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The United States in Ukraine and Gaza: Double standards, really?

Originally published: Pressenza on April 21, 2024 by Samir Saul and Michel Seymour (more by Pressenza) (Posted Apr 23, 2024)

Should not the silence of the West in the face of the genocide currently underway in Gaza prompt skepticism about the loud cries of moral indignation of this same West in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Some people are surprised to see Western countries adopt a different position in the two cases. They criticize, for example, the United States for adopting a policy based on double standards. They think that this country should condemn Israel’s invasion of Gaza, just as it condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Unfortunately, this is a short-sighted analysis. Those who think this way do not see that we are rather in the presence of a case of double excesses. The history of relations between Palestine, Israel and Washington did not begin on October 7, 2023, nor did the history of relations between Russia, Ukraine and Washington begin on February 24, 2022.

A fight at all costs against Russia

The condemnation of Russia ignored thirty years of American provocations leading to the increase in the number of countries belonging to NATO (from 16 to 30) and more and more tightly surrounding Russia. The United States also caused the installation of military bases in all Eastern Europe countries. Then there was the American withdrawal from the agreements related to anti-ballistic and medium-range missiles. In 2008, Ukraine was promised admission into NATO, despite repeated warnings from Russian authorities and the advice of American experts. Continuing the provocative moves, NATO installed anti-missile shield systems in Poland and Romania that could be transformed in less than 24 hours into offensive weapons capable of reaching Moscow in a few minutes. The U.S. orchestrated and financed the Maidan coup of 2014, which allowed Washington to exercise political control over Ukraine, going so far as to determine who would be the prime minister, the mayor of Kiev, the governor of Odesa, the Minister of Economy and the Attorney General. A prominent place in the government was reserved for far-right factions (in particular the Svoboda party) which found inspiration in the Nazi criminal Stepan Bandera. The Banderists’ access to power quickly led to the adoption of Russophobic laws, then to the incorporation of the neo-Nazi group Azov within the army. A civil war broke out targeting the Donbass and killing 14,000 people.

The Minsk agreements officially served to end the civil war. They involved the recognition of linguistic rights for Russian-speaking Ukrainians and proposed the incorporation of the principle of federal autonomy for the Donbass oblasts into the Ukrainian constitution. Russia was in favor of it, in particular because the presence of a significant Russian-speaking minority within Ukraine could help to influence the country’s political choices in a direction that would be favorable to Moscow. However, by the admission of Angela Merkel, François Hollande and Petro Poroshenko, there was never any question of implementing these agreements, because they essentially served to gain time to prepare for war. NATO proceeded with the militarization of the country (fortifications, military equipment provided, training of soldiers), as well as the installation of chemical laboratories.

In a final attempt to put an end to this escalation, Moscow proposed two negotiating documents in December 2021 to ensure Russia’s security: one intended for NATO and the other intended for the United States. The Americans rejected these proposals and reiterated their desire to formally include Ukraine into NATO. For his part, Volodymyr Zelensky expressed the wish to regain nuclear capability. Nuclear missiles were going to be installed there, because Joe Biden withdrew in January 2022 the promise he had made to Putin in December 2021 not to install any. Ultimately, Ukraine had become, so to speak, a de facto member of NATO.

The escalation in provocation deployed by the United States against Russia is not a “conspiracy theory”; it was elaborated in a document produced by the Rand Corporation think tank entitled “Extending Russia” (2019). The U.S. systematically implemented the proposals contained in this document, despite warnings that these actions would constitute an escalation inevitably leading to a Russian counter-escalation as well as loss of life for Ukrainians. However, Washington’s objective was precisely to provoke an escalation and make war inevitable, because Moscow’s counter-escalation would make it possible to subsequently apply punitive measures against Russia. Everything had to be done to force Russia to intervene militarily in Ukraine, because this would justify increasing sanctions, removing Russia from the SWIFT system, interrupting Russia’s gas and oil trade with Europe, and destroying the Nordstream gas pipeline. This was the ultimate objective: to weaken Russia, provoke internal unrest, overthrow the regime, install rulers favorable to the United States and plunder its raw materials.

Fighting Russia at all costs, even if it means sacrificing the Ukrainian people

Russia understood that Washington was doing everything possible to force it to react. Some have criticized Putin for not exploring all possible avenues to peacefully resolve the conflict. He has been trying to do just that even after the anti-Russian coup of 2014 in Kiev, against the advice of a part of Russian opinion which demanded firmer actions to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians against the fanatically Russophobic Banderist putschists. The possibly admissible criticism of Putin is that he did not act sooner before the situation became intolerable for the security of Russia and for the survival of Russian-speaking Ukrainians.

