Events around the world now raise palpable fears that the international community may, deliberately, be toying with the prospect of a third world war. The last world war, the second actually, ended in 1945. The shock and the effect of the destruction that war, which started in 1939, brought upon the world, still haunts humanity to this day. Europe was devastated. Japan had the taste of what atomic bomb feels like. United States of America experienced it at Pearl Harbour when the Japanese attacked her naval base there in 1941 prompting its entry into the war. The Germans are still, till date, living with the shame of defeat Adolf Hitler led them to. At the end of it all, Europe needed a Marshal Plan to rebuild itself
The United Nations Organisation (UNO) came into existence as a forum to nip any crisis in the bud before it explodes into a conflagration. But like its predecessor, the League of Nations that was established at the end of World War 1 in 1918 to prevent a reoccurrence, it is beginning to seem incapable of managing the kinds of crises that create problems for humanity in general.
On the watch of that world body, a spectre of war is looming so large that no one seems to be in a position to apply reason. The sad development is that the UN itself has lost its clout to the extent that even its members rarely listen to, let alone, obey it. Its meetings are becoming like talk shops engaged just to vent emotions as its resolutions, in most cases, are not worth the pulp the paper it was written on was made.
We are disturbed enough to point out that in the event of a third world war, the armament that may be deployed, and which has been rightly described as weapons of mass destruction (WMD), may bring Armageddon to reality. Our fear is based on the fact that those weapons are capable of making those used in the two previous wars look like toys. The prospect of a resort to those WMDs is real as even the supposed powerful nations like Russia and United States are running out of stock for the conventional types used in the wars they are currently prosecuting. Acclaimed outlaw nations like North Korea and Iran are taking advantage of this ugly scenario to demand to be recognized as powers in their own rights.
It is from this perspective that this newspaper is sufficiently alarmed about the seeming probability of any war at that scale to appeal to world leaders to tone down their rhetoric and douse their thirst for action just to prove how lethal their inventory is. We make this appeal because when push comes to shove, humanity will be the only loser.
A cursory look at what is going on around the world, the effect of poverty on nations, people running away from it, migrants leaving their comfort zones in search of greener pasture elsewhere that may not exist, ought to serve as a warning that the world will never be ready for a third world war. The reason is not far to seek – wars do not recognise borders; they rage like wild fires often beyond control until they are satisfied that they have caused recognizable damages.
Presently, Russia and Ukraine are engaged in what experts refer to as conventional war. Poland and other neighbouring nations have stories to tell about refugee and other problems. A similar situation is playing out between Israel and Hamas at Gaza with the United States and Iran stoking the fire. As rich and, supposedly influential, as the Arab nations imagine themselves to be, the suffering and death in that region, in addition to tasking the conscience of the world, point to the futility of war at whatever level and for whatever reason.
Already, as we perceive it, Syria, Yemen and Iraq are enjoying the peace of the graveyard. China and Taiwan are flexing muscles on the South China Sea. If we factor in the belligerence of terrorists around the world, groups that eat and drink violence, then the scare becomes even more scary.
The humanitarian situations in Ukraine and Gaza ought to be enough warning against the dangers lying ahead. The infiltration of the Houthis of Yemen that is posing a threat to international economy and business on international waters and the response of the United States and the United Kingdom to it, sends out signals that suggest that the world is sitting on kegs of gun powder without knowing it.
The real danger is that most of these nations have access to nuclear weapons, the type that made the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, to issue a stern warning that the world is playing with fire.
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, it is time the world ceded the space to diplomacy and actualized the notion behind the phrase that it is better to ‘jaw-jaw than to war- war’. We are immensely persuaded to argue that humanity has more daunting issues begging for attention. The depletion of the ozone layer, otherwise referred to as climate change, is a real threat to the world as we all know it. Economic crisis that manifests in abject poverty, unemployment, health challenges, poor and, in most cases, unavailable education, especially in developing nations, are among the matters that should engage the attention of world leaders, statesmen and the resources they are planning to deploy in needless war.
We urge them to act fast so as to make certain that third world war never happens.