Unthinking Western media consumers will be complicit in genocide
Sanctions and economic warfare will massively aggravate starvation
Sanctions are not a game.
The world is currently facing the worst hunger crisis in generations. You knew that, right? Half of the population in Afghanistan is starving (due to wanton Western imperialism). South Sudan likewise. The Congo alone has more than 20 million people on the brink of famine (coltan needed for our electronic toys, diamonds, war). And Yemen? It’s not looking good.
And in this situation, with almost no regard for repercussions, the brilliant minds of the “international community” have decided to place the most severe set of sanctions ever devised, on Russia, which provides a significant percentage of the overall food production for the global market. A full fifth of all the wheat there is.
How do you think this is going to impact the situation in Sudan or Afghanistan &c?
Millions will die.
And the sanctions are of course entirely arbitrary. They are a choice, and were never an inevitable outcome of the Russian intervention. But even so, they could have been tailored to prevent the heavy upward pressure on food prices. As this op-ed rightly argues, the sanctions could have been judiciously designed so as not to ACTUALLY KILL MILLIONS OF STARVING CHILDREN in the third world, e.g. by carefully strategizing to exempt agricultural products and fertilizer.
But no. We must punish Russia at whatever cost, because Putin is worse than Hitler and will be the end of us all unless we stop him.
(from el gato)
This overhyped war hysteria and totally partisan reporting is a significant factor in the impulsive and thoughtless responses from Western governments which needlessly will aggravate the significant food insecurity that’s been brewing since before the covid debacle.
And the Western media consumer is complicit.
It’s almost quaint. In Sweden, a dock worker’s union has gone full activist and “imposed their own sanctions” in refusing to off-load petroleum indirectly owned by some Russian holding company. “It’s our energy prices againts the Ukrainians lives”, a spokesperson argued.
No, man. The sanctions do nothing for Ukraine. Russia’s civilian population will indeed suffer, but the country is self-sufficient in energy and most everything else, and has its trading partners in the Eurasian Economic Union (which is now moving towards its own energy markets and separate financial system).
What the hiked oil prices actually do is put further economic strain on mainly the third world, not least as a separate factor in raising the price of food and medicine.
You knew that, right?
So when you find yourself emotionally engaged in the click-baiting headlines concerning Ukrainian civilian casualities (or the cute white refugees much easier to empathize with than all of those faceless africans far away), when you take part in internalizing and then spreading this simplistic narrative, you’re actually part of the problem. You become a factor in not only undermining de-escalation, but also in aggravating the unbalanced sanctions and the economic warfare whose “collateral damage” mainly will befall the third world and the resource colonies of the West.
Which is of course very profitable in so many ways, not least since this process will weaken the budding independence of many important former colonies, rendering them more open to various forms of exploitation.
But it’s all just a game to you. It’s amusement. You get to feel a bit of righteous indignation in consuming the scripted narratives of this over-hyped war drama, and a nice little emotional catharsis from the tragedies of the morality play. You’re one of the good ones, nobly suffering with the afflicted in an epic struggle against literal Hitler.
It’s really a form of pornography.
And while you push your little button to share your tweets, feeding you with emotional reward, the addictive drama, and the steady drip of dopamine fixes through the acclaim of your peers, someone is actually paying for all of that.
You see, every single step towards moderating this economic warfare will save lives. Conversely, the thoughtless feeding of the panicked crisis narrative and the extreme responses pushed through with almost no discussion of their consequences, is actually lethal.
Your unthinking assent and furthering of the simplistic narratives means you’re actively taking part in a process which ends with children starving to death. Some kid in Yemen will die because you did not stop and think about what you were doing. And few will weep for her, because there will be no headlines.
This is not a stretch. This is actually happening.
And of course all of this is not intentional on the part of the obedient retweeter, but there is still culpability. There is guilt, at least for those who have the resources and the capacity to know better, yet failed to recognize their duties.
Instead, it’s reduced to a fucking tv drama, consumed almost like entertainment.
By all means, sympathize with the plight of the common people in Ukraine, caught in the middle of all of this. But open your eyes and at least try to see the bigger picture here.
Actions have consequences, and the utterly reckless response from Western polities is going to needlessly kill way more people than the Ukrainan war will, to almost no avail.
(If anyone’s interested in supporting them, Caritas Poland is one of the very few organizations active in Yemen right now, as well in several other of the afflicted regions: