The world has a mere near-200 countries. but they might as well be aliens. There’s “the West” and “the Rest.” Surely there are nuances and Ukraine is the ket to them.
A new world order began when the outcome of the Second Wotld War decided there would be no more predatory colonization. The United Nations with all its offshoots like the World Bank was set up to spread the wealth then concentrated in the industrialized West. To a large extent, the wealth in cultural development has spread since then. The huge existing gaps became glaring whe Russia invaded Ukraine.
As a victor of the Second World War, Russia under the moniker of the Soviet Union was given free rein for a Communist experiment in Eurasia. That was the eastern half of Europe and a big chunk of Asia. The experiment was hidden behind the Iron Curtain and it imploded in 1991 due to systemic corruption that was finally rejected by subjugates. Like a washed up character actor fighting to regain the glory days that never were, Russia has made a desperate last stand in Ukraine only to find the world has left it far behind.
Russia made its first move on Ukraine in 2014 when the US was headed by the western industrialized world’s first non-white leader and first family.. During the Trump backlash und boosted by Russia, the worldheld its breath. Then all hrll broke loose when a near coup in the US stretched into a legal labyrinth as an opening for Russia to finish off Ukraine.
It was the combination of Western savvy and “other” world qualites that won Ukraine the the allies enabling it to defy the once formidable Russia. Ukraine was confident in its goal to be free not only of Russia but of Trump chicanery. Ukraine was was also modestly forthright about what it needed to succeed. Given half of what it needed, Ukraine was gracious in its urgings for more until it inevitable arrived. That new dynamic between the rich West and the emerging “Rest” has left Russia in the dust.
Western pundits are all agog over the end of democracy under a barrage of far-right anti-immigrant election results. While valid from a Wester perspective, the fears are baseless in the broader context introduced by Ukraine.
Founded in the Holocaust ashes of the Second World War, Israel was plopped by Westn powers in the Middle of Western-scarred Arab nations. They are now oil-rich in a declining economic sector given the climate emergency noticeable throughout the world. Many of them are inreasingly willing to make peace with Israel but the recent Hamas attack has jettisoned efforts in that direction, though not completely.
The stunning Hamas attack on Israel and the ham-fisted Israeli response at the sacrifice of the Palestinians was a potential powder keg even worse than even Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Geography made the difference and Ukraine paved the way for recognizing the danger.
The productive outcome of the Hamas-Israel crisis will be a product of careful negotations between the Arab Qatar, the extremist Hanas, facilitator Egypt and mistrusted Western agent US. Left out of the loop to a large extent was Wester Europe, responsible for historic hostilities between “the West” and “the Rest.”
As current world leader, the US is the butt of much blame, of itdeserved. But it is also the undisputed leader of a free world that recognized an affinity with Ukraine and rallied the world to defed common values grown rusty in t”the West.”
Ukraine was a worthy underdog against who from the start showed a courage that stunned both “the West” and Russia as a major leader of “the Rest. As RUkraine continued to prevail as Russia dug in to a clearly illrgal assault, “the Rest” looked on to see which way the wind would blow. It has now blown onto the Mid-east, a volatile powder keg since the Second World War with a seeming case of Stockgolm Symptom against the Palestinians..
No doubt Israel was severely wounded vy the Hamas attack just as the US suffered a damafing blow with the 8/11 assault. But both pffemsive actions succeeded only because of two intertwined cpnditions.
Study the condition as pundits worldwide might, there is no telling how intractable are radical jihadists. But however fatally doomed they may be, they deserve more recognition than they now get simply because they garner attention just as much as radical right wing politicans in th “the West.” Hubris and arrogance led to the success devastationg attacks on “the West.” Ukraine is an opportunity to course-correct onhypocrisy, a major bone of contention between held by “the Rest” against “th West.
Russia invaded Ukraine to stop its evolution into a democracy that Russia itself claims as its system of government. That “illiberal” democracy amounts to the most brutal form of authoritarian dictatorship that inclides open flaunting of international laws developed continually evolving since the Second World War.
The West has takes punitive actions against Russia in the form of sanctions. But the are of limited efficacy because “the Rest” sees no justice in letting an injustice continue simply by imposing a fine. With Israe’s retaliatory actions agaonst Hamas at the cost of Palestinian lives, the staunch support of Israel bt “the West” is a continuation of that hypocrisy , the charge now underscored bu the global support for the underdog Palestinians combined with a centuries old anti-Semitism so strong it was a seminal part of the Second Worls War. Ukraine now brings central issue of hypocrisy to the forefrony. with its courage/
From the start of the Russian invasion, “the West” has routinely resorted to its default setting of offering protectio to a leader whose country caught fire. It was Ukraine who said “no” with a flar that served as an opening salvo challenging”the West” to “Put yout money where your mouth is.” Throught the assault, Ukraine was the one who upped the ante with its courage, matched either jointly or in tandem by Allies. The situation in Israel just may bring the hypocrisy to a head and the Russian invasion of Ukraine to an end.
The complex situation in Gaza is being managed by a brand new colaition of “the West” and and “the Rest.” No reason why those same actors can’t prevail on the much simpler offense of Russia having invaded Ukraine.