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Defunding the Myths and Cults of
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Defunding Cold War Canada
Table of Contents
Canada’s anti-Red, Cold War
propaganda in context
Since the USSR’s destruction in 1990, Estonia has had the "freedom" to honour the 60,000 Estonian soldiers who allied with the Nazis in WWII. In 2012, Estonia passed a law to hail Estonia’s Waffen SS as "freedom fighters." The current prime minister Jüri Ratas and his then-foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu still celebrate these Nazi-led soldiers as if they were great heroes. While these soldiers did manage to prolong the German occupation of Estonia, the USSR finally did succeed in expelling the Nazis in 1944. The Red Army also succeeded in freeing the remaining survivors from Estonia’s 200 Nazi concentration camps.
Russia continues to oppose the Estonian government’s support for plaques, monuments, ceremonies, groups and political parties in Estonia that venerate SS heroes.
While Canada and its friends in the Estonian Central Council in Canada and the Estonian World Council praise Estonia’s government, they have not condemned its glorification of Nazi veterans. In 2019, Ratas formed a coalition government with the ultraright Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), giving them a third of the cabinet positions. While all government parties revere the SS and push NATO’s bellicose Russophobia, EKRE’s leaders flash white-power hand signals, call for a "white Estonia," use anti-immigration slogans like: "If they’re black, send them back," and attend mass torchlight parades promoting far-right ethnonationalist policies with such Nazi-reminiscent slogans as "Estonia for Estonians."
Even Marcus Kolga, president of the Estonian Central Council (ECC) in Canada and vice president of the Estonian World Council (EWC), is concerned about EKRE. The problem with EKRE, he says, is that it has sullied Estonia’s "positive brand" with its "racist, antisemitic and sexist" talk.1 But to Kolga, Estonia’s "positive brand" is not damaged by the extremely toxic anticommunism and Russophobia that is characterized by the Government of Estonia's official glorification of that country's Waffen SS legion. Kolga is far from being a critique of Estonian Waffen SS division which was created, funded, armed and led by Nazi Germany. Although the Nazi's SS "brand" included mass murder, ethnic cleansing, death camps, and the commission of countless international crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes, Kolga refers to such military units as "freedom fighters." Nazi Germany's invasion of the USSR, which killed 27 million Soviet citizens, is of no apparent concern to Kolga.
Instead, Kolga expresses his outraged concern that Canadian journalists, like Scott Taylor, have "mischaracterized Ukrainian and Baltic freedom fighters who resisted Soviet occupation as Nazis."2 Kolga defends Nazi SS divisions and other fascist military units, by trying to whitewash, memorialize and rehabilitate them as noble, antiSoviet "freedom fighters."
In so doing, Kolga tries to discredit Taylor who writes columns in Halifax's Chronicle Herald and for the prominent Canadian military magazine which he founded, Esprit de Corps. Much to Kolga's chagrin, Taylor's writings have exposed the glorification of fascist WWII military units by Baltic governments.
In Kolga's extremely Russophobic report on "the threat of Russian disinformation" (published by Canada's right-wing MacDonald-Laurier Institute3), also attempts to discredit the work of Ottawa Citizen reporter, David Pugliese. Kolga takes offence at Pugliese's articles that reveal ongoing, official Baltic-state support for their wartime collaboration with Nazi Germany. Kolga's spin on these news articles was to try to smear Pugliese by saying that he "essentially parroted the Kremlin’s tailored narratives about those nations being neo-fascists." As a forthright apologist for the Estonia's wartime collaboration with Germany against Canada's Soviet ally, Kolga characterizes today's SS-revering Baltic governments as victims by calling them "states targeted by Kremlin aggression."4Urmas Reinsalu:
Canada stands united with a leading Estonian
apologist for the Nazi's Waffen SS
In 2012, Estonia passed a law declaring Estonia’s SS Legion as "freedom fighters." This Valentine’s Day Law was roundly welcomed by Estonia's new "Defense" Minister, Urmas Reinsalu. He even made "a publicly stated wish to see in [Estonia's capitol city] Tallinn 'one day soon' a new statue erected specifically for the 'freedom fighters" rehabilitated by the act."5
In 2014, Reinsalu celebrated SS soldier Harald Nugiseks, who had received the Nazi’s highest medal. When Nugiseks was buried with full Estonian military honors, Reinsalu eulogised him as "a legendary Estonian soldier" who battled for "freedom."6 Later, in 2018, when he was Estonia's justice minister, Reinsalu sent warm greetings to a 2018 ceremony that venerated Estonia’s Waffen SS.7
In 2019, Reinsalu decried Venezuela’s elected leader. Blasting Russia for aiding Venezuela's duly-elected government of what he called "communist fanatics," Reinsalu joined Canada and the US in endorsing the ultraright coup efforts of Juan Guaido, a right-wing politician who declared himself president.8
In May 2019, after speaking with Canada's
then-foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, Reinsalu said that the two states
"stand united" with Ukraine against Russia. Reinsalu said he especially "appreciate[d]...
the Canada-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group" in Latvia.9 This
Battle Group is based on wildly Russophobic fabrications which claim that Moscow
plans to invade the Baltics.
References and notes
1. Marcus Kolga, "The new far-right is sinking Estonia’s
international reputation – who is responsible?"
2. Marcus Kolga, Stemming the VIRUS: Understanding and responding to the threat of Russian disinformation, January 2019, p.15. http://bit.ly/KolgaRussophobia
Note: Kolga's report references work by the author of
this article (Richard Sanders) in the context of what he calls "pro-Kremlin
media and trolls." In particular, Kolga mentions this article:
Kolga's report on "the threat of Russian disinformation" lists
the following articles by Scott Taylor as examples which demonstrate that he "mischaracterized
Baltic freedom fighters who resisted Soviet occupation as Nazis":
3. Marcus Kolga is a "senior fellow" of the
Here is some background on these two criminals whose "brand" is still glorified and revered by the MacDonald-Laurier Institute:
[Sir] Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919):
"On the occasion of the first increase to the head tax under his authority, Laurier said: 'In my opinion, there is not much room for the Chinaman in Canada. He displaces a good Canadian, or a good British subject.'
"Laurier also opposed the immigration of black people into Canada.
"On Aug. 12, 1911, his cabinet approved an order-in-council which stated: 'For a period of one year from and after the date hereof the landing in Canada shall be and the same is prohibited of any immigrants belonging to the Negro race, which race is deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada.' Laurier’s signature sealed the deal.
"[I]n the House of Commons in 1886 [Laurier spoke] about the nation’s right to take land from 'savage nations' because a Canada under Indigenous control would 'forever have remained barren and unproductive, but which under civilized rule would afford homes and happiness to teeming millions.'"
[Sir] John A. Macdonald (1815-1891)
5. Leena Hietanen and Petri Krohn, "Estonia’s 2012 'Valentine’s Day Law,'" Defending History, May 26, 2012. http://bit.ly/EstoniaLaw-proSS
6. Leena Hietanen and Petri Krohn, "Estonia’s Last
'Knight’s Cross' Waffen SS Man Gets Full-Honors Military Funeral,"
Defending History, January 13, 2014.
8. Urmas Reinslau, "Estonia must immediately recognize the Speaker of the Parliament as the interim President of Venezuela, not the Communist Maduro," Eesti Päevaleht, Jan. 26, 2019. (Translation from Estonian.) http://bit.ly/Reinsalu-Venezuela
9. "Reinsalu discusses Ukraine with Canadian counterpart," Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR News), May 24, 2019. http://bit.ly/Reinsalu-Freeland
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