Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reflects the severe decline of America’s superpower status, Arab journalists say.In response to the war launched by Russia in Ukraine, Arab journalists slammed the U.S. and Europe for “abandoning this country to its fate” instead of coming to its aid.
This conduct, they said, proves that the U.S. and Europe cannot be counted upon to defend their allies with military force in their hour of need.
Many of the writers also expressed contempt for the West’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia, stating that this measure has already proved to be ineffective.
Many of the articles also stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reflects the severe decline of America’s superpower status.
This decline, they added, is caused by the U.S. itself, and in particular by the policy of Democratic administrations, formerly under Obama and now under Biden, which eschews using or even threatening to use military force against various elements, such as Iran, the Taliban, Russia and China. As a result, these elements have gained power and do as they please.
The articles also claim that the present crisis indicates that each country must develop its own military power, to rely only on itself in a time of crisis. According to one of them, the crisis proves to the Arab countries that the U.S. cannot be trusted to come to their aid in the case of an Iranian attack on them.
The following are translated excerpts from some of these articles.
Saudi Columnist: The U.S. And Europe, Who Ignored The Pleas Of President Zelensky, Cannot No Longer Be Relied Upon
In his column in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, senior journalist Tariq Al-Homayed wrote that recent events prove that the world has changed and the U.S. and Europe can no longer be relied upon:
“The world has definitely changed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, [which is] the first war to be launched against a democratic country in Europe since World War II. The [global] alliances will also change: Those who could be relied upon yesterday can no longer be trusted today, and the enemy of yesterday may now become an ally.
“Our generation and the next one will have to face a clear truth, namely that the U.S. and Europe can no longer be counted on, [as evident from] momentous [recent] events, from Afghanistan to Ukraine. The world will never forget the images of the Afghans dropping off the sides of the American planes [as they took off], nor will it forget that the Ukrainian President begged 27 countries to [let] his country join NATO, but they ignored him, and that [now] he can find no-one to stand with him against the Russian invasion.
Hundreds of people gather at a checkpoint at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, Aug. 25, 2021. (AP)
“What is certain is that the U.S. and Europe put Ukraine in danger, and used it to provoke the Russian bear… until the Russians invaded it. And now President Biden is saying, ‘We will not send troops to Ukraine,’ the President of Germany is saying, ‘I ask Putin to stop the war!’ and the British Armer Forces Minister told Parliament, We must all in this House be clear that British and NATO troops should not, must not, play an active role in Ukraine’…
“The U.S. and Europe are determined to punish Russia, but without harming the oil [trade] and without stopping the war by force. Moreover, there is a heated dispute in Europe regarding the use of SWIFT sanctions [on Russia], although [the EU] previously brandished [this threat], when the West was blowing this crisis out of proportion.
“I am saying this not as a position but as a political assessment. The point here is not to take sides but to note that the world has changed and has entered a new Cold War and an open-ended conflict, while the Western leaders are weak. We are facing a real war [but] with no real statesmen… The world has changed, and whoever does not understand this is deluding himself.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine will impact alliances all over the world. So far, the one who benefits [from this] is China, and the losers, from a strategic standpoint, are the U.S. and Europe, because the Western statesmen are interested only in [winning] elections, regardless of the enormous damage done to their country’s [global standing]. The world has changed, and the lesson is that whoever sees to his own affairs and his national interests, and behaves wisely, is the one who profits… In this new world, the clear message is that you can rely on no one…”
Chair Of Emirati Journalists Association: Zelensky Has Been Abandoned By West, Should Reach Understandings With Putin
In an article in the daily Al-Bayan, Muhammad Yousuf, chair of the Emirati Journalists Association, addressed Ukrainian President Zelensky and advised him to minimize the damage to his country by reaching an agreement with Putin, now that the West has abandoned him to his fate. He wrote:
“Ukrainian President Zelensky, don’t cry over what has already been lost. Try to save what can still be saved. Get on your plane and fly to Moscow or Minsk. Your people need you to take a courageous decision in order to save their country. Those who made you promises [i.e., the West] will not extend a hand, so don’t expect them to. They are accustomed to forgetting and ignoring [their allies] and making excuses. Go ask Putin what he wants. Negotiate with him and you won’t come back disappointed…!
“You have been abandoned because you were leaning on a slim reed. You knew in advance that the stone falling on your head will come through that rickety, collapsing fence. Europe… has abandoned you to your fate. It saves its power for itself, not for its so-called allies. It itself is a satellite… of the strongest and largest country, the U.S. Only the latter has the right to act and deter, but sadly it is in an era of hesitancy and arrogance towards its allies!
“You have been abandoned because you did not take a lesson from Afghanistan, even though only a few [short] months have passed since it fell. It did not fall because the Taliban won, but because America, along with NATO and [America’s] European allies, decided to withdraw, and abandoned [Afghan president] Ashraf Ghani and his country… to their fate. You should have learned from that [example] and benefited from it.
“Every day throughout this crisis, [the Western leaders] have been saying that they will not send troops to defend Ukraine and its democratic regime, which brought you to power. You should have been wary of these people. You should have given this some thought and seen reality clearly, amazing though it is. In the end, the conflict will be between you and the Russian arsenal… President Zelensky, they have left you on your own, so go to Moscow on your own, to save what can still be saved. Don’t wait for your homeland and people to meet a tragic end.”
Editor of Saudi Daily: Ukrainian Is Justified In Thinking That, With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?
Faisal ‘Abbas, editor of the English-language Saudi daily Arab News, wrote on February 26 that the recent events in Ukraine are another reminder of the unreliability of the U.S. and the West. He stated that all countries must fend for themselves and build up their military abilities, rather than count on the U.S. to help them in their hour of need.
He wrote: “On Feb. 17, we ran an interview in Arab News with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti…
“Throughout the interview, I repeatedly asked whether he still thought the West – namely the U.S., NATO and the EU – remained reliable, and whether these entities, should push come to shove, would stand up for Kosovo or abandon it as they did in Afghanistan and, as we are now seeing, in Ukraine.
“Prime Minister Kurti defended the West and said that he thought America and NATO were there to stay. Kurti, 47, belongs to the same generation as I do. It is a generation that saw the U.S. – under the leadership of George W. Bush – rush to help liberate Kuwait in the 1990s with the help of regional allies. Later in the decade, the U.S. – under Bill Clinton – helped end the Balkan War and halt the Serbian massacres in Kosovo and Bosnia.
“However, in more recent years our generation also saw embarrassing acts by the same superpower not standing up for its own values or acting upon its own red lines. We saw that happen in both Syria and Ukraine. Former U.S. President Barack Obama threatened Syrian dictator Bashar Assad with an imaginary red line if he used chemical weapons in 2012. There was also a similar threat if Russia took over Crimea in 2014. On both occasions, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner did absolutely nothing.
“Today, we are seeing President Joe Biden follow the same path. Despite the tough-talking, he is not really saying much. You can grin and you can frown but as long as what you are essentially saying is, ‘NATO is not sending troops to Ukraine,’ then the outcome is the same as not doing anything.
“Ukraine – a democracy which did everything by the book and hoped to join NATO one day – is paying the price for believing that the U.S. and the West would protect it if it chose a different orbit from that of its next-door neighbor, Russia…
“Meanwhile, one cannot help but think that observers in Moscow must be laughing at recently announced punitive measures such as barring Russia from competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 or denying St. Petersburg the chance to host a UEFA Champions League final.
“Even the more serious measures announced so far such as sanctioning individuals are all likely to be considered acceptable collateral damage when we take into consideration what the Russian government thinks it is fighting for…
“Understandably, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed his frustration with his Western allies by saying he has not received the answers he wanted. He feels – and rightly so – that Ukraine has been left alone to fend for itself. Indeed, nobody can blame Kyiv for thinking that with friends like these, who needs enemies?
“Back to our interview with Kosovo’s PM which I referred to at the beginning, perhaps the only thing I can now agree with Kurti on is the other part of his answer to me. This is because while his country continues to rely on the U.S. and NATO, it also is working on building its own army in the meantime. That is obviously a very wise decision for any country depending on the U.S. and Western powers in general these days.”
Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks at a front-line position from a shelter in eastern Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
Saudi Journalist: The U.S. Has Undermined Its Own Status And Is Strengthening Russia, China And Iran
In an article in the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily, Saudi journalist ‘Abdallah Bin Bjad Al-‘Otaibi wrote that the policy of the Democratic Party under Obama and now under Biden, and their refusal to use force or even to consider using it, have shattered America’s power and prestige, and that Russia, China, Iran, and the Taliban are exploiting this to their advantage.
He added that, had the Ukrainian President been slightly more realistic, he would have realized he couldn’t trust the promises of the U.S. and Europe to come to his aid. Al-‘Otaibi wrote: “After the end of the Cold War the world became unipolar, led by the U.S. and its European allies. But history does not stand still… Russia and China have significantly changed the international power balance, and their strength is only growing. They are filling strategic vacuums in the world, which the U.S. and Europe have neglected to fill…
“No one likes the idea of war, but realistically one must be prepared for it. The West has developed an approach of opposing war, refusing to prepare for it and sometimes even refusing to place the idea of force on the table… Recall some events which took place not long ago: Within a few [short] months, Biden handed Afghanistan over to the Taliban, and a plane carried Afghan president [Ashraf] Ghani into exile. According to some sources, senior American officials proposed a similar fate for Ukrainian President [Volodymyr] Zelensky. It seems that a [American] concession to Iran [in the nuclear issue] is also imminent.
“An important question that must be raised with caution and concern is the following. Given that the ‘liberal left’ in the U.S. – which is represented by the Democratic Party, and within it by the camp of [former President Barack] Obama – has already knowingly shattered the prestige of the U.S., will its policy also lead to the shattering of the international system and its institutions?!…
“The Ukrainian leadership was swayed and carried away by the American and European promises and believed it was protected. That is why President [Zelensky] is now expressing his disappointment in numerous ways. Had he been slightly more realistic, he could have spared his country and the world this severe crisis.
