Charles Gati on Hungarian foreign policy: It is hard to sell junk

Professor Charles Gati of the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University has just returned from a lecture tour in Central Europe and Italy.  After Bologna, Prague, and Berlin he visited Budapest where Gábor Horváth, foreign policy editor of Népszabadság, interviewed him.

♦ ♦ ♦

Gábor Horváth: There is quite a lot of chaos all over the world, but can one discover some system in it?

Charles Gati: For the time being there isn’t. A new order is in the making and it is not yet clear where all this will lead. One thing is sure: the United States will remain the dominant world power but with less influence than it had during the cold war. Europe as a unified political player has been considerably weakened. Russia can exert influence on the territories of the former Soviet Union but elsewhere less so, and China is incapable of coping with the problem of combining capitalism with an autocratic political system.

GH: During your Central European and Italian lecture tour you talked about international problems, from the barbarism of the Islamic State to the inertness of the United States and posed the question: what do they have in common? What is your conclusion?

CG: What they have in common is that, in comparison to earlier decades, the United States of President Obama has assumed less and less of its earlier role in world affairs. The United States has become weary of the role it played during the last six or seven decades, especially because at the beginning of the twenty-first century it made a lot of mistakes, even committed crimes. The other common feature is the rise of nationalism everywhere in the world against integrating developments. After 1945, especially in Europe, encouraging revolutionary changes occurred as a result of integration, but now because of its deficiencies a counterrevolutionary, nationalist, demagogic surge is taking place.

GH: Can one make a conjecture about the new world in the making?

CG: The most important characteristic of this new world, especially in Europe and America, is that the political, business, and educational elites slowly but surely have lost their earlier influence. The free-wheeling freedom of the internet is playing an enormous role in that development. Today, throughout the world the view prevails that everybody’s opinion is just as important as everybody else’s. That is, the value of knowledge, experience, and expertise has decreased. A further problem is that the discussions have moved beyond civilized boundaries. Certain anonymously published arguments–not to mention crude invectives—would have been unimaginable twenty years ago or would have appeared only rarely.

gati-nepszabadsag

GH: Do those who criticize “political correctness” appeal to this phenomenon?

CG: Partly, and they use the conceit of the ignorant who think that freedom can be invoked for everything. Naturally, I am not an opponent of freedom, but I regret that on the side of knowledge, experience, and civilized behavior there is no normal way of combating demagoguery and malicious opinions. I also regret that the Lenin’s infamous saying, “Those who are not with us are against us,” is becoming more accepted. Anyone who is critical becomes an enemy.

GH: It is impressive that at the age of 80, while gradually retiring from teaching, you decided to enroll in a two-year course as a student of psychoanalysis. Does it help to understand the behavior of people and societies?

CG: That is a complicated topic but I would mention just one example. I find Sigmund Freud’s short masterpiece, Civilization and Its Discontents, very timely. In this book Freud discusses the necessity of defending civilization from the violent instincts that induce mankind to commit murder. My studies have given me an opportunity to get to know various clinical symptoms, which also emerge in politics. But analyses of individuals can be done only by those with a greater knowledge of the subject, and even they can do it only in private. Although several people have asked me to analyze the psyche of Vladimir Putin or Viktor Orbán from afar, I have declined.

GH: I will not ask you to do that. What can Hungary do to lessen the risk of this transitional period?

CG: We mustn’t forget the significant achievements of earlier decades. The present excessive criticisms of the European Union ignore the fact that after 1945 for seventy years—first in the western part of the continent—there was peace and prosperity. That was the result of integration, which is more important than the fact that the bureaucracy in Brussels makes occasional mistakes or acts beyond its power. We shouldn’t judge the European Union’s achievements by the stupid regulations concerning the size of a banana. The overestimation of the role of the nation states strikes me as historical amnesia. After all, we know from the history of Europe what kinds of catastrophic wars swept across the continent prior to the modern integrative efforts.

GH: You left for the United States sixty years ago, and looking back on your career you have succeeded. Today the Hungarian government, and with it many people, fear mass immigration. What explains this panic and what should the task of the government be?

