WE used to know when a war starts. We no longer do. That is because wars come dressed as geopolitics.
National interest, it appears, is no longer border-bound. Mercenaries and proxies see to it that it is the case. But one thing hasn’t changed. The end game of this new war is the same as before: divvying up territories among victors.
The first Great Game of the 18th century between Britain and Russia did just that. Current and future great games will do the same, but with proxies as in the Middle East.
Hence Malaysia’s advice to the West to not export proxy wars to Asia.
The potential for a proxy war in Asia is there. China should know this. The Middle Kingdom needs to be careful not to play into America’s hands by claiming the entire South China Sea, just because it is so named.
China may have the “nine-dash line” map of 2009, but others have their maps that dispute this. Engagement is the answer, not encroachment.
Otherwise, the United States and its allies will intervene on the flimsiest of grounds.
They may even manufacture one. They did just that to invade Iraq in 2003. Old habits die hard.
Except for Malaysia, whose tribunal found former US president George Bush and gang guilty of war crimes in Iraq, no other country did.
Neither did the International Criminal Court. Expect the same for future wars.
Proxy war is a dangerous thing. Once it starts there is no way of ending it. Take the case of Syria. There, the US has a long history of incubating rebels to fight its cause.
If it was al-Qaeda in the past, it is the Kurds now. Working hand in glove with the US, Israel is using the Kurds as proxy to push their geopolitical agenda in Iraq and Iran.
Their common goal: to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad and his regime. And every other government elsewhere that disagrees with Israel and the US. Not that Al-Assad is an angel.
But shouldn’t people be given the right to elect their own leaders as the people in the West are? Why must the Arabs and the Iranians be any different? Little wonder the Middle East is splintering, fragile piece by fragile piece.
The Guardian of the United Kingdom had this to say about such guerilla geopolitics: “Endless western military interventions in the Middle East have brought only destruction and division.
It’s the people of the region who can cure this disease — not those who incubated the virus.” Ballots please, not bombs.
And the virus of war is now heading towards Iran. The US has long despised the Iranian regime for its different world view. More so for its very “unAmerican” bent of mind.
One such is Teheran’s undying support for Palestinian statehood. US President Donald Trump and his warmonger cabinet see this as putting a spanner in the works of his “Peace Plan of the Century”.
Never mind if the plan was stillborn anyway. Once a US-friendly regime is installed in Iran (fat chance — Persian pride would never allow this), expect the US to bring its meddling ways to Asia.
To the US and its allies, we say this: your overt and covert wars are destroying the world. Let not Asia be your next victim.