the oppression and ending the Faustian bargain that was made during the Second World War with Stalin’s Soviet Union, for good,” Alexander said.(italics added)

Are Canada’s governing Conservatives plumping for World War III?


Frances Russell was born in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. A journalist since 1962, she has covered and commented on politics in Manitoba, Ontario, B.C. and Ottawa, working for The Winnipeg Tribune, United Press International, The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun and The Winnipeg Free Press as well as freelanced for The Toronto Star, The Edmonton Journal, CBC Radio and TV and Time Magazine.  She is the author of two award-winning books on Manitoba history: Mistehay Sakahegan – The Great Lake: The Beauty and the Treachery of Lake Winnipeg and The Canadian Crucible – Manitoba’s Role in Canada’s Great Divide. Both won the Manitoba Historical Society Award for popular history.  She is married with one son and two grandsons and lives in Winnipeg.
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