Are We already in World War III?

CONFLICT RESOLUTION - MEDIATION, 20 Nov 2023

Vijay Mehta – TRANSCEND Media Service

15 Nov 2023 – Can a Roadmap for Peace Change Culture of War to Culture of Peace?

We are living in one of the most dangerous times in our history. Wars in Europe in Ukraine, Sudan in Africa, Palestine / Israel in the Middle East inflicting endless suffering and misery by uprooting families. Relentless killing goes on and we are witnessing bloodshed and horror every day with no signs of ceasefire.

The war between Israel and Palestine is a mass murder on a large scale full of horror which will affect both the people for years to come. It’s an ugly war which has the sign of escalating to a broader regional conflict with participation of Arab countries supporting Palestinian cause and US, EU and UK supporting Israel with military hardware. It’s a war between oppressor and oppressed in which Palestinians are fighting for their freedom, security and rights to live in their own country.

The question instantly comes to mind, how seemingly mentally normal men in high positions are permitting such evil, atrocities and slaughter to happen. Without any conscience, morality and principles, the US and countries in the West are endorsing genocide in Gaza against Palestinians without slightest concern for children, women and elderly.

Ukraine war is a proxy war between Ukraine, USA and its NATO allies against Russia, China and the Global South who refused to be pushed into supporting the war. It’s an ugly war and the more it’s prolonged, it can turn in a nuclear strike turning into World War III and end of civilisation.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is to be condemned in the strongest terms as there is no such thing as a good or just war as it brings bloodshed, carnage and suffering to the innocent people of Ukraine. US, UK and EU are complicit in the war as they are supplying weapons and intelligence to Ukraine to continue the war. Jo Biden has asked Congress for $100 billion to fund wars between Israel and Palestine in Gaza and war between Russia and Ukraine which has all the signs leading to World War III.

RAND Corporation Think Tank outlines plans for the USA to ‘balkanise’ the Russian Federation, neutralise Moscow and encircle China. If one is thinking of starting World War 3, then one couldn’t come up with a better idea.  The planned enlargement of NATO eastwards and to accept Finland and Sweden as NATO members proves that NATO is a vast military pact of expansionist nature and all the promises West made to Russia of not expanding eastwards were nothing but pack of lies.

Ukraine conflict is a propaganda war intended to confront and weaken Russia and China who are new enemies of US in its pursuit of hegemony and control of its dwindling power and crumbling empire. It is a US hero-villain narrative for call to arms rhetoric dividing the world into different categories to generate public support for military action and selling armaments.

There is a major difference between the US resource wars of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc. and the present war between Russia and Ukraine. There was hardly any opposition in the global South and US Military could prevail in all those situations occupying foreign territory. However, the difference of Russia and Ukraine war is Russia is a nuclear armed country with massive fire power which is quite hard if not impossible to defeat. So there is a proxy war going on between NATO (US and its allies) and a frontal war between Ukraine and Russia.

The main intention of NATO is to prolong war and weaken Russia by supplying Ukraine with money, troops and military hardware, a perfect scenario to turn a regional war in Europe into World War III and perhaps with devastating consequences if nuclear weapons are used. The longer the war continues, the more likely that a line will be crossed to a direct war between Russia and United States.

Europe’s Peace Project Turns into War Project

As described in my 2016 book, Peace Beyond Borders, After 75 years of relative peace and 7 decades of European integration driven by quest for peace in Europe, we are in the midst of a war which has no sign of ending soon. The quest for peace, has given to a war project with EU member states and US sending heavy weapons to Ukraine to continue the war. EU is also considering nuclear option, a frightening scenario.

There are many explanations as to why Europe’s peace project has turned into a war project. NATO expansion eastwards is the source of Russian entanglement and conflict between Russia and the West. It’s a feeling of betrayal and Russian fears of encirclement. NATO is a serious threat to world peace since its creation in 1949, having left a trail of destruction in Libya, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. NATO is a war alliance, part of the US Military Industrial Complex intensifying global conflict for the gain of weapon manufacturers and war profiteers. We need to defund war and disband NATO as once Warsaw Pact was dissolved.

