Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 19, 2019

Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung, Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache’s discussion with the Russian oligarch’s fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union’s wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he’d been the victim of a “political assassination” — a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger’s parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week’s election. Salvini’s unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.
...
The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as “populism”. It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink

Comments

b - thanks .. i agree "elaborate sting" and "the video was held back until the right moment"... clearly this was a set up.. strache says he is going to pursue this legally..

"working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust." injustices are being done on a constant basis now and being justified by the msm regularly.. i think this is part of the reason people are seeking alternatives - whatever they might be... power to the people..screw the neoliberal agenda and blackmail artists that are so rampant at present...

Posted by: james | May 19, 2019 1:40:31 PM | 1

Funny thing is e.g.- a German comedian Jan Böhmerman knew before. Already in April he said in a Video call live in Austian television duringthe TV-prize-giving of the trophy "Romy" that he couldn´t attend personally to receive the price because right know he was sitting together with some FPÖ-buddies in a Russian oligarch-villa on Ibiza, sniffing cocain, drinking and negotiating the takeover of the "Krone-Zeitung" (the biggest rag in Austira, smth like the "Bild" in Germany or "The sun" in Britain).
Böhmers management released a statement yesterday that Böhermann did know before but didn´t name the source he knew it from.
https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article193725535/FPOE-Vize-Strache-Was-Boehmermann-mit-dem-Video-zu-tun-hat.html
Cui bono?

Posted by: Bratislav Metulski | May 19, 2019 1:40:51 PM | 2

Your article here raises a number of important issues. More or less at random:

* If I understand your characterization of your political leanings, based on this and on the perspectives MoA offers, I share many of your views. And whereas there may be a certain Schadenfreude at seeing a right-wing, B-team operator reveal himself, I agree that the forces behind the sting itself are of potentially far greater interest (and danger)..

* For every sting and smear such as this that we see, how many others take place sub rosa, corrupting our political and social landscapes, leaving no evidence that might trigger criticism or resistance?

* I'm not sure of how this plays out legally, but this seems not just to have been a sting, but entrapment, in which (if these were law enforcement agents) we could protest that the only illegal activity being proposed, was by those conducting the sting.

* If this was, as you suggest, authored by the BND, then this would be a clear instance of election "meddling" -- though not of the sort that our shining democracies are now being warned against. (At least President Putin will not be accused of conducting it, for once. That oligarch's daughter could have come from anywhere, but of course Russia.) Russia gets smeared is probably the larger aim, rather than this particularly Austrian politician.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 19, 2019 1:43:18 PM | 3

The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician.

Posted by: hallelujah hinton | May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4

I think the word is protofascist.

b. you have got a blind spot seeing geopolitics everywhere. Truth is most of this is simply a battle of billionaires.

The key to understand the Ibiza video is the product placement. Everybody there drinks Red Bull plus alcohol (I am not sure about the alcohol the loss of control of the politicians who are present suggests cocaine).

The owner of Red Bull is an Austrian billionaire called Dietrich Mateschitz.
Mateschitz is a right wing crank building a media empire in Austria including an "investigative platform" called addendum that is something like the Austrian version of Breitbart.

For some reason "addendum" began to shoot against Rene Benzko, an Austrian real estate billionaire, who intends to take over Kronenzeitung.

And guess what, Rene Benzko was mentioned in the video "as a friend", and a large part of the conversation centered on taking over Kronenzeitung something Rene Benzko is involved in.

Strache, Vice Chancellor of Austria, explained in the video for every Austrian to understand, that his party's scheme is based on accepting illegal contributions via a ngo, and lowering taxes in return.
According to what he says in the video he also intends to charge for water by selling the right to the Latvian/Russien "niece of a Russian oligarch" or someone else prepared to pay to his party's ngo.

Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.


Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 1:56:55 PM | 5

> with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin

Putin himself though stresses his non involvement in that party, he also tried to bootstrap organizations that could supplant or even challenge U.R. at least in some niches.

While U.R. probably is party of Russian ruling elites, it is hardly one-man-show of LDPR/Zhirinovsky kind and whether Putin is "gray cardinal" of U.R. is very questionable.

Posted by: Arioch | May 19, 2019 1:58:49 PM | 6

It is said that children and drunk people always say the truth...
Why is it not to be taken into account what he said once drunk enough?

For to be a strong leftist, b, you spend a great effort in discharging this man, while whitewashing the far-right saying they are no danger for our societies and assuring that they are clean, when that is a thing you do not know since they have not had yet the possibility to rule.

They are neither cleaner nor inocuous for our societies. For starters they have chosen as scapegoat the migrants when who is to blame for the wave of migration is the US, NATO and their imperial ambitions, so as to throw poor against poor and that way the elites could continue quietly looting us, while we fight each other. You will never heard anything agsint banks ans elites from anybody in the far-right.

FYI, it is not Matteo Salvini who is forming a coalition of the far-right to conflude to European elections, but it is Bannon from his HQ in a Cisterciense monastery in Italy who is commanding this operation. Salvini is really a piece, having supported Guiado and the Venezuelan coup intend, and said whathe would do with the Yellow Vests, "I don't go to the Yellow Vests with Molotov cocktails, if anything, I put them in prison"...

Then it is AfD, who goes also in the block, whose members have claimed the Germans should be proud of the performance of the German Army during both WW....
Then Vox, financed by MEK and Israeli lobby and promoted by Bannon and the WH, who only wear clear neoliberal economic policies in their, for the rest, confusing program.

The best to test what the far-right will do in Europe is taking a look at what is happening in Brazil during these last days, an attack on education and research as if it was a military target...This, after the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and wide support to coup d´etat in Venezuela...He is also widely supported and financed by the US and Zionists.

The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right.

Posted by: Sasha | May 19, 2019 2:05:52 PM | 7

@4 hallelujah hinton
https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Neuwahlen-Der-gefeierte-Stratege-Kurz-hatte-keine-Optionen-mehr-4425362.html
Telepolis one of the oldest and biggest non-commercial online news and discussion platforms in Germany states in the following article, commenting on his statement at his resignation declaration:
"Glaubt er, man wäre bei Alkohol nachsichtiger? Offenbar schien er sich betrunken kaum mehr im Griff zu haben - und dies ist wohlgemerkt seine Erklärung für die Äußerungen im Video. Erst gegen Ende beginnt er eigenes Fehlverhalten einzuräumen und bittet insbesondere seine Frau um Verzeihung, mit der er ein wenige Monate altes Kind hat. Kenner Straches ahnten an dieser Stelle bereits, dass dieser sich bereits für Dinge entschuldigt, die zu diesem Zeitpunkt der Öffentlichkeit noch gar nicht bekannt sind."

Does he (Strache) really assume he would get more indulgence by blaming it on the alcolhol? Obviously when being drunken he wasn´t in control of himself anymore - and this is actually his explanation for his statements in the video. Somehow at the end he finally begins admitting own misconduct and especially asks his wife for forgiveness, with which he has a few months old child. Experts on Strache suspected from this moment on, that he apologized for things which at this moment are not known to the public, yet"

So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.

Posted by: Bratislav Metulski | May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8

somebody @5:

battle of billionaires.... Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.

Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead.

Only supporting protest Movements (like Gillet Jeune) and free press/citizen journalism (Wikileaks/Assange) will have any real effect.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9

Great piece - I dont see how Strache actually made anything wrong or atleast nothing not normal to politicians that constantly seek out support by big, powerful people. Most likely the deep state in Austria struck FPÖ just like FBI struck Trump.
As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election.
Winners? NATO/US parties.

Posted by: Zanon | May 19, 2019 2:30:32 PM | 10

@hallelujah hinton #4

Also notice how she pretended to be a niece.

Not some very close relative like daughter or sister, which may be fearsom, as "russian mafia" oligarch could be expected to "protect" her of ladykillers viciously.

But also not some far relative who would be seen alien and have no financial support.

Just enough distance to be safe to hit on and try to share the oligarch's money.

It was both honey&gold trap.

Posted by: Arioch | May 19, 2019 2:36:33 PM | 11

Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead.

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9

If voting would be such a waste, why would had taken so hard and long to achieve voting for minorities and women?
Why the parties go to such efforts to campaign and disguise themselves as wolves with sheepskin like the far-right?
Why would certain forces need to go to such editorial coordinated efforts through their several blogs out there to give an impression of certain candidates which is opposite to what they really are? Wikilieaks/Assange are part of this efforts, btw

Posted by: Sasha | May 19, 2019 2:38:57 PM | 12

Sasha

In vino veritas.

In moonlight altheia.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Veritas, the Roman god of "truth"
a self-evident truth that is easily manipulated by the Empire

Alethia, the Greek God of "truth"
a comprehensive truth that is not subject to manipulation

= = =

Note: This is a re-posting of my MoA New Years comment/complement. With an added explanation.

