Archive for November, 2009

COMMUNISM ON THE WAY OUT IN UKRAINE?

November 30, 2009

The daily Kiev Post (November 27) reported an incident in relation to a Lenin statue in the Ukrainian capital. Heirs of Ukrainian freedom fighters threw red paint on a restored Soviet era monument of the Communist dictator Vladimir I. Lenin. For some reason the Communist party in Ukraine is not outlawed as it is in Russia.

One of the most important aspects of the downfall of Marxism-Leninism was the widespread Soviet genocide. Ukraine’s Soviet-era archives have been opened by courageous President Viktor Yushchenko to give access of proof of the Holodomor (death or genocide of hunger). These archives point to a death-toll of 3 to 7 million men, women and children. Most of them died in the country’s central and eastern regions in 1932 to 1933. But the figure could be as high as 10 million.

In the case of the genocide in Ukraine it was a way for Stalin to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people. A rich agricultural country, Ukraine produced much food during the Holodomor. The regime in Moscow, however, exported the bumper crops and very little was left to those who had produced the food. They were left to starve.

A non-profit foundation, Ukraine 3000, has been founded by President Yushchenko. This organization has sponsored books and films on the genocide.

In 2006 Ukraine’s rada recognized the Holodomor as genocide. Thirteen countries including Canada, Poland and Australia have followed suit.

President Obama has joined in condemning the crime:

Ukrainians could have fed themselves and saved millions of lives, had they been allowed to do so…We pay respect to the victims of the man-made catastrophe of Holodomor…[It] provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the plight of all those who have suffered the consequences of extremism and tyranny around the world.

Valentin Nalyvaichnko, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has been a major force in the work to have the documents declassified. They are also digitized. SBU is searching for those responsible to make court proceedings possible. Prosecutors may be ready to send the first criminal cases to court by year’s end. No statute of limitation exists concerning the Holodomor crimes. Over 2 million victims of the Soviet death by hunger has been restored, around 14,000 villages affected have been identified. Furthermore 4,000 locations of mass graves are now available.

There is no road back now in Ukraine. It is important to stress that this is no finger-pointing at Russia. It is a matter of the Soviet past and the actions of the local Communist Party in Ukraine. Today’s communists in Ukraine ought to admit the responsibility for the crimes of their predecessors.

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ETT FORSKNINGSPROGRAM OM SVERIGES FÖRHÅLLANDE TILL KOMMUNISMEN

November 29, 2009

Ett forskningsprogram den svenska kommunismens internationella relationer kunde heta ”Sveriges förhållande till kommunismen, Sovjetunionen och Sovjets satellitstater samt det kommunistiska folkmordet”.

Som bland annat balans till forskningsprogrammet ”Sveriges förhållande till nazismen, Nazi-Tyskland och Förintelsen”, som beslutades av (s)-regeringen år 2000 och avslutades år 2006 bör regeringen besluta att ge Vetenskapsrådet i uppdrag att förbereda och genomföra ett särskilt forskningsprogram kring Sveriges förhållande till kommunismen, Sovjet och dess satellitstater samt det kommunistiska folkmordet. Det kan ge utrymme till jämförande totalitarismforskning. Programmet kan föregås av en kunskapsöversikt och en internationell forskarkonferens.

Programmet kan lämpligen pågå under längst fem år och genomföras inom en total kostnadsram av 25 miljoner kronor.

En programgrupp bör utses med specialister inom den akademiska världen, som särskilt ägnar ovan berörda frågor intresse.

Riktlinjerna kunde vara:

1. Sammanställning av en kunskapsöversikt av forskningsläget.
2. Denna skall delvis vara populärt hållen och bilda underlag för en kommande internationell konferens kring ämnet.
3. Konferensen skall dokumenteras och dokumentationen spridas även utanför forskarvärlden.
4. Programmet bör utformas brett och beröra flera områden och discipliner.
5. En viktig del av programmet bör vara det stöd som lämnades av den svenska regeringen Branting och delar av den svenska bankvärlden till bolsjevikerna under den första uppbyggnadsperioden efter statskuppen 1917.
6. Det är betydelsefullt att belysa Sveriges och svenskarnas förhållande till kommunismen 1917 till 1991.
7. Det bör finnas utrymme för forskning som följer utvecklingen över en längre tidsperiod.
8. Utrymme ges för att komparativt följa utvecklingen i Sverige ur ett nordiskt och europeiskt perspektiv.
9. Programmet bör organiseras på ett sådant sätt att temata och frågeställningar som ingår kan presenteras i en slutrapport.
10. Denna rapport bör vara ett viktigt steg i kunskapsutbyggnaden om totalitära ideologier..
11. Rapporten utformas så att den kan bidra till uppbyggande av kunskap vid skolor och universitet.

SVENSKA KOMMUNISTER TRÄNADES FÖR OMSTÖRTANDE VERKSAMHET

November 28, 2009

Bakgrund

Efter andra världskriget sände Sovjet lönnmördare till väst. Så ”avrättades” till exempel de ukrainska exilledarna Stepan Bandera och Lev Rebet av Bohdan Stashynskyi, en inhyrd ukrainsk lönnmördare. Denne hoppade sedan av till Väst och erkände morden. Det ledde till att han dömdes 1962 till fängelse av en tysk domstol (morden skedde i München i Tyskland).

