Reality Has Changed: the Ukraine War Slams Europe Rightward

So has fascism come back to Europe or are Europeans simply sick of the Empire’s endless wars? The smart money’s on the latter, because what mostly unites the diverse right-wingers recently elected to the European Parliament is objection to the Ukraine War. But even that unity shows many cracks, as this motley collection of rightists share little regarding policies. That’s not to say that a far-right European parliament can’t have nasty effects – it can and very well may. But for now, what voters for these reactionaries generally want is peace – and it’s hard to fault them for that. What the elected officials in fact provide is another story.

The far-right electoral victory impelled French President Emmanuel Macron to dissolve parliament and call for new elections pronto. This means, of course, that the extreme right with its fascist roots, namely National Rally led by Marine LePen, could soon rule France. But, according to Thomas Fazi in Unherd June 10, LePen has “started to undergo a process of [Italian prime minister Georgia] ‘Melonification’ – abandoning her anti-euro platform and softening her position on Russia-Ukraine and NATO.”

Furthermore, Fazi argues, “the European Parliament remains politically toothless.” Fazi is not optimistic about this new European Parliament even altering course on Ukraine, though voters clearly want that, because the most recent election’s victors “are made up of various right-populist parties who are deeply divided on several crucial strategic issues: social and economic matters, European enlargement, China, EU-U.S. relations and, most important, Ukraine.”

Still, Macron has been way out in front of Ukraine War fanatics lately, advocating French boots on the ground and sounding more bellicose with each proclamation. One must wonder how the rebuke implicit in this recent vote affected him: was he so shocked at the wildly popular protest of his war jingoism that he decided he’d rather abdicate from politics than live in a world without his pet Ukraine slaughter or is he simply incapable of believing he could lose to LePen? It’s hard to know, but clearly Macron is cannier than his German counterpart, chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose party was described as “dismayed” by the recent election. Dismayed, but apparently not moved to dramatic action. Meanwhile, what many call the fascist Alternative for Germany announced that Zelensky is no longer the legal president of Ukraine and therefore has no business addressing the Bundestag. These far-rightists along with leftists from Sara Wagenknecht’s BSW boycotted Zelensky’s recent speech.

Ironically, those most upset about this reactionary European victory are the very boosters of the actual Nazis in Ukraine’s Azov brigade. It was Donald “Fire and Fury” Trump who banned weapons to Azov, while it was Joe “Our Nazis Are Good Nazis” Biden, who just recently lifted the ban. Not much daylight between them, eh? Though Trump comes out of this one a bit ahead of Joe “Bomb Nordstream” Biden.

Quite nauseatingly, those Azov Nazis our tax dollars underwrite sport all sorts of Nazi regalia and symbols from the swastika to the neo-Nazi Totenkopf to the black sun. No surprise there. Ukraine’s the country that recently issued, in addition to its official “kill list,” another enemies list created by its NGO called TEXTY, a group that has worked with USAID and the state department. Lots of Americans are on this list, at risk of being doxed and targeted for who knows what, as were also on the previous one. Those Americans include congressmembers and other elite bigwigs. My guess is Biden won’t be getting their votes.

So Nazis in Ukraine versus normalized fascists in Europe – how far will this go? Far, but there will be resistance along the way. France’s center right politicians want to team up with LePen. The French Republicans’ chairman, Eric Ciotti, according to Al Jazeera June 11, “called for a country-wide alliance between his party’s candidates and Marine LePen’s far-right National Rally in forthcoming parliamentary elections.” This is a first for a traditional French political party (the party of Chirac and Sarkozy) and Ciotti quickly paid a price: on June 12, the Republicans voted to expel him.

Meanwhile, this European move right comes in the critical context of escalation by NATO against Russia, escalation that increases the chance of nuclear war, that also led to the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov entering the port of Havana on June 12 and that saw Russian military exercises involving the nuclear submarine Kazan and a carrier armed with zircon hypersonic missiles (which the U.S. doesn’t have), 100 kilometers off the coast of Miami, also June 12. This escalation against Moscow is clearly a loser and, to its credit, Washington actually seems less gung-ho than EU countries. Time, you might say, for the American boss to snap the leash back on its European attack dogs, that is, if such is possible. Nations like France and the U.K. have so intensely succumbed to war fever that lowering their temperature ain’t easy. Maybe those disastrous recent elections will do the trick.

In the bigger picture, reactionaries winning in Europe while actual Nazis rake in U.S. tax dollars combines into one big F for Biden’s foreign policy. His pet proxy war in Ukraine is a fiasco, with hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers dead, the country flat broke, its infrastructure destroyed by Russian missiles and drones, its democracy out the window. Now that proxy war racks up another casualty: European centrism.

If fascism comes to Europe in a big way, which is now quite possible, look to the Biden gang for the ultimate cause. Washington’s idiotic economic sanctions of Moscow led EU countries to follow suit, and when those sanctions backfired, their economies began to crater. Deindustrialization advances swiftly in the EU’s powerhouse, Germany, which relied on cheap Russian energy to stay competitive. And when Germany goes broke, the catastrophic repercussions will be felt throughout the continent. Its relative decline has already boosted the AfD. Do the Biden neo-cons even care?

Some do, but many don’t. For them the answer to every question is war – on Russia, China, Iran and probably a bunch of other countries for good measure. They revealed their limited mental capacity at the beginning of the century with their wars against Afghanistan and Iraq and their much-hyped plans to invade numerous other Middle Eastern nations seriatim. They afflict us Americans like herpes combined with a fatal case of covid, and its safe to say nothing can get done, no muddle resolved, no bloodshed ended, nothing improved until we kick them out of power.

Eve Ottenberg is a novelist and journalist. Her latest book is Busybody. She can be reached at her website.