PS Read this in conjunction with my comment @9. The left and right paradigm has been co-opted. The battle now is a corrupt, authortarian establishment vs. the people.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 2:43:18 PM | 13

Metulski:
Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level.
Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 19, 2019 2:44:05 PM | 14

Spanish Colonel ( ret.) Pedro Baños, who was postulated for head of the CNI by the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, was object of slander campiagn as "pro-Russian" by the Spanish cluster of Integrity Initiative, only for declarations on the prejudice of sanctions for Spain, and nobody made such noise....

Posted by: Sasha | May 19, 2019 2:44:10 PM | 15

Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan.

Enforcement and and penalties are selective.

Selective enforcement. It's how "The Law" operates.

Not defending the wingnut pig in the article.

I appreciate Sasha's Trojan Horse allegory above.

Posted by: hallelujah hinton | May 19, 2019 3:03:31 PM | 16

wow...a bunch of elitist neoliberals with contempt for anyone lacking 10 zeroes on their paychecks and zero useful policies use "russian collusion" to entrap and embarrass a pseudo-right wing politician. who could ever imagine such a scenario? and why learn from the masses you represent when james o'keefe gives you all the inspiration you need?

but at least they blocked the ascension of someone who would trade political favors for money. that kind of nonsense simply won't do in western society.

Posted by: the pair | May 19, 2019 3:16:52 PM | 17

Thanks for this explanation, b! I first saw this reported at Geroman's Twitter and used machine translation of the article he linked, but it lacked the context which you provided. This incident is subsumed within the larger conflict that's trying to keep EU from combining with BRI/EAEU, which means its roots/culprits are NATO/Outlaw US Empire--it points to desperation on their part.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19, 2019 3:24:47 PM | 18

the pair @17

Some will fail to see the sarcasm. Best to use the /sarc tag.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 3:25:34 PM | 19

Posted by: hallelujah hinton | May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4

Sorry, you don't see the Latvian/Russian woman. You see Gudenus' wife who is from Serbia.

Whatever the publishing papers got, it was a copy. More will come out.

Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 3:34:51 PM | 20

The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns.

Posted by: Copeland | May 19, 2019 4:01:44 PM | 21

So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.
Posted by: Bratislav Metulski | May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8

The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset.

---

On the issue of "populism" and right-wing parties I confess I have a problem. I certainly want to see the Establishment thrashed, and especially in next week's EU elections, and there is no question that at the moment the right-wing parties have far more potential to upset the establishment than the left. If "Populist" parties are able to radically upset the EU Parliament, that should bring a much-needed hammer and axe to the anti-populist activities of the EU, and hopefully lead to the breakup of the EU.

On the other hand, unlike B, I do have extremely strong worries about the rising power of the far right and their connections to Nazis and neo-Nazis. I am concerned - even without the involvement of Bannon, but far more so with - that the rise of "populism" is a calculated policy of a Nazi segment of the Establishment that is designed specifically to usher in an international Nazi movement across Europe and Latin America under the leadership of and proxies of the - ever more and more Nazi behaving - US (which itself is in so many very real ways descended from Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and the Japanese war criminals including Bush's family, tight connections with Nazi war criminals in the CIA, and historical leadership figures in the CIA). The large scale and extremely high level infiltration of hardcore Nazis in the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, and CDU politics is a ticking timebomb waiting for its moment. There seems to be similar high level Nazi infiltration in many other countries.

We have to be careful what we wish for!

B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc.

Posted by: BM | May 19, 2019 4:14:36 PM | 22

On how there is real danger with these wolves on sheepskin who only try to divide and conquer the working masses of the world, this old article by Ho Chi Minh on the importance of class conscience and the great labor of the University of the East in the former USSR to get workers of the world conscous and united in the common struggle. Also on the importance of having the right to vote:

Colonialism is a leech with two suckers, one of which sucks the metropolitan proletariat and the other that of the colonies. If we want to kill this monster, we must cut off both suckers at the same time. If only one is cut off, the other will continue to suck the blood of the proletariat, the animal will continue to live, and the cut–off sucker will grow again. The Russian Revolution has grasped this truth clearly. That is why it is not satisfied with making fine platonic speeches and drafting “humanitarian” resolutions in favor of oppressed peoples, but it teaches them to struggle; and helps them spiritually, as proclaimed by Lenin in his theses on the colonial question. To the Baku Congress, twenty–one Eastern nations sent delegates. Representatives of Western workers’ parties also participated in the work of this congress. For the first time, the proletariat of the conquering Western States and that of the subject Eastern countries fraternally joined hands and deliberated in common on the best means to defeat their common enemy, imperialism.

Following this historic congress, despite internal and external difficulties, revolutionary Russia has never hesitated to come to the help of peoples awakened by its heroic and victorious revolution. One of its first important acts was the founding of the University of the East.(...)

The sixty–two nationalities represented at the University form a “Commune.” Its chairman and functionaries are elected every three months by all the students.

A student delegate takes part in the economic and administrative management of the University. All must regularly and in turn work in the kitchen, the library, the club, etc. All “misdemeanors” and disputes are judged and settled by an elected tribunal in the presence of all comrades. Once a week, the “Commune” holds a meeting to discuss the international political and economic situation. From time to time, meetings and evening parties are organized where the amateur artists introduce the art and culture of their country.

The fact that the Communists not only treat the “inferior natives of the colonies” like brothers, but that they get them to participate in the political life of the country, is highly characteristic of the “barbarity” of the Bolsheviks. Treated in their native country as “submissive subjects” or “protéges,” having no other right but that to pay taxes, the Eastern students, who are neither electors nor eligible for election in their own country, from whom the right to express their political opinion is withdrawn, in the Soviet Union take part in the election of the Soviets and have the right to send their representatives to the Soviets. Let our brothers of the colonies who vainly seek a change of nationality make a comparison between bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy.

These students have suffered themselves and have witnessed the sufferings of others. All have lived under the yoke of “high civilization,” all have been victims of exploitation and oppression by foreign capitalists. Moreover, they passionately long to acquire knowledge and to study. They are serious and full of enthusiasm. They are entirely different from the frequenters of the boulevards of the Latin Quarter, the Eastern students in Paris, Oxford, and Berlin. It can be said without exaggeration that under the roof of this University is the future of the colonial peoples.

The colonial countries of the Near and Far East, stretching from Syria to Korea, cover an extent of more than 15 million square kilometers and have more than 1,200 million inhabitants. All these immense countries are now under the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. Although their considerable numbers should be their strength, these submissive peoples have never yet made any serious attempts to free themselves from this yoke. Not yet having realized the value of international solidarity, they have not known how to unite for the struggle. Relationships between their countries are not yet established as they are among the peoples of Europe and America. They possess gigantic strength and do not yet realize it. The University of the East, assembling all the young, active, and intelligent leaders of the colonized countries, has fulfilled a great task, namely:

-It teaches to the future vanguard militants the principles of class struggle, confused in their minds by race conflicts and patriarchal customs.
-It establishes between the proletarian vanguard of the colonies a close contact with the Western proletariat, thus preparing the way for the close and effective cooperation which will alone ensure the final victory of the international working class.
-It teaches the colonized people, hitherto separated from one another, to know one another and to unite, by creating the bases of a future union of Eastern countries, one of the wings of the proletarian revolution.
-It sets the proletariat of colonialist countries and example of what they can and must do in favor of their oppressed brothers
.

This is why it is needed to throw the workers from the West against the migrants from the East and South, to avoid the invincible force they would constitute together.
This dirty work is made by the far-right in the name of corporate liberal elites.
They can play that they fight each other, but as soon as they get seats at the European Parliament, you will find the previous allegedly opponents all together aligned in the same Eurogroup. Time to time.


Posted by: Sasha | May 19, 2019 4:21:50 PM | 23

It is a wonder Strache’s remark “Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet” and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. Yet here we can still talk about he was drunk, how his being set up was unjust, and how the poor guy will have to miss his lovers’ right cause in Italy. Those vulgar masses are at it again! There can be no justification about the masses’ support of far-right causes and the clowns like him. If you think otherwise it is the likes of moonofalabama next in line to be “fired”, or eliminated. Legitimize their causes and it is Germany in 1920s all over again.

Two wrongs do not make a right, unfortunately.

Posted by: Bacchante | May 19, 2019 4:38:44 PM | 24

"Left/right", I agree, is nearly without semantic value. Nevertheless class interests remain...how is it that this is so? Think about that, comrades.

And then consider wsws report about "At the annual meeting of the Bundeswehr reserve in autumn 2016, Veith announced: “I dream that in 2026 there will be a provincial regiment in each state with a charismatic commander, a troop flag and an organization of between 800 and 2,000 reservists to support the police and the Bundeswehr in emergency situations.” " see> "German government prepares troops for domestic missions" @ wsws.org

Considering the overall aspects, it's rational to expect all parties in Europe to make plans, is it not? Of course the working class is not permitted to make such plans...is it?

