June 25, 2007 (the date of publication in Russian)

Roman Bagdasarov, Alexander Rudakov


Attempts to revise the WWII results may turn a new Pearl Harbor

The date of June 22, the anniversary of the invasion of the Nazi troops into the Soviet Union, is becoming a landmark date in today's information war against Russia. Shortly before this date, new versions of the myth of USSR's own aggressive plans in 1941 surfaced in international media. The myth, borrowed from The Icebreaker, a novel authored by defector Victor Suvorov, is multiplying and transforming with the speed of a computer virus. The Estonian security service, KAPO, has even published a booklet telling that on June 22, 1941, the war was started by the "Soviet Empire". This epidemic of lies suggests that the war on monuments, started in Tallinn, is going to spread across Europe. Obviously, the next targets are located in Poland and Hungary.

The Polish Institute of National Memory has already published a full list of Soviet war memorials across the country, distributing it to municipal bodies. The destiny of the Bronze Soldier of Tõnismägi Hill, Tallinn, is going to be shared by the monument of Polish-Russian fraternity in Warsaw and by the memorial complex in Katowice. The Russian exposition in Oswiecim is already closed by Polish authorities under the pretext of its "propagandist" character. The documentation on the history of Oswiecim's liberation by the Soviet Army is thus qualified as "propaganda".

In Hungary, controversies mount around the memorial of Soviet soldiers in the center of Budapest. The International Hungarian Council is going to launch a referendum on the monument's demolition. This organization is closely associated with the International Council of Finno-Ugric Peoples, engaged in dissemination of separatist sentiment in the Russia's republics of Mari El, Mordovia, and Chuvashia. The first assault on the memorial took place last autumn, when rioters tore off Communist stars from the statue.



Quite recently, the official Washington was not much enthusiastic about the revisionist intentions of Estonian leaders. The US Ambassador even urged them to pull down newly-erected memorials of SS veterans. In 2004, US Ambassador Aldona Wos, daughter of a concentration camp survivor, demanded that the Estonian government, then headed by Juhan Parts (present Minister of Economy), demolish the memorial of Estonia's SS division, known as "the monster of Lihula". In this year, Washington changed its mind, demonstrating its commitment for revision of World War II results.

We have already stated that the demolition of Soviet military memorials indicates that the West is not going to recognize Russia as the winner of World War II. On the other hand, we are facing an extremely cynical political technology, targeting those governments of Eastern Europe which prefer pragmatic cooperation with Russia. This technology is successfully used by rightist political forces in these nations in their competition with centrist rivals. According to a poll conducted by TNS Emor, the Reform Party, chaired by present Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, managed to boost its popularity from 28 to 46 per cent after the demolition of the Bronze Soldier.

Victor Orban, the chief opposition figure of Hungary, is definitely encouraged with the example of Estonia in his (not only parliamentary) fight against the centrist government of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. The assault on history enables him to shift the focus of public attention from real social and economic problems towards nationalistic obsessions, relying upon the traditional advantage of irrational demagogy over responsible policy.



On the other hand, the support achieved by Estonia from the European Union indicates that anti-Russian grudges and superstitions are going to be further used as a major lever of geopolitical self-assertion of the presently amorphous alliance of nations. It is now almost forgotten that Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighborhood Policy, was ostracized by the EU bureaucracy in 2001 for her consent to join the government of Austria, then dominated by a reputedly pro-Nazi Freedom Party, chaired by Jorg Haider. Actually, Mr. Haider himself might serve as an example of political correctness on the background of Baltic ultra-nationalists. However, the "European approach" to Baltic ethnocrats essentially differs from internal standards of the "old EU".

As soon as the issue of the situation in Estonia or Latvia is placed on the agenda, European politicians completely forget such definitions as discrimination and racism. This biased approach reminds Russians of the historical fact that during World War II, their country had to resist not only to the units of the German Wehrmacht (which Austria, represented by Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner, should share responsibility for) but also to their satellites from Italy, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Croatia, and Slovakia, who assisted the Nazi on orders from Mussolini, Antonescu, Horthy, Pavelic and Tiso, as well as to SS-men from France, Holland and Belgium and the Spanish "Blue Division".

Russian historians have a right to identify the events of January 22, 1941, as the start of an all-European aggression against the USSR, many of its participants committing grave war crimes. We too seldom remind our European neighbors of these facts of history. EU approval of Estonia's official policy indicates that Russia is actually obliged to remind today's European political elite of its historical responsibility – at least at the moment when they heartily protect Tallinn gravediggers.



