THIS week, the United States (US) escalated its leadership of NATO’s proxy war with Russia when Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new $1 billion (about R19.1bn) in mainly military aid to Ukraine.
Blinken had arrived unannounced in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to shore up support to the Ukrainian forces as they attempt a fresh counter-offensive against Russian forces.
His announcement added to the growing controversy over Washington’s resolve to supply Ukrainian forces with Depleted Uranium (DU) ammunition to enable them to defeat the Russians in the ongoing conflict.
According to RT News report, “rods made of depleted uranium are used as kinetic penetrators in anti-tank SABOT rounds fired by M1 Abrams tanks”. Earlier in the year Washington promised Ukraine 31 of the tanks and the first batch is expected to be delivered before the end of September.
The US will be the second NATO member to supply Ukraine with the controversial DU ammunition. The United Kingdom (UK) paved the way several months ago when they supplied Kyiv with Challenger 2 tanks together with the DU ammunition for a fresh onslaught against the Russian forces.
Concerns have been raised against supply and use of the DU ammunition due to their radioactive nature. But both London and Washington have flatly rejected all concerns and objections about “the impact of toxic metal dust to human health and the environment”, a key United Nations (UN) Millennium Goal.
In Washington this week, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh dismissed criticism of the new deal for Kyiv. She said Washington was confident that Ukraine would use the DU ammunition “responsibly”.
And veteran senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, painted a clearer picture of Washington’s foreign policy with regard to Russia when he said this week: “Helping Ukraine retake its territory means weakening one of America’s biggest strategic adversaries without firing a shot.”
The DU ammunition had previously been used in places such as Serbia and Iraq in 2003 when the US invaded the country on false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In places where the DU ammunition had been used, critics have claimed that there is evidence of “drastic increase in cancer and birth defects”.
Critics contend that “depleted uranium rounds fragment into dust that is highly toxic when inhaled or handled”.
Russia does not stand alone in criticising the US and UK’s supply of DU ammunition to Ukraine. The UN has also condemned the use of DU rounds in the conflict that will soon mark full two years.
Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, was recorded saying: “We’re against the use of depleted uranium ammunition anywhere in the world.”
The UN also condemned the supply of cluster munitions to Kyiv in July.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war in February last year, the US has led its NATO allies into supplying Ukraine with more than $100bn worth of weapons, ammunition and sophisticated equipment in an effort to help the Volodymyr Zelensky government to defeat Russia.
The Kremlin has reacted furiously to the latest development, warning that Washington was “playing with fire”.
In addition, the Kremlin has warned that once Washington’s DU ammunition arrives in Ukraine, Russia would position tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus – its closest ally, and next-door neighbour with Ukraine.
For all peace-loving people of the world, we should be worried about Washington’s relentless escalation of confrontation with Russia without any risk of losing American lives.
How could they leave the battlefield in body bags? Impossible. The US foreign policy in relation to Moscow appears explicitly clear for all to see. They will keep Ukraine trapped in a war they cannot win for as long as it takes.
What a pity. Ukraine deserves better.
Kyiv should wake up from slumber and realise that as long as no American can lose their lives on the battlefield because they are fighting the Russians by remote control, only Ukrainians will perish in the war.
Washington is determined to keep Zelensky locked in a war costly war with Russia. The sad reality is that the world would have learnt from Wagner fighters who had wanted the Kremlin to provide them with weapons of mass destruction in order to annihilate the Ukrainians once and for all.
However, in respect to the Geneva Convention and regard for rules of engagement in warfare, the Russian government refused to carry out Wagner’s wishes.
If the US and NATO escalate their proxy war with Russia, the rest of the international community should brace itself for WWIII. This will make the two previous world wars – in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, to look like a picnic.
The war that the NATO countries have elected to fight behind Ukraine will unfortunately reach their doorstep once the ultimate WWIII breaks out. It will be a nuclear war, and Donald Trump has already warned that Russia has more of those in its arsenal than its Western adversaries.
And then again, has anyone wondered why is it that talk of negotiations to end the war is almost non-existent in the West? The African Peace Initiative made a bold attempt to fly all the way to Kyiv and Moscow to try and broker a truce.
The West never supported the initiative, and behind the scenes laughed it off. The Chinese put together a ten-point plan to end the war. The West dismissed it without giving it a chance.
Why would the war be so attractive to the US-led NATO than peace?
President Vladimir Putin has gone on record during his interaction with the African leaders, saying he was ready to sit down and discuss an end to the war. Why can’t he be engaged?
Sadly, as for Ukraine, it will be the first territory to be obliterated from the face of the earth should WWIII break out, as desired by the war funders.
How most of us in the global south wish the West could choose to give peace a chance, and learn to co-exist with all in spite of our ideological, religious, political, cultural and racial differences, among others.
We can all be different, and still friendly with one another. That’s humanity, not the evil deeds that keep us apart as enemies. It is so unnecessary.