David Worboys – Alliances and human lives

If they are politically convenient allies, their transgressions will be overlooked, no matter how despicable. Otherwise they are enemies.

I am not getting involved in the wars at present raging around us, especially in the Middle East, beyond a brief comment on Russia. A war involves two or more armies fighting each other – normally an aggressor and a defender. It involves political ambition and human sacrifice. But I am most concerned with the sanctity of human life and double standards.

The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the death of over 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 10,000 civilians. Reportedly at least 50,000 Russian soldiers have been sacrificed. There is extensive damage to Ukrainian cities, buildings and infrastructure. The lives of a people simply enjoying peace and freedom has been brutally disrupted. And yet, despite the real threat to Europe and the West, the only response has been sanctions and condemnation. The destruction of Ukraine continues as the West refuses meaningful military support and simply wrings its hands.

Ukraine’s suffering has been immense and the devastation unforgivable. This tragic attack on a neighbour’s territory is rightly condemned by the civilised world. Putin’s objective seems to be not genocide but territorial occupation, demilitarisation and subjugation. But let’s look at what he has not done – yet.

He may have targeted infrastructure and strategic sites, but not deliberately schools, hospitals and refuge centres, although these have been hit. He has neither used hunger as a weapon of war nor cut off medical supplies, food, water and the internet, although he has disrupted fuel supplies. He has not killed as many as 24,000 women and children nor maimed, widowed or orphaned many times that. He has not slaughtered journalists or UN personnel.

If he had committed all these atrocities and bombed, say, a consulate in Georgia, what would have been the reaction of the USA, the UK and the EU? Would they have supported him regardless? Would they have avoided sanctioning him – even given him aid!!!? Insisted that Russia has a right to defend itself? Would he be seen shaking hands with Biden, Blinken, Cameron and Sunak, as they try to reason with him?

The value given to human life depends on the actions of its leaders and the alliances they have forged. Saudi Arabia´s Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) knows that the strongest ally is the USA. If you are allied with the USA, human rights abuses and corruption are overlooked. You can literally get away with murder. In Western eyes the lives of the Saudi people are therefore considered more precious than those of Iranians.

Russia has suffered huge losses of life because it picked on a victim with the resources and capability to fight back, however much against the odds. If Ukraine had been a helpless victim, already subjugated for decades and lacking weaponry or any kind of military defence, the suffering of Ukrainians would have been even worse, while Russian casualties could have been fewer than 2,000.


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Written by

David Worboys

Offering a unique insight into everything from politics to food to sport, David is one of the Euro Weekly News´ most popular columnists.


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