Sleepwalking to Armageddon: World Divides over the Ukraine War


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

1 Mar 2023 – As the US, NATO and Russia escalate the war in the Ukraine, the risk increases for a global nuclear war that could destroy most life on the planet, corresponding to the mythical battle of Armageddon mentioned in the Bible as marking the end of the world.

Our world is at risk, and it is urgent to seek a solution. For this reason, this month we have devoted not one, but two bulletins of CPNN to the issue: Sleepwalking to Armageddon and the World Divides over the Ukraine War

The phrase “Sleepwalking to Armageddon” is the title of a recent book by Helen Caldicott, and the word “sleepwalking” reappears in the comments of the Portuguese authority Boaventura de Sousa Santos : “One hundred years after World War I, Europe’s leaders are sleepwalking toward a new, all-out war” and in the comments of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: “The chances of further escalation and bloodshed keep growing. I fear the world is not sleepwalking into a wider war. I fear it is doing so with its eyes wide open.”

Sp far the major mass media of Europe, North America and their allies in Japan and Australia have been “obedient” to the escalation politics of their governments and have applauded the arms shipments to Ukraine, pouring gasoline on the fire. Meanwhile, Russia has warned that NATO is entering the war and that the Russian nuclear arsenal is ready for use if they feel they are threatened.

Media and countries in the rest of the world, the Global South, do not obey the American line. In the second CPNN bulletin, we link to publications critical of the US/NATO escalation as well as the Russian threats, in major media of India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Korea, Lebanon, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Mali, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Costa Rica, Argentina and Turkey. Most of them were among the 101 countries that did not yield to the pressure of the US and Europe to vote against the amendment to the UN resolution on Ukraine that would stop arms shipments to the war.

Media from Indonesia, Korea and Jordan blame the neo-conservatives and the arms industry of the United States for having provoked the war and for sabotaging peace initiatives that could end it.

Media from Bangladesh, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Argentina and Turkey fear that Western escalation may lead to the Third World War and perhaps the destruction of all life on the planet.

Media from Egypt and India say that their countries side with Russia because they are profiting from their economic relations.

Media from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, say that the American escalation of the war may lead to the subjugation or destruction of Europe

Media from Kenya and Nigeria blame the escalation of the war by the West for blocking African supplies of food and fuel and for shipping arms that end up by the black market in the hands of African terrorists.

CPNN joins with media of the Global South and with the alternative media and peace movements in Europe and North America to provide an alternative to the obedient mass media of the NATO countries. We agree with the peace movement: in the US,”Peace in Ukraine – No weapons, no money for the Ukraine War” ; in the UK, “Peace talks now – Stop the war in Ukraine”; and in France, demanding all parties involved in the conflict to act decisively for a ceasefire and to take steps to negotiate a long-term peace. And we agree with the peace movement in the United States, that their country should not only stop fueling the war in Ukraine, but also should sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Hopefully, thanks to the pressure from the rest of the world and from the peace movements in Europe and North America, a ceasefire can be achieved in Ukraine and we can avoid a nuclear war. As for the Russian side of the war, we can hope that the massive opposition to the war, as we have documented in CPNN, can resist its government’s repression and put pressure on their side to end the war agains their brothers in Ukraine.

Even if we can thus avoid a Third World War, unfortunately the poor Ukraine and its people have suffered so much damage that it will take decades to recover, much like Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, not to mention Yemen, Palestine and the war zones of Africa.

Our world is at risk. Let us cultivate a culture of peace!


Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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