Stephen Sefton, April 24th 2022
Russia's armed offensive in Ukraine has begun a vertiginous acceleration of the imperial decline of the United States and its network of European and Pacific allies. Seen from the majority world, Russia's offensive has exposed the insulting cynicism of Western elites in practically every important area of international relations, economic, diplomatic, military and cultural. In particular, the response of North American and European information media, academics and NGOs has revealed their extreme neocolonial prejudice as they try to justify the West's longstanding support for violent, overtly fascist aggression against Donetsk and Lugansk and those states' largely Russian population.
Ukraine's attacks on Donbass - video by French film maker Anne-Laure Bonnel
Practically all Western commentators all too glibly dismiss the Russian Federation's readily justifiable arguments explaining their military intervention in Ukraine in terms of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. North American and European propagandists and apologists ignore that the Russian military offensive easily satisfies international law's basic self-defense principles of necessity, proportionality and absence of any alternative. Western apologists ignore Ukraine's murderous eight year aggression attacking populations it claims as its own, but who have chosen independence. That aggression very much falls within the definition in the UN's 1974 Resolution 3314.
Their accounts also omit the heavy bombardment beginning towards the end of February this year heralding the first stage of Ukraine's planned attack on Donbass. Likewise, given President Zelensky's short term objective of re-taking Crimea stated in 2021, and his explicitly stated medium term objective of obtaining nuclear weapons, the Russian Federation's authorities can fully justify their military operation based on the traditional principle of self-preservation. They could also do so, as Dan Kovalik has pointed out, on the West's own self-serving pretext of Responsibility to Protect.
For eight years Presidents Zelensky and, before him, Poroshenko, brazenly attacked and killed their own people in Donbass. Their patrons in the North American and European Union leadership not only let them do so but supplied abundant arms and sophisticated training so Ukraine could attack Donbass more effectively. Across the board, Russia's military operation in Ukraine highlights the comprehensive bad faith of the US and its EU allies.
Overall, the West's hysterical response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine jeopardizes the viability of current international institutions. Illegal Western commercial coercive measures render World Trade Organization rules completely irrelevant. Blatant theft of Russian Central Bank reserves nullifies the trustworthiness of the Western financial system. Sports and cultural boycotts of Russian sports people and artists of all kinds betray the fundamental values of international sport and cultural exchange.
In terms of human rights, as Russia's foreign affairs representative María Zajarova noted on April 6th this year, "Russia's non-participation in the Human Rights Council, beyond any doubt undermines its universality and effectiveness”. In fact, her remark self-evidently applies to the whole UN structure and recalls the insistence of former UN General Assembly president Fr. Miguel d'Escoto on the need to reinvent the UN completely. The majority world in general can see very well that ineffectual illegal Western coercive measures against Russia signal the beginning of the end of the West's dominating power and influence in international affairs.
As others have remarked, the decline in international support for the Western attack on Russia can be gauged from the significant drop in countries approving Western driven moves against Russia in the UN between March 2nd (141 votes) and April 7th (93 votes). In itself, this suggests that the United States and its allies are finding it increasingly more difficult, in the current global context, to sustain the ridiculous illusion of Western moral superiority. Even before the completely shameless Western hypocrisy over Ukraine, Europe's betrayal of Julian Assange to the US authorities categorically demonstrated the moral and intellectual perfidy of Western political, judicial and media elites.
Majority world countries led by Russia, China and, to some extent, India no longer feel obliged to politely ignore North American and European governments' sadism and hypocrisy. Western leaders seem unaware that by insisting other countries side with them against Russia and, implicitly, China, they are progressively exhausting their already frail influence and power in global affairs. In its turn this political and diplomatic “with us or against us” intimidation radically undermines the credibility of Western reporting.
False and perverse reports on events in Ukraine by Western NGOs, academics and mainstream and alternative information media compound the majority world perception of those sources' cumulative faithless untruth. Western media have been unable to conceal the savagery and brutality of the Ukrainian armed forces, of the country's security forces and government condoned fascist gangs. Once the Russian authorities begin the war crimes trials of those responsible for Ukrainian atrocities, the hypocritical double standards and outright complicity of Western governments, media outlets and human rights NGOs in those crimes will stand out even more starkly than before.
The collapse in Western reporting credibility is already shared by international institutions, especially the United Nations, for example as evinced following last year's Glasgow climate change summit. The Western dominated institutional framework fails to defend either international peace and equity or to advance global prosperity and development. In that already dismaying context, Western corporate and political elites seem determined to drive the world apart even though they are promoting their own countries' isolation.
Conversely, the West's deepening moral, economic and political failure increasingly vindicates those governments and peoples who have resolutely defied and resisted US and allied aggression, subversion and intervention, from Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to Central African Republic, Eritrea and Mali, to Iran, Palestine, Syria and Yemen, to North Korea, Thailand and even small Pacific island nations like the Solomon Islands.
All these governments and peoples have suffered diverse attacks out of the West's intervention toolbox, be it financial, trade and diplomatic aggression, endless international media vilification, covert intervention in internal politics, or outright sabotage, subversion and assassination attempts. The West's developing strategic defeat by the Russian Federation and its allies is a practically complete debacle for the European Union and NATO, which since their inception have been practically inseparable, serving Western elites after World War Two as a bulwark against communism and to sustain the neocolonial status quo.
EU and NATO support for Ukraine's regime dominated by Nazi sympatizers follows naturally from the fascist union of corporate and political power in North America and Europe, steadily more accentuated and self-evident since the massive upwards transfers of wealth to Western corporate elites of 2008-2009 and 2020-2021. It is as absurdly historically false to paint the European project as a democratic project for peace as are similar claims that the US promotes freedom and democracy. Like those of the United States, the EU's corporate-dominated institutions are deeply anti-democratic and EU member countries of NATO have always been willing to accept on their territory powerful units of the US armed forces including nuclear weapons.
Over the last twenty years, NATO and the EU have incorporated numerous eastern European countries so as to increase their area of control and threaten Russia. Now it seems likely NATO will include Sweden and Finland. While Ukraine's aggression is the immediate reason, ultimately NATO's menace to Russia's existence is why Russia has acted in self-defense in Ukraine after exhausting every avenue of negotiation.
Russia will never give in to the West. It has a powerful economic and military alliance with China, also threatened by the US and its allies. Their Eurasian economic bloc stretches from the Pacific to Europe. North American and European commentators often compare their own countries to Athens confronting Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. In fact, given Western arrogance and hubris, the legend of Seven against Thebes and their ignominious defeat is far more apposite.