As the Russian callous and brutal invasion of its western neighbor Ukraine becomes more deadly and devastating, and takes on an even darker diabolical tone, as each day passes – with the latest reports of missile attacks on the eastern city of Lviv – should the world be particularly shocked with this apparent increase (especially over the past century) of the powerful using their might to ride roughshod over the weaker and vulnerable?
Have we not watched, in utter disgust as dismay as the United States (US), and its allies, similarly carry out cold-blooded attacks on those nations that could not defend and protect themselves – with the most recent, in a long chain, being Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya – which were savagely bombed into near oblivion, with scant regard for the sanctity of human life?
We have also had Saudi Arabia’s cruel and barbaric unrelenting scorched earth air bombardment of its eastern neighbor Yemen – leaving a country already reeling under unimaginable poverty, even worse off (described by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis).
Of course, always bearing in mind that the US and her Western allies not only unashamedly never shied away from turning a blind eye, but actually provided the Saudis with the much-needed deadly fire power and other logistical support.
In the east, we find the Chinese not wanting to be left behind in these bullying sinister misadventures, and feeling the need to flex their newly developed muscles – who have been pushing around nearly every nation in the South China Sea, either by laying claim to each and every available island endowed with valuable natural resources, or even going as far as declaring ownership of an entire state (as with Taiwan).
Need I mention the reckless and unwelcome grossly arrogant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations – to the point of supporting, or directly staging, military coups, as has been witnessed in Iran, Chile, Malaysia, and many others, where puppet regimes have been installed in the past?
Yet, when the hapless victims of these world powers’ insatiable greed and cold-hearted brutality seek resolution and recourse at the only other available global platform – set up for exactly such brazen breach of international law, peace and security (the UN) – they find the same faces, who are perpetrating these unspeakable heinous crimes against humanity, waiting to preside over their cases.
Surely, where can a country like Ukraine turn to – when the author of its untold suffering and merciless destruction is also a permanent veto-weilding member of the Security Council – who can easily dismiss any meaningful debate, discussion, and more importantly, action, with the simple raising of the hand?
How will Yemen stop a vile war – which the world has tragically decided to ignore as if it does not exist, and never did, with unparalleled numbers of children perishing due to ancient diseases as cholera – when friends of its abuser, Saudi Arabia, are right there sitting as investigators, prosecutors, judges, and the jury at the UN?
When will countries as the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea find justice for Chinese impudence in the South China Sea – when the country that believes, just because the sea is named after it, then everything in it is there’s for the taking – has a permanent seat on the Security Council, which it can readily use to silence any dissent?
It is akin to India claiming every scrap of land, the resources, and creatures in the Indian Ocean – simply because it is named after itself!
All this obviously skewed and unfair geopolitical power dynamics make me wonder – how then, are nation states expected to be democracy in their own domestic policies, when global giants freely push their weight around, trampling on anyone else’s rights, by means of ruthless aggression – more so, with power that they bestowed upon themselves, in the absence of any popular vote?
The only claim to power by these super states is through their economic and military might – more in the mould of oligarchs, or mafia bosses.
Just because a country was victorious in a world war, should never automatically confer upon it superpower status, with a permanent veto-weilding seat on the body supposed to preside over world peace and security.
What message, then, is being sent to the rest of the world – with countries as Zimbabwe watching?
Does this not sanitize, or even justify the concept of the rulership by might – whereby, the more powerful and wealthy in any given nation, feel it their mandate and authority to bully everyone else, as if they owned both country and people?
What, then, is the difference between the state of affairs in our international politics, and what we see in countries as Zimbabwe – where whose who wield more power and wealth believe possess legitimate authority to ride roughshod over the weak and vulnerable, as they lay claim to all the resources for their own enrichment, whilst reducing the rest of the population into paupers and beggars?
As long as our global geopolitics continues on its lopsided and warped trajectory – it renders life for the rest of us living under dictatorships most difficult – as we seek and fight for justice, equality, and fairness, yet those who have proclaimed themselves the leaders of the world, are no different from our local tyrants.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org