Over the past month, the whole world has been bombarded by the shocking and heartbreaking images coming out of Ukraine since the invasion by Russian forces. We hoped it wouldn’t come to this but going by the increasingly aggravating behaviour of Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years it was sadly inevitable.
The violence and suffering inflicted on the ordinary Ukrainian people has been rightfully condemned throughout the entire world. Putin is a dictator, bully and now a war criminal. There is no doubt about that. He has violated the sovereignty of an independent country, exacerbated the energy crisis and brought us all to the cusp of a nuclear third world war.
But it must be said, the West is not innocent in all of this. One of the reasons that Vladimir Putin has become this century’s Adolf Hitler is because, since the fall of the Soviet Union thirty years ago, we’ve treated Russia the same way that Germany was treated after their defeat in the Great War.
Countries such as America failed to embrace the Russian Federation as a potential new ally and instead chose to intimidate it by placing missile bases in countries along the Russian border, encouraging former Russian occupied countries to join NATO and supporting the rise of a militaristic EU superstate. All of this has done nothing but poke the Russian bear and now the bear is awake and wreaking havoc across Europe.
Furthermore, what makes what Putin has done to Ukraine so egregious? Saudi Arabia has done the exact same thing to neighbouring Yemen for years. Saudi Arabia has also brutally killed dissident journalists (Jamal Khashoggi anyone?). It’s one of the biggest State sponsors of Islamic terror. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. It has a horrific human rights record. It’s a false kingdom. It’s even rightly been referred to as “ISIS with an embassy.”
So where are the sanctions against the House of Saud and their Sheikh friends? The ostracising of the Saudi royal family and other powerful officials. Why don’t we see the Yemeni flag all over the place? How about we stop buying Saudi oil? Where’s the constant news coverage about this conflict? Would we be as willing to accept refugees from Yemen as Ukraine? Why has Britain or America never threatened to invade Saudi Arabia like it has other countries for lesser crimes?
The simple reason is that for decades, Western powers pick and choose what “bad guys” they either like or don’t like. What “good guys” they endeavour to support. Speaking of which, even though there is much to like and admire about Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in terms of leadership and bravery (former Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani take note). While he is safe in his bunker protected by bodyguards, his people are being decimated. If he does not agree to some of the more reasonable demands being made by Russia, there will be no country left for him to defend.
How is it that the powers that be in Europe and America are so concerned with freedom suddenly? They’re ready to go to war with Russia over the freedom of the Ukrainian people when they’ve spent the past two years curtailing and clamping down on the freedoms of their own citizens over a virus with flu/cold-like symptoms and a 90% plus survival rate. To add to this, the pandemic miraculously reduced in importance, almost overnight, to such a degree that extensive media reporting has waned in favour of this new world threat. Funny that?
These turbulent times remind me of a quote I recently came across from ‘The Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison: “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”