Two critical reports on Hungary from Washington

Two less than complimentary analyses of Hungary were just published in as many days. The first was Freedom House’s report “Nations in Transit 2016” and the second, the U.S. State Department’s “2015 Human Rights Reports.”

A few prefatory words about Freedom House. It is an independent watchdog organization “dedicated to freedom and democracy around the world.” It was established in 1941 in New York City to battle the isolationist sentiment prevalent in the United States at the time. Freedom House was an “aggressive foe of McCarthyisim” and a “strong supporter of the movement for racial equality.” It was only in the 1970s that Freedom House turned its attention to the erosion of freedom in many parts of the developing world. With the end of the Cold War, it expanded its activities to the study of conditions in the post-Communist world. The annual “ Nations in Transit” report concentrates on former Soviet-controlled areas in Eurasia, 29 countries all told. Freedom House’s headquarters nowadays is in Washington, D.C.

I recommend reading the full report, written by Nate Schenkkan, because it covers several important aspects of Europe’s political and economic problems, in addition to evaluating human rights issues in the post-communist countries. Here I will deal only with Freedom House’s assessment of Hungary, the country that holds the dubious distinction of being responsible for “the decline of the average democracy score for Central and Eastern Europe by 12 percent from its peak in 2006.”

freedom house 2016

Freedom House divides the geographical area into three regions: the Balkans, Central Europe, and Eurasia. Countries considered to be Central European are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In addition to analyzing these regions as wholes, Freedom House looks at aspects of political life in individual countries: electoral process, civil society, independent media, national democratic governance, local democratic governance, judicial framework and independence, and corruption. The final overall “democracy score” is a combined “grade” on all these issues that are essential for the functioning of a democratic society. This “grade” is based on a scale of 1 to 7; the higher the number, the worse the “democracy score.” If we compare this year’s score to those of 2015 there are three countries in Central Europe whose score hasn’t changed: the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Romania. The scores of four countries have improved: Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. Finally, there are three countries with worse records than a year ago: Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia.

Sorting the Central European countries from highest to lowest “democracy scores,” we get the following results: Estonia (1.93), Slovenia (2.00), Latvia (2.07), Czech Republic (2.21), Poland (2.32), Lithuania (2.32), Slovakia (2.61), Bulgaria (3.25), Hungary (3.29), and Romania (3.46). In brief, Hungary’s score is getting closer and closer to countries like Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. It is sinking to the level of the countries of the Balkans. Details can be found in a separate section on Hungary.

Hungarian media reactions to “Nations in Transit 2016” were predictable. Opposition sites took the report seriously and pointed out that it was the scores on corruption, freedom of the media, and national democratic governance that dragged the country down to the unenviable position in which it currently finds itself. What really shocked Hungarian journalists was that even Bulgaria received a slightly better score than their own country. If Viktor Orbán remains in power for a couple more years, which is likely, and if he tries just a bit harder, Hungary will become the country with the worst “democracy score” in Central Europe.

Magyar Idők ignored the report and simply published MTI’s story, according to which Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called the report “nonsense.” How can “people hanging around in American offices thousands of miles away tell anything about the situation in any country?” Well, the multitude of footnotes indicates that most of the material was gathered from Hungarian sources, and it is likely that some of the anonymous authors also live in Hungary. Szijjártó is convinced that Freedom House came out with these figures only because the United States doesn’t like Hungary’s position on immigration. Moreover, it is bizarre that such critical remarks come from a country that erected not a simple fence like Hungary did but a massive wall to keep migrants out of the country. “We were elected by the citizens of this country and it is our duty to act in their best interest.” He added that they don’t care what Freedom House writes about them.

The U.S. State Department’s “2015 Human Rights Reports: Hungary” is just as critical of Hungarian conditions as Freedom House’s analysis. The report is a long, devastating description of the Hungarian situation last year. The Hungarian government’s handling of migrants and asylum seekers is severely criticized, but the report also points to prison overcrowding, lengthy pretrial detention, the politically determined process for recognizing churches, government corruption, media concentration that restricts editorial independence, government pressure and intimidation of civil society, violence against women, inhumane treatment of institutionalized persons, discrimination against Roma, verbal abuse and harassment against LGBTI people, and human trafficking.