Posted by: Walter | May 19, 2019 4:56:04 PM | 25

I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria.
Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions.
I agree with you that this is not the big setback for the right the mainstream parties dream of. But it won't help the fascists in spe in the future either.

Posted by: Pnyx | May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 26

Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation?

A first association might be the dirty, deceptive campaigning SPÖ used against Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) - the Silberstein affair -, but I think the methods that were chosen are too different to make a common source likely, Strache was targeted in a much more sophisticated way. The Silberstein affair may, however, be the reason why the tapes have partially been published now rather than before the last Austrian elections - at that time, dirty campaigning might have been discredited too much for the tape to have the desired effect,

The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents.

If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia. François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously. Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy.

In the case of Strache and FPÖ, a different motive may also be plausible. There are connections between FPÖ and neonazis, and there are, in my view, legitimate concerns that Strache is too close to such far-right networks. I don’t think it is good when right-wing populists whose rise is mainly due to the unpopularity of the neoliberal elites are equated with Nazis too quickly. But in the case of FPÖ, this is less far-fetched than in the case of other European right-wing parties - historically, Nazis played an important role in FPÖ in post-war Austria, and it is one of the current right-wing parties that probably has more connections to the extreme right (e.g. via Burschenschaften) than others. I could imagine that someone might have ordered and financed the sting operation out of antifascist principles. While I may recognize the motivation as ethical and even partially agree with it, I don’t think the right means were chosen, and such dirty methods can backfire.

Posted by: Adrian E. | May 19, 2019 5:25:25 PM | 27

"While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties"
Quite. It seems to me that only the Right and the Left have a clue right now, because they have an instinctive mistrust of what they are told in the media.
People like "b" and Craig Murray are to be thanked for explaining that to us middling voters.
You miss the most glaring "injustice". That which shows that GDP in most western countries had doubled in the last 30 odd years, that earnings for the top quartile have gone up by factors of 3 or 4. But that median earnings in US are unchanged, and in say UK are only up 10% or so (unless one is seeking to buy one's own house or flat).
All the improvements in inequality from 1930s to 1980s have been reversed in full.
"Populists" (or better "anti-elitists") are driven mostly by sheer anger at how a small group had taken all the Economic gains of the last 35 years.

Posted by: Michael Droy | May 19, 2019 5:33:51 PM | 28

Posted by: Pnyx | May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 26

I don't know what b. saw in the video what I saw was a discussion of an Orban like take over of Austria by FPÖ.

In other news people are arguing the following
- who will profit most - ÖVP
- why was the video not published after it was produced in 2017 - because ÖVP wanted a coalition with FPÖ
- why was it published now - ÖVP has been renting advertising space for weeks for an election in September (renting before the video came out), Sebastian Kurz will be the saviour who will get the disappointed FPÖ vote
add
- why the emphasis on Kronenzeitung,
who were the people producing the video
why Red Bull everywhere - Red Bull media empire billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz publicly announced that he would back Sebastian Kurz in 2017

ÖVP/Kurz/Mateschitz have moved so far to the right that there is not much space for FPÖ anyway. His problems will return when he needs another coalition.

Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 5:35:30 PM | 29

'The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe'

other?

Posted by: brian | May 19, 2019 5:37:28 PM | 30

While the right wing parties in Europe don't have a problem with Putin, it does seem that much of the Western European establish has gone full McCarthyite hysterical where they see any contact for any reason with a Russian is automatically criminal. Aside from being a setup it relied the underlying false flag of presenting the woman as a Russian (and hence guility of some crime against the Austrians).

In fact, a suggestion for a column--personal impressions on whether everyday Europeans are falling for anti-Russian propaganda. Polls in the US indicate that Americans simply do not care (they could believe it, but not effecting their daily lives).

Posted by: Erelis | May 19, 2019 6:09:06 PM | 31

1. The ER (United Russia) party was founded by Sergey Shoygu, Yuriy Luzhkov, and Mintimer Shaymiev. Its chairman is Dmitriy Medvedev, not Vladimir Putin. Putin is not even a member of ER. Putin is the leader of ONF (All-Russia People's Front), which is a nation-wide discussion platform for politicians, professionals, and NGOs.

2. Russian billionaire Igor Makarov denies having a niece: “I was the only child in the family.” (Forbes.ru, in Russian).

3. In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern?

4. This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months.

Posted by: S | May 19, 2019 6:36:42 PM | 32

Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest.

Leaving aside the discussion of of various factors in that election, this public reaction is typical. Actually, in both cases the core supporters may be energized by the suspicion that this trick was performed by a foreign government. I do not think that there is a particular hostility toward Germany in Felix Austria, but the to the right wing Merkel government is like red cape for a bull. The women who unleashed a wave of refugees. On top of that, traditionally major parties of Austria gained reputation of dirty patronage, so the voters who care about that issue probably do not vote for them.

I do not expect Austrians to demand expulsions of German diplomats -- interference in our democracy -- or other sanctions, but nevertheless it stinks. Making sting operations on politicians has corrupt potential even if it is done by domestic law enforcement, but foreign intelligence services really do not have any excuse.

Thinking about it, the stings against George Papadopoulos described in his book were remarkably similar.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 6:37:32 PM | 33

Great minds think alike, S!

That said, Austrians have a reputation of good manners etc., they will not unload their frustration on a girl. BTW, why there are suspicions of Germany being involved? Again, even extremist Austrians probably would like to have some proof before doing anything. I guess, America is indeed exceptional.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 34

For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

This all starts with Austrian's Presidential Election of 2016. The FPÖ won the presidential election a couple of years ago in May 2016. After the bell, postal votes overturned it! – postal votes more than 90% in favour of the establishment candidate Van der Bellen. Some constituencies full of Van der Bellen votes turned out to have 148% turn out. There was a court case by the FPÖ about procedure and hinting at ballot falsification. The case was judged by a (non-corrupt but under serious pressure) judge to have enough merit that the elections had to be annulled and the election rerun six months later. Austria went without a president at all for six months!

For six months the mainstream Austrian media campaigned non-stop against the FPÖ and Norbert Hofer. Huge efforts were made for voter turnout (it included huge bussing of potential anti-FPÖ constituencies and bribing pensioners to vote against the FPÖ via parties and cakes). With all of that, Van der Bellen scraped in on 4 December 2016, by 348,231 votes. Despite the non-stop anti-FPÖ propaganda and banging on drums, votes for Hofer's fell by less than 100,000 (95,993 votes to be exact). It's just that with six months to prepare the establishment had found enough "dead souls" to win the second round.

In the parliamentary elections of 15 October 2017, the FPÖ were set to win a strong majority in parliament. To defeat the FPÖ and Strache, the conservatives (Völkspartei) were forced to elect a male model non-university graduate 30 year old sex symbol with no work experience outside of politics as party leader. Of course Sebastian Kurz was mainly a figurehead for establishment figures in the venerable Völkspartei. Kurz does have a mind of his own though (I had the opportunity to interact with him personally at a local political discussion group in 2015) and it's hard to know exactly how much of his policy is dictated to him and how much is off his own bat.

Going back to Austrian corruption, there are enormous sums at stake. There is a long entrenched system of corruption in the establishment parties, the Völkspartei and the SPÖ. Strabag does win most of the government contracts. Favour is regularly granted on quid pro basis. The media landscape is very partisan and mostly for sale. Kurz's spiritual predecessor as a powerful head of the Völkspartei if not direct predecessor Wolfgang Schüssel was forced to retire from politics in 2011 due to never-ending corruption scandals. Schüssel's longstanding finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser was caught carrying bags of cash to Lichtenstein and is still under investigation. If his mother-in-law were not the richest woman in Austria (Swarovski Crystal) and devoted to her daughter (Grasser's wife), he would long ago have been in jail.

Politically, Grasser knows where a lot of the bodies are buried from the Schlüssel political machine so either he has to be kept out of jail or he may take others down with him. In elite Austrian circles turning informant would be considered unsportsmanlike so there's an uneasy truce still fought to this day in the courts where Grasser is kept out of jail via procedural methods (detect a pattern) and Grasser doesn't rat out the others.

Strache's sin is not planning to use the advantages which accrue to the governing Austrian party but getting caught out talking about it. Strache is something of a lout, not terribly loyal (he was the Brutus who threw Jörg Haider under the bus in 2005 in a palace putsch). He's a smoker in power who used his power to overturn some very positive anti-smoking laws. But he's less corrupt than any of his equivalents in the Völkspartei and is only a nose ahead of the his equivalents in the SPÖ. His politics and policies of Austria for Austrians are pretty simple. Hence people vote for these policies.

