Chrystia Freeland should not be punished for her grandfather’s sins, but for misleading Canadians about them

Posted on March 12, 2017, 1:36 am
8 mins

PHOTOS: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland during her visit to Edmonton in the midst of the 2015 federal election. Below: Former Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Who would ever have imagined major Canadian media companies would conclude collaborating with the Nazis when they were on a genocidal spree in your country was just another legitimate response to a difficult moral dilemma?

Certainly this view would have been treated with universal contempt and disgust when I began to work in Canadian media in the early 1970s.

Then, though, memories of the Second World War were fresh and often first hand in the minds of Canadians, including many journalists.

Yet this is exactly what several writers have been saying about the disturbing secrets of Nazi collaboration by the now-dead maternal grandfather of Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

The people expressing this view are not neo-fascist freaks or from the “Old Stock Canadian” wing of the post-Harper Conservative Party, but writers of normally moderate views who are otherwise decent people. Such suggestions, for example, are contained in pieces by such usually thoughtful writers as Paula Simons of the Edmonton Journal, Colby Cosh of the National Post and Paul Wells of the Toronto Star.

This is truly disturbing, suggesting the rot from acting as a vector for more than 30 years of neoliberal propaganda has set so deeply into the Canadian mainstream media it can no longer locate its moral compass.

One difference between now and the post-war period in Canada, I think, is that as a nation that was then very conscious and proud of its historical British connections it was universally understood that Hitler had seriously plotted to invade the British Isles in the early years of World War Two.

We know now that in 1940 the Germans abandoned Operation Sea Lion as strategically impossible, but it forced British people – and to a degree their Canadian cousins – to contemplate and prepare for life under Nazi occupation. (Plans were afoot to move the Royal Family to Hatley Park, near Victoria, for example.)

Have no doubt, our British allies would have gassed the beaches when the Germans came ashore, the “laws of war” be damned, and British collaborators would have been handed the same rough justice Michael Chomiak feared in Ukraine.

That Chomiak’s collaboration was apparently journalistic and non-violent – inciting and excusing murder as chief editor of a pro-Nazi publication in occupied Poland, territory that was later part of Ukraine, rather than committing it – would have made no difference to Canadians or Britons in the same post-liberation circumstances.

We all knew this once. Apparently we have forgotten it now.

We also understood that in an apocalyptic moral struggle, as World War Two was, your allies may not turn out to be perfect people.

Even in the war years, there was deep ambivalence in the West about the Soviet system and its leader. But that did not stop us from co-operating with the Soviet Union’s titanic battle with the greater evil – which, if we are honest, we will acknowledge probably saved our bacon in the West.

It does not excuse the excesses of Stalin against his own people to say that his government’s conduct of the war with Germany was defensible and exactly what we would have done – indeed, pretty much what we were doing – in the same circumstances.

Similarly, while acknowledging the democratic shortcomings today of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to suggest he is a new Stalin or, worse, a new Hitler, is preposterous enough to suggest seriously clouded moral judgment at work.

To believe that we in the West would have behaved differently faced with a similar strategic challenge to that Russia confronted in Crimea in the spring of 2014 is also difficult to believe.

Imagine how our American neighbours would react if, say, they believed Russians were about to start using the Canadian naval base at Esquimalt and were installing strategic missiles on Vancouver Island! You can assume they would have taken action even though, unlike Crimea, there are no historic ties between Vancouver Island and the United States beyond being longtime neighbours, and Vancouver Islanders do not think of themselves as Americans.

Whether or not the U.S. Navy actually had plans to take over part of the shared Russian-Ukrainian base in Sevastopol is subject to claims and counterclaims, but the strategic implications for the Russians of even the possibility would have been unacceptable to any country. At the very least, we need to recognize that, like any country, Russia has a strategic interest in the state of affairs along its borders, and, like any country with the means, will act on it. That they managed to do so in Crimea with zero deaths related to their military activities is remarkable, and suggests their claims of overwhelming support by the local population are true.

