The West Should Not Risk Nuclear Confrontation With Russia
By Dr. Sawraj Singh
The West seems to be making two big blunders. First, they are underestimating Russia’s nuclear capability. Second, they are underestimating Russia’s resolve to use it. The West has not understood the fact that how deeply the Russian psyche has been hurt by the West after it humiliated and jeered at Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed. The West has also been unable to appreciate the fact that the Eurasian culture of Russia is different than the European culture which has now almost completely become a consumer culture, subservient to the American “Globalization culture.” As opposed to the West, Russia still has some traditional aspects of its culture which emphasize sacrifice to preserve one’s honor and dignity. These elements have almost completely disappeared from the West under the influence of consumer culture.
Russia considers Poland and England to be the European countries most responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. These two countries played the role of the American hatchet men in Europe. Any military provocation by the West will lead to almost certain destruction of these two countries to a point where they may be missing from the world map. In retaliation, will America risk its own—almost complete—destruction by starting an all-out nuclear war with Russia? I have my doubts. In the event of an all-out nuclear war between the two countries, while America runs the risk of an almost complete destruction, Russia may be able to save its territory east of the Ural Mountains. In other words, America has more to lose than Russia.
What worked for America 50 years ago is very unlikely to work today. America was able to create a wedge between Russia and China. This American move extended America’s hegemony in the world for 50 more years. This time both Russia and China have realized that they have to stick together because neither country alone can match the overall American strength. China has the economic strength to match America, but it does not have the military power to match America. In the case of Russia, it is exactly the opposite. However, when the two countries unite, then America is no match for them. This is like the old story of a blind man and a lame man uniting to escape from a forest fire. The blind man carried the lame man on his shoulders and the lame man told him the way out. Both countries realize that if they do not unite, then America will finish them both.
Germany can play a pivotal role and save itself, Europe and the world. If Germany switches sides and shakes hands with Russia, then the American game in Europe is over and Europe is saved from almost complete destruction. Europe suffered immensely in the two World Wars. However, if World War Three starts in Europe, then an almost complete destruction of Europe is a distinct possibility. Germany has very advanced technology and is the largest economy of Europe. Russia has the largest landmass in the world and has the largest pool of untapped natural resources. Together, Russia and Germany can again make Europe the leading region of the world. Europe can become the most prosperous and peaceful region of the world and the whole world and mankind can be saved from the risks of a most destructive Third World War.
The Europeans and the rest of the world should understand that the American strategy now seems to have shifted from active aggression to a passive game. America wants its adversaries and challengers to fight each other and weaken themselves in the process. In Europe, it wants its allies (potential rivals) to fight Russia; in the Middle East, it wants the Sunnis to fight the Shias; and in Asia, it wants India and Japan to fight against Pakistan and China. In each situation, the side supported by America has more to lose than the other side. In Europe, America’s allies have more to lose than Russia. In the Middle East, Iran is likely to emerge as the strongest power, and in Asia, India and Japan have more to lose than China. A fundamental difference between the leadership of Sunnis and Shias in the modern context is that while both immensely benefited from oil money, the Shia leadership fundamentally changed after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, whereas some Sunni leaders continue to align with Western capitalists and imperialists. The battles in Yemen can become a quagmire for Saudi Arabia, and if a peaceful resolution is not found, it could turn into the twenty-first century version of America’s Vietnam War. The only result of the Sunni-Shia conflict in Yemen is human tragedy and suffering. America feels that it still benefits from these conflicts because its allies, who are also potential adversaries, will be defeated and its adversaries will be weakened.
The sides supported by America should understand that America does not have their best interests in mind; it is mainly concerned about its own interests. Therefore, they should all try to work out some other solutions rather than war. Let us give diplomacy a chance. For example, Germany should try to improve its relations with Russia, and India and Japan should work out their differences with China. In each situation, economies of the parties are more complementary rather than competitive. Both Germany and Russia can benefit from each other. Similarly, both India and Japan can benefit by cooperating with China. In every situation, dependence on America can be reduced. This can be called a transition from a unipolar world to a multipolar world.
In conclusion, if we try to preserve the unipolar world order under American hegemony, then we are risking a Third World War and an almost complete destruction of the world. On the other hand, if we accept the concept of a multipolar world, then the whole world can prosper and also be peaceful. Any sane person will choose the second option. I feel that the concept of a multipolar world was given by Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion. His concept was based upon accepting diversity, pluralism, universal concern, universal welfare, love and peaceful coexistence. When the world is being pushed to a most destructive nuclear confrontation and Third World War, we need more than ever to revive Guru Nanak’s concept.
Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.