WAR NO LONGER AN OPTION TODAY

 

By Barnes Mawrie

Si vis pacem para bellum” (If you want peace prepare for war) was Julius Caesar’s famous words to the Roman citizens. It looks like human beings of every century still adhere to this dictum. We have seen wars in every decade, some on a grander scale while many more on a smaller scale or localized wars. In the last century, humanity was unfortunate to have borne the brunt of two world wars, World War I from 1914-1918 and World War II from 1939-1945.  The human casualty of the former war was about 22 million lives while the latter war which is considered the deadliest conflict in human history, saw the loss of 70-85 million lives. Apart from loss of lives, the destruction to property and national economies all over the world was massive. It is rightly said that what civilization builds for centuries can be demolished in days through war. These are the unavoidable consequences of war as we know it.

In these last few years, we are witnessing unending arm conflicts in the Middle East which have led to immense loss of innocent lives and millions more rendered homeless. Today in our very own country and neighbourhood we are seeing conflict brewing between our country and China on LAC issues. Defence experts of both countries are predicting an escalation of conflicts which could possibly lead to war between the two neighbours which consequently could escalate into a global war. It is true that every few decades have always produced despots and insane leaders who would try to exert themselves on the regional or global scenario. Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy and Emperor Hirohito of Japan pursued such goals which resulted in World War II. Today another insane leader Xi Jinping of China is taking a leaf from such a terrible history and trying to replicate it. The red dragon has turned into the greedy and ambitious Smaug of Tolkien’s trilogy of The Hobbit.

The question that comes to mind at this moment is, can humanity afford another great war? Or have we not learnt from mistakes of the past? How sinister modern wars can become is common knowledge of every person. Nuclear arms, WMD and sophisticated weapons of every kind available today, will definitely bring about untold suffering on humanity and may end up in a nuclear holocaust. China under Xi Jinping is on an ambitious plan to become world number one politically, economically and militarily. Despots in world history have displayed the same qualities, namely, pride, arrogance and ambition and their path to achieve is unmistakably through aggression and violence. They trample upon the rights of others even of their own citizens. They prey on weaker countries and build themselves on the ash heap of destruction. President Xi of China possesses all these monstrous qualities and he is in hurry to climb the peak of power.

Adolf Hitler convinced the German people that they were the crème of humanity and that other races are inferior and their extermination would count for nothing. Mussolini told the Italian people that he would restore to them the glory of the ancient Roman Empire. What Xi Jinping and his Communist Party are doing in China today, are a repetition of these despotic aspirations. The way China is going round bossing itself over weaker neighbours and enslaving them with loans and hooky investments, is an immoral method of gaining loyalty and control over them. A despot by nature will not tolerate a competitor or a threat to his sovereignty. What Kim Jong Un in North Korea and Xi in China are doing, is precisely silencing or at worst getting rid of opponents or threats to their positions. In world politics, the US and Europe are perceived as formidable opponents to be overcome. China has already achieved a partial victory through economic domination.

Today Chinese made products are flooding the western markets. China has even influenced the west culturally through the media especially through cinema. It is known that Hollywood today depends greatly on Chinese patronage. China censor board dictates Hollywood movies. This influence of China is not difficult to see when we consider how almost every Hollywood movie today has Chinese actors on the sets. When it comes to culinary tastes Chinese food has quite invaded the world. Chinese restaurants are found in every nook and corner of the world. What China is looking at today is military domination. The way China is aggressively advancing in the production of arms and weapons, ranging from long range and short range missiles, fighter planes, unmanned weapons-armed drones to sophisticated tanks and weaponry is indicative of their ambition to “rule the world.” It seems that such leaders have not learnt from history. They should remember the fate of Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein and many others. So how do we counteract these despotic threats?

Many feel that the better options to tackle China will be a diplomatic isolation, cyber counter-attack and an economic sanction. It is to India’s advantage that there is a China-phobia in the world today. Diplomatic isolation of China would be a cakewalk for India to achieve keeping in mind that many countries like USA, Australia, Japan, Canada, Taiwan and others, are already averse to China. India has taken the right step by banning all Chinese media apps. This would prevent hacking and media domination by China over our citizens. India should take a step further by adopting a cyber counter attack. Finally, we all know that China has become what it is today, because of its economic power. Its GDP is five times that of India and China’s economic growth has surpassed that of any country. Western countries and India as well have helped the growth of Chinese economy. Now is the time for the rest of the world to curb Chinese power through economic sanctions. Some countries including India have already done this. When economy is weakened China will be compelled to bow down.

When these steps are taken resolutely without any selfish motives, perhaps the world can achieve its goal without shedding blood. No one wants war anymore because its price is too high. Humanity at all cost must avoid committing the same blunder. Its important to learn lessons from history.

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