World War III has already begun
European civil war, Provocative incidents, Belligerence…
By TP Saran
Under the title ‘The new European civil war’ in the online publication Social Europe of 6th February 2023 Guido Montani, professor of international political economy at the University of Pavia and former president of the European Federalist Movement in Italy, almost admonishes the powers that be with his opening remarks:
‘The first and second world wars have been considered by many intellectuals and politicians “European civil wars”. The process of European unification was based on a widespread sentiment: no more wars in Europe.
World War III has already begun 1. Pic – YouTube
‘Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reopened those wounds. The Russo-Ukrainian war is becoming chronic and the spectre of a world war can be glimpsed on the horizon: the west against Russia, China and other allies. The Nobel Peace Prize recognition awarded to the European Union in 2012, for having transformed a continent of war into a continent of peace, seems unjustified today.’
As if oblivious of the billions living below the poverty line and the devastating impacts being wrought by the many natural catastrophes that keep occurring all over the world – the latest being the earthquake in Turkey with almost 33,000 deaths and over 80,000 injured (till Tuesday last) – geopolitical power plays have not stopped. Ukraine has morphed from flashpoint into a bitterly fought theatre of civil war, but there are other hotspots that threaten to scale up to war proportions by deliberate design.
Take the case of the 3-bus size large Chinese balloon that was shot down off the south-east coast of the US after floating for nearly a week over US territory starting from Alaska. The Chinese have maintained that it was a scientific weather balloon, not a spy one as was being averred by the US. Suspicions strengthened about the real purpose of the balloon when it was revealed that another balloon starting from China had followed a route to South America. In the ensuing days, four more UFOs have been shot down on the order of the US and Canada. Without admitting that theirs was a spy balloon, the Chinese have reacted further by accusing the US too of sending spy balloons over China, without mentioning whether they have too shot anyone down.
As the saying goes though, there is nothing new under the sun. Thus, many will recall the U2 Gary Powers incident, as Wikipedia notes: On 1 May 1960, a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down by the Soviet Air Defence Forces while conducting photographic aerial reconnaissance deep inside Soviet territory. The single-seat aircraft, flown by American pilot Francis Gary Powers, had taken off from Peshawar, Pakistan, and crashed near Sverdlovsk (present-day Yekaterinburg), after being hit by an S-75 Dvina (SA-2 Guideline) surface-to-air missile. Powers parachuted to the ground safely and was captured.
‘Initially, American authorities acknowledged the incident as the loss of a civilian weather research aircraft operated by NASA, but were forced to admit the mission’s true purpose a few days later after the Soviet government produced the captured pilot and parts of the U-2’s surveillance equipment, including photographs of Soviet military bases.’
Spying on each other by the world’s powers is old game. Nowadays they have more sophisticated tools at their disposal, and these are constantly being refined so as to outdo those of the adversary – clearly a never-ending endeavour. Now that one game is up, between the US and China, how and where it will end is anybody’s guess. But one thing is certain: it sets back the hope of world peace, if ever that is at all possible.
The prospect will recede further as long as there are countries that do not want to live at peace with their neighbours. In addition to the other endemic conflict zones in the Middle East (Yemen, Syria), the chronic Palestinian-Israeli antagonism is a live volcano that erupts frequently. Chinese belligerence has quashed Hong Kong’s aspirations, and the new hot points are Taiwan and the South China Sea. Read More… Become a Subscriber
Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 17 February 2023
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