BY FAISAL HUSSAIN
Humanity has confronted carnage perpetually throughout history. Although, the rationales of violence on a large scale have been distinct; from political interests of nations to ostensible religious discrepancies, the essence of violence is unequivocally engrained within our individual and collective conscience. In hindsight, one can vividly distinguish between the unflagging human character that has persevered dire atrocities and subsequently heralded today’s era of all-embracing globalization; with that of the insidious contentment from violence and bred in the bone incorrigible whim that supersedes our morality and ultimately draws the final nail in egocentric cliques’ coffin.
Case in point- End of the World War II saw inception of the United Nations. Both the United States and the then Soviet Union embraced the policies that contested a relentless bout of ‘checkerboard politics’. Firstly, it instigated the Allied Powers to test the repertoire of this dogma by discreetly partitioning Germany, Korea and the Indian Sub-Continent. When the proponents contrasted their actions and the repercussions and felt that there is so much to gain from; in terms of international indulgence, formation of power blocs, economic subduing and ultimately boasting the universal hegemony; they intended to hold the strings of the ‘marionette countries’ and lured the international community with the farce of the row between peace and terror to achieve the pipe dream of global security. Immediately after the pretext of alleged ‘sine-quo-non segregations’ around the world, US and the Soviet Union heedfully paid their part in creating the Italian Republic, thus, maintaining the ubiquitous circle of transition of power among the Republics, Fascists and the Roman Monarchy in Italy. The ally powers sought the urge to mediate crucial international matters; beholding it as their prerogative after their victory over the Axis Powers. While Countries, for instance, the Great Britain and France; owing to their national interest and international fascia, contributed by annulling African Colonization and sustaining political upheaval in parts of North Africa, French Indochina and the whole Middle-East. A glimpse of the latter surfaced immediately with the instigation of Vietnam War and Arab-Israel war of 1948. The Arab-Israel War epitomized as a harbinger of the dystopia that is today’s Middle-East.
The United States; during all this ruckus, played both ends against the middle and got the better of the Soviet, and prevailed as the ultimate war hero of the World War II. In hindsight, the unabated supremacy boasted today by the US, came at the expense of war tactics of the United Stated government instead of the Ally powers-and policies that saw the nemesis in Kremlin rather than Berlin. The Manhattan-Project provided the ultimate blow with the nuclear onslaught on Japan, and the fact that the war ended with overwhelming devastation in terms of mass casualties, famines and economic destitution on the side of the Allied powers, specifically, the Soviet Union. The benchmarks that the Communist Philosophy etched on the U.S.S.R for nearly eight decades faded after the socialist economy plummeted and even though there were attempts to modernize and revamp Communism by the-then General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered Lenin’s and Stalin’s Soviet Union into Russia and 14 other independent republics.
Subsequently, the insidious nature of relations between Russia and the US led to an even intense ordeal for the rest of the world; following the trail of apparently indolent but a deep-rooted Cold War. Formally, it started with the formation of the NATO. The conflict in the Korean Peninsula followed its tracks. The chain of events that followed, saw a protracting Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis that led the Cold War to its utmost brink, where ‘Patriarchs of the Free World’ again led humanity to a possible nuke blitz. Russia meddled into the politics of Ukraine; thus, embroiling foreign relations with the US, EU and Ukraine. It started with the fall of Soviet Union as Ukraine was contiguous to both Russia and the European Union; but, it reached its height when Russia, under the leadership of President Putin, invaded Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula underlying pretense of security to ethnic Russians in Crimea. The United States, the European Union and Ukraine denounced integration of Crimea into Russia. The Russia also continued supply of separatists in two of Ukraine’s eastern provinces with manpower, funding and material resulting in an armed conflict with the Ukrainian Government.
