Courage vs Hypocrisy

Israel’s unabated atrocities and genocide of Palestinian Muslims have badly exposed the global hypocrisy, as well as impotence of UNO, ICJ, G-7/G-20, and OIC.

A statement by the USA Secre­tary of Defence Lloyd Austin released on April 13, 2024, stated, “At the direction of President Biden, U.S. forces in the Middle East on April 13 intercept­ed dozens of missiles and UAVs en-route to Israel, launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Our forc­es remain postured to pro­tect U.S. troops and partners in the region, provide further support for Israel’s defence, and en­hance regional stability. We condemn these reckless and unprecedented attacks by Iran and its proxies, and we call on Iran to immediately halt any further attacks, including from its proxy forces, and to de-escalate tensions. We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and sup­port the defence of Israel”. Followed by that, Israel’s UN envoy, Gilad Er­dan, said “all possible sanctions” should be imposed on Iran “before it is too late”. The UN secretary gen­eral, António Guterres, appealed for calm after Iran launched a swarm of explosive drones and fired missiles on Saturday 14 April in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory. The Iranian attack was in retaliation for a deadly airstrike widely blamed on Is­rael that destroyed Tehran’s consular building in Syria’s capital.

Again on 15 April, the UN Chief said, “Step Back from the Brink, To Avert Full-Scale Middle East Conflict. The people of the Middle East are facing a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict”: urging “maximum restraint” across a region “on the brink”, hours after Iran launched attack drones and missiles against Israel overnight Sat­urday. Mr. Guterres explained that the emergency session was called by Is­rael following what it described in a letter as ‘a direct attack launched by Iran… of more than 200 UAVs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles to­wards Israel in clear violation of inter­national law.’ The UN chief added that in a separate letter, Iran stated that it had carried out a series of military strikes on Israeli military objectives ‘in the exercise of Iran’s inherent right to self-defence as outlined…in the UN Charter, and in response to…its armed attack on 1 April 2024 against Iranian diplomatic premises’ – in Damascus.

While Iran’s induced response in retaliation to Israel’s attack on its diplomatic premises in Damascus ap­peared enounced in advance and well measured without causing any signif­icant harm to Israel; yet, it served to pacify the domestic outrage besides giving shame to the deaf, dumb, and blind Organisation of Islamic Cooper­ation (OIC), which has 57 members, 56 of which are also member states of the United Nations, with 48 countries being Muslim majority countries. It goes without saying that Israel de­spite its illegal occupation and expan­sion on Palestinian lands and consis­tent atrocities committed against the hapless Palestinian civilians includ­ing women and children, has been thumbing its nose at the UNO, UN Se­curity Council, and the ICJ and con­tinues the ongoing genocide of Pales­tinian Muslims in Gaza that includes complete destruction of infrastruc­ture in Gaza with at least 33,729 Pal­estinians killed and 76,371 wounded, thousands taken as prisoners and al­most two million facing famine with­out any shelters or medical facilities in the aftermath of Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 at­tacks stands at 1,139, with dozens of people still held captive.

While the Israel Defence Ministry is mulling over retaliation to largely harmless Iranian drone attacks, the regional peace remains a question mark. With the USA, UK, and France directly involved in military sup­port of Israel, the other NATO coun­tries won’t be left far behind if the intentions or plans are to invade re­source-rich Yemen with the most crit­ical geo-strategic location, especially with regards to Bab-al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea and for keeping the sea lines of communication open, and fi­nally subdue so far surviving Syrian Government and Lebanon, destroy Hezbollah; besides, consolidate and further expand military footprints in Iraq despite large public agitations all over the Western countries in support of the Palestinian. Will Iran be left to play provocative proxies to provide justifications to USA/ NATO/Israel for military invasions in the region, sell billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment to Iran’s rival rich Sunni Arab States, keep flourish­ing Western Military-Industrial com­plexes, and thus keep NATO alliance intact for global hegemony or will Iran’s alleged or claimed nuclear mil­itary potential be finally taken down? How will Pakistan be impacted and can Pakistan with a weak internal front afford to stand alone in neutral mode especially if some meaningful retaliation materialises against Iran? What will be Indian plans to make hay while the Western Sun is busy burning the Middle East? Can Tur­key stay aloof despite being affected in multiple ways? How will China and Russia being the global competitors of the USA react to this fast-develop­ing situation in the Middle East with serious security and economic impli­cations for both the states and the re­gion? Will SCO and CSTO come into play to save both the alliances and in­terests/concerns of all the member states? Fingers crossed!

Nevertheless, Israel’s unabated atrocities and genocide of Palestinian Muslims have badly exposed the glob­al hypocrisy, as well as impotence of UNO, ICJ, G-7/G-20, and OIC, etc., who all have so far bowed down to the an­cient law of the jungle where might is always right. As the ineffectiveness of the defunct League of Nations led to WW-2, who knows the incapabili­ty of the UNO and other international organisations to bring around a per­manent peaceful solution to the old­est lingering flash points i.e. Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Kash­mir may cause a catastrophic global conflict, which may outrun compre­hension and any human control.

Saleem Qamar Butt
The writer is a retired senior army officer with experience in international relations, military diplomacy and analysis of geo-political and strategic security issues.

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