The United States as enemy #1

Bálint Ablonczy, a journalist working for Heti Válasz, a pro-Fidesz publication, wrote a few days ago that “the idea of permanent revolution is not working anymore.” And yet the two most important players on the Hungarian political scene, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and János Lázár, his chief of staff, resolutely follow a strategy that is in Ablonczy’s opinion “no longer accepted by the voters.”

Most commentators agree that the prime minister is losing his sense of reality. They point out that the present course of action can result only in defeat and the further isolation of the country. After listening to Viktor Orbán’s latest outburst against the United States last night, I must join this chorus of critics. But before I go into some details of his warped view of the world, let me summarize his accusations against the United States, the country that, despite the fact that it is one of Hungary’s allies, is in his eyes solely responsible for his current political problems.

According to him, the United States’ allegation of corruption against certain Hungarian officials is nothing but “a cover story,” as “every thinking man knows.” The United States wants to gain leverage to increase its influence in the country. Currently a CIA operation is underway in Hungary. The United States is not only meddling in the internal affairs of the country but “is in fact an active political actor.” By this he means that the United States is organizing the demonstrations against his government. It’s trying to topple him.

The American interest in Eastern Europe is twofold. The Americans want to gain access to the energy market, and they want to have a commercial foothold in the region. The U.S. is “sore” because they wanted to build the Paks atomic power plant but Hungary chose Russia instead. And now Washington wants to drag Hungary into the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, but the Hungarian government wants to avoid a conflict that will lead to a new cold war. These charges are nonsense. The U.S. not sore because an American company didn’t get the contract to expand Paks, and it was not the United States that dragged Hungary into the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Just the opposite. It was Viktor Orbán who positioned himself in the middle of the power play between Russia and the Western alliance.

By the way, after the appearance of the Lázár interview, I found only one reaction coming from an “unnamed official” of the State Department that was published by HVGThe State Department urges the Hungarian government to take into consideration “the domestic and foreign misgivings.” Washington would like “to continue a constructive dialogue … about those decisions that are related to the state of democracy and rule of law.” Surely, Orbán has no intention of following the Americans’ advice.

As a Hungarian cartoonist sees it

As a Hungarian cartoonist sees it

Turning back to Orbán’s interview, I want to highlight some points that weren’t picked up by the wire services. One was his emphasis on Hungary’s “innocence” and its “loneliness.” One could feel Orbán’s hurt when he said that “we have never harmed anyone” and yet we are badly treated. The attacks on us are unjustified. As for the “loneliness” theme, Orbán returned to the age-old Hungarian lament that “we are alone” in the world. There are the Slavs to the East and the “honest (derék)” Germans to the West. The only thing Hungarians have is the land “where they have always lived,” their language, and their culture.

Note the adjective “honest/derék” in front of “Germans.” We can see from this interview as well as Lázár’s that the new government strategy is to counterbalance the worsening U.S.-Hungarian relations with an increased reliance on Germany. Both men tried to portray Germany as a great friend of Russia. Orbán, who when talking about the United States declared that Hungary will not be a “colony,” two minutes later announced that Hungary is happily following the lead of Germany when it comes to foreign policy. It seems that Orbán is hoping that Germany will ride to its rescue and mediate between Washington and Budapest. After all, since Germany has had its problems with the U.S. and since it is such a good friend of Russia, Hungary should benefit from German mediation.

As far as the Hungarian political leadership knows, Angela Merkel is still planning to visit the Hungarian capital in February. Dávid Trencséni, a journalist for Stop, put it bluntly: Berlin is “Orbán’s last hope.”

Berlin may be Orbán’s last hope but it may also have been partly responsible for his woes with the U.S. He’s been able to get his way most of the time in the European Union, thanks in large part to the German Christian Democrats. Both Fidesz and the Christian Democrats belong to the European People’s Party, a party that stands by its members even when they behave outrageously. By contrast, Orbán has no political ally in the United States. Both Republicans and Democrats condemn Orbán’s illiberal state and his pro-Russian policies.

