By Nita Chicooree-Mercier
By now, several analysts worldwide admit that the West has committed a strategic fault with Russia. However, the official discourse of top European leaders has not changed oneiota. There is a plethora of thoughtless impulsive and aggressive statements showing lack of restraint and self-control.Hubris and geo-politics seem to have overtaken all sense of moderation and wisdom. Instead of addressing historical facts and recent events, which have led to the Russia/Ukraine conflict, western leaders and their media are pouring fuel on the fire.
When the West states that it is the worst geo-political event in the world since 1945, that ‘world’ is viewedthrough the prism of Euro-centrism, strongly coloured by Anglo-Saxon influences emanating fromBritain, America and Canada. This statement is, of course, not true for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East. President Biden’s warning to China to keep away from helping Russia is the last straw that should awaken other countries to the danger that the US, NATO and the European Union represent to world peace right now.
Kishore Mahbubani, a Singaporean political analyst and diplomat, has rightly reminded French media that international diplomacy is not about talking to your friends, but talking to your enemies. What we have been witnessing these days is unbearable; it’s as if the deluge of stifling economic sanctions on Russia was not enough, now European countries are conducting a witch hunt against everything Russian – from a ban of artists, musicians, orchestras, ballet dancers, opera singers to Russian sports teams.
Why should Russian sportsmen and artists be punished for a war that the West is responsible for? This is totally insane and it also a poor show of European leaders immaturity and bias. it is not without surprise thatEuropean opinion makers, former politicians, analysts and intellectuals, who are critical of their government’s policy on Russia, are banned from mainstream media. Censorship and witch hunts betray the very values the west stands for.
On the other hand, the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs and anIndian army general have made it clear in very diplomatic language who is responsible for 80% of unnecessary conflicts which have caused thousands of deaths, widespread killings, miseries and sufferings the world over the past three decades.The Indian view largely echoes the sentiment prevailing in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East.
The narrative of democracy versus dictatorship, propped up by western media working hard to focus on the emotional response of world public with non-stop images of people leaving their homes, children crying, tearful elderly people, devastated houses, etc., in Ukraine, does not fool everyone. The more so when that same media chooses to ignore a hospital bombed on March 14thby Ukrainian forces in Donetsk with 30 civilians dead.
We have plenty evidence about what happens during times ofwars and economic sanctions. Bitter Iraqis remember George HW Bush as ‘Mr Embargo’ for the 14 years of embargo ordered on Iraq in the 1990s, or Britain’s embargo on Zimbabwe.
The 2005 invasion of Iraq occurred on flimsy grounds without a proper UN mandate and destroyeda country in the Middle-East. Without the mandate of the UN, NATO forces, spearheaded by France and Britain invaded Libya, reduced the country to rubbles. No world media are highlighting the tragedy in Yemen, initiated by Saudi Arabia in 2016 and backed by western allies with NATO members gladly reaping huge profits by selling armamentsto the kingdom. The question is : Does the West have the moral stand to lecture the world ?
The truth is that the worldview of the West has not changed while the world has changed. Most world institutions are a western creation. In terms of economy, science and technology, the modern world has been shaped by the West. These outstanding achievements driven by a materialist ideology are not a guarantee for righteousness, a sense of compromise and wisdom which international diplomacy requires to settle disputes between warring countries. The UN, the UNSC, the International Court are losing credibility. They will have to make room for new institutions with the participation of other major countries, mainly Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana, Senegal and Australia among others.
In no way should economic and technological superiority be a free license to interfere in other countries’ affairs, invade them and kill their leaders. Enough of the arrogance and war-mongering postures of the West. Is it not time for the African Union, ASEAN, BRIC nations with mainly China, Russia and India, to band together at the United Nations and prevent a full scale world war?
* Published in print edition on 18 March 2022
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