While Western politicians weep crocodile tears over the plight of the Ukrainian people, thousands of innocent bodies are piling up in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen without any capitalist media coverage.
Back home, British Muslims and Asians alike are furious at this clear case of establishment hypocrisy.
It’s not just racism at play from the elites. It’s about which side of the war the ruling class is on and who benefits.
“War is terrible, terribly profitable.” This statement is just as true today as it was when Lenin made it more than a century ago.
Under capitalism, governments are the representatives of the ruling class of their own country. With the world divided into competing nation states, each ruling class is forced to profit and expand its markets at the expense of the others.
With the entire world 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.
When fundamental disputes cannot be resolved through usual “diplomacy”, armed conflict remains the next option. After all, war is only the continuation of politics by other means.
It is therefore not surprising 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.
For decades, the Western imperialists have therefore tried to secure allies in this region, to ensure a supply of cheap oil, among other ambitions.
The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere were waged by Western imperialists not to bring peace and democracy, but to establish regimes favorable to their commercial and political interests.
In the process, since 2001, the United States has dropped more than 152,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria, killing thousands of innocent civilians and displacing millions from their homes.
British Muslims, especially among young people, have shown enormous international solidarity in response to this suffering. They have often been at the forefront of anti-war movements and continue to fight racist and anti-immigration policies pursued by the UK Home Office and other Western governments.
In recent weeks, Tory ministers and journalists from the establishment media have been shouting at the British to heroically harbor Ukrainian refugees, participate in unnecessary political gestures and even offer to fight for the Ukrainian army.
Yet when refugees from Libya, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere have sought refuge in the UK in recent years, the same establishment spokesmen have demanded that Britain’s borders remain firmly closed.
Instead of offering their solidarity, these hypocrites poured out poisonous and inflammatory remarks about those fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, saying that “Britain is for the British”.
When it comes to “bad” refugees fleeing the destruction of British imperialism and its allies, in other words, the British ruling class has shown no concern except that they consider the migrant crisis as a potential source of cheap labor, and as a means of dividing the working class.
Divide and rule
Conservatives have been instrumental in this, stoking xenophobia and bigotry and creating a “hostile environment” for all migrants and refugees who manage to enter the country.
The fomentation of nationalism and anti-Muslim hatred was an integral part of this process, justifying the ruthless rejection of these refugees.
British Muslims and Asians have also borne the brunt, facing vile racist rhetoric from reactionary politicians and press for years.
Muslims have been portrayed 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 conquer”: using racism as a convenient tool to distract from the real cause of these problems: the capitalist system itself.
This has all been a deliberate tactic on the part of the ruling class, designed to protect its 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 wage a proxy war in Ukraine for markets and spheres of influence, they must demonize the opposing side and hide their true interests behind a fog of cynical propaganda.
In reality, the ruling classes of the West don’t give a damn about the Ukrainian people. Just as they don’t care about Palestinians, Yemenis or Afghans.
In the end, all these desperate people are just pawns in their imperialist games, to preserve their capitalist interests.
Unfortunately for the conservatives, their members are so convinced of the anti-refugee and anti-migrant position stirred up in recent years that their most diehard supporters are no longer even happy to welcome Ukrainian refugees!
During the bombing of Gaza a year ago, the British ruling class offered only mournful silence. Similarly, when the Modi government in India instigated a purge of Muslims, the West said nothing.
And while 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 pounds of weapons over the past decade.
It is therefore clear that it is not “democracy” and “freedom” that drive the foreign policy of the Western imperialists, but the cold pursuit of profit.
The decisions of the imperialists may appear motivated by racism. But in reality, this racism is stirred up by the ruling class to justify its actions. Racism is a tool used by the ruling class to preserve and pursue its capitalist interests. Racism, in other words, is a class issue.
Without such a perspective, those who face oppression can be drawn into 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 fight against racism and discrimination must therefore be a fight against capitalism. Only through united class struggle against the real enemy – the capitalists, imperialists and their political representatives – can we put an end to war and oppression once and for all.