And finally a few oddities that run through both interviews. Hungary must be respected because it has a thousand-year-old history. Well, Egypt has a much longer one, so should I respect the current Egyptian government? Hungary in the past was successful only when it was independent. Well, actually the opposite is true. The period between 1867 and 1914 when the country was part of Austria-Hungary is considered to be the golden age of modern Hungarian history. Then there are claims that merit no comment. For instance, even Hungary’s enemies have to admit that Hungary has been a success story in the last five years. All the decisions Orbán’s government made were the right ones. Economically, every year was better than the one before. Hungary is a strong country that has weight and “will take an active part in this new era.” Well, maybe these claims do merit comment after all: Who unlocked the gates of the asylum?

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Member

I can only hope Angela Merkel does not forget what Orban messaged to her in May “the Germans once sent the cavalry to Hungary in the form of tanks. So, our request is: don’t do it. It wasn’t a good idea then. It didn’t work out.”
This is how Orban and the Fidesz brigade sees everyone, even their friends. Orban threw many of his supporters under the train through his career, and this will not change. If Merkel thinks Orban is “warming up”, she will be up a for surprise again. Orban knows no shame and has no shame.

Member

The Mutti will probably deliver a few messages. Like the Americans will make the corruption proof public. And the the EU is about to stop the gravy train. Game over boys!

It looks like the Hungarian stupidity is an unlimited fuel source for the regime. They say it, the people buy it. Laser Johnny (Janos Lazar) also said something hairraising a few days ago. Like the Hungarians are under attack for not allowing gay marriages. The gays take your pensions. The new Fidesz slogen.

During the commie days the government media also fed me the same insane crap about the world, same as the Fidesz TV today, but at least they didn’t make a martyr.

This must be the endgame. Untergang …

Member

My friends are watching The Interview right now in Ashburn The new comedy, where two bumbling guys are trying to assasinate the North Korean leader.

You can’t miss the parallel between Orban and Kimberly. The North Koreans are claiming that the U.S. government was behind the making of The Interview. The country is now threatening to attack the White House.

Same retoric.

steve397
Guest

Nobody left open the gates of the asylum. They escaped through the window. They question is for how long?

beacon
Guest

A few days ago there was an interesting article about the travel ban imposed by the United States on a citizen of Ecuador. She was accused of corruption based on the same 7750 used in the case of Hungary.
After this Ecadorian woman donated several hundred thousand dollars to the “Obama victory fund” her travel ban was lifted without any problems.

I think the only mistake the Americans made in this case is not advertising it enough that this is the solution for this problem. Instead of Ildiko Vida trying to sue Goodfriend to reveal the case she should contribute to the “Obama victory fund” (or the equivalent because Obama will not run in the election again).

Money. Everything is about money, all the time.

Garrick Feldman
Guest

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all the good people who make this blog indispensable. Here’s hoping for a better future for Hungary. You are showing the way with your outstanding analysis. Many thanks.

>

Jano
Guest
Jano
Guest
beacon: Look, everyone knows that this is politics and money. The US is no saint, but it is very well aware of it’s strength and weaknesses, unlike the Orbán government which is – in the best case – daydreaming about it’s position in the world. They let their wishful thinking lure them into a horribly miscalibrated belief about what they can and cannot do. The travel ban was a diplomatic move to get off Putin’s lap. Had they not been idiotic enough to make it public, set a we’re sorry thanksgiving card and acted accordingly, it would have been lifted in no time as well. I am pretty sure that after the Ukrainian crisis started and Hungary got some attention as well it wasn’t too hard for the CIA or the NSA to collect some dirt that they could use as leverage (so in this sense I agree with Orbán, there is a CIA operation in Hungary. Of course, quite probably, so is a Russian one). I’m not very fond of this practice and I am very critical of the workings of the US foreign policy, but there is still a reason I live in DC for school and not… Read more »
Member

Why many of the Fidesz troopers try to make sure Fidesz and Lazar would not get hurt by bad media, let’s take a look on Blaha Lujza ter. How some Hungarians celebrate Christmas:
http://index.hu/video/2014/12/24/etelosztas/ I did not see Lazar in the line..

Member

beacon
December 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm
A few days ago there was an interesting article about the travel ban imposed by the United States on a citizen of Ecuador. She was accused of corruption based on the same 7750 used in the case of Hungary.

