History Repeats Itself

By Vic Odarve

Have you seen your television every morning? The world’s situation is a giant mess!  News on Syria, Egypt, South China Sea, and Russian invasion in Ukraine caught your attention. Russia and China, both look like a Poseidon holding a trident, are ready to smite their own oppositions. And the world seems gasping its last breath! History is to repeat itself!

Our old folks experience the Second World War in 1945.

Most of our old folks are war veterans

Look at Crimea, Ukraine! It is an aftermath of Georgia. In 2008, Mr. Putin invaded Georgia and paid no price for that action. NATO and its western allies were on standstill. No action. And lately he proceeded to takeover Crimea, saying his country could not “ignore calls for help” from ethnic Russians in Ukraine.  Putin declared that he acted accordingly with the international law. That was his point.

 On opposite side of the globe China bullied his small neighbors by making her own demarcation line on the South China seas and claimed to be its integral part of the mainland. China has bullied the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei and unilaterally staked claims to wide swaths of international air space and sea lanes. China also claimed Senkaku Islands from Japan in the East China Sea. 

 Both their actions are against the UN Charter and international law. Russia’s action in Crimea is a clear “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial

This new generation does not experience the cruelty of war

This new generation does not experience the cruelty of war

integrity.” China’s rejections to its settlement thru UN arbitration are also against the international law like the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. And she shows no sign of backing away from its growing assertiveness in disputed waters in the East China and South China seas.

Today, these powerful nations Russia and China are becoming more frightening because of the various excuses such as reuniting their own speaking people and thru intimidation, flex their muscles over their small neighbors.

This is exactly what happened before World War II. Yes, history seems to repeat itself. Germany under Hitler launched his own expansionist drive with the annexation of Austria in March 1938; Czechoslovakia, the Sudetenland and its 3.5 million ethnic Germans in September 1938; and Poland in September 1, 1939. Japan, too, by late 1938 had seized control of most of northeast China and imposed several measures designed to assimilate the Korean population.

As always in world history, United Nations and the western allies are the last walls to deter the expansions. Red lines establishments, calculated sanctions, and enforcements of the international laws and UN charters are some of the measures to save peace rather than to force military experts to their own drawing boards.

These current situations are very delicate and a mite too late to resolve may result to another apocalypse. Like matter and anti matter which annihilates each other, there are always pros and cons, as violators and followers to international law. Nobody wants confrontation.

As shown, Russia and China are like Germany and Japan of old. Both appear to lose the touch of reality of our real world. History seems to repeat itself!

 

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