US senators exploit Ukraine issue for stunts
Published: Mar 16, 2022 10:25 PM
US Senator Lindsey Graham. Photo: AFP

US Senator Lindsey Graham. Photo: AFP

The US Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "war criminal" in the wake of Russia's actions against Ukraine. As US politicians were playing politics to incite hatred against Russia, they showed the world the shallowness and ugliness of their political ecology. 

At a time when world's forces which advocates for peace are making active efforts for a peaceful solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflicts, US politicians are exploiting the crisis. What they have done increases the difficulty for peacefully resolving the conflicts. A few days ago, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who spearheaded the resolution of the Senate, said that Putin is "destroying Russia and you need to take this guy out by any means possible" in an interview with Fox News. Such remarks were interpreted as his calling for the assassination of Putin.

The Senate resolution condemning Putin as a "war criminal" is ridiculous. Is the US Senate qualified to determine who is a war criminal? Since WWII, how many US presidents can be condemned as war criminals given the wars the US waged against other countries, ranging from the Vietnam War to the War in Afghanistan? If the US Senate can arbitrarily call Putin a "war criminal," then what should it call its own presidents? 

"US senators exploited the Ukraine crisis to make political stunts with the approaching of the mid-term elections," said Song Luzheng, a research fellow at the China Institute, Fudan University. 

Xu Liang, an associate professor of Beijing International Studies University, believed that the Senate's resolution is a blasphemy against international law. "The evaluation of Putin should be made by the Russian people, the international law and the history. The US is not in the position to point an accusing figure," Xu said.

The resolution encourages the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and other nations to target the Russian military in any investigation of war crimes committed during Russia's actions against Ukraine, as if the US represents justice and has the moral ground to make such an appealing.

But it's known to all that the US is not a State party to the ICC and it once imposed sanctions on ICC prosecutors over the court's investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan. 

With only its national interests in mind, the US encourages its allies to bring bilateral conflicts to the ICC when the situation aligns with the interests of the US and its allies; when the situation is not in line with their interests, it immediately changes its face and turns a blind eye to the ruling of the ICC.

This double standard threatens not only the moral image of the US, but also the legitimacy and consistency of international morality, Xu told the Global Times.

If the US and its politicians truly care who committed war crimes, the very thing they should do is to reflect on themselves. The US has been trying to skip its responsibilities and international morality for the invasions and wars it waged in the past. Whatever labels the US wants to put on countries it deems as adversaries are perfectly suitable for itself. 

No matter how divided the two US political parties are on domestic issues, the two sides can show coordination on Russia policy. Obviously, the decision-making elites in Washington are less interested in solving internal problems and keener on shaping external threats. Because of their selfish interests, they disregard world peace.

According to a report on the Hill, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a boon for American defense contractors. Meanwhile, lawmakers representing districts with substantial defense industry jobs are often the top recipients of contractors' political donations. Graham, who pushed for the "Putin a war criminal" resolution, has been viewed as a shill for the US military-industrial complex.

The US keeps blaming Russia and inciting anti-Russian sentiments, mainly because the US is the biggest beneficiary of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and the US does not want peace between Russia and Ukraine. In the Ukrainian crisis, the US played the role of an agitator from a far distance.

A country that pursues hegemony and engages in hegemonism will definitely not bring peace and order to the world, Song said.

The author is a reporter with Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn