photo by Yoshinori Abe

February 4, 2000

HANDS OFF AUSTRIA!

In Vienna, an eerie sight: 20,000 leftists marched on the conservative People's Party headquarters protesting the entry of Austria's Freedom Party into the government and supporting the European Union's threat of sanctions. According to the New York Times, "some protesters carried babies or marched under pictures of Che Guevara. Many more carried the circle of yellow stars that is the symbol of the European Union." The juxtaposition of Che Guevara and the ominously dark blue field of stars that symbolizes the EU at the Vienna demonstration dramatizes the new world political reality: the effective merger of the old Communist and left-Social Democratic parties into a single movement – and raises the question: who really won the cold war?

LEFT ON THE MARCH

The Left is on the march throughout Europe, screaming for the blood of Joerg Haider, the photogenic leader of a party smeared as "nativist" and even "Nazi," and the mob is not limited to the streets. The EU Parliament has approved a policy of diplomatic, political and perhaps even economic sanctions against Austria if the Freedom Party enters the government. A new wave of "antifascism" is sweeping the Continent, and behind it is what British Tory leader William Hague described as a campaign to establish a British super-state. With the publication of new EU proposals this week abolishing the ability of individual member to veto the Eurocrats in such vital areas as "social security, social policy, industrial and transport policy, financial regulation and the spending of the multi-million pound structural and cohesion funds," even Hague, hardly a Euroskeptic, is waking up to the fact that the Eurocrats intend to abolish the sovereignty of member states. A few days after Hague spoke out, Tony Blair's Labor Party was ready with its answer. In the debate over the Austrian question in the European Parliament, Labor Party member Glyn Ford rose to declare:

"Some say that it is not right for us to interfere in Austrian politics. They are wrong. Some say we have to accept the outcome of democratic elections – but elections do not always make democrats."

DIALECTICS AND "DEMOCRACY"

In other words, elections can and should be nullified if they don't measure up to the proper standards of political correctness. Such is the nature of "democracy," EU-style. Elections are fine, as long as no one takes them too seriously. If they should somehow stray from their predetermined result, then they are "undemocratic" – a dialectical sleight of hand worthy of the EU's Soviet predecessors.

IS COMMUNISM "BEAUTIFUL"?

Who is Massimo D'Alema, the "ex-Communist" Prime Minister of Italy, to berate the Austrians their insufficient devotion to "diversity" and "tolerance"? This is a man who, far from repudiating his support of totalitarianism, glories in it instead: he once proudly declared that "it is practically impossible to find a name as beautiful as Communist Party."

ARISE YE PRISONERS OF STARVATION

Our own London-based columnist, Emmanuel Goldstein, has traced and amply documented the Red network inside the British Labor Party, with "ex-" Commies of one sort or another permeating the Labor Party leadership, and on a much smaller scale the same tactic has been employed by the Left in the US, with social democratic and "former" CPUSA members and factions all burrowed deep in the party of Clinton. The International of the "Third Way" embraces corporate transnationalism – not laissez-faire, but international state capitalism – as a way to achieve the old Marxist dream of abolishing national boundaries altogether. As John Laughland points out in the Spectator,

"The West is thus now on the verge of achieving that of which Lenin and Trotsky dreamed in 1917. For the point is not, as many Eurosceptics mistakenly believe, to replace nation-states with a European or world super-state. It is instead to achieve the old Marxist dream of abolishing statehood altogether."

THE GLOBALIST DESIGN

As I have pointed out very recently, the EU is a key element of the globalist design, the model of the emerging world state being constructed by Western elites. Seeking to supplement (not supplant) NATO as the military guarantor of regional security, the Eurocrats are planning their own armed forces, which will police the continent for any outbreaks of forbidden "extremism," as in Serbia and Austria. It is not inconceivable that Austria could find itself faced with more than the threat of mere sanctions. Will "Allied" planes bomb Vienna, just as they devastated Belgrade? If it were up to the right honorable Glyn Ford and his fellow Brezhnevites, then the answer to that question should be all too apparent. My advice to the Viennese: out of the opera houses and into the bomb shelters.