CG: After 1956, 50,000 Hungarian refugees arrived in America. The reception was friendly and people were ready to help. I have only good memories. Others might remember differently; after all, the far-right press often talked about possible Hungarian or Soviet spies among the refugees. But there had been anti-Irish and, later, anti-Italian sentiment. And at the beginning of the twentieth century there was antagonism against the Jewish immigrants, who were accused of being influenced by communist ideology. A minority of people have always been afraid of “otherness.” So, I understand that when so many unfortunate refugees come from the Near East who are not white, not Christians or Jewish, it is easy to say that they don’t belong to Europe or America. There is some truth in that, but at the same time the teachings of Christianity and Judaism and the moral dictates of the irreligious oblige us to aid those in need. That’s why I was impressed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s gesture, who went to the airport to welcome the Syrian refugees.

GH: The Hungarian government, together with the Russian, Iranian and Zimbabwean, hopes for Donald Trump’s electoral victory. Not the best company. Was it a wise move to commit ourselves?

CG: In the United States only a couple of officials in the State Department or perhaps a few sharp-eyed journalists have noticed that Viktor Orbán has lined up behind Trump. The real problem is the general state of the relationship and not whether the Hungarian prime minister prefers the Republicans. I find this approach incomprehensible. You may recall that Orbán also supported the candidacy of John McCain, who subsequently called him a neo-fascist dictator. It would be better not to get involved in American domestic politics because the Hungarian leadership, as well as the right-wing press, is super sensitive to any criticism coming from the European Union or America.

GH: According to some, the deterioration of U.S-Hungarian relations outright endangers the security of the country. Is there any chance that relations between the two countries would move away from the current low point?

CG: It is a great pity that not even such a talented diplomat as Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi, who received her degree from my university, can overcome the hurdles in the way of better relations. Not even the best businessman can successfully sell junk. We are talking about the quality of the goods, that is, the ever-weakening state of Hungarian democracy and the ever-expanding system of Russian-Hungarian relations. As long as there is no change in these two areas, I don’t see a chance for improved relations. As long as this is the case, it matters not who the ambassador is because the problem is basically a structural one.

October 5, 2016
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Istvan
Guest
Professor Charles Gati sounds a little bit like the late Herbert Marcuse in his book Eros and Civilization (1955) when he alludes to Freud in the interview. I don’t agree with him that the US is effectively no longer hegemonic in world affairs. I do agree with him that our country is tired of the blood and fiscal sacrifice required to maintain our hegemonic status in the world, especially when the energy resources of the regions we are battling over may be of less significance to our country than they were just a few years ago. Our military needs a little bit more of a rest after the on-going active wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But with rapidly advancing technology in warfare the US human sacrifices should decline in the coming years, but unfortunately the loss of life of those we fight against will increase dramatically I suspect. I am unclear exactly as to which “crimes” Mr. Gati was referencing in the interview, I suspect he was thinking Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, water boarding of prisoners by the CIA, rage killings by US soldiers like the Haditha massacre, and various deadly drone and fighter bomber targeting errors made over… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

@ Istvan, 6,22 pm

Certainly one of the crimes that Prof. Gatti is referring to was the decision by then president Bush to seek a declaration of war against Iraq on the basis of a trumped-up story about “weapons of mass destruction”, i.e. nuclear arms. Shamefully, Mr. Blair in the UK also echoed that decision. The war was declared “illegal” by the UN. Secondly, one should include the use of torture as an interrogation technique against prisoners.

Despite this, and for all the faults of the system, we should be happy that the US is governed by politicians and not the military. Istvan may have a different view on that.

Istvan
Guest
Unfortunately there is massive evidence that President Bush and his team fully believed that there were WMDs in Iraq. Sec Colin Powell was a skeptic who was tragically pressured into doing that god awful presentation to the UN and then we were off to the wars. I have a younger Army Captain friend who is on her third tour of duty in Afghanistan, and my own daughter who is also an Army Reserve Officer did one tour of duty so this all has not ended, it is ongoing. There are numerous excellent books about all of this and now even an excellent study of the evolution of the military aspects of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars published by the National Defense University Press titled: Lessons Encountered Learning From the Long War. I know no US military officers retired or active who do not see the military as subordinate to those elected by the public. But I know of plenty, including myself, who see civil academic institutions and think tanks as producing global strategies that lead to the use of armed force by our military, but take no responsibility at all for where that leads us and then are prone to… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

@Istvan, 7:14 am

“Unfortunately there is massive evidence that President Bush and his team fully believed that there were WMDs in Iraq.”

