This week, on the fringes of the Conservative annual conference in Manchester, Uk Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cracked a joke about the Libyan city of Sirte, becoming the next Dubai if they could ‘clear the dead bodies away’. The remark, of course tasteless, and insensitive, and that’s Boris, drew anger, and condemnation from a number of sources:
On Sunday 1st October, violence in Catalonia by the Spanish police, aimed at crushing the independence referendum of that day which delivered a 90% ‘yes’ vote, resulted in around 900 injured. It resulted in a tidal wave of outrage, condemnation, and more – from the media, politicians, commentators, groups, Joey Barton – a sampling of that here –
So the west can certainly condemn when it wants to. But the condemnation, and attention, in the case of Catalonia, from one day of beating, easily surpassed that directed at Donbass, for over 3 years of war there, and ongoing shelling of civilian areas, by Ukrainian forces.
In August of 2014, Ukrainian forces destroyed a truck carrying refugees fleeing from the war, killing at least 17 – mostly women and children –
I’ve written about that here:
It was condemned by the US:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department condemned the deadly shelling of a convoy in eastern Ukraine on Monday that killed dozens of people,
but said it could not confirm who was responsible for the attack.
This attack was 100%, clearly by Ukraine, who made no real attempt to even deny it. But, that’s ok, the west has got them covered.
From October 2014 – Ukraine crisis: Red Cross condemns Donetsk shelling
However, they only did this because one of their own members was killed. And they let Ukraine off the hook with the classic get out – ‘The rebels and the government blamed each other for the shelling.’
But look at January 2015, when shelling hit the city of Mariupol, in Donbass, killing arond 30 civilians. The OSCE were quick, not only to condemn:
OSCE Chief Monitor in Ukraine condemns Mariupol shelling as reckless, indiscriminate and disgraceful attack on innocent civilians, including women and children
Both sides indeed blamed each other for this. Evidence was presented to support both claims. Yet the OSCE just went ahead and blamed ‘the rebels’ –
None of the ‘both sides blame each other’ here…
In February of this year, in a warzone, the OSCE – based in Kiev, and generally regarded as doing surveillance for Ukraine, pitched up near a Donbass block-post and attempted to fly their drone, without permission. They were told not to do that, as you can imagine in pretty strong terms, by DPR members.
This result in more condemnation: Ukraine conflict: US condemns threat to OSCE monitors
So, we can see, the west can condemn when it wants to. It can even condemn in Donbass. However, it only does so when one of their own is affected, or they can blame the ‘pro-Russian rebels’ for something.
As for Boris, no condemnation from him, for Catalonia, and of course not for Donbass. And due to the actions of Boris, there are more ‘dead bodies to clear away’, there.
However, no condemnation from the west for any of that.