Now may be the time to pose a few questions and say a few important things.
Let us say first of all that the enemies of my enemies are not necessarily my friends; what’s more, the friends of my friends are not necessarily my friends just as the enemy of my friend is not necessarily my enemy. Because this is the logic of empires. We, on the other hand, prefer to choose our own friends and enemies. How did Hugh Grant put it in Love Actually? “A friend who bullies us is no longer a friend – and since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the president should be prepared for that.”
So, you see, Mr. Ambassador, that’s what this is all about. And don’t forget it: the enemy of our ally is only our enemy as stated in Article 5 of NATO. As you should also always keep in mind Mr. Ambassador that we cannot not belong to the West as we ourselves are the West – especially since we, Central and Eastern Europeans, have kept alive the former Western ethos which you eradicated to make way for the woke, neo-marxist, liberal fascist, BLM and LGBTQ revolution. So back off! We are indeed a part of the same alliance (which increasingly resembles the Delian League transforming into the Athenian Empire) but this does not mean that we are friends. As they say, why have enemies when you have friends like this…
Naturally there is no barrier to our allies making as many enemies as they would like. During the time of the Delian League, the Persians didn’t attack a single Greek, however they were still in need of enemies, weren’t they? Therefore, Athens pointed at whichever allied city-state they pleased and called it their enemy – just as you do today. Or, you call anyone you want a Persian, don’t you Mr. Ambassador? And you bring the ‘democratic tyranny.’ And what successes, parades, and blooming democracies follow in your path Mr. Ambassador: Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia – all success stories!
The Nazis dug mass graves based on race and they were convinced that this was the key to a brave new world. The communists dug mass graves based on class and they were convinced this was the key to a brave new world. You guys dug mass graves based on exporting democracy – and to this day you are convinced this is the key to a brave new world. And do you have anything to say Mr. Ambassador about who it was that actually provoked Russia into this war?
But there is an important detail here: we do not necessarily have to follow our allies in finding enemies. In World War II, we Hungarians managed to be German allies while also remaining friends of the Poles and helping them to the best of our ability.
By the way! Wasn’t it the West that destroyed the European balance after the First World War? For the greater glory of the Wilsonian principles, Central European countries were driven straight into the arms and yoke of Hitler. Then, after the Second World War, wasn’t it the West that threw the losers and winners alike into Stalin’s clutches? And of course, you can view Putin as Stalin’s successor (we are not fans of the red star on top of the Kreml either, nor the mummified body of Lenin which still has not been buried, nor the post-Soviet nervous tics), but shouldn’t we first come to terms with the morality of America teaming up with Beelzebub against Satan, and then with Satan against Beelzebub?
And maybe it is time settle accounts over 1956, isn’t it Mr. Ambassador? Because we Hungarians know all too well since 1956 that Central European freedom is very important to the United States – but only while there isn’t some other more important kind of freedom to deal with on the other side of the world which just so happens to pop up and always manifests itself in some form of American self-interest (see: Suez, right?). And of course, you can view the Ukrainians as fearless and immaculate freedom fighters, but first perhaps Khrushchev and Brezhnev should be put in their place in regard to the hall of historical portraits – not to mention Bandera. What about Banders and those hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles murdered by his followers? And perhaps it is time to account for those few billion dollars that arrived in Ukraine for the greater glory of the great Maidan revolution, meant strictly of course for “cultural change” – isn’t that right Mr. Ambassador?
Tell us please: did those Ukrainian organizations that still openly promote Nazi ideals also get some money? And what about those “good” oligarchs? Until we get an honest answer, we see the great Ukrainian friendship as Burisma – or, in other words, control over the world’s best and most fertile land. Have you asked the President yet, Mr. Ambassador on what basis his drug-addict, sex-addict, incompetent and vile son was seated on the board of directors as vice-president at Burisma? And on what basis the US corporations are taking Ukrainian farmlands? Democracy goes, wealth comes – is that what it's all about Mr. Ambassador? Are you working for Athens?