So what? US presidents are not paid “fully” to “believe” – I guess you can call it “Faith Government” – but rather they are provided with a staff to inform them accurately as to what the situation really is. Faith and guesswork just don’t hack it. This, exactly, is why Bush was such a rotten president – faith-based and stupid – and a lot of people paid with their lives, finished or messed up because of him and his “team”. Yes, and faith-based Blair went along with it 100%, because he “fully believed” as well – and he was still wrong.

C’mon Istvan, this is no defense at all. You want it spelled out? Bush and Blair are war criminals.

Guest

And very “Christian” criminals too -Blair even is a Catholic (though at the time he was in hiding …).
Bastards!

Istvan
Guest

I don’t think Professor Gati would agree that President Bush was a war criminal for accepting the WMD argument for our invasion of Iraq. He regularly reads this blog possibly he might respond. Wrong yes, dumb for listening to his VP, a criminal no.

I think his reference was to crimes that were related to military actions he believes were criminal in nature and some indeed were in my opinion and in the opinion of military courts criminal in nature. But there was a context for these actions created by foreign policy concerns.

Guest

Unfortunately this is HS – but a) over 80% of the pop agreed at the time b) 80% of the pop have a short memory c) Blair and Bush may have made mistakes but acted in good faith, misled by poor quality intelligence d) Chilcott confirmed this e) So Saddam Hussein should still be ruling? – Some responsibility lies with ever-warring tribes who can never agree f) this warped interpretation has led to reluctance to deal with Bashar Al Assad – and Putin.

‘Iraq Invasion Deniers’ have blood on their hands – all the innocent victims of countless ongoing conflicts where the major powers have not intervened.

It is a basic UN principal that rulers who kill their own citizens forfeit the right to govern – and should be removed.

It’s a direct result of ‘Iraq Invasion Deniers’ – many of whom forgot that they agreed at the time – that has allowed war criminals to flourish.

All the poor victims of Aleppo are testament to your ‘pacifism’.

Remember this is HS and ignore this post.

Guest

IIDs are responsible too for Obama not taking action when his ‘red line’ was crossed (repeatedly) by Bashar Al Assad using gas munitions on his people.

(And remember too that Saddam Hussein used gas on the marsh people too.)

Shame on you. You wouldn’t see a ‘war criminal’ if one hit you in the face.

Don’t respond to this either.

This is HS.

e-1956
Guest

Wolfi you have to consider or study the matter very thoroughly:
1. Iraq was one of capitals of terror.
2. Iraq was a major client of State of Russia.
Charlie is right, disinformation manufactured in Moscow was the trap.
The big mistake was to neglect defending Iraq against the Iranian and Russian agents.

Guest

Come on! Just one sentence from wiki:
critics of the war also suggested that it could potentially destabilize the surrounding region. Prominent among such critics was Brent Scowcroft, who served as National Security Advisor to George H. W. Bush. In a 15 August 2002 Wall Street Journal editorial entitled “Don’t attack Saddam”, Scowcroft wrote that, “Possibly the most dire consequences would be the effect in the region … there would be an explosion of outrage against us … the results could well destabilize Arab regimes”, and, “could even swell the ranks of the terrorists.”[249] In an October 2015 CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologized for his ‘mistakes’ over Iraq War and admitted there were ‘elements of truth’ to the view that the invasion helped promote the rise of ISIS.
It wasn’t only wrong – it was stupid!

Member
The Age of Broadband Demagogy Here’s a recent talk by Professor Gati along the same lines: Gati is, in a mild-mannered way, right on just about all the points he makes. Yet perhaps 40 years of affirmative action in higher education does not quite explain the aggressive rancour of uneducated white american males today. And perhaps the constitutional incapacity to vote other than Republican, come what may, is not quite an explanation of the degree of support Trump enjoys, even in much of the Republican élite, despite his obvious demagoguery, mendacity, stupidity, ignorance, incompetence, groundless and boundless (and nauseous) braggadocio, and bottomless vulgarity. Demagogues and hate-mongers have always been there, ready to appeal to the worst in people. But Gati is probably right that part of the source of Trump’s outsize appeal is the unprecedented power not only of the Internet, which enfranchises a broadband form of anonymous, violent, unanswerable, fact-free ranting at an almost unthinkable scale, but also the “traditional” popular media, such as reality TV and dumbed-down, muscled-up popular cinema that glorifies some of the most inglorious of human traits (supplying the market it is creating): that selfsame primitivity and petty pugnacity that Trump so naturally channels. Orban… Read more »
webber
Guest

