There is a completely crazed article by Simon Tisdall in the Guardian – worryingly its “most shared” – calling for “direct, in-country military support” by western powers in Ukraine against Russia.
While Tisdall outlines well the many catastrophic and wide-reaching effects of the Ukraine war, including tangents such as its effect on climate change, he fails completely to acknowledge the rather more obviously catastrophic possibility that direct western military intervention in Ukraine will lead to full scale nuclear war.
But strangely that is not what I find most wrong-headed in Tisdall’s article. What I find culpably unbalanced is this paragraph:
The broader, negative political impact of the war, should it rage on indefinitely, is almost incalculable. The UN’s future as an authoritative global forum, lawmaker and peacekeeper is in jeopardy, as more than 200 former officials warned Guterres last week. At risk, too, is the credibility of the international court of justice, whose injunction to withdraw was scorned by Putin, and the entire system of war crimes prosecutions.
It is as though the illegal invasion of Iraq had never happened, and had not already dealt the severe blow to the moral authority of the United Nations that helps enable Putin’s actions now. And Why is defiance by Putin of the International Court of Justice a severe blow to its credibility, but British refusal to obey its instruction to return the Chagos islands to the survivors of the British genocide there apparently was not a severe blow?
Putin is merely following British and American example. The failure of liberals like Tisdall (whom I generally respect) to acknowledge this I find infuriating. I condemn the invasion of Ukraine and I have no hesitation in calling Putin a war criminal. However for precisely the same reasons so are Bush and Blair. It astonishes me how very few people in the media are prepared, in the current emergency, to acknowledge this. That is perhaps understandable if not readily excusable. But to claim like Tisdall that Putin’s actions are somehow unique and precedent-setting goes beyond omission to active propaganda and lying.
I am returned from holiday with the family, much refreshed, and have decided to revert to the idea that not every article on this website needs to be long form or profound. Shorter, snappier pieces like this to fill the gaps between highly worked articles are also useful to keep brain cells sparking and conversation flowing.
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