11 September 2017
One of the fallouts of the ceaseless nuclear tests conducted by North Korea is the threat of a third world war. The same threats of global catastrophe echoed while America pressured Iran on its (Iran’s) nuclear ambitions.
Unlike Iran, which always denied having a nuclear weapons programme, North Korea dramatizes, celebrates and continues nuclear tests. Iran is also more amenable to peace talks, and has reached a couple of agreements, with nuclear negotiators led by America. The most ambitious being the pact it signed with the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia, Germany and the EU in 2015.
The pact, spearheaded by Barack Obama, is becoming more fragile as Trump remains reluctant to work with the deal. Iran has also threatened to quit the agreement. Perhaps the third world war rhetoric will continue from Iran.
But in the midst of an ensuing bickering over the Iran deal, North Korea reactivated its erstwhile simmering nuclear programme.
For the umpteenth time, a seeming gadfly called North Korea, led by an exuberant, war-mongering, stone-face, sturdily-bulky, bluffing lad, called Kim Jong-un, supervised the testing of nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
Jong-un says his country is not safe without a nuclear capability to contain the antics of the South, and their cohorts, America and Japan, who have cried foul about the North’s nuclear tendencies. Kim Jong-un also says he will force the world to accept that his country had become a nuclear power ready to take on any threat from any quarters.
How interesting to find a nation daring America for so long without devastating repercussions, without allied forces, without invasion, without unilateral removal of the president, even without meaningful intelligence about the activities of the secretive North Korea.
Oh, what if it were Venezuela, South Africa, Brazil, Pakistan or Nigeria. Vide the examples of Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc. For Iraq, there was no need of any concrete proof of weapons programme. George Bush (jnr.) only needed to smell weapons of mass destruction from Iraq, and he garnered the allied forces to finish off an assignment kick-started by his father, i.e., to silence Saddam Hussein for ever, and to plunge Iraq into endless armed conflict. Only allegations of complicity in 9/11 led to the ouster of the Taliban, and the ensuing embarrassment called Afghanistan, which has since become another Vietnam.
For Muammar Gadhafi, he needed to be accused of killing his own people, before being taken out by a small group of rebels, expertly backed by allied spy planes. Libya went according to plans. Egypt and Palestine appear to be smaller fries. No serious wars are needed to keep them and their much vaunted penchants for supporting fundamentalism in check.
But with North Korea, the U.S. has relented so far, with all the nuclear test braggadocio. The only responses were effete sanctions, and Trump’s promise of military blitzkrieg yet unknown to humanity – an uncommon show of force.
Perhaps America cannot afford Trump’s threat of punishing North Korea with military response unknown to humanity. That may well be the reason that Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, recently called for global response to North’s nuclear tests.
But North Korea remains defiant. In a party to celebrate his country’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test, Sunday, Kim Jong-un called for more tests.
It is apparent that China and Russia are the spirit drummers, playing the tune being danced to by North Korea on the surface. After all, when your father sends you on a robbery attack, you usually go with stupid gusto.
But this, in fact, is the point. China and Russia accept that North Korea’s actions are condemnable, but have always undermined any efforts to rein in Pyongyang. China rejects trade sanctions on North Korea as against its (China’s) own interests, while Russia says sanctions are not working, and cannot be the solution. Yet, America believes that China, especially, holds the key to calling Jong-un to order.
Apart from its own threats, America has also used Japan and South Korea to respond to North Korea. In like manner, China and Russia use North Korea to tell America it cannot have its way in the world all the time. So, it is about proxy statements, and indirect wars, such as happened in Yemen, Lybia, Egypt, and now Syria, which has become a theatre of proxy fights. The sworn combatants are all interested in Syria, and that is why the war has lasted.
Syria is not a diversion in this piece. It is its point. Why do the world powers always flex their military powers through other nations? Qatar is boiling, and there are indications of foreign interest. Saudi Arabia has acted so far like a pawn in Yemen and Qatar.
As said, Syria is a theatre of proxy wars, where America and Russia are both fighting ISIL, but won’t share intelligence. While America backs moderately armed rebel groups, Russia backs the Syrian government led by Bashir Al Assad. When the rebels make claims of killing ISIL fighters, the Syrian government and Russia will allege the killing of children, women and innocent civilians, and vice versa. Even the role of aid agencies and journalists has become suspect on both ends. Each side alleges that any one calling for cease fire to deliver aid or to allow civilians safe passage out of besieged territories is looking for ways to re-arm its allies.
This is why one is tempted to ask Russia and the U.S. to think or to talk about fighting each other headlong instead of using other nations as test grounds for their fire and fury.
This is not to say that one cannot call on Russia and the U.S. to pursue peace. But it is clear that they are both never going to be interested in real peace as their actions always show.
The point again is that the sights in many countries in the gulf as well as South America and Africa are really distressing. It is perplexing that the nations appear not to be perturbed by the humanitarian catastrophe triggered by their curious interests in other nations.
While NATO calls for a global response to North Korea’s nuclear threats and tests, it should also call attention to a growing tendency of world powers to proxy wars. Wars that cannot reach the main lands of the real combatants, but wrecking Armageddon on other nations whose citizens do not even know why their country is at war.
Enough of the eyesore and heartlessness in Syria.