The pro-government media’s reaction was again predictable. Pesti Srácok gave this headline to its article on the report: “Washington’s chief problem with Hungary: Migrants couldn’t move freely in the country.” Quite a misrepresentation of the document. Magyar Idők complained that “America again lectures us on human rights.” Tamás Deutsch, currently Fidesz EP MP and one of the original founders of the party, was more expansive. First of all, according to Deutsch, the report “is crawling with factual errors, many half-truths, and a pathological bias against Hungary.” But in Deutsch’s opinion all this is really beside the point. The important question is: “How does the honorable government of the United States of America have the temerity to grade the countries of the world like a screaming home room teacher with a distinct body odor because of his nylon gown who whirls a key ring around his forefinger?”

I suspect that Deutsch’s comments will not be the last on the subject. I expect, especially from Magyar Idők, massive anti-American rhetoric. The editors of Magyar Idők have been specializing in anti-American and anti-German opinion pieces, all the while expressing great admiration for Russia. I am waiting for a juicy editorial on the State Department’s “Human Rights Report.” After all, they haven’t had time to translate it yet.

April 14, 2016
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Member

Freedom House actually used to have an office in Budapest. I could be wrong but I don’t believe it’s around anymore. Anyone know the story? I wonder if it was chased out by the government or what.

AnAn
Guest

I had a friend who used to work for Freedom House’s office in Budapest. If I remember correctly they closed the Budapest office shortly before or around Orban came into power in 2010. I heard it was just part of a larger consolidation of offices in the region; they were thinking they won’t need such a pronounced presence in the region anymore. I remember thinking they were very wrong about that.

Guest

Re: the ‘great admiration’ for Russia

At this point it would appear post-war formerly communist states who have turned ‘illiberal’ should study some laws of cosmology. Russia, as the Eurasian ‘black hole’ , appears to be sucking them back to their former autocratic fold. Like eager moths to a light. And Europe they just may have to think about the fact that once an object gets into that Eurasian black hole whatever vestige of democratic lights still on could eventually blink out one day. That would be political science in action.

Guest

@wrfree
April 14, 2016 11:33 pm

Well said, wrfree.

i-dea
Guest

Poor Orban is hardly responsible for the mess.

Read the multiple articles in the index regarding the Moscow plots/propaganda:

” A Nyugat hagyta magát szellemileg lefegyverezni, mert áthatotta egy hamis győzelem képe. Nagyon lassan ismerte fel, hogy Oroszországot máshogy kell komolyan venni: a Kreml már egy jó ideje dezinformációs kampányokkal próbálja meg elbizonytalanítani az Európai Uniót. A sikert az oroszok számára az jelenti, ha már a taxisofőrök is az ő városi legendáikról és kreált ügyeikről beszélnek. A Kreml célja nem a meggyőzés, hanem az elbizonytalanítás: saját értékeinkben, a demokráciába, az EU-ba és az amerikai szövetségbe vetett hitben.”

Briefly: Moscow managed to dup Western allies/media/academy, and they became prisoners of the anti Western lies.

PS My friend, Petofi, start to see most problems in this light!

tappanch
Guest

Isn’t it ironic that the chairman of the National Bank of a small country, Matolcsy will have a salary of $217,000 a year, while the chair of the US Fed, Ms Yellen earns $202,000?

The chairman of the “supervisory” board, the infamous fidesznik lawyer Papcsak, whose only job is to look the other way, got a 200% raise recently. (How much does he know about the dark secrets of the Fidesz party and Orban that he landed in such a job?)

His new salary is $152,000. In addition, they rent him a car for $22,000 a year.

http://444.hu/2016/04/14/papcsaknak-havi-fel-millioert-berel-autot-a-jegybank-a-35-millios-fizetes-melle

tappanch
Guest

Secretary Lazar circled the Earth 3.5 times with his CAR in 2015. At least, this is how much Hungarian taxpayers paid for his gasoline costs.

comment image

tappanch
Guest

At the same time the government just offered a $564 (gross!) yearly pay raise to the nurses. (Their average salary is $5643 gross, half of it net)

http://nol.hu/belfold/egeszsegugyi-beremeles-nem-volt-eleg-jo-a-kormany-ajanlata-1611231

Is Papcsak worth 30 nurses to the society ?

Guest

–“In brief, Hungary’s score is getting closer and closer to countries like Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. It is sinking to the level of the countries of the Balkans.”–

I might be completely weird, but my very strong impression of Hungary when I visited the place back in 2003 was that it was an emphatically Balkan country, no different from Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and the rest, except that in contrast to those countries, Hungary had ludicrous pretensions to being “Européer.”

