by Ian Greenhalgh
Throughout Europe and America, politicians, commentators, journalists, public figures of all kinds can often be heard chattering about the need to use military force against some target or other, invariably in a far off country; usually with no more justification than trotting out the same old worn-out and thoroughly discredited rhetoric of ‘The War On Terror’ and with no clear vision of who the enemy really is beyond the usual spurious allusion to ‘Islamic State’ or even more obtusely ‘Terrorists’.
The current crop of European and American leaders have no experience of the realities of warfare; George Bush Jr dodged the war in Vietnam by serving in an all-gay Air National Guard unit; John McCain spent his Vietnam largely under comfortable ‘confinement’ in one of Hanoi’s more luxurious hotels making treasonous propaganda broadcasts. None of Europe’s leaders were alive when the last war to ravage the continent ended in 1945.
Today’s leaders simply have no conception of the realities, horrors and terrible human costs of modern warfare.
However, they are probably intimately familiar with the kind of receipts and balance sheets that can result from arms sales and provoking wars in far off places.
The conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, South Sudan, Nigeria, Afghanistan and elsewhere are not separate entities, they are all part of the same war against an international criminal cabal. We have clearly seen from the fighting in Syria and Iraq that the motivation behind this war is not religious; that the goal is not to create an Islamic State – rather it is simply greed for money and power. When ‘IS’ or more likely the Barzani Kurdish faction dressed up as ‘Islamic State Terrorists’ seized Mosul and the northern oil fields of Iraq it was a cynical move all about the profits to be made from stealing the oil reserves. When a multinational assortment of mercenaries operating out of Turkey with Saudi financing invaded northern Syria under the guise of ‘ISIS’ the aim was to pillage the land of it’s wealth and if necessary, overthrow the only force capable of resistance – the legally elected Assad government in Damascus.
The human costs of these criminal enterprises – the hundreds of thousands of dead, the millions of displaced refugees, the entire generation of Syrians and Iraqis scarred by the violence; these figures did not enter into the equations of the warmongers – they count only the profits from the stolen oil, the looted goods, the exploitation of the refugees. If they enter anything at all into the debit column of their grim balance sheets it will be the cost of arming and equipping their mercenary forces; but what are millions of dollars in guns and bullets when weighed against billions in stolen oil revenue?
Many analysts and commentators have mused that the current state of affairs could and most likely will, lead to an eventual Third World War. Perhaps that is a far too blinkered viewpoint, one that is only possible from the safe distance from the actual fighting these people inhabit.
Maybe if we were to look at things from the viewpoint of a person within one of the conflict zones we would feel that the Third World War is already upon us.
Here is an article from December 2015 by a Russian commentator on the the situation in the Donbass region of Ukraine which has been a conflict zone for over two years and where the people have become very familiar with the terrible nature of modern warfare. Perhaps the leaders of the West can, if only for a brief moment, place themselves in the position of the poor, war-ravaged people of the Donbass, allow themselves to be nauseated by the smells of war and finally decide to act to prevent the spread of these conflicts into something that can only be seen as a Third World War.
The smell of war is in the air…
Original: Publizist.ru / Nikolai Yurenev
Translated by Gleb Bazov / Edited by @GBabeuf
The putrid smell of war draws near. It is still difficult to make out, and for many—altogether impossible, but war is coming for us. As for me, I have not been able to shake off the feeling that the Third World War has already begun. For now, we still deceive ourselves that these are only local conflicts and nothing more…
But the ranks of our friends are catastrophically dwindling, while enemies grow in number…
Today, Russia has already opened two fronts: the Ukrainian in the Donbass and the Syrian. The third one—Turkish—is on its way, and from there, God knows where else.
There is still no single battlefront in this war. It is localized in all the corners of the globe.
Historians will one day identify its starting point—the genesis of the Third World War. Perhaps this line has already been crossed… after all, the Second World War also began not on June 22, 1941, but in September of 1939.
If we take a look at Syria, this conflict has already drawn in NATO, Russia and fifty other states. How is it not a world war?
A Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey, a member of NATO. Our military has, in return, promised to shoot down Turkish planes. An S-400 missile complex has been installed… Just imagine if an American plane is brought down. In the place of Turks, this is exactly the kind of provocation I would arrange. And that’s when all hell will break loose…
No, I am not defeatist, nor am I a panic-monger. If it’s my duty, so be it. “And we all to the last man shall die fighting for this!”
It is just that many of today’s patriots from the so-called “sofa regiment” have not even the slightest idea of what war truly is.
They think that it’s the same as watching TV talk shows with Soloviev, Tolstoy and Babayan, enthralled by the languorous excitement of pride in “our boys”, and in themselves, so patriotic-minded… Pride in Satanovskiy and in Eskin, sons of Israel, who so sweetly incite our bellicosity…
But war is the sour smell of cordite, “smokeless gunpowder”, that refuses to leave your nostrils. The smell of blazing diesel fuel and rubber, the smell of metal melting from the unbearable heat.
It is the cloying sugary smell of burning fat. Human fat.
It is the smell of footcloths that have not been washed in a week. The stench of shit and piss from a latrine, used shyly at first, hiding behind a piece of plywood or a scrap of camouflage scrim, and later without a care for any decency.
War is the smell of a corpse decomposing in the intense sun, with dark-green rot and with eyes pecked out by the birds. It is the sight of a corpse, left lying at the foot of an elevation exposed to enemy fire, about whom no one gives a damn.
War is the smell of cheap cigarettes mixed in with fumes from homebrewed gut-rot after a wake in memory of the guys who did not come back after yesterday’s failed attack.
The smell of war is the scent of baked apples hanging from a charred apple tree near the ruins of a home where no one will ever live again. War smells like burned-to-the-root ripe ears of grain.
The smell of war is the gangrenous stench of field hospitals, the smell of bloodied bandages for which the funny ginger boy from yesterday’s transfer no longer has any use. He died from a jagged piece of shrapnel to the stomach…
And wafting above all this—the aromas of expensive cologne and cigars in the office of a politician turning a profit “for the war”. The incomparable scent of ink on freshly-printed banknotes…
His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.
His favored areas of study include state-sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.