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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Three minutes to the hour

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The clock was established by a group of Atomic Scientists in 1947 as means of warning how close civilisation is to facing global catastrophe. The atomic scientists, basing their warning on the unabated rise in climate change and nuclear weapons, warn of a potential end of civilization – the doomsday. The clock’s hand was in 2012 adjusted 5minutes to midnight. The clock may not interpret what happens geopolitically, its alarm is worth paying attention. What led to such alerts? As we revisit international politics, geopolitical relations and conflicts in this article, we focus on a slightly different direction….!

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Geopolitical Antagonism 

and Extremism 

It’s stomach-churning the way international politics are recently unfolding. I guess I have to put my clock minute hand at 2:30 to the hour; but I am not an atomic scientist! The ‘big powers’ seem to have conquered the whole world in the game of political tug-of-war. The world is disappointingly becoming more insecure daily. The media and experts are lip-gripped with the words ‘third world war’. Third world war? No; never. An event of such will amount to total annihilation of humankind. If there is any such ‘big power’ who thinks her people are immune or protected from the venoms of a global war, it’s a joke. Well, at least to reassure myself. People are being more intolerant. When we are not pleased with one party’s agenda, we brand them enemies. There is increasing hegemony and geopolitical mistrust and hatred, filled with aggressions and threats globally. The cold war, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Arab Spring and most recently, and perhaps more devastating, is the western – Russian/North Korea antagonism. 

The ‘resolve’ to promote peace that has enviably shaped the post – World War II decade seems to have been neutralized in the demolished chemical weapons. The world had persistently promoted peace in the aftermath of World War II. The great world leaders who pioneered the United Nations must be commended. The UN, despite being successful to a large extent, has had and continues to have some flaws. 

While it continues to be dictated by veto powers, its independence and fairness continues to draw skepticisms. Through its controversial security council, it has led an era of jingoism. Some states continue to enjoy the compassion of the council, regardless of their heinous crime records. The Syrian embattled regime continues to thrive and lead a massacre of innocent people, thanks to a veto power in the Security Council. Now, do we blame the power vetoing all resolutions on Syria? Yes; why not? But it could have been counterproductive and heinous, albeit, if Bashar Al Assad had been unseated at the onset of the revolution. Imagine ‘ISIS’! While they – ISIS – continue to hope for a save heaven in post – Bashar Syria, it would have been more heavenly, had they gotten the ‘free Syria’, before they exposed their world-silencing crimes.  

While Palestinians continue to pay the price of their existence, the UN remains paralysed on their rescue. The world has failed Palestinians! There isn’t any law – be it national, international or conventions that support children paying the price of their pre-existence. It’s high time the world collectively stood up for justice. The condition of Palestinians is the responsibility of the entire world. We must, as ‘humans’, stand up for the truth, justice and peace. The Palestinians continue to feel the ire of their enemies. But! When you oppress a minority, when they revolt, expect a disaster. Well I only hope their plight is addressed soon. Has anyone thought of the possibility of a blocked resolution against ISIS? Surprises exist no more. Alas! If the world wouldn’t come to the aid of the Palestinians, I implore on God to come to their rescue!

Further, part of the biggest threat to world peace continues to swirl around the realms of Russia-US, US-North Korea resentment. While North Korea continues to issue threats to the mighty United States, the US is busy piling up sanctions on Russia. Are the sanctions going to halt the ‘Russian aggression’ or bring it to its knees? I doubt it. It will, I believe, rather radicalize them more to continue pursuing their goals in the name of ‘national security interest’. Though the Russian currency continues to feel the brunt of the sanctions, Russia has started a shift of foreign policy. With the support of her ‘sympathisers’, Russia will certainly survive the sanctions – albeit through a rocky journey and with bruises. 

Lo! My nerves tremble, my hands shiver and brain freezes whenever I imagine the stocked nuclear weapons of these countries.

Geopolitical problems are unavoidable, but they can be resolved.  There isn’t any problem that prevails between two parties that can’t be resolved, amicably or biasedly. The world, especially the ‘Big Powers’ must exercise leadership maturity, responsibility and mutual respect. The United Nations continues to champion global peace, but its lapses are evident. The UN must take the mantle of leadership and take all states as ‘members’, and members only. It has to assume leadership in international affairs and protect the minority. The Security Council should be more of a world-representing council than a council that represents the interest of its members.