Everything that had happened since then had only deepened that impression, especially since the 2010 elections and the constitutional putsch that followed them. So the only response I have to these reports by Freedom House and the U.S. State Department is a sardonic “Surprise, surprise!”.

Guest

Regarding those scores it looks like with Hungary slow and steady is the course. Rather than the democratic traditions getting more of a foothold it is illiberalism which gets the advantage of being tried out and implemented.

Hungary’s democracy score right now is 3.29. But from the slope of the line it just may look that they believe they have plenty of time to get eventually to Russia’s 6.5.

tappanch
Guest

This is how much public agricultural land Orban & family & Strohman “bought” at fire sale prices in the last quarter.

comment image

http://index.hu/belfold/2016/04/15/igy_nez_ki_felcsut_kornyeke_bevasaroltak_orbanek_baratai/

webber
Guest

What about land they already had before?

Gyula3
Guest

This was rather easy. The teachers shit into their underpants and stayed indoors. Just as the fideszniks told it would happen.

It only took two sentences from Palkovics and everybody behaved. Never put too much faith into Hungarian “movements”.

The Hungarians are a very easy people to discipline if the master has the will and the ability (hint: the Socialist are a loughing stock, but Fidesz is no joke and people know that). As a result it was very easy to destroy this opposition which is made up of people who are afraid of their 300 USD per month salaries. That’s all they would lose but they still throw in the towel when the adversary raises his voice. They are not even a worthy enemy.

So this was an easy job for pros like Orban and Lazar. The movement will die a slow death. Politics is not for amateurs. This is also why the leftists are hopeless. This is no country for amateurs who don’t dare to make sacrifices.

http://index.hu/belfold/2016/04/15/fekete_es_kockas_ruhakban_tiltakoznak/

Guest

Gyula3: ” . . it was very easy to destroy this opposition which is made up of people who are afraid of their 300 USD per month salaries.”

Your contempt for people who are struggling to keep alive on starvation wages is Lazarian. Those who have nothing are worth nothing.

webber
Guest

Gyula – you are a liar. The schools I know were all on strike this morning – the strike ended at 10. There was no teaching. The kids who had to be in school, because their parents have to work, spent the first three lessons playing in the schoolyard.

Why do you Fideszniks lie so much?

ggggyula
Guest

Even index.hu says that no. 5 (reason for this demonstration is so low key) the “government is negotiating and open to changes”. It’s so easy, webber, you wouldn’t think. Fidesz will always prevail, time-honored methods never fail to work.

http://index.hu/belfold/2016/04/15/ot_ok_amiert_csendesebb_lett_a_tanari_tiltakozas/

webber
Guest

when did Fidesz “prevail” over the past two years? Name one occasion.
Shops will be opening on Sunday, you know. Did Fidesz “prevail” here? No. Not here, either.
Lying doesn’t help your cause, you know. In Western countries, nobody pays attention to liars. They are considered beyond the pale.

webber
Guest

Also, since when was the suspension of teaching meant to be a “loud protest?” The teachers did not teach until ten this morning throughout the country. A complete success.

Istvan
Guest
Possibly Gyula does lie. But here is what I know from reasonably reliable media. At this point there is really no summary statistics on the extent of the two hour warning strike at schools carried out this morning by PDSD and the Tanitanek movement. László Mendrey the President of PDSD on Thursday afternoon would not provide Népszabadság an estimate of the number of schools expected to participate in the two hour warning strike. Similarly there are references to actions by health care workers supported by the now famous nurse in black but really no summary data on the extent of those actions outside of hospitals. Népszabadság also reproduced a letter from a teacher in Somogy in south-western Hungary, on intimidation tactics used by local officials against teachers (see http://nol.hu/belfold/kirugassal-fenyegette-meg-a-tanarokat-a-polgarmester-a-sztrajk-elott-1611251 ) Klubrádió this morning reported that only about 100 people gathered in front of Teleki Blanka Gimnáziumnál which had during the one hour civil disobedience demonstration held Mar 30 had reportedly around one thousand people present. It is also the home school of Stephen Pukli one of the key leaders of the education reform movement. There were signs in the windows supporting the two hour warning strike. As of a few… Read more »
webber
Guest

István,
As you’ll recall, I posted the letter schools sent to parents. As you can see from that, there was no protest planned in front of schools this morning at all. So, how is not having a protest in front of a school a “failure”?
Parents were asked to keep their children home, if possible, for a couple of hours. How could they protest if they were taking care of their kids? (hence, no demonstration was planned)
In the parts of Bp. I know the strike was a complete success. There was no teaching, whatsoever, for two hours. That was what was planned. That was what was carried out.
It is cynical and silly to say it was a failure because there was no other protest, when no other form of protest was even planned.

