At the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, Japan, which brings together the seven richest countries in the West (the United States, Canada, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy), there was a proliferation of hostility expressed against China and, of course, Russia.
Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, G7 leaders pledged to increase pressure on Moscow to force Vladimir Putin’s government to undertake a “complete and unconditional” withdrawal from Ukrainian territory and pledged to increase military and diplomatic support for Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was transported to Hiroshima by an official French plane.
Given the unrealistic prospect of a total Russian surrender, it is clear that such assistance to Kyiv will prolong the war, destruction and suffering of Ukrainians and Russians and will accentuate the risks of a direct confrontation between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, of which six of the seven states represented at the meeting are members.
The aggressive posture of the G7 was also directed at China, which it accused of resorting to “force or coercion” in an alleged desire for territorial expansion — a reference to Beijing’s claim that the island of Taiwan is an integral part of Chinese territory. The Asian power was also accused of promoting militarization in the Asia-Pacific region.
That accusation could more aptly be made of the U.S., whose administrations, it should be remembered, have maintained a disproportionate and intimidating military apparatus in that area since the end of World War II. Recently, it has intensified military maneuvers with its allies South Korea, Japan and Taiwan itself.
The remarks of more moderate and equidistant leaders invited to the meeting, such as Brazil’s Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and India’s Narendra Modi, were useless. They have proposed diplomatic channels to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation, instead of insisting on an improbable Russian defeat through the massive shipment of high-powered weapons to Zelenskyy’s government.
A particularly grotesque and shameful point was the exhortation to the Afghan regime to “fulfill its obligations to fight terrorism,” an expression that seems to have been taken from two-decades-old speeches of former President George W. Bush, who invaded and destroyed that Central Asian nation precisely under the pretext of fighting terrorism. It should not be forgotten that Afghanistan is currently struggling with the acute crisis caused by that invasion and suffers from a brutal fundamentalist oppression. That very oppression was incubated by Washington during the 1970s and ’80s of the last century, overthrown in 2001, and restored after the end of the failed occupation of the country by Western troops.
Today, while they are living under theocratic dictatorship and experiencing terrible shortages, terrorism is Afghans’ least concern.
The only redeemable position of Western economic powers is perhaps the intention to contribute to “safe, orderly and regular migration” in the world and to “tackle the organized criminal networks which facilitate illegal migration and the dangerous journey of migrants and asylum seekers, profiting off some of the most vulnerable.”
This is, however, a superficial and even frivolous approach to global migratory flows, which are certainly exploited by human traffickers, but whose causes are the brutal inequalities between rich and poor countries, as well as the consequences of the neocolonial plunder and depredation perpetrated by the former on the latter, practices of which the United States, France and the United Kingdom are the world’s most prominent exponents.