Conflict 2014: in pictures – Conflict Archives

Ukraine Priest 2.0

Ukrainian Revolution 2014: A priest stands between Viktor Yanukovych police and protesters during a historic regime change in February. The protests were subsequently followed by the annexation of Crimea and a tense standoff between Russia and NATO.

Syria Ruins

Desolation: The Syrian city of Deir Ezzor lies in ruins as the Syrian Civil War nears its forth year.

Attack Synagogue

18th November 2014: Four Israelis were killed and several injured as two Palestinians armed with a pistol and meat cleavers attacked a West Jerusalem synagogue.

North Korea

February 2014: Sketches by former prisoners in North Korean gulag camps published.


June-July 2014: Religious and ethnic tensions have reemerged between Buddhists and Muslims in  Burma with deadly consequences.

Americans Afghanistan

US Marines and British Armed Forces end their thirteen year stay in Afghanistan. Over 20,000 Afghan civilians and 3,479 Coalition troops have been killed since 2001.

Central African Republic

Ethnic cleansing and genocidal violence in the Central African Republic: Between November 2013 – March 2014 Christian milita, commonly known as the anti-balaka, fighting the violent Muslim group Séléka ethnically cleanse the Muslim population. Thousands of Muslims are killed by machete and hundred of thousands of Muslims are systematically removed from the country.


August 9, 2014: Shooting of teenager Michael Brown sparks protests and riots across the United States against police brutality, racism and fears of police militarisation.


From Russia with Love: Following the Ukrainian revolution Vladamir Putin and his ‘little green men’, annex Crimea sparking the Crimea crisis (February 23, 2014 – March 19, 2014). This has led to increasingly strained relations between NATO and the Russian Federation.

Iraqi Helmets

The Northern Offensive: During the 2014 World Cup, the terrorist organisation known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began a major offensive in northern Iraq against Nouri al-Maliki‘s U.S sponsored government. The latter’s forces melt away in the wake of ISIS’s advance and shocks the world.

ISIS execution

Viral Executions: ISIS have indiscriminately committed  war crimes against various Muslim communities including Sunnis and perpetrated genocidal violence against Iraq’s Christian minorities (most notably the Yazidi population). The neo-Wahabbist organisation have publicly executed POWs, journalists and humanitarian aid workers.


16th May 2014: Libya’s instability between 2011-2013 reignited civil war which is mainly being fought between Islamist forces and Libyan parliamentary forces.


17th July 2014: A scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur is shot down during the Ukrainian civil war/pro-Russian unrest, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The Russian Federation is condemned by the international community for supplying pro-Russian rebels.

John Jihadi

Jihadi John: A British citizen and a member of ISIS who has come to encapsulate ISIS’s violent rampage. He publicly murdered U.S citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Peter Kassig and British citizens David Haines and Alan Henning and oversaw the beheadings of 18 Syrian soldiers.

Obama Strategy

September 10th 2014: After a summer of blood, Barack Obama speaks to the American people outlining his plan to fight ISIS.

Pakistan Attack

December 16th 2014: Using suicide bombs and fire-arms militants from the Pakistani Taliban have attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 141 people, 132 of them children. It is the organisation’s worst atrocity.

South Sudan

The world’s youngest nation South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war since December 15th 2013 between government and rebel forces. The ethnic groups (Dinka and Nuer) have been targeting each other and the resulting violence has killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands more.  Both sides have committed genocidal violence.

Climate Change

31 March 2014: A major report by the UN states that the impacts of global warming are likely to be “severe, pervasive and irreversible.”  On 21st September, protestors across the world stage the Climate march in the face of impending climate change.

Donetsk Protests

March 2014: Pro-Russian protestors occupy governmental building across eastern Ukraine, most notably Donetsk and Sloviansk. Over 5,000 are killed in protests and by the Ukranian Armed Forces, often indiscriminate ‘terrorist’ crackdowns.


March 18th 2014: President Vladimir Putin speech following the official annexation of Crimea.

Sydney Siege 2.0

15th December 2014: A hostage escapes the Sydney Siege. Three people (including gunman and ISIS inspired Man Haron Monis ) are killed in the ensuing struggle at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place.

Ebola 2.0

Epidemic: Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have been afflicted by the worst outbreak of Ebola in recorded human history. The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there.

Yemen Drone

Drone warfare: The use of drones, particularly in Palestine, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan has been condemned by international onlookers, various journalists and activists as violations of international law.