When the historical framework leading to the crisis in which the United States has placed Russia is understood, the decision of the Russian authorities becomes clearer. Putin eventually realized that no matter what measures were proposed, the escalation would continue anyway. Russia therefore intervened, but with minimal troops and in the form of what it called “a special military operation”. Moscow’s goal was to quickly end the conflict and reach an agreement with Ukraine. Russia had no interest in defeating and occupying the country. It was estimated that it could do so in a week if it wanted to. But it had no interest in the nightmare of administering a vast country of 40 million inhabitants (in 2022), with innumerable internal problems and a hostile population. This was the trap set for it by the United States. The wish was that Russia would get bogged down in a new Afghanistan. Russia opted for a “special military operation”, halfway between war and inaction in the face of threats. Unfortunately, the United States interpreted the moderation of Russian intervention as a sign of weakness. They were wrong in their assessment of Russian army capabilities and guilty of wishful thinking. This was why the United States wanted to continue the confrontation. While the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine were on the verge of a happy outcome in April 2022 (neutrality of Ukraine, no nuclear missiles on the territory, no inclusion within NATO), the United States, through its British envoy Boris Johnson, convinced Ukrainian leaders to break off negotiations, promising Western support for Ukraine in a proxy war that would take down Russia. They chose to continue the escalation, still in the hope of bringing Russia to its knees and achieving regime change in Moscow.

Many observers did not see these American provocations. They have never been mentioned in mainstream media. As far as international relations are concerned, mainstream media only relays the policy of their country, which is nothing other than the policy of the American hegemon. There is no investigative journalism on geopolitics within these media. Reporters sent where there are conflicts only report events interpreted and distorted according to the grids of perception created by U.S. imperialism. Thus, news about Ukraine only reached Western citizens when Moscow gathered its troops near the Ukrainian border. When the Russians intervened, the invasion was everywhere in front page news. Public opinion thus believed American propaganda claiming that it was an unprovoked aggression. It attributed imperialist aims to Putin and even the desire to reconstitute the Soviet Union.

The truth, however, is quite different. Concealing the origins of a conflict is an old technique for manipulating public opinion. Uncle Sam used the neo-Nazi minority installed in power in 2014 to drag Ukraine into war. The means was to sacrifice the Ukrainian people by turning them into cannon fodder, the ultimate goal being to weaken Russia. This objective took precedence over humanitarian considerations. The outpouring of emotion and sympathy for the Ukrainian people was nothing but cynicism, hypocrisy and duplicity. The Ukrainian people was thrown into the fire by its false Western allies who used it to achieve their international political goals.

The Russian intervention of February 24, 2022 gave rise to divergent interpretations. For some, it was an aggression, therefore a violation of international law; for others, it was an act of self-defense against an explicit threat, a measure recognized by international law. It was a preventive action, a situation resembling one in which an individual intervenes vigorously, even violently, to prevent a gun from being put to his head. Immediately afterwards, he offers to make peace provided that the aggressor promises not to try again to put a gun to his head. The two are about to come to an agreement when the real trouble-maker appears to interrupt the negotiation.

Those who rebelled against Russophobic disinformation coming from the United States were immediately labeled pro-Putin. They were criticized for not showing enough compassion towards the Ukrainian people. Unanimity was imposed on public opinion. There was not a single dissonant sound, and no dissent was expressed within the established media. They did not see or understand that the criticism leveled against the United States was precisely aimed at preventing the war that the Americans were waging on the backs of the Ukrainian people.

If the intent was to act out of true compassion for the Ukrainian people, it would have been necessary not to promote American belligerent escalation, because it produced a proxy war that would decimate its population. On the contrary, it was necessary to demonstrate understanding concerning Russia’s security needs, stop bringing NATO military forces closer to its borders and in this way promote de-escalation to safeguard the integrity of the Ukrainian people.

Unfortunately, Western politicians, journalists and intellectuals have for the most part been fooled by America’s hawkish neoconservative propaganda. They made war inevitable in an attempt to perpetuate U.S. domination in the world. They deliberately chose to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

Unwavering support for Israel

The excesses shown towards the Palestinian people are easier to understand because they have existed for many years. The United States sends $3.8 billion per year in financial aid to Israel. Israel illegally occupies the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan, and illegally colonizes the West Bank. The wall erected by Israel is also illegal, as is the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of East Jerusalem. Illegal arrests, summary executions of young teenagers and the imprisonment of children are part of the daily life of the Palestinian people, as is the destruction of homes and olive trees. For Gaza, access to the sea is blocked, electricity is rationed and water is contaminated. Gazans cannot leave Gaza and the Gaza Strip is an open-air prison. Between 2008 and 2023, 4,600 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army. None of this was reported in the established media, but eventually, enough information circulated so that the average citizen had at least a vague idea that Palestinians were an oppressed people.