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

  • Zu viel Fremdes tut niemandem gut. (Too many foreigners [or more literally: Too much foreign] does nobody well.)
  • Wir bewahren unsere Heimatstadt. Die SPÖ macht sie uns fremd. (We maintain our homeland-city. The SPÖ makes it foreign.)
  • Wir glauben an unsere Jugend. Die SPÖ an Zuwanderung. (We believe in our youth. The SPÖ in immigration.)
  • Wir schützen freie Frauen. Die SPÖ den Kopftuchzwang (We protect free women. The SPÖ protects the compulsory veil.)
  • Mehr Mut für unser Wiener Blut (More courage for our Viennese blood.)
  • Uns geht's um die Wiener (To us, it's about the Viennese)

The FPÖ has historically been weakest in Vienna but in 2010 they took 27% of the vote in this SPÖ stronghold, their first step in what has been a steady march to power.

Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. We instinctively abhor what is happening to our nations. By nature Strache is inclined this way himself (he's no great thinker) and has the good sense to ride the wave.

Posted by: Uncoy | May 19, 2019 6:49:33 PM | 35

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 34

As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country".

Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 7:11:44 PM | 36

For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

So why did he step down?

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

You mean FPÖ wares.

Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 7:21:16 PM | 37

...
"This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:"

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

"The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false..."

I can't agree that Spiegel's attitude to Strache's party is condescending toward the working class. Right-wing parties tend to spout a lot of aggressively authoritarian spin tank bullshit to encourage voters to tune out when a R-w politician is telling them what to think. If Strache is adept at separating fact from fiction and superfluous verbiage, then people would appreciate his candor.
In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

I'll always remember Spiegel as the folks whose photo-journalists torpedoed Crooked Hillary's feeble-minded Cheonan (NK-SK) bullshit. That story vanished overnight. It's not even referred to in NK smear campaigns. Dead & buried.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 38

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 38

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

You are making this theory up.

Let's take the American constitution.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

That's it.

The German constitution is absolutely clear that members of parliament represent all of the people (ie different views and interests) and are bound by their own judgement and conscience only.

As we are discussing Austria, lets see what the Austrian constitution says.
Austria has "linguistic and cultural diversity" and the protection of its grown native peoples in its constituton, this means Slovenian, Croatian, Czech, Slovakian, Roma and Hungarian.
So the Austrian constitution has a concept of a multinational state where different peoples grow and are protected even if the Viennese "Stammtisch" does not like them.

There is no "democratic theory" that suggests representatives should follow the uninformed and prejudiced views of their electorate against their better judgement.

Strache seems to have specialized in "fake news" - ie mostly invented stuff claiming Muslims, immigrants or whoever were treated in a better way than native Austrians or threatened native Austrians.
It is a very convenient technique when you plan to cut social services, you have someone to blame.


Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 8:15:54 PM | 39

To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 9:05:45 PM | 40

Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 38

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

You are making this theory up.
...
Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 8:15:54 PM | 39

It's Monday morning. I smoke Hopium most weekends :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 9:44:54 PM | 41

This is an important moment to highlight what is the left-right political spectrum.

The concepts of right and left were born during the French Revolution of 1789. The Jacobins sat on the left of the parliament, while the Girondins sat on the right side of the parliament. Note that this was before Socialism and Communism were born. Even after Socialism was born, its parties acted essentially in cladestinity for many decades. So, for decades, Socialism/Communism weren't inside the Left-Right apparatus, which was a creation of the bourgeoisie.

During the turning of the centuries, the first Socialist/Communist (Social-Democratic) parties begun to earn the right to be part of the legal political system. It was only after the fact that there was born the fist big debate within the socialist circles about which strategy to follow: peacefully (entering the system, playing the game, winning elections and governments and implementing socialism through political reforms) or violently (revolution). The first's main force was the SPD, from Germany (Weimar Republic), while the second's main force were the Bolsheviks. Each reflected their respective characteristics: the SPD was legalized much earlier, defeated the vaunted Otto von Bismarck in the ballots and had just become the largest party of Germany; the Bolsheviks were in a chaotic stage, barely resembling a political party at all. History showed who was right and who was wrong, but that's not the important lesson here.

Fascism -- and, later, its German version, Nazism -- were a much newer invention, and was an ad hoc political device built by the bourgeoisie who, in a last desperate attempt to curb a communist revolution at home, made an alliance with reactionary sectors of the middle class in order to mobilize a part of the masses and crush the revolution by force. Gramsci -- who saw the fascist counter-revolution with his own eyes -- already described its characteristics very well, so I won't delve into it here.

The important thing is: it is wrong to put socialism/communism 1) at the same level of fascism/nazism and 2) within the traditional left-right system. It's also wrong to put fascism/nazism within the traditional left-right spectrum.

Socialism is not at the same level of fascism because 1) it is a complete, scientific theory, with beginning, middle and end; it is a true better alternative to capitalism and 2) it can operate at a completely higher/deeper level of the hegemonic societal structure than fascism.

Fascism/nazism is only the polar opposite to socialism/communism where the first is irrational while the second is rational and the first is efemeral while the second is intermitent. The only thing both have in common is that both can only be born within the capitalist system. But it is always socialism/communism that is born first and it is only socialism/communism that can exist beyond capitalism. And the explanation for this is simple: socialism/communism is a scientific theory designed to overcome capitalism, while the second is simply an emergy tool, a last immunological response to to the first.

So, the conclusion is this: we must free ourselves from this fake, left-right spectrum political system. It is a system that, although having some organicity in some places, is relative by definition: a right-winger in Brazil can be a left-winger in the USA; modern Russia -- a capitalist frankenstein built with old communist parts -- doesn't have a left-right system at all. The left-right system is just an illusion that defines which is politically acceptable for the capitalist class and what isn't.

Posted by: vk | May 19, 2019 11:03:17 PM | 42

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 9:05:45 PM | 40

Well, what is whistle blowing and what is infringement on privacy? The papers who published this video picked the parts they deemed "in public interest" and left the rest. That is more than what was done to the Podesta emails. It is certainly of public interest if politicians conspire to take over media, get rid of "hostile" journalists and promise overpriced government contracts as a thank you note.

The Strache setup certainly took a while - like introducing the woman as related to a rich Russian to FPÖ circles and get them used to her, it also continued afterwards and more will come out. It is unlikely NATO was involved, Russia is big in Austrian business, eliminating FPÖ changes nothing, zilch. AND Austria is not a member of NATO - they are neutral like Switzerland.

Austria's politics has been dirty for quite a while, and in all likelihood ÖVP strategists prepared a repeat of the last FPÖ scandal that finished the party - and the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition - for quite a while with ÖVP inheriting the FPÖ vote.

With FPÖ the problem is systemic. They draw their personell from reactionary fraternities - ie men ranging from chauvinist to fascist used to drink heavily in male company, building networks to jump the queue for jobs .

Posted by: somebody | May 19, 2019 11:44:06 PM | 43

"Somebody" wrote: "You mean FPÖ" about this sentence:

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

Yes, it's a typo but a significant one considering that most people reading this won't be familiar with Austrian politics. B, if you could fix that typo, I'd be very grateful. "Somebody" (names which confuse the site should be banned) is trying very hard to make this setup and leak seems as normal and not carefully timed:

The Strache setup certainly took a while - like introducing the woman as related to a rich Russian to FPÖ circles and get them used to her, it also continued afterwards and more will come out. It is unlikely NATO was involved, Russia is big in Austrian business, eliminating FPÖ changes nothing, zilch. AND Austria is not a member of NATO - they are neutral like Switzerland.

Austria is de facto part of NATO via PfP. There are regular attempts to force full membership but the electorate won't have it. When the EU Commission is finished redoing the demographics of Europe, no doubt they will be successful in pushing Austria into NATO.

"Somebody" sounds like someone in the employ of the EU – at the trough of the usual multi-culti state-subsidised professional NGO crowd.

With FPÖ the problem is systemic. They draw their personell (sic) from reactionary fraternities - ie men ranging from chauvinist to fascist used to drink heavily in male company, building networks to jump the queue for jobs.

Let's rewrite this one:

With Wall Street the problem is systemic. They draw their personell from men used to drink heavily in male company, building networks to jump the queue for jobs.

or:

With Hollywood the problem is systemic. They draw their personell from men used to drink heavily in male company, building networks to jump the queue for jobs.

or:

With the Republican Party the problem is systemic. They draw their personell from men used to drink heavily in male company, building networks to jump the queue for jobs.

Any group behaves this way. Basically "Somebody" is accusing the the FPÖ party of being human. Tiresome.

More propaganda from "Somebody" (s/he's been busy in this thread):

Austria has "linguistic and cultural diversity" and the protection of its grown native peoples in its constitution, this means Slovenian, Croatian, Czech, Slovakian, Roma and Hungarian.

