Saltar para: Posts [1], Pesquisa [2]

Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Putin 2021, take two

29.04.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Putin 2021, take two: How Russia Will Retaliate Against the West

Vladimir Putin



Russia Will Retaliate Against the West

Moscow sees itself as under siege and has made it clear that it will respond as it believes it needs to in order to defend core Russian interests.

By Mark Episkopos at The National Interest on April 24, 2021

As relations between Russia and the west continue along a downward spiral, Moscow vows an “asymmetric” response against further “threats” and “provocations” from its adversaries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual state of the nation address earlier this week, against the backdrop of mounting tensions in the ongoing Donbass conflict in Ukraine and a new wave of anti-government protests over the jailing of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

The address focused heavily on domestic issues, including regional infrastructure projects and government measures to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. It was only toward the end of a speech that lasted more than an hour that Putin finally turned to foreign policy. Putin referenced the accusation that Western governments participated in a plot to assassinate the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko as part of a coup attempt. That allegation was recently made by Minsk and partly endorsed by the Kremlin. Putin said: “I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening… You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials—well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.”

The Kremlin confirmed that Putin brought the alleged coup against Lukashenko to President Biden’s attention when they spoke earlier this month, but did not provide additional details. The State Department has strongly dismissed the allegations as “absolutely untrue.”

In what was seemingly a reference to the relationship between the United States and its allies, Putin added that “there are all kinds of little Tabaqui’s hanging around Shere Khan, howling to appease their sovereign.” Warning the West against “crossing the red line with regard to Russia,” Putin noted that Russia’s response to perceived transgressions will be “asymmetrical, swift and tough.” This marks a subtle, but significant deviation from the Kremlin’s long-standing commitment to proportionality—namely, carefully measured tit-for-tat reactions to Western sanctions and other punishments.

On the eve of Putin’s address, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky invited the Russian President to meet in Ukraine’s eastern breakaway province of Donbass. Putin initially rebuffed Zelensky’s offer, suggesting that issues pertaining to the Donbass conflict should be discussed between Kiev and the leadership of the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR), but adding that he is willing to discuss Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relations with Zelensky in Moscow. On the following day, Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff Dmitry Kozak posited a new offer: a multilateral meeting in Donbass that includes France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, and representatives of the Donbass separatist governments. Kiev is unlikely to agree to the latter proviso, as engaging directly with the DNR and LNR leadership in those circumstances could compromise Zelensky’s political standing in Ukraine.

Though talks between the two sides may not be forthcoming, the latest round of escalation between Russia and Ukraine appears to be receding nonetheless. After weeks of what has been called Russia’s largest military buildup on Ukraine’s border since 2014, Russian troops are now being pulled back to their permanent bases. “I believe that the surprise inspection’s goals have been achieved in full,” said Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. “Therefore, I have made a decision to complete the inspection measures in the Southern and Western Military Districts,” he added. The drawdown of these Russian units will be completed by May 1, according to the Kremlin. Although the full extent of Moscow’s intentions behind the buildup remains unclear, Russia’s behavior is generally consistent with a pattern of coercive deterrence; that is, a signal Mocow’s resolve to respond swiftly and decisively if Ukraine tries to retake its breakaway provinces through military force rather than through the political process outlined in the Minsk agreement.

Nonetheless, Moscow has suddenly been foisted with a fresh diplomatic crisis. The Czech Republic expelled eighteen Russian embassy staff after accusing Moscow over alleged involvement in an ammunition depot blast in 2014. Moscow denied Prague’s accusations and promptly expelled twenty Czech diplomats from the Czech embassy in Moscow, a measure that Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said was “disproportionate and de facto paralysed the functioning of our embassy.” In the escalation that ensued, Kulhanek announced that Prague had decided to expel as many as sixty-three Russian embassy employees. Kulhanek argued that the move is intended to achieve parity, noting that the Czech embassy in Moscow has substantially fewer employees than the Russian mission in Prague. Czech Ambassador to Russia Vitezslav Pivonka told reporters that he will stay in Moscow “for now.” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Prague on Friday of sabotaging U.S.-Czech relations at the behest of “Western sponsors,” seemingly alluding to Washington. The two embassies have now been reduced to seven diplomats each, with continued diplomatic ties between Moscow and Prague hanging in the balance. The ongoing standoff is the first test of the Kremlin’s new doctrine of “asymmetrical” retaliation. As Moscow toes the thin line between firmness and escalation in its continued dealings with the West, even more difficult challenges are sure to follow.

Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for The National Interest.

The original article, which has no readers' comments, can be viewed here.







A história da galinha depenada

29.04.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Galinha depenada / Imagem de Mrs_WarMonkey por Pixabay

Galinha depenada
Imagem de Mrs_WarMonkey por Pixabay



Em tempos que já lá vão um país muito distante era governado por um rei que gostava muito do dinheiro e do mando.

Um rei que queria mandar em todos, em tudo, e que queria dinheiro, mais dinheiro, muito dinheiro, que queria tudo e num tal exagero que os seus colaboradores tinham relutância em cumprir as ordens que ele lhes dava.

Aborrecido com a relutância dos seus colaboradores o rei convocou-os a todos para uma reunião na sala do trono, mandou-os sentarem-se no chão e pediu a um pagem que lhe trouxesse uma galinha.

Tendo recebido a galinha o rei agarrou-a com uma das mãos e começou depená-la com a outra.

A galinha, desesperada, bem quis fugir mas não pôde, estava bem agarrada, e o rei, assim que acabou de a depenar, voltou-se para os seus colaboradores disse:
— Agora observem bem o que vai acontecer.

Dito isto pôs a galinha no chão, dirigiu-se a uma mesa onde estava uma taça cheia de grãos de trigo, pegou num punhado de grãos e começou a caminhar pela sala e a atirá-los ao chão.

Então, e para grande assombro dos colaboradores do rei, a galinha, assustada, dolorida, sangrando, começou a seguir o rei e a comer os grão que ele ia atirando ao chão. Se o rei corresse a galinha corria atrás dele, se desses voltas a galinha voltas dava, se parasse a galinha parava, esperando por mais grãos. A galinha seguia fielmente o rei, quase como se fosse a sua sombra.

Voltando-se então para os seus estarrecidos colaboradores o rei disse:
— Vedes como ela me segue?
— Depenei-a, magoei-a e ela segue-me, esperançosa.
— Aprendei! É assim que se governam os estúpidos.


Original e comentários dos leitores aqui.







Putin 2021, take one

28.04.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. April 21, 2021. Photo: TASS.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. April 21, 2021. Photo: TASS.



Putin's Latest Warning

By Dmitry Orlov at Club Orlov on April 23, 2021 at 01:29 PM

April 21, 2021. Photo: TASS.

During the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. April 21, 2021. Photo: TASS.

Putin picked the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, in the 21st year of his illustrious reign as an auspicious date on which to give his annual address to Russia's Federal Assembly. You can read it yourself here. What follows is my own opinion as to what it means.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly
The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall.

President of Russia    •    April 21, 202   •    13:20   •   Moscow

Here's a very short summary:

  1. The "war" of 2020 is over and Russia has won
  2. Russia is going to be very busy making life better for its people
  3. Anyone who tries to interfere with Russia will regret it.

Now, let me unfold this for you.

The last year has been a difficult one for everyone, including Russia, because of a certain very nasty virus. Although not as lethal as some previous viral pandemics, such as the Hong Kong flu of 1968, it was still nasty and caused some rather unpleasant complications. The crisis was made much, much worse by certain meathead epidemiologists and their ridiculous computer models who claimed that lockdowns, mask-wearing, standing 1,5m apart and other nonsense would have a significant effect on the spread of the virus and the ultimate fatality rate. A huge body of accumulated evidence has shown that these measures were not effective, and the theories on which they were based are now destined for oblivion along with faux-epidemiological novelties such as "asymptomatic transmission." But the damage these measures have caused, in economic damage, in ruined livelihoods and in a legacy of health problems borne of isolation and neglect, persist to this day.

Russia has made it through this crisis better than most countries. It has developed four different vaccines, one of which, Sputnik V, has received regulatory approval in over 60 countries and has become one of Russia's hottest exports. It has built many large hospitals with ICUs and expanded existing ones to deal with an influx of patients with viral pneumonia and other complications. Resisting international pressure, it never imposed excessive restrictions, reopening schools as soon as possible and reducing mask-wearing to a sort of optional virtue-signaling masquerade in support of a voluntary program of free immunizations. As a result, economic and social damage has been minimized and national projects moved on according to schedule.

