Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

December 9, 2015

Zizek, Turkey and ISIS

Filed under: journalism,Syria,Zizek — louisproyect @ 8:38 pm

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AN UPDATE FROM THE NEW STATESMAN:

Editor’s note, 9 December: This article originally included a statement that was falsely attributed to the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization. This has now been removed.

As someone who has been monitoring the leftist support for Bashar al-Assad for the past four years, I continue to be mystified by the willingness of so many otherwise sensible people to write a bunch of bullshit without the slightest self-awareness—the latest case being Slavoj Žižek in the New Statesman. The Elvis Superstar of Marxism, Lacanian film interpreter and scourge of immigrants trying to flee warfare and economic disaster has joined the growing chorus of radicals arguing that the AKP in Turkey and ISIS are in cahoots.

Like the shoddy list of allegations put together by Columbia University professor and flimflam artist David L. Phillips that John Wight and Rick Sterling represented as a smoking gun proving that the AKP and ISIS were co-conspirators, Žižek scrapes the bottom of the barrel:

In October 2015, Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation and the Turkish President’s staunchest ally, condemned Russian military intervention in Syria, accusing Moscow of trying to “smother” Syria’s Islamist revolution. “Isis is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organised and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentalité and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries,” Anadolu News Agency quoted Fidan as saying on Sunday.

Actually when you click the link to Anadolu News Agency, you end up on another news website that provides no link to the reputable Turkish publisher. That website is AWDNews.com, with the “AWD” being the acronym of “Another Western Dawn”. You might wonder why Žižek would be trawling this website but then again his publisher at Verso—the redoubtable Tariq Ali—seems to have his nose buried in RT.com most of the time nowadays. I guess it is contagious.

I invite people who prefer thinking for themselves to being spoon-fed by the Baathist amen corner to visit the Anodolu website either in English (http://aa.com.tr/en) or Turkish (http://aa.com.tr/) and find such an article using the search terms “Fidan” and “ISIS”. As the Turks say, “yok”–there is none. I was not able to find anything in Nexis as well.

More importantly, it is always a good idea to check the provenance of a website before passing on its articles as the gospel. If you do a “Whois” on http://www.awdnews.com, you will discover that the administrator is one Kelvin Middelkoop who is based in Berlin. Middelkoop also administers a website called Muslim Press (http://www.muslimpress.com/) that is as anxious as AWD to make connections between the AKP and ISIS. It lines up with Phil Greaves’s Shi’ite “axis of resistance” just like Wight and Sterling do. For example, you can find an article there titled “Recent letter shows Ayatollah Khamenei’s insight into world developments”, just the sort of thing you’d expect from these quarters.

But it is AWD that really lets out the stops. In addition to the dodgy article on Turkey and ISIS, you can find one titled “North Korea Threatens Turkey With Nuclear Missile Strike” (http://www.awdnews.com/top-news/north-korea-threatens-turkey-with-nuclear-missile-strike). It states that “Mizan News agency reports that the North Korean leader has promised to ‘wipe Turkey off the map’ if Ankara takes part in the Syrian war, cooperates with the US and helps ISIS any further.” Mizan News, as it turns out, is based in Iran. Gee whiz, I never would have guessed.

Besides his reliance on such questionable sources, Žižek offers up other steaming piles of dung such as “Turkey even shot down a Russian fighter attacking Isis positions in Syria”. Who knows where he came up with this? One imagines that he has bought into the formula that Russia only bombs ISIS even though reputable sources identify the Turkmen victims of Russian bombing as FSA affiliates.

I must point out one other thing. Žižek ‘s article has a paragraph that starts off:

Fidan further added that in order to deal with the vast number of foreign jihadists craving to travel to Syria, it is imperative that Isis set up a consulate or at least a political office in Istanbul.

okThat does not exactly sound like Žižek, right? No, it doesn’t. In fact the entire paragraph is lifted from the AWD article that his stupid piece relied on. Didn’t the New Statesman editors catch this? Did Žižek send them an article that failed to blockquote the AWD horseshit? Who knows? The only thing you can conclude, as I stated above, is that it is contagious. When you associate yourself in any way with the Baathist amen corner, you will end up looking like a fool.

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