• Charles Barker

The Pandemic Pretext

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Thursday, 30th April 2020

Let us examine some alarming facts.

1. Since becoming President of the United States of America, Trump has steered the country into increased isolation, has withdrawn from a number of important world treaties and has eroded trust with traditional allies.

2. The bonds of the European Community have become frayed and its strength and unity increasingly challenged. This began with the disharmony created between members during and after the financial crisis in 2008/9, followed by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the group. Disagreement about the handling and management of refugees caused further friction. The result is now a weakened, less cohesive and less united Community of countries.

3. NATO was established to combat the threat of the USSR and its regional aggression. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, this threat was apparently diminished but national sentiment and the restoration of Russian influence on the world stage is now at the heart of its foreign policy.

The United States has belittled NATO and withdrawn much of its support towards the organisation. With Europe fragmented, NATO’s ability as a realistic deterrent to aggression, let alone military force, is badly compromised and it is highly questionable if it could now mount an effective defence against a determined military push from Russia.

4. China’s advancement and development over the last couple of decades has been nothing short of staggering. Her single-minded determination to dominate global trade and influence is no secret and her success in achieving much of this is a matter of record.

China also has territorial ambitions, particularly in the Pacific Rim, and her total disregard for established international law governing land and territorial waters is hugely concerning. Troublesome states such as Taiwan and Hong Kong will likely be swatted and whisked back into the communist fold like annoying insects, while any nation attempting to assert their sovereign rights in the South China Sea will be dealt with either militarily or economically.

5. India under the sinister leadership of Narendar Modi has declared all but open war against

Islam and Muslim occupied Kashmir. It is openly hostile towards its neighbour, the Islamic state of Pakistan, with whom it has had a number of military entanglements.

6. Myanmar has a similar position on its own Muslim minority and has been actively persecuting the Rohingya, whose refuge in Islamic Bangladesh is increasingly tenuous and threatened.

7. And finally, we have a global pandemic, which is drawing the complete focus of all nations to look inwards and attempt to shore up their plummeting economies and help and support their devasted and shocked populations.

* * *

What a potentially disastrous state of affairs we find ourselves in and how fragile and uncertain is our future. With all these distractions, the ease with which Russia, China and India

could steamroll through their respective agendas, is an absolute fact that the world community

will ignore at its peril.

I am not going to discuss here Israel’s belligerence and acquisitive behaviour, supported and encouraged by the Trump Administration, which can only add more fuel to the inferno that is the Middle East. Nor am I going to mention here the consequences for countries, such as Syria, Yemen, Sudan, etc., whose aid and support programmes from Europe and the USA are likely to be curtailed as they look to their own survival; this will be for another blog.

One can speculate endlessly on whether the emergence of the Corona virus was the result of a pre-planned offensive action by a nation state (not necessarily China), a terrible man-made mistake or really just a random act of nature. To all intents and purposes, it doesn’t matter right now. What does matter, is the advantage that rogue states may take of the mayhem and chaos the pandemic has caused and with its ongoing and uncontrolled presence, continue to destabilise the world order.

Of all the gloomy scenarios I have presented, I am by far the most concerned by Modi. He is showing all the classic behaviour traits of the potential malevolent dictator. He had a faltering economy, even before the pandemic swept in, and countless social, economic, political and military problems. Like many tyrants before him, he needed a pretext to excuse his conduct and his tribulations and what better than to rekindle the fires of religious intolerance.

Modi’s pogrom against Muslims bear frightening similarities to that of Hitler’s against the Jews. By inciting religious fervour, Muslims throughout the country and in occupied Kashmir are being mercilessly persecuted. Their homes and businesses are being sequestered or destroyed, they are being beaten, raped, tortured and killed and they are being interned and their citizenship status downgraded. The only nation standing up to him and appealing to the world community is Pakistan, yet her pleas are falling on deaf and distracted ears. Modi is goading India's traditional enemy into a fight which he believes he can get away with.

I believe that the prospect of war between Pakistan and India is increasingly likely and the consequences of such a conflict, especially if there should be a nuclear element, will be catastrophic.

The Corona virus pandemic is not simply a terrible plague; it can also be a cover and a pretext for evil intent.

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