Commentary By Ed Wallace, Publisher – March 5, 2022
Here in the West, if you went looking for evidence of international unity following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there was plenty to find. Switzerland dispensed with its traditional position of neutrality to freeze Russian assets. Germany, reliant on Russian natural gas and reluctant to arm overseas combatants, halted certification of a major natural gas pipeline and shipped hundreds of anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. Even FIFA and UEFA, not exactly examples of responsible geopolitical statecraft, suspended Russia from international soccer.
Many world leaders, including those of Canada, the U.S., Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Colombia, have condemned the attack on Ukraine. But that tale of unity is deceptive since it generally only includes Western countries. In the rest of the world, support for Ukraine is far more fragmented. Most notably, two of the world’s largest democracies, India and Brazil, have pointedly not criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Friday, global divisions were laid bare at the United Nations , as India, Pakistan, and dozens of other countries across Latin America and Africa declined to support a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion.
In other words, although Russia is more isolated now than it was a few days ago, and international outrage over Russia’s invasion may have pushed Putin toward being a pariah in many influential quarters, is it strong enough to blunt Russia’s military and spare the Ukrainian people an ongoing humanitarian disaster? That remains to be seen.
In truth, our political and media response seems to contain more posturing and bluster than actual action. There’s a lot of talk about the military and economic actions that have and should be taken, but the bottom line is the same as it always is…. money and power, specifically oil sales. If the good people of the world wanted this evil stopped, it would be. Instead, the Russian oligarchs are having their trillion dollar yachts confiscated as if that qualifies as payment for their complicity in what is being portrayed as the most evil acts ever perpetrated against mankind.
There has never been a time when atrocities were not a prominent part of life. There have always been inhumane actions against humanity in every part of the world. Mass murder, crimes against humanity, brutal dictators eating their citizens, politicide, classicide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes like the Great Leap Forward (55 million deaths), power hungry psychopaths, corrupt political systems, and outright evil behavior have been never-ending since mankind began exercising free agency.
It would be wrong to believe that the past was peaceful. One reason why some people might have this impression is that many of the past conflicts feature less prominently in our memories; they are simply forgotten.
The non-stop media coverage of Ukraine is already being replaced by headlines like “Giant ‘parachuting’ spiders set to cover East Coast”, and “Harvey Weinstein busted for smuggling MILK DUDS into jail”
For a real empirical perspective on the history of war and peace, OurWorldData.org has published a fascinating visual history of human violence which shows that we may now live in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.
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