Considering the Invasions of Panama and Ukraine

The 26 January JTA Daily Briefing arrived in my mailbox with the subject: “Major Israeli Raid in Jenin Kills 9 Palestinians.” I was sadly dumbfounded by the imparted insensitivity and inhumanity. Would any humanity-loving organization blare such news about the killing of the Other? Supposedly, the Oslo accords were a movement toward peace, but Zionist Israel has continued to wreak violence unabated, and Palestinians of every age and gender are the victims whether they be civilians or not. Yes, the violence is not only from one side, but the violence is overwhelmingly carried out by the Israeli side. And, when it comes to violence by Palestinians, one must realize that they have the right to resist oppression, occupation, siege, and violence.

Imagine what would have been the reaction in the West if a headline had appeared — “Major Palestinian Raid in Tel Aviv Kills 9 Palestinians”?

Such is the hypocrisy of the “West” that Israel can unleash lethal violence against Palestinians with scarcely a peep from the “West.” A Palestinian reprisal would undoubtedly be denounced in the strongest language as terrorism, and Palestinian officials would be called onto the carpet to unequivocally condemn the violence. Even the United Nations hardly comes across as a neutral party.

The US can steal oil in open daylight from Syria, and there is not a peep from US-allied countries. Palestinians know this all too well, as Israel has been expropriating Palestinian oil and gas for years. The US occupies Cuban territory, and there is hardly a peep from the US-alliance. Britain can steal the gold reserves of the Venezuelan people, and there is little complaint from governments in the West.

Western thievery has extended to Russia, as its bank assets were frozen by the US and by the European Union with the stated intention of using Russian assets to reconstruct Ukraine.

The peoples of Palestine, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela people, among other nationalities, suffer from US thievery and violence. As an accomplice or silent actor, this also points to the inhumanity of US-allied governments. These are the same governments that criticize Russia for its “unprovoked invasion” of Ukraine.

A Telling Comparison

What happened when one out-of-uniform US marine officer, first lieutenant Robert Paz, was killed by Panamanian soldiers in December 1989? US president George HW Bush launched Operation Just Cause [sic]. A US invasion of Panama happened. About 600 Panamanians were killed (half civilians) and 23 US soldiers. Panamanian president Manuel Noriega, the drug-running CIA asset (and a person who should have been untouchable by having diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Article 29 reads, “The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable.”) was abducted and brought back to the US to face American justice.

Since 2014, following the US-orchestrated coup in Ukraine, a war has been carried out by the Ukrainian state, including its neo-Nazi fighters, against the predominantly ethnic Russian peoples of Donbass. Over 13,000 people had been killed, according to data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. ((“According to calculations of the total number of human losses related to the conflict in Ukraine (from April 14, 2014 to January 31, 2021) amounts to 42,000-44,000: 13,100-13,300 killed (no less than 3,375 civilians, about 4,150 Ukrainian servicemen and approximately 5,700 members of armed groups)… Tass. ))

Consider that the US invaded Panama after one US marine was killed, but the killing of thousands of ethnic Russians (who had been clamoring for secession to Russia) was muted by the US, the self-same country which created the circumstances that filliped Russia’s Special Military Operation to protect its security from further NATO encroachment.

That the US invaded a country (many countries in its history) does not mitigate a Russian invasion of a country. But the invasions are not the same. There was no credible threat to US security from Syria, Palestine, Iran, Libya, Viet Nam, Venezuela, etc, but the US invaded or abetted the attack on these countries nonetheless. Russia has made irrefutably clear the security concerns posed by NATO missiles appearing on the Ukraine-Russia border just minutes away from Moscow. Russia was faced with an existential threat, a threat that the US would never allow (witness the US reaction to the stationing of Soviet missiles in Cuba).

This essential background information will not appear in monopoly media.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at Read other articles by Kim.