But one of the techniques of the neoliberal era has been to transfer – apparently with some success – our atavistic understanding of World War Two to create false moral equivalencies between the leaders of countries that resist the neoliberal economic agenda, as Russia has under Mr. Putin, and the monsters that ran Nazi Germany.

Ms. Freeland – unlike her predecessor as foreign affairs minister, Stephane Dion – has frequently indulged in this kind of hostile rhetoric about Russia, which in turn responded to Western sanctions in March 2014 by banning her from its territory.

No one should be punished for the sins of their relatives, but this baggage made Ms. Freeland an odd choice by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last January as foreign affairs minister of a country that shares a region, if not an actual border, with Russia. It certainly gave the impression at the time Mr. Trudeau wanted to send the Russians a none-too-subtle message.

However, it is the fact she and her staff tried to pass off her grandfather’s history, which we now know to be true, as Russian disinformation that should concern us all, regardless of our views about Russia’s policies in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine or Syria.

Thanks to the Globe and Mail, we know that Ms. Freeland knew about her grandfather’s collaborationist history for more than 20 years.

In other words, she was lying to us, at a minimum by omission and misdirection. Surely such activities are inappropriate the occupant of any cabinet post, let alone the sensitive and senior foreign affairs portfolio.

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

48 Comments to: Chrystia Freeland should not be punished for her grandfather’s sins, but for misleading Canadians about them

  1. Alan Blanes

    March 12th, 2017

    The mendaciousness that attends neo-liberalism is best exposed in the nightmare policies of corporate written multilateral investor racketeer “trade” deals. I have asked Freeland and Co. through social media to give on reason why any municipality would go along with the notion that a multinational corporation’s short term profits are a higher social good than the right of a community to set standards on worker and environmental protections and food safety. None of these corporate plants have the slightest interest in providing a response.

    Their hideous ideas on the supremacy of profits of multinational corporations over self determination rights of communities shows one thing: Canada has steered far from its commitment to the principles of universal rights that we helped to draft the Declaration on in 1948.

    A continent- wide legal clinic network – founded on the goal to acculturate the principles of universal human rights in society is our best hope to overcome the drivel that we are getting from these saboteurs who are undermining economic democracy under the ersatz banner of corporate-written investor rights agreements. https://www.loomio.org/g/Mj68lTfQ

    Reply
    • Murphy

      March 12th, 2017

      Where do you suppose the Palestinians fit in to your views on the rights of communities to self-determination? Some folks are just always more equal than others, no?

      Reply
      • Alan Blanes

        March 12th, 2017

        Thanks muchly for the question, Murphy…I feel very strongly that Palestinians are a classic example of where religion has attempted to impose uniformity of might-makes-right on a population – as intolerant Islamic-controlled groups such as the Arab Higher Committee, chose to boycott any discussion of pluralism in the post-British Mandate period of colonialism. The Israel side was willing to discuss these matters inclusive of the rights of all the minority populations. Therefore, I conclude that Israel is the protector of the project of universal human rights in that region. I strongly feel that Canada and others need to provide emigration services to those in that region who can’t reconcile with the existence of Israel. They should not be left in a situation where their sense of dislocation manifests in violence toward others.

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        • Murphy

          March 12th, 2017

          So by stealing the land from the Arab inhabitants, the Israelis were protecting the human rights of those Arabs? Thanks for clearing that up.

          Reply
          • Alan Blanes

            March 13th, 2017

            This is the area where erroneous reasoning rises, by those who feel that impunity for the dominant Islamic Arab leadership that has taken control of the future of Palestinian Arabs, should be provided by the world. The record shows the dark ages lack of fidelity to the political self determination of minorities in Palestine, is the position of the current Palestinian leadership. They have blown it as far as having any negotiative role is concerned – and 69 years is long enough to give them a chance to come to the point where they could have a state that has the capacity to become an acceptable neighbour with Israel. The Palestinian leadership thinking that it can hold out until the world renounces Israel, is a fantasy policy.

