Selling your political soul to the highest bidder and Putin’s collateral damage to Europe’s far-right parties

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s plans of breathing new life into a second take of the Soviet empire by invading Ukraine have backfired and produced the opposite effect. Far-right parties like the Perussuomnalaiset (PS)* are collateral damage in Putin’s miscalculation. 

It’s been a wretched start for Putin:

– Plans to carry out a rapid invasion and victory of Ukraine have hardened and emboldened Ukrainian resistence;

– Putin’s war of aggression has mobilized the strongest international outrage since 9/11

– Hopes that the Russians would be greeted as “liberators” in Ukraine was nothing more than the wishful thinking of an autocrat; 

– Aims to divide Nato and the EU have produced the opposite effect and strengthened and united these bodies;

– Intimidating Finland and Sweden not to join Nato have encouraged and brought them closer to seek membership;

– Close far-right ties with Putin by parties like Lega Nord and Front National Party of France have put them in an awkward position;

– The PS’ racist broken record against asylum seekers and refugees changed instantly when the EU decided unanimously to permit Ukrainians to move to the EU for up to three years without applying for asylum.

Even if there appears to be an about-turn on refugees for the PS, it only shows what we’ve known all along: the PS is a racist party against Muslims and people of color.

On the one hand, it is now ok to accept refugees as long as they are white and Christian and from countries like Ukraine.

One matter that baffles me is why Islamophobes from the PS do not mention that they are targeting Muslims and other people of color from Africa with their hateful comments? They intend, instead, to speak in code.

Some of these code words that mean Muslim asylum seeker include a person of foreign background, asylum seeker, living off social welfare, illegal migrant, criminal, and terrorist or potential terrorist.

One of the favorite talking points of the Islamophobes is that a majority of men sought asylum fro 2015 from regions like the Middle East, leaving behind their wives and children.

Meri’s comment shows not only her ignorance but her arrogance.

Many families left their war-torn countries and came to Europe. The journey is anything but safe. A woman traveling alone to Europe is putting herself in harm’s way and could face death. She is also vulnerable to sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Politicians like Meri have never faced war and have never gone through the difficult ethical process of fighting and killing people. Like that of many like her, her words are full of bravado and chicanery.

What kinds of acrobatics and summersaults are we will see from the PS now that Putin has changed the European security landscape and narrative.

Besides Ukraine being his political grave, it could turn into a similar cemetery for Trump and far-right parties like the PS.