The keyword here is "grown native people". Yes the Austrian constitution does protect local ethnic minorities. At no point does it say Austria must become a half-Muslim state overrun by economic migrants from countries and regions that the US has ruined in its endless crusade to allow Israel hegemony over the Middle East. There's more coming where that came from, for those MoA readers who haven't figure it out. On the cards in the near future are:

  • renewed war on Syria
  • war on Lebanon
  • war on Iran
  • war on Turkey

Those are the last standing whole countries in the Middle East. For the moment, rentier Saudis will be allowed to continue to prance around in their robes subsidising the headchoppers of the day, as Israel/America's agent from within. Like the Indian tribes who sold out to the American colonists and betrayed other natives, the Saudis day will come too.

We've read about great wars which wrecked centuries. We had two of them in the last century. It looks like human nature hasn't changed, only the tools of war have become ever more dangerous. Post-apocalyptic is looking less like fiction and more like prophecy every day.

Far from requiring growth, if we don't actively reduce the population there won't be potable water or clean agriculture. When the world must reduce the population to survive and thrive, the only people who benefit from growth and immigration at this point are international capitalists who could give a toss about long term health of the nations from which they derive their paper wealth. They are already planning their great escape to New Zealand or South America. The need for immigration and growth are the great lie spread by those who own the printing presses and the TV stations to stupefy the population as they destroy nations and eventually the world in a short-sighted quest for temporary financial advantage.

To global capital's dismay, Europeans continue to resist. The rise of the right wing is in reaction to a real threat to our existence.

"Somebody" is just another agent, duped or conscious, of the selfish and wicked. Strache as I said is a lout. Yet for all his pro-smoking policies and usual petty corruption he's far less dangerous to the existence of Austria and Austrians than people like "Somebody". It very convenient to many establishment players to try to sideline the FPÖ again. Strache was targeted this time as he's one of the few European politicians who declined the offer you can't refuse accepted by traitor Frau Merkel. Like his dead one time mentor Jörg Haider. The charismatic and brilliant Haider died in a mysterious car crash eighteen days after an election where he rose from the political dead to become the fourth faction in the Austrian parliament (Nationalrat) and once again kingmaker.

World subjugation is a blood sport, played one kill at a time.

Posted by: Uncoy | May 20, 2019 4:07:48 AM | 44

somebody

As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country".

Considering the elaborate plot - German intelligence - that have repeatedly cricitized Austria so called pro-russian stance.
Do you know if FPÖ/Strache himself have elaborated on the culprit?

2 months ago: "Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing - EUobserver"
https://euobserver.com/justice/141406

Posted by: Zanon | May 20, 2019 6:35:03 AM | 45

I put on this commentary that I wrote two weeks ago,but was reluctant to send.Now the subject is the European Parliament elections,it is a better moment:


Still are the upcoming elections for the European Union Parliament of high interest to all political players.Until now those elections were quite useless.But now the wave of what they call populism could swing the balance the other way,making Pavlov atlantist suiveur behaviour obsolete this could cause debating much more reasonable attitudes towards Russia,and seeking cooperation in trade energy management and mutual respect in
cultural exchanges.


I mean Why put war number one on anybody's agenda?It's obvious that most people don't want it.The only ones that want war are politicians and their massive media support.Put them in prison and the war is over.

A few days ago,I read about Mr.Lavrov seeking to gather a group of countries opposed to the american ways in venezuela.I think with a populist european parliament he would find many partners.Here in France it's propaganda all they long on every channel.Macron has got to win by all means.Personally I think he will grab the occasion and step down after coming out third or fourth.

Anyways,isn't it time for all the nations who will play by the book,the charter of the United Nations,to do something about this extraterrioriality fake reality theatre them yankees playing now on a daily basis with almost everybody standing speechless on the sideline.Allies and foes they pass alike under the iron of the Trump Bunch,who cares.Well maybe they should move the UN assembly to another country as a token.Look how
they mistreat the people at the Venezuelan Embassy in New York contrary to the Vienna Convention.
In France,a great number of the politicians that came to power the last twentyodd years,many of them "socialist" but not only, ,have been diplomés of the French_American Foundation.The number of ministers with this qualification depasses twenty.They always fail,and find themselves after in even more powerful positions,in the administration,or the european level.
It's my supposition that in other european countries some comparable mechanism of upcoming politician and mediapundit breeding delivers like-minded atlantist agenda forwarders.Now those oyster brains are very afraid that they'll be washed away by what they call the populist wave,which in reality is not one consistent block at all,but different parties from different countries that in some way are opposed to the
ongoing political situation in those countries.

At some moment the people of europe will apprehend and refuse to be the nuclear battlefield.

Posted by: willie | May 20, 2019 7:16:20 AM | 46

It is Putin's niece right?

Posted by: Julian | May 20, 2019 7:32:26 AM | 47

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist.

opinion is free, of course, but considering the main or top opponent of the good and righteous (fake news as mirrored on European ground) I would opt for investigative journalists, vs the services.

One item that may have motivated them: the far right and their not so far right supporters/foot soldiers that hate the idea of public channels, and thus would like to see them abolished all over Europe. Some states managed well as leading the way. Hungary, Poland? Could one or the other freelancer have considered this an interesting coup. Turkey, even better. Put dissenters in prison.

Naive?

You feel Maaßen lost his job for no good reason? Since he gave a green light to such an activity? Will ß show. I noticed you use Oe for Ö:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Georg_Maa%C3%9Fen#Departure_speech_and_early_retirement

Posted by: joanna | May 20, 2019 8:25:06 AM | 48

STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

Look, as southern German I love both Austria and Swizz. And it no doubt is true that STRABAG is present everywhere in Austria. Not least in the "toll system" collecting extra fees for passing mountains. But that is a different matter. You hate the fees you have to pay there as German tourist? Let's say vs Swizz mountain passes?

Posted by: joanna | May 20, 2019 8:40:53 AM | 49

Sasha @ 7 The best to test what the far-right will do in Europe is taking a look at what is happening in Brazil during these last days, an attack on education and research as if it was a military target...This, after the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and wide support to coup d´etat in Venezuela...He is also widely supported and financed by the US and Zionists.

and

Jackrabbit Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead.

and Sasha again..
If voting would be such a waste, why would had taken so hard and long to achieve voting for minorities and women?
Why the parties go to such efforts to campaign and disguise themselves as wolves with sheepskin like the far-right?
Why would certain forces need to go to such editorial coordinated efforts through their several blogs out there to give an impression of certain candidates which is opposite to what they really are? Wikilieaks/Assange are part of this efforts, btw

Snake responds=> its called divide and conquer.. if you look at the masses voting rights in the UsA you can get the picture.. but your question is one that needs to be asked very very often..

@the USA, there are 527 governors made up of two groups:
1. the article a bipolar congress (the house of representatives (425 people strong) and the Senate which is (100 people strong) = total Art. 1 government 525 lawmakers and budget creators

and then

article 2 government, a completely different government, consisting of just two people President and his backup. (2 people strong) total article II government (handles all operations of the USA (domestic and foreign)
In other words the Article 2 person is king, queen, and chief bottle washer.. and all of the power, all of the strength all of everything is within his or her scope of authority, Article one is the people's government, but Article two is the government that promotes and defends economic zionism.

But now let's look at the voting on the 525 people and the 2 people..

Each qualified American voter is entitled to vote for only 3 of the 550 Article 1 persons.
Each qualified American voter is entitled to vote for zero of the 2 Article 2 persons. <= the popular vote is overridden (or actually of no consequences) it is up to the electorial college.. to vote the Article II persons into office.

How then does that answer your question why voting is such a waste of time.

Some call it divide and conquer.. I call it two party cancellation.. Not sure how it works elsewhere, but I bet it is similar.

Americans have been divided by private media and external input, into two cancel the votes of each other out voting groups ==>: Democrats and Republicans.

consider for example:
9 people on island, elect 1 to govern, the friends of the elected governor divide the 8 remaining into two groups: the 4Ds and 4Rs, @vote time, the nine votes are accounted for in this fashion
(4 Ds - 4 Rs)= 0 + 1 by the ruler= governor-ruler wins the vote. Privately owned Mass media keeps the parties fairly well balanced, and sways elections, after packing one parties platform to fit the bankers governors goals, so the imbalance brings or keeps in power the right persons to bring
about the next few years agendas..

It is important to note that the media is supported by innocent looking advertising investments made by monopoly powered corporations to the media, but in fact those corporate advertising revenues are support the production and distribution of the propaganda that keeps the swing votes in check. The idea is to fix it so the intended party wins the vote, but also to keep the vote close enough to make a football game out of the very serious people controlled corporate organized propaganda.

