As we prepare to send more arms & $$$ to Ukraine (which I support), it is interesting that we also widely condemn China for potentially providing the same support to Russia. I mean, sure, obviously, we disagree vehemently with what Russia is doing, to the point that we are near-ready to go to war over it. But China clearly thinks Russia is at least somewhat justified in its actions due to perceiving its own security being threatened by NATO’s actions over the past three decades.
We think Russia is wrong, and therefore it’s morally justifiable for us to help Ukrainians kill them.
But China thinks we are wrong, and therefore (to them) it’s morally justifiable for them to help Russia’s actions to (purportedly) ensure its own national security.
Do we really believe, as a society, in a system of morality in which we get do precisely what we deny to others, because we are convinced of our moral superiority? Can “we” kill but “they” can’t, because we simply believe “we are Good, and they are Evil?”
And this will lead to lasting peace…..how?
What DOES give us the right to give arms to a country whose conflict we are not technically involved in, but China does not have that same right? We think Russia is “objectively” immoral? But what if China thinks we are “objectively” immoral?
And if we accept our “right” to do these things under the justification of moral superiority (i.e., defending Freedom and Democracy, and people’s right to defend themselves against an occupying state), how then DO we explain our decades-long support of Israel’s illegal (under international law), invasion of and continuing genocide of the Palestinian people, and occupation of their homeland?
Let’s see, we, (largely through the US although we support and applaud them all the way):
– provide huge $$$ to an Apartheid and genocidal state that is condemned by most of the world (a fact which is conveniently ignored by our media)
– provide huge military support to an illegal invasion and occupation of another people’s homeland
– would never support Palestinians having student teach-ins where they learn how to make Molotov cocktails to throw at Israeli soldiers, tanks, bulldozers, etc.
– do not encourage our citizens to volunteer to go to Palestine and take up arms against Israel (which, given our logic toward Ukraine/Russia, we absolutely should)
– consider Israel’s government one of our “closest friends”, despite the fact that they govern on recently, and brutally, stolen land (although we do too….), and continue to expand their territory by continuing their illegal (under International Law), aggression against the people who live on that land.
We could go farther. Like, hmmm, let’s talk Saudi Arabia, human rights, and our provision of military equipment to aid their overt oppression of their people. We’re “friends” with one of the most overtly oppressive regimes in the modern world, and we provide them with direct military support to carry out this oppression (through $$ contracts for Canadian equipment).
Or, we could talk about how we are all “freedom and democracy” loving when it comes to Ukraine. But……what about the USA’s direct destabilization of democratically elected governments, and engineered coups, for the past 2/3 of a century? What about:
Bolivia (1971) and again, (2019)
Dominican Republic (1962)
Nicaragua (most of the 20th century)
Colombia’s murderous paramilitary forces (1960s onwards). Etc…..???
Or what about the USA’s military invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on NO JUSTIFICATION except Colin Powell’s lie to the United Nations about weapons of mass destruction? (No, this is not “Russian/Chinese propaganda”. I personally watched Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN on TV, and clearly remember their “satellite photos” of apparent Iraqi WMD-facilities and mobile launch equipment. This is universally seen, now, as a blatant lie to the international community, in order to justify America’s military invasion of a sovereign nation.)
Speaking of Iraq, why was American bombing of Iraq celebrated as a Hollywood-style “Shock and Awe Campaign”, with missile explosions shown regularly on the news, applauded by “us”. But everyone else’s bombing is terrible, evil, immoral? Why are Iraqi civilians getting blown up so much less upsetting to “us” than Ukrainian civilians getting blown up? Shouldn’t we be equally outraged by both? Aren’t they equally horrific crimes against humanity? Doesn’t the suffering of a human being count the same, regardless of their nationality, skin colour, religion, or the political ideology and affiliations of their leaders?
Or, google “USA and state terrorism”. It’s quite the read…
Or we could talk about why we are heartbroken and enraged at the bombs falling on Ukraine (as we should be), yet we are near-100% indifferent/uncaring about the bombs STILL FALLING on Syria, Yemen, etc.
My head spins every day listening to the news about Ukraine. Both because, first of all, this war is terrible, the suffering incalculable. War should always, always, always cause us heartache and outrage to the point that we stand against our government engaging in it, if it’s at all possible to avoid.
So yes, my head spins first of all due to the ongoing tragedy of it all.
But then my head spins all over again at the hypocrisy of it all, at how propagandized-to WE are through our government/media manufacturing outrage towards aggression by our “enemies”, while manufacturing moral-justification towards our own, very similar, aggression. Just think for a moment how much you DO hear about Russia’s attack on Ukraine, versus how much you hear about bombings in Yemen, for example.
To be clear, I do think that supporting Ukraine is the right thing to do. I do think that Russia’s/Putin’s atrocity against Ukraine is a war crime, and I do take some heart in the current international support for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia/Putin.
But I also think that our self-justifying rhetoric, in which we are the untarnished, saintly good guys, and the Russkies are the greedy, evil, Commies, is so puerile, transparent, hypocritical, and simply moronic, that I hope we take this moment of international outrage and unity against state aggression, and then apply that EXACT SAME OUTRAGE AND LOGIC to the other obvious aggressors and democracy-destabilizers in the world.
Which is going to require that we stand against some of our dearest international friends. And that we look in the mirror and vow to do better ourselves.
And if that’s too much, then maybe we can at least start with admitting that we do not actually, at the national level, care about freedom and democracy. We care about moral superiority, security for our own people, and supporting our allies.
Or, if we won’t admit this to ourselves and we insist that we support “freedom and democracy”, then that’s cool. I’m all for it. As long as we actually do, and not just when it’s convenient or politically expedient.