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Surprise, Surprise:
the Hammer and Sickle Are Back

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On May 5, 2007 ABC News Online carried the BBC story that “Russia’s Parliament has voted to restore the communist-era hammer and sickle to the official flag of the Russian Army.” That is, Vladimir Putin “voted” to do so, since the Russian parliament is merely an extension of Putin.

As BBC further reported “It is expected President Vladimir Putin will ratify the move in time for next week’s commemorations marking the end of World War II in Europe.” That he did. As Associated Press reported on May 9, “Russia marked the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany with soldiers bearing hammer-and-sickle banners goose-stepping through Red Square …”

Ah, just like the good old days of Lenin and Stalin! Indeed, Putin addressed the vast crowd “from a podium in front of Lenin’s Mausoleum,” taking the occasion to reprimand Estonia for daring to remove a Red Army memorial from a square in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

Estonians have this strange idea, you see, that the Soviet troops who drove the Nazis from Estonia during World War II were themselves “occupiers who helped keep it under communist control for a half century.” A fifty-year military occupation, combined with subjugation to a series of communist dictators, has tended to cause — how shall I put this? — more than a few resentments among the Estonian people.

But Putin will hear none of it. The Kremlin — that is, Putin — has issued “threats of unspecified economic consequences for Estonia in the monument dispute” and Russia “has disrupted some transportation links this week, although officials cited other reasons.” As AP further reports: “On Tuesday, Russia’s state railway said it was ending passenger train service between St. Petersburg and Estonia for lack of passengers.”

Like any good dictator, Putin makes the trains run on time. Then again, he can stop the trains from running at all. Bad luck for Estonians. And all of this, mind you, because Estonia moved a single monument!

As AP notes: “The display of the Soviet-era symbols reflects a nostalgia among many Russians, particularly the older generation, for a time when the country’s military instilled fear and respect abroad and a cradle-to-the-grave social system gave certainty at home.”

In other words, things are so bad in Russia today — 24 years after its “conversion” — that many Russians are hankering for the return of outright communism. And it seems that Putin intends to oblige these nostalgics in the very near future. In fact, he has already taken Russia most of the way back to the glory days of the “dictatorship of the proletariat”. All that remains are a few finishing touches — like the hammer and sickle.

And through it all, Father Fox, EWTN, Catholic Answers, and the Vatican apparatus itself, have resolutely refused to acknowledge the consequences of failing to consecrate Russia — not the world, not “those peoples”, not “the unemployed”, not “youth in search of meaning” — but Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. If Putin had set out specifically to make fools out of these Fatima revisionists, he could not have done a better job.