        • Keith

          March 13th, 2017

          “religion has attempted to impose uniformity of might-makes-right on a population – as intolerant Islamic-controlled groups such as the Arab Higher Committee, chose to boycott any discussion of pluralism in the post-British Mandate period of colonialism.”

          It was British colonial might-makes-right that brought in the Euro-American settlers. Any “moral” argument for this is essentially religious. You need to believe in the religious notion of “Jewishness”, which is inherited by the maternal line (even if mom is an atheist), or can be acquired through religious conversion rites. This is the basis of the religious notion of “Jewish People”. You can pretend these terms are non-religious by re-defining them, but this changes their meaning from what Zionists and Israel mean by them.

          Reply
          • Alan Blanes

            March 17th, 2017

            Your comment is worth responding to, Keith. The year 1948 was a moment of truth where the choice was: “will Palestine be a place where minorities such as Druze, Bahais, Jews, Sufis, etc, will be recognized as having any kind of role in asserting sovereign rights over their home areas, or will an Islamic monolith be allowed to degrade these minorities?” Since the Arab Higher Committee refused to discuss this question, and instead chose to attack the Jewish forces, Israel had little choice other than to let this Arab Higher Committee know that the forces that recognize the right of minorities to develop their own societies, would aggressively assert themselves – and the Arab monolith under the creed of intolerance and religious atavism, would not be allowed to displace pluralism. That is the actual dispute – and the question of Jewish purity was not and is not the operative factor. I would urge Hillel and all other groups that understand the critical role of Israel in safeguarding pluralism and acceptance of non-islamicist groups to be worthy of full citizenship, to become active in the cause of revival of the goal for implementing the universal human rights objective from 1948.

    • St Albertan

      March 13th, 2017

      “A continent- wide legal clinic network” Why re-invent the wheel? We currently have the UN which when we created it was our hope for a safe and stable planet upon which we could attempt to balance benefit so as to avoid war and chaos. Sadly people like you and nativists world wide are pushing to undermine not only the UN but any country that seeks to globalize responsibility. Nice work for a soulless rhetorician. I hear they’re hiring, what do they pay?

      Reply
      • Alan Blanes

        March 17th, 2017

        Your point is not clear, St Albertan. This wheel was never invented as of yet. There is scant evidence that the initial 51 signatories to the UN Charter have looked seriously at the implications of the 30 Articles of the UNDR. If we had looked at the implications of Article 29, where we see there is a duty to the community to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected, and that would mean that are community legal resources would ensure that every citizen was able to band together in solidarity to see that their basic rights are protected under the law. Community legal resources that say they are only going to serve those with the lowest incomes – completely undermine Article 29. Social solidarity and enabling every person to feel acceptance of their equality and worthiness to be protected by all laws – is a prerequisite for enabling all sectors of society to build empathy with each other. If Article 29 were taken seriously at all levels of society, helping agencies would never brush of people with grievances. They would have as a fundamental principle of doing business, that the person who brings them a problem – instead of being bounced to another unmotivated agency – would be seized of the problem and all other required levels of administrative systems required to actually resolve the issue – would be invited to create a team that can actually deal with the issue. That is the only way that we can achieve a society where people are actually protected by all laws. The notion that people – such as those elderly investors who get deceived should have to rely on litigation is an insult. Sections 361-363 and 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada explicitly forbid any deception in the sale of securities. Unfortunately, an impunity racket has been created that brushes people off from one pretend regulator to the next. Canadians deserve authentic protection by the law, not a charade.

        Reply
  2. Ron

    March 12th, 2017

    Freeland is hopelessly ‘ethnically blinded’ on the issues of the Ukraine and all things Russian.
    Her ancestry doesn’t matter (lying about it does matter as you point out) and this affair simply provides an explanation for her war mongering.

    Making her For. Minister is typical of the cowards who betrayed us on C51, ER and lots more.

