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Zealous French intellectual Bernard-Henri LÃ©vy visited the Maidan in Kiev on February 9 to deliver another fiery harangue. The next day the article Bernard-Henri LÃ©vy: We’re all Ukrainians (Bernard-Henri LÃ©vy: «Nous sommes tous des Ukrainiens») was published by Le Monde. In his fervor Ukrainian LÃ©vy he called Yulia Timoshenko the Dame of Kiev (meaning Yulia Timoshenko who is behind bars at present). I can hardly imagine what Oleh Tyahnybok, another passionate Maidan supporter, or Victor Yanukovych thought having heard these bold words spoken by someone born to an Algerian Jewish family. But I’m glad to see one more proof of the fact that the French are reasonable people. The article of «new Ukrainian» was followed by many virulent comments like: We’ve been Libyans, now we are Ukrainians. Could we just be French, is it so hard?
Yes, it is hard in the case of Bernard Henri-LÃ©vy. He’s kind of a human brand. For Europeans he has been a patented stimulant for dozens of years. 65 years old, he has shot a few films and published around twenty books, he became famous as a leader of the «New Philosophers» (Nouveaux Philosophes) movement that reached the peak of popularity in France in the last century, but went out of fashion as any intellectual product which offers nothing but extravagance. He owes his popularity to the fact that LÃ©vy is seen as a man of Messiah in some circles.
…LÃ©vy saw his first hot spot in 1971 as he travelled to East Pakistan to cover the war for separation of would-be Bangladesh from Pakistan. He has seen many flash points afterwards. In 1981 he made a trip to Afghanistan to meet the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet Army. In 1999 he ardently calledfor bombing Yugoslavia. During the Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia in 2008 he interviewed the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili. In 2011 he was a fierce supporter of Libya’s destruction. Back then he started to vigorously call for toppling the «bloody regime of Bashar Assad».
After Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Libya and Syria the «new philosopher» picked up the issue of Ukraine. Visiting the Kiev’s Maidan he assured journalists in an interview, «I haven’t seen neo-Nazis, I haven`t heard anti-Semites.” He had good luck, the activists of Svoboda and Pravy Sector, the organizations calling for racial purity, had clear instructions not to touch this one.
The man without a face, a yesterday’s Libyan and today’s Ukrainian, told the people gathered at Maidan that he supported Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the leader of the party, led by the Dame of Kiev, who had just called for forming a «parallel government». According to him, this new Maidan—formed cabinet had more legitimacy than the puppets on the string dancing to the tune of the Kremlin ever had… He said French President FranÃ§ois Hollande was to meet US President Obama in a few hours and perhaps he could convince him to join together in an effort to save this part of Europe still being held hostage… He noted that it was true that Maidan protests were supported by friends in Europe. It was also true that Maidan activists had friends in European diplomatic missions; he said that the friends operating in shade could say their hearts were open to Maidan protesters and they acted in their interests.
Since a long time Bernard Henry-LÃ©vy has been staying in focus of public attention thanks to playing the role of traveling salesman offering hot ideological produce: he ‘sells» international political adventures of global elite to the US and European public. He is a ubiquitous fighter against the dictatorships his bosses tell him to fight. He earns his living this way and it’s hard enough, but LÃ©vy works with enthusiasm. During a television appearance to promote his film dedicated to the intervention into Libya, he turgidly called the plunder going on in the country the Libyan miracle. He has been repeating incantations for the third consecutive year hoping the «miracle» could take place in Syria.
Speaking at the 2012 Foreign Policy Initiative forum, the super vibrant «new philosopher» demanded that the Russian veto of Western draft resolution on Syria submitted to the United Nations Security Council be ignored. While telling Americans about their «moral obligation» to occupy Syria, LÃ©vy told them the world is large enough without the United Nations and there are other forces able to lead Syria to democracy like NATO, for instance. The arguments about «moral obligation» exhausted, he tried to put his best foot forward demonstrating his sciolism. LÃ©vy started to speak in broken English about Sophocles and Antigone — the struggle between god’s laws vs. man’s law. It looked more like kitsch, but Americans became silent carefully listening to incomprehensible words while the prophet got carried away and continued to pontificate.
He can hardly claim to be have anything like dominant influence back home. Pierre Emmanuel Vidal-Naquet (1930-2006), a French specialist in ancient history and a man of great learning, was stunned by intellectual pranks of LÃ©vy. Discussing his book he said it was not about criticizing his jerry-rigged stuff, it’s beyond any criticism anyway. It’s hard to understand how come an educated philosopher with a diploma could treat his readers in such a contemptuous way and palm off all this pseudo-scientific scribble behaving like an ignorant buffoon.
Once Bernard Henry-LÃ©vy admitted he took part in the Libyan political adventure because he was a Jew, he would not have done it if he were not. Today claiming to be a Ukrainian while delivering a speech in Kiev, LÃ©vy shifts to another hot fight against “boss” Vladimir Putin and his “lackey” Victor Yanukovych, as he put it. He gets involved in another political adventure called «the rescue of Ukraine.
The only thing left for the people of Maidan, as Bernard Henry-LÃ©vy called them in a grandiloquent way, is to congratulate themselves — they have a new circus in town. Victoria Nuland which regularly comes from Washington to give away cookies to police and use obscene language and an ignorant aging buffoon on tour to symbolize the European spirit.
Irina Lebedeva is a writer for the Strategic Culture Foundation.