Why Asia, Africa and Middle East Are Not Supporting the Western War

Unlike COVID in which most of the countries of the world cooperated and were on the same page, countries of Asia, Africa and the Middle East are not supporting the Western War and their propaganda against Russia and have refused to impose any sanctions on Russia and are doing trading as usual before. They see the apparent hypocrisy and double standards at play as western countries are behaving differently in supporting war in Ukraine but not elsewhere that is in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Venezuela. There is hypocrisy and double standards at display.

Solutions

How can the violence stop and what can be done for building a peaceful multipolar world? How can we bring all the parties to the table? Military victories never bring peace, only dominance, revenge and killing. To end the war and to achieve a peaceful solution, needs courage and determination.

It is up to all of us in the peace movement to formulate strategies make sure that this never comes to pass. Peace-making responses to Russia are not appeasement and portraying Russia as evil and dehumanising is not helpful.

The destruction, killing, suffering of World War II in which over 85 million people died is recent history and not a distant memory. In no circumstances it should happen again and a World War III starts, as there’s enough blood and carnage already happening in Ukraine and Gaza.

We cannot achieve peace through supplying heavy weapons to Israel and Ukraine as it heightens the risk of World War III. Rearmament by countries is detrimental to their own population as it means less investment in health, education and jobs. Increase in military spending cannot be justified as we are in the midst of fuel crisis and widespread hunger throughout the world as the current food crisis demonstrates.

My book published in 2019 How Not To Go To War proposes an alternative and radical solution to end war which is by establishing Ministries / Departments for Peace and Peace Centres in all countries of the world promoting Culture of Peace and non-violent solutions for domestic and international conflicts by addressing the underlying root causes of violence in society and alternative peace strategies. The long-term objective of the peace movement should be work towards dismantling NATO and replacing it with collective security system based on dialogue, diplomacy, disarmament and cooperation. There cannot be any peace in Europe unless we have Russia as a part of the international community.

There cannot be peace in the Middle East unless rights and freedom of the Palestinians are recognised and their future’s stability based on justice, equality and dignity for all. People with conscience are marching in millions in cities in USA, UK, Europe and the Middle East demanding ceasefire and the fighting to end. We need to join them to demand a more fair and just World order and demand an end of unimaginable suffering of people of Gaza.

Nonviolent movements have emerged as powerful forces for change in various parts of the world. From Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat, to Malala Yousafzai, who stood up for girls’ education in the face of violence, to ‘The Arab Spring’ in the Middle East, to ‘The Umbrella Movement’ in Hong Kong, and the global climate strikes led by Greta Thunberg are examples of how nonviolent resistance remains relevant in contemporary global struggles.

Ending violence and killing is what is needed today. For ceasefire, and peace negotiations to start, also there is an urgent need to open borders and humanitarian aid to flow in the region. We need to work towards ending this war and culture of militarism and it is astounding that there is not a single talk of ceasefire or peace negotiations. What we need today is to establish Departments / Ministries for Peace which will institutionalise peace in the same way that war has been institutionalised by Department of Defence / War. As John F Kennedy said in his address to the United Nations in 1961, “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to Mankind.”

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Vijay Mehta is an author and peace activist. He is chair of Uniting for Peace, founding trustee of Fortune Forum charity, and board member of GAMIP-Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace. His books include: The Economics of Killing (Pluto Press, 2012); Peace Beyond Borders (New Internationalist, 2016; and the most recent How Not To Go To War (New Internationalist, 2019) where he proposes that in countries and communities, in governments, private institutions and media, Peace Departments and Peace Centres be established to report on and promote peace. Email: vijay@vmpeace.org


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 20 Nov 2023.

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