The Third World War

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With acts of commemoration for the First World War in sight, the Pope affirmed that, “after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, [and] destruction”.

Is this an image of Mercy painted here by Francis, one of a humanity injured by war and violence? We believe so.

War has spread in the Middle East, from Israel and Palestine to Iraq, arriving at the gates of Jordan and Turkey, where civilian massacres, impoverishment, religious persecution, and an exodus of more than nine million Syrian refugees accentuate a Dantesque scene.

We have already shown how the arms trade is big business for countries like the USA, Russia, and Europe (including Spain), with buyers in the Gulf, wider Middle East, and authoritarian nations around the world and with the clear involvement of the international black market and the financial networks that sustain it. Large countries like India, Pakistan, and China, meanwhile, which have largely impoverished populations, are the main importers of arms, with the latter aiming (with its large naval fleet) to control nautical routes in order to facilitate the continued plundering of Africa and Latin America.

Today, there are more arms providers and buyers than ever before and, increasingly, fewer sellers and buyers belong to governments or their armed forces. Instead, they are representing, more and more, ‘private’ clients (i.e. mercenaries, terrorists, criminal gangs). We should ask ourselves, therefore, who really benefits from this trade?

International capitalist interests, primarily relating to oil and other raw materials, have brought about a permanent state of war in many African countries, such as Libya, Sudan, Central Africa, and Congo, with the latter having seen over five million people die as a result. In Ukraine, meanwhile, just like in other former Soviet republics, conflicts are being perpetuated between the economic powers of Russia, the EU, and the USA in a very direct way.

At the same time, we refuse to forget about the drug trade, people trafficking, and organised crime, which plague humanity from Latin America to Africa and Asia. And people involved in these activities have contributed to corrupting institutions that should be guarantors of human rights. These have in turn become oppressive bodies, causing the political and judicial bodies of the state to rust with corruption, and have made violence a seemingly insurmountable obstacle for the People.

Overall, capitalism knows no borders, and it allows money to be hidden away (thanks to the support of world-renowned banks) in tax havens. The Pope, for example, has denounced how, “in the shadows…, interests, geopolitical strategies, [and] lust for money and power” all come together. In fact, he even calls them “plotters of terrorism” and ‘organisers of disagreements’. And, for precisely that reason, we must continue the fight against war, and against the powers that fuel it.

Publishing house of Self-management magazine