As the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic continues — with some medical and social analysts describing it as a third world war — the United Nations yesterday and today marks the time of remembrance and reconciliation for those who lost their lives during the second world war.
By 03:00 p.m. yesterday, the confirmed Covid-19 patients was a staggering 3,932,600 while the international death toll was more than 271,000. The positive news was that more than 1,348,900 had recovered while scientists and medical experts were making unprecedented progress towards finding curative drugs of preventive vaccinations. In the United States, some pharmaceutical companies — often described as the big pharma mafia — have already started producing these drugs or vaccinations though the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has still not given approval.
The US, though being the richest and most powerful country in the world, is the worst affected with 1,292,880 confirmed cases and a death toll of about 76,900. Comparatively, Sri Lanka’s situation is much better with the number of positive cases being 824 by 03:00 p.m. yesterday and the death toll nine.
Some experts and media analysts are blaming US President Donald Trump for inaction especially during March when apparently on political advice he claimed the pandemic could be brought under control by Easter Sunday on April 12. The death toll at that stage was less than 15 and Mr. Trump — configured by most analysts as being reckless, arrogant, inconsistent and ill-informed or not credible — claimed the toll could be brought down to zero. But now, the US has become the epicenter and Mr. Trump is blaming most sections of the media for publishing what he sees as “Fake news” possibly because he fears defeat at the presidential election in November this year.
Most political analysts point out that Mr. Trump who came to office on the basis he would make America great again now finds himself in a position of America being alone with even its European allies because he has criticized even the European allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Even more dangerous is the cold war with the newly emerging world power China. The administration is involved with China in a multi-faceted cold war in areas including trade and cyber security. Strangely, Mr. Trump appears to be getting on famously with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and has offered to send medical equipment including ventilators to Russia which has also been badly affected by the Corona pandemic.
During the Second World War, most analysts believe it was a US intervention and mainly the Normandy landings which enabled the Allied Forces to defeat Adolf Hitler’s Germany and its ally Japan. The US intervened after Japanese forces including Kamikaze suicide bombers attacked the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. The war ended when the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — killing tens of thousands of people through atomic radiation and the next generation’s children are still suffering from those attacks.
Strategic political equations have now changed amid allegations that Russia indulged in a secret cyber war to help Mr. Trump doing the presidential election in November 2015. Mr. Trump denies these allegations as a hoax manufactured by the free media and thereby the political equation has changed with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channels virtually becoming Mr. Trump’s Fox though analysts are uncertain about what will happen to the proverbial grapes.
According to the UN, the Second World War had some positive effects with one of the most important being the historic event that established the conditions for the creation of this world body. By resolution 59/26 of November 22, 2004, the UN General Assembly declared May 8–9 as a time of remembrance and reconciliation while recognising that member states may have individual days of victory, liberation and commemoration. It invited member states, organisations of the UN system, non-governmental organisations and individuals to observe annually either one or both of these days in an appropriate manner to pay tribute to victims of the Second World War.
Most analysts believe that in the aftermath of the Covid-19 third world war, the new world order would include wide-ranging poverty alleviation with a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. Among other positive dimensions would be greater commitment by governments, organisations and individuals to the battle against climate change. We also hope there would be reconsideration of the billions being spent on the development of nuclear weapons while the arms manufacturing mafia would also not be allowed to create wars to sell their weapons while there would be a commitment to a peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue. It may be a dream but the dream must come true, someday soon somehow. All across the world we need to see a brand new dawn.