Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Rehabilitation of Molotov/Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact



Yale's Timothy Snyder                  MSU's Grover Furr

"Bloodlands" v "Blood Lies": 
Both CANNOT have gotten the History right.

The events of the last several months in Europe have created a veritable 'Return of the Frozen Nazi Zombie Apocalypse' scenario.  These two diametrically opposed works considered here:  the former, as mendacious as it is improbable, even impossible, is a desperate attempt to save modern neo-feudalism (Fascism) from its well-deserved condemnation to Oblivion; the second, a staggeringly rigorous, comprehensively researched categorical refutation--really, a complete debunking--of the former.

Recent developments in Ukraine, Western Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics, are especially revealing of how the current militarized chaos there: from bi-lateral, NATO-Russian war games, to uni-lateral (Western, neo-Fascist-instigated) regime-changes, through armed putsches; civil aircraft shoot-downs; mass terror like the incineration of dozens of unarmed anti-putschist demonstrators in Odessa; the shellings of revanchist (anti-Fascist) 'Peoples Republics' of the Donbas, in the East on the Russian border; the popularly-chosen, bi-lateral return of Crimea to its original Russian (Soviet) tutelage;--all this has forced Ukrainian and Polish nationalists, relatively dormant since the Reagan/Bush/Clinton years and the busting and privatization of the USSR, to renew their "Victims' Tickets" by disenterring  moldy cadavers from the early 1930s' Ukrainian 'Famine/Genocide' (Holodomor), from the fanciful 'Katyn massacre', even from The (Nazi-European Jewish) Holocaust generally, and then explain how the well-established culpability of Nazi Germany in the grand atrocity of WWII is somehow mitigated by its association (in bloody combat?) with its abject antagonist, the USSR.  

The more History one knows, the more difficult unto impossible it is to carry on this argument that the Soviets were as much Fascists as the Nazis without catching a fat brain embolism.  Because, by having to refute the near-simple-minded axiom that Fascism=Anti-Communism, Communism=Anti-Fascism, while trying to remain uninvolved, floating in mid-air outside it, like Archimedes' lever trying to move the earth without having anywhere to stand, those who would rehabilitate Feudal-Nationalist and unrepentant Fascist mass-murders, like the dishonored dipso ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko's posthumously honoring war criminal Stepan Bandera, must even further obfuscate unto obliterate those expressions of this essential antipathy between German Fascism and Soviet Communism, of which the 1939 Molotov/Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact (MRP) is a principal example, by depicting them as 'Alliances' or 'Mutual Defense Treaties.'  As with all attempts to demonstate that 'the spiritual' overrides 'the material', the religious idealist is going to wind up gravely injured, even seriously dead, at the hands of the secular materialist.

All this to say, if you watch Snyder's stuff on YouTube--which I would not be so cruel as to recommend, but should never be feared--to get through it, you'll have to forgive his unbearable, twitchy lugubriousness as resulting from a surfiet of however corrupted information and a dearth of decency and good sense.

Remember, the border that divided Eastern from Western Germany, that imaginary line Churchill would later call an 'Iron Curtain', that demarcation that runs between the Baltic and the Black Seas, is the oldest geopolitical definition in Human History, dividing the Frankish tribes in the West from the Slavic tribes in the East.  After certain Empires suffered fatal blows in WWI, notably the Austrio-Hungarian and Russian Czarist (Orthodox) holdings, and were replaced by popular however incipient, unformed democracies, this tribal frontier came to divide two very distinct cosmologies, two radically different value systems: the Feudal Private Capital of the Franks against the Communitarian Social and Public (Humanitarian) Value of the Slavs.

But since the anti-communist West has gone all-in to revise World History, especially that pertaining to the post-WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution-era, so as to deny any good agency to the Slavic peoples, it is essential--or maybe just amusing, which is even more important--to revisit events like the MRP, and see just how openly, even brazenly mendacious the forces of Frankish Private Capital have always been.

First, the idea to rehabilitate the MRP seems to have most recently come from Vladimir Putin:

Question: Mr President, at a meeting with historians at the end of last year, you asked a rhetorical question: “What was wrong with the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact?” Recently, Minister of Culture Mr Medinsky, called this pact a triumph for Stalin’s diplomacy from the point of view of the Soviet Union’s state interests.

