One of the few good things Nicolas Cage has done, in his short time on this earth, is star in ‘Lord of War’ back in 2006. The UK DVD release of the film was preceded by a sardonic advert from Amnesty International, which criticised (in a tele-shopping style mock-up) the world’s superpowers for allowing the trafficking of illegal arms.
It demonstrated how the superpowers of both the West and the East use illegal arms dealers to supply artillery to enemies of their enemies; unscrupulous regimes and rebels which the superpowers couldn’t be seen to support in public.
There is a grave probability that the very serious process mocked by Amnesty will repeat itself in the coming months. After Russia and China vetoed a draft UN resolution on the Syria crisis, there appears to be little hope for a UN led diplomatic solution. Many will – and already have – criticise Russia and China for their “irresponsible” use of veto. Moscow will also go further than simply allowing President Assad to continue his home offensive, by supplying arms to the despot to help him crush the revolution.
Russia’s actions here are clearly deplorable. But are the western nations really any better?
Back in the 70’s, the West backed the local Mujahideen of Afghanistan; supplying weaponry, military training and finance to help them overthrow the occupying soviet forces. After the Soviets were pushed out, Afghanistan was plunged into civil war due to infighting between the Mujahideen warlords. The eventual result of the conflict? A Taliban-led regime in Afghanistan. And we all know how that turned out.
The late Colonel Gaddafi also received substantial military support from the West until he lost his beans during the Arab Spring. And then the UN decided to supply weapons and aircraft to the opposition NTC party, to counter all of those weapons the West had already sold to the crazed Condoleezza Rice obsessive.
Idi Amin? Initially backed by the West.
It is now seeming increasingly likely that the West will fund the Syrian rebels with weaponry and the like, as Russia and China’s veto has stopped them from intervening directly. Will history repeat itself? Are the West just funding another civil war?
There is a very thin line between freedom fighter and terrorist, I do admit, but the West needs to start looking for other solutions to international issues – rather than just selling guns to whoever is the current flavour of the month.
Russia, China and the West must put a stop to this endless power struggle. They’re using smaller, less developed countries, such as Syria and Libya, as pseudo-battlegrounds for their petty ideological differences. If they carry on in this vein, then it won’t just be Assad, Gaddafi et.al who go down in history with blood on their hands. Lords of War indeed.