For White American males, don’t think it’s the internet so much as Fox News, and (especially) insane r-wing radio, which they listen to in their cars.

bimbi
Guest

@Stevan Harnad, 8:38 pm

My correspondent in Florida tells me that US elections are decided by a pool of about 20% of the electorate. This is because 40% vote Republican no matter how awful the candidates, no matter how obstructionist the behaviour of members of Congress and similarly, 40% always vote Democrat, no matter what. This leaves a potential swing voter group of 20% nationwide. Of this group a considerably smaller proportion live in swing states where a small transfer in numbers to the right or left changes the affiliation of the electoral college voters. The trick, the vital trick, is to identify, reach and influence this very small but influential group of the electorate. Thus, judging the “mood of the nation” may be an interesting and elegant game but surely cannot be sufficiently finely-tuned to assess how those swing voters are going to respond in the polling both. The only poll results worth hearing are those following 8 November.

webber
Guest

Your correspondent in Florida is wrong about the national election. Each state is different though, so your correspondent in Florida might be right about Florida.

bimbi
Guest

@Webber, 11:08 am
Perhaps it is not too late to ask you in what way my correspondent in Florida is wrong about the national election. Please clarify your assertion. Thanx.

webber
Guest
Well, all the polling data is online these day, and I don’t feel like looking it up this late in the evening, so – why don’t you? Longish answer, without providing proofs – in the US, as in Hungary, most voters are not committed to one party or another, but decide how they will vote at election time. Nationwide, there are now more Democrats than Republican. Nevertheless Republicans can win the presidential election because all sorts of things, including the odd feature of party membership in the US. You see, when you first register to vote, you get to pick which party you want to belong to. There are several choices in each state, and one of the choices is always no party. The party you choose has no say in the matter. If you decide you are a Republican or Democrat (or Communist, or whatever), that is that. All that allows you to do is to vote in the Republican or whatever primaries (naturally you can’t vote in the Democratic primaries if you are a Republican). If someone tells you, based on party membership alone, that (say) 41% of Americans are committed Democrats and 39% are Republicans, while 20%… Read more »
e-1956
Guest

Is there a sign that even a Charles Gati is afraid of the truth?

Can we get his expert opinion of the disinformation avalanche of our times?

His interpretations could be viewed as extensions of the usual disinformation.

Are we really so duped?

Are Istvan and Stevan ready for a self examination?

webber
Guest

Interesting questions. Here’s another one for you:
Are you paid to write that sort of incoherent stuff, or do you just do it to get brownie points with the Party?

e-1956
Guest

Webber, your intentions can be questioned big time. Please try to be positive, less bitter, more constructive, less one-dimensional, more creative. Try to be young and kind again!

webber
Guest

e-1956
Try to be constructive, less one dimensional and more creative in your questions. Try to be inventive and young again! Then people will react accordingly.

Guest

Excellent article Éva! All points raised by Charles Gati are spot on, especially about the importance of the EU in it’s pivotal role as a peace-keeping entity. Both Orbán and Putin, being men of small intellectual and ethical stature, naturally resent any organisation whose aim is to keep the peace through legislation and civilized discourse. As little men, their only interest is power and the riches which that entails.
Good to have an overview of what makes thugs like them tick in their race to take a role on the world stage.

Guest

I also agree with prof Gati – he says it much more succinctly than I could have done!

The world really is in a sorry state – as an optimist I hope that this is just a passing wave of idiocy, not a return to the Middle Ages of superstition aka religion!

e-1956
Guest

Wolfi, read the interview carefully. It is a bitter litany of whining. The Hungarian opposition has been taught the same language. Whine and do nothing. Do not confront the problems. Even Merkel has to change tone, and become a fighter again. She can not remain passive. The people need progressive, creative, positive leaders, who can combine good moral and ethics with decisive means of strong defense. End petty conflicts peacefully, unite, and focus on the most critical cancers of humanity.

webber
Guest

Hellooooo Fidesznik!

Guest

Re: Mr. Gati’s observation of the US being ‘weary’ in its role’

I wished Mr. Horvath have probed that statement by Mr. Gati. Considering the fact that far right parties are on the rise in Europe and the democratic floorboards could be a few inches away from being ripped up in Magyarorszag it should be asked has democracy itself failed to back itself up much harder and more vociferously in the apparent ideological struggle going on between East and West.I’d be curious in how Mr. Gati believes that state of affairs is going. Right now the V & V bros with their ‘new and improved’ Eastern brand of democracy appear to be on some ascendant to who knows where.

