In an earlier article entitled: ‘Tkompli tirrenja l-konfużjoni fil-PN wara li l-kelliema tal-Kultura titlob għat-tkeċċija tal-Missjoni Russa minn Malta’ Simon Mercieca, highlighted the highly problematic (and grossly irresponsible) statement by PN MP Julie Zahra calling for the expulsion of the Russian diplomatic mission from Malta, this soon after Julie read or saw the news that amongst the victims of the Russian Special Military Operation in Ukraine she witnessed the tragic death of an innocent child.
Simon approached the issue from the aspect of the confusion and lack of discipline that currently reigns in the PN, when it comes to formal spokespersons and policy. I will tackle the issue from, what is to me, a more troubling aspect – that of highly inadequate ‘politicians’ making it to our parliament.
Julie Zahra is a singer, a good one at that – her highest achievements in order of merit and importance are a) being a mother b) representing Malta in the Eurovision and coming 12th out of 36 countries and c) being elected to our parliament not through the people’s will – but through a state-mandated and highly problematic gender quota. With the exception of motherhood, which should rightly be held in the highest esteem there is nothing else in her biography that qualifies her for contributing anything to the legislature let alone statesmanship. She evidently has no knowledge of political science or philosophy, she evidently knows no history and neither it seems is she interested in it (for she would have reacted differently) or it seems much of anything else other than trying to look good and to virtue signal.
But why is her knee-jerk reaction of a statement so problematic? – there are several reasons and let us here tackle but a few of the more obvious ones:
A) She cannot keep her emotions in check – she has allowed them to overwhelm her – and that is never a good sign, it means she is incapable of taking a step back and looking at things critically and objectively.
B) It is evident – that she is highly impressionable by the selective reporting that she is fed – and parrots it like a fool. If she wasn’t, she would have tried to understand the complex nature of this conflict – she would have for example have shown the same concern when the Ukrainian government and armed forces were indiscriminately shelling ethnic Russian civilians including many infants in the Donbas for EIGHT long years before Russia said enough is enough.
When the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin called what has been happening there a genocide he wasn’t simply being rhetorical – he was quoting verbatim from its very definition which is: ‘the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.’ – and yes that is what has been going on in the Eastern and Southern parts of Ukraine for several years where the Russian speaking minority has been the victim not only of highly discriminatory legislation (such as banning Russian language and culture) but indeed of state-mandated violence and all of this with the backing of NATO and her much beloved EU. Has she ever heard of Minsk I and II – does she know why they were never implemented? That she doesn’t have an even remote inkling of all this shows even further how ill-fit she is for the job – for evidently, she has never tried to seek an objective opinion – she has relied solely on a highly censorious and propagandistic media to form her opinion – which in itself is a dereliction of duty. She is evidently incapable of listening and trying to understand any other point of view which may very well be more informed and ultimately closer to the truth than hers or what is fed to her. She is symptomatic of a new generation who thinks just because they have an opinion – they know it all, and we should listen to them.
At the bottom of this article are just a couple of primers for Julie– who evidently needs to catch up with what has been truly going on there for nearly a decade (caution 18+ viewership):
C) Moral relativism:
I) Half a million Iraqi children died directly and indirectly in a war of choice that was justified on what we now know to be deliberate lies. 49 countries participated in a “coalition of the willing” and are all to a degree responsible for what is undoubtedly a war crime of epic proportions, starting from the USA and the UK – should we have closed down their diplomatic missions in response? Or is it a case that those children were ‘theirs’ and not ‘ours’ and therefore OK? And what about the mass deaths of children through war, famine, and sanctions that NATO, the USA and Europe have instigated elsewhere such as Libya, Yemen, and Syria? Do these not trouble her soul to the extent that she has never called for such a response as she did for Russia?
II) Although not as visible as a missile crashing into an apartment block, there are many areas where an inadequate or maladroit government can kill people, triggering significant numbers of excess deaths, distributed throughout a variety of categories.
One of these is for example legislating for the eventual killing of undesirable human embryos like our parliament just did and to which she did not offer any opposition. She too thus is indirectly responsible for the ‘freezing’ and eventual deaths of pre-born children. Another way is for example through the draconian COVID measures or simply through other stupid decisions such as the economically suicidal sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia by politicians, equally ill-informed and inadequate as her, who should have never been put anywhere remotely close to the levers of power let alone given the power to drastically affect the lives of millions. Bad governance kills, and the outcomes can be every bit as devastating as a shooting war on adults and children alike.
D) As an MP her duty is toward the national interest and to those of her constituency. She is obliged to keep this always in mind and control her emotions. The fundamental problem with such an outburst of ‘virtue signaling’ is that – in the end – necessities will always win, for as Bismark stated that for nations “There are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests”. We just saw this political truth play out with no one less than the president of the USA, who after the murder by the Saudi government of a political opponent stated: “We were going to in fact make them pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are,”- only to now, seemingly forgetting everything, needed to go begging cap in hand to Muhammed Bin Salman so that the latter might increase oil production so that the inflation in the USA might be brought under control. The problem is that Bin Salman has a memory, and is in no hurry to help – even if such help would be in the best interests of the citizens of the USA. Who knows therefore what we might eventually need from Russia in the challenging times that we are bound to face? What would our country gain by expelling the Russian diplomatic mission? Has she ever heard that one of the definitions of stupidity is causing losses to others while gaining nothing or indeed even suffering losses in return?
If Julie wants to see an end to these deaths as we all do, does she think it’s going to be achieved through a military victory on the battlefield or through a political and diplomatic compromise that caters for the genuine security interests and concerns of all parties? Russia included? If she thinks the latter is more likely, why then would she want to close a diplomatic mission? How is compromise more likely when you have no one left to talk to?
E) The role of a diplomatic mission is to represent a state in another country – to maintain channels of communication be they political, legal, economic, social or cultural. We are not at war with Russia and most certainly not with its people, even though some are doing their worst to demonize Russians and everything Russian- whilst being ostensibly champions of ‘inclusion’ and ‘diversity’. What does she propose next (she’s the spokesperson for culture remember?) – that we stop reading Doestoevsky or stop listening to Tchaikovsky next? That we eliminate Pushkin or Gogol as they have done in Ukraine, and sadly elsewhere in Europe too.
Our country cannot afford such juvenile politicians – the ship of state is a serious endeavor that requires adult and erudite people at its helm, to stand a chance to navigate safely through the stormy seas ahead. The likes of Julie with their geopolitical and historical ignorance, woke values, moral relativism, and infantile judgment are not only a blemish on their respective parties but a threat to our collective wellbeing.