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Al Jazeera Complains about Alleged Double Standard in Western Response to Russian Ukraine Invasion

March 1st, 2022 12:18

Qatari gov­ern­ment-owned Al Jazeera has pub­lished a sym­pa­thet­ic arti­cle report­ing that uniden­ti­fied social media users have com­plained about an alleged dou­ble stan­dard In the West­ern response to Rus­si­a’s inva­sion of Ukraine. Accord­ing to Al Jazeera, there has been a “lack of such a reac­tion to oth­er con­flicts across the world”:

As the Russ­ian inva­sion of Ukraine con­tin­ues into a fourth day, an out­pour­ing of sup­port for Ukraini­ans has been wit­nessed across much of Europe, Aus­tralia, and the West in gen­er­al. The war began on Thurs­day after Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to enter Ukraine, fol­low­ing months of a heavy mil­i­tary build-up on the bor­der. The war has trig­gered swift con­dem­na­tion by sev­er­al coun­tries, imme­di­ate sanc­tions by the Unit­ed States and oth­er coun­tries tar­get­ing Russ­ian banks, oil refiner­ies, and mil­i­tary exports, and marathon emer­gency talks at the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil (UNSC). On social media, the speed of such an inter­na­tion­al response – which includes the exclu­sion of Rus­sia from some cul­tur­al events and treat­ment of it as a pari­ah in sports – has raised eye­brows at the lack of such a reac­tion to oth­er con­flicts across the world. Media pun­dits, jour­nal­ists, and polit­i­cal fig­ures have been accused of dou­ble stan­dards for using their out­lets to not only com­mend Ukraine’s armed resis­tance to Russ­ian troops, but also to under­ly­ing their hor­ror at how such a con­flict could hap­pen to a “civilised” nation. CBS News senior cor­re­spon­dent in Kyiv Char­lie D’Agata said on Fri­day: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen con­flict rag­ing for decades. This is a rel­a­tive­ly civilised, rel­a­tive­ly Euro­pean – I have to choose those words care­ful­ly, too – city where you wouldn’t expect that, or hope that it’s going to hap­pen.” His com­ments were met with deri­sion and anger on social media, with many point­ing out how his state­ments con­tributed to the fur­ther dehu­man­i­sa­tion of non-white, non-Euro­pean peo­ple suf­fer­ing under a con­flict with­in main­stream media.

Read the rest here,

Exam­ples pro­vid­ed of alleged West­ern­er hypocrisy gen­er­al­ly cen­tered on Mid­dle East­ern con­flicts, such as:

“Amaz­ing main­stream West­ern media gives glow­ing cov­er­age of peo­ple resist­ing inva­sion by mak­ing molo­tov cock­tails,” one social media user remarked. “If they were brown peo­ple in Yemen or Pales­tine doing the same they would be labeled ter­ror­ists deserv­ing US-Israeli or US-Sau­di drone bombing.”

In Sep­tem­ber 2020, the US ordered Al Jazeera in the US to reg­is­ter as a for­eign agent. Accord­ing to the New York Times:

…the Jus­tice Depart­ment said that AJ+, a net­work that pri­mar­i­ly pro­duces short videos for social media in Eng­lish as well as Ara­bic, French and Span­ish, engages in “polit­i­cal activ­i­ties” on behalf of Qatar’s government.

Al Jazeera has also had a his­toric close rela­tion­ship with the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a transna­tion­al Islamist net­work cov­ered by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR). We report­ed ear­li­er that ele­ments of the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood appear to be attempt­ing to shift the nar­ra­tive on the Russ­ian inva­sion of Ukraine to con­flicts in the  Mid­dle East, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Israeli-Pales­tin­ian conflict.