THE NEW BREZHNEV DOCTRINE

It is the Brezhnev Doctrine all over again: once you "say yes to Europe," as the EU slogan would have it, you have lost forevermore the right to say no. Just as there was no getting out of the Warsaw Pact at the height of the Kremlin's power, so the EU has similarly lassoed its member states – and is now hauling them in, in some instances kicking and screaming. An example must be made, and that is what the "Haider is Hitler" propaganda campaign is all about.

MASS HYPNOSIS

The demonization of "hate figures" in the mass media to achieve certain policy ends is by now a familiar technique of the power elite. If ever they set their sights on a particular area of the world, all they have to do is compare its rulers to Hitler and it isn't long before the bombs start to fall. American troops follow soon after. From Panama – remember, if you will, that Noriega was absurdly compared to Hitler – to Iraq to Serbia and now Austria, the vilification process was eerily similar. Hitler, Hitler, Hitler – the mere repetition of his name, over and over, in an endless propaganda loop, has a kind of hypnotic effect. All critical thought is suspended, and, instead, one is delivered over to the tender mercies of the hypnotist, who looks down at his patient through thick spectacles and speaks in a commanding voice: "Now repeat after me. . . ."

THE BIG SMEAR

The characterization of Haider as some kind of neo-Nazi is known by everyone in Austria, even the left-wing Social Democrats, as a smear; after all, Glyn Ford's comrades in the Austrian Social Democratic Party (affiliated with the British Labor Party in the Socialist International) were also negotiating with the Freedom Party to form a coalition government. As the World Socialist Website points out:

"Within the SPÖ [Austrian socialist party], which for the first time in 30 years is threatened with going into opposition, indignation prevails about the recent turn of events. This could easily cost Viktor Klima the party chairmanship. Klima's inner-party opponents have not attacked him because negotiations with the People's Party broke down, rather they accuse him of failing to steal a march on Schüssel by approaching Haider first. Last Monday Interior Minister Karl Schloegl, an aspirant for the party presidency, called for negotiations between the Social Democrats and the FPÖ. This was a day before Haider opened discussions with [conservative party leader] Schüssel."

A LEOPARD AND HIS SPOTS

In his warmongering speech to the European Parliament, Glyn Ford declared that the real villain of Vienna was not Haider – "for a leopard never changes his spots" – but Schussel,, "acting as a Judas goat resurrecting policies which we thought had died in Berlin in 1945." But what does he think about his fellow socialists of the Austrian SPO – why are they not also condemned for attempting to get in bed with alleged neo-Nazis?

ORIGINS OF A CARNARD

The neo-Nazi canard is universally applied to all the enemies of the New World Order: never was it less deserved than in the case of Joerg Haider. Yet virtually every "objective" news account of the EU-Austrian face-off begins with a description of Haider as the "far right" leader "who once praised Hitler's employment policies." Nothing more is said about this accusation, only the bare assertion, and its origin tells us a lot about the propaganda techniques now in current usage. This is the old cut-and-paste school of character assassination, in which single sentences are lifted out of context and presented on their face; in Haider's case, it is a single phrase, a fragment of a sentence uttered in the heat of debate on the floor of the Austrian Parliament. As I pointed out in a previous column on the subject, in answer to Haider's proposal that welfare recipients, both native and foreign born, be strongly encouraged to find private sector jobs under threat of a cut-off in benefits, the socialists replied that Haider's proposal would be a return to the policies of the Third Reich! Overcome by such hypocrisy, the intemperate Haider replied that, unlike the Social Democrats, the Nazis had actually increased employment – a fact so politically incorrect that he was forced to resign as governor of Carinthia.

CAUSE AND EFFECT

Hyperbole on the left is permitted, even encouraged, but is usually the downfall of politicians on the right. Not in Haider's case, however: he was later reelected, and his popularity continues to surge. The attack of the Eurocrats has sent his poll numbers skyrocketing: if the election were held today, his Freedom Party could win a majority. At the height of the debate in the European Parliament, an Irish Green Euro-MP, Patricia McKenna, who abstained, naively warbled: "I wonder at the wisdom of trying to combat intolerance with intolerance. Is the Haider party getting more support because of the opposition of outside governments? You just wonder, is this actually feeding the flames of xenophobia?"

