“The least we owe Ukraine is full support, and to do this we need a stronger Nato […] Today, one cannot be a leftist if one does not unequivocally stand behind Ukraine” (The Guardian, June 21, 2022).
Who is the author of the above words? Is it NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg? Or German Chancellor Olaf Scholz? Maybe Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez? None of them. The phrase belongs to a celebrity of contemporary left-wing intelligentsia. The much publicized “Hegelian Marxist” philosopher Slavoj Žižek.
Žižek’s opinion on Ukraine would have been completely insignificant if the Slovenian thinker and cultural theorist had not received so much publicity in the Western media, establishing himself as one of the “most important living intellectuals”. For more than two decades, Žižek has a prominent position not only in the bourgeois press but also in the most prestigious academic institutes and think tanks in Europe and the United States.
The reality is that Slavoj Žižek is the embodiment of pseudo-marxist charlatanism who, through grandiloquent analyses, incoherent and frequently contradictory philosophical mumbo-jumbo and pompous expressions, tries to “whitewash” the exploitative system itself.
“Americans are in Ukraine,” states the New York Times, noting that the exact number of U.S. citizens fighting on the front lines of the conflict is unknown.
The New York Times adds that some of these Americans are also volunteering for casualty evacuation teams and to be bomb disposal specialists, logistics experts and instructors.
The New York Times also claims that there are currently small teams of former special operations members providing training to Ukrainian soldiers and, in some cases, helping Kiev’s forces plan combat missions.
Oil and gas workers at state giant Equinor are on strike in Norway, the largest producer of oil and gas in Western Europe. The strike is escalating Europe’s natural-gas crisis a week before a key pipeline with Russia shuts for maintenance. Benchmark Dutch natural gas futures surged 10% on Monday on news of the strike in Norway.
Operator Equinor has initiated a shutdown of three fields in the North Sea as a result of the strike, the company said on Tuesday.
The striking workers are demanding wage increases to deal with rising inflation, which hit 5.7% in May — the highest since 1988, according to Norway’s statistics agency.
The strike that has started on Tuesday is expected to cut Norway’s gas production by 13% from Wednesday. Norway supplies 20% to 25% of EU and UK’s natural-gas demand, according to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
On July 1 at the White House, US President Joe Biden made a startling disclosure that “the idea we’re going to be able to click a switch, bring down the cost of gasoline, is not likely in the near term.”
American gas exporters have positioned themselves accordingly to fill the gap as Europe turns away from Russian imports. FT reported recently that “US liquefied natural gas producers have announced a string of deals to boost exports as the industry capitalises on shortages that have left Europe with a mounting energy crisis.”
The deals are so lucrative that Cheniere, America’s leading gas exporter, has taken an investment decision to push ahead with a project that will boost its capacity more than 20 per cent by late 2025, anticipating long-term supply deals and locked in purchases of US gas over the coming decades. The US producers of gas are reportedly running plants flat-out to increase supplies to the EU.