The fact that US government is supporting the Right Sector and Svoboda in Ukraine as they praise Hitler and engage in a campaign of terrorism is shocking to many people in the United States.
It runs contrary to everything they have been told about the US and its history. The narrative commonly taught in US schools is one of the US being a ‘homeland of freedom and democracy’ that battles against ‘tyrants’ and ‘fascists’, not supports them.
In fact, the relationship between the US government and fascist groups has always been an unspoken, unstable, and unacknowledged friendship. The relationship does not just take place in far off countries like Ukraine, but within the domestic United States.
Franzier Glenn Miller walked into a Jewish Retirement Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas on April 13, 2014. He opened fire, screaming "Heil Hitler!" When he was done shooting, three people were dead, and one injured. Miller justified his violent terrorism with anti-Semitism, carrying Hitler's ‘Mein Kampf’ with him. Among his victims was 14-year-old boy. Miller is now in custody awaiting trial.
The quietly acknowledged fact is that Miller's life prior to his recent killing spree is dotted with support from the US government.
The tragic day in Kansas was not the first time Miller had participated in the killing of innocent people. Miller has been a Hitler-worshiping racist for decades, and 35 years ago he was a member of the National Socialist Party of America in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1979, he and his allies in the Ku Klux Klan assassinated five leaders of the Communist Workers Party. The infamous Greensboro Massacre shocked the nation.
The Communist Workers Party, a small Marxist-Leninist group was holding a peaceful rally against the Ku Klux Klan, which was becoming active in the area, terrorizing the African-Americans who worked in the textile factories. On that tragic day a caravan of members of the Ku Klux Klan and various Neo-Nazi groups drove up to the anti-racist march. Miller, then a young man, was riding in one of the cars. The fascists had been given a map of the planned march route by the local police. Among the armed fascists were agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. The Klansmen and Nazis calmly got out of their cars and removed rifles from the trunks. They then opened fire, killing Cesar Cauce, Bill Sampson, Michael Nathan, James Waller and Sandi Smith.
The event made headlines around the world. A few of the fascists were put on trial for murder, but were found ‘not guilty’, despite a video clearly showing the killings. Though members of the Communist Workers Party disrupted the Democratic Convention, loudly demanding that federal charges be filed against the Klansmen, then-President Jimmy Carter ignored their pleas. The survivors of the massacre sued the city of Greensboro, the Ku Klux Klan, and the American Nazi Party, proving in court that government officials assisted in the murder of the five communist leaders. They were awarded $350,000.
Miller brags in his autobiography that he was in the fascist caravan in 1979 that drove to the rally and shot the five Communists, yet he was never charged with any crime.
In the aftermath of Miller's killing spree, it has also been revealed that he was once part of the US Federal Government's Witness Protection Program. They helped Miller to change his name legally, and gave him and his family financial support at some point during the early 1990s. The reasons for this have not been disclosed.
Miller is not the only fascist in the modern US to have been revealed to have government support.
Nazi radio host Hal Turner was famous for his unapologetic racism. He sold miniature nooses on his website, celebrating the extra-legal executions carried out by the KKK known as ‘lynchings’. His radio broadcasts seethed with hate, and on one of them he threatened the life of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
It has now been revealed that Turner received millions of dollars from the FBI over the course of his career. In 2012, his lawyer has even suggested that Turner did not agree with the message, and that the entire Nazi radio show was arranged by federal officials.
"I don't think he was a racist,” the attorney said. “He was doing a lot of those things at the behest of the FBI."
In the prisons across the US that 2.5 million people call home, one of the largest gangs is the Aryan Brotherhood. In the 1960s, when black prisoners were rallying around George Jackson, the ‘Soledad Brother’ who led the prison wing of the Marxist-Leninist Black Panther Party, the Nazi group sprouted up in San Quentin State Penitentiary, eventually spreading across the US.
According to the FBI's own reports, the white Aryan Brotherhood members account for only 0.01 percent of the prison population, yet its members carry out roughly 20 percent of the murders inside US correctional facilities. Prisoners often describe the Aryan Brotherhood as "doing what the guards can't do for themselves" in beating, or even executing, inmates who anger prison authorities.
It is clear that many US law enforcement agencies and officials have a cooperative relationship with fascists. The fact that figures like Miller have been protected, that Hal Turner has been given millions of dollars, that the Greensboro massacre was aided, and the Aryan Brotherhood is strong inside the prison system all point to this unacknowledged reality.
The relationship between the US government and fascist organizations has deep historical roots.