The hocus pocus picture of democracy in their hands and black capes seems to be magical. Lots of people seem to like it. And they dont even need to show that rabbit..;-)…

Wargas
Guest

In my view the Lacanian discourse is far better in making sense of the world than Freud’s methods and works which are a bit dated.

That said I commend Professor Gati for his decision to at least partially abandon rational choice theory which is a clearly a misguided approach to human and social behavior.

The problem is that Lacan wrote and mostly just spoke in (almost incomprehensible) French so he was more difficult to sell into non-Latin countries. Plus psychoanalysis as a service went into decline since the availability of cheap drugs and services like “coaching” which do not require years of training so the discourse is not as rich as it could’ve been 20-40 years ago. But there is a relatively rich literature available in English too now and probably good practitioners too.

Voters are foremost human beings with a lot of ambivalence, inconsistency, anxiety, drives, strong feelings, plus cognitive limitations and the like. To approach politics or social studies with only rational choice theory seems to me crazy. Humans are not programmable robots.

paparazzo
Guest

Ooops. Who saw that coming?

Arpad Habony and Art Finkelstein are working together for Sarko (who didn’t really like Orban back then) and the Croatian HDZ party.

Business is booming. Lots of opportunities to build out those backchannel connections.

The know-how of Ferenc Gyurcsayn and Gyula Molnar meanwhile are not in great demand. What does this imply if we assume that markets are efficient?

PALIKA
Guest
Thank you for publishing this enlightening interview. The Professor makes a number of points, but for me those that deal with the falseness of the belief in the exaggerated role of the nation state and that which highlights the decline of the influence of the intellectual and I suppose political elite struck a special chord. The Professor is too much of a diplomat as was the Ambassador in yesterday’s interview to highlight the serious danger that the current political class in power in the UK represent to the peace in Europe. The damage they have done to it by undermining the integrity of the EU cannot be overstated. The “voice of the people” probably enabled by the Internet, an irresponsible political class and their venal commercial and media allies is a highly dangerous perversion of our traditional system of guided democracy. That was based on a consensus that has been torn up and replaced by meaningless sloganising where the test is how many users follow the nonsense and not whether it makes sense or its potential outcome. The unpredictability of where we are heading is terrifying. The idea that a politician like OV can cause millions to be spent on… Read more »
Richard Ray
Guest
Professor Gati has pointed out some interesting behaviors. What I fear most from most individuals (Hungarian, American, Russian…doesn’t matter) is the loss of critical thinking skills. They just want to believe what is simple, and easy to believe. It is much easier to believe that all Syrian refugees are terrorists or free-loaders; or that they are all deserving of EU protection. More difficult is the task to determine who is truly getting away from a war zone and willing to either accept a new life or return eventually to their homeland, and those who are here for the free ride, or worse. It is easier to believe that foreign interests in Hungary just want to suck out all the lifeblood and make money than it is to figure out who is genuinely investing in the prosperity of a region in order to make money (of course) but to grow the investment/region as well and those who do not. it is easier to engage in confrontation (economic, political, military) than to engage in market-building. Or perhaps no one remembers the Marshall Plan (sorry Hungary, wish you were part of it) , BeNeLux, Common Market? There was a lot of mistrust in… Read more »
Observer
Guest
Hungary is a small and not so wealthy country, therefor of no consequence on the international stage, but now it is serving as an important example, a serious warning to the developed world where chaos is brewing and “A new order is in the making and it is not yet clear where all this will lead.” I dare say I know where it will lead – it will lead to the development of many Hungaries. Dramatic it may sound, but the signs and dynamics are pretty clear. Most analysis (rightly) assert that what happened/happens in Hungary is due to the people’s disappointment with : the democratic political system, their unfulfilled hopes of better life, the “confusion” of values or the lack of clear visions or leadership and the lack in prospects of improvement. These main factors are at play in all Western societies, with minor variations, and it can be predicted with great certainty that all these societies will react in a similar way. Hungary, with its lower economic base, lack of democratic tradition and damaged national psyche just experienced these negative influences earlier and more acutely. With the growing economic inequalities and diminishing standards of living, slow and inefficient… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

“Viktor Orbán has lined up behind Trump”
I’m not aware of it, but from far away might have missed this one, so: Is this true?