Posted by: snake | May 20, 2019 9:00:43 AM | 50

...
Haider died in a mysterious car crash eighteen days after an election where he rose from the political dead to become the fourth faction in the Austrian parliament (Nationalrat) and once again kingmaker.
World subjugation is a blood sport, played one kill at a time.
Posted by: Uncoy | May 20, 2019 4:07:48 AM | 44

Forgive the OT correction of a minor side-issue, BUT there's only one mysterious aspect to Haider's untimely death. It's why an intelligent adult, driving a car designed to make a 100kph crash eminently survivable, got drunk enough to drive at high speed and then fall asleep while doing so? The car would have been intact, steerable, stoppable and undamaged when it hit a half-ton gate-post which demolished the roof and "safety-cell" feature of the car, allowing the doors to flop open before it had come to rest. This damage allowed subsequent impacts and gyrations to add to the injuries sustained in the initial impact.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 20, 2019 9:51:02 AM | 51

Posted by: Zanon | May 20, 2019 6:35:03 AM | 45

Frankly, German secret services are full of right wing extremists getting paid for disinformation. They don't need Austria for this.

ÖVP - Kurz - enabling a FPÖ far right interior minister is no fun and what worries me about this are not Russian spies.
The published video was a sting operation ie Strache and Gudenus were egged on, but what they planned was a right wing takeover of Austria with the power of deciding who would have a job or not. It was more Erdogan than Orban.

Posted by: somebody | May 20, 2019 10:34:13 AM | 52

And here we have it. Not really scandalous at all:

‘No proof of crime’: Austrian prosecutor won’t launch probe over leaked video scandal
https://www.rt.com/news/459753-austria-strache-leak-prosecutors/

But FPÖ was hurt and that was the purpose...

Posted by: Zanon | May 20, 2019 11:07:44 AM | 53

Posted by: Zanon | May 20, 2019 11:07:44 AM | 53

That is the problem when the interior minister is supposed to investigate his own party.

A prosecutor is supposed to investigate, a judge decides if there is proof or not.

What the prosecutor should have said and did not: "There is no indication of a crime".

Basically, Strache said in the video that there was a scheme to support FPÖ via a ngo. This would have been illegal if true.

Posted by: somebody | May 20, 2019 11:17:50 AM | 54

somebody

The prosecutor's role is to first and foremost see if there might have been a crime committed and be enough evidence to prove that. They just said no.
The prosecutor is of course not the interior minister.

An NGO could support a party. Why would that be illegal? Prosecutor just said the opposite.

Perhaps you dont like FPÖ but remember the same tactics will be used against the left and who will back you then? Its about principles here.


Posted by: Zanon | May 20, 2019 11:37:02 AM | 55

Maybe this incident will strengthen the FPOe by replacing Strache with a leader with an IQ over 80.

Posted by: el Gallinazo | May 20, 2019 1:01:18 PM | 56

Zanon | May 20, 2019 11:37:02 AM | 55

"Perhaps you dont like FPÖ but remember the same tactics will be used against the left and who will back you then? Its about principles here."
Where do you live? In Germany the services used and use all available tactics against the left since 1945. In the 50s a person was found guilty to be a member of the KPD, forbidden at that time. And why? The court could not find anything forbidden that he had done and estimated he must have obeyed by this behaviour the call of the illegal Central Komitee of the KPD that warned all members against minimal breaches of laws. In Germany the Right never differed from a guy like Strache.

Posted by: Hausmeister | May 20, 2019 1:04:48 PM | 57

That chick in the photo.... Porn star.

Posted by: Tyler Durden | May 20, 2019 3:30:33 PM | 58

For some reason Russian media seems to spread fake news. Why would they do that, I wonder.

This is what is reported in Austrian media:

Die Oberstaatsanwaltschaft Wien prüft die mögliche strafrechtliche Relevanz des Ibiza-Videos. Die OStA sei am Wochenende zum Ergebnis gekommen, "dass auf Basis der kolportierten Inhalte des Videos das Vorliegen eines Anfangsverdachts nicht abschließend beurteilt werden kann", hieß es auf Anfrage der APA am Montag.

Translation: Prosecutors in Vienna are looking into the legal relevance of the Ibiza Video. They came to the conclusion during the weekend "that on the basis of the reported content of the video a final decision could not be taken if their was an initial suspicion that something illegal had taken place. Therefore WKSTA (?) have been tasked to gather information on what could constitute initial suspicion and to decide from there.

Posted by: Tyler Durden | May 20, 2019 3:30:33 PM | 58

No, you fool. She is the wife of a FPÖ politician.

Posted by: somebody | May 20, 2019 4:43:35 PM | 59

b, I very much appreciate your brilliant analyses but this time, even you missed the point:

"the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party."

This is not true. You make the mistake like anyone else by concentrating on the upcoming - and not really significant - European elections and forgetting the fact that this video existed well before the much more important elections to the Austrian Parliament in 2017 which brought FPOE into the government!

Let's analyse the situation: It is obvious that someone set a trap to politically assassinate Strache and damage his party. But to me it is also obvious that this can not have been the only goal: Why wait then two years? To inflict his party a lesser damage? Certainly not! And since there is no other party who could potentially be damaged by this video we should ask ourselves, cui bono? No, the people who set up this complot tried not only kill Strache (this too of course), they first of all wanted to push someone forward.

It is simple: This video made public before the Austrian elections in 2017 would weaken the FPOE and would profit (at that time) more to the social-democrats than the conservatives with their brand new OKF* 2.0 Sebastian Kurz (same as Macron but much more intelligent).

Since then one and a half years passed, in this time Kurz was established with the help of the mass media (=oligarchs) as a young, intelligent, dynamic, successful etc etc chancellor.

Now, they think - and I think too - without an accident underway, Kurz will get much stronger at the next elections, highly likely strong enough to build a government with the NEOS (the biggest OKF on earth, owned by the oligarch Haselsteiner who also controls Strabag!). This would be the wet dream of the oligarchy coming true. Coalition of Soros (Kurz) and Haselsteiner (Neos)!

And of course there are also other thoughts to be made in this case: What happened with Strache in these 1,5 years in the government? No one blackmailed him? Think about his zionist stance and his support for Israel against the Palestinians in this time (despite the fact that Israeli pissed on him on every occasion).

All in all, a masterpiece of the oligarchs. Next in line: Marine Le Pen - she is as stupid as Strache and is probably already beeing blackmailed too.

*) OKF stands for Oligarchenkackefresser. Copyright by me :-)

Posted by: NLS | May 20, 2019 5:02:54 PM | 60

Think about [Strache's] zionist stance and his support for Israel against the Palestinians in this time (despite the fact that Israeli pissed on him on every occasion). NLS | May 20, 2019 5:02:54 PM

From my limited observation, "paleo-antisemites" often harbor a prejudice against all Semites, but if they have to choose, they go for those that are culturally more similar. Another frequent antisemitic meme is that "Jews control this and that" and a patriot of a small country has to conform, lest Latvia/Austria/Malaysia etc. suffer dire consequences. When they lobby in Washington they always choose AIPAC alumni. Needless to say, AIPAC alumni are very happy about that.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 20, 2019 6:20:07 PM | 61

@59:Somebody

Say what you will, I saw the video, Did a side by side comparison... No doubt... Passion HD.... Kimmy.

Have a look.

Porn Star.

Posted by: Tyler Durden | May 20, 2019 7:19:06 PM | 62

@somebody @NLS

Thanks for brillant comments. We do not who did it but it seeems clear that some rich supporters of Kurz paid for it. The whole thing now is a kind of maturity test for the electorate.

Posted by: Hausmeister | May 20, 2019 11:53:59 PM | 63

there are several falsehoods in this article: First, there were no 'hidden' cameras, they were in plain sight and also mentioned in the villas rental website. Strache didn't 'reject' suggestions - he made them and he explicitly said that they will bypass the law. There is no 'gray area', what he suggested in regard to the Austrian election laws would put him in jail. Why this trap: I think because he runs an anti-EU campaign and there are powerful people who want the EU in order to exploit (what else) the common people.

from the article: "Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Strache emphatically rejects it." Not true! My mother tongue is German and I heard what he said! He did suggest to bypass Austria election laws ...

Posted by: irene zimmer | May 21, 2019 5:46:09 AM | 64

from the article: "The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people."

Sorry, bu you cannot argue that the political assassination was unjust because what the bankers did was a lot worse ...

Posted by: irene zimmer | May 21, 2019 6:13:46 AM | 65

Austrian video scandal is 'two-pronged attack' on EU conservatives & Russia
https://www.rt.com/news/459857-austria-leak-eu-right-parties/

Lets see how much impact it has in the election now.

Posted by: Zanon | May 21, 2019 6:37:02 AM | 66

you take what you have and run.

You can dig through RT in German via Google translate. More easy with Chrome, admittedly. Austrians speak German too. Sorry, for misspelling Swiss. It's a bit complicated: Switzerland but Swiss, admittedly. ;) I keep forgetting it.

https://deutsch.rt.com/tag/oesterreich/

Posted by: joanna | May 21, 2019 8:57:32 AM | 67

Zanon, I am not aware anyone in Germany attacks Russia over this. How could they? But of course RT must know.

