To an individual every problem becomes a nail, when a hammer is the only tool available to him/her. I came by this beautiful quote per chance on one of the info-screens installed at various metro-stations where I live. I could not agree more. This concise proverb sums up alot and gives very deep insight into the state of our world.
I saw a cartoon in the local newspaper recently. In it was a Middle East Sheikh. First he spoke on phone with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He needed arms, guns and more guns to combat insurgence in his country. Right after his conversation, he made another call to the ISIS militia. He referred to them as *brothers-in-faith*. He promised to supply them with more arms, guns and more guns to prosecute their faith-wars on various fronts!
While I had a good smile, the import of the message was not lost on me.
In an article published once by a guest-blogger on my blog, the writer questioned in a conference the motive behind selling arms and more arms to crisis- and war-ridden African countries when it is crystal clear that these weapons are used to fuel and prolong wars and civil unrest in these parts of Africa. The response could not be more diplomatic than evasive. The respondent only wished that these deadly instruments of war do not get into wrong hands. According to him, the EU is doing her best to ensure this wish is achieved.
Meanwhile, international diplomacy and deal-cutting continue in a quest to solving problems caused largely by arms sold/delivered to the troubled regions by various world power.
Lets leave it at that for now. I move to Ukraine. I once submitted in an article that the end and worst looser in the crisis is Ukraine. A look into the devastating civil war ongoing in Syria will give an insight into this. At the end, the country is brought down to its kneels with the aid of bombs, grenades and even deadlier weapons. War is never a joke. Ask survivors. They will confirm the sad truth.
Politically considered, a strong and West-oriented Ukraine can only be to Russia’s disadvantage. Russia would never open-eye see this come true. It is her worst nightmare. Therefore, the destabilization strategy is the singular tool available to Russia. Russia has since adopted this tool like the proverbial hammer, albeit in a far too-overt manner. One would have wished for Russia to be less confrontational.
Anyway, the country of the Tsars has never been known to be a fan of covert-diplomacy. Speaking in direct and clear-terms are her ways. In short, she would call a spade a spade. A reminder of this is a saying allegedly attributed to a former First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, angered by the US spy action on the Soviet Union while both countries sat at table in Washington to dialogue on ways of bridging the widening gaps of mistrust between both world-powers. He gave way to his anger. *You do not shit on the same table where you intend to eat thereafter!*
This directness of approach is what has been seen again in the ongoing crisis in East Ukraine. Even a blind person can see that the separatists are Russia’s own creation to destabilize the region, and indirectly the country. She has denied any direct involvement with or finance of the separatist, but we all know better.
Russia did not mince words either on making it clear that the EU and the US are directly responsible for this forced destabilization of Ukraine. That is to say, if the EU and US would keep their nose off Russia’s backyard, she certainly would have no interest in a proxy war! I am sure Russia is even more angered now than ever before because she just cannot punish Ukraine too openly or more than she is doing so far like she did years back when Georgia *foolishly* angered the sleeping lion!
The quick summary of events in Ukraine is to underline a point, which is, the conflict in Ukraine is a conflict of interests. If the interests were met today, or at least, the wishes of those behind the various masks were largely met, absolute peace would return to Ukraine. In fact, the swiftness with which the calm will descend on Ukraine would surprise even the worst doubter of a possible permanent peace deal in Ukraine.
Moving to the Middle East and particularly to Iraq and Syria. Definitely, the emergence of the terror and militia movement Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) did not happen overnight. Although I must be quick to add that I personally only woke up one day and heard on the news of a new terror group that now trouble the already troubled Iraq and a gradually and systematically dying Syria. I missed a breathe on seeing the cruel execution in cold blood by the ISIS militia, but beyond this, I quickly adjusted to living with the latest nightmare born into our world. No doubt, ISIS is a brain-child of certain interest groups in and outside of Iraq and Syria. One would not be too wrong to talk of proxy wars and mindless/heartless adventure.
Like it would be expected, the US and various allies in the West grabbed the microphone. The airwave is bombarded with calls for the end of the barbarism ongoing in that region of the world. Expectedly, the conflict only got hotter, bigger and more cruel with each passing call for peace and reason. It reminds of a situation of a stubborn child who keeps doing exactly that same thing which angers the mother, with the singular motive of getting the mother to shout even louder!
Of particular interest is this question: Whose weapons are being used to execute the ISIS-wars, which has taken over large part of the war-torn/war-tired country? We need not speculate too far. We know Kalashnikov, bombs, grenades and other even more dangerous weapons are manufactured not in Iraq or Syria! These places are simply too war-troubled to care about manufacturing weapons.
