The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an atrocity on the right to sovereignty and independence. Over the weekend, robust criticism got leveled against Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and a raft of sanctions imposed to isolate the Russian economy in the global financial infrastructure. As I am writing this article, the fighting has entered its 6th week since the invasion with over 10,000 civilian deaths; millions of Ukrainians have fled to neighboring borders of Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova. NATO remains an active deterrent on the military front – activating defense protocols and sending auxiliary troops to the Baltic states.
However, the United States is the flag-bearer of the Ukrainian defensive front on the global diplomatic canvas. Supplying arms to Ukraine, rallying European allies against Putin, and tightening economic measures against the Kremlin cohort – the United States seems resilient to pushing the Russian offensive from the Ukrainian soil. It is intriguing to wonder: is the US defending a sovereign state or simply deterring an adversary? The two purviews might appear the same; the underlying intentions vary immensely.
Understanding the matter better
Assuming that the United States is a savior of democracy and a custodian of justice, let us paint a proverbial picture. In 2014, Russian forces invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea – the southern peninsula adjoining the Black Sea. The invasion resulted in 6 casualties – one pro-Ukrainian, two Pro-Russian, two Ukrainian soldiers, and one Crimean rebel.
In response, the Obama regime levied crippling sanctions against senior officials of the Kremlin, severed commercial ties with Russia, and approved $2 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine. A few months following the Crimean annexation, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) invaded Gaza under the pretext of provocation by Hamas – a Palestinian nationalist organization. The subsequent Gaza war resulted in a massacre of 2100 Palestinians as IDF soldiers dropped at least 6000 bombs on the Gaza Strip. By contrast, the US reaction to the Israeli invasion translated into a classic statement from the US officials: “Israel has a right to defend itself.” The picture is perilously contradictory, isn’t it!
Just last year, the Israeli assault on Gaza killed at least 275 civilians – including 61 children and 35 women. The IDF decimated 18 buildings in Palestine, obliterated 40 schools, and destroyed multiple hospitals. The United Nations (UN) estimated that Israeli airstrikes destroyed 94 buildings in Gaza. The 11-day war displaced over 72,000 Palestinians. And how did the US respond to the genocide conducted by the state of Israel? It vetoed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution denouncing Israel for war crimes and human rights violations.
Since February, the US has called five emergency council meetings to denounce the Russian invasion. Russia was even kicked out of the UN Human Rights Council. Yet, just last year, the US blocked the UNSC joint statement – condemning Israel’s military response and calling for an immediate ceasefire – three times in one week. When Russia vetoed a draft council resolution deploring the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US ambassador to the United Nations retorted: “Russia cannot veto the Ukrainian people. Russia cannot veto the UN Charter. And Russia cannot, and will not, veto accountability.”
Read more: PMLN’s Maryam Nawaz inspects PM House
This irony perfectly describes American hypocrisy!
In the Security Council, the United States has exercised its veto 82 times; 44 of those vetos used to shield Israel from accountability for similar war crimes and human rights violations – each of those being the sole veto against the tabled resolution. The US accuses Russia of abusing its privileged position as a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council. However, the United States has continually screened Israel from global condemnation and intermittently interrupted international efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable for genocidal crimes under the UN Charter and International law.
While the US rebuffs Russian security reservations apropos of NATO expansion in Eastern Europe, the US administrations have time and again defended Israeli atrocities on Palestinians in the name of ‘Israel’s right to defend’ when Israel is the encroacher on the Palestinian soil. The two drastically antipode narratives are the manifestation of American duplicity.
Without a shred of doubt, the Putin administration is a tyrant and oppressive regime. It has deflated the local opposition, razed prominent critics, and exacted its will on innocent Ukrainians. Today, the Russian forces are savagely trying to dismember a sovereign country to promote Putin’s envisioned sphere of Soviet influence in Europe. By the same standards, Israel is a tyrant state for illegally occupying the Palestinian territory and slaughtering thousands of innocent civilians in the name of deceptive defense.
By the same measure, the United States is a hypocrite for advancing its ally via violence on one front while denouncing a rival for the same actions on another. Today, the US sanctions are intended to trip the Russian economy into the abyss. Yet, the US still maintains an estimated $2.2 billion stockpile of weapons in Israel. Despite the warfare last year, the US still provides $3.8 billion/annum military aid to the state of Israel – aid that has been consistently used to subdue Palestinians and expand illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Thus, while denouncing Russia for the subjugation of Ukraine, it is high time that the European countries wake up from their blissful ignorance and hold the United States accountable for its decades-long deceit and duplicity in the name of international law and justice.
The writer is currently working as a writer for South Asia Magazine and a columnist for Modern Diplomacy – a European Think Tank. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.