Illegalister var Sovjets viktigaste agenter. Denne var en spion, som arbetade mot Väst under någon annans identitet. I en nyutkommen bok av KGB-översten Boris Grigorjev, Illegalister – KGB:s hemligaste spioner (2007) med förord av en numera avliden prominent SÄPO-anställd, beskrivs illegalisterna som stora patrioter. Kanske är det så med dagens ryska illegalister i Väst. De kämpar enligt förlagsinformationen mot terrorism och högteknologiska vapen.

Väst grund till allt ont enligt Grigorjev

Författaren är inte okritisk till väst. Det är inte förvånansvärt med den yrkesmässiga bakgrunden och den nuvarande situationen i Ryssland. Det är “slavisterna” som dominerar och de västvänliga krafterna har skjutits tillbaka. Det är västs ”behag” (inte närmare definierade) som ”väller in över vårt land (Ryssland anm.) som en mäktig (och smutsig) flod”.

KGB-agent hoppade av i Malmö

En av illegalisterna var avhopparen Alexander Orlov, som valde det av författaren så avskydda USA. I en bisats nämner Grigorjev att Orlov länge ansågs vara en förrädare. Det är en intressant fråga som inte berörs i den nyutkomna boken i detalj men som borde presenterats närmare. Hur är det egentligen med de sovjetiska avhopparna i Väst? Är de inte längre förrädare? En av avhopparna från Sovjet (han sökte faktiskt friheten i Malmö men utvandrade sedan till USA, där han nu är professor). Hans bok, Soviet Defectors – the KGB Wanted List utkom 1985 (Hoover Institution press).

Det var förbjudet i Sovjet att beröra avhoppen. En “KGB Wanted List” existerade. 1945 till 1984 fanns det omkring 670 namn på den listan. Alla var dock inte från KGB eller GRU. Omkring 60 procent ställdes inför rätta in absentia av Sovjetregimen. De befanns alla skyldiga. 224 dömdes till döden vid hemliga rättegångar. De andra fick långa fängelsestraff.

Motståndet i Ukraina

Grigorjev är inte särdeles förtjust i motståndet mot nazister och kommunister i Ukraina. Så heter det om den mördade Stepan Bandera i en fotnot från KGB om den ukrainska motståndsarmén (UPA):

medlemmarna i dess militära enheter samarbetade med tyskarna och deltog i SS straffexpeditioner. I sjäva verket kämpade UPA 1943 till omkring 1949 både mot tysk ockupation och den sovjetiska återockupationen av Ukraina. Stepan Bandera utpekas i Grigorjevs bok som samarbetsman med tyskarna.

Han och många andra ukrainska motståndsmän satt i tyska koncentrationsläger. Knappast en plats för samarbetsmän.

De sovjetiska illegalisternas utbildning

Något som saknas i Illegalister är detaljer om deras utbildning. Huvuddelen utbildades väl av underrättelsetjänsterna själva.

Före andra världskriget skedde en omfattande utbildning av kommunister från hela världen vid Leninskolan (här i fortsättningen förkortad LS), ett slags internationella partiillegalister från hela världen. En del av dessa studenter värvades av sovjetiska underrättelsetjänster. Leninskolan med många svenska kommunister som elever grundades 1926 och det sägs i ett nu frisläppt dokument från Federal Bureau of Investigation (1954) att ”a branch of LS believed … operated in Sweden.”

Leninskolan leddes av Komintern, den kommunistiska internationalen. Det sovjetiska kommunistpartiet betalade resekostnader och underhåll under studietiden, som kunde vara från ett till tre år. Studenterna fick militärutbildning, enligt rapporten, samt i ”firearms and illegal work”.

Om aktiviteterna i skolan rapporterades i de frisläppta dokumenten:

”…during the period of his attendance at the Lenin School, its facilities were situated on Vorovsky Street, Moscow, within two miles of the Kremlin.”

Byggnaden var kringbyggd med en gårdsplan i mitten. I intilliggande byggnader fanns sovsalar och bibliotek.

Det existerade också ett ”universitet” i närheten:

”Informant advised that in addition to the Lenin School, there was also the ”University” at which students were enrolled in a four year course. He stated that the student body at the “University” was made up of persons from Asia and Africa. This school was said to have been situated in the Northwestern section of Moscow, about two miles from the Kremlin on a boulevard street. Informant stated that the “University” building was set back from the boulevard about two hundred yards. He advised that he came into contact with students from the “University” at entertainment affairs”.

At the conclusion of his studies and training in Russia, the informant left Moscow and travelled by train to Leningrad. At Leningrad, he was given a ticket for travel to Berlin and thence aboard the SS Europa, which arrived in New York City on May 12, 1934.”

I en annan inte längre hemligstämplad FBI-rapport från 1943 ges detaljer om den militära utbildningen:

“After they had attended the School for three or six months the best of each batch of students qualify for the military courses. The military course is controlled by the army and lasts two or three months during the summer. A number of experts from Military Intelligence Department assist the course. One of these men was the son-in-law of the now notorious Finnish communist, Kuusinen. During their time with the army the students live exactly like soldiers; they are drilled, taught to shoot, and given a practical knowledge of the technique of street fighting….

At the end of the military course a limited number of the ablest students are selected by the Fourth Department for an intelligence course. The intelligence course lasts for at least six months and is directed entirely by the Fourth Department. The students are taught radio work, the use of secret inks and the technique of obtaining false passports. They also take a sabotage course where they acquire knowledge of chemicals and explosives, how to cut water supplies, wreck machinery and disconnect telephone wires. O.G.P.U.- agents operate amongst every batch of students. They might pick on a man as having particularly useful connections in the country of his origin and after a short preliminary course send him back almost immediately as an O.G.P.U. agent.”