Vladimir Putin: This is the sort of question that we could discuss all night long. But when it comes to assuaging fears, this also has to do with the internal state of those who have these fears. They need to step over their fears, move forward, stop living with the phobias of the past and look instead towards the future.
Concerning the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, let me draw your attention to the historical events, when the Soviet Union… It is not even so important who was in charge of diplomacy at the time. Stalin was in charge, of course, but he was not the only person thinking about how to guarantee the Soviet Union’s security. The Soviet Union made tremendous efforts to put in place conditions for collective resistance to Nazism in Germany and made repeated attempts to create an anti-Nazi bloc in Europe.
All of these attempts failed. What’s more, after 1938, when the well-known agreement was concluded in Munich, conceding some regions of Czechoslovakia, some politicians thought that war was inevitable. Churchill, for example, when his colleague came back to London with this bit of paper and said that he had brought peace, said in reply, “Now war is inevitable.”
When the Soviet Union realised that it was left to face Hitler’s Germany on its own, it acted to try to avoid a direct confrontation, and this resulted in signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In this sense, I agree with our Culture Minister’s view that this pact did make sense in terms of guaranteeing the Soviet Union’s security. This is my first point.
Second, I remind you that after the Munich Agreement was signed, Poland itself took steps to annex part of Czech territory. In the end, following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the division of Poland, they fell victim to the same policy that they tried to pursue in Europe.
We need to remember all of this, not forget any of it. If you paid attention to what I said yesterday, I said that a truly effective security system must be built not on a bloc basis, but on the basis of an equal approach to security for all actors in the international community. If we could build our work on these principles, using the United Nations as a base, I think we would achieve success.
Timothy Snyder, who has become the academic archbishop of the renaissant Nationalists, tries to give Putin's words some sort of sinister, occulting intention.  But the the real obfuscation is all Snyder's:

--The rehabilitation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is not the reflection of a clear ideology, but it may be something worse: an embrace of nihilism as a defence of incompetence. To embrace the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is to discard the basis for common understanding in the western world for the sake of a momentary tactic that can destroy but cannot create.--
This last sentence is a shameless, near-total abandonment of even the most flaccid Human reasoning.

Yet the Law has always been thought of as the repository, even a conservatory of Reason.  Though what passes for International Law in the anti-communist West has degenerated into cynical word games--Words With Fiends?

An example of how the New Wordsmithies are pounding out fast and loose descriptions of Reality, then stretching them to fit, is here.  Whose fault are the New Cold War tensions?

Russia's 'abuse' of NATO? That's rich.  Here you go:

While seeking to boost military contacts with the Russians, Nato has also moved to rid its Brussels headquarters of what are believed to be dozens of Russian spies. . . .

But then, to cut the laughter and qualify matters a bit, we're given this: 

. . . Despite the decision to revive the emergency hotlines, Nato has cut most contacts with the Russians at its headquarters in Brussels and is in the process of emptying the offices of dozens of Russian diplomats and officers.

As it turns out, the chief adversary of the Human Rights of Russian and other Slavic peoples is that bullhorn for the Kingdom of Private Capital, International Law, itself.  Blowing out from Gestapo shithouses like Yale, the Insitute of Modern Russia in NYC or the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, they never met a beef they couldn't hang on the Soviets/Russians.

My recent experience with this latest S/M fetish favored by the historically demented and morally withered, associations based in large private Universities and gathering up those who KNOW Putin and Russia overthrew Yanukovich/Kiev, invaded Ukraine and shot down MH17; those who KNOW Bashar al-Assad, the duly elected (as recently as June 2014) president of Syria gases, barrel-bombs, then rapes and eats his own electorate; and those who can go on senselessly and endlessly about how Stalin and the USSR were, with the signing of the MRP, the allies AND the invaders of Nazi Germany, actually THE INSTIGATORS of WWII, intending not to Liberate but to Occupy and enslave Europe:  these submental tossers recently knocked out of me a meandering essay on the Illegitimacy of International Law, but I have spared you by excerpting just the part where Professor Furr's work rides in and saves my ample seat in the course.  

Me Pierre d'Argent, UCL

[I am in the following addressing Professor Pierre d'Argent (great handle for a shyster, right?) of the Catholic University at Louvain.  'Me Money' showed real sack in presenting his course in a frail and halting English translation from the original French, but just insufficient skills to sell this bridge.]

