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DANCING ON THE EDGE OF DARKNESS By Ken Howell

posted 24 Apr 2018, 10:59 by Gerry Kangalee
Image result for dancing on the edge of darknessIt would be interesting to know what percentage of the population follow the happenings on the international political stage. I say this because, we aren’t paying much attention to the machinations of the major power blocs, which are jockeying for positions of influence over the human, mineral and financial resources of the world.

These developments, in most instances, appear to be about matters which to us may be pertinent only to the country in which they emerged or may appear to be the business of the countries that are confronting the negative impacts caused by economic and environmental abuse.

Currently the state of affairs in the world demands that we must pay attention, notwithstanding our own gloomy situation. It’s necessary for us as a people, to ensure that our leaders keep on top of the international developments, to ensure that we are properly informed and that we are prepared to protect ourselves against any negative consequences. Those of us who try to follow issues of international significance, such as the allegation that Russia interfered in the Presidential election in the USA in 2816, are aware of the negative consequences rightly or wrongly which Russia had to face.

America declared political and economic sanctions against the Russian government as well as certain citizens. In addition, member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (N.A.T.O), also declared sanction on Russia, concerning those issues. The alleged interference in the civil war in the Ukraine, which led to the breaking away of Crimea, which declared itself a republic, with allegiance to Russia, as well as the two other states, which also declared their independence from Ukraine, remain a bone of contention between Russia and the NATO countries.

When these issues are added to the very explosive situation currently playing out in the Korean peninsula where America and North Korea seem intent on causing a nuclear war, it becomes necessary for us to begin to pay attention.

Although we are a small country, our size does not prevent us from expressing a view. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree with the political and economic system the people of North Korea, China and Cuba chose for their social and economic development, we do not have the right to decide what choices they should make. Also, we cannot tell the people of Europe and America what political and economic system they must choose. Since that is the case, it is reasonable to conclude that America and Europe do not have that right.

Image result for nuclear weaponsIf we proceed from that premise, then we would not have any difficulty understanding why it is against international law for countries to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Issues that are of grave importance to all peoples who live on planet earth, include the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

America, Russia, China, India, United Kingdom, France, Israel and Pakistan have them, but America is resistant to any thought that North Korea and Iran should be allowed to have nuclear weapons. North Korea, having had the experience of war with South Korea in the 1950’s, which was supported by America and learning from the negative experience of the Grenada revolution in 1983, it concluded that the only option available to it, was to obtain nuclear weapons, in the event of an attack from America.

In the case of Iran, it was able, successfully, to convince the world community that it acquired nuclear technology for peaceful uses only. The significance of a small country such as North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons changed the psychological balance and has shifted the element of fear significantly. Where, originally, the USA would have thought that an attack on North Korea would be a walk in the park; they now have to consider the real possibility of a substantial loss of American lives on American soil, if they choose to underestimate the real possibility that North Korea has the capability of striking American cities with its nuclear bombs.

But while the above-mentioned issues seem to be the main bone of contention, between western capitalism and China, Russia and North Korea, the real bone of contention is the realty of the growing influences of China and Russia on trade and the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear power. The fact that it has demonstrated that it can become the developing countries “David” to the American’s Goliath; that is to say, the ability to demonstrate that to speak out in defence of one’s country is not dictated by size, but by the conviction of the correctness of the decision to adopt a certain path to economic development. North Korea has adopted that stand.

When that is taken together with the economic decisions taken by China and Russia- example: the silk road projects, the B.R.I.C – and their plans about ditching the dollar and replacing it with the Chinese Yuan as the International currency for all transactions in oil, the extent of the damage that such a move will have on the US economy is staggering.

Image result for korea china russia mapSuch a move will cause a major infrastructural shift, in the international economic and financial markets and, by extension, in the interest of countries doing business with the US. One would recall that when Gaddafi tried to make the shift from the US dollar he was murdered and Libya devastated. So that the verbal wrangling that has been happening between Trump and Kim over North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear weapons also has a lot to do with the real potential of China’s ability to dominate the South China Sea, with the support of North Korea, which is now in possession of the potential to challenge the US presence on the Korean peninsula.

This development is significant in the current geopolitical climate because it challenges the ability of the US to throw its weight around without risking the possibility of a counter response that could inflict extensive damage to human life and property. This is the stark assessment of the current political situation existing between the major super powers; especially when you add the recent announcement by President Vladimir Puttin that Russian military power is not to be underestimated.

What these countries have done, by their actions, is to throw down the gantlet to US exceptionalism, challenging its claim that it has inherited the right to rule the world, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Where does that place small island nations whose jurisdictional influence hardly extends beyond their borders? Do they not have a voice in matters of this nature which can affect the peace and security of their respective countries? I am of the view that they do.

If they do not unite on anything else, they cannot fail to unite against the real possibility of a nuclear war. In this regard, the temptation to remain neutral will expose those who are tied to neo-liberal ideology, from those who are prepared to respond to the need to protect the interest of all countries, which believe in a world free from war and dedicated to the task of building peace and security.

To adopt any opposite stance, would be to stand on the edge of a world confined to darkness and regressing to a place further back than the stone ages.
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