En annan person utbildad av Komintern lämnade följande uppgifter till FBI:

“ In a ‘Special Department’ in the suburbs of Moscow specially picked pupils from the LS receive instruction in the most dangerous subjects: Economic and military espionage and disintegrating and subversive activities in the armed forces.”

I detta sammanhang bör observeras att följande ledande svenska kommunister utbildades vid LS: Knut Bäckström, Georg Greiff, Gustav Johansson, Fritjof Lager, Knut Olsson, Set Persson, Ragne Rogeby, Sixten Rogeby, Knut Senander, Signe Sillén, Anton Strand och Gunnar Öhman. Arvid Wretling var lärare vid LS.

Några avslutande synpunkter

Den bok som recenseras här är av intresse eftersom den ger en bild av hur illegala sovjetiska agenter opererade men av en agent som stod på regimens sida. Den som läser boken bör komplettera med till exempel någon av John Barrons böcker om de sovjetiska underrättelse-
organisationerna. En mängd intressant material finns i Venonaböckerna, som baserar sig på amerikansk avlyssning av radiotrafiken mellan Sovjetambassaden i Förenta Staternas huvudstad och Moskva. Här kan nämnas John Earl Haynes och Harvey Klehr, Venona (2002).

MACHIAVELLIS TERMINOLOGI

November 27, 2009

Inledning

Robert D. Kaplans bok Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos – Warrior Politics (Random House) väckte stor uppmärksamhet och fick välvilliga recensioner 2001. Den tog upp frågor om ledarskapets etik och berörde bland annat den italienske statsvetaren Niccolo Machiavrellis förkristna ideal.

I Sverige har den akademiska världen varit sen att uppmärksamma machiavellismen. Fursten har kommit ut i en rad upplagor på svenska, den senaste så sent som 2009. Ett försök till presentation kom emellertid i en svensk översättning av den norske professorn Øyvind Østerud bok Statsvetenskap – Introduktion i politisk analys (Natur och Kultur 2002).

Ett stort steg då det gäller studiet av Machiavelli i Sverige togs 2008 med publiceringen av Republiken – Diskurser över de tio första böckerna av Titus Livius. Här framträder tydligare Machiavellis politiska uppfattning och han reflekterar över det historiska skeendet sedan romartiden. I boken ges många exempel från renässansens historia.

Fortuna

Termen betyder närmast tur men har flera tolkningar. I Fursten (25 kap.) är översättningen öde: “Det kan liknas vid en av de ödeläggande floder, som när den stiger över sina bräddar översvämmat slätterna…” (Fursten, Kap. XXV). Ödet är inte allsmäktigt och hon kan vinnas med vissa egenskaper. Ödet berhärskar alla och hennes styrande är alltid våldsamt om någon form av virtú inte kuvar henne. Möjligheten att vinna framgång i motgång är öppen, men bara nätt och jämt.

Hos Machiavelli kan ödet vara en förkristen gudinna, som utövar sin makt obarmhärtigt och medevetet krossar eller hjälper ledare att visa sin överhöghet. Ödet vill visa världen att det är hon som gör ledare framgångsrika inte klokhet. Unga ledare har en chans om de visar djärvhet, något som har bättre verkan än försiktighet. I vissa fall kan virtú ha större betydelse, medan ödets roll är reducerat till en tillfällighet. Dess roll är inom områden där ledares ansträngningar tjänar litet eller intet till.

De bästa planer kan påverkas av olyckor, plötslig sjukdom, dödsfall och en lång rad oförutsedda händelser. Men ödets makt är inte fullständigt. Allt är inte kaos. Olyckor händer inte alla hela tiden. Genom att använda virtú kan man lyckas. Därmed är virtú den enda positiva kraften i samhället.

Ödet kan slutligen också vara opportunism.

Virtú

Denna term har liksom fortuna en rad olika betydelser hos Machiavelli. Det kan vara fråga om militär duglighet eller styrka. Det kan också handla om organisatorisk förmåga.

Det är viktigt att minnas att termen inte betyder dygd, den vanligaste språkliga betydelsen. Tvärtom, traditionell dygd skulle enligt Machiavelli leda till politisk katastrof.

I det klassiska Rom hade de ledare som kämpade för riket virtú. Den kunde också vara en kristen dygd, som mod och andlig styrka. Hos Machiavelli betydde termen till sist någon gång godhet.

Vanligtvis avser Machiavelli dock inte konventionell etik (etiska värden).

Virtú kan vara enastående förmåga eller styrka, men har då inte några moraliska bibetydelser.

Den viktigaste funktionen tycks dock ha varit tanken om styrka, effektivitet och makt. Det är en förmåga under särskilda omständigheter i ett speciellt syfte. Men det kan också vara enastående förmåga att nå sitt mål.

För individuell virtú se Machiavellis essä “Castruccio Castracanis liv” och Cesare Borgia, Hannibal och Scipio i Fursten och Discorsi. Alla dessa ledare mötte slutet under tragiska omständigheter. Man skulle därmed kunna hävda att ödet alltid har sista ordet.