Professor d’Argent,

I find your description of Law as both limiting and liberating a sort of boilerplate, the kind of definition, free of political differentiation, well suited to the demands of a course which must tread carefully through the mine field of conflicting geohistorical interests. No need to considered who are the ‘liberated’ and who the ‘limited’. As with all relevant historical distinctions over the last century, between Fascism and Communism, between Nazi Germany and the USSR, between Western Privatization and Eastern National Democracy, all are fuzzed out with the sweep of a Post Modern false equivalency.

But your idea of ‘International Law’, a Law for the 'International Community', has very glaring biases, based both on historical and practical misreadings.

Let's first take our concern, yours and mine, over the so-call invasion of Eastern Poland by the USSR in Sept 1939:  My dear friend and luncheon companion, Prof Grover Furr of Montclair State University here in New Jersey, states in his magnificent book “Blood Lies”, a debunking of the mendacious apologist for Ukrainian, Polish and German nationalist crimes, Timothy Snyder's “Bloodlands”, brings out an interesting legal nicety concerning Polish and Soviet actions in that fall of 1939:

I direct you to Chapter 7 of “Blood Lies”, The Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact: What Really Happened.

The INTRODUCTION states:  Did the Soviet Union Invade Poland on September 17, 1939?  Why ask? “We all know” this invasion occurred.  “You can look it up!”  All most all authoritative accounts agree that this historical event happened. . . .


The truth is that the USSR did not invade Poland in September 1939.  However, so completely has this non-event passed into historiography as “true” that I have yet to find a recent history book from the West that actually gets it correct.  And, off course, the USSR had never been an “ally” of Nazi Germany.  The Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact (henceforth “M-R Pact”) was a non-aggression pact, not an alliance of any kind.  The claim that the USSR and Hitler’s Germany were “allies” is simply stated over and over again, but is never backed up with any evidence.

. . . Furthermore, at the time, it was widely acknowledged that no such invasion occurred.

(But, as is often the case with this course, it is impossible to prove a negative, that a genocide did NOT take place or that Germany and the USSR were NOT allies.  So the burden of proof should be on those whose arguments are founded on these non-events.)

Finally, the “nicety” arrives: Under the heading THE USSR DID NOT INVADE POLAND—AND EVERYBODY KNEW IT AT THE TIME, we come to my favorite little known  fact:

. . . (Because the Polish Government and General Staff had fled into neutral Rumania) No State of Poland existed any longer.

Unless the Red Army came in to prevent it, there was nothing to prevent the Nazis from coming right up to the Soviet border.  Or—as we now know they were in fact preparing to do—Hitler could have formed one or more pro-Nazi states in what had until recently been Eastern Poland.


How do we know the USSR did not commit aggression against, or “invade”, Poland when it occupied Eastern Poland beginning on September 17, 1939, after the Polish government had interned itself in Rumania? (Then he lists 9 pieces of evidence to support his claim.)

Now we have finally arrived at the question of ‘International Law’ regarding this would-be Soviet invasion.


Every definition of the state recognizes the necessity of a government or “an organized political authority.”  Once the Polish government [had] crossed the border into Rumania, it was no longer a “government.”


In a 1958 article in The American Journal of International Law, UCLA professor Ginsburgs determined that the Soviet claim that the State of Poland no longer existed was basically a sound one:

For all these various reasons, it may safely be concluded that on this particular point the Soviet argument was successful, and that the “above considerations do allow for any doubt that there did not exist a state of war between Poland and the USSR in September 1939.”
In spite of scattered protests to the contrary, the consensus heavily sides with the Soviet view that by September 17, 1939, the Polish government was in panic and full flight, that it did not exercise any appreciable control over its armed forces or its remaining territory, and that the days of Poland were indeed numbered.
De facto, then, one may well accept the view that the Polish Government no longer functioned as an effective state power.  In such a case the Soviet claim that Eastern Galicia was in fact a terra nullius may not be unjustified and could be sustained. {Terra nullius is a term from Roman law describing a territory from which any prior sovereign has expressly or implicitly relinquished all sovereignty.}

So in the case of Poland and the Soviet “invasion”, one sees how international law was applied to bring historical accuracy to an event which had before been used to criminal the victim of aggression and exculpate the aggressor.  When this legal relationship was inverted is an inquiry demanding more time and space than is here available.  But, surely, your assumption that the Soviets did, in fact, ‘invade’ Poland—just as, I’m sure, you freely use the expression “The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan”—is an indication that ‘International Law’ and the ‘International Community’ have been fully appropriated by the NATO Powers to use against the East.

