History is an angel being blown backwards into the future He said: History is a pile of debris And the angel wants to go back and fix things To repair the things that have been broken But there is a storm blowing from Paradise And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future And this storm, this storm is called Progress. “The Dream Before” Inspired by Walter Benjamin
[Publisher’s Note: I would like to evaluate Žižek’s article ‘In These Times‘ and response to it. What is not being discussed is that the current attacks in Paris are being used as a political tactic by ISIS to turn people against the French government.
What is not discussed in the article or the response to it, is the day before the attacks in Paris, the bombing of a mainly Shia district in Beirut was likewise designed to turn people against Hezbollah (as part of the Lebanese government).
Žižek and governments are fixated with ‘terrorisme’ but unconscious of the strategies behind it. In the article the author makes the facile statement:
“There should be no “deeper understanding” of the ISIS terrorists … they should be characterized as what they are: the Islamo-Fascist counterpart of the European anti-immigrant racists.”
Even though the tactic by ISIS has backfired, so far at least, do people really think that is the end of it? How mad is the logic of raiding the poorer arrondissements, shooting the suspects and bombing ISIS in Syria?
Currently a branch of Hezbollah, along with 20 other groups including ISIS, is listed by the Australian government as a terrorist organisation.
This is despite the role of its parent in Lebanon as a political organisation with wide support, e.g. Hezbollah has a satellite TV station, radio and provides social services. Hezbollah was elected and holds several ministerial positions in the Lebanese government. It has a highly disciplined military, strong enough to defeat ISIS in Lebanon and possibly in Syria (as well). This ‘terrorist’ wing that has put boots on the ground in Southern Lebanon and Syria. I am no apologist for Hezbollah but no person living through this period would doubt its role in bringing 5 years of peace after it drove the Israeli occupation out in 2006.
What is not being discussed on the Left is the Australian and other western governments’ failure to distinguish between Hezbollah and groups like ISIS, especially when all but one of the 20 ‘terrorist’ groups listed are Islamic.
19 November 2015
On The Suicide Of The Refugee W.B.
(for Walter Benjamin)
I am told that you raised your hand against yourself
Anticipating the butcher.
After eight years of exile, observing the rise of the enemy
Then at last, brought up against an impassable frontier
You passed, they say, a passable one.
Empires collapse. Gang leaders
are strutting about like statesmen. The peoples
Can no longer be seen under all those armaments.
So the future lies in darkness and the forces of right
Are weak. All this was plain to you
When you destroyed a torturable body.
– Bertolt Brecht
In the wake of the Paris attacks Slavoj Žižek published, a now widely derided, article in In These Times. My purpose here is not to engage in the evaluation of this piece and its critiques so much; rather to expose how one of the deep errors Žižek makes is an expression of a…
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