Motsatsen till dessa ledare är Machiavellis store hjälte, Moses. “Men då vi kommer till dem som blivit furstar på grund av egen duglighet och målmedvetenhet och inte på grund av ödets gunst, vill jag påeka, att [den mest] betydelsefulle är Moses…Även om man inte kan fälla några omdömen om Moses, eftersom han utförde vad Gud hade befallt [måste man beundra honom] för den nåd, som gjorde honom värdig att tala med Gud…Det var alltså nödvändigt för Moses att israeliterna befann sig i slaveri och förtryck i Egypten så att de skulle bestämmas sig för att följa honom ur slaveriet “(Fursten, Kap. VI).

Ledare måste dock fortsätta att sträva, även om de vet att ödet kan sätta stopp.

Eftersom ödet är så ombytligt, sker det ofta förändringar inom stater. Det sker alltid till dess någon ledare uppträder som så beundrar antiken att denne förmår bemästra henne (ödets gudinna), så att hon inte har någon anledning att protestera.

Necessita

Ett alternativ till virtú kan vara necessita. Det är en av de krafter, som står i nära relation till virtú. Necessita uppmuntrar virtú. En ledare visar virtú när han inser att det är nödvändigt att tvingas utföra onda handlingar för att vidmakthålla staten och handlar därefter. Eller när han är tvungen att kämpa militärt på ett bestalialiskt sätt, då gör han det.

Det kan vara nödvändigt att vara en räv för att upptäcka snaror, och ett lejon för att skrämma vargar. Men det kan också vara viktigt att dölja dessa egenskaper. Det är utåt nödvändigt att synas ha moraliska dygder. Det finns inget mer betydelsefullt (åtminstone under renässansen) än att synas vara religös. Necessita är grunden för den politiska realismen.

Slutsatser

Fortuna kan vara det samlade antalet oförklarliga krafter, som verkar i alla mänskliga situationer. Necessita är de mer omedelbara manifestationerna av dessa krafter. Virtú skulle slutsatsvis kunna vara de åtgärder som är politiskt effektiva.

En bibliografisk anteckning

Niccolo Machiavelli, Fursten (många svenska upplagor, första pocketutgåvan 1987).

HOMER LEA – A LEADING GEOPOLITICIAN – NO.3 IN A SERIES

November 23, 2009

At President Sun Yat-sen’s Side

In the fall of 1911 in London Homer Lea was informed that a new revolution was prepared in China. He very soon departed for France to sail to China. But he wanted to be their when the new Chinese republic was born. It was during the month long passage by sea he prepared the manuscript for his second geopolitical book, The Day of the Saxon.

The author and general arrived in time to see the goal of millions of Chinese become reality in Nanking on January 1, 1912: Chinese Republic with Sun Yat-sen its first president. Lea was made a full general and chief of staff of the president. Within months, however, Lea suffered a stroke and had to return to the United States. At home his new book was published. It sold fairly well with 7,000 copies and had a large international readership.

The Day of the Saxon and The Swarming of the Slavs

In the The Day of the Saxon he warned about the threat of Germany and Slavic peoples to the Anglo Saxon powers. Lea also warned of a future war between Germany and Russia and that such a war would lead to victory for Russia.

The second geopolitical book was not only a warning to Great Britain. Lea put emphasis on India and in a very clear way outlined the expansionist policies of Russia in Europe and Asia:

1. In the northwest to force Sweden from the Baltic littoral and establish the Russian frontier on that sea.

2. In the west to gain Ukraine and Belorussia from Poland.

3. In the south to gain the Black Sea, to create unrest in Turkey preparatory to invasion.

4. In the southeast to secure the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus.

5. In the east to move toward the Pacific and India.

He also noted what today lies behind Russian geopolitics:

Russia is European. It is also Asian.

Lea noted, however: On the other hand, while Russian soldiers have still to march for the first time on Indian soil, yet its conquest has always formed the basic principle of Russian expansion.

This was true in 1911 and is still true. The attempt in 1979 by the Soviet Union to reach India via Afghanistan failed. Had Lea been alive today he could been able to observe an independent India rising to great power status with an economic development even surpassing that of China.

After Sun Yat-sen was elected President of China Lea began writing a third geopolitial book, The Swarming of the Slavs. It was never completed. Lea passed away in 1912.

The Geopolitics of Homer Lea

Homer Lea was a believer in the possibility of war. He saw the reasons to be overpopulation of the earth, the necessity for survival and the competition for resources and transportation. Especially the competition for resources has become evident in the 21st century. This is especially significant for China of today. The present regime in Peking is persuing a doctrine of no greater moral. Signing off oil deals with totalitarian regimes it is just business, no political conditions. Sudan is one example Burma and Iran two other. No doubt today’s China is fearing the chokepoints of oil delivery…and wants to secure the oil reserves beneath the Spratly and Paracel islands.

China is increasingly dependant on resources, including oil and gas, being transported on ships from the south. The two most important Choke Points for the passage by sea to China are the Strait of Malacca and the Sunda Strait. Geopolitics is very much about future flashpoints of international politics and Homer Lea’s comments on competition for resources is very much about the geopolitics of flashpoints.

Wars could also be the result of aggression (this relates well to Russia of today) and economic expansion (which relates surprisingly well to the economic rise of China in the 21st century).

In his books Lea warns of states being located between great powers will be the location of future wars. As examples he mentioned Poland in Europe, which was truly a victim and partitioned by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 as a result of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. The Balkan countries was another “risk” area. In the Middle East he mentioned Iran and Afghanistan was also on this list.

