The madness of the EU rubs off on both those who love it and those who hate it. The latter group, driven to hysteria by the foul federalist obscenity thrust down their throats, sometimes thinks that anything is better than the EU, and the more unlike the EU it is, the better it is.
By and large, these people correctly draw the line on ISIS. Where they make a potentially fatal error is in believing that Putin’s Russia is good because the EU is bad.
The syllogism doesn’t work – the EU is evil, but Putin’s Russia is even more so. Not seeing that betokens either ignorance (not being in possession of facts) or stupidity (being unable to interpret the facts) or ill will (being Peter Hitchens).
Actually, when it comes to Russia, Hitchens meets the other two criteria as well. For example, in his today’s offering (A Clear Message from Moscow) he claims that “the real fault-line in Europe lies between Germany and Russia.”
This displays both ignorance and stupidity, with ill will as the animating spirit behind the two. Hitchens, as an echo of his recent Trotskyist past, has a soft spot for Russian tyrants. Lacking psychiatric training, I can’t presume to analyse this condition properly.
It may be caused by an erotic craving for muscular chaps who don’t think twice before resorting to violence. Alternatively, it could be a latent reluctance to renounce his Trotskyist past completely, which is indeed a hard thing to do. Such convictions come not from intellectual but from visceral predisposition. The former is subject to change; the latter lingers for ever.
Hitchens has enough education and brains to know that there are many fault-lines in Europe, and the one between Germany and Russia is less prone to fissure than some others. If he says otherwise, it’s because his viscera have overridden his brains and education.
The situation in Europe is never as primitive as Hitchens’s inflamed mind seems to think. And it’s cloud cuckoo land to claim that “all our present misfortunes began when we foolishly took sides in the great Russo-German war of 1914.”
Entering the First World War was indeed foolish, but describing that conflict as a ‘Russo-German war’ is either ignorant or mad, take your pick. Surely Hitchens must have heard about French revanchism ever-accelerating following the 1870-71 disaster. He may have heard of the Kaiser’s striving for dominance in continental Europe. Why, he might even have caught the whiff of Britain’s historical commitment to preventing the emergence of any dominant power on the continent.
Hence referring to the Great War as one strictly between Germany and Russia is a cue for the men in white coats to make an appearance. In fact, all the belligerents were equally complicit in what’s justifiably called Europe’s suicide. That war, more than any other, put paid to Europe as a cultural entity formed by the fusion of Christianity and Hellenism.
That war gave rise to two satanic regimes of modernity: Russian Bolshevism and German Nazism. The EU is indeed to some extent “the continuation of Germany by other means”, as Hitchens describes it. This means that the traditional German desire to spread its Bildung is discernible in the toings and froings of the EU.
But Hitchens’s Trotskyist instincts don’t let him see that, to a much greater extent, Putin’s Russia is a continuation of the Soviet Union by other means. The principal fault-line in Europe isn’t one between the EU and Russia, but between what’s left of our civilisation and the deadly threats to it, coming from both the EU and Russia.
Hitchens is worried about the EU’s “swelling and spreading eastwards, abolishing frontiers and gobbling up territory as it has so many times before”. By contrast, Russian expansion westwards and southwards causes him no problems whatsoever.
Well, at least the EU expands by voluntary association. Putin’s Russia expands by banditry, as she has done three times since the country was taken over by the kleptofascist KGB junta: in Chechnya, Georgia and the Ukraine.
At least the EU doesn’t threaten nuclear annihilation of the world, which Putin and his mouthpieces do with metronomic regularity. At least the EU lets its military muscle weaken to atrophy, whereas Putin’s is bristling with testosteronal strength.
At least the EU doesn’t display Nazi insignia and ‘We Can Do it Again’ posters, which Putin’s Russia does (with Bolshevik insignia partly, though not completely, replacing Nazi symbols).
That’s why it takes that unholy trinity of stupidity, ignorance and ill will to describe the nauseating sabre-rattling in Red Square as “increasingly spectacular celebrations of [Russia’s] 1945 triumph over Hitler”.
Some triumph! Two predators, Hitler and Stalin, combined to devastate Europe and kill 60 million people, half of them Soviets. Since circumstances forced Britain and America to side with one predator, he emerged victorious – with dire consequences for millions of people.
Hitler’s concentration camps were put to the same use by Putin’s predecessors – is that the triumph Hitchens hails? Talk to the families of Germans killed trying to escape across the Berlin Wall, Hungarians massacred in their thousands, Czechs squashed to death by Soviet tanks – see what they think of that ‘triumph’.
Hitchens obviously sees the sickening flexing of military muscle on 9 May as a sign that Russia has had enough of Western expansionism. It is, in fact, a sign of something else – that the Bolshevik spirit has come back in the body of the murderous KGB colonel.