Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, September 26, 2023
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It doesn’t take much for those in power to call you a Nazi or a racist, especially in the Great White North. During the COVID-19 pandemic, “anti-hate” advocates and government officials unloaded on any lockdown protesters. State media outlet CBC gave “anti-hate campaigner” Bernie Farber a platform to claim a protest convoy had the “worst display of Nazi propaganda in this country.” The Guardian said trucker convoys had “neo-Nazi and Confederate” flags. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used authoritarian means to end the protests, including freezing bank accounts without a court order and banning certain protests. “We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags,” he said. Guilt-by-association thus justified sweeping abuses of power.
For that reason, the recent unanimous standing ovation to a fighter in the Waffen SS gives us an amusing spectacle. Yaroslav Hunka, who fought against the Soviet Union in the “First Ukrainian Division” (also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division), was in the viewing gallery in the Canadian Parliament on Friday, September 22, when he received two standing ovations. Speaker Anthony Rota, a member of the Liberal Party, recognized the soldier during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Canada. Speaker Rota called the man “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service.”
He has since apologized, saying he had “subsequently become aware of more information” about the soldier’s service and thus regretted his tribute. Justin Trudeau called it “deeply embarrassing,” and opposition party leaders called for the speaker to resign. It’s absurd to pin it all on Speaker Rota, however. Who, exactly, do all these Canadian leaders think was fighting for Ukrainian independence against the Soviet Union during World War II anyway? One is tempted to speak about the need for nuance when discussing the Second World War, but it seems leaders of a major Western nation have no idea what was actually happening.
R. Reno’s Return of the Strong Gods (2019) says World War II caused the West to invent an anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and anti-nationalist mythos in reaction. Every postwar government needs to play within the ideological confines of this mythos, or it is considered “fascist” and illegitimate. However, when there is a real war with a real enemy, the postwar liberal state has a problem. No one wants to fight for an economic zone or for a country with a racist, sexist, and imperialist past. Modern Western countries therefore need essentially to invent a politically correct past to push people to fight for them.
That’s hard to do when it comes to Eastern Europe, where it was almost only the “far right” who actually fought against the Soviets, at least during and after World War II. Some other veterans of the Ukrainian SS Division live in Canada, but a 1985 report found that membership in the unit should not be considered a war crime. It’s thus not clear what Canada is even apologizing for according to its own standards.
Modern Ukraine’s identity is incoherent unless the anti-Soviet resistance (or pro-Nazi collaboration) is considered as part of it. In the current war, the Western press has rehabilitated many of the “far-right” Ukrainian groups (such as the Azov Battalion) it once decried. This wouldn’t be a problem, except it comes at the same time the anti-racist panic throughout the West is intensifying. The result is that the entire program looks incoherent at best and insincere at worst. If even the Satanic pillar of the postwar Western mythos can be instantly rehabilitated in response to a geopolitical struggle, why should we care about virtue signaling when it comes to domestic politics? How many people with Ukrainian flags in their bios on X — including influential figures such as neoconservative pundits and journalists — are the same people constantly warning about rising fascism and white nationalism within the Republican Party or among Canadian conservatives?
It’s especially absurd when we consider the way guilt-by-association is used to delegitimize conservatives in North America. Prime Minister Trudeau is already trying to shift the blame. “I think it’s going to be really important for all of us to push back against Russian propaganda and Russian disinformation,” he said. One wonders what the “disinformation” or “propaganda” is here. Russia doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with this hilarious spectacle.
If standards meant anything, Canada would need to rethink some of its guilt-by-association tactics. Presumably, the entire government just committed a “hate” incident, and every MP should lose his social media account. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Still, we can laugh at the embarrassment that they suffered. More importantly, seeing the cynical, transient, and mercenary way anti-racist moral outrage is used, we can stop taking it seriously.