In the same vain as Sir Halford Mackinder he regarded Great Britain, Germany and Russia as the important powers in the future. He wrote too early to understand that the real great player, the hegemon, would be the United States. But Lea also included Japan and China. N the 21st century China has also truly emerged as a great power. There are even those who believe that it might be a future hegemon. In Lea’s analysis Germany and Russia would attempt to expand into Poland. In reality Russia/Soviet Union would expand westward as far as Berlin in the west after the Second World War. Japan would be the “industrially controlling factor in Asia”. Indeed, Japan was just that until China rose in competition.

In the Middle East many eyes are on Iran/Persia in 2009 as the regime in Tehran is moving closer to completing nuclear weapons and long distance missiles. The main purpose is to control the area around the Persian Gulf. Already in 1909 Lea predicted this development (minus of course nuclear weapons, which did not exist in that time).

Japan and Russia were regarded as natural geopolitical allies. This did not come to pass. Instead Japan was to ally itself with Germany during the Second World War but Lea thought that there might be future friction between China and Russia. The future growth of Chinese power would be seen as a threat by Russia. In reality China and the Soviet Union were for a long time partners and Moscow contributed immensely to the establishment of Communist China. Starting already in the 1920s Comintern provided the Chinese Communists with financial support and weapons. The aid grew crucial after 1945 and led to victory of the Communists in 1949. It must be noted here, however, that the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek also depended on the refusal of a Democratic administration to support the Nanking government economically and with weapons. On India it is important to note that Lea predicted the dissolution of the British Empire in Asia and the independence of India.

Surprise attacks were the future of warfare:

In the future, it can be considered as an established principle that nations will more and more make war without previous notification, since modern facilities increase their ability to take their opponents by surprise and to strike the first blow as nearly as possible to their main
base.

Both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are fresh in memory but of course Lea did not envision the type of “stateless entities” like Al Qaeda in the 21st century with its virtual caliphate.

Logistics and transportation would have a great impact on future warfare and Lea could of course not envision the profound influence of air power and heavy air transport starting in the Second World War. Future wars would start swiftly and would have much more destructive results. The technological revolutions of warfare (as a result in Afghanistan armed drones are
are for instance playing a vital role in the war on Muslim extremists). A recent important contribution on military revolution is Max Boot’s War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History 1500 to Today (2006).

A further prediction by Homer Lea was the great impact of internal policies and economic change in the geostrategy of states. Economic interdependence (globalization?) would not reduce conflict but rather heighten it. In 1909 Lea pointed out that Japan, if it wanted to extend her sovereignty on the Asian continent it would have to first gain control of the Pacific Ocean. If not her national greatness would diminish. Japan failed in the Second World War to do just that and in he beginning of the war Japanese armies were first in China and then in South East Asia.

Lea believed in professional armies. He was critical of the “citizen soldier” to fight in any
national conflict unless it was a “total war”. On the subject Lea wrote:

The soul of the soldier can only be developed by discipline, by honour and martial deeds. It cannot be constructed to order or dressed up with false shoulders in twenty-four days by uniforming (sic) a civilian volunteer or by comissioning and spurring him with purchased valor…

Quite rightly Lea pointed out that the amalgamation of small states into great political entities was the reason for a smaller number and frequency of wars. This was a correct remark in the beginning of the 20th century. After the Second World War conventional wars are far smaller in number. Most conflicts are civil wars, during the Cold War revolutionary wars and resulting counterinsurgencies.

Like many other geopoliticians and geostrategists Lea was a critic of disarmament. Armament was important for democratic societies. It reduced the costs of being on permanent war footing.

Homer Lea’s warning in 1909 about Germany and Japan is a prediction of great truth:

Should Germany on the one hand and Japan on the other continue to adhere rigorously to these laws [of national existence], resisting the deteriorating influence of industrialism, feminism, and political quackery, they will, in due time, by the erosive action of these elements on other nations, divide the world between them.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 geopolitics has returned with full and even greater force. The Soviets did not allow any geopolitical debate. It was an “imperialist science”. In today’s Russia it plays an important role in the context of international relations and is focused on the Eurasian roots of Russia, a culture with roots both in Europe and Asia.

Culture was also the main theme of Samuel P. Huntington, the cultural roots of conflicts. This theme was important in the writings of Homer Lea. The reasons for aggression were not economic or ideological. Robert Kaplan is another American writer who in books and articles has described the historical heritage of man for ethnic conflicts. Also crime, overpopulation, and tribalism contribute to violence in the world of today.

Geopolitical thinking is still relevant today. The single European nations are today united in the European Union (EU). Not so long ago, during the Iraq war the French wanted the EU to be independent of the United States and even rival the hegemon. A possible alliance between the EU and Russia would partly make real dreams of a Transcontinental Bloc once envisioned by German geopoliticians.

China’s economic system is the market economy but ruled by a totalitarian Communist party. This is far from the dream of Homer Lea, who wanted a China allied to the West (the United States and Great Britain). China has turned into an expansionist superpower and has replaced Japan in Asia when it comes to aggressive dreams of an empire. The vision of Lea has been realized in the Republic of China on Taiwan. The development of all China is closer to the dream of Chiang Kai-shek than to that of Mao’s extreme totalitarianism. It may well be that the vision of President Sun Yat-sen and his advisor will become reality in the future.

