Stop the logic of war

Ukraine, Russia, China, Taïwan, OTAN, nuclear war, United States, USA, NATO, West,

On the occasion of September 21, the International Day of Peace, we must recognize that the international situation is currently evolving in an extremely dangerous direction. The world urgently needs disarmament and a de-escalation of the rhetoric of confrontation.

For the past seven months, Russia’s war in Ukraine has been raging, bringing the country to the brink of destruction. Russia is also indirectly confronting NATO. All this is happening against the backdrop of a potential radioactive disaster at the Zaporizhia power plant, the largest in Europe.

In April, it was announced that the new AUKUS military alliance – which has included Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. for the past year, with a view to equipping Australia with nuclear submarines – would also develop hypersonic weapons, which will probably be pointed at China.

In June, the NATO summit in Madrid adopted a new Strategic Concept that stigmatized Russia as « the most important threat…to the Euro-Atlantic area » and China for its « coercive policies that are contrary to our interests, security and values.

In August, China responded to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan with large-scale live-fire exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan.

Also in August, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference ended in abject failure, failing to reach consensus on a text that in any case would have done nothing to commit the nuclear-weapon states to a concrete disarmament process they committed to pursue « in good faith » 52 years ago!

A discourse that masks reality

According to our leaders, the growing tensions in the world can only be blamed on Russia and China. This discourse is not only simplistic, but hypocritical. For if they claim to be defenders of international law in the case of Ukraine, Western countries have themselves attacked Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. If they are defenders of the right to self-determination in Taiwan, they are not at all in favor of it for Palestine, the Donbass, the Western Sahara, Catalonia, etc. And they are ready to defend democracy and human rights… except in the many authoritarian countries that are their allies.

Their main principles are only levers of their foreign policy, to be operated when it serves their interests. And the instantaneous information in which we are immersed – which provides neither historical context nor proof of the facts – simply echoes the indignant denunciations of our leaders and thus confirms public opinion in a posture of moral superiority of the West.

But what is the point of all this theater and what exactly is China being reproached for, since it is above all in the crosshairs of the United States? In the new Strategic Concept adopted by all NATO countries, we read that China « uses a wide range of political, economic and military tools to strengthen its presence in the world and project its power… It seeks to gain control over key technological and industrial sectors…. It uses economic leverage to create strategic dependencies and increase its influence.

In short, as a major economic power, China is adopting many of the same actions that were previously the sole preserve of the United States. In essence, the threat posed by China is that the United States will no longer be the sole ruler of the world, a prerogative it intends to retain at all costs… even at the cost of putting humanity at risk.

Imminent nuclear danger

As early as 1946, Albert Einstein stated: « The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our ways of thinking, and we are thus sliding towards an unprecedented catastrophe. » Our leaders, on the other hand, are showing total unconsciousness by pushing us more and more into a logic of confrontation with China and Russia, when a war between nuclear powers should be absolutely unthinkable.

Not only do they think about it, but they talk about it openly. « For us, it is only a matter of time, » the director of intelligence of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command recently said. On May 23, and again last Sunday, President Biden said the United States would use force to defend Taiwan if China attacked.

Not only are they thinking about it, they are talking about it openly. « For us, it’s just a matter of time, » the director of intelligence for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command recently said. On May 23, and again last Sunday, President Biden said the United States would use force to defend Taiwan if China attacked.

Not only are they talking about it openly, they believe they can win such a war! For example, one of the four main priorities of the U.S. Defense Strategy (2022) reads: « Deter aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflicts if necessary, prioritizing the challenge of the People’s Republic of China in the Indo-Pacific, followed by the challenge of Russia in Europe. »

A warlike escalation

The war in Ukraine has created millions of new refugees and internally displaced persons. Elsewhere in the world, it has contributed to a significant increase in the rate of inflation, which is hitting the most vulnerable populations particularly hard, and risks leading to a food crisis.

Moreover, in terms of the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine and the threat of war in Taiwan are leading to significant setbacks: on the one hand, a return to coal in Germany and plans for increased oil and gas development, particularly in Canada and the United States; and, on the other, the suspension of climate change negotiations between China and the United States, the world’s two largest GHG emitters.

It is not only urgent to decarbonize human activity on the planet, but also to put an end to the logic of war, the bellicose rhetoric under humanitarian pretexts and the astronomical military expenditures that accompany them.

One of the slogans of the climate justice movement is « Change the system, not the climate ». Let us also reject the logic of war inherent in this system. It is a matter of survival for humanity.

Le Devoir, 21/09/2022

#Russia #China #Ukraine #West #Europe #Nuclear_war #NATO