Guest Post by Shylin Shekhar
The western world has been very vocal in support of Ukraine since the Russian invasion started. This has created a complete black and white image of the war, one side being a “civilized european country with pure aryan people” while the other being an evil authoritarian “oligarchy”.
People’s support of Ukraine in the western world is so strong that they would rather freeze to death than stop their economic sanctions on Russia. Instead, the ‘NAFO’ community and NATO supporters are seeking all out war with them.
But why is it that people only care about this conflict out of the dozens that’ve existed for decades. They didn’t care about the invasion of Iraq or Libya, there isn’t this level of support for Palestinians when they’re being genocided every single day. Is it because those were by western imperial powers instead of eastern ones?
There must be a good and a bad character in this type of story and this was very easy to create. Russia has been controlled by the rich since 1991 and so the west highlighted this point and condemned them as an “Oligarchy”.
An oligarchy is a state controlled by the top richest people, they own most if not all of the resources of the country and hold substantial political power, does this sound familiar? America is also an oligarchy; it’s just that their oligarchs are called ‘entrepreneurs’. In fact, the net worth of just Bezos, Musk and Gates is more than the top 100 “oligarchs’ in Russia.
The Russian Federation is also a democracy on paper where the elections aren’t free or fair, their media is owned by the aforementioned oligarchs and corporations dictate government policy; The United States is again, the same thing. Instead of a one party dictatorship they’ve got an illusion of choice between the far right capitalist party and the other far right capitalist party that are both the exact same. The “free media” is also owned by the ‘entrepreneurs’. Corporate interests also dictate American policy, it’s called lobbying; there are several examples of this, a notable one is how the automobile and fossil fuel industries stole our streets from us and gave them to cars.
Another argument why Russia is evil is that they’re an imperial power; they invaded Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine (2014) and funded several extremist militant groups. But the United States was literally built on imperialism and genocide, they provide support to 73% of the world’s dictatorships, they’ve backed almost every single fascist dictatorship as well as Russia, America is the only country with a first use nuclear policy and they’re the only country to ever actually use a nuclear weapon on civilian targets.
I could list a thousand more reasons but the point is that the US is not better than Russia in any aspect so why do some leftists still believe in the “Lesser of the two evils” narrative? It’s because neo-liberal propaganda is so subtle that we think it is the unbiased truth. The media has done everything to pose Russians in the worst possible ways because they stand in the way of american foreign interests
Believers of this story also claim that the war is between Russia and Ukraine and the west is just a bystander, they claim that if the comparison is just between those two then Ukraine is morally superior but this is just not true.
The Ukrainian government is openly collaborating with neo-nazis and fascists, the numbers are heavily disputed so I’ll use another source of evidence. In the UN assembly resolution on combating glorification of nazism and neo-nazism that happened in 2018, Ukraine and America were the only 2 countries to vote no. Countries seek their own interests in the UN so if Ukraine wasn’t collaborating with Nazis then why would they say no to it?
Zelensky is glorified in the western world and seen as a hero because he refused to leave his country in times of war but when Assad (The President of Syria) refuses to leave, the west sees him as “another power hungry dictator.”
The president of Ukraine is asking for harsher sanctions on Russia and all of us are fully in favor of it not even knowing what the consequences of these economic sanctions are. They’re a tool of imperialism that impoverishes millions of people in third world countries. Sanctions have been put up against Cuba, Venezuela, The DPRK and any country that goes against American corporate interests. These sanctions are one of the most major reasons why Venezuela’s economy collapsed and why 40 percent of North Koreans are living in extreme poverty.
When economic sanctions are imposed on a nation their currencies are devalued and any other country or company is prohibited from doing business with them or else they would be banned from the better american markets. The first sectors affected by these sanctions are generally medicine, food, electricity and other essential human needs. Prolonged sanctions like the ones in the DPRK cause millions to starve to death. Sanctions create famines, life threatening shortages and economic chaos; they’re an act against humanity. In fact, economic sanctions are prohibited by international law: The UN Charter, Geneva convention and the Nuremberg convention. They’re considered illegal in war.
The aim of the sanctions on Russia is to starve and provoke the masses to ultimately overthrow their government but the latter never comes and the nation ends up becoming another North Korea
Another military campaign started on the same day as the one in Ukraine: The American bombing of Somalia. There have been thousands of reports on Ukraine but only a dozen on Somalia, those too are in favor of it. The United States and Canada have also been discussing military intervention to support their dictator in Haiti for months and American Marines have even been confirmed on the ground but yet, people aren’t raising their voices in solidarity.
Nobody talks about the constant Saudi bombing of Yemen with weapons supplied by America, nobody talks about 400,000 people that died in Yemen because of american imperialism but everyone cares if a millionaire asks for his mansion to be bombed.
The genocide of Palestinians by Israel is viewed as a complicated conflict that can never be solved (Unless they kill all of the brown people). The entire football community shows their support for Ukraine in matches and they’re seen as people showing solidarity but when Freddie Kanouté shows his support for Palestine, he gets fined.
It is very obvious that they only care when it is white lives that are lost but a genocide of Palestinians doesn’t even make the headlines. Israeli troops were ordered to shoot at anything that moves in Gaza during the invasion of 2014, they killed more than 2 thousand people including 254 children but nobody cared because they’re simply not white.
Racism can also be shown in people’s opinions on immigration; the conservatives in Europe whose entire political ideology is based around stopping immigrants are welcoming Ukrainian ones with open arms but if the immigrants were of darker skin they’d be getting kicked by reporters.
It’s not like NATO cares about Ukraine either, even if Ukraine wins the war they’ll be enslaved by the IMF and World Bank. All of the financial “aid” received were loans and those loans would be demanded back with high interests and Ukraine will be unable to pay them back because they’ve been completely destroyed by the war. The aftermath will result in any welfare taken away and high taxes imposed for the Ukrainian people as well as privatization of everything.
This conflict only exists because of western imperialist powers that caused the illegal dissolution of the Soviet Union where none of these problems existed and life was significantly better in both countries.
We can see that the narrative has already been shifted towards Taiwan with all the media coverage moving with it. This just proves to show that the US and NATO have no intention of saving Ukraine, they just want to get rid of their enemy and put a friendlier government in power which is what they did in 1991 and caused this entire conflict.
Media coverage only reaches a conflicted nation if the aggressor is an enemy of the west and that too depends on the area and if the people are caucasian enough. The entire ‘caring about Ukraine’ thing is a facade by the west to get rid of its enemy and get another puppet in the process.
3 thoughts on “Why everyone cares about Ukraine”
I haven’t come across such warped whatsboutism piece of writing in Kafila. That line on Zelenskyy and Assad takes the case. Either the writer is absolutely skewed cognitively, or there has to be some propagandist agenda here with benefits thereto. To say this piece is sheer crap, would be a kind take.
Really interesting! Something that I have thought about but could not put into words as eloquently as the author of this piece. Taking a look at our country and at the disparities that exist in how we handle geo political conflicts is hard and painful for many groups that lobby in our country to maintain enhance and hold on to their power and vested interests.
I normally do not comment on articles such as these-but I noticed an error which I would like to bring to the reader’s attention. The link to the resolution states that there were 4 countries who voted against the resolution-not just Ukraine and the United States but also Canada and Palau. I am not sure what this means for the author’s argument as I don’t think he can say that there is strong evidence of Nazism in these countries. A number of European countries who have suffered at the hands of the Nazis have also abstained ( which means that there is more to this resolution which meets the eye)
It is interesting that both the extreme left and the extreme right have the same position on Ukraine-and that is something that should be an object of analysis as it reflects the crisis of ideas in our times.