Homer Lea is in the first decade of the 21st century more relevant than ever with his theories on converging and intersection of lines coming from centers of power. He early pointed to a method for forecasting future wars and his theories had relevance from 1909 to 2009. They are of course also relevant for the future. In 2009 it is 100 years since the publication of Homer Lea’s first book, The Valor of Ignorance. It is time resurrect him and his ideas. Lea should be placed among the leading geopoliticians of the 20th and 21st centuries

BAD DOBERAN: SWEDISH COMMUNIST PARTY SCHOOL FINANCED BY EAST GERMANY

November 20, 2009

In July 1959 the Central Committee of the SED decided to establish a party School for the Swedish Communist Party (SKP) in Bad Doberan not far from Rostock in northern GDR. In 1961 (to mention one year) 256 SKP members participated in courses that could last from 14 days to 75 days.

In a report (Bericht ueber die Sonderschule Bad Doberan der Bezirksleitung der SED Bezirk Rostock) is noted that the Swedish ”comrades” during courses were not too happy about the stern ”dictatorship of the proletariat”. They preferred ”peoples power” (obviously for tactical reasons).

In the beginning of February 1962 the head of the school in Bad Doberan, Jan Kempe, wrote to the Bezirksleitung of SED in Rostock and added two preliminary lists of participants in a course at the school.

In the Archives of SED there is preserved a participant list for a course lasting from February to March, 1963:

A. B., Stockholm
B., F., Gothenburg,
C., G., Vaestervik
H. S., Bya
K. R., Nybro
K. S., Garpenberg
L. F., Munksund
N. O., Gothenburg
O. K., Varberg
W. B., Gothenburg
Z. E.
OE. G., Stockholm

Another list (in part) is from 1961:

A. G., Katrineholm
A. I., Stockholm
A. K., Stockholm
B. H., Hoegsby
B. T, Oxeloesund
B. G., Varberg
D. F., Avesta
E. S., Nacka
G. E, Stockholm
G. H., Kallhaell
H. E., Solna
J. A., Gothenburg
L. S., Gothenburg
L. S., Oxeloesund
M. M. , Stockholm
M. R., Stockholm
N. K., Vaesterhaninge
N. T., Gothenburg
N. L., Domnarvet
L. F., Stockholm

HOMER LEA – A LEADING GEOPOLITICIAN – NO.2 IN A SERIES

November 20, 2009

Homer Lea’s Influence

Although small in stature the Californian Homer Lea (1876 – 1912) rose to become a leading geopolitician of his time and Lt. General in the Chinese Army. He was an adviser to leading British and German military leaders. In 1916 V.I.Lenin is claimed to have said that thousands of people would study the works of Lea. This became reality as Lea’s books were obligator reading at German, Japanese and Russian military academies.

Among his highranking supporters were former Secretary of State Elihu Root, Generals Adna Chaffee, Harrison G. Otis and J.P. Story. They believed he was able to predict coming conflicts in the 20th century.

Before writing his major works Lea had joined a revolutionary Chinese movement after leaving Stanford University, where he had studied. The society planned to overthrow the Empress Dowager of China, the Manchu ruler of China. In 1899 he left California for China, met Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Sun chose Lea to be his military advisor and later chief of staff. On his way to China Lea visited Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines, which he examined as potential battlefields.

Those around Homer Lea suggested he make his escape. But the little general was unfazed, sending the messenger on ahead to tell his troops to hide in the mountains and wait for his arrival. The Boxer Rebellion was in full swing by the time Lea reached the ragtag remnants of his command. After a short period of intensive training, Lea’s men began their march toward Peking.
He arrived in the imperial capital just as the 20,000-strong multinational army was relieving the besieged foreign legation compound. Lea’s contingent was too unskilled to have much impact upon events. Yet the Westerner, wearing the lavish golden uniform of a Chinese general, was noted by the international press and by Maj. Gen. Adna Chaffee, whose American contingent was followed into the capital by Lea’s army of undisciplined coolies.

Tzu-hsi, disguised as a peasant, fled the city in a horse-drawn cart. Her armies withdrew, pursued by Homer Lea’s force, while the multinational troops remained in Peking, busily plundering its portable treasures. No match for the imperial army’s rear guard when it turned on them, Lea’s irregulars were soundly defeated. Bereft of any support, he decided to flee to Hong Kong and wait for a turn of events.

In 1900 General Chaffee led a multinational expedition to put down the Boxer Rebellion. Lea arrived in the imperial city just as Chaffee relieved the foreign legation compound. The general met with him in Peking and became a supporter of the efforts to create a democratic China. Lea continued with an irregular force to fight for the Chinese revolution.

Lea after some time returned to California to raise money in support of Dr. Sun. In 1904 Lea established a Western Military Academy in the United States to train Chinese officers. This resulted in various legal problems because the military training of foreigners in America. Lea now travelled the United States to raise support including from the White House.

The Valor of Ignorance

Homer Lea’s first book (The Valor of Ignorance) was published in 1909. It was written in 1907 after the Russo-Japanese war. It was a geopolitical warning that Japan was on the rise. The empire in the east had plans for expansion. The book was published in Japan under the title The War Between Japan and America and reprinted 24 times. Ardent readers of the book were General Douglas MacArthur and then Colonel Charles Willoughby, who would play an important role during World War II and the Korean War under General MacArthur.

Willoughby once wrote that Lea was a scientist who studied the science of war.

His deep knowledge made it possible for him to study the symptoms of approaching conflict.
Great causes existed for a coming conflict between Japan and the United States an described the tactics that would be used.

