By Shenali Waduge
The number of conflicts taking place throughout the world is seeing no decline and the reasons are many from the Cold War conflicts to anti-colonialism, people’s wars, coups, invasions, border disputes, ethnic and religious conflicts, international arms trade and the latest root cause terrorism. The present trend of conflicts is certainly not as straight forward to understand or solve and solutions are never really the quest – every conflict starts with a reason and is meant to remain for a reason. Through all conflicts it is the ordinary that suffer and a handful that profit because wars are a business. These conflicts are today causing immense suffering to the very nations that are indirectly responsible for much of the conflicts that prevail. Whether they like it or not it is not these nations or the people that are being blamed but a 0.01% who control the world and who inflict chaos so that they take away the dividends.
The conflicts since World War 2 are many :
In Africa conflicts have prevailed in Angola, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara and Zimbabwe – there are 47 countries in Africa.
In the Americas conflicts have prevailed in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela. There are 12 countries in South America and 3 territories.
In Asia conflicts have prevailed in Cambodia, China, East Timor, Indonesia, North Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam (East Asia), Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka (South Asia). There are 52 countries in Asia.
In Europe and Former Soviet Union conflicts have prevailed in Albania, Armenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Soviet Union, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. There are 47 countries in Europe/Soviet Union.
In the Middle East/North Africa conflicts have prevailed in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine and Yemen. There are 381 million people, about 6% of the total world population
Countries belonging to Oceania – Fiji, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and the Soloman Islands have also experienced their share of conflicts.
All these conflicts have prevailed despite a host of peace organizations headed by the UN, Alliances, Conventions and Negotiations by the African Union, ANZUS Pact, Arab League, Central Treaty Organization, Non-Aligned Movement, Economic Community of West African States, European Defense Community, International Criminal Court, Middle East Negotiations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization of American States, Organization of the Islamic Conferences, South East Asia Treaty Organization, Warsaw Pact and War and Weapons Conventions.
The conflicts are many and the extent of the wars has made the enemies indistinguishable.
No one is questioning people’s right to make profits but when money is used to buy politicians, destroy nations, compromise lives of troops, sell arms to the enemy – it raises questions of the ethics of wars and asks the key question what has America especially Americans actually got for the TRILLIONs of dollars spent on illegal occupations and invasions?
The question that most want answered is whether the US and NATO armies are protecting the interests of their nations or promoting the business interests of American and a handful of European Corporations?
The US national debt is $15 trillion, its military is stationed in 130 nations, it has over 1000 military bases and it takes over $100billion to maintain these bases. Despite the military spending, America’s national security remains a concern with millions illegally entering US and how bizarre is it for the federal government to sue states when they try to stop illegal immigration (Arizona) – is the objective to encourage illegal immigrants because it affords business for prisons?
While companies and a greedy handful are pocketing profits from arming people, creating conflicts so they can enjoy post-conflict and pre-conflict profits the once flourishing West is now facing an enormous crisis in terms of poverty, unemployment and the possibility that their nations would soon be over-populated and taken over by immigrants.
While the top 1% of rich Americans include oil tycoons, hedge fund managers and bankers the top 0.01% are the US military contractors who continue to make money mesmerizing Americans into thinking it is for their security! The military contractors are Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing. Financial Sector profiteers are JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America. It is these war profiteers who were targets of the Occupy Wall Street demos questioning how democracy prevails only for 0.01% while the other 99.9% have to endure in silence. Can America deny that this 0.01% profits at the expense of US taxpayer and compromises the lives of US soldiers while creating anarchy right round the globe? Can this 0.01% deny that they are getting rich by manipulating the US political system, falsely creating fear in the American people and planting endless, unethical and totally unnecessary wars and conflicts the world over?
And who are the profiteers – In 2003-6 Halliburton made $17.2billion in Iraq for constructing and maintaining military bases, oil field repairs, infrastructure building and yes former US VP Dick Cheney was a partner in it. Veritas/DynCorp made $1.44billion training new Iraqi police forces.
Washington Group International made $931m in 2003-6 to repair, restore and maintain high-output oil fields including building schools, municipal utilities, watering systems.
Environmental Chemical made $878m by 2006 for munitions disposal.
