BY: Lt. Gen. (R) Tariq Khan
Western hypocrisy and duplicity screams out in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The world was silent, looking the other way when Iraq was invaded on the basis of a lie – ‘weapons of mass destruction’. What’s worse is the condescending western anchor broadcasting that Ukraine was a country in Europe and belonged to the civilized world – unlike Iraq and this should not have been treated like this. The ignorant bumpkin had no idea that Baghdad was the center of culture and civilization and was at one time recognized as such the world over. However, his narration represented western thought, that there were some who deserved better in this world and whereas Ukraine was one of them, Iraq was not.
The world thought nothing of the 100,000 Bosnians slaughtered in Yugoslavia when there was open genocide for the whole world to observe and witness. Those who were murdered and publically slaughtered had an equally white skin, blonde hair and their eyes too were blue but it was not enough to protect them from their trial and tribulation. Being Muslim was enough to castigate a whole population – denying them their right to live on this globe. People go about their business while Yemen burns with an occasional squawk that there is an imminent disaster awaiting the population, no food, medicine, housing or even water. No one cares – no one will.
Afghanistan was another story, Iraq still another one while Syria lies prostrate in the throes of chaos and pandemonium. All this unfolded before the very eyes of the same people who are now bleating their rational and logic on a self-acclaimed high-moral note when it comes to Ukraine being invaded by Russia. One wonders, whether the objection is because Ukraine was invaded or because that it was Russia that did the invasion. One comes away with the feeling that had the West in general and NATO in particular, under US auspices done this invasion, for whatever reasons, the UN would have tripped over itself to legalize it, and the West in general would have clashed their cymbals in celebration as they would have accused Ukraine for having it coming to them for something the West had discovered that they, the Ukrainians had or had not done.
The West now arms Ukraine feverishly but one does not know to what purpose. The asymmetric situation between Ukraine and Russia is not only will understood but very visible. Does the West think that Ukraine can go into an endless war, engaging Russia indefinitely through an urban guerrilla conflict? Well which ever geniuses have come up with this plan should know that the Russians will not relent but in fact more than likely escalate. They would be forced to introduce lethal armaments into the cities while ensuring stand-off for themselves and mass destruction for the civilians. In its typical twist of things, the west will proclaim that this is genocide and that war crimes are being committed by the Russians, whereas all along they themselves are facilitating the conflict. One’s heart goes out to the beleaguered Ukrainians but one would wish to bring the matter to a close rather than to egg them on to continue fighting for the glory of the motherland. So what are the Ukrainian objectives that they hope to achieve, by this resistance – gain time and hope the west is more forthcoming in their help and assistance. That they are welcomed into the European Union and that they are invited to be part of NATO. There is hope amongst some Westerners that Russian economy would suddenly collapse, that there would street agitation in Russia and that Putin would be forced to resign on account of the chaos created by the sanctions. This is not likely to happen and instead there will be unnecessary destruction, loss of life which could be avoided and irreparable infrastructural damage to Ukraine. The Russians must have war-gamed these possibilities, their consequences and would have most certainly worked out a response.
What would the Russians be looking at: an announcement of Ukrainian neutrality, to remain an independent state that neither harbors any thoughts of joining NATO or becoming part of the European Union. Additionally, Moscow must be looking for guarantees to ensure an independent Donbass Region and better connectivity with Crimea. These objectives are achievable through a mutually acceptable political dialogue between Russia and Ukraine and there was no need to fight over these questions. Yet the West goaded Russia into a corner where it probably had no other alternative other than an invasion of Ukraine. This was done by the gradual creep forward policy of NATO which in 1990 had 16 members and now has expanded to 30 members and that toomafter the Cold War. This expansion was creepin Russia and if Ukraine had become part of NATO or does so in the future, NATO forces would be sitting directly on Russia’s western borders. This was unacceptable to Russia but the West was unmoved and continued to implement alignments and agreements that were a direct threat to Russia.
The Russians undertook a massive multi directional offensive and probably hoped that it would be enough to force Ukraine to capitulate and accept the Russian demands. After day 4 and 5 of the offensive, Russia went into an operational pause to facilitate talks in Belarus but the talks broke down. Ukraine is now totally immersed in urban warfare. The nature and character of such a war is high causalities, slow progress and heavy dis-information. Civilians more often than not, get caught up in crossfire or are inadvertently used as human shields while collateral damage is a common method to this madness. Civilians are being recruited by the government to undertake street fighting while the West is arming them with Javelin shoulder held anti-tank weapons. The method to this madness is escalatory and graduated in application. The Russians will continue to raise the level of violence and the West will continue to turn it into a case of genocide – that is just the form of this kind of war. The Ukrainians never offered a dedicated defensive line or a formal defence maneuver and instead have decided to resort to street fighting endangering their own citizens and blaming the Russians. The West sees this as a good opportunity to promote Ukraine as a victim and use it as a reason to galvanize international support for Ukraine and punitive action against Russia. The end will depend upon the Russian appetite to continue to destroy whatever it can or the Ukrainian determination to sustain the punishment and survive – someone will yield first and that will become the basis of future Ukraine.
One cannot help but admire the Western media’s temerity to show their hero stand before the tank, alone, unarmed and vulnerable. This white, blue eyed blond is a testimony for freedom and sovereignty in Ukraine but an 8-year-old child throwing a stone at an Israeli Tank is a terrorist. The West remains unmoved as Muskaan Khan stood up to a rowdy gang of RSS in India who were objecting to her clothing. There is no concern in the UN for its own long outstanding resolution being violated by India as the world pretends that things are normal. There is a deafening silence as the victims of the Holocaust, who were murdered at the hands of this same West, perpetuate genocide and murder against the Palestinians on the pretext of a biblical logic, that the land is theirs. Afghanistan is a good case to start with war crimes where marriage parties were bombed and schools obliterated but who will initiate it – the UN? It’s an unfair world and the people of Kashmir, Palestine and Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and Libya and many more will always be treated as children of a lesser God unless they can pick themselves up from this state of misery, discrimination, injustice and downright unfairness.
It is a crime to be weak in this World and to be members of a skewed organization such as the United Nations, which is neither united and nor does it represent all the nations. It is time for countries to consider leaving this circus and no longer giving credibility to it by being a part of it. For nations likeus, there will never be hope if we continue down this line. Russia and China and many other nations need to set up a new order. Most of the world would join it. The principles of such an organization must be based on equality, justice and integrity. We cannot continue like this. If we do not change our ways we shall always be subject to international resolutions, fake news, false pretexts for invasion, arm twisting and bullying all in the name of respective national interests. The suggestion is farfetched, maybe even utopian, but the powers that be, must begin to think along these lines. If not, there will always be a Ukraine and a West howling like jackals that can smell blood, Kashmir will remain burning, Palestine will continue to suffer as someone’s resistant fighter, is conveniently, another man’s terrorist.
This article is written by Lt General (r) Tariq Khan, the man who fought the war against militancy in most critical time of Pakistan’s history. He led active military operations as Brigadier, IGFC and as Lt General of Pakistan Army.As Commander Central Command and Corps Commander Lt General (retd) Tariq Khan was part of important decision making relating to Pakistan’s security.