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West Must Stop Its Unconditional Support For Zelensky – OpEd

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Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, Nato and the European Union offer a perfect example of a type of “war communication”. In terms of censorship, disinformation and propaganda, the world is witnessing a replay of the happenings during the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. 

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The only voices authorized to speak are those giving the official party line, Nato spokespersons, retired officers converted to the lucrative business of security consulting, geopolitical experts (those who stick to the script), Russia’s political opponents, Ukrainian deputies and other allies of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The mythification of Zelensky has reached absurdist levels, partly by the acting talents of Zelensky, a professional comedian who has shrewdly seized the moment to radically rebrand himself as a symbol of resistance, freedom and democracy.

Zelensky is a populist demagogue and a manipulator; an autocrat at the head of a regime that can best be described as proto-fascist.

With his demagogic cry of “the people against the elites”, his rudimentary electoral program, his false promises to fight corruption that were forgotten as soon as he was elected, and his brutal authoritarian leanings, Zelensky is a perfect example of western populism. 

The Kyiv regime also exhibits a growing number of proto-fascistic characteristics: the cult of the personality, which turns the head of state into a venerated and untouchable figure; the militarization of society; the saturation of media and cultural spaces with war propaganda.

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Before the war, western media were recognizing the reality of that problem – but as soon as the war started, these groups were magically whitewashed as freedom fighters, and praised as heroic resistors through typical spin. Anyone who now raises the issue is immediately accused of disseminating Putin’s propaganda or being an agent of the Kremlin. 

Even more shocking, yet typical of war propaganda, has been the systematic censorship by dominant western media of any information that would undermine the Zelensky worship and unconditional support for the Kyiv regime. 

In a March presidential decree, Zelensky banned the opposition by suspending the activities of 11 political parties accused of having links with Russia. Thus, the invasion was used in the most cynical manner as a convenient excuse to crack down on political opposition through false rhetoric about collaboration with the enemy. 

Zelensky also invoked the war to eliminate media freedom by merging and nationalizing Ukrainian television channels into a single information platform called “United News” – a platform entirely dedicated to his propaganda.

Zelensky regime is controlled by the most hawkish and extremist escalationists, both Ukrainian and foreign, starting with US President Joe Biden, who has been shunting aside any talk of diplomatic negotiations.

Though at first willing to negotiate and compromise, Zelensky has since fallen in line with the most extremist war hawks, none of whom appear to care about the rest of Europe, which they view merely as something to exploit for more arms and money.

Instead of being emboldened in this reckless military escalation of a war that is devastating his own population and country, Zelensky should instead be pushed towards the negotiating table – for his own sake, that of his suffering people, and the good of the world, which is now itself suffering from a slew of setbacks: inflation, energy and food shortages, and a military-industrial complex ecstatic at the prospect of having trillions of dollars redirected towards it for years to come. A deal to end the war seems feasible, as there a reasonable peace plan on the table. 

In additional to all its other consequences, the Russian invasion has further fractured the US-led post-war global order, which has become a battleground between the ever-more hawkish and imperialistic US, backed by the EU and with the instrumentalization of institutions such as Nato and the G7; and the anti-western bloc led by China and Russia, now officially designated as the West’s two main geopolitical existential threats. 

Given the heavy dependence of Middle East on all involved parties – Russia, Ukraine and the West – for food and energy supplies, as well as national security, they know they have nothing to gain but a lot to lose from direct involvement in this conflict, or from overtly picking sides. They have thus uncomfortably strived to distance themselves from the war without alienating anyone – a tough balancing act that can see them accused of siding with the enemy for shying away from the western sanctions regime.

In fact, many have actively refused to side with Ukraine and the West against Russia for a number of reasons, including perceived western hypocrisy on the professed principle of non-aggression and respect for territorial sovereignty (Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan loom large here); racist double standards on the treatment of refugees; and widespread distrust of the West in general.

Shabbir H. Kazmi

Shabbir H. Kazmi is an economic analyst from Pakistan. He has been writing for local and foreign publications for about quarter of a century. He maintains the blog ‘Geo Politics in South Asia and MENA’. He can be contacted at [email protected]

10 thoughts on “West Must Stop Its Unconditional Support For Zelensky – OpEd

  • July 19, 2022 at 1:07 am
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    It can not be argued that Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan were not brutal dictatorships. Unfortunately, Afghanistan has once again been returned to this situation. It is absurd to compare Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to these operations. Russia is attempting to take over Ukraine competely and make it a part of Russia. The West’s motivation for the invasions of the aforementioned had nothing to do with an imperialistic land grab. This whole article is nonsense.

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    • July 19, 2022 at 5:31 pm
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      Yes we see the freedom libya has now. They are all allowed to choose and leave the country so they wont be killed by warlords that reign now. But not to worry Italians are welcoming them with pizza in sicily. It is funny how gaddafi was not a problem for the west until he decided to sell his oil for gold and not dollars. It is funny how we fight for democracy and equal rights for everyone but we still stay true to saudi arabia not sanctioning them for stoning women to death in the streets for not wearing a burkha. How do your double standards apply when the west supports the taiwan split from china but demonises Catalonia after a successful refferendum and suppresses its citizens with brute force. And when the people of ukraine used their right of self declaration and became the republics of donetsk and luhansk their own nation declared war on them. The bloodshed that lasted for 8 years somehow never bothered the west. When you talk about brutal dictatorships how about we talk about julian assange a bit? he revealed war crimes by the USA and was in hiding or is imprisoned for over a decade. Meanwhile the woman who went onto Russias national TV holding the anti war poster was released in 12 hours with a couple hundred € fine. How about you turn on your brain and evaluate the data from both sides before you open that deceitful pit you call your mouth.

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    • July 20, 2022 at 5:43 am
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      Or the western attacks were predatory.
      Not much difference between the two for 75% of the world.

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  • July 19, 2022 at 2:35 am
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    Mr Kazmi seems to be missing the point. Everyone has a right to their opinion.

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  • July 19, 2022 at 5:44 am
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    Over the months I have been saying the ‘Comedian’ has brought nothing but disaster to the people of Ukraine. The west is supplying arms to Ukraine to fight its proxy war. UN must call a meeting of Security Council to negotiate truce.

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  • July 19, 2022 at 6:05 am
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    So Russia obliterates everything in Ukraine, rapes the local women, abducts the children into Russia and brutalises the men of Ukraine, and it is Ukraine’s responsibility to compromise?
    You have a perverted view of the world, Mr Kazmi.

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  • July 19, 2022 at 9:05 am
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    Ukraine has been pushed into a proxy US war with Russia. Please wake up in this war Ukrainians are be biggest losers.

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  • July 19, 2022 at 10:29 am
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    Russian propaganda at its best

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  • July 19, 2022 at 10:59 am
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    This absurd work of Propaganda by comrade Kazmi is so stridently anti-Western that one must wonder in what universe he is living. After all Pakistan has been killing Indians for decades, making nuclear threats, harboring terrorists like Bin Laden, and enabling extremism. Comrade Kazmi should spend some time in self reflection.
    Ukraine must never negotiate with an invading occupying force that violated its sovereignty.

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  • July 19, 2022 at 6:18 pm
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    I request my readers not to be misled by the mantra of super powers that they are the saviors. In my views they are the merchants of death, as their aim of creating a conflict is to sell arms.

    Reply

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