Aegis of UK made $430m for coordinating Iraq’s private security operations and is there any need to even mention Blackwater?
The criminal banking mafia emerged following the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which separated commercial banks and investment banks allowing the latter to indulge in high-risk sometimes fraudulent ventures which have led to the financial crisis, economic instability and taxations on innocent citizens who end up footing the bill. 53m people were pushed to poverty as a direct result of the financial crisis. Criminal bankers and self-serving political elite combine to a dangerous combination that can only spell worst times for the people of the world. It is always the bankers, weapons manufacturers and the pharmaceutical giants who are corporate donors to presidential campaigns! Not many politicians dare speak against bankers! They don’t seem to really care what happens to people – as is seen how EU is on the brink of collapse.
The War on Terror was preplanned but 9/11 became the created solution to attack Iraq and Afghanistan and planned far in advance as confirmed by General Wesley Clark who also confirms the US decision to attack Syria, Iran and we can presume the fate of Syria! Who disagrees that the War on Terror is simply a ploy to grab the resources of the Middle East and Africa?
The WMD was an excuse to invade Iraq, 9/11 was sufficient to invade and occupy Afghanistan, liberating Libya from Gaddafi was enough reason to attack Libya, oil was a hidden secret to carve Kosovo – these are just a few of the “magnanimous gestures” shown by the West to protect the “democratic” rights of the people of these nations. For this the US tax payer is paying out 3 trillion dollars and who exactly is really profiting from these illegal invasions?
Libya a country that had no Al Qaeda is today ruling Libya and will Sharia laws that did not exist in Libya. Similar radicalism has prevailed in worse proportions in both Iraq and Afghanistan – have the US helped the people of these nations in reality and what about America’s own debt? There’s more terrorists now than when the War on Terrorism began and what democratic nation arms terrorists to fight a nation to oust its government? Are the people of these occupied nations even grateful to the Americans? How can they be when their countries are in far worse conditions after US occupation. Can people thank America for introducing radical Islam to nations that did not suffer radical rule?
How many are aware that 18 US soldiers commit suicide a day – this amounts to deaths of 6500 annually which is a shocking figure – that’s the cost of war. The cost of economic crisis is seen in the number of suicides taking place in Greece as a result of job cuts, austerity, slashed pensions and soaring taxes. Even the whistleblowers have been suicided! No wonder the media prefers to remain complicit and pushing the theory of a cashless society which would be controlled by the banking cartel! While governments use the financial crisis as an excuse to introduce greater controls on the movement of capital – all these insecurities on everyone’s turfs only picks the pockets of the public.
In the meanwhile Europe is falling apart
16.4% of Europe is today poor – that is 80m people.
Europe is already disintegrating politically. Austerity, poverty, debt crisis, euro currency crisis, fall of European Governments, loss of public confidence, unemployment, inflation, public debt are just a few of the aspects of crisis that prevails. The situation is made worse by division on how to bail out indebted nations, opposition to bailout nations (by UK, France and Germany) opposition to Brussels national budget and anti-German sentiments though most view Germany as the most hardworking and least corrupt of EU nations. The tensions are high throughout Europe – people have no money even to feed their children a proper breakfast!
Then there is the UN an institute supposedly working towards peace but visibly showing bias by its actions – UN Secretary General has failed to speak against illegal economic sanctions, UN says nothing of covert operations carried out by the West, it remains mum to the manner IMF and World Bank destroys Third World local rural industries in favor of cash crops, not many know that these two global banking entities come with smiles and force Governments to cut down on subsidies given to its citizens – UN Secretary, UN officials, Western envoys are immersed in a plethora of vocabulary that are continuously parroted to non-Western nations envisaging “democracy”, “freedom”, “human rights” when these are empty vessels meant only to subjugate nations with veiled threats that are not disclosed. The UN is certainly not the voice of justice, honor, reason or sanity – is there a better word that puppet to describe the UN?
People need to wake up to the realities that prevail – things don’t happen without a reason and it is sadly the public who become the guinea pigs. Every crisis becomes a guinea pig to explore ways of profit at the expense of the people – it is either monetary, change of government, change of leader – either way the objective is a change that suits the handful of people who control the world!