The world is once again witnessing an unfortunate war. This time Ukraine is bleeding. An image of a Ukrainian father's farewell to his cute daughter is trending on Twitter. Anyone with an iota of humanity in their heart can’t even think of going to war. Will such images touch Russian President Vladimir Putin’s heart? Will innocent children fleeing for shelter move those generals, politicians or media pundits’ hearts who believe in war because it is a profitable business in our modernized and civilized world?
In the recent past, the world saw scores of heart-wrenching images of crying, wounded, bleeding and helpless children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Kashmir, Palestine, Yemen and elsewhere. People became victims of invading forces, crushing humanity for the sake of sham glory. Like millions of people around the world, I am watching the situation unfold in Ukraine on TV screens, following Twitter trends (#WorldWarIII) and social media sites as Ukraine drowns in blood. I can’t get seem to control my emotions, after all, I am a normal human being, and a father before a journalist.
For ruling elites, power and wealth matter but not emotions and relations. Perhaps, that is why imperialists have never learned any lesson from history. In my generation’s lifetime, America and Russia have not won any war from Vietnam to Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan. Before invading Afghanistan, Russia was the USSR and since the horrendous defeat resulting in the fall of Kabul, many experts like Niall Ferguson predicted “why the end of America’s empire won’t be peaceful.” But imperialist America won’t let it happen easily. There will be another war to win a war.
Now, Ukraine is becoming the imperialists’ new battleground. The Russian invasion of Ukraine will presumably change the course of our history in Europe and beyond. Even though, history is enough to show that the only solution to the Ukraine tension is peace, not another war between imperialists.
However, the fact of the matter is that we only read and cite history but hardly take any lessons. Once again, the modernized and civilized world has utterly failed at peace. Although we shouldn’t lose hope, it seems that a new never-ending war on European soil may spread around the globe. Now the war has begun, who is to blame for it? Politicians, media pundits or arms manufacturers? After all, war is a “profitable business” that aids arms contractors making billions.
In our recent history, the global political and military elites particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe went to wage ruthless wars, for instance, in Iraq and Afghanistan on the pretext of “weapons of mass destruction” and presumable terrorist threats mainly from al-Qaida and Daesh. The bitter truth is that America and many Western powers initially erected, supported and tolerated several rebel and terrorist groups. In his article in The Guardian, Seumas Milne argued that “American forces bomb one set of rebels while backing another in Syria.”
Since then, the imperial powers have continued to chase so-called al-Qaida, Daesh and their affiliated notorious terrorist groups in Europe, Asia and Africa, especially in Syria, Libya and Somalia under the pretense of fighting for a peaceful world. The outcome of U.S. operations aimed to promote democracy, protect people's freedoms and secure human rights have ended in awful destruction, deaths and economic disasters all over the world.
It is about time to halt war games. Decades of creating, supporting and endorsing conflicts around the globe have resulted in failures. What have the U.S. and its allies gained? Nothing! Is the world a safer place now?
For the last few weeks, several leading scholars, defense experts, politicians and media pundits especially in the U.S. and the U.K. warned of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now that the prediction of the Russian attack on Ukraine has turned into an unfortunate reality, we ask what will happen next?
The fundamental questions that arise are: Will Russia stop in Ukraine or will its occupying forces continue to march further westward? In his op-ed for Daily Sabah, Klaus Jurgens asked: “Would Russia invade Sweden’s Gotland (again)?” It seems that Russia has “hegemonic designs” because “Putin has expansion plans regarding Europe and may annex parts of European lands.”
The point is that if Russia captures Ukraine, will it keep control of the Ukrainian territory? More importantly, will Russia be capable of facing a new resistance movement backed by the U.S. and its European allies? Lastly, how will the Russian invasion of Ukraine impact Asia?
Next, if territorial claims allow Putin to invade an independent country and openly support and recognize separatists in eastern Ukraine, tomorrow other powerful countries may follow Putin’s footprints, for example, China may invade Taiwan. What will happen then? Where will it end? So, it is fair to ask, is Putin doing any service to humanity? Putin and his advisors must rethink. War is not an option but peace is necessary for our collective future.