Just another thing, 2016.Sep.11 Orban and government made some statements on their facebook and website about the 9/11 attacks. Did they do so in previous years? Searched, but couldn’t find any, anybody here aware about such?

webber
Guest

Orbán publicly announced that his candidate was Trump in July (story below). He was the first foreign politician to say that openly. He has since been joined by the leaders of Zimbabwe and Russia, and that is it.

I cannot remember an American President, or even Secretary of State ever expressing preferences in a Hungarian election. Orbán did it, and obviously is encouraging Hungarian-American citizens to vote for Trump.

From this point on, any time a member of Fidesz screams about American interference in Hungarian politics just because some American has said something about what is going on in Hungary, a correct answer could be “Go to hell. Your own PM interfered in American elections in an unprecedented manner.”
http://index.hu/belfold/2016/07/23/orban_a_vilagon_elsokent_allt_be_trump_moge/

Ferenc
Guest

As far as I understand from the video, Orban doesn’t support Trump, but only is sympathetic about some (3?) of Trumps proposals against terrorism (and immigration). He even makes a joke, like in the US we would be the indians, i.e.original inhabitants, he doesn’t go further into that, because that would make it too complicated….. I mean: who were living around the year 850 in the current Hungarian territory?

webber
Guest

Listen again:
“Trump lenne a jobb Európa és Magyarország számára,” Orbán Viktor.
In English
“Trump would be better for Europe and Hungary”

You have never heard anything like that about Hungarian candidates for PM from an American President , or Sec. of State.

Bowen
Guest

Off topic.

This is possibly the most brainless thing I’ve seen in a long time. Orban Viktor has taken part in a film, demonstrating what a terrorist attack might look like, and how horrible it would be.
https://www.facebook.com/orbanviktor/videos/10154473249876093/

Ferenc
Guest

Flabbergasted……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Ferenc
Guest

There is a mention about the Terez koruti bombing.
What’s the actual status of the investigation about it? Identification of perpetrator and/or purpose of the bombing?

webber
Guest

They are pretty sure he is Hungarian. He spoke Hungarian, without an accent, with someone near the scene of the crime. Also, he is not young. There is speculation that he may have been someone who was injured in 2006, or who is associated with “Tomcat”, but I think this is ridiculous – it’s just another way of Fidesz trying to blame socialists for everything.
I think it’s most likely that this was a mafia-style hit, and that one or both of the police officers were targeted because of something they did (or did not do).

pappp
Guest

The perpatrator was a professional. I don’t buy the Hungarian story. In Hungary they don’t educate bomb makers who act cool. Who makes bombs just enough to scare people but not to harm them really. There have been no photos about actual wounds of the two policemen. Meanwhile in the 444.hu video the bombing was already referenced by local people as something they are very afraid of.

Apparently the man walked for an hour (knowing that with his hat he will not be recognized via survaillance cameras), I guess in part also to make sure he was alone.

Finally he disappeared at Népliget. He changed clothing twice.

I don’t know but I can’t really imagine somebody from Hungary who would be that “professional”. Maybe an ethnic Hungarian from Serbia or Ukraine who was trained in a tougher army?

(By the way he went into a CBA where he was caught on camera. Who on earth goes to a CBA?)

Ferenc
Guest

Thanks for the update.
Please make comments here if there is new information.
For my feeling the bombing could be somehow related to the referendum (and the enormous propaganda around it), hope it comes out it’s not at all, but will we ever know…..

Tamas
Guest
It may be hard to sell junk to the US but it is obviously very easy to sell it to Brussels, Strasbourg or Berlin. Since Hungary is in Europe the US doesn’t worry Orban too much. For Orban Russia is relevant, the US just isn’t. It’s too far away. Based on the Snowden revelations and the improvement of such technologies in the last four years (that is compared to the state of the art Snowden revealed) in all likelihood the US must posses recorded mobile phone conversations of top Fidesz politicians and oligarchs implicating them in their various corrupt dealings. Yet the US is not doing anything even when Russia is obviously controlling Orban. Orban rightly concluded that the US won’t interfere – thereby rendering itself irrelevant to him. Despite the obvious operations of the Orban regime (as perfectly documented at this blog) Professor Gati displays significant naivety with regard to Viktor Orban. Orban understands and respects only power. He – just like Putin and other strongmen of the Eastern European, Central Asian region – totally disrespects, what’s more patently hates weak actors whether inherently weak or just acting weak. Orban holds enormous contempt for weak actors like the EU… Read more »
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