Nevertheless, there is a lot more for the Russian government to do to help the Russian people. Among the most frequent words in Putin's speech were "family" (20 times), "children" (26 times) and, of course, Russia. Included are such bits as 100% paid family leave for mothers of young children, financial support for low-income pregnant women, 50% discounts on summer camp for children, sizable cash payments to parents of school-age children right before the start of each school year, etc. Already 60% of Russia's schoolchildren are currently eligible for free higher education once they graduate (the highest percentage in the world) and Putin plans to grow this number substantially. All of this social largesse will be financed out of a virtually deficit-free federal budget. (Russia's budget deficit is currently around 8 billion USD and is likely to disappear altogether as oil prices increase. Compare that to the US, which overspends its revenues by a factor of 2.5 and is headed for an annual budget deficit of $3.5 trillion.)

In short, Russia is going to be busy, so don't bother it. And if you do... well, here Putin gave a short lecture on the manners of bears, the Russian bear specifically. He pointed out that various other countries have been trying to bother Russia, accusing it of all sorts of ridiculous things. Their favorite fictional protagonists have been the dynamic duo of Petrov and Boshirov, GRU agents, incompetent killers and Salisbury steeple fanciers, showing up here and there with a perfume bottle full of nerve agent Novichok which they sometimes smear on doorknobs (as in the case of Mr. Skripal) or sneak into someone's underwear (as in the case of Mr. Navalny). Like that other nerve agent Botox, Novichok makes people look younger. Most recently, the dynamic duo hopped into a time machine and went back a decade to Czechia, where they blew up a munitions dump that had served as a staging area for shipping weapons to Syrian terrorists. Prague then used this bit of fiction to start a diplomatic row with Moscow. This sort of ridiculousness makes for good comedy and the resulting toothless sanctions-shmanctions motivate Russia to ditch unreliable trading partners and suppliers, so that's all good, clean sport.

But a recent incident which caught Putin's eye was not good, clean sport at all. In fact, he considered it beyond the pale. A certain US-Belarus dual citizen and another person were apprehended in Moscow while conspiring to assassinate Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, his family and most of the Belarussian government. They also were planning to blockade Minsk, the capital city of almost two million, to knock out electricity there and much else. All of this conspiring to commit mass murder was caught on video and audio at a Moscow restaurant, shot from multiple angles. When confronted with the evidence, the two conspirators started confessing right away. The interesting point is that what they were planning couldn't have been carried out without the help of US intelligence agencies and special services, which will now be drawn into the case. Poor, poor US intelligence agencies and special services!

Putin made the point that you don't have to like president Lukashenko, or president Maduro of Venezuela, or president Yanukovich of the Ukraine, but conspiring to have them and their families assassinated is strictly verboten. People who take part in such actions shouldn't delude themselves that they can hide behind Uncle Sam's back; sooner or later the long bear-clawed arm of the Kremlin will ring their doorbells too. Now note, Yanukovich was overthrown in a US-choreographed bloody coup in 2014, narrowly escaping death, and the Ukraine has been a failed state ever since. Maduro and Lukashenko are still in place, and Putin would like it to stay that way until the Venezuelans and the Belarussians, respectively, vote otherwise. Also note, Putin said "President Yanukovich of the Ukraine," implying that Zelensky, the one-person comedy act who currently calls himself the president there, and who recently had the temerity to request a meeting with Putin—in the middle of a Ukrainian civil war zone, no less!—is even shorter in stature than he actually is. Nevertheless, Putin then magnanimously invited Zelensky to come and visit Moscow to discuss Russian-Ukrainian relations, pointedly leaving the inter-Ukrainian civil war as a matter for discussion between Zelensky and his counterparts in his breakaway regions.

Another entity that seemed to lose stature in the course of Putin's speech is NATO, when he rather tellingly misspoke but caught and corrected himself. Speaking of Collective Security Treaty Organization (ОДКБ), which currently includes Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, he referred to it as "the Wars...ОДКБ." Here everyone realized that its Soviet-era predecessor was the Warsaw Pact and included virtually all of Eastern Europe, but Warsaw is now in NATO... but then NATO is nobody and nothing. NATO troops milling about on Russia's borders are just some gadflies buzzing around the bear's nose—annoying but harmless. So are EU and US politicians with their ridiculous false accusations and their useless sanctions. When they get too annoying their diplomats are declared personae non gratae and asked to buzz off.

