Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
The double standard
The passion for old czarist colonialism cum imperialism still thrives in Russia. The recent Russian aggression against Ukraine is a blatant proof of that. Prior to this current aggression, Russia invaded Georgia and occupied the northern part of the country. Russia annexed Crimea and installed a puppet rule in the eastern part of Ukraine. No civilised man can support such a war of imperialistic expansion. Only the brutal dictators like Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and socialist regime of Cuba were prompt to support Putin. It is indeed the payback of Vladimir Putin’s support for all these pro-Russian dictatorial regimes.
But the western response to Russian aggression exposes the outrageous hypocrisy of the western leaders and the western media. A plethora of condemnation of invasion is visible in the western media and among the ruling elites. But the crimes that are being committed by Russia in Ukraine are peanuts in comparison to the crimes committed by the US and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. In Ukraine, so far only some buildings are damaged by the Russian missiles and artillery shelling, but not a single city is flattened to the ground. So far not a single event of massive genocide is reported.
But in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the US Army invaded with an aura of massive deaths and destruction. The awful criminal intent of the US was clear. The US Army committed well documented genocides: more than 2 million people were killed or maimed during the long US brutal occupation. Torturing and humiliating the native people became a huge US industry in every occupied country. Hundreds of cities and villages are razed to the ground. Cities like Fallujah, Halabche, Ramadi, Mosul, Kobani, Deira Zour, Rakka, Kirkuk, Aleppo and many others were massively damaged and made inhabitable.
The US protégé Israel also committed massive crimes against the Palestinians for the last 70 years. But the western media, the western political elites and the human rights activists failed to condemn such American and Israeli crimes. Thus the moral disability of the west got hugely exposed. In fact they preferred to stay deaf and dumb. Even Ukraine –the current victim of a foreign aggression never raised any voice against the US and the Israeli occupation and atrocities. Instead, Ukraine always remained the full supporter for the Israeli and the USA atrocities.
The racial bias
It is significant to note that the western governments didn’t make any delay to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In western capitals, thousands of people are joining rallies to protest against the invasion. But in the past, the ruling elites of the west never condemned the US and the Israeli aggression. Rather they condemned the Afghans, the Iraqis, the Syrians, the Palestinians and the Islamists for their resistance against the occupation. Nor were any protest rallies in western cities against the US and the Israeli occupation.
The countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria have opened borders for the refugees coming from Ukraine. But the same countries raised barbed wire fences or high walls around the borders and stationed police to stop entry of the refugees from the Asian and African countries. So the application of humanity and moral principle is subject to skin colours, national and religious identities of the victims. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has declared that it will investigate the Russian war crimes in Ukraine. But the same ICC never thought of such an investigation on the US war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria or the Israeli war crimes in Palestine. The western leaders are lecturing that they support democracy and human rights in Ukraine. But the same western countries take the brutal killer cum worst fascist like Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt as their close friend and partner. So the western double standard is blatantly manifest everywhere. One world is for them and the other one is for others.
The western leaders now claim that they are supporting universal human values. But such love for universal values were not seen when the cities and villages in Muslim countries were turned to rubbles. The western leaders now blame Putin as a terrorist and label the Russian invasion in Ukraine as an act of terrorism. A strong racial bias works here. Since the Ukrainians are not only European but also Christian and white, their lives matter a lot to the leaders of the western countries. But the lives of millions of Muslims didn’t receive the same importance. The crimes of Vladimir Putin are not new. In the year of 2000, the Russian Army invaded Chechnya to crush Islamists there. The capital city of Grozny was totally destroyed and about 30-50 thousand Muslims were killed. But almost all western leaders remained silent. Because, the victims were Muslims. Even some countries like the UK gave a red carpet welcome to killer Putin in 10 Downing Street.
The shift in geopolitics
Now there is a shift of war front from its usual site in the Muslim Middle East to the Christian west. After the end of World War II, such a shift is indeed the most significant change in international geopolitics. It will have some positive impact in the Muslim World. The US and its allies will have less time to run occupational war in the Muslim World. As a result, Muslims will get some relief from war related agonies at least for a while. On the other hand, the Europeans will be tasting some horrors of an awful war.
But the Russian invasion will definitely inflict some adverse effects on the military and political policies worldwide. NATO will get more expansionist and aggressive strategies. The war industries of the western countries will invest more money to produce more weapons of mass destruction. So the welfare budget of the state will be curtailed to feed the war industries. Germany used to spend 1.5 percent of the GDP on defense. The German Chancellor has now declared that his country will spend 5 percent of its GDP on defense. It is a huge amount of money. NATO was created for defensive purposes, but it has already been transformed into an offensive organisation. Because of the war, NATO will be more aggressively offensive. Hence it is not a good omen for mankind.
Manufacturing a war
The US President Joe Biden and other western leaders could have easily avoided this devastating war if they had accommodated the Russian demand of excluding Ukraine from NATO. But they failed badly to show the needed political acumen. Russia has a genuine concern of having NATO at its doorstep. No one wants a wolf at his entrance. This is the core reason to start the war. In the sixties, when the Soviet Union planned to install missiles in Cuban soil, President John F. Kennedy was about to start a nuclear war. The Soviet Union had to cancel its strategy quickly; thus a war was wisely avoided. But such wisdom didn’t work this time in the US-led coalition clique. The imperialistic arrogance of the US and its allies prohibits them from taking such a conciliatory route. As a result, the western leaders manufactured a devastating war not only for Russia and Ukraine but also for the whole world. Instead of taking a win-win path, the west has opted for a lose-lose option. The adverse effects on the world economy have already shown the signs of a deep painful bite.
The war will not only damage the Russian economy, but also affect the world economy. It will hugely increase the misery of the poor people all over the world. Russia is the largest gas producer and also a large oil producer. European countries depend on Russian gas; the gas price has already doubled. So the hardship in low income people is worsening. Moreover, the Russian companies are involved in many development projects in many Asian and African countries. In Bangladesh, Russia has a multi-billion dollar mega project to develop an atomic reactor. Hundreds of Russian scientists are working there. In Pakistan, Russia made a commitment to upgrade its largest steel mill in Karachi.
But the west is taking every step to exclude Russia from the world’s economic transaction. It is indeed a draconian economic sanction on Russia. It will badly harm not only Russia but also the world economy. The financial market is already in turmoil. On the other hand Ukraine is one of the largest wheat producing countries of the world. Many Middle Eastern countries are heavily dependent on Ukrainian wheat. While in war, productivity and export of wheat will be seriously compromised. It will be very difficult for consumer countries to find alternative sources of food supply. The wheat price has already jumped up.
So the world is surely entering into a new phase of world crisis. It is awful that little is being done to avoid it. Mere lectures, arguments and counter arguments will not help. It is a shame that humans can quickly manufacture complex crises but show little genius to find the way out. This is why about 75 million people were killed in two World Wars. Is the world heading towards another one? 01/03/2022.
Disclaimer: The Russian aggression in Ukraine, the western hypocrisy & the new world crisis - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view