In the light of this simple truth, one is tempted to question the sincerity behind calls to stop the barbarism being perpetrated by ISIS. Such calls are at best hypocritical. The Foreign Minister of Germany declared millions of Euro, clearly a giant sum of money, is being earmarked for the troubled region, as a result of ongoing ISIS-inflicted conflict.
Guns are meant to be used. Even before then, a gun manufacturer would certainly want to sell her market! The manufacturer is not in doubt of the fact that guns are used to snuff out lives and maim mercilessly, and that they must be sold when manufactured! The industry is a multi-billion industry, both for government, private individuals, companies and banks bankrolling the whole scheme. Earmarking *peanuts* of the profits from earning made to *mop-up* the aftermath of conflicts caused by their own making is not a *bad-loss*. Besides, the donated money is being garbed as humanitarian aids among many other brand names.
While ISIS continued its offensive like a theatrical performance full of tragic episodes, the US Secretary of State John Kerry was flown into Iraq. Apparently to show support for the collapsing and crisis-ridden Iraqi government. Unfortunately, the super-suggestion of an all-inclusive government was turned down by the Iraqi President.
Personally, I believe the Iraqi President is acting out a script. One can say he has so far acted his part well. Really, what could have been so difficult in accepting a proposition that suggested a common-sense solution to a crisis that should not have occurred in the first place. That he even waited, first for the suggestion to be made, only to reject it, is laughable. Anyone would think the President ought to have come about the idea all on his own. A country as ethnically divided as Iraq must not be told that a government that cater widely for the interests of all is a plausible and possible way out of a senseless conflict. Well, the President of Iraq opined differently!
There are speculations that going by the recent/latest conflict and what seems to be an ever un-ending state of turmoil in the region, a new map of the Middle East might be about to emerge with new countries birthed. This is not a bad idea, really. The autonomous region of predominantly Iraqis of Kurdish ethnicity has been far more peaceful than other parts of the country since after the Bush war that fell Saddam Hussein dictatorial and draconian government.
By the way, we need to constantly remember that Iraq and Syria are not the only troubled countries in the Middle East. The region is actually in a permanent state of conflict ever since I can remember. One can bet without any fear of loosing that the conflict will go on for a longer time to come. It seems that the the desires/wishes of the various interest groups in and outside the Middle East are so designed that they can never be met. This is one dividing line between Ukraine and the Middle East. Moreover, the Middle East is not in Europe. It is shameful to have to accept this truth, but that is not to be overlooked. It cannot be overlooked!
Lets move to Africa.
The African continent is another potpourri of near-war conflicts, full-blown conflicts, (proxy) wars and more wars. Insurgents are on the rise. Boko Haram, the Islamic terror sect in Northern Nigeria competes very favorably with the likes of Al-Shabbab of Somalia and Al-Qaida on national and international level. In recent times though, there seems to be more conflicts and war in and outside the African continents that conflicts on the African continents, which are only best described in the superlatives, are being over-shadowed/dwarfed by these newer wars and conflicts.
Nobody need be told that Al-Shabbab is a terror group whose threats are worth taking serious. They owned up to attacks in Somalia and Kenya. They terrorize residents in places where they control territories. Boko Haram of Northern Nigeria eventually and finally got more international attention and recognition with the abduction of over 200 girls. Prior to the kidnap, the numbers of bombings attributed to this group of nuisance mad-dogs already won them the much-craved attention. But who need be told that sadists are ever insatiable with in-flinching pain. They only crave for chance to do more damage! Boko Haram still bombed a shopping mall in the capital of Nigeria, very recently claiming over scores of lives!
The ongoing civil war in Central African Republic (CAR) is yet another being run on fuel processed in other parts of the world and with weapons *shipped* directly into the hands of both rebels and government troops alike by their foreign allies/supporters.
South Sudan is an example of a mega-failure even before the country was birthed! One would have thought that their common experience in the hands of the government-supported Janjaweed rebels would have taught them to embrace themselves, eschew self-hate, stay as one and unite even stronger! Hardly was independence declared, the political Orang-Utan who wield power in that new country decided the best place to go for is the opponents throat! The ultimate goal seem to be to already nip in the bud any sign of life/dissent from perceived competing ethnic groups- an all-out war is the way! They found means of execution in weapons of mass destruction they never invented, namely guns and more dangerous weapons! By the way, they used machetes and home-made clubs too.
What more can be said to underline the very obvious that our world is a big mess all because we adopt only the tool(s) of violence to resolving our differences. Any sincere observer of world events so far must be serious enough to accept a basic truth- war is never a way out of any crisis/differences and can never be!
To round up, here is a beautiful quote , whose origin I do not know for sure but in whose words I passionately believe and its practicability too: *It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to resolve problems without using violence.*