Putin is a War Criminal, But Don’t We Also Have Our Own?
After the barbarities of invading Iraq and Afghanistan, our moral high ground is somewhat shaky.
The images on our screens are shocking. The peaceful nation of Ukraine is being invaded. The invasion is from military might, that is bigger, stronger, and with a greater capacity for killing the innocent. Woman and children are being slaughtered on a daily basis. Yes, Putin is guilty of war crimes. There can be little doubt that his acts of aggression against Ukraine’s civilian population are intentional. Today a children’s hospital is included in the count. Along with all the other acts of wanton destruction of people, civic buildings and personal property that are non military. Putin is a brute, a bully and a war criminal. He should be condemned as such and will hopefully answer for his crimes one day. One day… I realise that such hoping is, undoubtedly, an act of political naivety.
But we, as a nation, have seriously compromised any right to a moral high ground. When the US and UK invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, the civilians died in their thousands. Towns and cities were reduced to piles of rubble. The entire infrastructure was destroyed. For these civilians life came to a full stop. And, for many, it was never to return.
Afghanistan was invaded to find one man and his dog. Even then he managed to evade capture and went into hiding for many years. In the meantime one of the poorest countries in the world was made to feel the might of the richest and most powerful. Afghanistan was punished for daring to say no to the US and its allies. None of its citizens were involved in 9/11. That distinction went to… Saudi Arabia. A major customer of the US and UK. Therefore a friend and an ally. Shame about its record on human rights, its export of terrorism and all that stuff we’re supposed to care about.
When Bin Laden was finally captured it wasn’t through military action but painstaking detective work. The mastermind behind 9/11 was snatched from Pakistan in a daring raid. But Pakistan wasn’t invaded for the US to finally achieve their aim. The country was not reduced to blood and rubble. Unlike its neighbour, Pakistan is a nuclear power. Nuff said.