Eulogy as a National Anthem

What will become of this mess called “sovereign countries”? Will they annihilate, pillage, plunder, and subject each other to the worst predatory human instinct of the weak cannibalized by the strong?

The horrifying invasion of Ukraine fully captured by Western media, if only to illuminate and fill our imaginations with what, yet again, another “enemy” of the West has done. As the world watches with disgust Putin’s brinkmanship, one cannot ignore that the 21st century so far has witnessed the death of one country after another.

The death of Afghanistan began with the Soviet invasion of 1979, the rise of al Qaeda, the Taliban, and numerous warlords, followed by the 2001 invasion and occupation by the US as the longest war in American history. The sudden American withdrawal in August of 2021, with the ensuing sanctions, and the freezing of some eight billion dollars belonging to the impoverished people of Afghanistan, has made starvation and death their only option. After 20 years of war, occupation, drone bombings, torture prisons, and war crimes, all in the name of democracy and women’s rights, Afghanistan now faces possible extinction.

The most illegal Western war staining the pages of modern history transpired just two years after the invasion of Afghanistan. Iraq’s death began in 2003 at the hands of the American and British governments, joined by the Coalition of the Willing, annihilating Iraq as a society and nation, with not only the mass killing of civilians in places like Fallujah, but the complete destruction of its national library and museum that served as an archival record of ancient human history. Iraq to this day lies in ruins, with high rates of cancer and birth defects caused by American weapons coated with depleted uranium used in Fallujah. But the Western regime of regime change didn’t stop there.

In 2011 the world witnessed another unprovoked Western or NATO attack, this time on Libya, that killed Qaddafi and created a political vacuum, unleashing the ongoing refugee crisis across the Mediterranean with weekly drownings of women and children seeking a safer place in Europe. If these failed attempts at regime change didn’t satisfy the insatiable appetite of the warring West, Syria became just another casualty of regime change with over a quarter million people dead and millions displaced and pushed into poverty and early death. Syria lies in ruins with historical cities and buildings bombed into rubble. Another society and nation mortally wounded.

The continued sale of American weaponry to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as they bomb ancient cities and towns of Yemen mercilessly, has inflicted violence and mass murder upon the poorest Arab country in the Gulf region that now faces mass starvation in the tens of millions. The very same Western world order and political institutions that brought us so much death and destruction across the Middle East in just the last 21 years, have wholeheartedly and self-righteously sought and pushed for regime change in Iran, in spite of the Iranian government’s full compliance with the JCPOA, which Donald Trump tore up to please his close Israeli friend, Benjamin Netanyahu. The same Netanyahu who as Prime Minister for 12 years pursued the final death of Palestine, whose people have refused to die a quiet death now for more than 70 years at the hands of a Western colonial outpost in the Arab world called Israel.

If the 20th century saw nation-building after WWII, the 21st century thus far resembles a century of nation-killing, whether by war, sanctions, or economic strangulation. As Russian missiles and tanks drag Ukraine into a mass grave, the world could witness the death of the entire United Nations model of nation-states, which has remained under the surveilling watch of the 5-eyes club (UK and the 4 Anglo colonies known as US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). Soon there may no longer exist national flags to pledge one’s allegiance to, as countries die, turning eulogies into a national anthem.

Khalid Afsar is a researcher and holds a PhD in education.