Eurocentrism and Racist Conceptions Underpin NATO's Lies and Disinformation
In their haste to condemn Russia and hide their own role in provoking war in Ukraine, after the vote held March 2 in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution "deploring Russia's aggression against Ukraine," official circles in the U.S., Canada and the European Union took to declaring that the whole world agrees with the U.S. and NATO that Russia launched an "unprovoked" attack and is alone responsible for the tragic events in Ukraine. The conception of "the world" and the "international community" they espouse, to dismiss any opposition to their narrative, is not only self-serving, but exclusionary and racist to the core.
"The World" Has Spoken
Speaking about the outcome of the vote on the resolution submitted by her country, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield declared that "the world had spoken with a clear, united voice." She said this despite the fact that 52 countries, including the two most populous nations on earth, in addition to the Russian Federation, did not endorse the resolution. Plenty of those who did were surely subjected to serious strong-arming by the U.S. and its NATO partners. A member of the Canadian delegation tweeted during the debate, "Have been working hard to get countries to vote Yes with us. With Ukraine."
Another one who spoke in terms of how "the world" sees things was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He said, "The West and, indeed, countries around the world are united in standing up for Ukraine -- not just for Ukraine, but for the principles of democracy and the rule of law that [have] led to tremendous prosperity and stability in our world over the past 75 years."
The Prime Minister cannot hide his profound anti-communism with his reference to "prosperity and stability in our world" since World War II. His assertions about the principles of democracy and the rule of law aside, it seems that the Prime Minister's world excludes not just the 52 countries that did not vote in favour of the anti-Russia resolution, but a whole swath of humanity who enjoy neither the prosperity nor stability he claims liberal democracy has bestowed on "our world."
The pronouncements of those representing the powers of old Europe were just as shameful, and had their own twist. The representative of the European Union (EU) to the UN said the vote was a historic one that "clearly shows the Russian Federation's isolation from the rest of the international community." The Spaniard Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said, "The world has issued a resounding condemnation of illegal and unprovoked attacks on a sovereign state."
The racist Eurocentrism of old Europe also permeated the speech that Ursula von der Leyen, German President of the European Commission, delivered to the EU Parliament on March 1. She spoke after President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared on video pleading for Ukraine to be accepted into the EU. Von der Leyen made a point of saying Ukraine's fight against Russia was about the defence of "European values" which she also referred to as "universal values." She said it was a "clash between the rule of law and the rule of the gun; the fight between democracies and autocracies; between a rules-based order and a world of naked aggression." Referring to Zelensky's pitch, she said, "Nobody in this hemicycle can doubt that a people that stands up so bravely for our European values belongs in our European family."
Racist Double Standards of EU Refugee Policy
In addition to announcing that the EU would provide 500 million euros worth of military aid to Ukraine, von der Leyen promised that for those fleeing Ukraine, "Europe will be there for them, not only in the first days, but also in the weeks and months to come." She proposed that the EU's temporary protection mechanism be activated "to provide them with a secure status and access to schools, medical care and work. They deserve it. We need to do that now. We know this is only the beginning. More Ukrainians will need our protection and solidarity. We are and we will be there for them."
This is a far cry from how asylum seekers from countries in Asia and Africa have been treated by the EU, many of them escaping U.S./NATO wars of destruction that have ravaged their homelands. Who can forget the thousands who drowned in the Mediterranean or those met with barbed wire fences and armed guards to keep them out of countries that refused to let them in? How many Afghans will be resettled in Europe?
In 2016 at the height of the migration crisis in Europe, a NATO flotilla led by Germany, with Canada also contributing a frigate, was deployed to the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey "to stem illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean." The operation took place right as tens of thousands of mainly Syrian refugees but also others, risked their lives attempting to reach Europe's shores, setting out in over-crowded boats and rafts from Turkey and Libya, many hoping to make their way to Germany.
Syrian and Iraqi
refugees crossing the Aegean Sea in late 2015.
Under international law, vulnerable people fleeing conflict and persecution must not be denied access to protection, and have a right to have their asylum claims considered. But NATO member Turkey was paid by the EU to keep asylum seekers and migrants in its territory and to stop them from setting out for Europe. Any refugees picked up in a sweep of Mediterranean waters were forced to return to Turkey. Ursula von der Leyen was Germany's Minister of Defence at the time. She is reported to have been a key player in striking the EU's "robust" deal with Turkey to keep refugees arriving from the south out of Europe. How many died because of that deal, desperately risking all on more dangerous routes in an attempt to reach Europe's shores?
It all speaks volumes about the "European" and "universal" values the EU president says Ukraine is fighting for today, on behalf of "all of us." It also shows what kind of "rule of law” the European chauvinists, like their North American counterparts espouse, as they heap recriminations on Russia for threatening the international order in which the U.S. gets to make the rules, decide who is breaking them, and mete out punishment, while the U.S. and NATO are not held to account for their serial violations of the UN Charter and international law.
Far from accepting this state of affairs,
the world's people are fed up with the double-dealing and double
standards of the "rules-based order" of the U.S. and NATO; with the
"European values" of those who fancy themselves superior moral beings;
and capricious as well as racist notions of who is and is not part of
the so-called international community. What the conditions are crying
out for is an end to all the old arrangements and the self-serving use
of state racism, Eurocentrism and lies that have no place in a modern
society. They are also calling for the people themselves to bring into
being the new arrangements that favour them and allow society to
advance based on all human beings having rights by virtue of being
human. One such arrangement that events in Ukraine and the warmongering
and ever-increasing encroachment on Russia's borders by the U.S. and
NATO point to is the need for the peoples to bring into being anti-war
This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 3 - March 6, 2022
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