Barbarism Accentuating via Western “Civilized” Powers

It may have all started back when Zbig bragged about taking out the Soviet Empire through the backing of excessively retrograde mujahideen/jihadi forces.  It may have started even earlier, but the current climate is all too clear about what the US/NATO-led West is supporting. The Western choice to back fundamentalist Islam, as opposed to secularist (even if not neoliberal) forces, in this observer’s opinion is, and will ultimately pan out to be, an egregiously flawed decision.

Things such as high culture, informed knowledge of history, an outlook for a brighter tomorrow as well as important social rights earned via decades of arduous workers’ struggle are declining at home too. In many Western countries the disparity of wealth is also greatening.  Homelessness, joblessness, economic suicide and generalized social rot is on the upsurge.  Austerity has been in effect in many Western states for some time now, and the current (as well as residual) effects that it will ultimately mete out are still being analyzed, weighted and measured.

The nation of Israel, which is essentially a Western outpost in the Middle East, has just; of course, lead one of its regular barbarian campaigns into occupied Palestinian lands. And the United States has backed this latest round of savagery, obdurately, once again.  Much of the informed press and folks of good conscience have commented amply and effectively on these facts and depraved realities. To dedicate more ink to such an uncouth, pariah, unhinged, and genocidal state I do not think is necessary here. Though anyone who chooses to still do so, I encourage to continue on with work along those lines.

Another area where the West has turned a blind eye to savagery is in the nation of Myanmar/Burma.  Allegedly a country that is transitioning to democracy, it is currently ethnically cleansing the Rohingya Muslim Burmese. I say Burmese, but they are not considered to be citizens by their own government — notwithstanding that they have actually been in the country literally for hundreds of years. They were made non-citizens under a law passed in 1982 by the much hated Ne Win military regime.  Certain countries the West seems to allow to transition to democracy, whilst others like Syria, are disallowed from doing anything but conforming to extraordinarily rigid US/Western diktats.

While Obama was in Burma he gave plaudits to Aung San Suu Kyi for her “determination” and for — according to his words — her “unbreakable courage”. However, when it comes to the slaughter of the Rohingya Muslims, this Western golden gal has had none.  She has never spoken out against their untouchable status within the country or, in fact, their reprehensible (and unconscionable) murder. And the US has been warming up to Burma for some time now.  Perhaps it has more to do with investment in the state oil and gas company, which US corporations have only nascently began in July. Though Suu Kyi did show some courage in this instance, recommending against the American investment — viewing the level of corruption as inordinately high.

A Burmese man writing in The Atlantic describes Burma/Myanmar as it still exists today:

The only areas in Burma where you can see towns with electricity, properly paved roads, well-staffed hospitals, industrial zones, universities with qualified teachers, five-star hotels — and no heavily armed soldiers on patrol — are in what’s called pyima, “the main land” in the center and south of the country.

This man, who is almost 70 years old, admits he has his doubts as to whether or not what is, in fact, happening in Burma is that democracy is sprouting.

Additionally he writes that he worries, even if democracy takes root, that the benefits foretold to well up from it will not be shared in full. Moreover, he reckons that the current regime doesn’t recognize the right to dissent, and that is loathe to come together with the disparate ethnic groups in Burma for accommodation and discussion. Without which, of course, he obviously doesn’t envision any kind of credible democracy blooming forth.

The point here, though, is that on a multitude of fronts the West has traditionally liked to view itself as the world’s greatest force for enlightened, democratic, humanitarian, and/or liberal values. But much of what the West seems to be proffering at the present is not enlightened at all. And, in fact, it does not seem to be in line whatsoever with the traditional noblest elements of the Western philosophical canon. And so unequivocally, it is raising up a number of major red flags/question marks as to what it hopes to achieve in our increasingly globalized, entangled, interconnected and symbiotic world.

Indeed, the West is augmenting savage practices all too often rather than raising humanity — as it has traditionally liked to have thought. But then again Mahatma Gandhi  was right when he stated that Western civilization would have been a good idea. And another quote of his, though a much lesser known one, may also be very telling. “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English, or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs.”

Sean Fenley is an independent progressive who would like to see the end of the dictatorial duopoly of the so-called two party adversarial system. He would also like to see some sanity brought to the creation and implementation of current and future U.S. military, economic, foreign and domestic policies. Read other articles by Sean.