2008-08-27

Condemning Russia: Western Hypocrisy

Take this recent bit of news:
Seven of the world's leading industrialised nations have jointly condemned Russia's decision to recognise Georgia's breakaway regions.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and UK said Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia violated Georgia's integrity and sovereignty.

Earlier, the UK's foreign secretary said Western countries should re-examine their relations with Russia.

David Miliband also warned Russia not to start a new Cold War.
No more than a few months ago, similar articles could have read almost identically describing events at that time:
Two of the world's largest developing countries have jointly condemned the decision of Western nations to recognize Serbia's breakaway region.

Russia and China said that the Western nations' recognition of Kosovo violated Serbia's integrity and sovereignty.

Earlier, Russia's foreign secretary said Russia and China should re-examine their relations with the West.

Russia also warned the West not to start a new Cold War.
Just like Kosovo, where Albanians are in a 90% majority, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are regions predominantly populated by non-Georgians who want to be independent of Georgia.

WTF?

Where is the West's touted moral superiority when making such obviously hypocritical proclamations?

If the majority argument was good enough to support Kosovo's independence of Serbia, it should be good enough to support South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's case as well.

Edited to add: One could argue, though, that the dynamics of this situation have distinct dissimilarities to the Western intervention in Kosovo, and that Russia has only been dressing up the conflict to seem similar, while the fundamentals are substantially different.

In the case of South Ossetia, it is certainly Russia that had been fueling separatist sentiment for the past decade, and the real reason they have done so is certainly not because they give a floating booger about the South Ossetians. If they did give a floating booger about South Ossetians, they would not have fueled the conflict over the past 10 years, and would have encouraged a peaceful settlement with Georgia. A settlement which, absent Russian meddling, might already have happened on its own.

Instead, the Russian strategy is all about geopolitics, and their "concern" for the people of South Ossetia is just an excuse.

1 comment:

dare said...

I couldn't agree more. The lack of even a weak justification (apart from "integrity and sovereignty") of the condemnation is appalling.