[News] From Korea to Libya: On the Future of Ukraine and NATO’s Never ending Wars
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 7 09:22:18 EDT 2022
>From Korea to Libya: On the Future of Ukraine and NATO’s Neverending
Wars by Ramzy
Baroud <https://www.counterpunch.org/author/ramzy-baroud/> - April 7, 2022
Photograph Source: Antti T. Nissinen – CC BY 2.0
Much has been said and written about media bias and double standards in the
West’s response to the Russia-Ukraine war, when compared with other wars
and military conflicts across the world, especially in the Middle East and
the Global South. Less obvious is how such hypocrisy is a reflection of a
much larger phenomenon that governs the West’s relationship to war and
On March 19, Iraq commemorated the 19th anniversary
of the US invasion which killed, according to modest estimates
over a million Iraqis. The consequences of that war were equally
devastating as it destabilized the entire Middle East region, leading to
various civil and proxy wars. The Arab world is reeling under that horrific
experience to this day.
Also, on March 19, the eleventh anniversary
of the NATO war on Libya was commemorated and followed, five days later, by
the 23rd anniversary
of the NATO war on Yugoslavia. Like every NATO-led war since the inception
of the alliance in 1949, these wars resulted in widespread devastation and
tragic death tolls.
None of these wars, starting with the NATO intervention
<https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/korean-conflict> in the Korean
Peninsula in 1950, have stabilized any of the warring regions. Iraq is
still as vulnerable to terrorism and outside military interventions and, in
many ways, remains an occupied country. Libya is divided among various
warring camps, and a return to civil war remains a real possibility.
Yet, enthusiasm for war remains high, as if over seventy years of failed
military interventions have not taught us any meaningful lessons. Daily,
news headlines tell us that the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Spain or some
other western power have decided
<https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60774098> to ship a new kind
to Ukraine. Billions of dollars have already been allocated by Western
countries to contribute to the war in Ukraine.
In contrast, very little has been done to offer platforms for diplomatic,
non-violent solutions. A handful of countries in the Middle East, Africa
and Asia have offered mediation or insisted on a diplomatic solution to the
as China’s foreign ministry reiterated on March 18, that “all sides need to
jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that
will produce results and lead to peace”.
Though the violation of the sovereignty of any country is illegal under
international law, and is a stark violation of the United Nations Charter
<https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter>, this does not mean that the
only solution to violence is counter-violence. This cannot be truer in the
case of Russia and Ukraine, as a state of civil war
has existed in Eastern Ukraine for eight years, harvesting thousands of
lives and depriving whole communities from any sense of peace or security.
NATO’s weapons cannot possibly address the root causes of this communal
struggle. On the contrary, they can only fuel it further.
If more weapons were the answer, the conflict would have been resolved
years ago. According to the BBC, the US has already allocated $2.7bn to
Ukraine over the last eight years, long before the current war. This
massive arsenal included
“anti-tank and anti-armor weapons … US-made sniper (rifles), ammunition and
The speed with which additional military aid has poured into Ukraine
following the Russian military operations on February 24 is unprecedented
in modern history. This raises not only political or legal questions, but
moral questions as well – the eagerness to fund war and the lack of
enthusiasm to help countries rebuild.
After 21 years of US war and invasion
of Afghanistan, resulting in a humanitarian and refugee crisis, Kabul is
now largely left on its own. Last September, the UN refugee agency warned
<https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/09/1099112> that “a major humanitarian
crisis is looming in Afghanistan”, yet nothing has been done to address
this ‘looming’ crisis, which has greatly worsened since then.
Afghani refugees are rarely welcomed in Europe. The same is true for
refugees coming from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali and other conflicts that
directly or indirectly involved NATO. This hypocrisy is accentuated when we
consider international initiatives
<https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/03/1087602> that aim to support war
refugees, or rebuild the economies of war-torn nations.
Compare the lack of enthusiasm in supporting war-torn nations with the
West’s unparalleled euphoria in providing weapons to Ukraine. Sadly, it
will not be long before the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have left
their country in recent weeks become a burden
on Europe, thus subjected to the same kind of mainstream criticism and
While it is true that the West’s attitude towards Ukraine is different
from its attitude towards victims of western interventions, one has to be
careful before supposing that the ‘privileged’ Ukrainains will ultimately
be better off than the victims of war throughout the Middle East. As the
war drags on, Ukraine will continue to suffer, either the direct impact of
the war or the collective trauma that will surely follow. The amassing of
NATO weapons in Ukraine, as was the case of Libya, will likely backfire. In
Libya, NATO’s weapons
fueled the country’s decade-long civil war
Ukraine needs peace and security, not perpetual war that is designed to
serve the strategic interests of certain countries or military alliances.
Though military invasions must be wholly rejected, whether in Iraq or
Ukraine, turning Ukraine into another convenient zone of a perpetual
geopolitical struggle between NATO and Russia is not the answer.
*Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He
is the author of five books. His latest is “**These Chains Will Be Broken*
Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity
Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the
Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU).
His website is **www.ramzybaroud.net* <http://www.ramzybaroud.net/>
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