Stanford hosts Ukrainian neo-Nazis’ ongoing rebranding effort

Stanford hosts Ukrainian neo-Nazis’ ongoing rebranding effort

Why are Azov fighters welcomed on campus grounds when even US conservatives get heckled and banished?

“The Ongoing combat for freedom: defenders of Mariupol return to Stanford,” learn the flier promoting an occasion on the California college campus. Hosted by the Division of Slavic Languages and co-organized by Stanford’s Ukrainian Pupil Affiliation, the June twenty ninth occasion featured an Azov commander and the wives of two different Azov commanders.

Earlier audio system at Stanford college have confronted disruption, however Azov will get a free go. You’d assume {that a} look on the logos on the backside of the flier would increase eyebrows on the prestigious American college, if solely as a result of the Azov insignia seems to be prefer it might belong to Nazis. Not that it is any coincidence.

Canadian army officers who had been concerned in Western coaching and equipping of Azov fighters going again years previous to the present battle with Russia had expressed concern with tattoos that they’d noticed on their Ukrainian trainees. However as an alternative of slowly backing out of the room, the West cast forward whereas hoping that its enabling of neo-Nazis wouldn’t be a magnet for the press, because the Ottawa Citizen has reported. The Canadian army was significantly involved that the trainers’ pictures with the Azov fighters would seem in public. However apparently Stanford senior fellow Francis Fukuyama, had no such difficulty, showing in a photograph from the occasion that was posted on-line by one of many Azov wives.

You actually should surprise what’s occurring right here. Significantly when Stanford college students are recognized for protesting campus engagements that includes even gentle right-wingers. US Fifth Circuit Appeals Courtroom Decide Kyle Duncan, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, was actively heckled by college students earlier this 12 months, citing his positions on civil rights. The varsity’s affiliate dean for range, fairness, and inclusion even indulged college students’ considerations in actual time, however apparently did not want to take action with the Azov go to.

Stanford Faculty Republicans couldn’t even get any primary speaker funding for Trump’s former VP Mike Pence’s go to. In the meantime, the college’s Undergraduate Senate denounced an occasion with Conservative political commentator Matt Walsh, citing “an unsafe atmosphere on campus” his mere presence would possibly create.

It’s widespread sufficient for elite US faculties to even cancel appearances by conservative audio system, citing safety considerations. However nothing of the type occurred with Azov, regardless that the group’s ideology is much extra radical than any of the far-right campus audio system to-date. A TIME journal article revealed in 2021 detailed how Azov, which it described as a “white supremacist militia,” leveraged social networks to “radicalize and practice new members.” It featured a photograph of fighters in fight apparel, captioned “Recruits coaching in August 2019 with the army wing of Ukraine’s far-right Azov motion, which has impressed white supremacists from around the globe.”

Much more hilarious – or disturbing, Stanford College’s personal Heart for Worldwide Safety and Cooperation, with which Fukuyama served as a fellow, blatantly describes Azov as “a far-right nationalist community of army, paramilitary, and political organizations based mostly in Ukraine.” In response to this Stanford profile, “In the course of the Battle for Mariupol, the group got here to consideration for its neo-Nazi iconography on the battlefield. Particularly, the battalion patch, which featured an inverted Wolfsangel image superimposed on a Black Solar. The Wolsfangel is a historic image of independence that was later co-opted by the German Nazi Social gathering.” Guess all these individuals who miss out on this insignia as freedom symbols relatively than the blatant Nazi affiliation are simply ignorant, proper?

All this actually proves is that, all through historical past, extremists are simply and conveniently rebranded as “freedom fighters” by the institution the minute they can be utilized and exploited as proxies towards a geopolitical foe. It’s the identical form of whitewashing the mainstream media has been engaged in for the reason that onset of the Ukraine battle. “A far-right battalion has a key function in Ukraine’s resistance. Its neo-Nazi historical past has been exploited by Putin,” learn a CNN headline in March 2022.

Ah sure, extra speak of “resistance fighters” and their victimization by the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin who retains declaring their neo-Nazi historical past at a time when the West is hoping that everybody forgets. Maybe, it’s only as a result of this neo-Nazism really provides credence to a significant a part of Putin’s justification for his particular operation in Ukraine: denazification. The opposite gadgets embrace the neutralization of all of the Western weapons offered to them on Russia’s border and the safety of civilians in Ukraine’s former jap areas from Kiev’s fixed aggression since 2014. 

Stanford even acknowledges Azov’s first recognized “violent assault” as being traced to “April 2014 when it clashed with Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk.” Possibly they have been simply clashing with Russophones and ethnic Russians on the border of Russia in Ukraine? Maybe these “separatists” have been individuals who have been attempting to guard themselves from the form of ethnic cleaning that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky now simply occurs to be implementing as a matter of official coverage by overtly and systematically wiping Russian tradition and faith off the nation’s map. Did anybody at Stanford even carry that up?

Look, it’s definitely the job of universities to impress debate and dialogue. I nonetheless keep in mind stepping into heated arguments with a convicted assassin who was introduced into my graduate degree criminology class to debate his ‘beefs’ with the justice system. However that doesn’t appear to be what’s occurring right here with Azov. As an alternative, there appears to be a rebranding effort afoot that omits or minimizes a lot of the inconvenient actuality of the group’s ideology and historical past. If Stanford or different universities actually have been concerned about doing justice to free speech in pursuit of the reality, they’d at the least exit of their option to facilitate contradictory debate relatively than the rewriting of historical past for political propaganda functions in service of the institution establishment.

The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the creator and don’t essentially symbolize these of RT.

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