Putin concluded this part of his speech by summing up the progress made on rearming Russia's armed forces. The plans are proceeding apace and Russia is already the preeminent military power on the planet, generations ahead of the US and NATO, and perhaps a year, perhaps two away from becoming immune to any and all military provocations. Already any attempt to engage Russia militarily is likely to become an instant "suicide by Russia." There is considerable danger in that the American leadership is incapable of accepting this as a fact, partly because of their customary haughtiness-cum-psychosis, and partly because, as Andrei Martyanov points out, their military strategists tend to be humanities graduates who can't handle the requisite math. We can only hope that they decide against suicide and, failing that, that there are enough layers of non-suicidal military specialists standing between them and what's needed to launch an actual attack.

It is perhaps to these non-suicidal technical specialists that Putin directed his last bit of wisdom on the manners of the Russian bear: "...We have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the 'red line' with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn." If you know anything at all about bears, you know that, while not entirely unpredictable, they do not signal when they are about to attack. Bears too have an invisible red line that is known only to them; step over it, and they rip your head off. But some things are obvious; for instance, planning or carrying out political assassinations, military coups, mass genocide and other such atrocities is definitely on the wrong side of that red line. Those who wish to continue to run roughshod over the planet should take heed of Putin's warning, because it is likely to have been their very last.

Original article and readers' comments here
To read the comments you have to be a subscriber.
This article on Dmitry Orlov's Facebook profile. See it here.







Third Great War: Western Asia Front

26.04.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Western Asia (orthographic projection)

Western Asia



Non-Prophylactically Ironic Dome

over the Occupied Palestine

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

By Mansoureh Tajik at The Vineyard ot the Saker on April 25, 2021. Has readers' comments.

Exactly at 1:20 am (Tehran time) on Thursday, April 22, 2021 a missile hit near Dimona nuclear reactor, the “secret” nuclear site in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Jerusalem Post headlined the event as “Syrian missile lands near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception fails.”[1] The article went on to story the event as follows:

“It was unclear at first from where the missile was launched. Several signs indicated it having been launched from Iraq, while according to other reports, it came from the city of Daraa in southern Syria following an Israeli airstrike.”

“IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters that ‘the explosion was due to the firing of an SA-5 surface-to-air missile toward Israel from Syria that exploded in the southern Negev. The firing of the missile came during Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria,’ Zilberman said, and that ‘it was an errant missile and not directed toward the Dimona nuclear reactor.’”

It was not an errant missile. It did not come from where the General said it came. It was not during Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria. The interception did not fail because there was interception. The missile was directed toward exactly where it needed to hit near Dimona nuclear reactor and it hit exactly at 1:20 am the time Sardar Soleimani, the martyred commander of Qods Force was assassinated. The hit had a message.

The missile strike (not “landing” as if it were some civilian passenger airline) on the land in the vicinity of Dimona took place 22 hours after another serious explosion that happened inside Tomer factory which develops and manufactures military equipment including missiles for Israeli Defense. About Tomer, Haaretz reported:

“The explosion occurred during a ‘routine test’ by the Tomer factory for advanced weapons, which develops rocket engines, the Ofek satellite launchers and houses various types of missiles. In response to the blast, Tomer said ‘this was a controlled test with no exceptional circumstances.’ Tomer’s factory is located in central Israel, and in proximity to residential areas. The company manufactures missiles for use by the IDF and other Israeli defense systems. They are the manufacturers behind Israel’s Arrow 4 missile interception system.”[2]

Again, no. The explosion did not occur during a routine test and it was not a controlled test. The explosion was in fact controlled but not by any force friendly to Tomer, the Zionist entity, or IDF. That explosion, too, had a message. On Tuesday, April 20, in a public speech delivered during funeral procession held for Sardar Hejazi, the vice commander of Qods Force, Sardar Qa’ani, the current Commander of Qods Force (replacing Sardar Soleimani after his martyrdom) clearly and unambiguously declared:

