Written by Dr. Leon Tressell
Philosopher and darling of the Western intelligentsia, Professor Slavoj Zizek, recently wrote an article for The Guardian on Ukraine. Professor Zizek, uses the platform provided by The Guardian, to launch an attack on anyone on the Left who dares to question the American narrative regarding Ukraine.
In this he article Zizek declares that the wrong response to the war is pacifism and that all Leftists should uncritically support Ukraine. It gets better. He also declares that we need a stronger NATO to counter those evil Russian hordes which threaten Western democracy. This ignores its history of bloody interventions in countries such as Libya and Afghanistan. Never mindthe fact that NATO, since its inception, has been an offensive military alliance geared for war against Russia.
In his article, which is typical of Guardian pieces on the subject of Ukraine, Zizek supports the rampant Russophobia of the Western imperialist states. This Russophobia is ratcheting up Cold War tensions with Moscow to dangerous levels.
Zizek, like all good Western “liberals”, gives unconditional support for the Zelensky regime. Professor Zizek states that Zelensky is not a dictator yet he has banned all political parties, banned Russian speaking media and banned the Russian language from schools where a third of the population has Russian as their first language. Zelenksy’s government is also planning to remove 100 million books by Russian authors, including literary giants such as Pushkin and Dostoevsky, from the libraries of Ukraine. Meanwhile, hundreds of activists have disappeared into the torture chambers of the SBU never to be seen again. One tragic example being the case of the abduction of Mikhail & Aleksander Kononovich who were leading members of the outlawed Leninist Communist Youth Union by the Ukrainian security services.
Zizek’s article displays a breathtaking ignorance of the history of Ukraine since the coup of 2014 which has profoundly shaped current events. I would refer to himto “unbiased” sources such as historian Professor John Mearsheimer, of Chicago University, who cannot possibly be accused of being a paid agent of the Kremlin. Since 2014 Professor Mearsheimer has warned of the grave dangers of further NATO expansioninto Ukraine and how the arming of Ukraine threatened conflict with Russia.Since the beginning of the current war Mearsheimerhas repeatedly stated that theactions of the US are the principal reason for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The expansion of NATO making Ukraine a de facto member of the alliance, crossed a line which the Kremlin warned the West about on many occasions since 2008. In late MarchMearsheimer declared, “My story about the conflict’s causes should not be controversial, given that many prominent American foreign-policy experts have warned against NATO expansion since the late 1990s.”
Zizek’s article, like that of many hundreds of others written by Western liberals, chooses to ignore the many war crimes committed by the Ukrainian army and neo-Nazis in the Donbass since 2014. The most infamous of these war crimes being the Odessa massacre on 2 May 2014 that left over 100 Russian speakers dead at the hands of the neo-Nazi Right Sector. There is an abundance of evidence from Western sources to illustrate these war crimes.
As early as September 8 2014Amnesty Internationalnoted the failure of the Ukrainian government to deal with war crimes committed by neo-Nazi militias/regular government forces in the Donbass:
“The failure to stop abuses and possible war crimes by volunteer battalions risks significantly aggravating tensions in the east of the country and undermining the proclaimed intentions of the new Ukrainian authorities to strengthen and uphold the rule of law more broadly.”
Nothing changed after this date. The human rights abuses committed by Ukrainian forces and neo-Nazi battalions continued unabated. This was recognised by the US State Department in a 2020 Report:
“Significant human rights issues included: unlawful or arbitrary killing; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees by law enforcement personnel; harsh and life-threatening conditions in prisons and detention centers; arbitrary arrest or detention; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; abuses in the Russia-led conflict in the Donbas, including physical abuse of civilians and members of armed groups held in detention facilities; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists, censorship, and blocking of websites; refoulement of refugees; serious acts of corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women; violence or threats of violence motivated by anti-Semitism; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities, members of ethnic minority groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex persons; and the existence of the worst forms of child labor.”
The government generally failed to take adequate steps to prosecute or punish most officials who committed abuses, resulting in a climate of impunity. Human rights groups and the United Nations noted significant deficiencies in investigations into alleged human rights abuses committed by government security forces.”
Yet Zizek maintains that Leftists in the West should uncritically support the Ukrainian government which has presided over many human rights abuses/war crimes.
His article article displays an egregious disregard for the incessant shelling of civilians settlements in Donetsk and Lugansk by Ukrainian forces over the last 8 years. This has led to the deaths of over 14,000 people with thousands more wounded and hundreds of thousands driven from their homes.
Every day civilian settlements around Donetsk city are bombarded by Ukrainian artillery causing many casualties amongst civilians. One impartial source for these attacks comes from the daily video reports provided by American journalist Patrick Lancaster. All you have to do is to go to his YouTube channel. By ignoring these war crimes it suggests that Professor Zizek condones such attacks on Russian speaking civilians.
Further on his article, Zizek goes on to make the outrageous and historically inaccurate statement that all Leftists who display ”understanding for Russia” are just like those who appeased German fascism in the 1930s. My doctoral research into fascism in Europe in the 1930s reveals that the vast majority of socialists and rank and file communists supported the struggle against German fascism from 1933 onwards. For they realised that fascism represented a deadly threat to the working class and its institutions. That clearly is not the case today with Russia. Whatever faults its government might have, it is not a fascist regime bent on the conquest of the European continent, the destruction of the organised working class and a genocidal race war against Jews and Slavs.
Professor Zizek finishes off his attack on the Left in the West by making the incredible statement: “the minimum to be done by those who oppose Russian invasion of Ukraine is to demand Assange’s immediate release.” He appears wilfully ignorant of the fact that Julian Assange is the victim of psychological torture at the hands of the governments of the UK, US, Sweden and Ecuador. That is the opinion of Professor Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur for Torture. The governments of Britain and the US are the leading lights in NATO, which Zizek wants to strengthen, and have conducted the horrendous persecution of a journalist who has exposed American and NATO war crimes. Nor should we forget the fact that the EU, whose member states belong to NATO, has not lifted a finger to help Julian Assange.
Professor Zizek is a willing dupe of Western imperialism, and uses his position to attack and try to shame Leftists who refuse to support the ultra nationalist regime in Kiev. In the democratic West no one can be allowed to have a different opinion to the prevailing narrative regarding Ukraine
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