Political cowardice or wisdom?

The new monument dedicated to the memory of all victims of Hungary’s occupation by Nazi Germany in 1944, next to the Soviet monument in front of the US embassy which commemorates Hungary’s Soviet occupation in 1945 was yesterday finished… There has been an ongoing hysteria campaign against it for months, with global media support, and its completion (originally scheduled on March the 19th, the day of the Nazi occupation)  has been delayed several times.  Today the government has announced that ,with regard to the ongoing postcommunist (“left liberal”)/Jewish hysteria campaign, the monument will not be unveiled.   The  scum, a few dozen activists of MSZP, Bajnai’s and Gyurcsány‘s parties and some “independent” Holocaust-industry workers, which gathered yesterday to demonstrate against the monument threw eggs and yoghurt at the monument.

 

 

I understand the government wants to avoid unnecessary confrontations but   I’m deeply disappointed. This bad  compromise shouldn’t have been made.  The government shouldn’t have given in to these bullies.    They should have called for people’s support. I’m pretty sure a 100+ thousand strong crowd would have gathered easily even in this unbearably hot weather to unveil the monument. (It’s over 30 C here now).

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Orbán and Horthy

Orban is a rare political leader in Europe. He is quite popular, but he is in a balancing act. To his left are the Europeanists, who see all his actions as a repudiation of liberal democracy. On the right is a fascist party that won 20 percent in the last election. Between these two forces, Hungary could tear itself apart. It is in precisely this situation that Weimar Germany failed. Caught between left and right, the center was too weak to hold. Orban is trying to do what Horthy did: strengthen his power over the state and the state’s power over society. He is attacked from the left for violating the principles of liberal democracy and Europe. He is attacked from the right for remaining a tool of the European Union and the Jews. The left believes he is secretly of the right and his protestations are simply a cover. The right believes he is secretly a Europeanist and that his protestations are simply a cover.

Now we add to this the fact that Hungary must make decisions concerning Ukraine. Orban knows that Hungary is not in a position to make decisions by itself. He has therefore made a range of statements, including condemning Russia, opposing sanctions and proposing that the Ukrainian region directly east of Hungary, and once Hungarian, be granted more autonomy. In the end, these statements are unimportant. They do not affect the international system but allow him to balance a bit.

Orban knows what Horthy did as well. Hungary, going up against both Germany and Russia, needs to be very subtle. Hungary is already facing Germany’s policy toward liberal integration within the European Union, which fundamentally contradicts Hungary’s concept of an independent state economy. Hungary is already facing Germany’s policies that undermine Hungary’s economic and social well-being. Orban’s strategy is to create an economy with maximum distance from Europe without breaking with it, and one in which the state exerts its power. This is not what the Germans want to see.

Now, Hungary is also facing a Germany that is not in a position to support Hungary against Russia. He is potentially facing a Russia that will return to Hungary’s eastern border. He is also faced with a growing domestic right wing and a declining but vocal left. It is much like Horthy’s problem. Domestically, he has strong support and powerful institutions. He can exercise power domestically. But Hungary has only 9 million people, and external forces can easily overwhelm it. His room for maneuvering is limited.

I think Orban anticipated this as he saw the European Union flounder earlier in the decade. He saw the fragmentation and the rise of bitterness on all sides. He constructed a regime that appalled the left, which thought that without Orban, it would all return to the way it was before, rather than realizing that it might open the door to the further right. He constructed a regime that would limit the right’s sense of exclusion without giving it real power.

Russia’s re-emergence followed from this. Here, Orban has no neat solution. Even if Hungary were to join a Polish-Romanian alliance, he would have no confidence that this could block Russian power. For that to happen, a major power must lend its support. With Germany out of the game, that leaves the United States. But if the United States enters the fray, it will not happen soon, and it will be even later before its role is decisive. Therefore he must be flexible. And the more international flexibility he must show, the more internal pressures there will be.

For Horthy, the international pressure finally overwhelmed him, and the German occupation led to a catastrophe that unleashed the right, devastated the Jews and led to a Russian invasion and occupation that lasted half a century. But how many lives did Horthy save by collaborating with Germany? He bought time, if nothing else.

Hungarian history is marked by heroic disasters. The liberal revolutions that failed across Europe in 1848 and failed in Hungary in 1956 were glorious and pointless. Horthy was unwilling to make pointless gestures. The international situation at the moment is far from defined, and the threat to Hungary is unclear, but Orban clearly has no desire to make heroic gestures. Internally he is increasing his power constantly, and that gives him freedom to act internationally. But the one thing he will not grant is clarity. Clarity ties you down, and Hungary has learned to keep its options open.

