By JORDAN JOHNSTONE
Thinking of geopolitics as good vs. evil or right vs. wrong is incorrect. World politics is like a chess board with pieces moving to serve national self-interests. This has been going on for half a century. While the Allies placed Nazi officials on trial, the U.S. also secretly brought many Nazis to America in what was called Operation Paperclip, to help them in the Cold War. Dr. Wernher von Braun was one of them, helping to develop the rocket that took America to the moon. The fact von Braun was a central figure in the Nazis’s rocket development program wasn’t important.
The West accused Syrian President Basher Al Assad of human rights abuses while turning the other cheek to abuses in Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
We marched in Paris united for free speech with signs of “Je suis Charlie” while staying silent when a left-winged blogger was jailed in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and was whipped publicly. His only crime was speaking out against oppression.
We call the Islamic state’s practice of beheading people barbaric, yet we did not care when it was happening to Syrians. Nor do we care that Saudi Arabia carries out public beheadings. At least Syria has elections that we can call a sham, unlike our ally Saudi Arabia that does not have any elections.
We condemn Russia for allegedly arming rebels in eastern Ukraine against Kyiv, while we openly do the same in Syria.
We say we believe in democracy while allowing the overthrow of elected governments in Ukraine and Egypt. This is nothing new. It goes as far back as Operation Ajax in Iran in the ’50s and the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in the ’60s. We do what’s best for national interest, not what is right.
The West claims to be the shining stars of civilizations and human rights, while no one is held accountable for the CIA torture scandal. No charges were ever laid even though one man died while being tortured by the CIA. That’s murder that someone got away with and not many seem to mind.
The West vs. East is how the lines have been drawn through recent world events but that doesn’t always mean we are right. World politics are not black and white, it has many shades of grey and all sides do terrible things to advance their interests.
Evil is committed on both sides of the playing field. It’s time we lived up to it.