Posted by: joanna | May 21, 2019 9:00:16 AM | 68

joanna

Not sure what you reply to but, yes there are people in Germany that do not like FPÖ because of their views on Russia :

From Independent yesterday:

Germany’s security services have warned officials against sharing intelligence with the Austrian government because of the presence of a far-right party in its governing coalition. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV)

Other than intelligence services, check any liberals not only in Germany and see what they have said past days. Its not nice.

Posted by: Zanon | May 21, 2019 10:29:36 AM | 69

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 20, 2019 6:20:07 PM | 61

The big switch for the right was the change of hatred for "Untermenschen" to the hate of "Muslims", from race to religion. Who engineered this, is anybody's guess.

"Populist" right wing groups like Russia as Christian orthodox (this is a misconception but I guess Russia has spent some PR on this) and Israel because they see them fighting against Muslims. Old school neo nazis are antisemite and anti-slav. Both are represented in FPÖ.

Posted by: somebody | May 21, 2019 10:38:27 AM | 70

Posted by: joanna | May 21, 2019 9:00:16 AM | 68

Russia is completely out on this. Whoever mentions Russia as part of the scandal has an agenda or reacts like Pavlov's dogs hearing "niece of Russian oligarch".

But some people in Russia seem to think they had a strategy to unite authoritarian nationalist politicians to counter European libertarian "international" values. Or they just felt close to certain European parties not to others.

If you look at this visualized explanation of Austrian politics it is obvious that mainstream Russian politics are in the bottom right corner together with FPÖ and ÖVP with some exceptions top left. Russian policies translated might simply be a coalition between ÖVP and FPÖ. There is no dark plan to weaken and disintegrate Europe same as there is no dark plan to militarily attack Europe or the US. But there is a counterstragey to "Western"/"European" values that are meant to destabilize Russia.

Posted by: somebody | May 21, 2019 10:55:09 AM | 71

Great link, somebody. I do not support the theory that dark Russian forces are trying to subvert our political scene.

Besides, I am not up to social dynamics here. That I admit freely. I more generally doubt though, that this activity needed the German & UK services, as b suggested. Be it BND or the ones protecting our constitution.

I may be a bit touchy though, concerning the deeper reasons behind our public channels and their legal base, post 1945. Meaning a bit protective. Never mind to what extend I saw them fail by providing a platform to Open Source Warriors like Eliot Higgins.

Posted by: joanna | May 21, 2019 11:35:40 AM | 72

Dont have much time to comment further, just this:
"While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that."

THANKS! It is so FUCKING GOOD to see one is not alone with that sentiment. Sadly those self proclaimed uber-leftist of todays milleniial generation dont get this, and even push into the totally opposite direction.
They destroy democracy in their self claimed fight for democracy, are unable to accept different opinions, and working class people to them are "Nazis" (Nazis in this Newspeack means everyone right of the left extremists wing of the left party) anyway, and deserve no empathy or their rights in the democratic process.
Physical vionlence is acceptable to them, as is nearly every tool and means, and the old right wing meme of Antifa=SA sadly now has at least some grain of truth.
Democracy to them is only Democracy if their very own will and ideology are totally and exclusively executed and shared by each and every one.

Like Herbert Wehner warned even in his last years, that this extremism will only serve to bring out the darkest demons of our German society. The demons the called will haunt them but also us all when we are back to where Germany was in the 1920.
All for nothing.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | May 21, 2019 5:56:31 PM | 73

Forgot the main point:
IMHO this issue if the NUMBER ONE danger for our society, democracy and future for our and the next few generations to come. This dangerous trend has to be turned around, or our whole society will go to hell. Literally.
This is the issue that has pushed me into thinking that we all need to be resposible, and act against this trend. We need to provide the people, the whole people with representation in the policial process, integrate them as a whole.
I have planned to do my duty as a citizen and i hope when i am ready to somehow act there will be at least some people who are likeminded. Reading that B and others feel the same as me on this issue is pretty moving and a good sign.
Light in the darkness. Even thogh still small.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | May 21, 2019 6:05:12 PM | 74

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | May 21, 2019 6:05:12 PM | 74

Herbert Wehner had alzheimer in his last years. FPÖ voters suffer from amnesia.

Posted by: somebody | May 21, 2019 6:15:12 PM | 75

Reformism is dead. It is no longer 'affordable', given dynamics of contemporary capitalism, nor politically necessary, given the post-war class compromise, which supported it, has been dismantled. The more reformist and liberal sections of the left are still wallowing in the memories of the Keynesian era. Unable to understand what is happening around the world because that would give lie to their political platform. Why have so many right-wing parties come to power around the world? It is not just because of nationalism, racism, immigration, etc. It is because the so called left political platform cannot promise social reforms. Even the so called socialist and communist parties accepted neoliberal austerity policies (in France, Spain and Greece for example) in recent years.

Posted by: ninel | May 22, 2019 1:08:41 AM | 76

Well, one thing is sure - German secret service people are not amused. Former heads of BND suddenly come out for the protection of privacy which is - well, strange.
There are connections between German secret services and the FPÖ interior minister and these connections are good.

Posted by: somebody | May 22, 2019 10:55:07 AM | 77

Interesting Spiegel Online offers an opinion space to Sascha Lobo. I am too old of course but have always been a fan of CCC. The larger context I add him to.

What would would be your advice considering the appropriate response to Zanon? For a second I admittedly hesitated if I should explain. ...
Would he understand?

Posted by: joanna | May 23, 2019 9:14:31 AM | 78

joanna

Guy Verhofstadt: Austria’s Strache is a ‘traitor’
https://www.politico.eu/article/guy-verhofstadt-austrias-heinz-christian-strache-is-a-traitor-austria-election/

Have you completely missed what people have been saying after this event?
Have you missed the almost 3 year old witch hunt for Russians in the US with Trump/Mueller and thus not being able to see when the same witch hunt strikes in Europe?

Posted by: Zanon | May 23, 2019 10:09:52 AM | 79

Posted by: joanna | May 23, 2019 9:14:31 AM | 78

Zanon to understand that the nationalism of Trumpists and European populists are the result of a provocation channeled by secret services and paid for by the internationale of oligarchs against taxation and regulation?

It seems that the people who engineered the video are known. They presumably will not talk about their clients.

Posted by: somebody | May 23, 2019 10:37:35 AM | 80

Some new info?

Austria scandal: Lawyer says he was part of Ibiza sting
https://tinyurl.com/y3cv6osy

Why would this lawyer openly admit this though?

Posted by: Zanon | May 25, 2019 10:03:25 AM | 81

German Ex-Spy Chief: Mossad Behind Video Leak That Led to Austria Gov't Collapse
https://sputniknews.com/europe/201905281075403985-rudolf-adam-austria-video-leak/

Posted by: Zanon | May 28, 2019 9:31:59 AM | 82

Good article, good comments, I wonder why I discovered MoA just lately.

There is a view I'd like to add. Please excuse the lengths I take to come to an imho important point about the videos function and please read my opinions as those of someone who, like b, is "a strong leftist" but understands people who vote far right.

In a post-political world in which news wins over information, affection over emotion and position over data, "left" and "right" remain as theoretical shells, useful only for those who play groups and zeitgeists off against each other; thus distracting from the shared interests of those who are politically interested but not playing the overarching, expensive emotional pipe organ. This is rational from a meta perspective as long as both major parties are capable of fighting each other, delivering the show. (Also, it has the added benefit of allocating the seats in parliaments - beware that the parties in opposition sit next to each other or cameras fetch simultaneous applause from both sides of "the spectrum" on a regular basis, which will increase.)

New parties themselves feel the need to choose sides to make their (until then rather unknown) position clear to win likely votes. And if they dont, the media does that for them. I have seen this happen with the AfD in Germany - starting as an anti-Euro (as in currency) movement, they naturally consisted of rather old, rather conservative men who had the financial expertise as well as funding to start it. They were mostly free from nationalism besides the fact that they thought in the national borders the previous monetary system had existed in. I remember quite many left leaning sceptics voting for them as we felt financial centralization is a portal for large-scale corruption, oppression even.

Suddenly the AfD were there and everybody was like "what? ok". It seems like the powers at that time were quite surprised (in Germany, the left was supposed to be the enemy, not old white men), they were ignored for quite a while. I also remember the week politics and media established "Neurechts" (new-right) as the flagship name/frame of the answer. Yes, the one week. Well, there were some small truths to it: The inherent element of nationalism opposing the Euro, funding from very conservative intities and the external function as a stress-relieve-medicine for far right members of the CDU (the main conservative party). It did not take long for the brown, almost fascist numbs to enter the party. The establishment-started, self-fulfilling prophecy delivered. Just in time for the refugee crisis, either enemy was on stage. (Imagine there was no AfD or no refugees at that time.)

