There are many, many things about the right wing in politics which I find detestable, selfishness, xenophobia and bigotry to name but three, perhaps though the one which irks me most is their utter inability to learn the simplest of lessons from history. This is highlighted just now by the crass stupidity of the Republican “Party” in the US.
They question whether the support for Ukraine from the US, in its fight for survival is “worth it?”
This displays all the blinkered ignorance we have come to expect from a party which claims to be the party of law and order but is prepared to nominate a serially impeached and indicted clown, claims to be the party of the Bible but slavishly follows a serial adulterer and claims to be the party of fiscal responsibility but bows down before a serial bankrupt.
The lesson of history which is being ignored is simply that of the 1930s in Europe. When Franco and his jackbooted thugs launched the Spanish Civil War against the democratically elected government the political right across Europe and in the US either turned a blind eye or, even worse, actually supported them. We know from history that this was being used by Hitler as a “proving ground” for his blitzkrieg tactics and for his Condor Legion as well as Mussolini’s Aviazione Legionaria. The horrors of that conflict haunt Spain to this day and still the right shuts its eyes.
While it’s doubtful if Hitler could have been stopped he could at least have been given “pause for thought” and Mussolini could have been dissuaded if the international community had stood up in 1936. Instead, the “great powers” either stood by or supported fascism, we know that even the “Royal Family” and England’s aristocracy along with their friends who owned the newspapers had more than a little sympathy with fascism. And worse of all was the role of the Churches in their complicity.
Christy Moore’s Viva la Quinta Brigada says it very well;
“Many Irishmen heard the call of Franco
Joined Hitler and Mussolini too
Propaganda from the pulpit and newspapers
Helped O’Duffy to gather up his crew
And the word came from the Church, “support the Nazis”
The men of cloth, they failed again
But the Bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Dun Laoghaire
As they sailed beneath the Swastika to Spain”
There is very little to separate Putin today from Hitler then, the same determination to wipe their chosen victims off the face of the earth. Then it was Jews, today it’s Ukrainians. If we do not continue to support Ukraine who will be next, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia? Belarus is a part of Russia in all but name and Putin makes no secret that he doesn’t accept that Ukraine has a right to exist. He conjures up bogeymen and the right swallow them hook, line and sinker. With populists across the continent queuing up to ask for seconds.
Just as Hitler wanted “lebensraum” or “living space” for the Germanic peoples, Mad Vlad wants to recreate the Russian Empire like some modern Catherine The Great.
As the idiot wing of the Republicans (and their clones across Europe) question if supporting Ukraine is worth it, they might choose to reflect on the price of turning a blind eye to Europe in the 1930s and just how much that cost. The fact that the Biden Administration has had to “suspend” some of the planned aid to avoid a shut down of the US Government and the subsequent defenestration of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker but the MAGA loonies show us just how much danger there is in the prospect of the Trumpet returning to the White House!
The price of listening to the siren whisper of banknotes rather than their moral conscience was paid in blood and treasure. We can only hope and pray that the same mistakes are not made again.
So, is Ukraine worth it? Unless you want to revisit 20th century history, the answer has to be an unequivocal YES.