Thursday, 4 September 2014

Double standards of The West

David here,

Right, let's get the double standards o meter out here. Two of the big topics at this NATO meeting will be:the situation in the Ukraine and the situation in Iraq. I'm focusing on Ukraine in this article.

The West has been furious for Russian intervention in the east of the country and the annexation of Crimea the intervention was on the grounds that these people consider themselves Russian and don't feel well treated by the rest of Ukraine. Now these rebels have apparently committed war crimes, yet there have been zero demonstrations in London about this or about Russian intervention in the region. Ah well, it's because it's not Israel is it?

Western governments have been sanctioning Russia as a result. But why? They expect Israel to forfeit a capital and a lot of land for peace, in order to create a Palestinian state, because of some idea of Palestinian self determination.  I get this and this post isn't really about whether or not one agrees with this or not. What is important is to note the double standards.If Palestine has to be created out of Israel, so the Palestinian people can have a state, then why can't eastern Ukraine have a stay in  be reunited with Russia? Why are we allowing a vote in Scotland for independence and denying this idea for the Russians of eastern Ukraine? Why shouldn't Israel rule what the west says is Palestine, when they are saying  the non Russian western Ukraine  should rule the Russian half?

Is it just me or is this whole idea of  national self determination,just an arbitrary concept, based upon however one feels about a particular country?? To my mind if we agree that Palestine should be a country and that Scotland has a right to decide its own fate, then let the people of eastern Ukraine do the same. Get rid of the cold war attitude. We've got other wars to fight. And a war with Russia isn't one of them.


  1. Yep that's true about the double standards. But will Putin be satisfied with this? The west isn't the only one with a cold war mentality.

  2. Putin is still a thug, whatever the double standards of the west!

  3. So let's parse out a few things.

    Western Europe has a vested interest (or at least it thinks it does) in an independent Ukraine Russia without Ukraine is not a great power. So the Europeans can make a virtue out of self-interest.

    Now, Ukraine had been part of Russia since the 18th century. In Russian minds it is as much a part of Russia as Wales is a part of England. The breakup of the Soviet Union didn't change this. Putin is trying to rebuild the old Russia and Europe would like to prevent that. Of course, it doesn't really have the power to stop Russia, but it will try nonetheless. And its more diplomatic to fight over Ukrainian self-determination than to say "We want Russia weak so it can't threaten us."

    That said, the presence of Russians in Ukraine could easily be analogized to Israeli settlers, and your entire argument turned against you. For that reason, it is not a strong case.

  4. Carl,

    're the analogy of Israel as Russia is exactly my point, in so much as the west wants to keep Ukraine as a whole country (naturally one loyal to the cause, but one which won't be helped on an overt way). By contrast, the west wouldn't be happy if Israel formally annexed the west bank and Gaza. So they wish to keep one country together and split another one up.I appreciate the historical differences between the two examples, but this was an exercise in drawing out the hypocrisy of those who talk about such notions of national self determination, international law etc, as being some kind of universal totem which we all must bow down to. So this was a philosophical, not a practical discussion of specific events.

    As for the specific of Ukraine & Russia. Yes it is trying to rebuild its empire. But it won't succeed. Russia is a commodity power, which has to sell gas/oil to the west(China is shafting Russia at present, with the non existent deals of break even gas) with nukes . That's it. It's in the same league of middle rank powers as the UK and France, without the wealth per head , but with declining population. I think Putin has realized he's gone too far right now, but as with wwi can't back down because of pride? Status? Who knows. On the other hand, we all get that no one is going to send troops to Ukraine, but it should be made clear NATO will uphold treaty obligations of its members. That and the Europeans should increase their defence spending.

  5. I won't deny that Sam, see my answer to Carl above.


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