In Germany Emperor Wilhelm II was so impressed by the book that he invited Lea to observe German military maneuvers. He also met leading German army officers.

Lea’s first book underlined the necessity of military preparedness to ensure American survival. He was not listened to. Between the two world wars there were strong sentiments of isolationism and pacifism in America.

ÖPPNA SÄPOS ARKIV OM STASI !

November 19, 2009

Den 13 november 2009 skrev riksdagsledamoten Hans Wallmark i Svensk Tidskrift att det är tid att göra upp med Sveriges relation till DDR. Vid 40-årsminnet sände Sverige sina gratulationer till lednigen i Östberlin. De påstådda “landvinningarna” hyllades.

Wallmark skriver bland annat:

“För den som är född på 1960-talet kom ungdomen att präglas av DDR. Ibland alldeles omedvetet. Dockserien John Blund, ”Sandmann”, var trevlig TV-underhållning halv sju. Pionjärerna i röda halsdukar verkade enbart snälla och hjälpsamma. Och när det politiska intresset ökade, fanns det gott om personer som förnekade existensen av politiska fångar och övergrepp. Sanningen var egentligen den motsatta. I länder som Östtyskland påstods man ha det bättre än på andra håll, och så började proselyterna uppräkningen : Ingen arbetslöshet, fri sjukvård, bra skola, fantastiska idrottsprestationer…”

Men det är en kuslig kompakt tystnad. Även efter professor Almgrens bok hösten 2009. Hon redogör för östtyska metoder att skaffa informatörer och professorn beklagar att Säpo har hemligstämplat sina akter om vilka som arbetade för Stasi. Myndigheterna försvårar därmed ett bokslut över vad som hände mellan Sverige och DDR fram till murens fall 1989. Östtyskland har uppgivit att omkring 90 procent av de utländska informatörerna värvades tack vare ideologisk övertygelse. Så vi vet vilka som var de huvudsakliga aktörerna. Redan från slutet av 1969 drev SSU kravt på ett svenskt diplomatiskt erkännande av DDR. Folkets hus och ABF drev reseverksamhet till DDR.

Wallmark vill att vi i Sverige dömer och fördelar skuld.

Det behövs nu snarast ett öppnande av Säpos arkiv. Agenterna åldras och finns snart inte tillgängliga för forskningen. Man hos Säpo att det gjorts utredningar av misstankar men att ärendena lagts ner på grund av preskription eller brist på bevisning. Men det beror naturligtvis på hur mycket arbete som lagts ner på utredningarna. Den av (s) tillsatta Säkerhetstjänstkommissionen tog inte heller itu med frågan om Stasispioner i Sverige, trots löfte om att det skulle ske. Enligt uppgift skall Almgren ha begärt att få se Stasiagenternas akter hos Säpo men begäran avslogs. Vi vet inte om Almgren överklagat beslutet till kammarrätt och regeringsrätt. Klart är att hon borde ha gjort det.

HOMER LEA – A LEADING GEOPOLITICIAN – NO. 1 IN A SERIES

November 18, 2009

Introduction

The history of classical geopolitical thought goes back all the way to the ancient Roman geographers like Strabo. It was, however, not until the creator of political geography, German Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1894) that the roots of geopolitical thinking started to emerge in the West. The first scientist to use the term geopolitics was Swedish Professor Rudolf Kjellén (1864 – 1922), Conservative member of parliament.

Sir Halford Mackinder (1861-1947) a British geographer and politician was to emerge as the most influential and perceptive geopolitical thinker of all. Mackinder’s basic thesis was of great simplicity: Eurasia (Europe and Asia) had for centuries been regarded as a promontory. Communication at sea had been superior to land communication. The railroad revolution in the late 19th century, Sir Halford believed, would change that. Instead Eurasia-Africa would be regarded as a vast two-continent “World-Island”. In 1904 Mackinder named the area in Eurasia which was not accessible to sea power the Pivot Area (where the rivers drain into the ice-bound Arctic Ocean or into inland seas like the Caspian and Aral Seas). The Pivot Area could not be reached by the then dominant sea power, Great Britain (as well as the United States and Japan, all sea powers) were at the time invulnerable to land power. The coming of the railroads (and air routes) would change the relation between sea power and land power to the advantage of land power. What Mackinder feared was mainly a combination of Russia and Germany. They could use railroad and air communication to create an shift of power in Eurasia and finally conquer the World-Island. Then these two great powers could use this base in an attempt to conquer the world. The forecast was that such a bid could succeed.

Fifteen years later the British geographer in a new work published in 1919 redefined his Pivot Area to a larger zone which he called the Heartland. The basic forecast was the same: a growing advantage of land power compared with sea power.

The theory of Mackinder altered once again in 1943. Now he predicted (as most geopoliticians did) that the Allies would win the Second World War. The Soviet Union would control the greatest natural fortress in the world. This fortress would be sufficently garrisoned in number and quality. He believed, however, that another embankment of power (America, Great Britain, and France) could withstand the Soviet challenge.

Like Lea Sir Halford Mackinder understood the importance of geography. Mackinder warned also against a land power that would attempt to defeat Great Britain. One can say that Lea and Mackinder predicted the two world wars although the prediction was more relevant from 1939.