21st January: The BBC state that there is clear evidence that Syria has systematically tortured and executed about 11,000 detainees. Syria has encapsulated the continued problem of the perpetration of torture by police, military units and governments across the globe.

Bring Back Our Girls

Nigeria’s insurgency: Boko Haram, the militant Islamic group based in north-east Nigeria, has cut a swathe through the country killing thousands of civilians in a wave of suicide bombings and armed raids. They have also kidnapped hundreds of civilians including young women and children.

Bring Back Our Girls

December Revelations: While unsurprising to the majority of the world, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the damning executive summary of its five-year review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme initiated by the Bush administration during the Global War on Terror.


A wave of anti-government demonstrations – the largest in a decade – has been sweeping through Venezuela since early February.


The 2nd Gaza War and the Silent Intifada (June – present 2014): The kidnap of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas inspired militants and the incineration of a Palestinian teenager by Israeli settlers helps spark the 2nd Gaza War and the silent/third intifada.

Matthew Williams


The Death of the Pax Americana: Obama the Realist?

The Westpoint Speech delivered by Barack Obama was certainly one that was necessary and one which directly addressed the burning question for some; namely what is the United States’ new role in the world both as a political and military force?

For many the question remains unanswered or the speech to them lacks a convincing amount of information to truly figure out the motives of the Obama administration within the halls of the White House. Obama’s conduct has been misconstrued at times, confused and to many uncertain particularly given the ‘red-line’ scenario that nearly unfolded in the wake of the chemical attacks in Syria, August 2013.

Military action was strictly ruled out by voices inside the military, Congress and that of Russia, China and the international community. The ghosts of the Bush administration aggressive foreign policy very much remain in the minds of Western politicians and U.S public. Thousands of American lives have been lost, billions of dollars wasted in questionable conflicts. The West has renounced its rights to intervene in Middle Eastern affairs since the defeat in Iraq (what else was it?) and the continued slaughter in Afghanistan from which the United States and the UK are ejecting from in late 2014 (by-enlarge).

In normal times Obama’s thinking and words would have been considered a merit amongst many, the media, and the world. Unfortunately these are not normal times. The 2nd Ukrainian Civil War (what else is it?) or as Kiev would have us call it ‘counter-terrorism operations’, between the pro-Western government and pro-Russian seperatists has shook Eastern Europe and relations between the Russian Federation and NATO are at their worst since the end of the Cold War.

This is coupled with the increased tension between Japan and China over territorial disputes in the South-Asia Pacific Region and the chaos in the Middle East where unchecked regional aggression threatens to boil over into a far more serious regional conflict. The Arab Spring is static in the bleakest of mid-winters.


Then there is the infamous ‘War on Terror’, a conflict against insurgent groups across the globe, a threat of which has increased in the blood-shed across the Middle East and Africa. The latter has witnessed the alarming rise in extremist Islamism, most notoriously Al-Shaabab and Boko Haram who cut a swath through Somalia, Kenya and Nigeria in a wave of suicide attacks, kidnappings, mass-shooting, and drug trafficking whilst recruiting disenchanted youths to their largely unholy, extremist cause.

Yes, these are anything but normal times. The 9/11 decade has re-shaped the 21st century and Obama is in an unwinnable situation of suffering from the mistakes of the Bush administrations violations of international law (though Obama has committed a few violations himself) and the worst recession since the Great Depression of 1929.

Undoubtedly the Obama administration has made key mistakes that make it a target for criticism. Guantanamo Bay, a focal point for criticism of the previous White House administrations remains open, even though Obama promised it would be shut down. Likewise his economic policies have not taken off as they would have liked as the U.S buckles under potentially ruinous debt in its trillions.

Nor can his response in the Syrian Civil War encouraged onlookers that they can look to the USA for support, even it is in a package bundle of $5 billion. Afghan and Iraq security forces hardly gave anyone conviction that they could secure the new ‘democractic’ beacons created by the USA, UK and NATO.

However in regard to U.S foreign policy in the last decade the criticism of their neo-imperialism, interference, non-conformity to international law and militarism reached an absolute crescendo not witnessed since Vietnam. To continue a staunch military stance and use bellicose words such as Bush did in the wake of 9/11 would only further many’s disdain for the United States’s foreign policy. If anything Obama is attempting to collect the pieces of a now redundant foreign policy option.

The Washington Post recently stated that ‘This binding of U.S. power places Mr. Obama at odds with every U.S. president since World War II. In effect, he ruled out interventions to stop genocide or reverse aggression absent a direct threat to the U.S. homeland or a multilateral initiative.’