The news is that in the USA this was reported by a news site that is known to have liberal bias.
That is the difference my friend! In the USA the media seeks the truth and is not involved in coverup for all the BS. Tell me when was the last time Magyar Hirlap or Magyar Nemzet reported honestly on one of the Fidesz stuff? Thank you New York Times for showing the Hungarian news organizations how things should be done for the country, and not for the government. Unfortunately that is not something that the Fidesz troopers would come even close to understand…

bob
Guest

Everyone is losing sight of the most important development, which will determine everything else:

Ukraine asked for NATO membership.

This is extremely significant. If Ukraine persists with this posture, that is an existential threat to Russia. It means that there will be war. Guaranteed.

Since the Russian military is at least 20 times more powerful it has a good chance to crush Ukraine. But in war there are always unforseen acts, anything can happen, especially if the hawks in the US somehow push the US into this war. First only by supplying non-deadly defensive equipment, then arms, then troops etc etc. It can always escalate in a war.

If that happens there is a chance of nuclear combat between Russia and the US. In that case the only chance for Hungary to survive is to remain strictly friendly/neutral towards Russia. The reason for this is simple. The Russians under that scenario are liable to use their full nuclear arsenal against their perceived enemies. The only way to survive for sure, is not to be perceived as such.

Tell me if I am wrong.

Margot
Guest

Dear Eva, merry Christmas to you and a happy healthy new year.
Thank you again for sharing your insight in the happenings in Hungary. I admire you for your faithfulness, you are a wealth of information. I don’t think anybody is as knowledgeable as you are and is as generous in sharing with so many. Thank you so very much!

i-magyar
Guest

Merry Christmas To Hungary!
Merry Christmas To The World!
Happiness and Good Luck To All!

Mrozek
Guest

God is in the detail. The woman from Ecuador, Estefanía Isaías, was NOT accused with financial corruption, she had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. This is a totally different case from the Hungarian one, where high level Government officials are suspected in corrupt financial practices. Trying to get an entry visa for a maid is a bit different from cheating billions in tax revenues with the help of Hungarian politicians. Apples and oranges.

Webber
Guest

The question for Orban, if he really believes the CIA is trying to overthrow his government, is: Why is Hungary still in NATO? Why doesn’t he take Hungary out of the alliance?

Article 7
Guest

Webber,

Why doesn’t Orbán take his problems with the U.S. to the U.N.? The answer is that all the noise he and his government is making is for internal consumptions. It’s the poor, pitiful Hungary song and dance. Next thing you know, Orbán will be personally handing out Christmas dinners to destitute Hungarians or giving a 30% wage increase to the police who he will need to help fend off the coming revolution.

Guest

@Mrozek:
Thanks! So my suspicion was correct – beacon is just a troll trying the old tactics “Red Herring”.

Those noise that Orbán and Lázár are making are really funny – I wonder what the reaction might be if someone asks what Lázár meant by his remarks on the “traditional family” – does he want to send homosexuals to jail again – like in the good old times?
PS:
And now I’m waiting for the next troll to come up with the story of Alan Turing’s persecution …

PPS:

Happy Holidays and BUÉk to everybody!

HiBoM
Guest

I think there is no question that Orbán is saying these things for public consumption in Hungary. I think it is a mistake to think that he believes this nonsense. However, I think his omnipotence at home is seducing him into thinking that he is omnipotent abroad, that he thinks he can deal with the American accusations with the same sorts of rhetorical tricks and flourishes that past muster in Hungary.

In this sense, I think Orbán has lost his judgement and is indeed playing with fire. If they do suddenly declare André Goodfriend persona non grata, and until very recently I never believed they would but there are indications now that they might, then I think that will be a game changer.

