By Carla Stea / RCFP
On December 18, 2009, The United Nations General Assembly, by an overwhelming majority, adopted Resolution 64/147, A/C.3/64/L.53 put forth by the Third Committee, entitled: “Inadmissability of Certain Practices that Contribute to Fuelling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.” Excerpts from this resolution stated:
1. Reaffirms the provisions of the Durban Declaration and of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference in which states condemned the persistence and resurgence of neo-Nazism, neo-Fascism and violent nationalist ideologies based on racial and national prejudice and stated that these phenomena could never be justified in any instance or in any circumstances…..Expresses deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members, and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movements, as participants in national liberation movements……Expresses concern at recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and urges states in this regard to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949….(Notes with concern the increase in the number of racist incidents in several countries and the rise of skinhead groups which have been responsible for many of these incidents, as well as the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence targeting members of ethnic, religious or cultural communities and national minorities)….stresses that the practices described above do injustice to the memory of the countless victims of crimes against humanity committed in the Second World War, in particular those committed by the SS organization and those who fought against the anti-Hitler movement, and poison the minds of young people, and that those practices are incompatible with the obligations of the States members of the United Nations under its Charter, and are incompatible with the goals and principles of the Organization.”
On December 18th, 127 members of the United Nations, including India, Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Iran, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Libya, voted in favor of the resolution. Fifty-four members abstained, including France, Germany, Latvia, Georgia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine, and only one nation opposed the resolution: the United States.
Since 2003, similar resolutions opposing the resurgence of Nazism have been sponsored by the Russian Federation, along with other similarly concerned member States of the United Nations. Each year, the resolution has been adopted by the overwhelming majority of the members of the United Nations, in each case, with Iran, Syria and Israel voting together in favor of the resolution, and in each previous year the resolution was opposed by only 2 out of the 192 States belonging to the United Nations: previously, only the United States and the Marshall Islands opposed that resolution. This year, despite the change promised by the Obama Administration, the United States, alone and in isolation, opposed the resolution.
On February 28, 2007 I asked the US State Department spokesman: “Tom, why did the United States vote against resolution 62/142, which prohibits the glorification of Nazism, especially since former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Stuart Eizenstat spent years trying to get compensation for victims of Nazi atrocities?” On February 25, 2009, I asked the US State Department spokesman: “Robert, recently a commission was established on preventing genocide, co-chaired by William S. Cohen, Madeleine Albright with Stuart Eizenstat and Tom Pickering. And since there is a great interest in that, and it is extremely important; why did the United States vote against a resolution which was adopted recently at the General Assembly of the UN, on the inadmissibility of the glorification of Nazism, prohibiting the description of Nazi collaborators during World War II as national liberation movements? That’s Orwellian.”
The State Department reply of February 26, 2009 stated: “This resolution fails to distinguish between actions and statements that, while offensive, should be protected by freedom of expression, and actions that incite violence, which should be prohibited. The United States remains convinced that governments should not punish speech, even that which is deemed offensive or hateful. In a free society hateful ideas fail on account of their own intrinsic lack of merit.”
The State Department explanation of their vote against a resolution so historically important that together, Iran, Israel and Syria recognized its indispensability and together voted in favor of it, raises disturbing questions, particularly since Resolution 63/162 explicitly cites actions prohibited by Article 34 of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Convention of 1949: “recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as unlawfully exhuming or removing the remains of such persons.” Stealing bodies from graves, against the will of their families, is indisputably an action. The dead do not voluntarily exit their graves. Article 34 of the Geneva Convention, International Humanitarian Law, protects war graves, and recently in Talinin, Estonia, the remains of soldiers who were killed liberating Estonia from Nazism have been desecrated; symbolic and sacrilegious actions astride a deadly slippery slope – it is not an enormous distance from robbing dead bodies from graves to kidnapping live humans from their homes. The attempt to justify the former facilitates justification of the latter.
From December 16th to 18th, 2009, in Berlin, a conference was held on “Lessons of World War II and the Holocaust.” Conference participants denounced Georgia’s plan to demolish a monument originally erected in Kutuisi in honor of Georgian Soviet soldiers who died fighting Nazism in World War II, and called upon Georgia to reconsider. Georgia said it plans to relocate its parliament from Tbilisi to Kutuisi on precisely the site of that monument, a plan protested by many Georgian citizens, themselves. Nevertheless, on December 19th, 2009, the day following the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of Resolution 64/147, the Georgian government blew up the monument honoring Georgian soldiers who gave their lives in the fight against Nazism. It is impossible to explain how the United States could fail to recognize that the bombing of historic monuments and the desecration of graves are actions, and indeed dangerous precedents, practically and symbolically. One can only imagine the reaction in Washington if a Southern racist blew up the Lincoln memorial, or dragged the corpses of American soldiers from Arlington Cemetery. Those abhorrent actions could hardly be justified as “free speech.”
