Serial litigator, Terry Crawford-Browne is at it again, this time in support of Putin

OVER the years, former gold-dealer and banker, Terry Crawford-Browne has proven to be somewhat of a jaded crusader against war, that is, an opponent of militarism whenever it suits him. Thus while he opposes Western arms deals under the rubric “Economists Allied For Arms Reduction” and especially local arms-procurement, he has often ended up supporting the stratagems and policies of foreign dictators and autocrats

Crawford-Browne rose to fame on the coat-tails of the Anglican Church’s sanctions campaign against apartheid, and then proceeded to oppose the controversial realignment and hardware acquisitions of the new government and South African National Defense Force. The result was that along with Patricia de Lille, Crawford-Browne was given a platform to pursue a political agenda that has involved, inter alia, promoting Hamas and Putin’s Russia.

That judeophobia and denazification make for strange bedmates can be seen by Crawford-Browne’s latest scurrilous attacks against US President Joe Biden at the same time as he promotes a Pro-Putin narrative that has been thoroughly debunked by news organisations which include Deutsche Welle.

Crawford-Browne claims: “Biden, then as vice president, orchestrated the 2014 Maidan Revolution ‘regime change’ in Ukraine, in which the US ‘invested’ $5bn.”

He then goes on to infer that the President’s son, Hunter Biden’s position on the board of an obscure Gas Company Burisma, is untoward and indicative of this conspiracy, a minor scandal in US politics according to Vox, and one which deserves to be compared to the equally stricken Nord Stream 2 deal between Putin and Germany.

Though money was certainly spent by the US Department of State, and by NGOs which had government grants, the result is far from an ‘orchestration of events’. Not only was the money ‘over the table’ and not in the least bit clandestine, the financial help to organisations committed to development of civil society and Democracy, occurred during the course of many years .

Assistant Secretary Nuland at the USA-Ukraine Foundation Conference for instance specified USD 5 billion in aid since 1991, which is a far cry from the latest story being touted by Crawford-Browne, who is not simply the author of conspiracy stories involving arms dealers and intelligence operatives, but a peddler of blarney, and a litigant held in contempt of court, for defaming Trevor Manual amongst others.

In 2014 Crawford-Browne similarly went before the Arms Deal Commission and proceeded to claim that the person really responsible for the assassination of Chris Hani in 1993 was none other than “former Defence Minister Joe Modise”. An outrageous, unproven conspiracy story, that to date, has never been substantiated by any evidence, and despite the primary problem — both Clive Derby-Lewis and Janus Waluz were found guilty, alongside a plot by the right-wing.

Earlier in 2008 Browne was found guilty of contempt of court over his claims that Finance Minister Trevor Manuel is corrupt and was interdicted from repeating the corruption claims until a defamation action in which Manual was asking for a permanent gag on Crawford-Browne was settled. In the end, Manual was unsuccessful in his bid to permanently silence Crawford-Browne, in part due to his bid before the Constitutional Court to reopen the arms-deal inquiry — a move which itself turned out to be unsuccessful, with none of the issues ever finding any resolution.

In an opinion piece published by Business Day, Crawford-Browne finds an opportunity to repeat many of the lies being touted by Putin apologists. For example, the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea, was merely a ‘secession’, thus no actual invasion as such occurred. It was the Azov battalion, (a Ukrainian militia formed in response to the creation of Pro-Russian militia after Putin flooded Eastern Ukraine with arms) who are responsible for the breakaway move, since they are in reality “Nazis flying Nazi Swastika flags” — an Anti-Jewish menace behind the ‘deaths of 14 000 Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbas region.’

There is no source provided for the death toll, nor even a vague consideration of the deaths of either Ukranians and Russians, whether Jewish or Gentile, in Putin’s latest military invasion which has resulted in 4 million refugees and displaced persons, and which is certainly not restricted to the Donbas.

While the Azov adoption of a nationalistic symbol once associated with the Waffen SS, drew criticism from Israel at the time, resulting in the battalion being absorbed into the regular Ukrainian army, the result is far from the picture of white supremacy painted by Crawford-Browne, who is himself, white.

A statement by 250 Scholars of Genocide, Nazism and World War II thus rejected the “Russian government’s cynical abuse of the term genocide, the memory of World War II and the Holocaust, and the equation of the Ukrainian state with the Nazi regime to justify its unprovoked aggression.”

“This rhetoric is factually wrong, morally repugnant and deeply offensive to the memory of millions of victims of Nazism and those who courageously fought against it, including Russian and Ukrainian soldiers of the Red Army” they said.

Dear ‘Wokus Pokus’ Saffer Putin Supporter

Dear ‘Wokus Pokus’ Saffer Putin Supporter

Yes, I mean you. One of the many pseudo lefties in South Africa who claim “Russia is surrounded by Nato” despite the country sharing a border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. The average, misguided socialist wannabee stuck with what Nigel Gibson writing on newsite ‘Africa Is A Country’ calls “crude anti-imperialist positions that are silent about the actual invasion of an independent country.”

Always returning to the Marxist ‘bully pulpit’ to support a country which is no longer the USSR, for the sake of ‘solidarity’ with a cause that was dead and buried when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.