Ödenburger
Guest
@Article 7, HiBOM, This is serious BS, with all due respect. There is no such thing as “well, this is just for domestic consumption, but deep down he knows better”. Orban – while even intelligent people adhered to this line of reasoning – realized the worst fears and more, of every democratic Hungarian citizen. Orban seriously hates the US and the West, and this is nothing new. The Hungarian right-wing always had a serious anti-capitalistic, anti-American streak in it and the current “Soros-financed”, “homosexuality-propagating” America is the perfect enemy for Fidesz. Fidesz’ media empire has been nurturing this image of the US for over a decade (even during the times when Orban was hobnobbing with Republican politicians). Orban flipped at one point (Orban never liked the US and the West, but in words at least he was fighting against Russia, and now he adores the Russians), but I think it was also a natural ideological evolution for him. Orban and the people around him couldn’t care less about NATO. He will sell Hungary’s expulsion as “hey, Austria and Finland are rich and successful without NATO, why can’t Hungary be?”. Orban is running amok, but it’s mighty difficult for a rational… Read more »
Webber
Guest

I disagree with those who think Orban is speaking this way for domestic consumption. Indeed, I disagree with all those who try to come up with rational explanations for his behavior.

ágika
Guest

Ágnes Kunhalmi says that MSZP should at last adapt to the fact that the USSR is over.

Guest

@ágika:

Shouldn’t you tell this to Orbán? Russia is also on the way out as a superpower …
Totally OT:
Putin is worried about the high price of vodka – it might make people drink even more moonshine.

i-magyar
Guest

Let us sharpen our keyboards.

We have to ask all Hungarians, to defend our human dignity against all who sell out our nation to foreign tyrants, and play with the military and economic security of our nation, for personal interest.

The worldwide chaos is the result of the violence these tyrants apply to their own and other countries.

Merry Christmas!

Guest

Did Orbán really say this (again – the “colony”)???
http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/hungary_2014_review_orban_discloses_top_priority.28908.html
We do not want to become a colony; instead, we prefer standing on our own feet. We are an independent and sovereign country. We do not recognise any foreign power controlling us, and we are not obligated to follow orders from any other country,” Orbán told public television in Parliament.

Someone made a bad joke on this before (I apologise …):

We don’t want to be the USA’s colony – we prefer Russia’s colon …

TR
Guest
These people don’t see Hungary as a colony, they see Hungarians as slaves. The job of Hungarians is to shout “yes masta, yes masta” when a Goodfriend-type appears. The “crime” off Hungarians is wanting to live their own lives, and exist. When their job is to serve the slave masters in everything. Don’t they know that other countries are bigger and have more GDP? Thus their only role in life is to serve others. It is impossible to refuse a request, the suggestion or the dictat of a larger, stronger country. The slaves in Hungary should understand already. In 1939 a big country called Germany requested that Hungary attack Slovakia. Hungary refused, are they stupid? The Germany was much more strong and powerful as small pitiful Hungary. Their job is to do what bigger countries tell them to do. Later in 1939 Germany asked to use the territory of Hungary to attack Poland. Hungary refused the bigger more powerful country. This was clearly insane, how dare they? Then they refused to attack Poland. Then they refused to turn away the polish refugees. These were all stupid things to do because everyone knows that you always have to do what a… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Note: TROLL/STUPIDITY ALERT…..ie. TR

Guest

@TRoll (nice immediately show what you are btw …):
You’re surely the funniest troll we’ve had here for a long time!
Hungary declared war on Russia (and invaded it even …) and on the USA and …
And Hungarians also collected most of the Jews and sent them to the Germans – you know what for!
And they took all those territories they got as a present from the Germans …
Have you looked at all those pictures of Horthy with Hitler or Mussolini?
He also wrote some very nice letters …

TR
Guest

Wolfi I bet your family (uncles, grandparents, etc etc) was full of Hitler lovers.

They must have been real nazis for sure. There is no point in trying to deny, we all know the statistics. You almost all loved Hitler until it was convenient.

And your Nazi state requested Hungary to attack Poland. Do you deny this?

Your Nazi state requested Hungary to use Hungarian territory to attack Poland. Do you deny this?

and Hungary even accepted Polish refugees, no matter what your “big and powerful” Nazi state said.

If Hungary dared to refuse such request under threat of destruction, what makes you think you can treat such a country as slaves or a colony?

Guest

Troll, first answer my questions …
Or just read a book about what happened in Hungary during WW2 …

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