The Dark Side of Neutrality
In the year since Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine, large developing countries like Brazil, India, and South Africa have sought to remain above the fray. Yet, as with Western “pacifists,” these countries’ non-alignment amounts to tacit support for imperialism.
LJUBLJANA – Last May, before being newly re-elected as president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva claimed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, bear equal responsibility for the war in Ukraine. Yet whether the refusal to pick sides comes from Brazil, South Africa, or India, claiming to be “neutral” on Russia’s war of aggression is untenable.
The same is true of individuals. If a passerby saw a man relentlessly beating a child on a street corner, we would expect the witness to try to stop it. Neutrality is out of the question. On the contrary, we would deplore the moral turpitude of inaction.
How, then, should we respond to Roger Waters’ recent remarks to the United Nations Security Council? In a video call, the activist and Pink Floyd co-founder claimed to be speaking for “four billion or so brothers and sisters” around the world. He acknowledged that Russia’s war in Ukraine is illegal and should be condemned “in the strongest possible terms.” But then he hastened to add:
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