It would have to be the joke of the year had it not been so unfunny. Turns out a bunch of self-important European grandees (that nobody has heard of) have nominated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the Nobel Peace Prize. Leave aside the joke of having a money laundering, human shield aficionado being nominated for the Nobel, the fact is the Nobel actually lends itself well to persons with such a CV, not to mention being unduly influenced by Eurocentric white supremacists. To understand this, we need to understand these three phenomena separately: Zelensky, The Nobel Peace Prize and The New Europe.
Let’s start with Zelensky. You’ve all known he’s been a comedian, that he’s obsessed with his self-image and unlike most world leaders disproportionately uses Instagram. What’s been whispered about, since his decision to run for president in 2019, is his cocaine addiction. By itself this is neither unique nor some deadly disqualification — after all, members of the ‘artistic fraternity’ are known to regularly augment their substandard ‘art’ with opioids. If we eliminated opioids, quite possibly the Nobel for Literature wouldn’t be awarded for the next 10 years.
Ilya Kiva, former member of the Ukrainian Parliament:The only danger is Zelensky's overdose of cocaine.He lost the truth a long time ago, he lives in the joy of drug addiction pic.twitter.com/THIN5q4QnZ
— Spriter (@spriter99880) March 7, 2022
However, the problem here is the website — Strana — that exposed Zelensky’s drug habit, complete with confirmations of the police and the ministry of internal affairs. What happened next was surprising. Zelensky rapidly shut down Strana and sanctioned its editor, who went into exile in Austria. Mind you this wasn’t just the fate of Strana but at least three other extremely popular news outlets. Guess what his excuse for every single media outlet has been? That it’s “peddling Russian propaganda”.
Now let’s be clear, India and America have also not been free from such accusations. In India, people who question the government are deemed anti-national and similarly people who supported Trump in America were deemed Russian puppets. Even now, those who oppose the official line like ex-Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson are called Russian stooges, with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney going so far as to accuse Tulsi of treason. The thing is these have never actually translated into actual charges ever being brought against either, just as in India no charges are ever brought against those accused of anti-nationalism. Yet, here we have a comedian who has turned into the most sinister and autocratic leader actually shutting down websites, jailing editors and sanctioning them if he can’t get his hands on them.
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Sounds completely Nazi doesn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what it is and this brings us to Zelensky’s Jewishness — how can a Jew be a Nazi? Well, Zelensky is living proof you can. The blatant and open Nazi antecedents of the Azov and Aidar battalions and their absorption into the national forces of Ukraine are already well-known. What’s less well known is how after pleading with them, they eventually took control of Zelensky’s policies towards the Russian minority and the Minsk agreements.
The question here is what kind of a Jew not just makes peace with Nazis, but also accepts being their commander-in-chief and quietly accepts their veto in a murderous war that left 14,000 people, overwhelmingly Russian minorities, dead in Donbas. He accepts being the commander-in-chief of people who have routinely carried out horrific atrocities on minorities? Being a Jew doesn’t give you a ticket out of this — as much as Zelensky would like it, to cover up all the crimes he bears responsibility for. Mind you, government institutions and serving ambassadors have also been parroting blatant ethno-nationalist, neo-Nazi drivel, including photos of desecrated Russian corpses. Mind you, none of these violations have been condemned even remotely by Zelensky and far from it, the Ukrainian government is embracing this with gusto.
Indeed, if we assume that the actions and atrocities of the Azov and Aidar battalions predate his presidency and he’s inherited them, then the human shield strategy being pursued by Ukraine today is entirely his doing. Instead of doing what a responsible army should — drawing fire away from its civilians and fighting a guerilla warfare from the countryside — what they’re doing is putting their civilians up to take the full Russian frontal attacks. Not unlike how Stalin and Hitler used their own populations.
Of course let’s be clear, the Nobel Peace Prize isn’t exactly chaste, having sullied itself by being given to outrageous murderers and war criminals in the past. The issue here is will it sully itself once more by being awarded to the single most worthless person, undeserving of even this fallen prize. That remains to be seen. The main thing here is, what do we make of the European Members of Parliament who have asked for the deadline, which had passed, to be extended to allow Zelensky to be nominated. This is what Europe — “the empire of norms” — and its politicians have come down to: Nazi sympathising, whitewashing and propagation. Apparently, you can take a Nazi out of Europe, but you can never take the murderous white supremacist out of the European.
The writer is a senior fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the stand of this publication.
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