Highly placed diplomatic sources accredited to the United Nations, in a personal interview with this reporter, confirmed that during informal consultations on the resolution they pointed out to the United States delegation that to condone opposing the resolution, the United States was condoning violation of Article 34 of the Geneva Convention. The United States stated that the matter of violation of Article 34 of the Geneva Convention was “irrelevant.” While the Bush Administration Justice Department discarded the Geneva Conventions as “quaint,” many hoped that the Obama Administration would show greater respect for international law. The United States reference to international law as “irrelevant” begets fearsome possibilities, and evokes fearful memories. Those highly placed diplomatic sources regarded the United States’ vote flaunting international law as motivated by political interests. The governments of the Baltics and Ukraine are tacitly sanctioning resurgent Nazi ideology, and the inclusion of the Baltics in NATO, and support of pro-Nazi regimes in Ukraine and Georgia, are central to a hostile encirclement of Russia, an Orwellian rewriting of history, undermining Russia’s morale and prestige as the decisive victor defeating Nazism in World War II. Of course, this perversion of history also desecrates the honor and memory of the many American soldiers who also died fighting Nazism. The rewriting and desecration of historic truth are an essential component of political and psychological warfare.
According to historian Christopher Simpson, in The Splendid Blonde Beast, Money, Law and Genocide in the Twentieth Century, (page 134): “Franklin Delano Roosevelt had come to distrust the European Division of the State Department, which disagreed with FDR’s politics and often pursued its own agenda regardless of directives from the White House. State’s Eastern European specialists, including William Bullitt, Loy Henderson and George Kennan, leaned toward a strategy of rapprochement with Hitler and an anti-Bolshevik ‘cordon sanitaire’ with Germany against the Soviets. Roosevelt favored normalized relations with the Soviets – in late 1933, he sent the first US Ambassador to Moscow since the 1917 revolution, and as the decade wore on he increasingly viewed the German-Japanese Axis as the world’s most dangerous imperial force.”
Considering the recently established Genocide Prevention Task Force, one would have expected the United States to vote in favor of a resolution to prevent the resurgence of Nazism, one of the most genocidal ideologies in human history.
Not content with exterminating 6 million Jews, in World War II, the genocidal Nazi behemoth turned eastward, where, according to Martin Bormann, “The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we don’t need them, they may die…. Education is dangerous. Every educated person is a future enemy.” Finally, in the words of Dr. Otto Brautigam, Deputy Leader of the Nazi Political Department of the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories,
“It is no longer a secret from friend or foe that hundreds of thousands of Russian prisoners of war have died of hunger or cold in our camps. We now experience the grotesque picture of having to recruit millions of laborers from the occupied Eastern territories after prisoners of war have died of hunger like flies. In the prevailing limitless abuse of the Slavic humanity, ‘recruiting’ methods were used which probably have their origin in the blackest periods of the slave traffic. A regular man hunt was inaugurated. Without consideration of health or age the people were shipped to Germany…. Our policy has forced both Bolshevists and Russian Nationalists into a common front against us. The Russian fights today with exceptional bravery and self-sacrifice for nothing more or less than recognition of his human dignity.”
Twenty-five million citizens of the Soviet Union died fighting Nazism. Six million Jews were exterminated as a canon of Nazi policy. Many thousands of Americans died fighting Nazism in Europe and North Africa. Countless partisans fighting collaborationist regimes in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and throughout Europe were tortured to death by the Nazis. The essence of Christopher Simpson’s masterpiece is that there was a fifth column of Nazi sympathizers in the United States because Nazism was “better for business,” General Motors, Standard Oil and du Pont were “deeply involved in German weapons production.” According to Max Wallace, in The American Axis, Henry Ford was not only the inspiration for Adolf Hitler (as declared by Hitler, himself), but throughout World War II subsidiaries of Ford in Germany were manufacturing the very machinery the Nazis used to slaughter American soldiers.
Perhaps, today, it is not the First Amendment, but precisely such a fifth column responsible for the United States opposition to United Nations Resolution 64/147. It is impossible to overestimate the significance of the fact that together, Syria, Iran and Israel (generally thought to be the bitterest of enemies) voted in unison in favor of that Resolution, not only once, but year after year after year. Perhaps they share a subliminal recognition of a common interest and a common threat of another world war. There is a vast, untapped oil reserve in Siberia. Perhaps, while attention is focused upon the Middle East, covert action is focused upon seizing those oil reserves. To accomplish that, those covert actors will have to finish the work begun by Hitler: the dismemberment and subjugation of Russia (not incidentally a nuclear power). Like the Nazis, the Taliban hold that “education is dangerous; every educated person is a future enemy.” Who created the Taliban? Who is using them today?
Carla Stea is covering the UN for the Rock Creek Free Press. She has written for Covert Action, and War and Peace Digest, and numerous other publications in the USA, also for Komsomolskaya Pravda in the Soviet Union, and in Rabochaya Tribuna and Sovetskaya Rossia, in Russia, as well as in publications in England. and Latin America.