SOCIALIST NOSTALGIA

As we say in America: Duh-uh! All across Europe, the "ex"-Commies and their Blairite allies are gearing up for a reenactment of socialism's finest hour: the historic "anti-fascist" crusade that ended with the lowering of the Iron Curtain over half of Europe. In the 1930s and 40s, Communists and their fellow travelers sent packages to Loyalist Spain, picketed the antiwar rallies of the America First Committee after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, and made opposition to fascism the leitmotif of their political work in every field. Dozens of "anti-Nazi" groups sprang up like mushroom after a rain: from the mainline Communist Party, with tens of thousands of members, to the smallest Trotskyist sect, each group had its own "anti-Nazi" front with which it hoped to draw closer to the masses – and hitch a ride on the war hysteria. Today, the same scenario is being played over again, this time with an eye to history: the "Anti-Nazi League" of Great Britain announced a boycott of Austria "unless Joerg Haider is voted out of office." It won't be long before this takes the place of the old anti-apartheid boycotts of the 1980s; in old-line Stalinists it will evoke the memory of the boycott of Japanese products in solidarity with the people of China in the 1930s.

SHOCK TROOPS

That the Left is serving as the shock troops of the EU couldn't have been made clearer by ANL spokesperson Julie Waterson, who screeched: "There should be no cooperation with the Freedom Party. We are supporting the European Union's position. The anti-Nazi and antifascist campaigners need to show solidarity with the people who were fighting back in Austria today." In America, we are told, "leaders of more than 50 groups were holding an emergency conference last night to decide what action to take." Malcolm Hoenlein, the conference organizer, told the Times that: "Feelings are running very high." But what kinds of "feelings"? Certainly pure hatred, expressed in the stridently self-righteous tones of today's "antifascists," but also a strong feeling of nostalgia for a time when socialism meant something other than the Gulag.

THE INVENTION OF NEO-FASCISM

With this great "antifascist" machine humming and spinning its wheels, what is needed above all is a target: for anti-fascism assumes the existence of authentic fascism. But in all of Europe it is hard to find an authentic advocate of National Socialism: real live Nazis are even rarer than old-fashioned Stalinists. The solution is to invent "Nazism" where there is none – or, better yet, create the conditions for its reemergence, and once it appears nurture it and coax it into rapid growth with plenty of provocations. Haider is no Nazi: the Freedom Party platform advocates radical privatization of public property and the complete dismantling of the Austrian spoils system, in which the two major parties have doled our special privileges and subsidies to their supporters and undermined the economic and moral health of the nation. The international Left has seized on the party's opposition to immigration – and EU diktats that require the importation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the conquest of Kosovo – to portray Haider as a "nativist" and "xenophobe." Once again, sovereignty, the right of a nation to control its own borders, is the crux of the matter – with the globalists of all countries and factions on one side, and patriots of all nations on the other.

MAD MADDY IS WATCHING YOU

With the lines drawn in this manner, it is no surprise that the US government is lining up behind the Eurocrats, and is likely to endorse and honor the sanctions on Austria that are set to be imposed this Friday. Madeleine Albright, speaking in Croatia, joined in the smearing of Haider and declared that while "obviously the Austrian people have the right to elect whom they want," Austria must "maintain its international reputation." She gave the Austrians a clear warning: "We are going to be watching everything very closely and we will take the appropriate steps." Clearly, the EU is acting in concert with Washington in setting up Austria for a major bashing – on any pretext, even the flimsiest.

BEARING DOWN

As the London Times [February 3, 2000] put it, "the European Commission yesterday vowed to punish Austria for any transgression of human rights, however small." Commission President Romano Prodi virtually personified the Eurocratic spirit as he haughtily proclaimed: "We will bear down heavily on even the slightest breach of the rights of individuals, or of any minority." It could be something as seemingly marginal as the failure to fully welcome gays in the Austrian military: the European Parliament has decreed that all the member states must comply with its gay rights regulations. Or perhaps the failure of the Austrian Interior Ministry, which will be in the hands of the Freedom Party, to countenance the invasion of their country of 8 million by tens and hundreds of thousands of refugees from Eastern Europe will provide a convincing pretext.

