Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: The World Will Not Die For Us | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus recently warned against the danger of disagreements over the battle for Mosul and said that this might be an excuse to launch World War Three.

There is a problem in Iraq due to Shiite-Sunni sectarian conflict and ethnic conflict between Arabs, the Kurds and Turkmen. However, the battle for Mosul will not cause a world war or even a broad regional war. Neither will wars on Aleppo, Syria or Iraq cause major military confrontations. Rumours about the onset of a world war are caused by an increase in the temperature of discussions in our area and has nothing to do with strategic planners and decision-makers who sit in air-conditioned rooms thousands of miles away from our region in America and Russia.

The world is full of wars and disputes, and some of them may develop into wide ranging and devastating wars like the Second World War. It is very unlikely and improbable that they will cause a devastating global clash. Sixty million people, mostly in the west, were killed in the Second World War and a Third World War would be horrendous. It is estimated that a billion people would be killed in such a war because nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction would be used as they are the only weapons that can achieve a victory.

A Third World War would mean that the United States, Europe, most of Russia and areas of vital influence would disappear. There would be no victor and the whole world would return to the Stone Age and perhaps humans will not be able to live on earth. For this reason, direct wars did not break out at the height of international conflicts, and the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union was fought indirectly or by proxy.

140,000 American soldiers were killed during the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. However, they did not resort to the use of nuclear weapons and withdrew after the defeat. The Americans also lost 4,000 soldiers in Iraq and then withdrew. The Russian empire crumbled and it lost 15 countries that were part of it, three-quarters of its land and half of its population. However, they did not talk about a Third World War and did not launch a single nuclear missile. Rather, they continued playing the old game of chess with their rivals in the struggle for influence and regions!

It not impossible for a mad leader to come to power in the future and use his nuclear weapons. This scenario has haunted the world since the end of World War II, and many measures and protocols have been put in place in order to avoid reaching this point of madness. If it did occur, the reason for pressing the nuclear button will not be marginal battles like the battle for Mosul, Aleppo or other areas in our region.

The great powers consider our wars to be marginal and not worth waging a suicidal war that will destroy their countries. Talk of a Third World War attributed to global figures like the Russian president or Henry Kissinger that has been published in Arab and Iranian media is false.

In what cases would major states commit the folly of launching a global nuclear war? Only when their security is directly threatened and their own countries become prone to disappearing. It is a scenario that is beyond comprehension.

We imagine that the world cares about our security and stability. The world does not care about our affairs. It only cares about ensuring that terrorists do not attack, that our refugees do not enter its countries and that our oil wells are not destroyed because they are a source of energy for them. Otherwise, no one really cares. The governments of our region are solely responsible for war and peace.

The Middle East has been experiencing constant political failure for half a century and people of the region are unable to live with each other. The region has failed to reach a comprehensive agreement that is based on specified borders, that respects conventions and collectively advocates renouncing war and resolving differences. Today, we still live in a forest where there are regimes that are like ferocious monsters who are concerned with looting and stealing. We still live in ancient times in which we don’t know who will turn against us when we go to bed.