Obama is not at odds with former presidents foreign policies in regard to interventions. When George Bush Senior invaded Somalia in the 1990s and Clinton continued the U.N operation how did they fare? They merely undermined the U.N mission and single-handedly scapegoated the United Nations for their hot-headed unilateral operations absent regard for U.N regulations. Somalia remains a desolate region, conflict unresolved and Al-Shaabab has only strengthened. Did Clinton halt the Rwandan genocide in 1994 which completely destabilized the region, which in part still suffers twenty years on?

When Clinton administration did intervene along with NATO in the Balkans in the 1990s during the Bosnian Civil War, they intervened only when it was too late and drowning in evidence that suggested they could have and should have intervened sooner. The victory over the Serbian nationalists was glossed in blood, a Pyrrhic victory.

We don’t even need to go into the end results of Lyndon Johnson’s decision to invade Vietnam and the cost for both South-East Asia and the United States politically, militarily and economically. Besides that the United States has never intervened to directly halt genocide so Obama is not acting different to what other president’s do, whereby he promotes national interest above that of other countries across the world. It is how American foreign policy, however ‘exceptionalist’ or questionable, has largely operated since it assumed leading power role in 1919.

When the United States sits backs, we cry cowardice, uncertainty or retreat, evading responsibility yet when they attack we cry war-mongers, militarism, interference, and state that the United States over-reaches. It is one of the most complex arguments of the international arena.

The United States is, along with the Russian Federation,  by no accounts is in any shape or form doing its best to remove the sting from the Ukrainian crisis. Both sides are equally culpable in pushing Ukraine towards civil war. The leaders of both the United States and the EU have turned a blind eye to the dangerous elements within the interim Ukrainian government which have to be isolated whilst Putin has quite obviously, even if Crimea is historically a monument to Russian nationalism and predominantly Russian, flouted international law.

What we are witnessing in the 21st century is  a marked decline in the idea that reciprocal hegemony and liberalism in international relations are realistic. It is an unrealizable dream, a dangerous illusion, that politics like human nature is rooted in self-interest, and self-centered objectivity and most big powers players will do anything to hold on to their position on the international stage. Unilateral power-politics either of a military or arbitrary nature still and probably will always trump economic and soft power.  

Critics of Obama state that he is de-facto abandoning Ukraine, and that in short only U.S interests, core interests and that of NATO are of primary concern to the United States, that the U.S.A has become in foreign policy as uncertain as it has ever been even weak, a slumbering giant when the right are adamant that this is a time in which the United States should be at its firmest abroad.

Ukraine is of our concern undoubtedly, but realistically what can military force do in Ukraine but enrage the Russian Federation and push us closer to the unimaginable? Ukraine, though a borderland between western and eastern Europe, lies within Russia’s sphere whether the most uncertain of European Union’s would like it or not. Besides that as stated in previous articles the West and the United States lacks both moral and economic leverage with which it can use full capapcity to influence what happens in Ukraine. Nor can we rule out the geographical military advantage Russia possesses unless you bring in the quite ludicrous consideration of nuclear missiles.

The United States is the most powerful military force on the planet. Its budget exceeds half the world’s total military capabilities. If Obama and the U.S.A would wish to use it they could. Mark Mardell sums it up rather well:

“Obama’s paradox is that he is commander-in-chief of the most powerful military ever known, in a country that doesn’t want to go to war. So he uses a simple saying to reinforce his point – just because you can fight, and would probably win, it doesn’t mean you have to do so.”

The use of military force is not necessarily always the correct solution to a civil war or a military crisis. If Obama pulls off a deal with Iran, his critics will fall silent. You can have a Plan A whereby invasion and deployment of troops is done effectively and the war is won. The problem is as seen in Iraq, Somalia and Vietnam; an effective Plan B, C, and D were lacking. What do you do afterwards? How do you calculate how a population reacts to occupation under foreigners who we may have no cultural affiliation or understanding of and with? How do you consolidate victory in modern war and conflict, when concepts of insurgency and terrorism is entering a new phase?

This is something that even a giant, be it Russia, the United States and China, would struggle with at varying degrees as traditional military conflict is a dying entity and containing a occupied population fraught with more difficulty than ever before.  Obama highlights this at West Point referencing the power of the individual in the modern world. It can vary from it most volatile to 9/11 and further illustrated by Woolwich, 7/7, Mumbai, Madrid, Volgograd  or simply social media, a click of a button,  the power to express yourself  at your fingertips in the form of a keyboard.

