I don’t think any sane person could excuse Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine but some countries, like people, most definitely have little or no moral right to criticize Russia in the light of their own record over the years.
Two countries top the list of hypocrites. One is Britain which has been in the business of invading other countries and subjugating their peoples for longer than most; the other, a more recent recruit to the business of bullying foreign peoples, is the United States.
That has especially been the case in the wake of 9/11 when the US has used the threat from a few thousand Islamic extremists to cause havoc and mayhem in North and East Africa, Arabia, the Middle East and Asia.
That excellent website Tom Dispatch has published today links to a map, produced by the Watson Institute of Brown University, which calculates that since 9/11, thirty-nine million people have been displaced either from their homes or their countries as a result of US military action, more people reduced to refugees by a conflict since 1945.
You can see the full map here.
Not only is this immoral, it is also stupid since a significant portion of those forced from their homes will seek to exact revenge by joining or otherwise supporting the extremist groups that the US seeks to punish or extirpate. We saw this happening in Belfast and Northern Ireland where actions against the IRA – Bloody Sunday, internment, Castlereagh, hunger strikes – only served to inflate support for the enemy the British sought to defeat.
That link does not work….TomDispatch….
Robert W. White
Professor and Director, Irish Republican Movement Collection
425 University Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
E-mail: email@example.com; ph: 317-278-2895
Try it now – the map is the important one below
An astonishing atmosphere of contrived, ‘1914’ war fever in the UK. Amidst the general hysteria BBC journalist Jeremy Bowen has recently published a much retweeted infographic on ‘where to throw a Molotov cocktail’ at ‘Russian armour.’
Of course, Jeremy won’t be around when 15 year old Ukrainians throw these near useless ‘explosives’ at ‘Russian Armour,’ with predictably lethal consequences to themselves.
Nor would Mr Bowen ever have dared publish a similar ‘infographic’ for Palestinians resisting the decades long illegal occupation of their homeland. Brown-skinned people will not enjoy the dubious benefits of ‘Dad’s Army’ advice from Bowen
The toxic cocktail of narcissism, stupidity and arrogance is really something to behold.
The talk of hypocrisy is not unjust given the last 22 years, but curiously the account of Britain “invading other countries and subjugating their peoples” is shorter than you might think. Imperial domain can be acquired by a wide variety of means, preferable those that do not interrupt the flow of goods (The Habsburgs achieved it principally through marriage). On the few occasions the British attempted the Putin approach- notably in Afghanistan (twice), and with Zululand and the Boer republics in South Africa- although they prevailed on goal aggregates, they suffered notorious debacles. Burma worked out reasonably well.