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By thumbing our nose at the West, things can only go south

Ideas

By thumbing our nose at the West, things can only go south

In aligning itself with Russia in the Ukraine conflict, the ANC is being foolishly selective and short-sighted

Columnist

You might be a little embarrassed by Cyril Ramaphosa’s new role as Putin’s parrot, blandly repeating all the Kremlin lines and lies allegedly justifying Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country and firing deadly missiles at hospitals, theatres and shopping centres.

Or you might wonder, beyond the imagined links of “struggle solidarity”, why SA in 2022 — or its government anyway — backs an imperialist adventure attempting to redraw boundaries that were settled decades ago, and replace by brute force a democratically elected government.

US President Joe Biden is not given to flights of hyperbolic extremism, unlike his predecessor. Yet last week he branded Vladimir Putin a “war criminal”. Given this amping up of the new Cold War rhetoric and the likely prospects of a long war in Ukraine, or a bloody stalemate outcome, it is fair to ask why SA aligns itself with aggressor Russia. It can’t be that the bullying and revanchist Moscow accords with any definition of the human rights which were celebrated here on Monday. On the contrary...

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