Thucydides’ enormous work that I have quoted contains an important chapter titled the Melian dialogue. Allow me, Mr. Ambassador to quote a few passages:
“The Melian commissioners answered: To the fairness of quietly instructing each other as you propose there is nothing to object; but your military preparations are too far advanced to agree with what you say, as we see you are come to be judges in your own cause, and that all we can reasonably expect from this negotiation is war, if we prove to have right on our side and refuse to submit, and in the contrary case, slavery.
Athenians. If you have met to reason about presentiments of the future, or for anything else than to consult for the safety of your state upon the facts that you see before you, we will give over; otherwise we will go on. […]
Melians. It is natural and excusable for men in our position to turn more ways than one both in thought and utterance. However, the question in this conference is, as you say, the safety of our country; and the discussion, if you please, can proceed in the way which you propose.
Athenians. For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses- either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed [...]. Since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
Melians. As we think, at any rate, it is expedient- we speak as we are obliged, since you enjoin us to let right alone and talk only of interest- that you should not destroy what is our common protection, the privilege of being allowed in danger to invoke what is fair and right, and even to profit by arguments not strictly valid if they can be got to pass current. And you are as much interested in this as any, as your fall would be a signal for the heaviest vengeance and an example for the world to meditate upon.
Athenians. The end of our empire, if end it should, does not frighten us: a rival empire like Lacedaemon, even if Lacedaemon was our real antagonist, is not so terrible to the vanquished as subjects who by themselves attack and overpower their rulers. This, however, is a risk that we are content to take. We will now proceed to show you that we are come here in the interest of our empire, and that we shall say what we are now going to say, for the preservation of your country; as we would fain exercise that empire over you without trouble, and see you preserved for the good of us both.
Melians. And how, pray, could it turn out as good for us to serve as for you to rule?
Athenians. Because you would have the advantage of submitting before suffering the worst, and we should gain by not destroying you.
Melians. So that you would not consent to our being neutral, friends instead of enemies, but allies of neither side.
Athenians. No; for your hostility cannot so much hurt us as your friendship will be an argument to our subjects of our weakness, and your enmity of our power.
Melians. Is that your subjects' idea of equity, to put those who have nothing to do with you in the same category with peoples that are most of them your own colonists, and some conquered rebels?
Athenians. As far as right goes they think one has as much of it as the other, and that if any maintain their independence it is because they are strong, and that if we do not molest them it is because we are afraid; so that besides extending our empire we should gain in security by your subjection; the fact that you are islanders and weaker than others rendering it all the more important that you should not succeed in baffling the masters of the sea. [...]
Athenians. Why, the fact is that continentals generally give us but little alarm; the liberty which they enjoy will long prevent their taking precautions against us; it is rather islanders like yourselves, outside our empire, and subjects smarting under the yoke, who would be the most likely to take a rash step and lead themselves and us into obvious danger.
There are many great wisdoms and lessons in this passage Mr. Ambassador.
And to conclude, I’d like to say that we love stories and we have a sense of humor – with the history we have behind us, we would have gone crazy long ago if we couldn’t laugh about it sometimes. But Elek Benedek’s tales are more beautiful, entertaining and human than Mr. Pressman’s stories which are nothing more than repetitions of well-known Anglo-Saxon hypocrisy.
We are not friends Mr. Pressman. Just allies. And that is only because Europe does not have a Sparta. We would gladly be Sparta – it somehow suits the spirit of the Hungarian people – but we don’t have the claws nor the teeth. But we will never be the Hestia or Erythrea. Remember that Mr. Ambassador and don’t chase wild boars in the rose garden of our non-existent friendship with every speech you make! Listen instead, it will be more useful.
(P.S. If they happen to find some more classified documents in the President's closet, send them to me immediately. Then the FBI will have to come over to search my house and I’ll have to admit that I got them from Trump. This would be friendship according to you, right?)
Photo David Pressmann (Source: MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)