• Friday, September 29, 2023
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The ‘fool’ called man and his wasteful wars!

The ‘fool’ called man and his wasteful wars!

The merchants of blood are smiling all the way to the bank, again! Their weapons of woeful wars are selling like the sweet-smelling Nigerian akara, the popular morning bean cake, across the globe. This time it is not only in Russia and Ukraine where in just one week, but the invasion of the latter by the former has also sent over hundreds to their early graves; with thousands wounded, including helpless and defenceless children.

Similarly, schools and hospitals have been demolished to rubbles and over a million people have fled the country to safer climes. While those who still have the human heart beating in their thoracic cavity are outraged, dumfounded and incensed by the scary scale of man’s inhumanity to fellow human beings, in so short a period some others are out there trying to justify it all.

They want to reason with the smile-phobic Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, high on ego-trip and out on a mission of power-play. To him, might is right, or should always be. Of course, that is the rule of the jungle. Still aggrieved over the break-up of the USSR, he is up in arms against Ukraine for daring to switch allegiance to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, (NATO) created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations an agreement between 28 countries dedicated to preserving peace and guaranteeing security in the North Atlantic area. And why not?

Putin feels that the time is right for the attack, given the fact that Russia has a mouth-watering $600billion in its foreign reserves! That is not a peanut, you rightly understand. In fact, apart from that, Russia boasts of some modern, hi-tech military hardware, with ever ready and doting soldiers willing to do the dictator’s bidding, at the snap of two fingertips.

In essence, Russia’s tension with NATO and the vaulting ambitions of one man, Putin prompted him to amass up to 190,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, including Belarus. That was late in 2021. But yours truly is still asking how it happened that Putin outsmarted both the United States and members of NATO over those months? Could they not have read between the lines when Putin backed the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, both located in the disputed Donbas area? Yet, there are more troubling questions begging for answers.

Could they not have guessed that Putin was not too comfortable with Ukraine’s soaring status as once described as the ‘breadbasket of Europe’? That it was noted as one of the most populous and powerful republics in the former USSR and even went ahead to declare independence in 1991. By all that would it not eventually going to someday flex muscles with Russia? So, was attacking Ukraine no longer the best form of Russia’s self-defence? Call him a war-mongering Putin. That is left for you.

Indeed, the Russia-Ukraine war actually began in 2014 following the former’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. And going back in time, according to Google.com “on January 7, 1919, the Bolsheviks invaded Ukraine in full force with an army led by Vladimir Antonio-Ovseyenko, Joseph Stalin, and Volodymyr Zatonsky. The Directorate declared war once again against Russia on January 16 of that same year after several preliminary ultimatums to Russia SFSR to withdraw their troops.’’ The ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, therefore, reinforces the war of acrimony that has always existed between the two countries.


“War contains so much folly, as well as wickedness, that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason.”

– Author: James Madison

But the crux of the matter has to do with the wisdom of man finding lasting solutions to lingering crises instead of fuelling them. Or stopping a war soon after it must have started because like it or not, we are all losers. Though the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said that further Russian aggression in Ukraine would lead ‘’to a price that Vladimir and Russia will pay for a long, long time’’ which has begun with reeling out sundry sanctions, ranging from finance and banking to sports and entertainment, the common citizens of both countries will continue to bear the brunt.

Read also: Why Russia-Ukraine crisis will not lead to World War 3

Much as one cannot but support US $10 billion proposed Aid to Ukraine even as US-based Russian businessman, Alex Konanykhin is offering $1 million to anyone in the bud the thorns and thistles of disagreements between countries from degenerating into global conflagrations?

For instance, the First World War called the Great War began in 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria triggered crises across Europe. It lasted till 1918 as protests against European expansionism, Serbian nationalism, with conflicts over Alliances aggravated. Other factors included imperialism with the self-sustaining plans of Germany and Austria-Hungary.

That a total military and civilian casualty in WW1 was around 40 million with 20 million deaths and 20 million wounded is horrendous. And that included some 9.7 million military personnel and 10 million civilians according to Robert Schuman. Incidentally, Russia lost 12million citizens, the British Empire 8.9million and France 8.41million innocent souls.

As for the Second World War, WW2 which raged from 1919 to1939, it was fired up by the impact of the Treaty of Versailles following WW1, the worldwide economic depression and the failure of appeasement. The rise of militarism in Germany and Japan and the failure of the League of Nations served to worsen it.

As for casualties an estimated total of 70–85 million people perished, or about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion). Deaths directly caused by the war (including military and civilian fatalities) are estimated at 50–56 million, with an additional estimated 19–28 million deaths from war-related disease and famine.

Indeed, if man was truly wise he would have spent billions of dollars fighting against diseases and poverty over the decades, compared to the trillions he has spent on wasteful wars. He would have strictly adhered to the Agreements reached after WW2 and the coming into being of the United Nations Organisation, UNO with its far-reaching life-saving precepts and principles.

Perhaps, with all of that, there would have been no wars to talk about, especially in Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Rwanda, Somalia, Afghanistan and now Ukraine.

It means that man, even with his rocket science and artificial intelligence has learnt little or nothing from the throes and travails of WW1 and WW2. For instance, ‘’global extreme poverty rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years as the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic compounded the forces of conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction progress. About 100 million additional people are living in poverty as a result of the pandemic.” In 2018, four out of five people below the international poverty line lived in rural areas. Half of the poor are children

The current conflict in Ukraine “poses an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children. Humanitarian needs are multiplying by the hour as fighting intensifies.” This presents yet another opportunity for man to exhibit the humanity inbuilt in us by the creator. That is instead of justifying the maiming and killings going on all because of the needless power-play between Putin and Russia on one side against Ukraine and NATO members on the other. The time to act is now because human life matters, or should be, more so in our 21st Century world.