Ukraine Drama, US Comedy, World in Pain
COMEDY-DRAMA was in style for the war ongoing this last week. In the scramble to increase oil and gas supply — with a massive spike in prices of energy around the world ensuing, impoverishing billions just because Biden and NATO want to retain rights to install missiles in Ukraine pointed at Russia — first we had comedy:
Act 1: The US was shocked into cold sweat when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates did not even take the call of Biden.
Act 2: This forced the US to go back and speak nicely with the Venezuela’s Maduro — whom they overthrew, froze the bank accounts of, took over the embassy of and froze the oil production of. A little bit of humble pie is good for anyone, to keep their feet on the ground. Maduro gave little nods that he was listening and indicated that perhaps, the US can lift sanctions.
Act 3: India insisted on buying discounted Russian oil despite strong US pressure for sanctions, and the US’ press secretary Jen Psaki was forced to say this was not a sanctioned transaction but to think of their historical reputation. Likely this was to keep India as part of the QUAD against China. The Philippines should buy Russian oil to help our people who are being forced to suffer. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also showed mettle when he stood firm that the Philippines would honor the agreement to buy Russian equipment.
Act 4: The UK’s Boris Johnson decides that he will succeed where Biden failed — by using the personal charm of his tousled hair, he flies to see Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi, tells him that though the UK wishes them to improve on human rights, can Saudi commit more oil production and continue to buy UK arms while they are conducting military operations in Yemen? The prince graciously met with him and responded by continuing with a record 81 people executed in a single day. This chapter was more likely written for the Simpsons than by Shakespeare.
Act withdrawn: The US asked Poland to send 28 MIG fighter planes to Ukraine. Poland offered to send them to the US to send to Ukraine; the US backed out. Poles showed intelligence.
Extreme Drama: War continued to escalate, as not everyone wants the war to end.
Peace becomes war again. Every time Zelenskyy says Ukraine is open to compromise to reach peace by not asking to Join NATO anymore, the US sends another big shipment of weapons. This happened again this last week for the third or fourth time. As both Zelenskyy and Russia said progress was being made, the US again pledged another $800 million of weapons. US defense industries make huge profits again. The US is trying to pull more countries into this conflict.
INF, or the intermediate range nuclear forces agreement, that the US has withdrawn from, is one of the major concerns of Russia, with real basis, as it will be a major offensive capability the US refuses to guarantee that these will not be installed in Ukraine. The US should allow installation in Cuba and Venezuela.
Hate speech is now allowed by Facebook against Russians, allowing calls for killing leaders as well— but not for the US or the UK invaders of Iraq, Libya and Syria, among others. Clearly, the US tech and media are instruments of propaganda and policy.
Assassination as usual? Sen. Lindsey Graham suggests that President Putin should be assassinated, just as the US did to Soleimani two years ago and to dozens of national leaders.
The exposé of US-funded 26 biolabs in Ukraine, that was initially denied by the US White House, that is until the US State Department Victoria Nuland testified that there are dangerous pathogens that need to be destroyed and accused the Russians of being the ones planning to unleash them!
The US expects the world to believe that all 26 biolabs in Ukraine, funded by the Department of Defense (Offense), are for health and agriculture? What about the 300 US biolabs around the world, none of which the US allows any multilateral inspection of? The bioweapons convention makes it illegal to develop or store deadly pathogens.
The world is militarizing again, with Germany, Japan, India, China and major countries including in Asean ramping up their military spending. US defense and energy industries are again profiting in billions from the war, while the world suffers. US fracking is profitable again too. Relations-building between nations is collapsing into alliances and sanctions forced by the US, supposedly “for democracy and peace,” when few simple guarantees of security could have avoided the war.
The International Criminal Court is weaponized. The US threatens to try Putin as a war criminal in the ICC, similar to what US-linked groups in the Philippines threatened President Duterte with and former Philippine ambassador to Washington Albert del Rosario was lobbying in the Philippines to do to Xi Jinping, while the US not only refused to join the ICC but threatened the ICC judges after it threatened to investigate US war crimes in Afghanistan and in dozens of other countries.
Freezing of reserves is illegal, as the funds are supposed to have sovereign status. Yet the US has repeatedly used this, and further, what has been done now is on such a scale in hundreds of billions of dollars that every nation should question whether anyone is safe from the whims of the US. The Philippines gets into the act. Ambassador Babes Romualdez, not President Duterte, announces through the US media that the Philippines may be used as a base of operations by the US “if Ukraine spills to Asia.”
Do we need more shows of dogged loyalty to the US? At the risk of putting the Philippines into the crossfire, to be a hero for America, if we are to follow what our ambassador and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. want to happen. What has the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. done for our Filipinos who were victims of the record hate crimes? Has the US paid “their Filipino” veterans?
The Philippine Star, which Romualdez is also part of, removed the Russian ambassador’s article explaining their side of the Ukraine situation, after the UK ambassador complained. Have they verified the basis, where are the advocates of press freedom?
The Philippines was a former colony of the US but still acts like one. The passions of some for “human rights” and “democracy” are highly selective, strongly condemning Russia in Ukraine and blocking the bigger dynamics in the conflict and ignoring any mention of the US invasions of Iraq, Syria, Libya — where the casualties are hundreds of times greater.
The US also is the biggest violator of the chemical weapons conventions, anti-personnel landmines convention, almost all controls on their weapons, and keeps a first strike option in using nuclear weapons, while China and Russia have both signed the No-First-Use policy. The US is not a signatory of Unclos and opposed the Philippine definition of its territories for years, including supporting the Malaysian claim on Sabah. Yet the US is the biggest lecturer to other countries, and most Filipinos still mouth their lines blindly. We will be in danger when the Ukraine war lifts, as the focus of rivalry returns to China, with the Philippines in the center!
Hear the bigger truths on Ukraine Crisis?
- Is Rappler inciting another Ukraine in the Philippines?
- History, betrayals behind Ukraine invasion
- Ukraine lessons for PH: Biolabs, financial warfare, nuclear leaks, peace prospects?
- US Senator John McCain in Ukraine in 2013 telling the Ukrainians to protest against their democratically elected President
Mario Ferdinand Pasion is director of Phil-BRICS Strategic Studies and the chairman of the Nationalist Filipinos Against Foreign Intervention.
Also published in Manila Times. We welcome logical feedback and possibly working together with compatible frameworks. (firstname.lastname@example.org)