The Sea Power Theory of Alfred Thayer Mahan

We now know that the Soviet Union could be defeated. It was not a superior fortress as claimed by Mackinder, originally the theorist of land power. In the United States Admiral Alfred T. Mahan (1840 – 1914) became a strong voice for command of the sea through decisive naval battle. His theories of sea power were influential both in America and Europe. Mahan’s masterpiece The Influence on Sea-Power Upon History, 1660 – 1783 (1890), argues that fleets of large ships were needed to conquer command of the seas. His views became dominant in navies all over the world. It was Japanese enthusiasts who created the plan for fighting America with battleships.
The American geopolitician called for a strong American navy. He advocated that the United States take control of Hawaii and the Philippines. His country ought to play a greater role in the world. A construction of a canal through the Central America isthmus which would improve U.S. control of the Caribbean Sea region and make it possible for the U.S. navy to transit with ease between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The then Assistant Secretary of the Navy and future President Theodore Roosevelt shared the Mahan vision. Roosevelt corresponded until 1914 with Admiral Mahan. But the influence of Mahan was wider. He saw the United States as the geopolitical successor to Great Britain to exert its financial, military and political influence across the globe. In 1910 Mahan warned about the growing menace of the Wilhelmine Germany and recommended an American alliance with Great Britain, France and Germany. In the book The Problem of Asia (1905) he had written about the danger of Russian landpower and argued for an alliance between the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Japan to counter Russia. This was a remarkable prediction of containment after 1948. Many modern writers on geopolitics have placed Mahan among the most prominent thinkers advocating American strength. In reality it was a new Manifest Destiny of America drawn from sea power. It influenced America when it was moving from control of the continent to find its more influential role in the world.

Lea once wrote that:

opulence, instead of being a foundation of national strength, is liable to be the most potent factor in its destruction. Instead of adding power to a nation, it simply increases the responsibility of its rulers and necessitates a greater diligence for defence. National opulence is a source of danger instead of power, for… trade, ducats, and mortgages are regarded as far greater assets and sources of power than armies and navies.

This was similar to the view of Admiral Mahan who explained the fall of the Roman empire in much the same way.

The Coming of Nicholas Spykman and the Rimland

The American political scientist Nicholas Spykman (1893 – 1943) in the 1940s challenged Mackinder’s views. The First and the Second World Wars had not been only the struggle of land-power against sea-power. Spykman’s basic view was that the Soviet Union after 1945 would be able to attempt a conquest of the World-Island. He offered the theory that the power which controlled the Rimland (the area around the heartland from Scandinavia in the northwest, the Middle East, India, South East Asia, China and the Soviet Far East would control Eurasia and the destinies of the world. The United States could not tolerate that the Soviet Union controlled the World-Island. America would have to balance Soviet power concentrating on the Rimlands. In that it would be successful and be the ultimate victor.

(To be continued)

CHINA AS NEW ”BARBARIAN” CHALLENGER TO THE WEST

November 17, 2009

The first visit of President Obama to China has resulted in a number of analytical articles on the rise of this new challenger to American civilization. China is officially committed to a “harmonious world”. We all know about the present geopolitical challenge of China. The growing defense expenditure, the growing economic interests with China investing heavily in Africa. The present communist leaders in Peking attempt to shroud their super power/great power aspirations in modesty. And surely China has one tenth of the per capita GDP of the United States. Remember that the hallmark of Chinese statecraft is a heavy hand. One can only consider the Chinese heavy hand this year at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

We now have to look to the civilizational experts for advise like Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889 – 1975) the British world historian whose ten-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History (1934 – 1961) is important. He was a prolific writer and a dominant figure in the comparative study of civilizations.

His approach was similar to the one taken by Oswald Spengler( 1880 -1936) of Germany. In The Decline of the West he claimed that the development of civilizations follows a clear cyclical pattern. Like Toynbee his works should be seen as warnings, not predictions.

Maybe we should also take a look at Carroll Quigley (1910 – 1977), an American professor of great insight. He claimed that civilizations pass through seven stages: out of a mixture of cultures come a civilization. This must secondly develop an instrument of expansion. During this stage a civilization start to grow. Then comes as fourth stage the Age of Conflict. In stage 5 there will be a universal empire that will in the sixth stage go into a period of decay. Standard of living is falling, civil unrest starts. Taxes cannot be collected. There is resistance to military service. Violence grows. There is a decline of the middle class. Then, in the last stage of invasion (number 7), through military occupation, annexation or incorporation through settlement invasion at some point destroys the civilization Through a mixture of cultures and the old civilization a new first stage may start. All civilizations can according to Quigley survive but must. Some observers see the United States as being in the “decay” stage and China in the “expansion” stage.

Members of civilizations, Quigley says, have a choice. If they act in one way, they return to expansion. If they choose another way, they step onto the road that leads to “empire” and possible extinction. This is a remarkable clear-sighted insight for a historian. Of course the United States is a hegemon, not an empire.

Naturally American civilization today does not show all elements of “decay” in stage 6. Its economy continues to be strong also in recession. American civilization is protected by the strongest military power in history.

China as civilization was not destroyed completely with the decay of the earlier empire. The present “Chinese civilization” was built with Western techniques and there is only a core of Chinese elements. As pointed out above China is still poor. There is a great risk of revolts and social unrest.

In comparison one might say that in the 1970s there were some signs of decay in the United States but it was overcome during the two administrations of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. This period also saw the collapse of one great challenger, the Soviet Union, as representative of the Russian civilization (but this civilization had been influenced by Marxism of the West).

There were signs of anxiety over Japan in the 1980s but these signs proved premature. When it comes to China the challenge is real and dangerous. Japan is a trusted friend of the West.