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Can Lone Nuts Change History?

Can Lone Nuts Change History?

Fico assassination attempt raises all sorts of questions

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Last Wednesday, May 15, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot five times as he emerged from a government meeting in Handlova, 90 miles from the capital Bratislava. Western mainstream media united in labeling the would-be assassin a “lone wolf,” echoing the phrase of Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok at the post-shooting press conference.

Skeptics quickly noted that Fico was the sort of leader that powerful forces might want to eliminate. The anti-Russian site Meduza seemingly agreed: “Since Robert Fico assumed his fourth term as Slovakia’s Prime Minister in October 2023, he has called Ukraine ‘one of the most corrupt countries in the world,’ stopped arms shipments to Ukraine’s Armed Forces, and promised to block E.U. aid to Kyiv.” The article approvingly cited expert opinion that Fico’s “statements about Ukraine mobilize radical segments of society.” Western mainstream media has been promoting the same theme, implying that the “radicalization” behind the shooting was Fico’s own fault.

Additionally, COVID dissident Meryl Nass noted that Fico is “ the first head of state in 2024 to openly reject the WHO’s 2 treaties…Remember too, Tedros was just in Slovakia to try and turn Mr. Fico.” Those who see the World Health Organization’s push for pandemic treaties as a back door to world government are naturally suspicious. They also note that Fico, following Hungary’s Victor Orban, is anti-immigration as well as anti-Ukraine-war.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that a rare European assassination attempt happened to target a leader viewed as problematic by Deep State elites. The would-be assassin, a former security guard and uncelebrated versifier, might very well be a lone nut, or lone wolf, or lone poet, or lone-whatever-you-want-to-call-him.

Whatever the truth about the Fico shooting, it’s undeniable that history-changing attacks dubiously attributed to lone nuts have a rich history, especially in Eastern Europe. And last Wednesday, when Fico got shot, I was in the right place to meditate on that theme: The Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. The National Museum is arranged so as to present Hungary’s history from prehistoric times to the present. It’s a visual depiction, in the form of artifacts and images, of the narrative of Hungarian national identity.

Hungarian National Museum, May 15 2024

Hungary’s sense of identity is unusually intense, perhaps due to its peculiar language. While its ex-Yugoslav (southern Slav) neighbors quarrel in the same language—Serbs, Bosnians, Croats, and Montenegrins can understand each other, for better or worse—Hungarians speak a peculiar tongue that is not even in the Indo-European family.

One of the reasons Hungary keeps electing “right-wing nationalist” Viktor Orban is a certain irredentism that grows out of the massive loss of national territory resulting from choosing the wrong side in the 20th century’s world wars. The 1920 Treaty of Trianon left Hungary with only 28% of its pre-war territory and 36% of its pre-war population, and those borders haven’t changed much since. If we accept the official story that World War I was caused by a lone nut, or wolf, who just happened to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand, present-day Hungarians can blame one crazy “radicalized” individual, Gavrilo Princip, for the extreme truncation of what used to be their nation.

Stjepan Radić, Zagreb, Croatia (photo by C.M.)

But the famous assassination of the Archduke wasn’t the only history-steering “lone nut” shooting in 20th century Eastern Europe attributed to a radical Serb. Another was the 1928 killing of Croatian nationalist leader Stjepan Radić, which enflamed Croatian nationalism and the factional violence that would flare up around World War II and re-emerge in the 1990s Balkan Wars. As Wikipedia explains: “Following the political crisis triggered by the shooting, in January 1929, King Aleksandar Karađorđević abolished the constitution, dissolved the parliament, banned all ethnic, regional and religious political parties, and declared a royal dictatorship.”

Since the Radić shooting conveniently allowed King Aleksandar to consolidate power, “conspiracy theorists”—meaning those familiar with the phrase cui bono—have often wondered whether the king or his associates might have been behind it. When I posed that question during a guided “war tour” of Zagreb, Croatia last week, the tour guide, a local historian, noted that a great many people credit that theory, and that it did not strike her as implausible.

“Conspiracist” graffiti in Zagreb, Croatia. Photo by CM.

If King Aleksandar really was behind the Radić killing, he got a taste of his own medicine six years later, when another radicalized lunatic, Vlado Chernozemski, shot the king dead in Marseille. But while Chernozemski may have been a nut, or a wolf, or a poet, or whatever, and was certainly radicalized, he wasn’t especially lonely. A professional assassin originally in the pay of Macedonian and Bulgarian terrorists, Chernozemski was convicted and imprisoned, released in 1932, and immediately went back to work as an instructor for the Croatian terrorist group Ustaše, with which he was still associated when he shot Aleksandar.

When Will a Lone Nut Kill a Leader with a Drone?

Since assassinations can alter power relations and change history, powerful forces that stand to benefit have every reason to conduct them—preferably with “plausible deniability.” Terrorist groups are often cut-outs for state actors and/or wealthy individuals and groups, and the same is presumably true of lone nuts and wolves, as well as the patsies presented to us as such.

Conveniently, Fico’s alleged would-be assassin, Juraj Cintula, reverted to type and used a gun from close range, making his arrest easy and inevitable. But guns are an increasingly obsolete assassination technology. An assassin who hoped to have a chance of not getting caught, at least not right away—and who needed to penetrate tight security—might be expected to eschew guns and use a drone instead. For some reason this hasn’t happened yet. As Google’s AI explains:

There haven't been any confirmed assassinations of world leaders using drones by radicalized individuals or terrorist groups as of today, May 19th, 2UAV4. Drone strikes are typically carried out by governments, with varying degrees of legality and controversy.

However, terrorist groups have been increasingly using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for various purposes, including surveillance and attacks. This is a developing trend and the possibility of a future assassination attempt can't be entirely ruled out.

“Can’t be entirely ruled out” strikes me as an understatement. I would say that it can be almost entirely ruled in.

Coincidentally, I flew the first leg of my flight home from Budapest seated next to a young Belgian man who builds and races drones. If he wanted to kill a world leader with a drone, I am pretty sure he would have a reasonable chance of success. Fortunately he seemed a sane, decent, entirely unthreatening individual. But the same technology that he described to me is available to essentially anyone who wants it.

So why are crazies like Cintula still shooting leaders like Fico with guns? A cynic might say that it’s easier to pin the blame on the patsy that way. If Cintula were really a lone nut, and used a drone to attack Fico, it might be harder for the authorities to prove he did it, which would encourage “conspiracy theories.” The fact that drone assassinations happen all the time, and are always carried out by governments, would also tend to support the presumption that any drone assassination, even if presented as a “lone wolf” act, was in fact a government operation.

And we all know how much the authorities hate “conspiracy theories.” Bloomberg reports:

The European Commission said it’s “actively monitoring” the spread of fake news about Wednesday’s shooting Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and warned it can slap Big Tech platforms with fines for failing to tackle disinformation.”

So don’t question the official narrative: “Fico was shot by a radicalized lone wolf and it’s Fico’s own fault for encouraging radicalization by failing to support Ukraine.” If you harbor any doubts, you will be “actively monitored.” And if you post your doubts on social media, the Big Tech platforms will be pressured to shadowban or deplatform you.

It’s almost as if there were some kind of conspiracy against conspiracy theorists. It must be my conspiratorial imagination acting up again to even entertain such thoughts.

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