“Russians are killing Ukrainians every single day. They are killing them!”In this emotional outburst, McCain was talking about Ukraine’s Civil War in the east, which he falsely presents as a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Neither McCain nor anyone else, who has been running with this narrative, ever provided any hard evidence of Russian military presence in Ukraine’s breakaway region of Donbass (also known as the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk).
Ukrainians are in fact dying every single day but as a result of Kiev’s own armed aggression against its people in a part of the country that never recognized the 2014 armed and Western-backed coup d’etat, which ousted Ukraine’s legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovich and installed an even more corrupt anti-Russian regime, infested with neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists.
“The unprecedented period of security and prosperity that we have enjoyed for the past seven decades happened because we backed our values with power and persevered in their defense.”Not quite. First of all, from the end of World War II in 1945 up until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 (four and a half decades), the world was kept safe as a result of a strategic balance of power in a bipolar world order in which the United States and the Soviet Union, while adversaries, kept each other in check.
The attribution of security and prosperity during this period to the backing of Western values is simply not true since over half of the world at the time did not believe in, and in fact, was in a struggle against those values.
As for the post-Soviet period, which spans two and a half decades from 1991 to today, it can hardly be characterized as secure and prosperous. Yet this was the period of America’s unipolar moment and a time when, as McCain rightly noted, the West backed its values with power (in other words – bombed, invaded, and coerced against those who did not willingly embrace those values).
What was the result? Increased conflicts, destruction, and poverty around the world. The decline of living standards across the Western world and a refugee crisis unseen in decades. Not to mention the rise of radical Islamic terrorism – a plague the world has not witnessed since the defeat of Nazism in World War II.
“The west is based not on spheres of influence or conquest of the weak by the strong, but rather on universal values, rule of law, open commerce, and respect for national sovereignty and independence.”No spheres of influence? That’s a good one, John. What about the American century and US hegemony? What about the US military bases all around the world? And how about NATO’s expansion eastward? All of the above were clear signs of the US and West’s expansion of its spheres of influence.
No conquest of the weak by the strong and respect for national sovereignty? Then how do you explain the West’s military invasions as well as support for regime change operations in countries around the world? Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine are just a few examples from a long list of US and NATO interventions over the last two decades.
Rule of law and open commerce? Is that when contrary to the rules and spirit of the World Trade Organization and the UN, the US and its EU allies impose sanctions against countries that they don’t particularly like, including their competitors, in order to place them at an economic and technological disadvantage or punish for daring to stand in opposition?
The bottom line is that all of the above are applied only when they are convenient for the West. Whenever a non-Western power attempts to use these same principles to challenge the West or promote own national interests, it quickly finds itself face to face with double standards, or worse.