It has never been an easier time to express your opinions no matter how moderate or radical. This is a very difficult thing for states to fight, which is both a good and bad thing as a pardigm must exist between a state and civilians where mutual interests are respected (the world’s most difficult balance).

Certainly the U.S and Obama are reacting to events rather than preparing for them and the mistakes of the administration are laid bare for all to see. The reversal in Syria springs to mind as does the contradictory statements coming out the White House that Al-Qaeda is a vanquished organisation whilst at the same time a ‘hydra-headed entity’.  Extremist Islam has never been so powerful despite its civil war. There is a degree of uncertainty which leaves John Kerry undermined as an identity crisis engulfs Washington D.C.

The United States is less of a democratic entity then it ever was and it has tightened under the Obama administration.  Obama’s extension of the Patriotic Act in 2011 and the capabilities of Homeland Security to stamp down control as seen in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings, the use of drones to kill civilians, contentious targets and even Americans if need be are an emphasis upon how the United States image and policies have shifted since 9/11. We cannot forget Edward Snowden’s revelations (also likely a confirmation of what many suspected) of the NSA’s worst excesses which include spying on its own people and its NATO allies in a global mass surveillance program.

All this amounts to a clear fact, the United States has the capability to impose itself if it so wishes on the global stage and for its rivals to risk affecting  their interests and that of their allies is one that they do at their own peril.

The eagle has undoubtedly receded in influence across the areas of the globe, and has been weakened both by the Bush administration war crimes, criminality and impunity to international law and in some cases by Obama himself (though he does not admit it which is a mistake). Enemies will exploit what they see as the lack of a resolved United States to meet their local and regional objectives. Obama is correct in most cases in showing restraint, favoring diplomatic resolutions and preferring dialogue to violence as realistically public opinion, world opinion by-enlarge, has shifted strongly against U.S foreign policy.

The Pax Americana is over joining the ‘New World Order’ dominated by America which died in the 1990s under Clinton. Obama may as much be a cause of the former’s demise as anyone and that is the debate of the now. The Pax Romana under Imperial Rome only lasted so long. The United States and the Obama administration are victims of their own history and mistakes. The United States has multiple enemies, perhaps more than anytime in its history and it cannot fight them all individually.

Many an empire has fallen victim to history treading too boldly and overreached arrogantly believing themselves too great to fall be it the Romans, Tsarist Russia, the British Empire, the Aztecs, the Mongols, the Third Reich or Napoleon, even the Soviet Union, nor did any fall in a day or year for that matter, they crumbled over time piece by piece until they succumbed. Obama’s speech at Westpoint was correct in many ways; the United States is far from a defeated or losing influence, but its ‘superiority complex’ is under threat and being questioned like it hasn’t been before this decade.

Is the receding of American dominance a bad thing or welcome for now? Only time will tell. The United States has spited its own face in recent years and have had, to some extent, their hands tied by other international players, events and circumstances big and small. What we see as weakness on Obama’s part for failing to maintain the standard hegemony should be taken as a dose of realism. America, though irreplaceable in the international theater, must have its limits and restraints in the 21st century.

Matthew Williams

The West’s Impotence in the Face of Putin’s Gambit

“We cannot afford to be killing one another”

Nelson Mandela

Between the 21st and 23rd February we were talking of Putin’s impending political defeat in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution in Kiev. The reality is that, it is a potential diplomatic and political disaster for the United States, EU, NATO and the United Nations.

On the face of it, under international law, on so many different levels this intervention is wrong. The Russian Federation is defending its interests, but their are many other ways of protecting their interests which would not require the extremity of military force. Furthermore this intervention in Ukraine, ‘the greatest crisis in Europe we have seen’ according to our foreign minister Hague, will perplex many as it undermines the restraint and subtlety shown by Putin in Syria where the United States was halted in its tracks on carrying out a strike against Assad’s regime.

The Kremlin can argue that the United States condemnation of Russia particularly by Kerry, though justified in my opinion, were hypocritical in the light of the controversy of the United States’ foreign policy in the last decade or so. That also includes the United Kingdom. However in the case of Libya, they could argue that supporting the Libyan rebels removed despot Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

The counter-argument to that is the grounds for the invasion of Iraq and the controversy surrounding the existence  of the WMDs. On top of that are the casualties sustained in Iraq and the failure that came with it (Iraq is in a worst state than which the U.S.A and United Kingdom entered it). We also forget the  U.S’s killing of Osama Bin Ladenwhich as Amnesty International states ‘was conducted under the US’s theory of a global armed conflict between the US and al-Qaeda in which the US does not recognise the applicability of international human rights law.’ It was a violation of Pakistani airspace, an illegal operation, even though his death was welcome to those across who have lost so much in the wake of his terrorist attacks. Simply put the West is culpable to similar controversies committed by their opponents across the international spectrum. Not to mention we should not forget that thus far the affair has been bloodless in comparison to the Western led operations.