My main observation is, that there was a time the AfD could have been block-free, but mechanisms I see all over the western world geared into each other, resulting in exactly what is bad for us - terrible ressentiment between the sceptic zeitgeists, teriffic stories of good and bad and most people unaware of the important questions of our time - the increase of our inequality as well as a revision of ones own consumption and its destructive role in our world. From an oligarchy perspective, that played out extremely well. So did Trump and LePen and other seemingly stupid phenomena. But if you play with fire, you have to be able to control it, be prepared. You want to have fire extinguishers all over your house. This video was one.

P.S. There is a theory that the Strache video was made by people who stage such things and sell it. I have zero evidence for that, but it makes sense if reckless people cater to that market.

P.S. I do understand many people who vote far right. If you feel betrayed and offsided, you are prone to vote for change (real change this time). In Germany, neither government nor the left have delivered. Imho the situation is as much the fault of unscrupulous powers as it is the fault of the left to not pinpoint the system errors and to create a positive vision. Calling the "other side" Nazis (as it is quite popular in Germany right now) is as weak as one can get - undemocratic, selfrighteous and not at all part of a solution.

Posted by: Andreas | Jun 7, 2019 6:29:40 AM | 83

Posted by: Zanon | May 25, 2019 10:03:25 AM | 81

Because of course Gudenus (Straches Co in the video) remembered who recommended the "Lithuatian/Russian niece of an oligarch".

The people who did the video had connections to the Austrian secret service, as a matter of fact, interior minister Kickl from FPÖ had done a search of his very own secret service - now it seems he was looking for the video.

Basically, ÖVP chancellor Kurz had entered into a coalition with people who were watched by Austria's interior secret service. That's it.

Posted by: Andreas | Jun 7, 2019 6:29:40 AM | 83

No, I don't respect people who vote far right.

As you seem concerned about making AFD respectable, here an AFD quote from their party programme which for some reason they felt they had to translate to English, French, Spanish, Czech, Hungarian and Russian.

The AfD is committed to German as the predominant culture. This culture is derived from three sources: firstly, the religious traditions of Christianity; secondly, the scientific and humanistic heritage, whose ancient roots were renewed during the period of Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment; and thirdly, Roman law, upon which our constitutional state is founded. Together, these traditions are the foundation of our free and democratic society, and they determine daily patterns of social interaction in society, and shape the relationship between the sexes as well as the conduct of parents towards their children. The ideology of multiculturalism is blind to history and puts on a par imported cultural trends with the indigenous culture, thereby degrading the value system of the latter. The AfD views this as a serious threat to social peace and the survival of the nation state as a cultural unit. It is the duty of the government and civil society to confidently protect German as the predominant culture

Talking for myself - I speak German and Bavarian but not Northern Platt, am atheist (ok, they do mention enlightenment, but that clashes with Christianity), believe in equal rights of genders and people generally (ok humanist heritage, but that would stop me from "protecting German"), love Jazz, wear Jeans, prefer Italian food and spend my holidays abroad.
AFD programme suggests that I am a serious threat to social peace. And you are telling me I should respect them? Really?

b. has been wrong by the way that the right profits from the Strache case. FPÖ lost some percentage points. ÖVP gained.


Posted by: somebody | Jun 7, 2019 8:37:41 AM | 84

add to
Posted by: somebody | Jun 7, 2019 8:37:41 AM | 84

It is not only impossible to respect people who vote for AFD, it is a simple matter of self-esteem.

When they claim humanism and enlightenment for German culture, they don't know that this includes Islam.

This here is Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Nathan the Wise (German culture in 1779)

Nathan. I am now finished From what’s been said the rest is evident— Scarce was the father dead, then comes each brother With ring in hand, and each one wants to claim His due. Investigations, arguments,Complaints, are vain: which ring was right could not Be proven;--(after a pause, during which he awaits the Sultan’s answer)As unprovable as is The true religion

And yes, Christianity and Islam share the same space of origin and it is neither Germany nor Rome.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 7, 2019 9:09:57 AM | 85

add to 85

German culture - end of 18th century

Red Mosque, Schwetzingen Palace Garden

They pretend to protect a culture they do not even know.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 7, 2019 9:16:11 AM | 86

Hey @somebody, I can relate to your description of yourself in #84 (except I do not speak Bavarian but a little Platt). No, I am not to say I expect you to respect them individually (besides common human dignity). But I urge you to not wave them away. Respect that there are people who came to different conclusions from different backgrounds. There must be a reason they came to conclusions differing from yours and mine. I am convinced the lately fueled new right is a sympthom, not a root cause. This is my main point, I do not quite get why you did not get that from my comment (as I have seen yours and think we are not on opposed sides).

On your addendum #85: We should not bother with self esteem, this is not the time for individual vain, yours or mine, right or wrong, left or right. If there is a sympthom, we need a cure. Its not "they do", we all do, including you and me! Sorry, this sounds pesumptious, I know - like your answer does and the Afd programme does. What we all tend to think is that there can be singleton truths in a divided world.

On your addendum #86: What a beautiful mosque, I get ravy when I see such signs of culture whereever they are, especially in tendencially unlikely places. Yet you have to admit: The culture bringing this forward did not develop in Schwetzingen. It needed a regional pocket to establish. I do not believe Bach or Def Leppard would have thrived in other regions as well. Do not get me wrong, cultural hegemonism of any kind is my sworn enemy, be it mine or yours or "theirs" or others. I am deeply concerned of the brain drain the current situation causes in other regions of the world, right after we f***ed them over for centuries.

Posted by: Andreas | Jun 7, 2019 5:51:55 PM | 87

Posted by: Andreas | Jun 7, 2019 5:51:55 PM | 87

LOL.

I don't respect people who don't respect me. AFD is about "Germany über alles" and their definition of Germany does not include me. They are a threat. It is a simple as that.

You - and AFD - don't seem to know "German culture" either. No, the Schwetzingen mosque is not a "regional pocket", it reflects the fascination German Enlightenment (which AFD wrongly claims in their manifesto) felt for Islam.

This here is Goethe

Who knows himself and others well / No longer may ignore: / Orient and Occident dwell / Separately no more"

Posted by: somebody | Jun 8, 2019 9:33:33 AM | 88

Hey @somebody, not sure which parts of my writing your Lol is an answer to. Me not having known the origins of the mosque? Or me not having read it up before answering? Fair point, even if a bit harsh. If not, it would be an example for exactly what worries me about the false dilemma most western peoples slid into recently (and why I wrote #83 in the first place).

Again, I do not expect you to respect them. But I urge you to tolerate them, even if they do not tolerate you. By "them", to be precise, I do not mean Nazis. And by "Nazis", I do not mean people who are opposed to a rather sudden and profound change in their country nobody voted for, but those in the far right who are willing to use physical or social violence to push their way, aka fascists.

There is an irony to the fact that I wrote down my concern about an artificial dichotomy leading towards a division between humans with shared interests and gave an example of an obscure building up of strawmen to raise political/emotional tension, to now find myself in a sentence which groups me and the far right while questioning my cultural depth.

It would be great if we would discuss the point I tried to raise. The reason being a) in a narrow perspective ignoring the motives of "the enemy" is a step towards loosing the battle and b) in a wider perspective we go for the wrong enemy in the first place. Also, it is sad to see unhappy souls being set aside even further.

Posted by: Andreas | Jun 9, 2019 4:22:28 AM | 89

Posted by: Andreas | Jun 9, 2019 4:22:28 AM | 89

But I urge you to tolerate them, even if they do not tolerate you.

That would be pretty suicidal, don't you think?

AFD is "dog whistling". Of course they are cryptofascist.

All they do is try to avoid to give cause to be officially watched by the German interior secret service. Something FPÖ did not manage to avoid.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 9, 2019 6:05:34 AM | 90

You are right in saying that giving fascism a platform is to be fought against and that low level fascists have a tendency to hide in plain sight. Yet that is no new discovery and I mentioned that subtextually already.

I sense an agressive tendency in your answers (new-antifa-style confronting anybody with the slightest indication of sympathy for people in the far right). If I'm wrong, I'm sorry for effectively using your comments as a strawman to get my observation into the net. But if I'm right, I wish you would ask what might be the root cause for simple minded people to fall for the cryptofascist scam artists and direct your rightful anger at them.

In my view the root cause isn't even those who grab the low hangig fruit, but the financial and social pressure imposed on many by relatively few people exploiting faults of our system and nature for enduring profit. To go after their victims is to play right into the hands of those who do fascism on a way higher level. (In Max Frisch's play they could be some unnamed group doing business with gasoline, housing and insurances.)

Posted by: Andreas | Jun 9, 2019 8:59:20 AM | 91

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