While we commend the pioneers of UN, we must not lose sight of their dark side either. Some of their acts in World War II, perhaps, embellished by their role in the creation of the UN, were unjustifiable. However, unity defeats evil. In the absence of unity – even if there is the will – no objective will be achieved. As the world ascends to civilization, it’s inversely descending to decadence. The law of nature dictates that when something ascends to the peak, it will ultimately descend. But have we reached the peak? The law of gravity explains better. The world has to graduate from resentment and promote peace and co-existence. It’s not the responsibility of the UN alone, in fact, we make the UN. Unless we recognize the essence of mutual respect and brotherhood and live by its values, we will…

 

Islam and terror

Incompatible they are! The teachings of Islam totally contradict the acts of terror. It’s unjustifiable to associate terror with Islam, dare I say. While perpetrators associate their acts with the religion, it’s dummy trying to justify it with the teachings of Islam; I mean if one makes research and have an understanding of the teachings of the religion. Appalling, is also the increasing barbaric acts on innocent people, committed by psychopaths in the name of Islam. The Muslims must condemn these acts as alien to the religion and disassociate from it. This unruly fragment, representing a meager percentage of the Muslims, continues to perpetrate heinous acts clouding the peaceful image of Islam. The world must understand that these terrorist, regardless of some being Muslims, are only bent on camouflaging the religion to mount their abhorrent acts. Giving the way the religion survived opposition and suppression during its early days – filled with some battles – some believe such battles justify today’s so-called jihads. What they tend to ignore is the fact that, Islam was a minority struggling to survive amid threats and oppression. Thus, such wars were fought in self-defense. Therefore, terrorizing innocent people must not be likened to such wars fought by the Prophet, neither associates it with Islam. The world, especially the Muslim leaders, needs to wake up and condemn such atrocities as un-Islamic. And the Muslims must take the lead.

Africa’s share

Africa continues to enjoy its ‘accolade’ as the ‘richest continent’. Thank God irony exists! Yet, regardless of persistent advocacies, Africans remain at the receiving end of the global ‘misfortune’. It’s disheartening the way Africa underwent pain since colonialism to date. When the doors of no-return shut, the dream of brightening the motherland diminished. Africans continue to undergo the turbulent times of fundamentalism, rebellion and hate, instigated and driven by lunatics disguised as ‘freedom fighters’. The avenue to the developmental zenith is locked down by ‘elements of mass destruction’. They have rendered the whole continent impoverished, while they continue to thrive independently. But, at whose hands do they survive? Where do they get support from? This is a question that I longed for an answer. Do you have one?

The world continues to decry their acts, yet their source of weaponry, we shun. Unless we tackle the problem from the roots, it will survive the trample. In collective and coordinated efforts to curb insurgency, the work has to start from the roots. We must address the reasons for the insurgency first. Poverty, discrimination, radicalization, suppression will all stand groaning. The battle for survival, in the face of destitution and oppression, is conspicuous in the world’s ‘richest’ continent. 

 

Where is the AU?

How must we curtail these sparkling conflagrations? The answer is not far-fetched.  As evident, we must first develop the will and responsibility, with a common vision of halting barbarism on the continent and the world at large. The approach must be well and fairly coordinated, guided by the principles of common goal. While double-standards continue to hinder global approach to savagery, we must recognize it as a potential hindrance too, thereby disallowing it snooping with its ugly head into our hard-fought efforts. 

An aware society is a civilised society. By promoting education, we are limiting crime rates. Education is essential in eradicating poverty. Yet, the economic status of the indigenes of the continent must be addressed too. As poverty is an exit door from peace, so is it an entry door to crime. We must also engage the perpetrators, listen to them and ‘dialogue’, for a common understanding and solution, if need be. The world must act swiftly where non-negotiable.  However, issuing threats is never a solution; it only radicalises them and gives them more attention. Unless we approach the surging geopolitical resentment strategically, the world will be landed on its knees by war, terrorism and oppression. Alas…! 

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