    Even Theresa May is changing the anti-Russian slant of her gov’t.

    Reply
    • Judy Whitehead

      March 13th, 2017

      I totally agree with you. I’m not morally ambivalent on Nazism and I find it shocking and disgusting that our supposedly ‘progressive’ PM shook hands with the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Andriy Parubiy, founder of Svoboda, which was, as late as 2008. proscribed by the EU as a neo-Nazi party. Meanwhile, we are being sold the Ukrainian coup story as one of democracy versus tyranny, while WWII is being ‘revised’ in Ukraine and the Baltics to make Stalin its chief villain, not Hitler. (Not that I like either, but it’s important that we don’t whitewash and normalize contemporary neo-Nazis who are bing portrayed in much of the western press as simply ‘nationalists’, or ‘radical nationalists’). The policy of neoliberalism seems to lead inexorably to fascism and should be fought and struggled against as strongly as possible.

      Reply
      • David Gracie

        March 17th, 2017

        Great post!! I would suggest you Google “Tea with a Neo Nazi” written by the
        curator of the Holocaust museum in Kiev” and “Lights go out for Jews in
        the Ukraine”

        Reply
      • Keith

        March 17th, 2017

        More recently, Baird with Neo-Nazi Oleh Tyahnybok (follow the “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists” link).
        http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Mfi7gddQwi8/Uqd443BLEmI/AAAAAAAADLk/6EmGSfBuiJE/s1600/618bf_131204_861ty_baird-kiev-ukraine1_sn635.jpg

        BTW, there are strange going-ons in Ukraine. Neo-Nazis were blockading Donbass. The Kiev regime claimed to oppose the blockade and removed them but the next day imposed their own blockade.

        Just checked and found CTV is now covering this.
        “The move represented a U-turn by Poroshenko, who had previously tried to end a blockade on the rebel east imposed by nationalist groups, arguing that it hurts ordinary Ukrainians and drives residents of the east to join the rebel ranks. The sharp change in attitude reflected the growing influence of radical nationalists, who have increasingly shaped the country’s political agenda.”
        Coup?

        Reply
  3. Ron

    March 12th, 2017

    The borders of Russian and the Ukraine have been very fluid over the centuries. The region was generally dominated by Russia but Kiev was ascendant during at least one period.

    Fast forward to the 20th century … in the 1950’s the USSR had a Ukrainian as head of state. Mr Khrushchev basically gave Crimea to the Ukraine as a vanity move and was also very generous (to the Ukraine) on other border disputes. As the USSR was one federation these map-making exercises didn’t really matter.

    If NATO had stayed out of Eastern Europe as promised perhaps Russia could forget the history western aggression. i.e. France (Napoleon) and Germany (Hitler)
    And if the CIA had not sponsored and orchestrated the “Orange” revolt in the Ukraine none of this would have happened.

    So ya, Russia protected their only warm water naval base and the 90% Russian population in Crimea.

    Reply
    • Alan Blanes

      March 12th, 2017

      Well said Ron…I hope that the neo-liberal mouthpieces on MSNBC and Canadian MSM will begin to comprehend these facts. Fareed Zakaria had a good interview with Putin’s press secretary this morning – which could be an indication that CNN may start to take a fair approach to Russia – as opposed to blindly taking the Hillary Clinton line.

      Reply
  4. March 12th, 2017

    I’m interested in learning what she should have done instead and in knowing that, what changes in Canada’s approach to the problem at hand would you suggest, going forward?

    Reply
  5. Anne Peterson

    March 12th, 2017

    I have always though her sly. And never have liked her insistence on our sending military assistance to Ukraine. She doesn’t seem to recognize the neo Nazi element there.

    Reply
  6. Farron Kelly

    March 12th, 2017

    “This is truly disturbing, suggesting the rot from acting as a vector for more than 30 years of neoliberal propaganda has set so deeply into the Canadian mainstream media it can no longer locate its moral compass.”

