There is a famous definition of "hypocrite" from the Gospels that Noam Chomsky used to talk about. A hypocrite is someone who refuses to apply to himself the standards he applies to others.By this standard, the entire commentary of the current war on Ukraine is pure hypocrisy, as was the discussion of preceding wars like Iraq, Afghanistan and the "War on Terror." Our government and intellectuals cannot comprehend that we should apply to ourselves the standards we apply to others. There couldn't be a moral principle more elementary than this, yet it is incomprehensible to some people and creates a deep, likely unconscious moral confusion in them.
We are currently aiding and abetting a genocide in Yemen. Thousands of civilians dying routinely in Saudi air strikes (using our weapons) as well as people starving on the ground because of a blockade. This is not some phantom from the past. It is unfolding as we speak. More people have died in Yemen than in Ukraine.
In Afghanistan, after illegally occupying that country for twenty years and killing thousands of civilians who had nothing to do with 9/11, we are still withholding billions of dollars of the Afghan's money from them so that millions of people are starving. This is also happening right now.
We are also still occupying and bombing parts of Syria. Trump actually used to brag and admit that we were occupying parts of Syria to jack their oil (at least he was honest), which is one of the main things we are going after Putin for as he tries to get his hands on Ukrainian resources.
Our illegal, international, terrorist drone strikes all over Africa and the Middle East have also killed thousands of innocent people and are only recently drawing to a close. And by the way we are still sanctioning Venezuela, Libya and Cuba in a way that is killing women and children.
Our closest ally, Israel, has been condemned by the largest human rights organization in the world, Amnesty International, as a practitioner of apartheid and settler colonialism. It has been censured repeatedly in the UN for illegally occupying Palestinian territory and committing numerous war crimes against a caged and helpless population. It happens as often as every Tuesday before brunch. Not only will we never condemn them, we will arm them to the tune of billions of dollars every year.
And just for a moment, shifting attention from the crimes of our State and our allies back onto Russia, please tell me where was our outrage and condemnation for Putin after he flattened Grozny, a city of 300,000 people in Chechnya, Dresden style, in the early 2000s to solidify his hold over the Russian government. He committed much worse crimes in Chechnya than he could ever in Ukraine. Could it be that those victims of unchecked Russian aggression and Putin's psychopathy were not worth our time because they were Chechen and muslim?
What has happened and is happening to all these people is horrific, grotesque, and it matters just as much and deserves just as much air time as what Putin is doing to Ukrainians. It is criminal and negligent. Unfortunately, it seems that only one set of massacres and inhumanities seem to capture the imagination and passions of this country while others seem to not register, or register only obliquely, presumably since these are our victims and the victims of our allies, ie, "unworthy" victims to borrow Chomsky's term again, and therefore, they don't count. There are people who continue to insist, against this growing mountain of evidence, piling bodies and corpses, that we are the "good guys" in the world or somehow have noble intentions. This is called pulling the wool over your own eyes. It makes them feel good to think that our side is better because it gets them to ignore and disavow the responsibility their own government (and by extension they) have for violence and instability in the world by saying look, it's those primitive people and monsters over there that are to blame. It's one of the oldest defense mechanisms that exist.
So, the hypocrisy runs deep and it is immense. We have no moral standing if we don't also condemn and try to stop our government's and allies' illegal, immoral and dishonest actions on the world stage, and scream about our war crimes and our catastrophes even louder than we scream about the indiscretions of foreign governments because it is OUR government and we actually have some nominal control over it, as opposed to Putin. We should feel deeply responsible for what our government does with our money and in our name.
When that doesn't happen, it should be no surprise that our criticisms of Russia ring hollow and the world finds it hard to take our moral preening seriously when it's so selectively applied. We'd have a lot more standing and credibility in the eyes of the world if we applied this elementary moral principle from the Gospels, and we would be in a much better position to help the suffering victims in Ukraine.