“Today, in the resistance fronts from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and the Children of Resistance [informal term that refers to all resistance fighters] every single day, delivers one major operation against the enemies including [US] America and Israel and they will continue this path until the global command has been achieved.”[3]

This statement was not a threat nor a warning nor a promise by Sardar Qa’ani. It was a declaration. The news vice commander of Qods Force, who was appointed after the martyrdom of Sardar Hejazi, announced on Thursday, April 22:

“The usurper Zionist regime must know that the resistance group in every segment of the planet earth are positioned right next to you and are getting you closer to your dusk.”[4]

In an interview conducted by Tasnim News Agency on Friday, April 23, with Hadi Qabisi, the director of Al-Ittihad Center for Development and Research, regarding recent explosions in Israel, he explained:

“The rules of engagement in the framework of the Resistance in terms of their demand and direction has changed. This now affects the change in balance in the region if the Resistance decides to go to war.”

“Mere shooting of missile from Syria to the occupied territories and reaching of that missile to Naqab region, regardless of what kind of missile whether it was air-to-air or surface-to-air or surface-to-surface, makes evident the inability of Israel defense system dubbed Iron Dome. This shows the erosion of Zionist Regime’s deterrence power while the capabilities of the Resistance Axis are increasing day by day. The consequence has a negative impact on all aspects of Zionist Regime. In addition, this military development cannot be separated from other events in the region such as Iran’s capability and power to strengthen its position in Vienna talks or an increasing tension between two global poles ([US] America and Russia) in other critical scenes such as Ukraine.”[5]

On Sunday, April 25, 2021, Major General Muhammad Baqeri, the Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces, said:

“The Zionists think they could permanently target Syrian soil, create mischief in other places and in the sea without backlash. For certain, several operations in recent days and operations that are forthcoming will have a sobering effect on them and the future of the Resistance is quite bright. We will not announce anything about who exactly is doing which operation but responses from the Resistance camp to Zionists are quite significant. We will not specify the operation but Zionist regime will not be in peace.”[6]

On April 22, 2021, a letter signed by two members of the congressmen, Ted Deutch and Michael T. McCaul, and co-signed by nearly 300 other members, urged the full funding of security assistance to Israel in the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills. An excerpt from the letter reads:

“Israel continues to face direct threats from Iran and its terrorist proxies. In February, an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman was hit by a mysterious explosion that Israel has attributed as an attack by Iran. In 2019, Hizballah launched three anti-tank missiles at an Israeli Defense Forces vehicle in Israel. Hizballah is estimated to have an arsenal of over 130,000 rockets and missiles, and is believed to be developing new precision-guided munitions to be deployed in Lebanon. American security assistance to Israel helps counter these threats, and our rock-solid security partnership serves as a deterrent against even more significant attacks on our shared interests.”

“Congress is committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge and its ability to defend itself, by itself, against persistent threats. Our aid to Israel is a vital and cost-effective expenditure which advances important U.S. national security interests in a highly challenging region.”[7]

Regarding maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge”, firstly, maintenance is for that which already exists. The famed prophylactic dome is engineered to emulate eyed Swiss cheese and can protect Israel exactly as much as it has done for Saudi Arabia and US bases in Iraq and Persian Gulf oil well states with flag. Secondly, the cost of maintaining illusions in West Asia has decidedly increased exponentially for the United States of America and its most cherished regimes.


[1] Anna Ahronheim, Udi Shaham. “Syrian missile lands near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception fails.” The Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2021. Accessed online at:

[2] Yaniv Kubovich. Powerful Explosion Rocks Sensitive Israeli Missile Factory During Test. April 21, 2021.

[3] Khabar Online. “Unambiguous Message of Sardar Qa’ani to Israel and [US of] America during funeral procession of Sardar Hejazi.” Farvardin 31, 1400 [April 20, 2021] @11:14 am. News Code: 506836. Accessed online at:

[4] Tasnim News Agency. “Sardar Fallahzadeh, Vice Commander of Quds Force: Resistance Groups are positioned right next to Zionist Regimes Bases.” Ordibehesht 2, 1400 [April 22, 2021] @ 11:02 am. Accessed online at

[5] Tasnim News Agency. “Interview with Syrian Analyst: Zionist Regime’s Deterrent Capabilities are wearing out day by day.” Ordibehesht 3, 1400 [April 23, 2021] @ 21:03. Accessed online at:

[6] Tasnim News Agency. “Major General Baqeri: Future Operations will bring the Zionists to their senses.” Ordibehesht 5, 1400 [April 23, 2021] @ 10:45. Accessed online at:

[7] “Letter Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger” addressed to Congress of the United States, Washington DC. Accessed online at: site.

