Will the deadly coronavirus pandemic be the moment war is temporarily halted on a global scale? Not if the Pentagon has its way.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged the leaders to declare a 'global ceasefire' and halt all armed conflicts in order to focus on combating the coronavirus.
“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” Guterres said in a remote news conference Monday. “The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world.”
“The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price,” Guterres added. “They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.”
This as concerns grow that refugee and internally displaced persons camps from Syria to Turkey to Iraq to Yemen to Libya are at great risk for being ravaged by the virus. The health systems in some of these countries have already been collapsed after years of fighting. And testing simply has yet to even be conducted in most camps from the Mideast to Africa.
“End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world,” Guterres said further. “It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.”
It appears Washington didn't get the memo, however, given that even while the White House scrambles to handle the numbers of Covid-19 cases in the US which appear to be growing exponentially, the State Department is still issuing near daily threats against Iran.
On the very day the UN chief called for a global ceasefire, the Pentagon went so far as to conduct major war games aimed at Iran with UAE allied forces in Abu Dhabi's desert region. Named 'Native Fury 20', the war games involved some 4,000 troops along with armored units and choppers attacking a mock city.
The AP reports of the provocative drills at a moment Iran is collectively fighting for survival against the Covid-19 outbreak as follows:
Troops raced over the dunes of the Al-Hamra Military Base to take the model city, complete with multi-story buildings, an airport control tower, an oil refinery and a central mosque. Controlled explosions rang out as Emirati troops rappelled from hovering helicopters and Marines searched narrow streets on the Persian Gulf for “enemy” forces.
The exercise was so extensive that equipment was deployed out of Kuwait and the Indian Ocean island-base of Diego Garcia.
The report continues:
The exercise saw 4,000 U.S. troops from the Army, Marines and Navy position armored vehicles and other equipment from Kuwait and the island of Diego Garcia in al-Hamra using a portable pier system. The barren desert, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Abu Dhabi, is home to the UAE's vast oil reserves as well as its new Barakah nuclear power plant.
So while the UN's Guterres presents a nice idealistic vision of 'ending wars' to focus on coronavirus, the proposal will surely is only to remain but an elusive dream.