The deadly racism of the ‘anti-racist’ liberal imperialist
A racism that is scarcely reported, but which has laid waste to entire countries and killed millions - and which now threatens to drag us into potentially catastrophic military confrontation with Russia.
We can see this abhorrent racism on display again in the current debates in elite circles in the West over Syria. It’s taken as a given that ‘We’ i.e., the US and its allies, have a right to declare who is or is not the legitimate government of Syria. We can demand ‘Assad must go’ but of course no Syrian government official can demand one of OUR leaders must go. The very thought of it!
We have the right to impose ‘No Fly Zones’ which of course won’t apply to OUR aircraft - only to THEIRS. We have the right to bomb or illegally invade countries at any time we want to - for whatever fictitious reasons - but if the people of the targeted country dare to fight back, we’ll call them “genocidal” and accuse their leader (and his allies) of war crimes and push for them to be sent to The Hague. Our leaders meanwhile can break international law and kill hundreds of thousands with total impunity.
If you doubt the inherent racism of the current world order, and think I’m overstating the case; then consider what’s been going on at the International Criminal Court (ICC). During its 14 years of existence the only people indicted and tried by the ICC have been Africans.
What would you say if there was a domestic court in England that only ever tried Africans? And that Europeans, whatever heinous crimes they’d committed, were never brought before the court. You’d call the whole set up racist, and you’d be right.
But it happens at the ICC and pro-war ‘anti-racist’ liberals are silent. Showing that on an international scale you can get away with the most blatant levels of discrimination that you’d never get away with domestically.
Regrettably, a sizable section of the anti-racist left in the West has bought into this pernicious liberal racism, probably without even being aware of it. Evidence of this is how few people feel brave enough to publicly declare: 'Actually the Syrian government does have the right to fight back against US- backed jihadists’.
Again, it's taken as a 'given' that countries of the global south targeted by the US and its allies have absolutely no right to engage in violent resistance; their governments are expected to roll over and die. If they dare to resist and fight back with force as Syria’s has done, then some in the anti-war movement even portray them as equally culpable as the aggressor.
Remember the outrage from the ‘Exceptional Nation’ and its allies when Yugoslav forces downed a US Stealth Bomber in 1999! 'How dare they! We have the right to bomb your country back to the Stone Age for 'humanitarian' reasons - but you have no right to try and down our aircraft!’
When three US soldiers were captured, President Bill Clinton warned the Yugoslavs that they had no authority to put the men on trial, while stressing that the illegal US-led bombing of Yugoslavia would continue.
Again, the only way you could support such blatant double standards is if you believe that Americans and their NATO allies are superior to Yugoslavs. And that would be racism.
The dehumanization of the many victims of military aggression carried out by the West and its allies is another example of ‘acceptable’ liberal racism.
The millions killed by US/Western imperialism in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Yugoslavia and elsewhere, are not commemorated on any special day of the calendar. They’re most unlikely to be honored in any blockbuster Hollywood films.
While ‘regret’ is sometimes expressed over ‘accidental’ civilian casualties, there is no pretense at sorrow when soldiers fighting for armies of targeted states are incinerated in large numbers. Did you see any concern from pro-war Western liberals, when the US and its allies murdered 62 Syrian soldiers last month bringing the ceasefire to an end? No, me neither.
It’s doubtful the ’humanitarian’ pro-war ‘anti-racist’ liberals now clamoring for a ‘No Fly Zone’ to be imposed in Syria (or rather a We Can Fly But They Can’t Zone), have ever met any soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army. But I have.
A few years back I was in Latakia, Syria, waiting for a bus to take me back to my flat in Damascus. I’d missed the last one but a special army bus was waiting to depart. I was invited to travel on it. Throughout the journey the soldiers generously shared their food, drink and smokes with me. They sang songs, we joked and laughed. It was a great journey.
I always think of these Syrian soldiers whenever I hear a pro-war ‘anti-racist’ liberal feign humanitarian concern for Syria. Because for them, Syrian soldiers loyally defending their country aren’t human beings at all; they can be slaughtered in large numbers and when they do it’s a cause for celebration.
“When are humans not human?” asked my fellow RT OpEdge contributor Dan Glazebrook in his Morning Star column from August 2012. The answer is when they’re soldiers from global south countries resisting a US-backed invasion. Glazebrook notes that while soldiers of the occupying army are “always human no matter what atrocities they have taken part in,” those from armies that are defending their countries from Western aggression “are never human”…”even if they’ve never fired a shot in their life.”
The sad truth is that too many ‘anti-racists’ in the West are more concerned with bad things certain individuals say than with countering the most deadly and virulent form of racism affecting the world today; the racism that underpins the foreign policy of the US and its closest allies.
Just imagine if widespread racist pogroms against black people were to be launched by far-right groups in France. There would, I’m sure, be enormous and totally justified outrage. The perpetrators would be brought to book, and rightly so. But as Dan Glazebrook has pointed out, racist pogroms against black people were ‘characteristic’ of the Western-backed Libyan rebellion in 2011 from the very start. Yet Western ‘anti-racist’ liberals still supported the rebellion and Western ’humanitarian’ air strikes in favor of racist ‘rebels‘. How can you denounce racist pogroms against black people in Europe yet support them in Libya? Well ‘anti-racist’ liberal imperialists can. As Maximilian Forte wrote: “If this was ‘humanitarianism’ it could only be so by disqualifying Africans as members of humanity.”
Libya was destroyed by the same 'humanitarians', a prosperous developing country plundered & turned to rubble via UK 'NFZ'. #AleppoDebate— Phil Greaves (@PhilGreaves01) October 11, 2016
The truly genuine anti-racist (as opposed to the fake ‘anti-racist’ liberal imperialist) believes that all countries are equal and that the US and its allies have no more right to threaten Syria than Syria has to threaten the US and its allies. Genuine anti-racists believe that all human life is equal too. And that international law should apply to all and that the US, Britain, Israel and their allies should not be exempt. It's time genuine anti-racists reclaimed anti-racism from pro-war Western liberals. Before the racist, virtue signaling phonies start their ‘humanitarian’ World War Three.
Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.