Dubious economic/political calculations, national self-interest and moral confusion lie behind many of the abstainers’ excuses for not taking a firm position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

In times of trouble, a person or country discovers who their true friends are. Such insights can be disillusioning. The war in Ukraine has produced a number of such disturbing moments, for the government in Kyiv but also for the western democracies that are its most ardent supporters. “Whose side are you on?” is a crude but necessary question when international law is flouted and innocent people begin to die in large numbers.

The UN general assembly’s non-binding resolution last week condemning Russia’s invasion, demanding its immediate, unconditional withdrawal and calling for a “just and lasting peace”, was backed by 141 countries. But 32 abstained and seven voted against. That North Korea, Syria, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua and Belarus sided with Russia is unsurprising. It says much about the benighted condition of all these ill-led pariah regimes.

Yet supposed friends are a different matter entirely. Worrying, even dismaying, is the realisation that important regional powers such as India, South Africa, Ethiopia and Algeria continue to sit on the fence. Foremost among them is China. Beijing is becoming, or already is, a global economic and military superpower. But with power must come responsibility – and its refusal to condemn, sanction or publicly criticise Russia is inexcusably irresponsible.

China is not yet deemed an enemy by the west. But its so-called peace plan for Ukraine, published last week, is not a balanced or workable undertaking. Rather, it is a thinly veiled critique of western policy. Its proposed ceasefire would favour its ally, Russia, by freezing in place its illegal occupation. If Kyiv’s allies were to stop supplying arms, which China says “fuel the fire”, Ukraine might quickly be overrun.

Beijing’s claim to act as an honest broker is an excuse, previously adopted by others such as Turkey and Israel, for not taking a firmer position on Russia’s trashing of the founding UN charter. If not reversed, Moscow’s behaviour threatens every country’s sovereign existence. Abstainers have trotted out other dubious excuses for inaction: they are neutral, they won’t be “bullied” by the west, it’s not their war, taking sides would make matters worse. Many are meanwhile cynically and profitably circumventing sanctions.

The US has launched a fresh push at the UN to win over the waverers, wafflers and dissimulators. The inglorious 32 should think again. The principle is clear. Unprovoked armed aggression by one state against another cannot stand.

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The Guardian’s Observer editorial assumes two positions, that only the West has the moral high-ground and that unanimity is the only proper stance. That’s not how the world works.

The Captain

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Are we sure the thread title has enough characters? :upside_down_face:



The EU and US are beginning to work together to conquer China economically. China is running interference in Europe by backing Russia.

There is no surprise there. We know the dynamics in play. Lets continue to conquer.

We have the middle ground all anyone will ever get as a human society. China has the lowest of grounds. Xi is already purging behind his walls.

Please. Tell me. What exactly is the moral high ground for what Russia has done?


China would be very unhappy if a proposed “peace plan” between China and and Taiwan required China to turn over sections of China to Taiwan. Of course, the alternative could be to name Taiwan as the legitimate govt of all of China. We all know what happens next…

This is really simple…“Strong Man” the power is based in facts. Automatic genius being a strong man. Automatic he runs his country best no questions asked. Automatic respect no matter how much he kills.

Of course I do not believe any of that. That is the reflex of those on either side blaming the US to ignore other independent decisions as either totally effectual or totally ineffectual as opposed to responsible, decent or successful.

From my point of view, none. My point is that not all countries have the same priorities as America. Maybe the nays have other proposals they see as viable.

Then there is the possibility that NATOs expansion triggered the invasion. It is curious that the US will not send long range weapons that can attack Russia for fear of a nuclear retaliation but ignored that danger when it expanded NATO and sent missles to Poland.

The Captain


The Guardian’s Observer explains three positions in the world. The moral high-ground of law and order of the West, the dubious and corrupt midddle-ground of some countries and the horrendous lawless and immoral-ground of Russia and some supporters.


What NATO expansion? The invasion was the need for Putin to bolster his image and staying power with the Russia people because of the massive protests in Russia. US and EU knew for more than 2 years that Putin was planning to invade Ukraine. They tried to talk sense with Putin about his horrendous plan. But Putin was so worried about his own position with the Russian people that he would not abandon his invasion plans.


??? The pending Finish and Swedish additions to NATO were triggered by the invasion of Ukraine. That’s the irony of Putin’s claim of wanting defensible border. He soon will have a whole lot more border to defend.


Let’s all be honest even before the Russian invasion we wanted Putin wiped off the map. Not Russia but Putin. There is no love lost.

Any excuse? Not a wish for this war. But with this war I want badly to see Putin’s demised which has been earned for decades.

Can Russia come out of this much better off? Yes as Putin is gone.

Can Ukraine come out of this much better off? Yes without Putin.

See a pattern?

Putin has always been the go to for Russian Czars. There is nothing in Russia for most Russians.

NATO expansion? It’s not expansion when a country decides to join NATO. That is not how expansion works or the correct definition of expansion. NATO isn’t encroaching on these countries. These countries decided on their own free will to join NATO because of Russian expansion. That is the correct way to use expansion.



Short memories think of NATO expansion solely as Finland and Sweden and omit the missiles US/NATO placed in Poland, a new NATO member, after the USSR dissolved.

The United States negotiated with Poland and the Czech Republic over the course of several years after on the deployment of interceptor missiles and a radar tracking system in the two countries. Both countries’ governments indicated that they would allow the deployment.

The Captain


A voice from Africa…

Kenyan Writer: History Explains Why Much of Africa Chooses Neutrality Over West’s Support of Ukraine

The Captain


Even then NATO considered Russia a threat to soveriegn nations and, therefore, wanted DEFENSIVE systems to protect them from Russia. They had intelligence even back in 2002 that Putin wanted to regain all the old Soviet Union countries that gained their independence in 1991. These were not OFFENSIVE systems as you seem to think.



They had intelligence that Iraq had WMD. :imp:

The Captain


A fabrication to provide an excuse for regime change.
US “can do” hubris of our leaders believed that the massive American presence would by itself create and maintain stability in Iraq ignoring the culture of corruption & history of the region.

“We will be welcomed as liberators.” was the mantra. LOL After the removal of Saddam the guerrilla war began.

2 weeks ago: Leave or else, Iraqis tell US forces

How much alike are Iraq, Vietnam & Afghanistan are in corruption & common people’s desire for no American military presence.


:rofl:We all know that was not inteliigence. That was propaganda that was used to justify invasion of Iraq.