Russia-Ukraine War: Let cool heads prevail

Russia-Ukraine War

By Raymond Tuvi, Media and Development Consultant

The deadly bombardment of several Ukrainian cities that daily hikes in the number of civilian casualties, has caused most of the world’s nations and international institutions to be tipped towards censure and condemnation. A few days ago, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted 141, 5 against, with 35 abstentions, to reprimand Russia for its “aggression against Ukraine.” The European Union, ECOWAS, the African Union, FIFA, the International Olympic Committee and several individual nations and other multilateral organizations have imposed varying degrees of diplomatic or economic sanctions on the second most militarized nation on Earth, for launching a full-scale assault on the second-largest nation in Europe.

Many global big tech and industrial companies have either suspended or cancelled multi-million dollar deals and operations in Russia. Ghana – which is a Non-Permanent Member of the Security Council – was one of the eleven members that voted in favor of ending the most intense military action in Europe since the end of the Second World War. Ukraine’s offence to Russia is its aspiration to join the 30-member Western military alliance of NATO that was formed in 1949 as an ideological and geopolitical opponent to the Russian-led Warsaw Pact.

The 1989-fall of the Berlin Wall led to the end of Soviet-style Communism in Eastern Europe,bringing an end to the Cold War and disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, resulted in a more or less unipolar world with NATO having the upper hand. The historical differences and aspirations to global hegemony and power between the two ideological camps have not disappeared. Russia fears that Ukraine NATO membership will bring the full force of its ideological and former military antagonist right under its nose. Some global watchers and international relations analysts are imputing a Greater Russia or New Soviet Empire expansionist agenda in the psyche of Vladimir Putin.

If this assumption were correct, its propagation seems to be emboldening the Kremlin. Russia, and its sympathizers validating this unfortunate and ruthless incursion into a sovereign nation’s space, cites similar military campaigns made by their American-led rivals which did not receive equal condemnation. Russia is ascribing hypocrisy and double standards to their accusers for excusing and even justifying the US and its allies’ invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, Panama in 1989, the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983 for courting Soviet cooperation.

Although the attack and violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity is unjustified under any consideration in international law or ideological and military politics, the contention of the Russians points to a certain prevalence of two sets of parallel international moral or legal codes for conflict resolution in the world. This contrary situation calls to mind the last and probably the most famous of the Seven Rules, as altered, in the Animal Farm, George Orwell’s all-time allegorical classic, that is, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Although, Animal Farm a literary work, was incidentally criticizing a contemporary communist regime – that of the Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin – this expression has come to represent the imperfection of human societies and the kind of justice systems that prevail in them, which is, “Might is right.”As a quote attributed to British philosopher, mathematician and prolific writer, Bertrand Russell, says, “War does not determine who is right but only who is left.”

What that Nobel Prize laureate and leading figure in the cause of nuclear disarmament was saying is, war does not determine who is morally correct, but only who remains alive afterwards.If one considers all the financial, scientific and humanitarian efforts expended over the past couple of years to keep people alive from a ravaging coronavirus disease, it makes little sense to deploy so much heavy military accoutrement, laced with hatred, to kill and destroy even the innocent and vulnerable. If all the needless destruction to life and property that must be cleared and cleaned up after this burst of unrestricted fury is taken into account, ceasing the fire and speedily coming to the negotiating table seems a more enlightened, very dignifying and less messy means of settling any scores, which, ultimately, would only be much ado about nothing, because, God rules and is Sovereign in the affairs of Men.

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