Global (Dis)Order

Global order is intended to keep peace and harmony amongst the comity of nations. The United Nations Organization (UN) is its primary instrument and the five permanent members of the UN, the guarantors of security of the World Order. The past one month however has demonstrated the limits of top ' down imposition of the human order as mayhem in many parts of the World has led us to believe that it may more appropriately be called as a global disorder. Israel, a responsible constituent of the comity of nations is incessantly pounding Lebanon, another state, with a vast array of sophisticated air and ground weapons. The southern suburbs of Beirut the capital are being slowly reduced to rubble. The death toll has crossed over 900 as acknowledged by Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. That most of these were non combatant civilians did not move him to stop the carnage for he felt that the deaths were rationalized by the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by the Shia militia, Hezbollah. While the actions of Hezbollah, a state within a state in Lebanon are totally unjustified, the ratio of deaths inflicted on the Lebanese people, 2 (Captured): 900 (Killed) by a state which is part of the World order cannot be condoned. Israel, as a part of the World order cannot abdicate its responsibility to seek alternative solutions to the kidnappings, rather than inflict death on the innocents in Lebanon, despite provocations by Hezbollah. Alas the limits of the global order are more than evident here.

At the other end of the spectrum in the Middle East, almost 1500 Iraqis are killed every month in a fratricidal civil war after collapse of the Saddam regime. Americas top generals last week acknowledged that the country they had liberated in 2003 was in the midst of a civil war which would continue for another 10 years. The world once again looks on helplessly as innocent Iraqis are killed by rival militias attempting to gain shadow supremacy in a lawless country. The war which was purportedly started to save the World from the nuclear weapons of Iraqi despot, Saddam Hussein has spiraled into a daily blood letting. There is an old maxim which states that consequences of perpetrating violence are always unpredictable and the chickens will more than likely come home to roost.

Another country supposedly being saved from tyranny of hatred, Afghanistan is also in the throes of organized state versus non-state violence. As suicide bombers rage the streets and Western helicopters pound the Taliban lairs in the mountains in Southern Afghanistan, the conflict is spiraling out of control of the US as well as the recently deployed NATO forces in the country. How many more years will the hapless people of Afghanistan suffer after many centuries of perpetual conflict remains to be seen.

In South Asia, Sri Lanka has seen a return to civil war after over three years of a jagged cease fire, a tsunami and many suicide bombings and air strikes. The daily toll is exceeding double figures as the Tamil ' Sinhalese feud boils over the smallest causes, sharing of water and safe passage to non combatants. The deployment of a European Union led Monitoring Mission has failed to keep peace in an otherwise passive society led by Buddhist and Hindu monks.

Then the many small conflicts around the World are testimony to the failure of the global compact. In Somalia a UN supported government is being challenged by an Islamic organization of dubious repute, the Islamic Courts Union and rebel militias, with neighboring Ethiopia and Eritrea also jumping in the fray. The Caucasus continues the steady blood letting as break away groups and states emerge on a regular basis challenging the peripheral authorities in the region, whether it is mighty Russia or a weak Azerbaijan. The many small wars and insurgencies in Pakistan, Philippines, India and Indonesia remain beyond the reach and resolution of the world powers.

The World nuclear order is also challenged by pariahs as North Korea and belligerent entities such as Iran that are determined to attain a nuclear capability which would strike fear in the hearts of Western powers, defying global sanctions. These threats may not manifest immediately, but unless controlled, will once again raise the hazard of a nuclear holocaust.

And there is not much hope in global economy either, with oil threatening to peak at $100 and no agreement in sight on trade, the fate of millions who subsist on meager doles from farm produce hangs in balance. Nothing perhaps explains the apathy of human community more flagrantly as the plight of the hundreds of farmers in Vidharbha, Maharashtra, India' s most prosperous state who are forced to end their life of misery with a startling regularity of an average of three suicides per day, despite the Prime Minister of the country having visited them a month ago. The global disorder seems to have affected the national order, where even the daily dance of death of the helpless is going unheeded. The only hope ahead seems to be that before every dawn there is the gloom of the night and hopefully we are nearing the end of darkness and the beginning of a new dawn.      


More by :  Col. Rahul K. Bhonsle

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