The assumptions in those comments verge on the
Some of us on 'the left' are not so
blind as to think that all that is going on in emerging post-Soviet nations is
"retarded nationalism, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic aggression and the equation
of Nazi war crimes with the Soviet rule afterwards."
You don't have
to be a supporter of either US imperialism, Wilsonian self-determination or
old-fashioned nationalism to see that many of these characteristics as are to be
found in Putin's rule in Russia on an even larger and more powerful scale - of
course with the exception of Stalin's era, which is now starting to be recalled
as a golden age there (and incidentally, what's wrong with being
'comparing Nazi war crimes with the Soviet rule afterwards', this would seem to
be perfectly legitimate. It is not to say that they were exactly the same,
however the median estimates for deaths caused by Stalin are around 20,000,000
compared to those caused by Hitler of around 40,000,000. That's certainly
comparable in terms of orders of magnitudes, and you can't tell me that
Stalin's gulags, arbitrary purges and slaughters and deliberate
starvations were much more rational and justified than Hitler's
vernichtunskreig, even though the latter remains the most revolting
episode in human history.
Finally, I seem to recall that rather too
many in certain parts of the western left gave their support to Stalin
too, even after the extent of his crimes
were revealed... they were wrong, put simply.
Many of the European left were wrong and some remain unable to
admit it. Simply claiming to be 'left' does not count as some kind of short cut
to being genuinely critical - whilst we may have a good time applying our
critical eye to the easy targets of petty nationalisms, it doesn't mean
that some petty nationalists don't deserve our sympathy against even
greater evils on some occasions (even whilst we might not agree with their
views) - even if the USA has encouraged such petty nationalisms. And human
compassion is in most cases a more appropriate first response than armchair
analysis, however ideologically precise.
Am 14.08.2008 um 12:38 schrieb Sarah Glynn:
there are a lot of different positions and I already communicated this to
Helen. I quote it below, maybe it's of interest for some. I wonder why some
people consider themselves as »critical geographers«.
Please find address to the universities by Rector of
University attached to this letter and express your
support to this little
country in every way you can.
Helen Sooväli, PhD
Senior Researcher in Cultural
Centre for Landscape and Culture
Estonian Institute of Humanities
Uus Sadama 5
Why the hell should we
Instead of the attachment I have copied the address
to this letter. Thank
you for your quick response.
Hmm, ok, a serious
task, but isn't it more useful to demonstrate against Saakashvili for his
infantile military politics and far-beyond-imagination strategic errors he did
and forced Georgia into a war with a hegemon of which he knew what it's
reaction it would be?
It is easy to judge when sitting at the computer
and condemn Saakashvili. This is not the time. Georgia needs help. Same
sort of thing happened in Estonia last year in a much minor scale event,
when finally a Soviet war memorial was moved to another place. I guess to
understand the power of Russian propaganda and tactics one has to
experience it... Thank God Estonia belongs to NATO, there was not much
help from EU then..
I think maybe one of
the ugliest chauvinist practices we ever faced in memory politics was given
when this monument was moved. A lot of people are also in clear opposition to
the revanchist ideas in a lot of post-Soviet countries, with retarded
nationalism, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic aggression and the equation of Nazi
war crimes with the Soviet rule afterwards. You should not expect too much
support from Western Europe, because we had this chauvinist attitudes once in
the 50ies and are fed of. The Left at least...