One of many pathetic small minds who always seem to claim allegiance to a big man — today it is the dictator and homophobe, Vladimir Putin, despite his track record of poisoning his opposition and locking up girl bands like Pussy Riot, who criticise him — tomorrow who will it be?

As Mokubung Nkomo writes in ‘Russia has become a far-right, Orwellian oligarchy — any historical solidarity is with a state that no longer exists’ : “Unlike the socialist USSR, Russia has become an unapologetic, mainly mixed economy, with an oversized oligarchic disposition. There is a huge substantive difference in the philosophies and political economies between the old USSR and the Russian Federation.”

Like England’s Henry VII, the Kremlin seizes the property of its critics, says veteran political analyst Keith  Gottschalk. This week, the country arrested several anti-war protesters for holding up blank pieces of paper.

Perhaps you would care to study some Russian history?

The country was one of the parties to the 1884 Berlin Conference which redrew the map of Africa. Czarist Russia was represented by Count Pyotr Alekseyevich Kapnist, a diplomat acting on behalf of the Czar, who consented to the result which gave the British, French, Germans, Italians and Portuguese, African colonies, so that the Russian Empire could cling to its own European territories which included the Baltic, Poland, Finland and Eurasia.

Russia consented because it wished to keep its benefits from an earlier period of serfdom and white slavery in the face of European abolitionists, and though landlocked for the most part, Russia was happy to see the West doing what it was doing in Africa so it could expand into territories which are now Asian Republics.

Czarist Russia also supported the Boers in the Anglo Boer war, and committed mercenaries on the side of the Afrikaners in order to prop up white supremacy whilst it was committing pogroms against Jews in the Baltic — my own family history, surely demonstrates that immigrants are not always self-serving colonials, but often those simply fleeing tyranny?

Though the subsequent history of the Russian Revolution and the formation of the USSR is a lot different, a riveting piece of world history, it really is of no consequence to the current events playing out today, since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, leaving only its successor, the so-called Russian Federation?

While you’re frenetically busy spreading Pro-Putin propaganda for a dictator who routinely silences dissent and are tediously, claiming this to be a noble fight ‘between socialism and capitalism’, try to quit Leftsplaining the conflict?

Why should we need to bother defending Russian state television RT and the loss of a solitary news feed from the Kremlin, if this means ignoring independent voices and media within Russia itself?

Consider the fate of Rain TV network, forced to close because of a Putin decree making it a criminal offense to criticise the Russian military, a law making it illegal to refer to the military operation as an ‘invasion’ or even a ‘war’.

Are you neglecting Russia’s many wars and invasions? The invasion of Afghanistan 1979? The invasion of Hungary 1956? The wars in Chechnya 1994 and 1999? ‘It’s exactly the same playbook as we’ve seen before in Grozny, in Chechnya and in Homs and Aleppo in Syria’.

Consider the resulting disorder and disruption experienced by millions of refugees across Europe in the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945? The targeting of civilians in a campaign that resembles an earlier Russian effort to prop up the Syrian butcher Assad, a man who gassed his own people?

While you foolishly ‘rabble-rouse’ on the alleged racism experienced by Africans at the border with Poland only to end up being played by Putin, consider the losses experienced by African students forced to flee Ukranian universities? Before the war, in 2019 the country was listed in the top 20 for those seeking refuge including migrants from Africa It is now the World’s number one source of refugees.

And while you needlessly deploy the rhetoric of ‘whataboutism’ in a vain and selfish effort to string together each and every war and conflict around the globe in your hip, ersatz and cheap, anti-Western invective, pause to consider the uncomfortable ‘what-abouts’ — like what-about Saddam Hussein and his gassing of Iranians? Or what-about Osama bin Laden and his bankrolling of 911 hijackers? Or what-about Muammar Gaddafi, and his penchant for throwing his opposition in prison?

Did you also miss the fact that Gaddafi sent his jets to bomb his own people, forcing Sarkozy to react when pilots who refused to do so, started seeking asylum in France? Maybe it was because you were too busy watching Russia Today and ignoring France 24 and the BBC?

Criticise the West and its many wars, oppose all war if you will, but let’s get some facts straight:

The Russian Federation is not a socialist utopia, but rather models itself on the earlier Imperialist Russia, along with its oligarchs, aristocrats and billionaires. A recent stadium address by Putin has all the fanfare of an evangelical meeting of white Christian nationalists.

Ukraine broke from the USSR in 1991 and willingly gave up its nuclear warheads in exchange for guarantees of territorial integrity from Russia and the West, the so-called Budapest Memorandum: “On December 5, 1994 the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States signed a memorandum to provide Ukraine with security assurances in connection with its accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. The four parties signed the memorandum, containing a preamble and six paragraphs.”

Putin invaded Crimea, a Ukranian territory in 2014 following the events surrounding “Euromaidan” a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which ‘began on the night of 21 November 2013 with public protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv’ and resulted in a popular overthrow of Pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, who then fled to Russia.