    It’s not so much Neoliberal brainwashing as it is a combination of fawning over the Liberals and a jingoistic sense of opposition to modern-day Russia. Putin is the enemy. Anything he does or says, anything that can be traced back to him in some way, is something we must resist. It must be downplayed and discarded. We must end self-criticism for the war effort’s sake.

    Reply
  7. Murphy

    March 12th, 2017

    This article clearly demonstrates the difference between “newspapermen” and historians. The entire view of the Second World War as received in the West is the product of propaganda. The Germans did not “seriously contemplate” invading Britain. This sort of rubbish is cosistnetly propagated in our culture. I watched the Burns docuemntary “the War” in which some American Second World War vet claimed to have spoken with a German prisoner who had been trained to perform in an occupational bureaucracy in a Nazi US. No such training program ever existed in Germany, there was never a chance of Germany invading the US, and the Germans never planned to do so. The Nazis anticipated a limited war against Poland, and attemepted to extract a peace agreement from Great Britain for years. The Germans had lost the war by the time the fighting around Smolensk ended. One need look no further for collaborators than the Union Banking entity, populated by Prescott Bush and the Harrimans, who directly financed Nazi industry. As to disdain for Stalin’s policies, he would have had to go some distance to match the spectacular murder record of the US in North Korea, Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos, Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa. At some point people in the West will grow up and understand the Second World War to have borne little difference from previous clashes of empires, save for the development of nuclear weapons which has permenantly altered the way the elites do business.

    Reply
    • Frank

      March 13th, 2017

      Re:”As to disdain for Stalin’s policies, he would have had to go some distance to match the spectacular murder record of the US….” lol, Murphy, that’s an entertaining bit of hyperbole. Good one!

      Reply
  8. Val

    March 12th, 2017

    bravo David, stunning article.
    you earned the trip to Moscow and visit to Kremlin to shake the hand with “dear leader” Putin. and mind you, all of that for free, or to be more precise, on behalf of russian taxpayers.
    who knows what sort of opportunities this can open for your future. could be even career as chief-editor at “RTV”.

    Reply
    • Murphy

      March 12th, 2017

      Do you have relatives who served in the Galizia Division?

      Reply
    • Maryinga

      March 12th, 2017

      Stupid comment. Cold war games are ridiculous in an era of hot climate games; only old retros play them.

      Reply
      • Val

        March 13th, 2017

        hi Maryinga, the cold war never stopped, intensity only varies from high to low and back.
        i don’t know about Chrystia Freeland’s grandparents and frankly i don’t care about this.
        what matters, she’s pretty much intelligent and well educated person and way more capable to be foreigner affair minister, than Stephan Dion. i don’t have much sympathy to Trudeau Jr. but cannot deny – it was smart move.
        b.t.w. she wrote 2 books, “Sale of the Century” and “Plutocrats”. you may check them out to have some idea.

        in regard of “stupid comment”, everyone have theirs own opinions. be happy you aren’t in Russia, North Korea or Cuba and can express your own, without risking be jailed or be killed for it.

        what is stupid, a blind jump on the obvious smear campaign bang wagon. it’s shows true nature of personality, when one takes all given freedom for granted, at same time to have hate to society and political system, which provides all of this.

        Reply
        • St Albertan

          March 13th, 2017

          Val; your faux. It’s showing.

          Reply
  9. ronmac

    March 12th, 2017

    For crying out loud even more disturbing is the fact Ms. Freeland is married to a New York Times reporter, probably the leading disinformation organ on the planet right now. The nation’s secret are probably at risk every time Freeland lays her head on her pillow at night and yaps in her sleep.

    It’s acomplicated history, that’s for sure. Apparently, her mother once ran for the Bolsheviks, er, I mean the NDP, in Edmonton-Sthrathcona.

