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Let Us Say it's Another Conspiracy and Relax

Let Us Say it's Another Conspiracy and Relax

Monday, 14 June, 2021 - 10:30

The United States of America, as the White House announced, is going to buy half a billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine and donate them to 90 countries around the world. Its president, Joe Biden, has called on “the world’s democracies” to do the same. Britain complied, donating 100 million jabs.

Let’s imagine for a moment that China or Russia were the two countries that did such a thing! What is certain is that the news would have been written in a wildly celebratory tone in Arab axis of resistance milieus, with emphasis put on the immense gap in the sensitivity, humanity and virtue between the “imperialist West” and “countries that love peace and peoples.” But since it was the United States donating the vaccines, the reaction one could speculate the axis of resistance would give goes something like this: this is the tip of the iceberg of what they have looted from us Arabs and Muslims.

Let’s take our imagination a little further: today, accusations are floating around, and investigations into China’s potential responsibility- which some say is certain- for the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic are underway. What if the United States, not China, were the source of the pandemic?

We do not need much imagination to imagine the comments about such an event: “...and did you expect anything but evil from those who had exterminated the Native Americans, burnt Vietnam and supported Israel?”

As for imagining America or the European countries bringing upon their Muslim communities ten percent of the afflictions that China has brought upon Uighur Muslims, this should be beyond our wildest imagination.

Such things, of course, have not happened, but the history of habitual positions regarding similar events that actually did occur allow for such speculation. It seems that a development unfolded two weeks ago and was not met with any Arab media coverage worth mentioning:

The news says: The rich Group of Seven countries (America, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan, as well as the European Union) reached, at a ministers’ meeting in London in preparation for their leaders’ conference, a ‘historic’ agreement to impose a tax rate of at least 15 percent on multinational corporations, that is, over a hundred massive corporations, including Amazon and Facebook...

It is well known that tax evasion has become among the hallmarks of our era’s economy and a force for undermining justice. Apple, one example among many, is currently waging a legal battle to avoid paying 13 billion euros.

Beyond fighting tax fraud, this decision, if successfully implemented, would transfer billions of dollars to the coffers of governments that had become indebted or bankrupt by the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. This would relieve some of the burdens of the aforementioned repercussions on the poor in those countries, as well as directing resources toward addressing the provision of pressing public demands for employment, education, healthcare and housing.

Moreover, the 15 percent is merely a compromise minimum tax rate that can be raised. However, the previously mentioned agreement will also serve as a gateway to pressuring other countries and international groupings to take similar measures. The first to be exposed to this pressure will be the Group of Twenty, which includes countries like China, Russia, Brazil and India, and is scheduled to meet soon in Rome. It is widely recognized that broad international compliance with the G7 resolution or the generalization of its stipulations is what guarantees its success in reigning in the big corporations.

It remains to be said that the incentive that pushed the Americans, Europeans and Japanese in this direction was twofold: the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and the shift in the United States’ ideological and economic mindset after Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump. However, this decision could also be a step on the path to burying neoliberalism’s prevalence as an ideological doctrine since the eighties. The new tax and the role of states are strong indications of that.

... Going back to our situation, it seems that Arab axis of resistance media outlets ignoring this development is another indication of understating what happens around the world so long as it “does not concern us.” But it also exposes our lack of commitment to our claims to sympathizing with the world’s poor and the fight against neoliberalism and globalization’s negative repercussions. However, this indifference twists and turns: when the West is the “good guy,” as is the case for the latest decision, understating is in full force. However, when the West is the “bad guy,” global interest in the matter is in full force. Sometimes, errors in judgment can get out of hand, as in the example of people being overjoyed by French President Emmanuel Macron being slapped in the face before it became clear that the slapper hates Arab and Muslim foreigners’ more than anyone else.

To prevent any mistakes of this kind, the guaranteed method remains: saying that it is a conspiracy and relaxing…

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