Despite everything, Israel has always been supported by the United States. The latter recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, directly contravening Security Council resolutions. After normalizing relations with Jordan and Egypt, and then with Morocco, Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, Washington was preparing to normalize Israel’s relations with Saudi Arabia. The noose was closing on the Palestinian people, with the help of the United States. The fate of the Palestinian people seemed hopeless and the international community displayed absolute indifference.

American authorities supported Netanyahu unconditionally, even though he never seriously considered the possibility of a two-state solution. On the contrary, he openly dismissed it and even displayed his annexationist ambitions at the United Nations by brandishing a geographical map in which the Palestinian territory had completely disappeared.

It is in this context that we must place ourselves to understand the events of October 7, 2023. The Israeli extreme right in power took advantage of this opportunity to get closer to the ultimate objective of achieving a Greater Israel by trying to get rid of the Palestinians through a genocidal massacre. The United States provided them with all the assistance necessary to carry out this sinister enterprise.

Support Israel at all costs, even if it means sacrificing the Palestinian people

The military intervention in Gaza took the aggravated form of a series of war crimes and crimes against humanity: disproportionate response, ethnic cleansing, collective punishment, and targeted civilian population. Homes were destroyed, hospitals bombed, and cemeteries desecrated. Journalists and humanitarian workers were murdered, while schools, universities, mosques and churches were reduced to ashes. Everything took the form of an atrocious carnage. In December 2023, South Africa therefore filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice targeting Israel and accusing it of genocide.

The demonstration, argued over 84 pages, showed, in particular, the proclaimed intentions of the Zionist regime. The objective explicitly announced by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was to deprive Gazans, these “human animals”, of water, food, gas and electricity. On January 26, 2024, the International Court of Justice judged that Israel did not appear to be complying with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide. It ruled that genocide was plausibly taking place. It spoke not only of the risk of genocide but of the fact that it was plausible to assert that a genocide was underway.

In response to this decision and to neutralize its effects in the international community, Israel the next day accused the United Nations body responsible for ensuring the survival of Gazans (UNRWA) of having participated in the October 7 massacres. However, the file making this “demonstration” about a dozen UNRWA employees (out of the thirteen thousand working in Gaza) was nothing more than a set of allegations obtained under torture. This was the alibi used by Israel to block convoys bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza from the town of Rafah.

Starvation imposed on an entire population was further proof that genocide was being committed. How could the United States, in such circumstances, justify unconditional military support for Israel? Instead of distancing itself, it increased and deepened its genocidal complicity. In addition to maintaining military aid, on three occasions it opposed the Security Council from voting in favor of a ceasefire and they have even gone so far as to withdraw their contribution to UNRWA.

However, as more and more Americans openly criticized the Biden government, U.S. authorities announced the construction of a port on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip through which humanitarian aid would be transported. This project was an obvious subterfuge to save time and contain an American population increasingly hostile to U.S. pro-genocidal behavior. After all, if the Americans believed it was necessary to deliver aid to Gaza and Israel was willing to receive it, the best way would have been to immediately bring in the hundreds of trucks that were blocked by the Israeli army through the town of Rafah. Why was it necessary to construct a port over several months instead? The answer is simple. The Americans thus officially distanced themselves from the famine imposed by Israel on the Gazans, while continuing to provide them with military support and still giving it time to pursue its deadly enterprise.


The question that arises is the following: how is it that the United States, which claims to defend Ukraine, does not hesitate to support the genocide in Gaza? Many denounce the double standard that this seems to represent. But, rather, shouldn’t the good intentions displayed towards Ukraine be questioned? Isn’t American foreign policy coherent and, in all cases, blindly directed against its “enemy countries” and in favor of its “friendly countries”, even if it affects entire populations? Of course, perfect rationality on the part of the United States should not be assumed. Instead, the presence of the same irrational reflex should be observed in both cases: a state of panic at the idea of losing economic and political hegemony in the world. The common crucial factor is the interest of the United States, not the well-being of Ukrainians or Palestinians. There is no contradiction between the American policy in Ukraine and the one applied in Palestine. They are symmetrical, complementary and of the same nature.

So the crude and cruel reality is this. The United States does not hesitate to sacrifice the Ukrainian people to weaken its enemy, Russia. It also does not hesitate to sacrifice the Palestinian people to defend its friend, Israel. We are therefore facing, not double standards, but a single standard of double excesses.

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