Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Hmmm..are we the hypocrites?

Hypocrisy can be defined as:

The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

An example of hypocrisy, I guess, would be to argue that it is unacceptable for a democratically elected leader to be ousted from office by violent protests…and then to actively encourage and support it when that happens, as it has in the Ukraine.
Now I'm not for one minute defending Viktor Yanukovych who evidently ordered lethal force to be used against his own people. Such action is totally inexcusable, whatever the provocation.
What I am saying, though, is that what we saw in Kiev was little more than a coup, but because those who carried out the coup are biased towards the ethos of the democratic, capitalist West rather than either the 'East', or some political doctrine such as Communism of Fascism, or some unpleasant religious dogma such as Islamic Fundamentalism, then their actions are, apparently, acceptable.
But are they?
What sort of precedent does our support of this 'new government' in Ukraine (which is, let's remember, unelected) now set?
Does it mean that if a government makes a decision that is unpopular, there isn't a need anymore to wait for the next election (whereupon, if the decision was indeed unpopular, the incumbent administration would be well and truly kicked in the proverbial teeth and tossed out into the political wilderness); instead, it is now apparently acceptable to occupy an area of the capital, set fire to some vehicles and tyres, throw bricks and pieces of paving stone at the police and try to take over some government buildings. And, if your viewpoint is 'pro-West', you can do this safe in the knowledge that your 'cause' will be backed to the hilt by the western powers.
If anything, the West's support for the new administration in Kiev actually undermines the concept of democracy, rather than strengthens it..and it perhaps shows the West to be worryingly hypocritical in deciding when a regime change is 'legitimate' or not.

By the way, I recognise that there were some doubts over the manner of Yanukovych's election victory in 2010. However, it would be a slippery slope to start to argue against the legitimacy of a government based on perceived flows in that country's electoral process; if you applied that logic, you could probably put question marks over the legitimacy of nearly all the world's elected leaders…perhaps with the exception of North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Remember, he got 100%!

By the way again, Yanukovych's term of office was due to run out in 2015, which means those who opposed his decision to have closer ties with Russia than the EU would only have had to wait a year to vote him out of office and save us all from worrying about a new cold war!