The moral bankruptcy of Western powers was exposed – inadvertently – with the recent publication of three separate news reports. Taken together the reports out last week illustrate the rank hypocrisy of Western governments.
Also, the way that the reports were prioritized or left disconnected demonstrates how the Western mainstream media serves as a dutiful propaganda service for state and corporate power.
First there was the Dutch-led inquiry into downing of the Malaysian MH17 airliner, which put the finger of blame on Russia for the disaster in 2014 when all 298 people onboard were killed.
That nearly five-year investigation has never provided any credible proof of Russian culpability, yet the Dutch-led investigators known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) continually level allegations that Russia supplied an anti-aircraft missile to Ukrainian rebels who purportedly blasted the Boeing 777 out of the sky.
Despite its evident failures of due process, nonetheless Western governments and media have lent the JIT allegations (slanders) undue credibility. The US, Britain and other NATO members last week called on Russia to comply with the JIT “investigation”, smearing Moscow as guilty of causing the MH17 deaths.
However, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad denounced the report as “ridiculous hearsay” aimed at “scapegoating Russia”. Tellingly, his comments were not widely reported in Western media.
For its part, Russia has vehemently rejected allegations of involvement in the MH17 disaster, as have pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels. Russia’s repeated offers of contributing information to the probe have been rebuffed by the Dutch-led JIT. By contrast, Russia’s own investigation has uncovered credible radar and forensic evidence that an anti-aircraft missile fired at the passenger jet actually came from military forces under the Kiev regime’s command. Russia’s evidence has been steadfastly ignored by Western media reports.
The credible suspect party – Kiev political and intelligence authorities – have been allowed to participate in and frame the JIT probe to inculpate Russia. The US, European Union and NATO back the Neo-Nazi dominated regime in Kiev, financially and militarily, since it seized power in a violent coup d’état back in 2014. That should be the real focus of scandal in the MH17 story.
On the back of the MH17 imbroglio, as well as other slanders, Western governments have continued to impose economic sanctions on Russia. These sanctions have cost the Russian economy an estimated $50 billion. On top of that, Western states and their media portray Russia and President Putin as a rogue regime and pariah.
Now contrast the undue priority given to the above dubious JIT claims with two other reports also out last week. One was on the horrific death toll among civilians in Yemen inflicted by the Western-backed Saudi-led war on that country. It is estimated that over 90,000 people have been killed in violence over the past four years, with most of the civilian victims caused by indiscriminate Saudi air strikes.
It is an indisputable fact that the US, Britain, France, Germany and other NATO powers have been arming the Saudi regime with warplanes, helicopters, missiles and logistics to carry out this slaughter of Yemeni civilians. The Western states are complicit in war crimes.
President Trump continues to defy US lawmakers by ordering multi-billion-dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia, despite the carnage. The British government and wannabe prime minister Boris Johnson claims that its weapons exports are not involved in killing Yemeni civilians, in blatant denial of the facts.
A British court last week ruled that UK weapons exports were in breach of its own supposed ethical codes protecting civilian lives in conflicts. The British government is set to appeal the court ruling and will likely ignore it anyway given the systematic relationship of Britain arming Saudi Arabia – the UK’s biggest weapons export market – year after year.
Western media last week, as usual, gave only minimal reporting on the shocking human suffering in Yemen. The whole barbarity and Western governments’ culpability is largely hushed-up and omitted by the media.
The third report we refer to was on the conclusions of the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur investigating the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. His tortured body is believed to have been cut up and dumped by his killers. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard made a damning assessment that the Saudi state was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder. And she called on Western states to impose sanctions on the Saudi monarchy.
Despite mounting evidence of Saudi regime guilt in the journalist’s murder and in the deaths of tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians, Western governments have not imposed any sanctions against Riyadh. Indeed, they continue to ply this regime with billions-of-dollars-worth of killing machines.
Admittedly, Western media did give some coverage to the UN report on the Khashoggi murder. But in proportion to the gravity of the crime, the response of media as well as of Western governments is woefully lacking.
Western media do not put the last two mentioned reports in the context of Western state relations with Saudi Arabia. The oversight is for a good reason. Because to delve into the issues would expose criminal complicity.
Meanwhile, the US and its NATO allies impose sanctions on Russia based on unsubstantiated allegations about MH17, Ukraine, Crimea, election meddling, the Skripal spy poisoning affair, among other fabrications. Those sanctions – based on flimsy innuendo – are leading to ever-worsening relations with Russia and international tensions between nuclear powers. Western media do not expose the insanity, they foment it.
Such media are unwilling and incapable of pointing out this gross double standard. They propagate the double standard.
The moral bankruptcy of Western governments must be covered up by a servile media. Because the state, corporate power and media are all complicit. Truth, justice and democracy, which they pontificate about, have nothing to do with the functioning of Western capitalist power; they’re mere illusions to distract from systematic criminality. Last week was an object lesson for those willing to see it.