AUSTRO-PHOBIA

In any event, a pretext will be found, some principle of political correctness which the Austrians fail to uphold in every detail. Sanctions will follow, along with a stepped-up propaganda campaign, in which Haider and his party will be depicted as goose-stepping Hitlerites – after all, didn't Hitler hail from Austria? The very scenery of his birthplace is cursed, a sour land permanently poisoned by the National Socialist infestation, its people imprinted with the sins of their fathers. Haider is nearly always described in the Western media as "the son of a Nazi official." Of course, each and every official, including the postman, the schoolteacher, and the mayor of each and every village and hamlet in wartime Austria was technically a "Nazi official." The clear implication is that the Austrians, like the Germans, are collectively guilty, as a people. This is the psycho-political basis of the Western media's rabid Austro-phobia.

A TEST CASE

Austria is a test case. If the Eurocrats can get away with this brazen assault on the sovereignty of member states, then the principle is established and the EU's hegemony is legitimized. All over Europe, the parties of the Right will face the prospect of an enforced political correctness: immigration, sovereignty, the championing of cultural and ethnic values that have persisted over millennia – none of this will be tolerated any longer. Elections that result in defeat for the advocates of the New Order will be promptly and forcefully nullified. Less than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new Iron Curtain is descending over Europe.

ROLE REVERSAL

And you thought the Cold War was over? Not only has it restarted, but East and West have switched sides: the West is now embarked on a campaign of world conquest, asserting its hegemony not only in Europe but on every continent. Only in the East, in Russia, the Balkans, and China, and in some Middle Eastern countries, is there any resistance – although there is a growing realization right here in America, in what the New Left used to call "the belly of the beast," of the rising danger of globalism.

IS COCKBURN ALONE?

For the moment, his realization seems pretty much confined to the Right side of the political spectrum, with such champions of American nationalism as presidential candidate Pat Buchanan mobilizing Americans to save their sovereignty. But perhaps the Left, or what remains of the old, principled anti-imperialist Left – is Alexander Cockburn the last one left standing? – will be wakened from its slumber in time to reclaim some of its honor.

THE DANCE OF THE ACRONYMS

But what is the issue for Americans? We, after all, are not directly involved in the EU and its machinations, although you can bet that Washington's imprimatur is on the sanctions. But why should ordinary Americans care? The reason is that we will surely be drawn into the wars it will take to establish the political supremacy of the EU in around the fringes of Western Europe. The expansion of the EU to include political, economic and military links to the Caucasus nations, particularly Georgia, is yet another tripwire that could set off American military intervention. The alleged tension between NATO and the evolving EU armed forces is illusory: what it involves is not a struggle for power so much as a rearrangement of acronyms. Instead of describing the "US-NATO" bombing of Vienna, future news reports will refer to the "US-EU" planes delivering their payloads – a distinction without a difference.

SEND EUROPE A MESSAGE

The globalist dream cannot be achieved by means short of war; the resistance is already taking shape, and the globalists are taking aim. This is the reason Americans must be vitally concerned with the rise of the EU and the victimization of Austria. But what can we do about it? The answer is: plenty. Let us take advantage of our diversity: a great many Americans trace their ancestry back to Europe, to the very nations whose governments are now combining to do to Austria what they did to Serbia. Usually these countries utilize their countrymen and agents in America to affect US foreign policy: this is one reason why the foreign aid gravy train continues to flow. But why not reverse the process? Let Americans of European descent put pressure on the old country – whether it be England, France, Italy, Germany, or whatever – to keep their hands off of Austria. Ethnic organizations in the US, if they take a stand, can have a powerful effect: the mother country, to a large extent, depends on the good will and public relations savvy of hyphenated Americans. A flood of resolutions from interested organizations in America and elsewhere would do much to send the Europeans a much-need message: Hands off Austria!

AN OPEN LETTER TO ROMANO PRODI

Let me start off the process by directly addressing Romano Prodi: as an Italian-American, Mr. Prodi, I am embarrassed by your bombast. You strut and issue grandiose proclamations just like that other woppish poseur who thought he was building an empire: but at least Mussolini's imperial vision was rooted in his own nation's history, however mythologized and glamorized: yours is rootless, tied to nothing but a soulless corporatism and a bureaucratic sterility that destroys everything it touches. Like Mussolini, you will fail. Let us hope, however, that not nearly as many die fighting you.

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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (forthcoming from Prometheus Books).

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