Orban isn’t Horthy by any means, but their situations are similar. Hungary is a country of enormous cultivation and fury. It is surrounded by disappointments that can become dangers. Europe is not what it promised it would be. Russia is not what Europeans expected it to be. Within and without the country, the best Orban can do is balance, and those who balance survive but are frequently reviled. What Hungary could be in 2005 is not the Hungary it can be today. Any Hungarian leader who wished to avoid disaster would have to face this. Indeed, Europeans across the continent are facing the fact that the world they expected to live in is gone and what has replaced it, inside and outside of their countries, is different and dangerous.

by George Friedman, the Chairman of Stratfor.  The full article can be read here.

 

I don’t agree with everything Friedman writes but certainly it’s a very interesting analysis on Hungary’s situation.

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No congratulation from a non-democracy

The so-called leftist (postcommunist), left-liberal media has been discussing (well the best word is really “voluptuously”) that President Obama did not congratulate Prime Minister Orbán for his recent re-election in  the second landslide electoral victory of Fidesz.  Obama joined the leaders of the five-party postcommunist coalition “Kormányváltók” (Government Changers) in their political indecency  who defiantly refused to offer the basic political courtesy of congratulating Mr. Orbán for his re-election (and acknowledging the will of the Hungarian people this way).   That’s something unprecedented even in the history of Hungary’s political cold war which has been going on since 1990.  (Well,  to tell the truth,  Vice President Joe Biden finally called Orbán on Saturday, and besides discussing the Ukrainian situation, he allegedly also congratulated PM Orbán).

Last week the US Embassy in Budapest issued a statement and  intervened in Hungary’s internal affairs this way:

As a fellow democracy, we continue to urge the government to seek an honest, open, and factual assessment of the Holocaust in Hungary

They made this statement because a few  dozens of  left-liberal/Jewish demonstrators had been dismantling the scaffolds, on a daily basis, for a monument which is meant to commemorate all the victims of Hungary’s military occupation by Nazi Germany in 1944.  (And the only thing the police did was recording the events!)

 

 

Hysterical demonstrators repeatedly dismantling the scaffolds for a monument which aims to commemorate all the victims of Hungary’s military occupation by Nazi Germany

 

All right,I think the explanation for the statement can be  found quite easily on this page which describes the biography of  the  US EmbassyChargé d’Affaires, a.i”:

Mr. Goodfriend was born in California and raised in Arizona.  After receiving Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Classical Greek, French and Radio-Television from the University of Arizona, he completed Master’s studies in Communication at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, followed by doctoral research in London on governmental use of new media.
Mr. Goodfriend has studied Hungarian, Hebrew, French, Russian, Greek (classical and modern), Spanish, Hindi, Arabic and Yiddish.

However let’s focus only on the phrase “fellow democracy” in the statement Mr. Goodfriend produced.

Let me ask the question if the USA is a “fellow democracy” indeed?  I think, at least together with the 45% of active voters who voted Fidesz, that Hungary is a democracy.   It’s evident that Obama did not congratulate Orbán because the global media attacks labelling Hungary “the EU’s only dictatorship” have been successful enough so he might disagree with us.   We can live with that.

So let’s put the question of Hungary’s being a democracy or dictatorship, or the question of the US being our fellow or not, aside for now and let’s pose the question if the US itself is a democracy.  Well, it’s an old triteness that “the US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite.”    It’s really more interesting when this statement  is actually proven by top US university  professors:

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

What this means in plain English is that “the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power.”  Is that called a democracy?  Nope, not really.  That’s called an oligarchy.   FYI Ukraine and Russia are also oligarchies.

 

 

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New Fidesz supermajority is official

After a lot of re-counting and legal appeals by the postcommunist “Government Changers” (Kormányváltók) coalition, Hungary’s High Court (Kúria) has announced their sentence today: the distribution of MPs seats wouldn’t change.   Another Fidesz supermajority after four years in government sounds like a real political miracle.