"We did not use nuclear weapons against civil population. We did not disperse chemicals over hundreds square kilometers of lands", President Vladimir Putin said at his meeting with the delegates of the All-Russia Conference of Social Science Scholars. Putin's advice to Western politicians: "Look at yourself" – was especially addressed to the United States, which can't deny practicing abovementioned methods of warfare. In the context of revision of the XXII results, this reminder is essential from one more standpoint.

The visit of Japanese Emperor Akihito to Japan in late May was almost neglected by Russian media. Greeting the royal guest, Prime Minister Ansip intoned that despite difference of the negotiating sides, both have much similarities in the relations with Russia. Namely, neither Estonia nor Japan agreed to sign a border agreement with the Russian Federation. The Japanese Emperor was gratefully nodding to the initiator of the Soviet memorial's demolition. That was more than just a gesture of diplomatic politeness.

Today's Japan is probably the most serious global player, interested in revision of the post-1945 architecture, as well as interpretation of WWII history. This interest became especially obvious in the recent years, when Prime Minister Koizumi resumed the tradition of visiting the Shinto shrine of Yasukumi, exhibiting plaques with names of Japanese officers and soldiers, killed during the war. This list includes the names of Japanese generals and admirals, executed by the US war tribunal for military crimes, in accordance with the sentences of the Tokyo Process of 1946.

By today, Japanese revanchism has only one legal channel – namely, the problem of Northern Territories which are today part of Russia. Three generations of pro-American politicians of the Land of the Rising Sun tried to canalize Japanese aggressive nationalism only in the anti-Russian direction. Demands to return four islands of the Kuril Range have developed into a political show, serving as an effective tool for letting off steam.

However, things may change – especially with regard of the fact that Japan, with its shortage of energy resources and other essential minerals, will have to change its policy and revise its relations with the United States. Disintegration of the global financial system, forecasted by many analysts, would only accelerate this process.

Historical preconditions are at hand as well. In case Russians are labeled as occupants in Estonia, Americans deserve a similar definition in Japan. The Americans have not only imposed onerous terms on Japan, depriving it of military sovereignty. They have committed most serious war crimes against Japan's civil population. The aftermath Hiroshima and Nagasaki alone has ceased over 500,000 lives. Add the carpet bombings of living quarters of Tokyo, with casualties comparable to those of Hiroshima. These atrocities look even more cynical on the background of absence of any casualties among US civil population.

With the available industrial and scientific potential, Japan is likely to develop into a leading military power within several years. Prime Minister Koizumi has emphasized that the Japanese elite is ripe enough for revision of obsolete ideological concepts. This thesis is well confirmed with new Japanese textbooks of history, where World War II is interpreted not from the viewpoint of national repentance but from the viewpoint of "objective circumstances" which forced Japan to join the war. One of them is seen in "intervention of Western powers into Asian affairs".



A 15-year economic decline in Japan is only favorable for the described tendency. Today, Japanese public is vividly discussing the necessity of abolition of the "pacifist" article of the national constitution which does not supposed possession of army forces (though they presently exist under the guise of the Forces of Self-Defense).

In the current situation, the mechanism of revision of WWII results, launched by the "Washington Politburo", is likely to hit back as a boomerang. (Some nations of Western Europe, which greeted the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, are already affected by the boomerang of separatism, expressed in secessionist movements not only in Ulster and the Land of Basques but with Scotch, Flemish, Catalonian, Corsican and other projects of independent statehood.)

It is very symptomatic that the idea of a political alliance with China, directed against Western democracies, is quiet seriously discussed in today's Japan. Ideas of this sort have already penetrated into mass culture, taking shape in comics and animation movies.

One of the most popular anime serials, Ghost in the Shell, describes the world of the future, in which Japan, after a short but bloody global warfare, is becoming that world's leader of cybertechnologies. The main characters of the serial are agents of a secret unit established in order to prevent subversive activities inside the state. Subversions are regularly initiated from a certain center which – only by the end of the movie – appears to be an agency of the American Empire. Curiously, the image of America is described as anti-democratic, as compared with Japan and China. The subject reaches culmination at the point when a lady, speaking for a close alliance with (an already friendly) China, is elevated to the post of Prime Minister.

According to the scenario, Japan assists China in sheltering refugees from Chinese provinces, affected with chemical weapons. It is noteworthy that Russia does not exist in the movie at all, as its territories are supervised by a newly-established "Eurasian Alliance".

In case a Sino-Japanese alliance really emerges, the United States and the EU are going to face a really serious adversary. Today's US campaign for revision of the post-WWII architecture may thus eventually turn a new Pearl Harbor.

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