The use of force is a mistake by Kremlin as the authorization of the deployment is that it has not only led to condemnation in the West, but also the threat of looming economic sanctions. They are unlikely to deter (even if they are deployed, the United Kingdom not even planning to impose trade sanctions) Putin as his grip tightens on the Crimea and holding Ukraine within his sphere of influence. NATO can do little as geo-politics and even if they chose to act upon the military option (which they won’t) military pragmatics are set firmly against them. Like Poland in 1939, it is on the other-side of Europe out of reach, thousands of miles away from the United States; deploying military operations (even with NATO military bases scattered across Europe) when 150,000 Russian soldiers are already deployed on the borders of Ukraine, and already dug in the Crimea would incur heavy, unacceptable casualties. Putin, the Russians and the Crimea care more deeply about the outcome than the average citizen in the United Kingdom than we would be willing to risk or Europe would be willing to risk (one of them a potential European war). The Western powers have little economic, geographic, or some even moral leverage by which to outmaneuver the Russian Federation. Nevertheless in the UN Security Council, it was clear that Russia  faced a verbal onslaught by most members in face of byenlarge condemnation.


Ukraine will realistically not be saved by diplomacy and economic isolation nor can it realistically confront the Russian Army successfully. The former is better equipped, numerically superior, technically advanced, and also possessing considerable strategic initiative in the Crimea Ukraine’s forces all but surrounded. The Russian forces also potentially have their sights trained on Donetsk and Kharkiv (other Russian-speaking regions). To add insult to injury Ukraine cannot expect to join the EU when it has internal unresolved territorial disputes in the form of the Crimea, the pro-western government already has an unlikely future under such circumstances of combined economic, military and political pressure. As seen by the horrors of Syria, war would leave the country shattered and massively de-stabilise the region and benefit no one as the Russian bear wrestles with its overtly rebellious cub. 

As the United States and NATO retreat from the Middle East amidst the public divisions in individual countries over the necessity of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the horrific losses that came with it. Military exhaustion, economic weakness, a lack of political will, and Putin’s masterminding of Russia’s return to the international stage as a serious power player have contributed to the West’s decline in the international theatre. 


Nevertheless the relationship between the Russian Federation and United States with NATO is at a crucial juncture in its history, and both hold the key (particularly Russia) to complications in the Middle East, particularly on the mediation of Iran’s nuclear programme and the ongoing Syrian Civil War. Putin’s actions though very much a decisive and well-played calculation will affect their relationship for many years to come, to the point perhaps that their may be a Second Cold War where the West and Russia would gain little.

For Russia this invasion to defend the human rights of ‘ethnic Russians’ will have consequences of the global stability and security structure (undermining the credibility of NATO and the United Nations) that has been tested since the end of the Second World War and Cold War. Sure, if the U.S.A national interests were threatened, hypothetically they would do the same as the Russians now, as shown by their willingness in the Pay of Bigs disaster and the Cuban Missile Crisis to occupy Cuba and many other scenarios during the Cold War. What would we do if our citizens were under threat?

You can hardly say the protests starting in November/December looked like an ultranationalist/fascist movement. They only became violent when fired upon and killed by the corrupt thug Yanukovych a few week ago and as I have re-iterated before no president or prime minister, no matter the fairness of their election in my view has to right to put down legitimate protests in such a manner and expect to remain in power.

If Russia and NATO were to engage in an economic conflict (highly likely) the capability of them to both cripple each other would be disastrous, a war cataclysmic. As seen already this week the crisis has impacted the Russian economy, the stock markets falling and the value of the rouble against the dollar at an all time low against the U.S dollar, whilst Russia holds the key to much of Europe’s gas supplies. The long-term winner would be Chinese dragon who have observed the ongoing Ukrainian crisis as a concerned but distant observer, more critical of the West’s bellicose than of Russia’s actions, but nonetheless distant.