Gyula is more than a liar.

Istvan
Guest

László Mendrey president of the PDSZ was quoted a short while ago saying hundreds of school participated in the two hour strike with thousands of teachers involved. The Oringo article where this statement appears questions if that was the case ( see http://www.origo.hu/itthon/20160415-mendrey-tobb-szaz-iskola-vett-reszt-a-sztrajkban.html ). There are about 45 comments related to the article, Fidesz supporters seem creepy happy, supporters of the teachers somewhat depressed and angry at the mass of Hungarians for not supporting the teachers hence resulting in less than a great victory.

webber
Guest

István –
Origo has been a Fidesz-owned disinformation site for some time now. Nothing published there about this issue can be trusted.

webber
Guest

The chart demonstrates three things
1st, the awful, anti-democratic nature of the Orban government.
2nd, that the destruction of democratic norms actually started in 2008, under the previous government (the decline starts then – just look), and this in part explains the Hungarian electorate’s turn away from the left in 2010 (I dearly hope the Left has taken on that lesson).
3rd, That the Hungarian electorate made a disastrous choice in 2010.

csubakka csongor
Guest
There is no way to get rid of Orban by being more democratic. The more democratic you are, the more divided you are, the more debate you have, the more compromises you make and the like. This is no way to treat Fidesz and its power conglomerate and it is impossible to get rid of Orban’s system this way. Anybody who thinks it is possible has zero idea about how the prosecution or the courts or the constitutional courts operate (especially when the honeymoon is over). Or rather: Fidesz is hoping that when push comes to shove it can always count on the Left’s “democratic ideals” (ie. constant wavering and indecision, lack of vision an plans for the long term, debating everything to death, entering into ridiculous compromises which always only benefit Fidesz and the right-wing etc.) It would be like with the EU: all the legalism, rule of law, procedural niceties and the result is that Orban is still there, fatter than ever sucking in the billions upon billions without the slightest beep from the paymasters. No. As long as you don’t see the killer instinct in the eyes of the leftist leaders, believe me Orban, Lazar, Rogan, Matolcsy,… Read more »
webber
Guest

Oddly, the left has won most of the by elections held recently. Fidesz has lost practically all of them (how would you explain that?)
The left demolished Fidesz’s two-thirds majority in parliament.
For a group of people who are “out of touch” (according to you), and who are struggling in an unfair system (I agree with you on that, alone), I would say the left is doing very well indeed.
You cannot demolish dictatorship by imposing a new dictatorship. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants the left to impose a dictatorship to replace Fidesz’s dictatorship.

webber
Guest

csubakka
Are you under 30 years of age? I ask because you seem to forget that people already have some experience of replacing a dictatorship with democracy. I can only guess you forget that because you are young.

Guest

Re: that ‘killer instinct’

Probably one of the reasons for the ‘great admiration’ of Vlad’s land. It is that instinct in combination with the action of forceful changes promulgated usually outside of political and international ‘norms’ that seem to entice the Magyars. It’s a way of simply getting things done in the complicated world we have manufactured. It would seem the government wants a ‘big daddy’ who they can
use to help fight their battles in a land of giants seemingly fighting for hegemony over each other and the world.

Magyarorszag… after millennia of existence that would expect them to be somewhat a sage in understanding the world and its dynamics they look to be simply children unable to quit the nest of paternalistic control. Always looking for a ‘daddy’ who rides the wrong horse.

Csubakka Csongor
Guest

OK, I wasn’t clear. After getting rid of Orban, democracy must be reestablished (this time in a way that can be protected).

But it is impossible to get there and then to punish this tyrant and his minions in a democratic way. You are all dreaming if you think that’s possible. And specially not with the current crop of leftists politicians who have zero ideas (and zero respect among the judges, prosecutors etc.) about how the legal realm works. For them it’s like China.

