The Occident is heading for a disastrous accident
Published: Oct 29, 2023 07:24 PM
Illustration:Liu Xidan/ GT

Illustration:Liu Xidan/ GT

In civilization terms, war is a backward, primitive thing; it solves no conflicts and creates no security - only hate, which fuels more war. It's a system or structural evil - much more than a human evil. 

Equally primitive and uncultured is, of course, this type of black-and-white, simplified narrative: there is only one evil party - the Palestinians and Hamas. The war has only one cause - Hamas' attack - and we in the West need neither history nor conflict analysis to understand anything.

Furthermore, according to this narrative, we don't need to sympathize and empathize with innocent suffering human beings on all sides - only with one side. All that is needed is politically correct emotionalism and side-taking - regardless whether or not these two irrelevant tools are guaranteed to make everything worse and get more innocent people killed.

The EU's top leader Ursula von der Leyen has the guts to declare that "Europe stands with Israel" - but which "Europe"? And were you ever elected by "Europe" or by the EU citizens to speak on their behalf, Madam? The indefatigable Irish for-peace European MP, Clare Daly, made exactly that point, much more eloquently than I just did, on October 8 when she demanded that von der Leyen shut up because she doesn't represent "Europe" at all.

It has all become too easy to take stands. It's a display of intellectual and moral laziness: Condemnation requires no knowledge or complex understanding, but it speaks to the minds of kakistocrats. It's Kitsch politics! It actively promotes the death of thousands upon thousands on both sides, and it is fundamentally immoral because there were other ways of engaging in Middle East conflicts.

In Ukraine, EU/NATO countries side with the underdog that has been invaded. In this war, it sides with Israel, the top dog. From another perspective, it is a huge blow to Israel and the US - a complete "intelligence" failure, if that is what it was. Allegedly, a fox would not be able to run through the border installations; Hamas did for hours. When Israel's occupation-to-extermination policy has run its course - no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel and no mercy, plus total ethnic cleansing and flattening of dwellings - the US/NATO/EU governments will have drowned it in a blood-drenched unsolvable moral dilemma of their own creation. 

They won't see it, and they'll never foresee it. They did not care about the consequences of their "response" to Hamas' attack - as despicable as it was, it was certainly not provoked. 

To cover up yet another Western politico-moral disaster, the Western knee-jerk reaction is, as usual, more weapons, no ceasefire, no mediation and no negotiations. Militarist thinking excludes diplomacy. We never make mistakes!

Since the decision-makers in Western capitals have lost on economic, political, cultural, diplomatic and moral power dimensions, there is only one approach left - as in all falling empires in history: Militarism. That is mass killing and ethnic cleansing. Kill the people instead of the problem that stands unsolved between the parties and causes the violence in the first place.

What we are going to see in weeks and months to come in the Middle East will make the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia and the war in Ukraine pale. Western foreign policy can no longer be understood by rational analysis, political science or international relations thinking.

We need concepts and theories from psychology, psychiatry and religion to understand the blame games, emotionalism, psycho-political projection, presumed innocence, denial, compulsive repetition, paranoia, scapegoating, revenge and aggression that get full blast in various blends in the policies of the US/NATO/EU countries.

Therefore, for Western foreign ministries and state-financed research and the mainstream media, it is no longer a priority to pursue conflict analysis, conflict-resolution, mediation, peacekeeping, negotiations and reconciliation.

The Occident is heading for an accident. Its reservoirs of legitimacy, knowledge and ethics are even more depleted than its arsenals of weapons.

The author is the director of the Sweden-based think tank Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn