By Mohammad Mazhari

West views Ukraine more favorably than Yemen: academic

March 7, 2022 - 15:23

THRAN – An American academic says that Western powers regard the Ukraine crisis more favorably for assistance than Yemen or Afghanistan.

“Unfortunately, Europeans and Americans are viewing the Ukrainian situation more favorably for aid and assistance than Yemen or Afghanistan,” William O. Beeman tells the Tehran Times.

 “Some claim that this is due to the inherent racist or Islamophobic tendencies in Europe and the United States. There is no question that Ukraine is seen as White and Christian (President Zelensky is, however, the only international Jewish head of state outside of Israel),” Beeman adds.

Following is the text of the interview:

 Q: Some political pundits like John Mearsheimer believe that Ukraine could be neutral and get rid of the West-Russia competition. But what happened is that Ukraine entered the competition. What is your comment?

A: It appears to be too late for Ukraine to remain both neutral and independent of the Russia-Euro American competition. Zelensky has already asked the EU for membership and has requested NATO membership. The only thing that Putin would accept is for Zelensky to be removed and some pro-Moscow puppet be put in his place, as in Belarus. Putin wants to recreate the Russian Empire, and "unite all Slavic people." His position is that Ukraine is a "fake country" created by Lenin/Stalin and is really part of Greater Russia. And as for neutrality, with even perpetually neutral Finland and Sweden now considering joining NATO, that ship has sailed. 

 Q: How do you see reactions of the American public to the Ukraine war? Apparently, some Republicans, particularly Trump, praise Putin.

A: Part of the American public listens to former president Trump and right-wing media such as Fox News. Commentator Tucker Carlson has been rooting for Russia, and there is a segment of the American population that follows this line of thinking without much real examination of the issues. However, recent polls show that more than 80% of the American public does not support Putin's actions, and many say they would be willing to pay more for energy if it would stop Putin's invasion.

Q: What is America's record when we talk about respecting sovereignty?

Is there a good invasion and a bad invasion? For example, when America invades Iraq it is reasonable but when other countries do the same thing it is a violation of international law?
A: The United States has a terrible record when it comes to honoring the sovereignty of other nations. Over decades the United States has been involved in efforts of regime change in many nations including Latin America, the Middle East (West Asia), and Southeast Asia. Many of these actions before the fall of the Soviet Union were aimed at Cold War containment of "Communism". More recently actions directed at Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria were directly aimed at regime change or regime support. So, in purely historical terms, the United States doesn't have much room to lecture other nations about the morality of hegemony.

Q: How may the Ukraine crisis affect the Vienna talks?

A: If the JCPOA is restored and sanctions against Iran are lifted-especially sanctions against oil and natural gas exports, it would greatly relieve petroleum scarcity in the world market. Iran has a large stockpile of unsold petroleum products that could be immediately released. Iran's oil export capacity could meet 1/3 of all European needs for oil. So resolving the JCPOA would be a huge benefit for Europe and the United States in its conflict with Russia. It would also help curb the current worldwide inflation not only by reducing the price of oil but by opening Iran with 84 million people to the world market.

Q: The Ukraine war reminds us of other wars in the region like the war on Yemen. What can we learn when we see different approaches to these wars?

A: Unfortunately, Europeans and Americans are viewing the Ukrainian situation more favorably for aid and assistance than Yemen or Afghanistan. Some claim that this is due to the inherent racist or Islamophobic tendencies in Europe and the United States. There is no question that Ukraine is seen as White and Christian (President Zelensky is, however, the only international Jewish head of state outside of Israel). And that seems to be a factor in driving aid to Ukraine as opposed to other countries where help is needed.  
 

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