    For a background primer on the subject of Ukraine inWWII a good place to start is this CBC doc. First aired in 2009 it wouldn’t see the light of day in the current day CBC.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5DSH2EqZ54

    Reply
    • Maryinga

      March 12th, 2017

      We should all watch this documentary. It makes the massiveness of the Nazi period overwhelmingly clear. I’d also like to know more about the Ukrainian coup. When people say it was a neo-nazi takeover, I’d like to know what that means. I’d like to know more about the American involvement in that coup.

      Because any support for Nazi ideology is too much support. And it shouldn’t be hard to make that clear to Canadians.

      Reply
  10. Sassy

    March 12th, 2017

    Thanks for posting this article.

    When I read the Arina Tsukanova report on Freeland two weeks ago at https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/27/a-nazi-skeleton-in-the-family-closet/ I never expected mainstream news to cover it at all. I agree the articles that were eventually written were unduly sympathetic to Freeland’s situation. It seems very simple – she lied about her past and, as far as I know, she has still not admitted to the lies.

    In her 2015 autobiography, Freeland wrote that her grandfather, Mykhailo Chomiak, was a lawyer and journalist before the Second World War, but her grandparents knew the Soviets would invade western Ukraine and fled. “Fled” is a lie. Chomiak was posted to an editorial position in Nazi-occupied Poland, where he took over the news operation and apartment of the original owner, a Jewish man who subsequently died in a Nazi camp. According to Freeland, after the war, her mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany. “Refugee camp” is a lie. If the published exposé is correct, Freeland’s grandfather and family were setup in a former Barvarian spa hotel, organized into a special U.S. military intelligence facility. The family was given accommodations, living expenses and health care until they emigrated to western Canada – hardly a refugee camp.

    In my opinion, Chrystia Freeland cannot be trusted in cabinet because she lied and covered up the lies.

    Reply
    • Val Jobson

      March 12th, 2017

      Actually, “Fled” is probably not a lie, though she did neglect to mention that they fled from the Soviet army, not the Nazis. They lived in Lviv, which was in Poland in 1939 and after the war was in western Ukraine. When the Germans and Russians both invaded Poland, the Soviet Army occupied Lviv. Chomiak went from Lviv in Poland to Cracow, also in Poland, but occupied by the Nazis.

      Apparently some people felt safer with the Nazis than with the Soviets. It’s not clear to me what other choice they might have had if they wanted to survive.

      Reply
      • Murphy

        March 13th, 2017

        No question that supremacist ultra-nationalists felt safer with the Nazis. Certainly the Banderite terrorists of the OUN fit that bill.

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      • msedmonton

        March 13th, 2017

        Fled is definitely correct.

        A similar thing happened to my family. My grandfather was conscripted into the Polish army in 1939 and ended up in a German POW camp. At the same time his village had been occupied by the Soviets (because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). When the Germans struck east in 1941, ethnic Ukrainians were released from the POW camps because, even though Hitler wanted Lebensraum, there were not enough ethnic Germans to farm the land (i.e. feed their armies) so anybody who could farm was mobilized to do so, so he was released from the prison camp. When he finally made it back to his village he found that his entire family had been sent to Siberia for the crime of being kulaks, small landowners. Never heard from again.

        As the tides of war shifted, and the Germans were pushed back, it was a no-brainer of what to do: flee west or wait for the Russians to arrive, and end up in Siberia.

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        • Sassy

          March 13th, 2017

          No, Freeland’s grandfather did not flee. He was offered a promotion and took it. I think he was well aware of what he was doing and the consequences for many innocent people from the hate-filled messages in his Nazi daily paper. I don’t blame Freeland for his moral failings but she hid his background and, when the truth came out, tried to blame the current Russian leaders for spreading disinformation. Bad move.

          Reply
        • Murphy

          March 13th, 2017

          Your grandfather’s story doesn’t really sound similar to that of Freeland’s grandfather going to Poland and generating Nazi propaganda.

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      • Sassy

        March 13th, 2017

        Thanks. It’s useful to know more details about the Nazi propaganda daily produced by editor-in-chief, Chomiak.

