April 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Alberto Negri, conflict expert: “The Ukraine war cannot be won” | Political scientist and war correspondent in the Italian media

Alberto Negri, conflict expert: “The Ukraine war cannot be won” |  Political scientist and war correspondent in the Italian media

From Rome

One of Europe's biggest concerns in recent times is potential War in Ukraine can be extended. European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen recently told the European Parliament that “the threat of war in Europe may not be imminent, but it is not impossible” and that we must be prepared. There is also talk that the risks have been heightened by cyberattacks and other methods of influence such as fake news, as it could become a “hybrid war”, i.e. a political and economic war as well as a traditional one. Regulation of Facebook and other social networks. Something similar is happening in the Red Sea.

But is Europe really close to such a situation? What might be the consequences for the rest of the world, especially Latin America?

Journalist Alberto Negri, expert on the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and the Balkans, studied Political Science at the State University of Milan and worked for several years as a researcher at the ISPI (Institute for International Policy Studies). Italy (which is still a consultant), responded to these questions. Negri worked for about 40 years as a war correspondent for Italian newspapers such as Il Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24ore, Italia Oggi, etc. among others. He has published several books such as “Il turbante e la Corona”. Iran Trent'Anni Topo” (Turban and Crown. Iran 30 Years Later. Ed. Marco Trobia), “The Wandering Muslim” – Storia degli Alauti e Dei Secreti del Medio Oriente” (The Wandering Muslim. History of the Alawites and the Middle East Secrets, ed. Rosenberg & Cellier) and Bazaar Mediterraneo (ed. Coke) for which he received the Kapucinski Prize for Best European War Correspondent. In recent years he has taught international relations and Middle Eastern history at various universities. He currently works for the magazine Il Manifesto.

How do you see the two wars (Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas) that Europe and the developed world are paying more attention to? Are they more important in recent decades? Or just because Europe is involved?

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– I am answering with the words of Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar. A year ago I was in Samarkand where there was a meeting of India with Russia and China and other countries. There we interviewed the minister along with other journalists and asked what he thought about the war in Ukraine. “The war in Ukraine? -He replied- Ah… Europeans, if you are interested in something it becomes huge and important for the whole world. “When we have a problem, they ignore us.” Actually everyone sees European problems but has its own problems. Rest of the world The region has experienced dozens of wars in recent decades, and we Europeans have never been interested. I was in Iran in 1980, and it was experiencing a revolution. Was anyone in Europe interested? On September 22 of that year, Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, and the war lasted eight years and a million people died. Was anyone interested? Maybe yes, to sell arms to Iraq but for no other reason. We have seen wars that have shocked the entire Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Balkans for at least four decades, but I don't think anyone here is interested. The big difference with World Wars I and II is that today they send professional or mercenary troops into wars. The children of capitalism do not rule. This is a big difference. If their children die, they will definitely be more interested.

After Van der Leyen's words before the European Parliament, do you believe there is a real danger of war in Europe soon?

The war is already in Europe, with a lot of resources being burned that could go to weapons, social services, healthcare, schools, caring for the elderly. The war is already there. They feed her. Another case is the United States. In the past two years, the United States has allocated $100 billion to aid the opposition in Ukraine, according to newspaper reports. The New York Times. About 60 billion people never left US territory because they were bound by contracts with US arms manufacturers.

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-But I think van der Leyen is referring more to the fact that they might invade European territory.

-If Putin can't take Q, is he now taking over Brussels, Berlin or some other city? How does it do that? Russia, like Europe, is a country of old people. To fight this war, Putin had to recruit people from the poorest provinces of the Russian Federation into his army. They have no men to fight. Of course, they can drop a nuclear bomb or nuclear missiles. This is another talk. Nuclear bombs can harm them too. A nuclear bomb on Poland or Hungary or Romania would kill them too from the contamination. The US Congress blocked aid to Ukraine two months ago. Because they realized that Ukraine cannot win this war. I don't think that's possible unless America goes directly to war with Russia. That is why, in my opinion, I believe the war is over.

What does Hamas – and Israel – think about the war?

-Ukraine is one thing and the Middle East is completely different. They are different conflicts. The Jewish state has occupied other people's land for 70 years. But in the last 40 years, despite these invasions, no one, no country has imposed sanctions. Putin was quickly sanctioned. I am not defending Putin. I'm not interested. I analyze only the behavior of the international community. Russia has been sanctioned since 1979, as has Iran. Israel has never been sanctioned despite violating UN resolutions and all international conventions. Israel has significant economic and financial power. It is in a position to change the behavior of Europe. Many in Europe are calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, what have they done in Europe to achieve a ceasefire? Did they propose sanctions against Israel? not at all. It was said today, and it will be said today: The security of the State of Israel must be ensured. And the security of the Palestinians?

In some contexts “hybrid warfare” is being talked about as the greatest risk. Do you agree with this?

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The most dangerous war is where people die, where you, your wife, your children die. Hybrid warfare has always existed. Of course, today there are many technologies, for example drones, that make it possible to see what is happening. This is the difference with previous hybrid wars. Today every technological tool can be turned into a weapon of war.

– Various Latin American countries today have important trade ties with China or have received aid from Russia during the pandemic. Can they experience the consequences of a possible war in Europe?

– Unfortunately, many Latin American countries have not owned anything or kept their destiny for years. If a state fails from an economic point of view, it cannot decide its own destiny. During a war in which Europe is directly involved, Russia's assistance, if any, will be particularly limited. It's different with China because the country has ties to many Latin American countries, helping them with their debts. China has given a lot of credit to Brazil, and probably to Peru as well. It is a tangible and real change in what is considered a global equilibrium. In Latin America they are afraid because they know that they can reduce the resources allocated to the region from Europe and other countries. But if that happens, Latin America will have many natural resources of its own that it should not fear. Because she will be rich. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia are rich countries, but they are not able to properly exploit their own resources. They are looted and hijacked countries. If Argentinians and many others have done so for decades, they will stop taking their money abroad and invest in Argentina, if they believe in their economy and their country, Argentina will be one of the richest countries in the world.