The Crimean Invasion was the beginning of the conflict in which Putin still seeks to install a government more to his liking in what is known as ‘regime change’. It is significant that Russia has done this on more than one occasion — Crimea was a vassal-state under the Czar, a Khanate under the Tatars, and a colony under the Ottomans.

Putin’s ambassador to South Africa claims Russia is merely defending the rights of Ukrainian separatists, but this has in reality, turned into an all-out war of occupation and conquest, as seen by missile salvos over Kyiv.

Since 2014, Putin has labelled any Anti-Russian opposition within Ukraine, the work of ‘Neo-Nazis’. By Putin’s own definition, instead of fleeing Russian Cossacks, my own family are Nazis since my Great Grandmother once criticised the Czar.

Putin’s pathetic claims of denazification have been shown to be totally false, the current Ukrainian President Zelensky is not only Jewish and his family Holocaust survivors, but Russia proceeded to bomb a Holocaust memorial last week and has shown no restraint in targeting civilians, including women and children, claiming that the Ukranian Defence Force are using them as ‘human shields’.

Instead of greeting the invasion with open arms, and the Russians as liberators, the Ukranians have shown fierce resistance to the aggressor.

Putin promises to purify Russia of scum who enjoy gender rights in the West

Ukraine: Enter Dugmore & the Tankie Left

TANKIES are leftists who defend Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, but who are otherwise opposed to the use of tanks to resolve disputes. It is a term derived from an earlier generation of Western leftists who backed the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 — and who also defend Russia’s behavior today. It may applied to any situation of paradoxism in political outlook involving the use of state force, such as invasions, pre-emptive strikes and the like.

The ANC’s Cameron Dugmore best epitomises South Africa’s tankie left. In 1987 as UCT SRC president, he appeared on a combined ECC – IDF platform alongside then SAUJS President, Johnathan Handler. It was the first of a large group of 23 objectors, which included Christian pacifists, Jewish and also Atheist objectors

Handler opposed the use of SADF tanks in the townships, but paradoxically supported the IDF and its war in Lebanon. It was the 1982 invasion of Southern Lebanon under direction of then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon  which had lead me to a path of opposition to the use of force by the State of Israel. Of course, I naively assumed at the time, there were parallels between the SADF war in Angola and what was happening in the Middle East (you can read my response to Seth Rogen here).

This week at a combined Russian and South African gathering, hastily called to celebrate apparently ’30 years of solidarity’. Dugmore took issue with the Democratic Alliance (DA) for wanting to light up Cape Town’s public buildings in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. He also attacked what he claimed was the parties ‘refusal to debate issues to do with Palestine’.

That Dugmore shares the Russian autocrats homophobic and misogynistic worldview is not that surprising given Palestinian opposition to LGBTIQ+ rights, and the Tankie left should pause to consider that Putin is admired by Republicans on the far-right, and the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish.

Russia proceeded to bomb a well-known Holocaust war-memorial yesterday, commemorating Babi Yar, a site where some 150 000 Jewish Ukrainians were massacred.

Many on twitter were quick to point out that Ukraine had also been a part of the USSR, and if anything, South Africa owes the country a debt of gratitude for its support of the anti-apartheid movement.

South Africa itself has ties with the Russian people and the former Soviet Union going back over 70 years and to World War 2 where it fought alongside the allies. The attempt to recast Putin as a contemporary savior figure has been condemned as nothing short of foolish nostalgia, the result of the ANC’s moral agnosticism.

Naledi Pandor for example was quick to jump on the ‘unconscionable racism’ experienced by many Africans attempting to flee Ukraine under martial law amidst unavoidable restrictions on travel — nothing less than ‘supporting evidence’ for Putin’s claim that he was ‘denazifying the country by invading’. (read my previous open letter to the Minister)

Poland for example has a 1 in 10 policy, only letting in 1 Foreigner for every 10 Ukrainian women and children. Africans fared a lot better at the Hungarian border, where unlike Poland, there were no far-right groups objecting to their presence.

Meanwhile a Russian millionaire offered a $1 million bounty for the arrest of Putin, stating: “As an ethnic Russian and a Russia citizen, I see it as my moral duty to facilitate the denazification of Russia. I will continue my assistance to Ukraine in its heroic efforts to withstand the onslaught of Putin’s Orda.”

And by that he means to De-Putinise Russia.

Though our own country is a partner in BRICS, (an economic block dreamt up by economists, in the same vein as FAANG, a Wall St acronym), there is little to be gained by equivocating on the issue. The government has been taken to task for being on the ‘side of the oppressor’.

The much-vaunted BRICS bank is bound to come under pressure from economic sanctions, even China has baulked at the prospect of a financial fall-out from Putin’s war, bearing in mind that the Chinese economy has just experienced a major event in the managed deflation of a stupendous property bubble.

President Xi Jinping can ill-afford to bankroll his neighbours war adventure in the Ukraine, and neither is South Africa able to afford the luxury to go it alone so far as international sanctions and pressure on Putin is concerned, –our own sovereign debt and junk rating, must rank high on the agenda of our finance minister.

South Africa chose to abstain from a UN General Assembly vote this week, condemning the Russian invasion. Pretoria may live to regret its lack of action.