Does the rest of the world condemn Putin for invading? WTF!
As Mark Twain is falsely attributed to once say, "a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on it's shoes"...Putin is doing a pretty bomber (bad choice of word) job of corrupting the narrative. The West may view Russia as the bad guy here, but not everyone else.
Sanctions on Russia Pit the West Against the Rest of the World
Woke Democrats are less welcome than Trumpian populists in many countries.
By Walter Russell Mead, WSJ
March 21, 2022 6:17 pm ET
As the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war ricochet through global politics, the West has never been more closely aligned. It has also rarely been more alone. Allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plus Australia and Japan are united in revulsion against Vladimir Putin’s war and are cooperating with the most sweeping sanctions since World War II. The rest of the world, not so much.
In a development that suggests trouble ahead, China’s basic approach—not endorsing Moscow’s aggression but resisting Western efforts to punish Russia—has garnered global support. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa blamed the war on NATO. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, refused to condemn Russia. India and Vietnam, essential partners for any American strategy in the Indo-Pacific, are closer to China than the U.S. in their approach to the war.
Western arm-twisting and the powerful effect of bank sanctions ensure a certain degree of sanctions compliance and support for symbolic U.N. resolutions condemning Russian aggression. But the lack of non-Western enthusiasm for America’s approach to Mr. Putin’s war is a phenomenon that U.S. policy makers ignore at their peril. Just as Western policy makers, lost in fantasies about building a “posthistorical world,” failed to grasp the growing threat of great-power competition, they have failed to note the development of a gap between the West and the rest of the world that threatens to hand the revisionist powers major opportunities in coming years. The Biden administration appears not to understand the gap between Washington and what used to be called the Third World, the degree to which its own policies contribute to the divide, or the opportunities this gap creates for China.
Opposition to Russia looked like a global slam dunk to many in the West. World opinion would so robustly oppose Moscow’s attack that countries like China would pay a high political price for failing to jump onto the anti-Russia bandwagon.
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That is not how it is working. Some countries, like America’s disheartened and alienated Middle East allies, worry about backing a withdrawing Washington against an ascendant Russia. Others balance their detestation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine against other concerns. Many non-Western countries fear the consequences of Western responses to Russia’s behavior more than they fear Russia, don’t trust the West’s willingness or ability to manage the economic consequences of the war in ways that protect the interests of non-Western states, and are shocked by the imposition of sanctions on Russia’s central bank—a weapon they fear will one day be directed against them.
READ MORE GLOBAL VIEW
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The Cost of Neglecting the Middle East March 3, 2022
While enthusiastic Western liberals hail the imposition of sanctions on Russia, the increased willingness of the Western powers to weaponize the global economic system horrifies leaders in many countries who think the West is too powerful already. Many Brazilians have long feared that Western environmentalists intend to block the development of the Amazon basin. They worry that climate activists might force the Federal Reserve and other Western banks to “save the planet” by imposing sanctions on Brazil. Policy makers in India and elsewhere share many of these fears as they see environmental campaigners using global economic institutions to impose their agenda on countries with different priorities.
Mr. Putin’s claim that an overpowerful West seeks to use its economic and institutional leverage to impose a radical worldview on the rest of the planet strikes Western liberals as self-serving propaganda, but his arguments resonate more widely than most liberals understand. The Trump administration’s unilateral imposition of tough sanctions against Iran heightened international awareness of how much power the global economic system gives the U.S. But woke Democrats using economic sanctions to impose their views on climate, gender and other issues are even less welcome in many countries than Trumpian populists.
To those who share this perspective, an unpredictable America at the helm of the liberal West is a greater threat to the independence of many postcolonial states than Russian or even Chinese ambition could ever be. Chinese propaganda about the need for alternative economic arrangements that limit Western power are significantly more influential now than they were a month ago.
None of this means that the West is wrong to oppose Mr. Putin’s war (or, for that matter, to concern itself with climate change and the rights of sexual minorities). But the job of protecting world peace is harder and more complicated than many newly enthusiastic neo-cold-warriors have yet understood. What used to be called the Global South does not always share the priorities and perspectives of Yale Law School. Neither Donald Trump nor the woke left inspires confidence around the world, and an American political system that appears doomed to oscillate between them won’t indefinitely maintain the leadership on which America’s peace and security depend.