March 13, 2022   

Blame Game

I’m puzzled by the fact that many Asian nations, except for South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, are taking a neutral position on the invasion of Ukraine. Morality is ultimately subjective, but we can’t get more black-and-white than what Putin is doing now. What’s going on here?

In my research, I came across many people who blamed the US for this conflict, not just in Asia but also in the Middle East. Interestingly, these critics do not support the war either. They just don’t want to condemn the aggressor because they see it as America’s fault. It’s a strange position.

I believe what is motivating them to remain neutral is their hatred for the US. If it weren’t for that, I suspect, much of the world would unambiguously condemn Russia’s aggression. The Iraq war is frequently mentioned by these critics, and it is a legitimate issue to bring up. It, too, was unprovoked aggression. Roughly 200,000 civilians died. It was waged on a false premise, or fake news, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and that it was somehow responsible for 9-11.

Russia is now accusing Ukraine of developing chemical weapons. It is an outrageous claim, but I see what they are doing; they are copying the American idea and shoving it in our face. Iraq today is no better than it was before the US invasion. In many ways, it’s worse. So, hundreds of thousands of people died for no reason. From this perspective, I can see why these critics do not want to side with the US.

True international support for Ukraine is hindered by the US, by our history. They want to side with Ukraine without siding with the US, which is causing the baffling neutrality. Perhaps we could get the rest of the world to condemn Russia if we admitted that the Iraq war was wrong and apologized.

The invasion of Ukraine should not be blamed on the US or the West; Russia alone should be accountable for that evil. But the desire not to take sides with the US is understandable. In other words, we are conflating two separate issues: the war and the lack of international support. The former is Russia’s fault, whereas the latter is America’s fault.