        Reply
  11. Comrade Black

    March 12th, 2017

    So, it’s inappropriate to call Putin a fascist just because he funds Front National and Marine Le Pen, and the Jobbik party in Hungary?
    And Russian separatists in Ukraine haven’t killed anybody? This is really news to me. I suppose all those mortars flying around in the Donbass were actually just lawn darts.

    Every time I hear anybody criticizing Russia for its various war crimes and human rights violations I always hear the same line, “What about Obama? What about Obama?” Listen: I am a Canadian citizen and I never voted for Barack Obama. I am not hear to praise Obama, but to bury him. I have always been opposed to American imperialism, and I criticized the drone program. I hope everybody who criticized Obama and Clinton for their support of the military-industrial complex will be just as critical of Trump, because it’s almost certainly going to get a lot worse. He’s already putting boots on the ground in Yemen and Syria. These are the kinds of jobs he is creating for Americans, sending them away to kill and be killed. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if President Trump brought back conscription. Then he could be just like Putin!

    It’s no secret that Trump thinks of Putin as an ally! It was kind of a big part of his campaign that Putin was an important ally in the war on “terror” (which I hope you all know by now is really a war against Muslims). If you were worried about Hillary Clinton starting World War III, why not say a couple of words about the massive destruction that could and will be caused by a Trump-Putin-Assad axis? All this tendentious parroting of the RT party line is really getting very tiresome.

    And listen: I don’t even want to be put in a position where I have to make a choice over whether I have to support Ukrainian nationalism or Russian nationalism. I am an anarchist and I am opposed to all forms of nationalism and imperialism. To assume somebody supports Ukrainian Nazis just because they are opposed to Putin is a fallacious logic-trap. A thought cancelling cliché propagated by RT. If you are trying to understand contemporary global fascism, and you refuse to include Putin in your analysis, then you are looking at the world through blinders. His control over the national media and all the election fraud and all the invasions of neighbouring countries have been well documented over the years. Likewise, the systemic homophobia and chauvinism and harassment of feminists and LGBT activists; the assassinations. I used to think everybody knew about these things, but it seems these days I’m seeing more and more people just dismissing it all as fake news. If you can’t call Russia fascist for their military aggression and their repressions of human rights, then what are you supposed to call them? Nationalist authoritarians? “Traditionalists”? Alt-Right? Or should I just salute Putin and call him a Patriotic Hero? Would that be more politically correct?

    Putin has already killed a lot of people and he’s going to kill a lot more really soon. How you can criticize Trump, yet support Putin, I don’t think I’ll ever understand. Maybe one day he’ll do something so horrible that you’ll look back on all your apologia with shame, but if you can still defend him after all the atrocities he’s already committed, maybe you’ll never understand. Oh well!

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    • Murphy

      March 12th, 2017

      Russian separtists in the Ukraine? The US overthrew the government of the Ukraine in 2014, and the people of the Donbass refused to support the puppet junta installed by the US. The Ukrainian junta, with the co-operation of various far-right militias, launched a terror campaign against the population of Donbass. Putin is a war-time leader of a country pillaged for nine years by the elites that rule the US. The US has been fighting a hybrid war against Russia for decades. There was no militant separatist movement in Chechnya until the usual suspects, among them Richard Perle, began organizing the radicalization of Chechen youth by sending them to Afghanistan and Pakistan for indoctrination. The idea that any state is going to fight a defensive war against the most comprehensive military empire the world has seen and not engage in domestic repression is patently ridiculous. Oh well.

      Reply
      • St Albertan

        March 13th, 2017

        I think people who wish for peace need to realize that Russia China and the USA do not have clean hands. Nor do most countries who maintain a seat in the UN. Our mistake is; not supporting the UN to give it the legitimacy it must have to resolve simmering conflict.

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    • Edison

      March 17th, 2017

      Well said. I totally agree with your assessment. Now we are learning up is actually down.