 If further example is necessary, let’s consider how the 79-day terror-bombing of Serbia (Newsweek magazine's term) by NATO could be, at the same time, illegal by UN and NATO standards, while being called 'legitimate', and, therefore, not deserving even of a cursory investigation, by the very legal institutions you cite as having co-signed the allegation that genocide was committed by Bosno-Serbian forces (thugs, as you call them, a term dripping irony, in this context):  the ICTY and ICJ. 

From the beginning, the charge of genocide in Bosnia was an expediency used to disqualify the Rep. Srpska leadership, President Karadzic and General Mladic, from taking part in the Dayton Peace talks as indicted war criminals.  As with the charge of genocide in Rwanda, level against just one party to the conflict, a charge the ICTR was never able to make stick, the Tribunal was ordered by its Appeals Chamber in The Hague to 'take judicial notice' of the genocide—i.e., to accept the mass killing that unquestionably took place in that martyred country, from 1990 until well-past 1994, as an act of genocide without ever having to prove it legally.  After all, the so-called 'brains of the genocide' were all acquitted.

But what these two expedient ‘false charges’ of genocide did was effectively to absolve the villains, the foreign aggressors, NATO and its proxy African mercenary army, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, while indicting the victims of these military onslaughts, the Yugoslavs and the Rwandan revolutionary government of the single MRND party, for their own annihilations.

And as to your friendship with Lt. Lotin’s family, well, that is somewhat serendipitous for my argument and, as with the invasion of Poland, or with Belgian apologies, not so for yours.  And let me say here that it is not Belgian colonialism that I’m indicting; it’s Belgium’s support for, it’s aiding and abetting the real aggressors in Rwanda, the RPF.

First off, you really need to be informed that there were 13 bodies—not 10—identified as being Belgian paracommandos.  General Ndindiliyimana counted the bodies when he went with the unspeakable, craven Dallaire to view the scene of the standoff at Camp Kigali.  That day, 6 April 1994, Lt. Lotin and his peripatetic platoon found themselves in more dubious locations than they could really explain and fell into the suspicion of the Rwandan Army and Presidential Guard.  Many suspected them of being in on the missile strike against President Habyarimana.  Some thought Lotin et alia had been sent not to protect PM Agate but to eliminate her.  The question of whether the RPF or the Crisis government actually murdered her has been thoroughly answered by my friend and renown international defense attorney Christopher Black.  You can find is solution to Agate’s murder here:

And I’m not sure how to link files to these comments pages, but I also can send you the KIBAT report mentioned in Chris’s article.  But here is the salient paragraph regarding Lt. Lotin.

The Ghanaian commander approached the Belgian officer in charge and asked him what their mission was. The Ghanaians, also inexplicably, had no prior notice that the Belgians were coming there even though they were in radio contact with the UN command. The Belgian officer, Lt. Lotin, refused to answer, stating simply, "We are coming to see the Prime Minister." The Sgt, then accompanied the Belgians to the door of Agathe's residence. They knocked on the door but Agathe refused to answer the knock or open the door. Did she know these men had been involved in the murder of the president? Why had they been sent to her house secretly? Were they there, or did she think they were there, to kill her also? A clue may be found in a cryptic entry in the official Belgian Army history of the events known as the KIBAT (for Kigali Battalion) Report. On page 13, at paragraph 'k', the report states that the Belgian officer radios to his superior that the "Rwandans believe that the Belgians want the skin of Agathe."(26)

So to wrap up:  what you in the Humanitarian Law, Human Rights wing of the International Community have done is effectively to have covered up the real crimes of your clients (as all good lawyers should) while shifting culpability onto the victims of this neo-colonial campaign of population management.  As they say in Africa, “As long as the lions don’t have their own historians, History will be written by the hunters.’  The same adage applies to the Law.  And I fear you are teaching the Law of the Hunters.

Respectfully, M. Collins

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