Ukraine War, July 4, 2022: Time to play hardball with “the South” on Russian aggression against Ukraine

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.


1) Marc Semo, “Sur la guerre en Ukraine, les pays du Sud refusent de s’aligner sur la position occidentale; De l’Afrique à l’Asie en passant par l’Amérique latine, le camp des pays qui ne veulent pas choisir entre les Occidentaux et la Russie s’élargit, Le Monde, le 1. juillet 2022;

2) Marc Semo, “On the war in Ukraine, the countries of the South refuse to align themselves with the Western position; From Africa to Asia via Latin America, the camp of countries that do not want to choose between Westerners and Russia is expanding,” (translation on the website) Le Monde, July 01, 2022 (3:30 pm);

3) “Ukraine War, June 28, 2022: American diplomacy fails to win support against Russia among non-allied countries; G-7 leaders disappoint, are reminiscent of leaders in 1930’s facing Nazi threat,” The Trenchant Observer, June 28, 2022;

4) James Rowles, “Letter to Fence-Sitters,” Trenchant Observations, June 23, 2022;

5) “Ukraine War, May 10, 2022 (II): The hard work ahead in the non-allied countries, to get them to joint the anti-Russian coalition,” The Trenchant Observer, May 10, 2022;

6) Joe Parkinson, David Luhnow and Juan Forero, “Russia Alliance Is Missing a Big Bloc: The Developing World; Nations are resisting economic sanctions and voicing criticism over the Ukraine invasion, fearful of political and economic repercussions from Moscow or Beijing,” Wall Street journal, April 14, 2022 (11:41 am ET);


Semo provides an update on the failure of the West to enlist the support of “the South” in its condemnation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and in joining in the enforcement of sanctions against the aggressor.

Rowles (your author, The Observer) issues a clarion call for the West to force these nations to choose sides in what he views as a struggle to defend civilization itself.

This is not a small matter.

This is not a matter where the countries of the South can play the decolonization guilt card. They have had 60 years of independence and time to get their own houses in order. They are participants in the process of governing the planet.

They have also benefitted enormously from the good intentions and generosity of the West, which has invested large sums in their development, has extended huge international loans at concessionary interest rates, and which continues to contribute to their development and welfare.

There is no reason why this benevolence should continue if these countries in the South won’t stand up to defend our civilization and its foundations, the U.N. Charter and international law.

By not joining the West in the defense of our common international legal order, in defense of the international constitution which the U.N. Charter represents, they are undermining the very moral commitments which led to benevolent assistance in the past.

It is time for Western countries, when voting on a World Bank loan, to take into account whether the recipient country is acting to uphold the international legal order upon which the World Bank and all international institutions are based.

A couple of votes against loans to fence-sitting countries could have a very salutary effect.

Moreover, such loans should be but the first of many benefits to be withdrawn from countries which will not act to defend our civilizatiin.

As we have written,

We have a civilization to defend, and it must be fiercely defended also against those who countenance the triumph of evil by looking the other way.

The Trenchant Observer


See also,

Only force can stop Putin

“Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2922 .


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About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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