I do worry about Fidesz though. As the saying goes, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.  All in all, I think Fidesz got away with relatively little corruption  in the last four years, given the power the Hungarian voters gave to Fidesz and PM Orbán in 2010.  I hope very much I could write the same in 2018…

 

The seats in the new Parliament

 

The “Government Changers”, in close cooperation with the global neoliberal media,  have been, and are, trying hard to question the legitimacy of the elections results. Well, that’s one could expect from the  Reding-strategy after all.   One of their major “argument” is that Fidesz got a 67% majority with “only” 45% of the votes and that’s sooooo unjust and it’s soooo dictatorial. They don’t have any answer to the fact, other than ignoring, that Fidesz would have won 95% of the seats under the election rules of the United Kingdom.   They keep whining about “gerrymandering by Fidesz”, “the lack of freedom of speech”, “an electoral system which makes Fidesz impossible to defeat”, etc.   Apparently MSZP chairman Attila Mesterházy didn’t think last December that the very same election rules would prevent them from obtaining a supermajority.    EU propaganda, or US mouthpieces like the Wall Street Journal,  focuses  on Jobbik, which got more votes than in 2010 but a smaller percentage of seats!,  instead of that why Fidesz had another landslide victory or  why their postcommie/left-liberal cronies suffered such a huge defeat again from the Hungarian voters…

Instead of trying to learn from the lessons the Hungarian electorate gave them, the postcommies  have been  playing the “anti-Semitic card” for months and they have been trying very hard, with a lot of help from the aforementioned global media,  to stir up more and more hysteria about a planned monument which will be dedicated to all victims of Hungary’s military occupation by Nazi Germany in 1944.   Maybe I’ll write a separate post about this.  In the meantime I highly recommend reading this (very instructive!) article how a descendant of Holocaust victims,  the leader of the leftist-green party LMP,  was be labelled  and attacked when he had opined in the same way as I wrote in the previous sentence.

And these “progressive, democratic forces who represent European values”, together with their foreign overlords in the EU and in the USA,  are apparently unwilling to face up reality: Hungary has had enough of “Kormányváltók”, that is the wreckage coalition of MSZP, its splinters like the small parties established by former Socialist prime ministers and the leftovers of the now defunct extremist “liberal” party SZDSZ.

 

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Holocaust day

Oh, well, today it’s a Holocaust remembrance day.  There’s so much talk about this genocide  (see http://holocaustmemorialyear2014.gov.hu/ ) that actually I’m wondering which day isn’t a Holocaust remembrance day this year…

Politicians seems to compete hard who is capable of saying the most bizarre and bombastic thing.

Zoltán Pokorni, a Fidesz leader who belongs to the “liberal” wing of the centre-of-right party  Fidesz I support,  bent over backwards, too, to say something “big” and he managed to utter that

The Holocaust is our cause because the killers and the victims were Hungarians, too.

 

Using his logic, he might have said equally that “the Holocaust is our cause because the killers and the victims were Jews, too”.  (For the sake of this parallel logic argument let’s disregard for a moment that the killers were Germans.) But let’s analyze this sentence a bit more…

Everybody knows that the term “Holocaust” means a particular 20th century genocide committed by Nazi Germans against Jews in Europe.  So if the victims were Hungarians, and not Jews, then perhaps we shouldn’t talk about “Holocaust” at all, should we?

It’s a well-known historical fact that there were no death camps in Hungary. It’s also well-known that neither the Hungarian authorities or the Jewish victims themselves, including the members of the “Jewish Council”,  knew when the deportations  started, and one must stress that happened  only after Hungary’s occupation on the 19th of March, 1944 that the physical extermination of the deported ones was the  goal of the Nazi.

It’s really high time to stop trying to shift blame from Nazi Germany  to Hungary .  For the record,  the Holocaust was planned and carried out by Nazi Germany. Hungary did ally herself with Nazi Germany in the hopes of regaining the lost territories in the Dictat of Trianon, but in contrast with other countries allied with Nazi Germany,  the deportation of Jews from Hungary started only after Nazi Germany occupied Hungary militarily.  In fact it was the foot-dragging policies of Governor Horthy which made it possible to avoid Hungary’s military invasion by Nazi Germany already at the beginning of World War Two, that is several years earlier than the March of 1944.  That would have meant, of course, the complete annihilation of all Jews in Hungary, just like it happened in Poland.   After the Hungarian authorities learned what was happening in Auswitz  from the Auschwitz Protocols , Governor Horthy personally gave the order to stop the deportations on the 8th of July, 1944 and this order was carried out by Colonel Ferenc Koszorús and his brave  troops.  This event is commemorated on a plaque in Dohány utca in Budapest where you can visit the largest synagogue in Europe.

In memory of Col. Ferenc Koszorús and his brave soldiers who prevented the deportation of the Budapest Jewry on the 5th and 6th of July, 1944.

 

In fact the Jewry in Budapest, which is one of the largest in Europe, should be very thankful indeed to Governor Horthy.  Instead they keep besmirching him, and Hungarians, too, day and night.

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