The Ku Klux Klan originated as a state-sponsored organization in former slave-holding states. The dispossessed slave holders used the Klan to terrorize freed slaves and hold back efforts toward agrarian reform and social advancement by African Americans.
The Klan sprung up half a century before the Nazis of Germany or the Fascisti of Italy, but they had all the attributes of later fascist movements. They were obsessively racist. They glorified the past, calling themselves Knights and using medieval imagery. They wore elaborate costumes and engaged in secret rituals. They attempted to present themselves as economic populists, while being funded by wealthy capitalists. Most of all, they were committed to violence and terrorism as a political tactic to uphold the existing social order against progressive forces.
It is safe to call the Klan ‘the original fascists’, as they were a prototype, replicated for decades after in many countries around the world.
The Ku Klux Klan was revived in 1915 after a Hollywood movie promoting them called ‘The Birth of a Nation’ was shown all across the US. The creator of the film was Thomas Dixon, a close friend of US President Woodrow Wilson.
US Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and it is speculated that numerous other US officials were also.
The Ku Klux Klan was not the only fascist organization to be embraced by the US government. The American Legion, an organization of US military veterans formed after the First World War, was openly supportive of fascism. The organization invited Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to its 1930 convention as an honored guest. Commander of the American Legion Alvin Owsley proclaimed, "Do not forget that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States!"
Marine Corps General Smedley Butler revealed that the American Legion was actually plotting a coup d’état against US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Butler testified before the House of Representatives about the "business plot" to remove Roosevelt and establish a fascist dictatorship in the United States, and they confirmed his claims were very credible.
Henry Ford, one of the most prominent industrial capitalists in the United States, openly praised Adolf Hitler and widely distributed Nazi propaganda. Father Charles E. Coughlin, the ‘radio priest’, praised Hitler on the airwaves all across the United States, and received a great amount of funding as preached hatred for Jews and called for violence against Communists.
Fascists in the United States, like fascists everywhere, are the armed troops of Wall Street. When workers went on strike in the 1930s demanding better wages, the Ku Klux Klan attacked the Congress of Industrial Organization and did all they could to prevent industrial unions from growing. When African-Americans demanded civil rights and equality, the Ku Klux Klan, the White Citizens Council, and other fascist groups tortured, and murdered them. When the working people of Italy occupied their factories and demanded economic justice, the Blackshirts rolled into power and outlawed their unions. As working people in Germany rallied around the Communist Party and the Red Front Fighters League, Adolph Hitler took power and created a repressive state to keep the rule of Krupps and Thyssens intact.
As the people become more and more enraged at the Wall Street monopolists, democracy is abolished in order to preserve their power against popular sentiments. Fascism has always been about preserving capitalism and holding back those who fight for equality and social progress.
Many people in the United States may be unconcerned about events in Ukraine. They may think that the ruthless slaughter of innocent people there is unrelated to events within the US itself.
They could not be more wrong.
The ugly episode of terror and violence in Ukraine began when the government refused to join the IMF and the EU, and instead sought to preserve some element of economic independence. The response to this was the unleashing of a campaign of fascist terror that eventually overturned the elected government.
As the people of eastern and southern Ukraine rebel against the Wall Street/IMF/EU regime imposed on them, the response has been a horrific campaign of violence and terror, carried out by costume wearing, Hitler worshiping, racist thugs.
There is nothing exclusively Ukrainian about these events. All across the world, as the people fight against the cuts, and demand that their economic needs take priority over Wall Street profits, fascism emerges. Golden Dawn, the Neo-Nazi terror organization, has been unleashed on the people of Greece in response to their uprisings against austerity. As British workers and students rise up, the British National Party and the English Defense League are growing.
As workers in the US begin to demand justice as they did in the Wisconsin State Capitol Building, in Zuccotti Park, and on the streets of Oakland, nothing stops the bankers from unleashing fascist terror here as they have done elsewhere. These forces will stop at nothing to preserve their power.
If it can be done to the working people of Ukraine, of Greece and of Britain, it can be done to working people here in the US.
When the Spanish Republic was attacked by fascists in 1936, people all over the world came to their aid. When workers in London fought fascist Oswald Mosley at the Battle of Cable Street, and workers in New York City shut down the Madison Square Garden rally of the German-American Bund, their rallying cry was the same: "You Shall Not Pass!" (No Passaran!)
The attitude of working people in the United States to the horrific scenes like have taken place in Odessa must be the same. Fascism serves Wall Street, and hurts all working people. It must be opposed.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.