Original texr and readers' comments here.







The 13th Tribe and Pius XII

21.04.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Pius XII in the digital age, anticipations of the Archives

Pius XII in the digital age, anticipations of the Archives



Smearing a Pope

Joseph SobranThe Unz Review • November 11, 2011 • 700 Words • 30 Comments


As expected, Pope John Paul II, in his sweeping apologies for the mistreatment of Jews by Christians through the ages, said nothing about the “silence” of his predecessor, Pius XII, about the Holocaust of the Jews during World War II. Many commentators, Jewish and gentile, are therefore calling the new apologies insufficient.

Even the New York Times, forgetting its own praise of Pius during the war for his condemnations of racial persecution, has joined the chorus of calumny. Pius has become the target of a virulent hate campaign that began with the play The Deputy in 1963 and has recently gained new impetus from a book smearing Pius as “Hitler’s Pope.”

Hitler himself would have found this judgment surprising; he called Pius a “mouthpiece of the Jews.” Israel Zolli, Grand Rabbi of Rome during the war, agreed with Hitler on this point: he was so grateful for Pius’s efforts to save Jews that he became a Catholic after the war and took Pius’s baptismal name, Eugenio, as his own. When Pius died in 1958, many Jewish leaders, including Golda Meir, praised him profusely.

What has happened since 1958 to obscure Pius’s good deeds and blacken his name? The facts haven’t changed; but popular perspective has.

True, Pius never specifically condemned “the Holocaust”; he never heard the term used as we now use it. It came into use only after the war — in fact, only years after his death. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, who did virtually nothing to save Jews from Nazis, never referred to the persecution as “the Holocaust” either and said very little about it in any terms. But, being liberal heroes, they have been pardoned. Spain’s Francisco Franco saved tens of thousands of Jews but, like Pius, was a “reactionary” Catholic and is thus ineligible for liberal praise.

A thoughtful book by the historian Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (published by Houghton Mifflin), reminds us not only that the term the Holocaust is of recent origin but also that it represents a very recent way of thinking.

During the 1940s, the persecution of the Jews was not neatly separated, in people’s minds, from the enormous welter of violence that was World War II. Novick observes that “throughout the war (and, as we will see, for some time thereafter) what we now call the Holocaust was neither a distinct entity nor particularly salient. The murder of European Jewry, insofar as it was understood or acknowledged, was just one among the countless dimensions of a conflict that was consuming the lives of tens of millions around the globe. It was not ‘the Holocaust’; it was simply the (underestimated) Jewish fraction of the holocaust then engulfing the world.”

He repeats the point emphatically: “What we now call ‘the Holocaust’ … seemed to most people at the time simply the Jewish portion of the worldwide holocaust that had consumed between fifty and sixty million victims.”

Even Jewish groups didn’t make the kind of vocal protest Pius is now being condemned for failing to make. They preferred to speak in more general terms of the various victims of Nazism. Novick quotes them as speaking in rhetorically inclusive lists — “the Czechs, the Poles, the Jews, the Russians” or “Catholics, Protestants, Jews” — that gave the impression that the Jews were only one among many Nazi target groups. Only much later did Jewish suffering gain preeminence in popular understanding. Wartime decorum resisted singling out specific ethnic groups; that was felt to be the Nazis’ game.

From a Catholic perspective, it’s more surprising that Pius said so little about Communism, the bombing of cities, and nuclear weapons. He could easily have discouraged Catholics from fighting for the Allied cause if he’d been “Hitler’s Pope.” Throughout the war, in fact, he ignored Hitler’s pleas for a condemnation of Communism, though before and after the war he was militantly anti-Communist.

Millions of Catholics fought and died on the Allied side. One wonders whether they would have been so ready to make sacrifices if they had known that after the war countless of their fellow Catholics would fall under Communist rule, while their Pope and their Church would be smeared as Hitler’s accomplices.

(Republished from FGF Books by permission of author or representative)


Original text and readers' comments here.







Pág. 1/4