Strictly speaking, discerning the notion that only the custodians of the United Nations have, in de facto, the prerogative of deciding peace and war, is an objective understatement. The ever astounding excerpt quote-unquote ‘We the Peoples’, is in principle; frivolous and obsolete. Over the course of its history, the United Nations has hit its nadir with respect to overlooking flagrant issues of genocide in Darfur, Rwanda, Bosnia, Myanmar and Kashmir. This recondite hypocrisy and belligerent conflict of interest among the P5 of the UN Security Council were to surface immediately on matters related to nuclear weaponry, where within two decades after formation of the UN, every permanent member of the UN boasted nuclear weapons technology. Robust proliferation of nuclear weapons persisted concurrently with the efforts to sustain global peace, and figures suggest that current nuclear weapons stockpile of the world is more than 22000. But, these are not even the most culpable of atrocities that went disregarded. The most reprehensible stain on the so-called ‘unblemished façade’ of the United Nations is its despairing stance in circumscribing global terrorism and dystopia of the Middle East.
The global power blocs, especially the United States of America; after the fall of Communist Soviet Union, has relished its unquenchable thirst of universal hegemony at the cost of millions of lives around the globe, correspondingly, embroiling political matters that needed dire heed. An important point to ponder is that, the global role of US; as patriarch of the biggest union of nations, and that of the custodian of global world order, is not a fortuitous accolade. Ultimately, disintegration of the Soviet Union was indubitably, and effectively the only reason our world sidestepped a third World War. The bipolarity of power between US and the Soviet Union with reference to economic subjugation, military dominance, technological proliferation and global say vanished and a monopolar U.S.A emerged as global super power.
Now imagine a 21st century, with the exact contemporary tumult around the world; had the Soviet Union including Communism sustained the tremors of WWII, and if it were to propagate robustly, with the inclusion of modern China, the whole global scenario would be astonishingly different. The principal currency of ultimate global authority would be nuclear arsenal. The Soviet Union were the first to learn this callous political tact from the USA after their nuclear blitzkrieg on Japan. Although, USA had the final say of the World War II but Soviet Union were to learn from this the hard way. Albeit, a rampant accumulation of nuclear warheads saw Soviet Union claim contingency of attaining a predominant stature among the P5 but the post-World War Soviet Union was stranded in an indelible debacle. The only hope to revamp the Union and to proxy retaliate against the US were the efforts to provoke the domino theory of communism. Therefore, the Soviet Union; after ebbs and flows in its political tactics, ultimately, deliberated all efforts to enlarge its communist sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea and Vietnam. The United States; on the other hand, invented the policy of containment, owing to which, the brazen motives of the Soviet Union were confronted by today’s most prolific military alliance, the NATO and also, intermittently aided by makeshift quid-pro-quos, such as, the SEATO and CENTO.
The onset of events following a nascent Cold War prompted grave reservations on the limpidity of the UN Security Council. Firstly, the frequent and self-interested use of veto by the USSR, concerning withdrawal of French troops from Syria and Lebanon and then against the admission of no less than sixteen countries into the UN that had or were currently lenient towards Fascism and also the countries seen by the USSR to be neocolonial satellites or of Catholic conservative ideology. Secondly, when the North Korea invaded the South in 1950; a case of international aggression that unequivocally fell under the Article 42 of the UN Charter, allowing any form of unanimous UN response to maintain or restore international peace and security, was exploited by Washington, D.C, and not at all dealt with by the UN headquarters in New York City. It was clearly an American-led campaign veiled under the new-born NATO, which came into being with one sole motive and that was beguilingly put into words by its first Secretary General ‘to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’. Since then, major international events, for instance, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union and rise of Al-Qaeda and unification of Germany ultimately saw the Soviet Union tumble into pieces. What followed the footprints of Cold War was inception of implacable chain of civil wars in the Middle East and parts of Africa. In short, the indignant spoor left by members of the UN Security Council in its first four decades concisely fathoms the ubiquitous tensions between the Great Powers of the world, which in turn foreshadowed an international system in bare-faced debacle.
