Angela Merkel’s recent visit to Russia where the German Chancellor met with President Putin and attempted to lecture Russia, is emblematic of the hypocrisy of historically aggressive nations lecturing a Russian state whose many wars have been limited to defending itself against invasions.
Russian territory of course expanded over the centuries, but Russia never had the overseas and outwardly aggressive empires of the following countries.
Furthermore, Russia never committed the crimes against humanity that the following five nations did.
Most historians agree that Germany’s preeminent, domineering and militant stance started the First World War.
Undeniably, it was the German conquest of Poland in 1939 which was the proximate cause of the Second World War. Not fit to conquer most of Europe along with colonial holdings abroad, Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June of 1941.
Apart from Germany’s blood-soaked wars of conquest in the 20th century, under the fascist leadership of the 1930s and 1940s, Germany exterminated millions of people on an ethnic and religious basis.
The mechanised ethnic cleansing that Germany is responsible for has lead Germany to invent a term called ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’ which means ‘overcoming the past’.
A nation that has struggled so hard with its own demons is in no position to excoriate others.
2. United Kingdom
At its early 20th century zenith, the British Empire ruled about a quarter of the world. While some say the Empire was built on trade, it was also built on death, slavery and exploitation.
In April of 1919, British imperial troops in India fired on unarmed peaceful protesters killing up to 1,000.
The Amritsar Massacre is remembered by India to this day as a supreme act of aggression by Britain.
Even more recently, Imperial Britain killed and tortured tens of thousands of Kenyans rebelling against British rule. The event is widely considered to be a crime against humanity.
Japan’s invasion and occupation of China in the 1930s remains one of the most brutal events in modern history. During the 1937-1938 Nanking Massacre, also known as ‘The Rape of Nanking’, Japan killed 300,000 Chinese in one of the most brutal fashions imaginable.
The Japanese occupation of Manchuria which began in 1931 is also remembered for its utter brutality.
The end of the French Empire is remembered as a particularly brutal period.
French troops attempted to put down the liberation struggle in French Indo-China (Vietnam) between 1946 and 1954. Although Vietnamese forces drove out the French this led to America’s disastrous invasion of VIetnam in the 1960s.
The French attempt to subdue Algerian freedom fighters in the Algerian War of Independence between 1954 and 1962 was one of the most brutal of all the post-war colonial struggles.
In both Indo-China and Algeria the French troops committed acts of extreme torture against civilian populations.
5. United States
During the second half of the 20th century, the United States invaded and occupied more countries than any other power. America is also the only country to use nuclear weapons in combat.
Between 1945 and the present day, America has invaded, occupied or used covert methods to overthrow the governments in the following countries
The US has used chemical weapons on civilian populations in Vietnam and was more recently exposed by Wikileaks as being complicit in the torture of Iraqis after 2003.
Then there is of course the murder of civilians in even more recent years
These are the countries criticising Russia and calling themselves ‘civilised’….just let that sink in.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.