The “elszámoltatás” (holding the corrupt fideszniks accountable) will be exactly like it was in 2002 or in 2010. Exactly. Only the fideszniks will have amassed quite a few billions of Euros not the Nokia boxes of millions (guriga).

Nobody will go to prison and if you pay something (the lefties are not as greedy and the new billionaires really have tens of billions stashed away) you buy your freedom. It’s that simple.

It’s impossible to prove in court that Garancsi, Mészáros are Orban’s Strohmen. They are just “lucky and successful businessmen”. They will keep their properties just like Orban’s family will (hey, his father and bros are all legit businessmen).

Guest

Why do we suddenly see so many comments that assure us that Orban is impossible to get rid of? Why do we se so many comments that assure us that when the Fidesz gang looses power they will be protected for ever by their obscene selflegalizations? It looks like panic.

filemon
Guest

Jean P: I think it’s best to be realistic and not get carried away.

If you look at the top MSZP people (or even LMP and others) you know that many are Fidesz moles.

It’s extremely easy to prevent or postpone (which is the same) holding fideszniks accountable especially when the Left has no idea about the inner workings and personal connections within the legal system. Trust me, leftists just don’t have the understanding. They are not embedded when the fideszniks (their spouses, friedns, relatives) are all over the legal system.

Guest

Who, except the Fidesz trolls, says that Orban’s laws and appointments will outlive the Orban regime ?

Guest

I’m also wondering what our new visitors’ point is – they’re telling us nothing but “resistance is futile” – we are the borg, sorry the Fidesz …

PS:
Funny in a way that the same person has the need to appear here under different names – but makes the same spelling mistakes so is easy to recognise!

Ágoston
Guest

How long do you think any coalition of leftists will last? Part 568.

Lefties like nothing better than to infight. They will duly commit seppuku before they will get any chance to get to power.

http://444.hu/2016/04/15/igy-viccelnek-egymas-eltitkolt-vagyonaval-a-baloldali-ellenzekiek-a-facebookon

webber
Guest

Precisely which undemocratic means do you suggest?
You’ve said the opposition can’t do it democratically, so I’m waiting – what do you mean?
Put up or shut up.

Ágoston
Guest

There may be ways to approve a new constitution /amend the old one but not necessarily according to the present procedural rules (set by Fidesz) but have it approved by a referendum for example.

And the list could go on.

If all procedures (all of them enacted by Fidesz) are to be complied with then the opposition will never be able to hold Peter Polt and his minions accountable, let alone known oligarchs or Orban.

webber
Guest

OT – seen all over an outer district of Pest: obscene graffiti, written in a number of different styles, expressing the writers’ hatred of Fidesz and Orbán. I haven’t seen this much in such strong language, since the outrage at Gyurcsány’s speech. The anger is palpable.
It seems as if parts of Pest are turning into a no-go zone for Fideszniks.

Guest

You might also look at one of the Hungarian tumblr sites with their caricatures of Fidesz politicians – they are getting more and more and also more aggressive like this:

comment image

Scroll down the site http://zeroz3ro.tumblr.com/ if you want to see more …

Guest

Budapest will not get the 2024 Olympics.

The country is too LBGT unfriendly – not to mention the desire to hide away the disabled.

So no Olympics and no Para Olympics.

Such is the sensitivity to bribes in the sports world that Orban’s representatives like Pal Schmitt are too tainted.

The Olympics won’t get anywhere near Hungary.

“Orban is so smart and clever” that he will lose lose lose.

Guest

And that logo! School children could’ve done better – how much did the fidesznik favoured consultants embezzle?

Guest

“ready” “steady” “feel” !!! Is this an allusion to Laslo Kiss to touch up a few nubile attractive swimmers?

(how the swimming association stood by him so solidly against any justice for the victims beats me – will the Olympic Committee feel its charges are safe in Hungary? I think not. Then there’s the dismissive attitude to doping re ‘anabolic vitamins’.)

No . Hungary you lose. Your administrators are too corrupt.

Go back to your fence, Orban.

petofi
Guest

@Charlie and Budapest Olympics

–why the association stood by?
answer: visit the recent history of the Catholic church

–administrators too corrupt?
answer: the olympic officials will feel all the more comfortable…birds of a feather

petofi
Guest

My friend, Charlie, you have not cottoned on to the true malignity of the evil power behind bobby-soxed, Viktor–Russia.