The boldfaced gist of all this alludes to the ‘bred-in-the-bone belligerence’ that exists and will exist, amid entities fostered on rampant and rapacious political interests. This credo is befittingly personified by the United States and Russia. The distinct and only difference between their contemporary policies and strategies until the WWII is that both countries can never afford to standoff against each other or with anyone else on their respective terra firma. Therefore, a direct and temerarious offensive between the United States, Russia and now for that matter, even China; will never happen. The ‘terrain of checkerboard’ has now been budged, as the universal alibi exonerating the US, Russia and China of any global transgression is either international security (masquerade of global surveillance), counter-insurgencies (disguised economic or geographic motives) or supranational organizations (backdoors to sway individual national interests).
The global political scenario, since the soi-disant end of the Cold War and the incident of 9/11, portends the unanimously deliberated and opted ‘cloak-and-dagger strategies’ of the United States, Russia and now modern China over vis-à-vis fracas. Hence, to say the least, this ongoing century is and will continue to shape itself under a ‘Neo-Cold War’. The reason being the fact that ‘Concierges of the Free World’, after the end of the second World War, irrevocably ascertained this political doctrine that if they were to pursue and boast ‘Universal Hegemony’, it could only be attained and abided through deliberated, long-term proxy wars. Since then, this credo obliges the presence of ‘marionette countries’ within power blocs whose strings are yanked underlying economic support, military assistance, regional security and other fair-weather, quick-fix panaceas. The evidence of which are the myriad global consortiums dedicated to economy, military, regional security and co-operation.
This Neo-Cold War is and will never be contested on frontline. Furthermore, a lucid silver-lining to all this is the insinuation that humanity will never encounter a formal and decreed World War III. If that is not the case, then why don’t countries like the United States, China and Russia; that boast a combine nuclear stockpile of over 90% of the global, ever engage in a direct offensive? If it were meant to go that way, it would have happened long ago. Today, and also in the near future, the contemporary battlefields will reside in economy, technology, military, education, sports, trade, natural and human resources.
Ultimately, all of this will comprehensively settle once and for all, which country will subdue and sway the whole world; and ironically, this is the only reason global powers are, and will sidestep a direct military confrontation amid each other. This however, is the underestimation of the pervasive pugnacity dwelling in our collective conscience. Agonizingly, the next World War is never forthcoming; because we are already living in it. It began the day the Second World War ended. The perpetrators in the earlier World Wars were unambiguous, all the ally powers and the axes. But, this inscrutable and inexorable World War has no liable culprits because the stakeholders causing this pandemonium are also the impeccable leaders of the biggest union of countries.
The ongoing crisis in the Middle East, Afghanistan and parts of Africa is not nascent. It has its roots deeply entrenched in the Cold War. But, the flagrant nature of this predicament was overlooked by Europe and the United States until the global refugee crisis preceded grave economic, social and security woes within the European Union and United States. This humanitarian crisis, thought to be the biggest since the World War II; has prompted more than 65 million people to seek refuge in parts of Europe and North America. To make things even worse, persistent civil wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Nigeria and South Sudan have caused irretrievable human and infrastructural loss. The biggest concern here is that, these crisis are not going anywhere; take it from the Middle East, that is suffering nearly seven decades of tumult since the Arab-Israel War of 1948. But, these crisis are now augmented globally with the addition of other global issues like the Brexit; Russian interference in Middle East and Europe, against the NATO; nuclear weapons proliferation by North Korea and resulting tension between the United States and its allies against North Korea, China and Russia; row between the US and its allies against China with the issue of South China Sea. This agglomeration of disputes will prove to be ‘a Hornet’s Nest’, particularly for Europe and the United States; whereas countries like China and Russia will straddle the fence in general, and China will grow its corporate facade robustly all over the world through its ‘Road and Belt Initiative’. In all this commotion, countries will fail to heed ‘the Global Climate Change’ and the requisites to implement indispensable mutual agreements to curb it and its large-scale consequences.