Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

As the Ukrainian war shows, some conservatives have come to hate the West

By Ed West

On the day that Russia invaded Ukraine, the Daily Telegraph reported that Britain’s spies were being told to check their white privilege and to stop using sexist words like ‘manpower’; meanwhile the Ministry of Defence was asking people to nominate their favourite LGBT books, and while the tweet was since deleted, I think everyone will share the sentiments of this colourfully-named Twitter user.

These will make amusing little anecdotes for some future chronicler of February 2022, examples of civilisational hubris about to face its nemesis. Or maybe not, as it turns out.

Gay Army book clubs are culture war finery, the sort of thing that gets noticed because it provokes a reaction; to conservatives, elite obsession with sexual identity is seen as a mark of a civilisation in decline, interested only in pleasure and narcissism. Perhaps it might not be important in itself but it’s part of a wider decadence, for a country in which the Army fusses over sexual identity surely is incapable of defending its values, leaving itself vulnerable to more virile and predatory civilisations from outside.

To progressives, freedom, including sexual freedom, is who we are. Indeed, it’s almost why we fight. Soon after the invasion, MI6s head Richard Moore tweeted that: ‘With the tragedy and destruction unfolding so distressingly in Ukraine, we should remember the values and hard-won freedoms that distinguish us from Putin, none more than LGBT+ rights.’

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