“The political positions of the U.S. on Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria and Iran are likely to convey to the strong countries of the world, and especially to China, that [they] now have an opportunity to follow the example of Putin, of the Taliban and the Iranian regime by humiliating the U.S. and Europe, and to maximize their gains while suffering no significant damage. The U.S. is currently the strongest empire in the world, [wielding power] unprecedented in history… But its refusal to make use of this power, threaten [others] with it and place it on the negotiating table renders this power meaningless and ineffective, so that it doesn’t frighten [anyone] at this point in history…
“In a crisis of this magnitude and severity, the talk of sanctions during a war is meaningless, because no sanctions can change anything in the foreseeable future. Patience and waiting will not serve Ukraine or its people. The pressing question is what will become of Ukraine? And what comes after Ukraine? What will happen to [other] countries bordering Russia that are in a similar situation?…”
Al-Arabi Al-Jadid Deputy Editor: The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Proves The Decline Of The Western Empire Is In Its Final Stages
In an article titled “The Western Impotence and the Ukrainian Victim,” Lebanese journalist Hussam Kanafani, deputy editor-in-chief of the London-based daily Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, wrote that Ukraine is the latest victim of the decline of the Western empire and that this country was naïve to expect assistance from the West.
He wrote: “The unfolding of events following the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not surprising, especially not the position of the West, and America in particular, regarding the Russian advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Even before the start of the military campaign, it was obvious… that the Western measures to curb the ambitions of Russian President Vladimir Putin would not go beyond [imposing] sanctions, which have no impact and will do nothing to deter him…
“What is puzzling, however, is the Ukrainian stance that condemns this Western position. Kyiv apparently expected Europe and the U.S. to take more extensive measures against the invasion of the Russian [forces], which are about to capture the Ukrainian capital… The fact that it counted on a Western response reflects a high degree of political naivety, especially given that the West, in its statements prior to the Russian attack, did not express any intention to fight alongside Ukraine, but only to arm the Ukrainian military so that it can confront the Russian forces…
“At the moment of truth, when the Russian forces entered Ukraine, ]president Volodymyr] Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials were surprised at the feebleness and helplessness of the Western camp, or at its unwillingness to confront Russia, which may deteriorate into a world war that will devastate Europe. It appears that Europe is unwilling to go back [to past eras] and sacrifice the prosperity that its citizens have been enjoying since the end of World War II.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin understands this reality and acts accordingly. He clearly regards the West’s declarations and threats with contempt, and rightly so… Quite possibly, [U.S. President Joe] Biden’s recent threat, that [the U.S.] will defend every inch of NATO territory, actually conveys an encouraging message to Putin, because it is not so much a threat as a green light for the Russians to invade the depth of Ukraine, which has not officially joined NATO…
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine confirmed what was already known, namely, in a nutshell, that the decline of the Western empire has reached its final stages, and Ukraine seems to be the latest victim [of this decline].”
Iraqi Journalist: It Is Now Clear That The U.S. Will Not Help The Arabs Against Iran
Iraqi journalist Ibrahim Al-Zubaidi wrote in the London-based daily Al-Arab that the American conduct in the Ukraine crisis is a disappointment for the Arab countries, who have realized they cannot count on America to help them against the Iranian threat:
“The Ukrainian people recently discovered that expecting their American and European allies to take a firm and decisive position is like trying to hold water in a sieve.
“Two elements wronged the Ukrainian people: the NATO Alliance, and the stupid Ukrainian President [Zelensky]. [The latter] went too far in provoking the greedy Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who has just been waiting for an opportunity to recapture the former republics of the Soviet Union. [Zelensky] deluded himself that the U.S. and Europe would not abandon him and leave him alone in the storm, and would not permit Russia to invade [his country], either now or years from now…
“The feeble and indecisive position taken by President Biden regarding the recent Russian invasion did not only disappoint the Ukrainians. It also disappointed and saddened other allies of the U.S., and especially our Arab peoples, who suffer from the Iranian wolves. Because, if the Iranian regime has already occupied four Arab capitals and waged all types of terrorism and aggression against other countries in the region, it has [now] been proved that Biden will not come to the rescue if [Iran’s] Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, like its Russian ally, decides to take over a fifth Arab country.
“[This is especially clear] now that [the West and the U.S.] have revived the old nuclear agreement, lifted sanctions [from Iran], and failed to respond to the aggressive Iranian actions in the region. It is now patently clear that the Yemenis, Lebanese, Iraqis, Syrians, Saudis, Emiratis, Bahrainis and Kuwaitis, [who all suffer from Iranian aggression], will not receive anything but empty words [from the West], rather than real, military action.”
By MEMRI -The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI; officially the "Middle East Media and Research Institute") is a nonprofit press monitoring and analysis organization co-founded by former Israeli military intelligence officer Yigal Carmon and Israeli-American political scientist Meyrav Wurmser. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., MEMRI publishes and distributes free English-language translations of Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Pashto, and Turkish media reports.