Iran has admitted “unintentionally” shooting down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people on board.
That was the breaking news headline on bbc.com.
It was the latest development in a tense drama involving the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which started with the USA’s “taking out” of a top Iranian general who, the US alleges, was planning “imminent attacks on Americans”.
President Trump’s justification for the killing of the Iranian general is doubted by many in the USA’s political establishment, not least because he was recently impeached by the House of Representatives and is awaiting trial in the Senate during an election year.
What is not in doubt, however, is 176 men, women and children are dead as a consequence of the actions of both the USA and Iran.
While international law gives countries the right to act in self-defense, it is known that certain countries are not above “taking out” (let that read killing) foreign leaders of a different political persuasion or who are not deemed subservient to the dictates of the “superpower”.
This “taking out” of foreign leaders, is not restricted to those judged to be “dictators” or “tyrants”, as democratically elected leaders are not immune from being taken out and replaced, sometimes by a dictator more to the superpower’s liking.
Something is wrong with the present international arrangement where, depending on a country’s military might, they may act as judge, jury and executioner.
The United Nations Security Council was supposed to prevent this wild west approach to international affairs, but in that body, principles of justice have long been subordinated to the geopolitical interests and ambitions of the superpowers.
I wonder what the USA’s reaction would be if, say, Iran was to “take out” an American general or CIA operative alleged to be planning imminent attacks on Iranian citizens.
It does not augur well for world peace and security, when what is right is determined by the military strength of countries and not by universal principles of justice.
The 176 men, women and children killed, are, in the military’s vocabulary, “collateral damage”.
Do you ever notice that citizens of a certain country are never described as “collateral damage”?
A person’s worth appears to be dependent on his/her nationality!
Innocent men, women and children, will continue to be pawns in a game of chess, as world leaders plot and scheme to secure international dominance or bolster their reelection prospects.
“Someday at Christmas men won’t be boys, playing with bombs like kids play with toys.”