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‘A New Axis’: NYT Slams Russia, China for Not Acting Like US, Had Few Harsh Words for Hitler’s Rise

© HaxorjoeThe New York Times building in New York, NY across from the Port Authority.
The New York Times building in New York, NY across from the Port Authority. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
Western media has foamed at the mouth over the growing friendship between Russia and China, portraying the two states as enemies of democracy. This follows the US state’s definition of the nations as “malign actors” against whose rise Washington must strategically focus itself.
The latest article from the New York Times, by writer David Leonhardt, is provocatively titled “A New Axis.” Leonhardt frets that the recent joint statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping is aimed at the United States and quotes worryingly that they predict a “redistribution of power in the world” away from the US and Western Europe and toward multipolarity.
He also quotes several other similarly demonizing articles, quoting the Washington Post’s Editorial Board in saying Moscow and Beijing seek to “make the world safe for dictatorship,” and another NYT piece from a previous round of hysterical fear mongering in March 2021 that referred to the two states as an “alliance of autocracies.”
Leonhardt’s proof of Putin’s and Xi’s odious plans for world domination include China’s “zero covid” policy that has limited the country to just 4,600 pandemic deaths; that they refuse to intervene in the internal affairs of other nations; and that perennial marker of a nefarious villain: they criticize the United States!
One has to imagine that if China or Russia had allowed 900,000 people to die preventable deaths and readily intervened in foreign countries around the globe to advance its own agenda and force nations to abide by their values and practices, no US paper would be any less condemnatory. However, it’s the United States who does those things, so the best opposition a paper like the Times can muster is to quibble about the methods by which Washington does so.
In reality, Russia and China have never referred to their relationship as an alliance, as they both oppose the formation of exclusive political blocs. Instead, the two nations cooperate as it suits them, and due to years of tireless US pressuring of them and of other states to become increasingly hostile toward them, that cooperation has become increasingly close.
© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China.
In late 2017 and early 2018, the Trump administration outlined in a series of strategy documents how the US’ global strategy had to shift away from the War on Terror, which targeted anti-Western non-state actors and nations that allegedly supported them, and toward “great power competition” with Russia and China. The Biden administration has reaffirmed its commitment to former US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy agenda.
According to the US, Russia and China seek to upend the “rules-based international order,” a euphemism for the US-Europe-centered political, diplomatic, and economic world system that emerged after the Second World War and solidified in the 1990s, as the US became the world’s hegemonic power after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. In this world, the US calls the shots, and things that are good for the US are good for “democracy,” and things that are bad for the US are “authoritarian.”
This is how Leonhardt’s article can deride US allies Turkey and Hungary as part of the Moscow-Beijing “alliance of autocracies,” but lament the fact that the actually-autocratic Saudi monarchy, a US ally, attended the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

US Legacy of Aiding Fascists

The journalist’s comparison is itself telling: the original Axis powers, an alliance of fascist nations that rose to power in the 1930s after crushing some of Europe’s most powerful socialist and communist movements, formalized its friendship in the 1936 Anti-Comintern Pact. At the time, the only nation-state that was part of the Comintern, or Communist International, was the Soviet Union, but the alliance was also against socialist and communist movements, including those in Japan, Germany, Italy, and other signatories such as Finland and Romania, and the Red Army in China that fought the Japanese invasion and founded the People’s Republic of China in the years after the war.
The two countries that bore the brunt of that war, and of the genocides that followed, were China and the Soviet Union, the latter of which had Russia as its largest union republic. Roughly 20 million Chinese were killed by the Japanese invasion and occupation, and the all-out assault on the USSR by Germany and her European allies killed 27 million in the Soviet Union, 15 million of whom were from Russia.
The US played a major role in helping Germany in particular to prepare for the war, with American industrialists in DuPont, IBM, Ford, and many other companies investing heavily in the German arms industry and in the central industries that helped them perpetrate the Holocaust. In the final phase of the war, the US “Gladio” program reached out to fascist groups across Western Europe and established a series of secretive “stay-behind” forces who would take up sabotage and irregular warfare against any future socialist or communist government.
Moreover, in crafting his racial policies that led to the persecution and murder of millions of Jews, Roma, Slavs and others, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler looked to the United States’ system of Jim Crow racial apartheid and its Native American Reservations for inspiration. Today, a powerful right-wing movement in the US seeks to ban teaching about that era in schools, labeling the practice “critical race theory” and demanding that a positive version that smooths over its brutalities be taught. Naturally, that effort has led to “both sides” teaching suggestions about lessons on the Nazi Holocaust, too.

In 1949, when the Western states allowed an independent West Germany to form and then to join the new NATO alliance against the Soviet-aligned socialist states, many former officers in Hitler’s army were allowed to join the West German government and even serve in NATO. The most infamous was Adolf Heusinger: after serving as the Operations Chief for the German Army General Staff from 1938 until 1944 and briefly becoming acting chief of the general staff, he then went on to become a military adviser to Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of West Germany, and then head of West German military from 1957 to 1961 and chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 1961 until 1964.

It’s notable that even now, the US remains one of just two United Nations member states to vote against a draft resolution in November 2021 on combating glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism - the other was Ukraine.

NYT Gushed Praise on Hitler’s Rise

The New York Times also spent decades publishing positive portrayals of Hitler and his government, beginning in 1924, when Hitler was released from prison after being locked up after a failed Nazi putsch in Munich, when the NYT wrote that imprisonment had left him "tamed" and "no longer to be feared."
After Hitler seized power in early 1933, implemented the dictatorial Enabling Acts, and annihilated the German Social Democratic Party and German Community Party, the Times’ Anne O’Hare McCormick received an exclusive interview with the Nazi leader. The story they published described him as having “the sensitive hand of an artist” and uncritically adopted Hitler’s terminology of “cleaning” for the destruction of German democracy and murder of its leftist parties.
Later, when Berlin hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, the Times glowingly wrote that "however much one may deplore or detest some of the excesses of the Hitler regime, the games make clear beyond question the amazing new energy and determination that have come to the German people." An even more glowing article a few days later described the German people as "happy and amicable beyond reckoning" and the country as “happy and prosperous almost beyond belief.”

Would that the US Newspaper of Record could garner such high praise for “autocratic” China, which is presently hosting the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Instead, the Times compared China's “Zero Covid” policy, which has spared the country of mass death, to the Nazi genocide via an obtuse “banality of evil” reference.

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