‘Banana Republics’: The repeated case of Western hypocrisy

US, Gaza, Palestinians

Students, professors, and activists from across the US are gathered on their respective campuses to show solidarity with Palestinians amid the war on Gaza and demand an end to Israeli atrocities towards Palestinians. But the Biden administration, with the help of university administrations, has cracked down on students’ and academia’s peaceful protests in support of Palestine. New York police have arrested more than 100 students, including professors, and shown brutality during arrest, a treatment typically reserved for individuals connected to al Qaeda. The recent brutality faced by the peaceful demonstrators in the US, labeled as terrorists by law enforcement agencies, has laid bare a glaring double standard in the Biden administration’s so-called human rights and democracy. In this context, the deafening silence of Western powers in the face of their own transgressions speaks volumes.

The hypocrisy of Western policymakers regarding their unchecked power and self-righteousness remains a great concern for the Global South. They operate and interfere under the assumption that their actions are always legitimate and democratic, even at a human cost. In contrast, if such atrocities, as those that occurred in the US, were perpetuated in countries like Bangladesh or India, the outcry from Western capitals and human rights groups would be resounding. Even the US spending billions of dollars in the conflict of Ukraine and Israel, with little regard for innocent lives, portrays the victims as mere collateral damage in the pursuit of perpetuating the military-industrial complex that fuels Western economies and political careers.

On April 24, 2024, US House Speaker Mike Johnson visited the Columbia campus and intimidated peaceful student demonstrators for their freedom of expression by threatening to withhold funding from universities that allow pro-Palestinian protests. This is how criticism in the USA is stifled, and dissent is quashed under the guise of maintaining stability and security. The silence of the media, human rights NGOs, and lawmakers in the face of Western aggression is a testament to the entrenched interests that dominate global politics. Meanwhile, the voices of those in the Global South, who bear the brunt of US imperialism, are marginalized and ignored.

The world is witnessing the double standard of the administration of President Joe Biden, wherein the US condemns or punishes its adversaries, such as Russia, but ignores or excuses its friends, such as Israel. Here, the US is not only ignoring international but also domestic law, specifically the so-called Leahy Law. Now, the notion of Western democracy and morality has been exposed as a facade, concealing a system built on exploitation and violence. It is imperative for us to challenge Western narratives and assert our own agencies in shaping the future of our world. We must reject the label of “Banana Republics” thrust upon us by Western Powers and assert our right to self-determination and sovereignty.

Furthermore, we call upon the citizens of Western nations to join us in our struggle for peace and justice. It is not enough to passively benefit from the spoils of imperialism; we must actively work to dismantle the systems of oppression that perpetuate violence and exploitation around the globe. We urge Western citizens to take to the streets and demand an end to the funding of wars and the prioritization of profits over human lives.

It is imperative for nations in the Global South to break free from the shackles of Western hegemony and speak out against the injustices perpetrated by Western powers. We must condemn the aggression and exploitation that have become hallmarks of Western foreign policy. The time has come for us to unite in solidarity and demand an end to the vicious cycle of war and domination.


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