      Reply
  12. Maryinga

    March 12th, 2017

    Thank you for this David. Once again, your journalism sets records straight and clears the air of much misinformation. We all need to get the facts clear on the Ukraine. We need to understand that the coup against a duly elected government there was aided by American regime change policies, and that the east-west conflicts that seem to be reoccurring recently, are in fact no accident.

    We also need to scrutinize our Liberal government closely for decisions it might make that serve neo-liberal global interests more than the Canadian pubic. Freeland’s grandfather is an unfortunate skeleton in her closet.

    To try to cover it up, to lie about it in fact, is careless politics. To be opposing Russian interests in an area where she still has economic interests is more serious. Surely there are more impartial politicians who could better fill that post.

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  13. Darren

    March 12th, 2017

    An indicator of the fast-hardening arteries of Western democracies. For we have been living off the fat of war-crimes for many decades now. With Dupont, Kodak, Bayer, Hugo Boss, VW, Siemens, Coca Cola, Ford, Standard Oil (etc.etc.) the “investments” (statin pills?) in common, everyday, investment portfolios. So really it should come as no surprise if our comfortable brethren don’t come out pouncing on this one.

    Reply
  14. Paul Anderson

    March 13th, 2017

    Virtually note-perfect commentary, though I’m not sure it was sufficiently emphasized that not only did she apparently lie in the past but that she was hiding behind the prevalent miasma of Western disinformation against Russia to deceive us again last week when that deception was revealed. And that she is silent on the Nazi influences in the Ukrainian government she champions against Russia is an echo of her grandfather’s positions almost bizarrely spared comment in MSM coverage of this issue. .

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  15. Paul Anderson

    March 13th, 2017

    Was Freeland’s mother born in a refugee camp or at a tourist resort under the protection of US intelligence marshalling anti-Soviet resources among Nazi collaborators?

    Reply
  16. David

    March 13th, 2017

    You would think from the recent Russian propaganda that Freeland’s grandfather was by the side of Dr. Mengele or something. He was a newspaper editor in occupied Poland trying manage the likely delicate balance of not getting killed by the Nazi’s and provide news to the Ukrainian diaspora there. Of course I suspect that role is one Putin is not familiar with – he is generally the one threatening journalists.

    Of course her grandfather never ran for political office here and we do not know exactly what happened there in World War II. He later said he helped the resistance, the Russians portray him as a collaborator. However, it is not his “sins”, if there were any, that so trouble the current Russian government. It is that Freeland and Ukrainians have had the temerity to stand up to Russia.

    There are a lot of accusations these days about Russians interfering in the affairs of other countries – the US, Western Europe and perhaps now Canada. If the Russians credibly want to deny such accusations this would have been a good time to cease and desist their smear campaigns against western democratic politicians they do not like.

    Reply
    • Alan Blanes

      March 13th, 2017

      It is not too much to ask for the NATO countries to realize that Russia expects the agreement to have buffer states, as agreed in 1994, for independence of the post-Soviet independent countries. This ought to be treated as a reasonable and serious request – especially with the spurning of the idea of inviting Russia to join NATO. I advise everyone to watch RT. The analysis of Chris Hedges in his ON CONTACT program is worth watching. He has a far more credible grasp of what antagonizes Russia than the promoter of neo-liberal trade racketeering, Freeland, could ever provide. We should advise her to reconsider her assumptions.

      Reply
    • Murphy

      March 13th, 2017

      There are a lot of examples of the US interfering in other countries-Western Europe, Canada, all of Central and South America, Africa, Russia, all the countries that made up the Soviet Union. The Ukrainians haven’t had the temerity to stand up to anybody, which is why the Americans got away with installing their lackeys in Kiev. It does seem however, that the psychotic Ukrainian Nazis may actually displace the US-backed criminals, giving rise to the full-blown Ukrainian Nazi paradise that till now existed only in the dreams of the fascist disapora that ended up in Canada after the Second World War. I’d like to say that I’ve never seen a smear campaign like the one conducted against Putin, but that would be a lie, since the CIA-controlled US mass media has been at this game for decades.

      Reply

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