Rogue states and police states - and their defenders
Putin's offensive has been defended by Stalinophiles like Neil Clark, who describe support for Georgia as Russophobic and/or neocon war-mongering. The Clark analysis is fuelled by many conspiracy theories, many of which lean close to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, such as those promoted by the antisemitic Truth Culters.
Martin Meenagh, a blogger who is very knowledgeable about the geopolitics of Central Asian oil and who I regard very highly, has given some credence to some of the conspiracy theories, although he puts very clear blue water between his view and any possible antisemitic view.
I am wary of articulating the sort of strong solidarity with Georgia that Marko Attila Hoare has put forward, because Saakashvili's government is not exactly a model of democracy. But my basic sympathy for their position is only strengthened by the disreputable red-brown alliance that has sprung up in defence of Putin's invasion: alongside Clark, the semi-fascists Justin Raimondo and Lew Rockwell and his Ron Paulista supporters. And my sympathy is strengthened too by the decent advocacy of people like Dennis MacShane and Mark Kleiman.
Clark (who also defends genocidaire Karadzic) describes Western criticisms of Russia as the application of "double standards". This "double standards" meme is common in the left. While it is true that the West has done horrible things, the "double standards" argument effectively means we cannot criticise anyone else who does bad stuff, an issue Nation of Duncan takes up from a Harpymarx post I commented on. There, the issue is the Chinese Olympics, an issue that Modernity has had a couple of good posts on (1 and 2). My bottom line in that instance is that China is a police state, and we need to oppose it.
Last week I commented on the critics of Solzhenitsyn, who often turn out to be defenders of the Stalinist regime he criticised. Sultan Knish returns to that issue here, compellingly making the case that Solzhenitsyn is a detestable figure:
Solzhenitsyn was an informer who pinned his crimes on others drawing thinly disguised literary sketches in his writing of the men who had helped him, as despicable figures. He died just too soon to see Russia invade Georgia, but it is exactly the sort of thing that Solzhenitsyn who praised Putin and put Russian nationalism above the freedom of the former Soviet republics would have wanted and celebrated. The true legacy of the dissidents of the USSR is opposition to the current Russian tyranny, a legacy that Solzhenitsyn betrayed, just as he betrayed the dissidents under the USSR and his fellow inmates who rose up against their tormentors in the Gulag.I was wrong to defend Solzhenitsyn because his critics included Stalinists and their apologisers. Similarly, anyone who defends either Beijing or Putin because their attackers are "neocons" is wrong.
Distantly related: Thanks to Arieh for this article on Lithuania, a country which hunts down octogenarian (Jewish) ex-Partisans, for alleged war crimes in the fight against Nazi occupation, while letting at least three real Holocaust war criminals go free.