Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Value of human life

The recent incidents involving the former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter have been hogging national media for some time now.  The British claim that they were 'attacked' by Russia using a nerve agent and seeking an explanation from Russia is justified. So is the anger, if Russia is involved in carrying out an unlawful activity on British soil.  However, while I find the anger and tension on either side justified, what I do not really approve of is the double standards of the British government and the lack of a wider perspective. 

Why is UK angry?  Because a former informant from the Russian army, now living in the UK, was attacked. While for the British, he may be a 'decorated' army/intelligence man.  However for the Russians he is a traitor.  He disclosed and risked the lives of Russian spies in Europe to the MI6 and that's treason, by any and every standard definition of patriotism.

Does that justify the attack on Skripal? Certainly no.  The UK is justified in getting angry but not merely for attacking the man and his daughter but putting at risk the lives of so many people.  Now the latter that does not seem to be the case! 

The message sent out: Lives of those living in the UK, atleast those legally here, are valuable.  The rest of lives are not worth much. If the attack on one man can prompt the British and the NATO to take such serious diplomatic steps, (eg.: of expelling 23 Russian diplomats) then how much more could and can the UK government do when thousands of lives are in danger.  I'm thinking of all the lives in Syria, for instance.  All innocent civilians.  Apart from providing aid, after the casualties, the Western government seem to bother only about its citizens on home ground.  The issue of greater concern is that the government can take diplomatic steps without engaging in war.  Why not use the same diplomatic measures to confront aggressive governments?  National embargoes only accentuate the suffering of the poor citizens and does not really affect the political and economic bigwigs. 

Moreover, thinking from the perspective of a non-Britisher, how would he or she feel when Britain interferes with their local governance or ill-treats political leaders on their home soil?  Are they not justified in getting angry at 'foreign interference'? What treatment does the English government deserve for arming different groups (armies and militia) around the world, bombing countries in the middle-east...

I guess it all comes down to the question of 'me and my'.  As long as nothing adversely affects me and my people, everything is fine.  

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