While western politicians cry crocodile tears for the plight of the Ukrainian people, thousands of innocent bodies pile high in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen without any coverage from the capitalist media.
Back home, British Muslims and Asians are furious over this clear case of hypocrisy from the establishment.
This is not simply racism at play on the part of the elites. It is a question of whose side of the war the ruling class is on, and who serves to profit from it.
“War is terrible, terribly profitable.” This assertion is just as true today as it was when Lenin stated it over a century ago.
Under capitalism, governments are representatives of their own country’s ruling class. With the world divided into competing nation states, each ruling class is forced to make profits and expand their markets at the expense of others.
With the entire globe now dominated by a handful of imperialist powers and multinational monopolies, it is inevitable that these powers will come into conflict with each other over their spheres of influence, access to markets, and control of resources.
Where fundamental disputes are unable to be settled by usual ‘diplomacy’, armed conflict remains the next option. After all, war is simply the continuation of politics by other means.
It’s not a surprise then that ‘war torn’ regions tend to be abundant in natural resources, or in important strategic locations. 64.5% of all oil produced in the world comes from the Middle East, for example.
Over decades, therefore, the western imperialists have attempted to secure allies in this region, to ensure a supply of cheap oil, amongst other ambitions.
Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have been waged by the western imperialists not to bring peace and democracy, but to implement regimes favourable to their business and political interests.
In the process, since 2001, the US dropped upwards of 152,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria, killing thousands of innocent civilians and displacing millions from their homes.
British Muslims, particularly amongst the youth, have shown enormous levels of international solidarity in response to this suffering. They have often been at the forefront of anti-war movements, and continue to fight against racist, anti-immigration policies pursued by the UK Home Office and other western governments.
In recent weeks, Tory ministers and establishment-media journalists have cried out for Britons to heroically house Ukrainian refugees, participate in pointless gesture politics, and even offer themselves to fight for the Ukrainian army.
Yet when refugees from Libya, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere have sought sanctuary in the UK in recent years, the same establishment mouthpieces have demanded that Britain’s borders remain firmly shut.
Instead of offering solidarity, these hypocrites have spread poisonous and inflammatory remarks about those escaping war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, saying that ‘Britain is for the British’.
When it has been a case of ‘bad’ refugees fleeing the destruction of British imperialism and its allies, in other words, the UK ruling class has shown no concern, other than seeing the migrant crisis as a potential source of cheap labour, and as a means to divide the working class.
Divide and rule
The Tories have been instrumental in this, whipping up xenophobia and bigotry, and creating a ‘hostile environment’ for any migrants and refugees who manage to enter the country.
Fomenting nationalism and anti-Muslim hatred was part-and-parcel of this process, justifying the callous rejection of these refugees.
British Muslims and Asians have also borne the brunt of this, facing vile racist rhetoric from reactionary politicians and press for years.
Muslims have been painted as criminals and sexual predators in the bosses’ media, for example, as part of a wider campaign of Islamophobia.
It has always been convenient for the ruling class to scapegoat migrants and ethnic minorities for the ills of capitalism, including unemployment, the housing crisis, and pressures on the NHS.
This is a classic case of ‘divide and rule’: using racism as a convenient tool to distract from the real cause of these problems – the capitalist system itself.
All of this has been a deliberate tactic on the part of the ruling class, designed to protect their interests.
So why do these same ladies and gentlemen suddenly care about Ukrainian refugees?
In reality, the western imperialists are only pretending to care about ordinary Ukrainians, in order to score a cheap political point in their conflict with Putin’s Russia.
As western imperialism and Russia fight a proxy war in Ukraine over markets and spheres of influence, they need to demonise the opposing side and hide their real interests behind a fog of cynical propaganda.
In reality, the ruling classes of the West do not give a damn about the Ukrainian people. Just like they couldn’t care less about the Palestinians, Yemenis, or Afghans.
Ultimately, all of these desperate people are nothing but pawns in their imperialist games, to preserve their capitalist interests.
Unfortunately for the Tories, so convinced are their members of the anti-refugee and anti-migrant stance stirred up in recent years, that their most hardcore supporters are now not even happy about welcoming in Ukrainian refugees!
During the bombings of Gaza a year ago, the British ruling class offered nothing but bleak silence. Similarly, when the Modi government in India incited a purge of Muslims, the West said nothing.
And whilst the Saudi regime bombs innocent Yemeni civilians, in one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century, Britain not only turns a blind eye, but even actively participates in this atrocity, selling the Saudis more than £10.3 billion of arms over the past decade.
It is therefore clear that it is not ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’ that motivates the foreign policy of the western imperialists, but the cold pursuit of profit.
The decisions of the imperialists may seem to be driven by racism. But in reality, this racism is whipped up by the ruling class in order to justify their actions. Racism is a tool used by the ruling class in order to preserve and pursue their capitalists interests. Racism, in other words, is a class issue.
Without such a perspective, those facing oppression can be led down dangerous rabbit holes of conspiracy theories and religious fundamentalism. At worst, it can even lead to such disillusionment and alienation that some end up resorting to jihadism and individual terrorism.
The struggle against racism and discrimination must therefore be a struggle against capitalism. Only through united class struggle against the real enemy – the capitalists, imperialists, and their political representatives – can we end war and oppression once and for all.