Saturday, June 25, 2022

Ukraine Crisis: Why Indian media is trying to force Modi’s hand on Russia?

The Indian Media is working overtime to push India firmly against Russia in the Ukraine Crisis. 

It has a two-pronged approach: One, India would earn the hostility of United States and QUAD alliance which is vital to India’s geo- strategic needs; Two, India is seen standing against “humanity” and in support of Russia which has violated the sovereignty of an independent State. 

The first premise is stupid. United States could keep screaming “wrong-side-of-history” and a  “shaky” India; para-drops hawks such as Victoria Nuland; but if even a hostile neighbour Pakistan is gushing on India’s “independent foreign policy,” and QUAD members like Japan and Australia are lining-up, and Israel’s prime minister is due to visit New Delhi next week, India surely is not doing badly.

Two, what if United States is standing against “humanity” and not the other way round vis-a-vis Russia?

After all, the United States signed a Charter on Strategic Partnership with Ukraine last November. It endorsed Ukraine’s military goal to “retake” Crimea and and Donbass.

It effectively junked the 2015 Minsk Agreements which Ukraine was signatory to with the promise it would correct itself on Donbass. 

The United States had also promised it won’t expand in Eastern Europe given Russia’s security concerns. Today it practically has entire Eastern Europe under NATO, even Ukraine all but in name since NATO has co-ordinated, supplied missiles and trained Ukrainian forces to the extent it could control its military operations  from remote. 

The United States had also withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range  Nuclear Force Treaty (INF) in 2019 unilaterally and left Russia clutching the air. 

It’s now well-known that it engineered the Maidan coup in Ukraine in 2014 which overthrew a democratically elected government. In succession since it has installed puppets in power who follow anything but democratic norms and indeed 14,000 ethnic Russians have been killed in Donbass and Luhansk since 2014. 

Proof? Well, Ukraine’s president Volodoymyr Zelenskyy has shut down seven opposition television channels, suppressed press, arrested the leader of the major opposition party, accused him of treason, and incorporated a sworn “Nazi” Azov Battalion into its army which has its base in Mariupol from where it wantonly attacks the neighbouring Donbass residents. 

Most of Zelenskyy’s friends and associates now head the powerful levers of the Ukrainian government. 

Now let’s say you are still unconvinced if it justifies Russia violating the sovereignty of an independent State. 

So let me ask such sceptics a simple question: If your neighbour has placed its mortar gun directed at your lawn, would you term it a security threat or not?

If your sister has a pistol of a rapist on her head and she pulls one out herself and shoots him dead, who do you think is guilty. 

In common parlance, it’s self-defence. In geopolitical terms, it is indivisibility of security for all. 

That’s what Ukraine itself promised when it signed treaty with more than 50 other countries at the OSCE Summits in Istanbul in 1999 and in Astana in 2010: Agreeing they would not strengthen their own security at the expense of other’s security. 

This is the legitimacy of own security which made President John F Kennedy object to Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba in the “Bay of Pigs” crisis of 1961.

This is the concern out of which US won’t allow any nuclear missile placed in its neighbourhood like Mexico. 

If the law is not same for everyone, it is not a law. 

What kind of democracy the United States is championing if it’s denying access to Russia’s point of view through bans on media outlets such as RT and Sputnik? What it has got to hide?

What kind of neutrality are Big Techs professing when its wantonly banning accounts and other view points?

What kind of international law do you think allows the United States and its allies to freeze individual Russians property and assets around the world? If its not banditry or robbery, what else is it?

Neither these sanctions have been reviewed by the WTO nor approved by the UN Security Council. 

Where’s the internationally-approved tribunal where Russia could defend itself?

And could we be please spared this nonsense that the world is issuing sanctions against Russia? Look at the map below which conveys who are supporting sanctions and who haven’t taken that path.

Indeed, it would be obvious that the non-sanction world is much, much bigger. And that’s because in the world of trade, goods are bought and sold and supplies go through a complex network. It could be United States’ personal agenda but it certainly is not of most of the world. 

There is also too much of noise on Russia won’t be allowed to attend G20 conference later this year. Well nine of its member-governments — South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia—have refused to implement any sanctions against Russia. 

Listen to what South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has to say on the Ukraine crisis:  “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.”

As for the distressed humanity in Ukraine, this is what celebrated investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and Pedro Gonzalez have documented: Attacks on civilians blamed on Russia on closer inspection are found to be committed by Ukrainian irregulars. 

They claim that the Western media shows images of the video game War Thunder (here), frames from the movie Star Wars (here), explosions in China (here), videos of military parades (here), footage from Afghanistan (here), from the Rome metro (here) or images of mobile crematoria (here), passing them off as real and recent scenes of Russian “war crimes.”

Only, if now you could believe what Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says: 

“What we are seeing is to reduce Russia’s role to zero in world politics, economics, sports, art, trade, science, education…(the sanctions are) almost twice as much as the number of sanctions imposed against North Korea and Iran…These sanctions not only have no basis in international law, they are in direct violation of it. What the US has done in seizing the property of ethnic Russians (and even non-ethnic Russians who simply hold Russian citizenship) is banditry and piracy.

“We understood long ago there is no such thing as independent Western media. This is war. The methods of information terrorism are used in the war. There is no doubt about it,” he said.

Lavrov could’ve said as much about India: There is no such thing as independent Indian media..The methods of information terrorism are used in the war.

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