Western Leaders Cannot propound to be the Moral Compass of the World, M. Frindéthié


fabiusLately, as Russian troops have been maneuvering around Crimea, we heard a lot about President Putin’s supposed delusional appreciation of reality and lack of moral probity. In this anti-Russian clamor, hardly anybody has spoken of European leaders’ duplicity and dishonest stance in Ukraine. And yet a strong case can be made about how the West, principally the European Union, reneged on its own signature, failed President Yanukovych, supported the Ukrainian agitators and occasioned the current crisis.

Everything is happening as if a sudden condition of amnesia has struck the plethora of journalists and international relations experts that scramble every day on TV to feed Western audiences with half-truths.

Have not Laurent Fabius, Frank Walter Steinmeier, and Radoslaw Sikorski, respectively foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Poland mediated and witnessed the signing of a deal between President Yanukovych and the protesters in Kiev who wanted Yanukovych’s resignation? A truce the main clauses of which were a return to the 2004 constitution, the formation of a national unity government, and early presidential elections to be held in May? How can the West then pillory Russia for moral deficiency when the highest officials of the West cannot even respect the deals they broker and are so quick to renege on their own signatures?

There seems to be a sad trend going on around the world, which is too often supported by the West, whereby elections do not matter anymore, and all it takes to replace a president one does not like is to wait and see if one loses or win the elections, and, in the negative case, stage violent protests, count the dead, and appeal to the West with the assurance that one will be backed by the harbingers of this new way of doing politics. It is sad that democracy should no longer rely on the results of the ballots, be they the results we have not hoped for, but rather on cocktail Molotov, and armed insurgencies.

And of those leaders in Europe who want to pass for the moral compass of the world, scorning Putin for his move toward Crimea, what has Putin done that they have not inaugurated before?

 When France’s army in 2004 and in 2011 entered Cote d’Ivoire and butchered thousands of unarmed Ivorian youths, was France not doing worse than Putin, who has so far not fired a single bullet? What is this world where elections do not matter anymore? Where the way to come to power is to rampage and burn? Is that the measure of the kind democracy the West is prescribing to the world? Is this the kind of democracy that the West would want for itself? Would America and Europe like to see their children transform political contestations into armed insurgencies and fire throwing saturnalias? Or is this kind of political activism reserved for others only?

Has this new and lemon-scented democracy worked in Libya, in Syria, in Cote d’Ivoire, in Central Africa, and in South Sudan? Is it not high time that we should return to the real principle of democracy, that is, to the principle of the rule of the ballot, instead of littering the political landscape with dry combustible leaves that might ignite at home?


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