Culture

These 5 Corrupt Nations Have Learned How To Defend Themselves By Playing Into The West’s Deepest Insecurities

By Sylvie Patterson
·  7 min read
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The World Cup brought the once-obscure Middle Eastern nation of Qatar into the global spotlight. Naturally, the country has been subject to criticism from the West regarding its questionable human rights record, from labor rights, to freedom of expression, to gender rights, and more.

Most shocking, however, was the response of the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino himself, who defended Qatar by calling out the West for being hypocritical. His response was in poor taste, but unfortunately, it was nothing new to the world of foreign policy. Qatar is just one example in which a corrupt country has found defense in the form of a “hypocrisy” accusation directed at the West. In essence, the world's more corrupt nations have caught on to the rules of wokeism that the West has laid out. Now, they too can play the game of virtue signaling.

China

In 2020, one of the best examples of a nation deflecting criticism back on the U.S. took place. China drew criticism for its treatment of protesters against the new national security law proposed for Hong Kong. China was quick to troll the Western defenders of Hong Kong by bringing up the George Floyd protests. The U.S. spokeswoman for the State Department tweeted in support of Hong Kong’s fight against Communist China, and the spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry of China posted a response that went viral: “I can’t breathe.” 

In bringing up George Floyd, China knew that it would hit a weak spot in the American psyche, trying to guilt trip Americans into ignoring Hong Kong and instead focus on BLM. In reality, the George Floyd incident is completely irrelevant to the conflict over Hong Kong, a democratic hold-out against communism. It's safe to assume that the Chinese spokespeople have no concern about racism in America whatsoever, and use it only to troll their critics. 

Saudi Arabia 

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salaman recently revealed the design concepts for The Line, a massive linear eco-city that will be a “civilizational revolution that puts humans first” and will provide “an unprecedented urban living experience while preserving the surrounding nature.” The Line “redefines the concept of urban development and what cities of the future should look like.” The Line is part of Saudi Arabia’s mission to rebrand itself by 2030, an attempt to distance the country from its troubling human rights track record. 

While the nation seeks to promote itself as a vision of utopian environmentalism, it’s just a “mirror glass facade,” a distraction from the nation’s infringement on human rights. These include the fact that women in Saudi Arabia only gained the right to vote in 2015 and weren’t allowed to drive until 2018, the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and a mass execution of 81 people in March, the largest in modern history. Hiding behind a shield of environmentalism, Saudi Arabia seeks to virtue-signal to the world with its “emission free” linear city, and in that way make itself adamantine against criticisms from the West.

Qatar

As we know, Qatar and its human rights record were recently brought into the spotlight as the host of the World Cup. The FIFA president defended Qatar by accusing the West of hypocrisy and colonialism. “For what we Europeans have been doing the last 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons,” Infantino said. 

He further elaborated, “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel (like) a vagrant. Today I feel (like) a migrant worker." Thankfully, FIFA and its president don’t speak for the West as a whole, and most people are against both him and Qatar and don’t stand by his bizarre statement. 

Corrupt nations have learned how to play the game of political correctness by mastering the art of deflection against their critics.

Iran

The case of Iran is interesting, because it’s not a particular statement, but rather an omission of one that is conspicuous. It’s also an instance in which the U.S. media seems to internalize this phenomenon, rather than be called out by the other country itself. Iran doesn’t need to call the U.S. a hypocrite, as our country very nearly does it to itself by failing to criticize Iran in the first place. The mainstream media isn’t doing the women’s rights crisis and protests in Iran justice because it wants to focus on the issues within the U.S. (namely access to abortion), which it views as more pressing. The mainstream media has failed to address the atrocities of Iran, presumably because they don’t see themselves in a place to critique the human rights injustices there, since the U.S. doesn’t permit abortion in some states. Once again, these two issues are not even comparable. 

Russia

With their religious devotion to political correctness, the Left is the most vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy. But can the Right’s own insecurities also be targeted by foreign nations? Russia justifies its invasion of Ukraine due to “culture wars.” Putin accuses the West, of which he considers Ukraine to be a part, of cultural degeneration and decadence. While the decline of culture and traditional values as a whole is a legitimate concern, this is not something that can justify committing war crimes against a country while abandoning your own people. Putin painted his invasion of Ukraine as a grand fight in defense of traditional values, hoping to draw support from conservative Americans. In reality, Russia is only destroying its own nation by invading Ukraine.

Once again, we can play the game of hypocrisy. Should Russia really be accusing the West of corruption when its own nation is failing? The economy of Russia is suffering a recession, undoubtedly decreasing the quality of life for Russia’s own people. Strategically, Russia has attempted to place itself in a sympathetic position with the American Right, even though the Russia-Ukraine war shouldn’t be politicized. Does Putin really care about traditional values? Most likely not. Once again, this is a purely political tactic.

As we can see, corrupt nations have developed a new strategy of deflecting from their own issues by blaming the U.S. and the West for being hypocrites. In reality, these countries know exactly what they’re doing, and couldn’t care less about the U.S.’s track record of human rights. Instead, these politicians know that they can use political correctness to make the Left uncomfortable, and thus undermine any legitimate criticism of their own nation. In political correctness, they have found the Achilles’ heel of the West. 

Closing Thoughts

The U.S. has become overly sensitive to anything involving race, gender, or inequality of any kind. In fact, the West is obsessed with inclusion and overcoming its past injustices (some real, some not). Now, by destroying itself from within, the U.S. places itself in a position in which it cannot criticize any other nation. This is a subversion of the famous biblical quote, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:4-5). The U.S. has placed an imaginary plank in its own eye, and now can do nothing to speak out against actual atrocities in foreign nations. Instead, it turns on itself in ever-increasing levels of irrationality, trying to remove a non-existent plank from its eye. 

Corrupt nations have learned how to play the game of political correctness by mastering the art of deflection against their critics. Not only does this deflection come from foreign leaders and politicians, but more chillingly, as in the examples of Qatar and Iran, from within the Western world itself. Fortunately, however, most people are able to see through this tactic for the propaganda that it is.

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