If the Russky’s can twist the UEFA arm to host the 2018 world cup (Putyin, monster tongue in cheek, had said before the decision that Russia had ‘no chance’)…and then, malevalently help bring about a decision whereupon the 2022 games would be held in the 50 degree heat of Qatar rather than in Los Angeles….then, pray tell, why would bringing the Olympics to Russia’s staunch ally pose any sort of problem.

My money (at healthy odds) would be on Budapest winning the games and Pyutin and Orban enjoying continuous laughter thereafter-

petofi
Guest

@ webber

“…the outrage at Gyurcsány’s speech.”

In a nutshell, the phrase highlights the problem with the lack of Hungarian comprehension and the lack of ability to think for oneself.

When I first heard the Oszod speech I was surprised by the obvious candour and good will behind it. How monstrously this has been twisted by Orban and Fidesz, and, worse still, how readily the Hungaricoes accepted the completely perverted version hoisted upon the speech…is the real problem–mental and spiritual–of the average Hungarian.

Guest

To lighten things up a bit – or maybe not?
Just look here:
http://mindenegyben.org/minimalbert-a-politikusoknak-ha-egyetertesz-like-megosztas-17872
comment image

tappanch
Guest

A business partner of Orban’s permanent interior minister Pinter was allowed to buy an apartment from the local government headed by current propaganda minister Rogan at 1/3 of its value in 2006 , as soon as Rogan took over the local government.

https://blog.atlatszo.hu/2016/04/65-szazalekos-kedvezmeny-a-szerb-utcaban-a-pinter-kozeli-ingatlangyujtogetonek/

Istvan
Guest

Given how close Hungary is to Bulgaria in the ranking Eva cites, it is worth noting that the Mafia state in Bulgaria seems to be of a different type than in the land of Orban. In Bulgaria the Mafia owns municipalities and individual members of parliament, controlling municipal councils and mayors. It is sort of a corrupt partnership with the political class, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov is well know for his ties to the Mafia and when he was here in Chicago at one speaking engagement referred to the Bulgarian Roma as “bad human material” in the translation I have seen. But Orban is the creator of his own politically empowered Mafia and not just the accommodator for gangsters.

tappanch
Guest

Opposition member of Parliament, Time Szabo (PM) was arrested today because she dared to protest in front of the Parliament building.

https://www.facebook.com/szabotimeapm/posts/1048465521876714

Member

TEST

tappanch
Guest

Prosecutors are not wiling to submit an acceptable indictment against Tarsoly, former head of the bankrupt brokerage firm Quaestor. About $1 billion of the 30,000 investors’ money has disappeared. Most money did not reach the bond or the stock market. Tarsoly has good connections to the Fidesz leadership including PM Orban.

The court will be forced to close the case unless it receives a serious indictment from the prosecutors by May 31.

http://www.origo.hu/itthon/20160415-az-ugyeszseg-miatt-uszhatja-meg-a-quaestor-ugyet-tarsoly.html

Observer
Guest

Come to think about G.Simon of MSZP who was paraded in handcuffs for having HUF 200 mil unaccounted for, now a 100 000 mil obvious crime can not be resolved?!

Guest

Not too much OT:

Why do he defeatists/Fidesz trolls believe they have to write each comment with a different name?
Especially Csubakka Csongor = gyula3 = ggggyula etc in all its variations …
Your mistakes give you away …

Long Memories
Guest
Do you really believe anyone believes this? FH was an “oldcon” predecessor to the neocons. Same bunch, same arguments. It was supposed to be instrumental in stirring up the US populace into another war frenzy – a result of which was nearly 300,000 Americans dead. How many members of FH actually fought in WWII themselves? And when they fought were any of them in front line infantry? These are rhetorical questions. We know the answers. Of course, they came back so that their children could make money on movies about the “Greatest Generation”. The fact is that FH didn’t exist until after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. So who else backed it other than Roosevelt? The same people who then backed it when it was “aggressively” fighting McCarthyite “hysteria”? And it is not the “State Department” who is critical of Hungary – it is the individuals who were put in place within the State Department precisely for the very reason – to be critical of Hungary. Please do not smear the good employees of the State Department. You’ll find their cousins on this website, in the WaPo or the NYTimes or in various other “defence of democracy” think tanks where… Read more »
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