The greatest impact  a potential Ukrainian-Russian war will have will be upon the U.S.A and the West already divided, suffering from post-economic stagnation, and deficits and now a identity crisis in their foreign policy. The consequences could see the end of the the United States as the world’s modern policeman as it recedes in influence across the globe with Russia standing to  gain another victory against the Obama administration. Make no mistake we are living and breathing historical times. I sincerely hope the Russian Federation backs down in the face of international scrutiny and that this current stand is corrected on what is unfolding in the Ukraine.

Matthew Williams

Asia’s Gruesome Chasm: North Korea

Twilight Zone: North Korea
Twilight Zone: North Korea

The twilight zone, a ghostly enigma that echoes chilling stories and near inescapable pain for the people living inside the North Korean state. Kim Jong Un, like his predecessors, has continued the legacy of war-mongering and the torture and imprisonment of thousands and perhaps the killing of thousands of his own people.

The 17th February report, written by a three-member panel led by Michael Kirby, is harrowing in both its extended detail and inhumane content as it describes a totalitarian state that is without comparison in our world. There is compelling evidence of torture, execution and arbitrary imprisonment, deliberate starvation and an almost complete lack of free thought and belief. This also includes the horrific abuse of women’s rights in the country and the destruction of generations of families.  Kirby was particular in noting  the evidence of one prison camp inmate who said his duties involved burning the bodies of those who had starved to death and using the remains as fertiliser.

Recent reports that have emerged from Pyongyang are ones that define humanity at its very worst.  Gulags, imprisonment and torture at the hands of the state, crimes against humanity, images and sketches drawn by men that paralleled those I saw drawn by children in the Holocaust Memorial Museum and POWs who were tortured and beaten to death in many Japanese prison camps in World War II. These are not images you are accustomed to seeing, nor would hope would emerge again in the days of modernism and supposed humanity. Certainly the Western world has to come under severe scrutiny, their inaction enough to suggest that morally they are certainly culpable as they so frequently claim to champion the halting of genocide, humanitarianism and moral righteousness. Undoubtedly Western hypocrisy in the matter of treatment of prisoners is sometimes under the spotlight particularly when the United States refuses to close Guantanamo Bay and has been culpable in the torture of many POWs in recent years in the name of national security.

Incapacitated, dependent on the economic support and China’s propping of oil and food shipments, North Korea is the archetypal failed state.  It is a god-forsaken place, secretive, and the reality falsified by sickening (almost laughable if the situation were not so serious) propaganda that glorifies war, aggression, the cult of the individual and ‘all-powerful’ nation of North Korea which can hardly feed its population. The latter is due to economic stagnation, poor planning, and the incapacity to modernise.

The reality is that North Korea is a satellite state, a buffer against the influence of South Korea and Japanese influence on Chinese Communist State. So long as China tolerates the North Korean atrocities, there is little the world can do but watch as Kim Jong Un beats his people into a submissive, catatonic state. China would lose nothing in the disappearance of Kim Jong Un and his unholy party, more a stain upon China’s reputation than anything rather than a useful or valuable ally. The fact of the matter is we are entering a world where China will ultimately become the leading  economic and political powerhouse of the 21st century, it is hardly likely that this sorry regime is needed to protect them from the influence of more democratic regime’s such as Japan and South Korea. This also includes the influence of the receding United States who are shying away from their role as cumbersome world policeman.

Kim Jong Un is more an increasing headache for China, an embarrassment as he threatens the international community with archaic threats of nuclear arson and death. Not to mention the increasing fact that a more aware and enlightened Chinese public opinion will as the years go on step up the criticism of their government for propping up a violent state which abuses its own people. This is a difficult situation seeing as China has its own dislike of human rights investigations which the North Korean government responded to this week as mere ‘riff raff’ in face of near universal condemnation.

Kim Jong Un

Nevertheless avoiding war with North Korea and its collapse is something truly perplexing in Chinese foreign policy, particularly if standards of training, discipline and equipment in the force are reported to be low in the North Korean army, despite all the hype over their parades. Parades don’t win wars, the satellite images portray a country that can barely stand on its feet as does the footage of the countryside seen in many daring ventures into this desolate land under the control of a manipulative, deluded and conformist military regime.

A state built on lie’s and deceit is a potent cocktail, the bigger the lie, the more likely people will believe it, the lie spreads like a wildfire, builds and consumes everything in its path until there is nothing left but ash. The ash is swept away in the gale, scattered, the victims voices stifled and near forgotten in this sinister world we can hardly fathom. North Korea must fall, its people must be saved. China is the key to this particularly troublesome lock.

Matthew Williams