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21.05.2022 Feature Article

Invading Other Countries In The 21st Century Is Simply Barbaric

Invading Other Countries In The 21st Century Is Simply Barbaric
21.05.2022 LISTEN

IT speaks much for the degeneration of moral standards in the world that so far, it's only the Western countries which have fully condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the incredible amount of destruction caused by Russian bombardment of Ukrainian towns and other habitats.

One need not take any notice of what the Westerners say, of course, since they have many invasions of foreign countries on their own consciences – such invasions as that of Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular, and several others – in Vietnam, Cambodia, Algeria, Egypt and other countries too many to mention. To Africans, the destruction of Libya was particularly nauseous, despite the regrettable excesses of the Gaddhafi regime.

All invasions should be condemned, anyway, for they have caused millions of deaths in the world. Even if one discounts the horrendous slaughters in both the 19th and 20th centuries, the situation is awful. And it is doubly tragic that the killings have been sadly carried over to the 21st century.

I urge those Africans who do not see the need to condemn the Russian

invasion of Ukraine to think of what happened to Russia itself in the Second World War (which Russians proudly call “The Great Patriotic War”. Hitler's brutality to the Russians in places like Leningrad and Stalingrad was legendary. And it is absolutely shocking that the Russians seem to have forgotten their own history and have blithely unleashed similar destruction on the people of Ukraine.

To argue that that “NATO was courting Ukraine” and that “Russia attacked Ukraine because”attack is the best form of defence, is a lunatic viewpoint. Ukraine made a diplomatic mistake in flirting with NATO, to be sure. But Ukraine could have been punished by Russia with political and/or economic measures, not a full-scale military onslaught of the sort provoked by military aggression.

The notion that a country's policy on the diplomatic field should be punished with a horrendous military attack is as illogical as it is dangerous. Let us reduce it to inter-personal relationships: just because someone is cultivating good relations with someone else that one you might consider an enemy, must one attack that first person? If one knew how to attack, why not attack the “courted” one whose relationship with the first person was annoying one?

Ahah! One cannot attack that person because he is strong enough to hit back? But one can attack the other person because he is too weak to cause one any loss of sleep? Is that not the behaviour of a coward? We in small nations ought to be unequivocal in condemning such vile practices, for today, it may be Ukraine that is being crushed by a superior military boot, but tomorrow it could well be us. Picking on the weak because one fears that the strong may give one a bloody nose is a cowardly act unbefitting of a great nation like Russia..

I make no apologies for condemning Russia's action because those who know African history will remember Italy invaded the African country of Ethiopia, without any provocation whatsoever from Ethiopia's side, on October 3, 1935! Ethiopia's appeals to the League of Nations were ignored, and her Emperor had to flee onto exile.

At that time, those with eyes to see realised that Mussolini and Hitler (his fellow fascist criminal) were using the invasion of a supposedly weak African country to “test the waters” for bigger acts of brigandage elsewhere in the world, in years to come. And as sure as sunrise, the two criminals, having established that no-one would attack them back if they invaded “weaker” countries, launched full-scale military campaigns against most of Europe's “weaker” countries, in 1939.

The invasion of Europe by the fascists, of course, launched the world into The Second World War! It was so called because it affected every nation in the world, willy-nilly. For the combatant European countries then controlled many African, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin-American countries, which they dragged into the war, sourcing them, forcibly for commodity and manpower supplies. The “natives” of the European colonies had not even heard of some of the so-called “enemy” countries their colonisers conscripted them to go and fight against.

I remember for instance, that soldiers drawn from my poor, remote village in the Eastern Region of the Gold Coast, went and died in East Africa and Burma, without ever getting the opportunity to explain to us, their relatives at home, where they were being sent to get killed and why. You see, few people in the African hinterland had ever even seen the sea before and they could not imagine that there were places like Burma, Abyssinia or Tobruk, to which their relatives were shipped to shed their blood, without ever meeting , in the flesh, any of the people they were “fighting against”! The so-called “enemies”' bullets killed them in droves, anyway, despite their innocence.

After the Second World War, hope arose that the suffering endured by people all over the world would banish the idea of being “at war” from the world for ever. The “United Nations Organisation” was set up, amid great fanfare, with the objective of ensuring that all future disputes between nations would be settled by “peaceful means”.

But that peaceful objective has turned out to be a mirage. Human selfishness or short-sightedness has stymied peace in such different countries as Korea, Indo-China, or Afghanistan. And now, Russia has, by invading Ukraine, brought the world back to a feeling of real, tangible insecurity, given the availability of more dangerous weapons in the arsenal of many nations, including Russia.

Russia claims (as already remarked) that she invaded Ukraine because Ukraine was courting NATO and therefore needed to be prevented from bringing NATO to Russia's doorsteps. But what has happened since Russia invaded Ukraine? Finland and Sweden, two European countries that live in close proximity to Russia, and some of whose politicians had always tried to get them to join NATO for safety's sake but had been resisted by the rest of the populace, have now given almost universal approval to their governments to apply to join – NATO!

Is that what President Putin hoped would happen when he invaded Ukraine? Attack is the “best form of defence”, say Russia's apologists. They will soon learn that unprovoked invasion can be extremely costly in the consequences it brings about.

Right now, Russia is practically cut off from the Western economic system. Germany, arguably the richest country in Europe, is seeking to buy oil and gas supplies from elsewhere, in order to stop buying those items from Russia. And by blockading Ukrainian food exports to the rest of the world, Russia is creating famine and food shortages in many countries, including famine-threatened African countries, and is collecting widespread blame for that.

And what does Russia gain from all that widespread revulsion? I can't see it.

I just can't see it!

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