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The Mrs and so many others rush to defend war crimes in Ukraine, and the "Russia targets civilians" myth

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 28 March 2022

 Anyone dissenting from the GroupThink frenzy – one whipped up by our leaders and the mainstream media – is dismissed as a Putin asset, a Russian poodle and an apologist for fascism. Thus, one must believe that Ukraine is the epitome of angelicity, and that Putin is indeed committing war crimes against civilians, the likes of which we have not seen since World War Two.

As George Orwell put it in 1984: “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth.”  

It will not take you long to find footage of Ukrainian forces targeting Russian prisoners of war. A couple die of shock; most writhe in agony. This is a war crime.  As, of course, is showing captured soldiers on TV, as Ukraine has done from the start of the war, with the Western media – which vehemently condemned Iraq for the same behaviour – lapping it up.

But the Mrs – and so many on Twitter – said: ”so what, they are Russian invaders and look what they are doing, targeting civilians, etc.” But that is not how it works. Just because one side commits a war crime, it does not excuse similar behaviour from its opponents. My point here is not to defend Russia; merely, it is to suggest that the second most corrupt country in Europe, which bans political parties that dissent from its Nationalist GroupThink, which does have a problem with active Neo Nazis, and deliberately rigs elections – that is to say, Ukraine – is not quite the beacon of liberal democracy we MUST accept it to be.

Now, to the Russian war crime of targeting civilians, which we in the West are so appalled by. What evidence do we have for this?  According to the Ukrainian Government – which has form in inflating statistics – 4,275 civilians have been killed in the first month. The US says the number is between two and four thousand, while the UN estimates it is around 1,119.  I of course agree that, whatever the number, any death is to be lamented and condemned.

However, before we cite civilian deaths as a reason to call out war crimes, might I remind you that, in the first 40 days of the 2003 Iraq war – “The invasion phase” – there were also large-scale civilian casualties.    According to Iraq Body Count, a group that relies on press reports and official figures to measure civilian casualties, approximately 7,500 civilians were killed during the invasion phase. The Project on Defense Alternatives estimates that between 3,200 and 4,300 civilians died during the invasion. In the whole of 2003, almost 13,000 Iraqi civilians were killed, and for what?  But that is another discussion entirely.

The indisputable fact is that when an invading force is seeking to capture centres of population – especially where the invaded country has forces situated – civilians are killed. Full stop. I do not for a second doubt that there have been incidents of Russian forces targeting civilians and, thus, committing a war crime. Indeed, such crimes have been documented at great length by the BBC and other members of the poodle press, which has lost all sense of objectivity during this war.

The actual number of civilian casualties suggests that, contrary to general belief, Russia is not targeting the civilian population.  Remember – there were almost 40 million civilians in Ukraine to “target” if that is what Russia wanted to do. 

I put it to President Biden that, based on civilian casualties, if Putin really is a butcher and a war criminal, then – on a far larger scale – so was his own President Bush.

That I must stress how I am not a supporter of Russian aggression is a sign of the hysterical times. That a sane woman such as the Mrs can see evidence of war crimes, yet seek mitigation by saying, “look what the other side did”, shows how Big Brother is succeeding in demonising all Russians.  

Now, if you will excuse me, I must rush: I have some more Tolstoy books to burn as my contribution to today’s two-minute hate.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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