? ? ? ?By ? ? Dr. Charles Addo
? Catholic University College of Ghana
It is always a laudable idea to attract genuine foreign investments into one?s country to ensure economic growth. But to establish a helicopter service center in Ghana just to serve helicopters of the United Nations and other organizations in West Africa just doesn?t warrant a priority, and is suggestive of diversionary tactics by a bankrupt government to refocus national attention onto something that can?t yield any long-term benefits for a country.
First, the timing by the government of Ghana to announce a business deal of such low caliber with Russia, now a nuclear-war-mongering country is definitely not appropriate.
Russia is now a threat to all humankind, and it is being repulsed by all well-meaning states that want to see the propagation of life as we know it. Why should Ghana choose to negotiate a non-priority business deal with Russia at this time? Russia is a country whose leader holds the key to one of the world?s most powerful nuclear arsenals, and only yesterday made a frightening remark, after violating the territorial integrity of another sovereign state, Ukraine, thus:
?Russia’s partners… should understand it?s best not to mess with us?Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.?
Ghana government?s ill-advised decision to negotiate a non-priority business deal with Russia at this time should have nothing to do with Ghana?s long-held policy of non-alignment. Rather, it has everything to do with humankind?s very survival as specie. Russia is only searching for sympathy at a time that they are feeling the painful pangs of diplomatic isolationism and economic sanctions the most; from an easily-controlled and insensitive country like Ghana from the standpoint of international-relations. Certainly, this is a diplomatic gaffe by the government.
A leader of Putin?s caliber should not even make reference to Russia?s nuclear arsenal in public pronouncements in the first place, let alone to threaten using nuclear weapons to fight a conventional war. The world has seen it before with Hitler, and mere reference to its usage should make one unfit for leadership because it implies one step closer to a willingness to use it.
The consequences of nuclear attacks are global; nobody will be left unscathed. To give you an idea of Putin?s recent threat to use nuclear weapons against any state that dares to challenge its invasion of Ukraine:
The radioactive nuclear dust from an explosion will encircle the globe and invariably cause cancer in every country. During nuclear tests in the 50s, milk in the US was affected and picked up strontium-90 (i.e., a harmful radioactive isotope produced in nuclear reactions and present in their fallout), which has a half-life of about 29 years. Strontium-90 seeks out bone and bone marrow and can result in bone cancer so people were advised not to give milk to their babies or young children. I’m sure the more powerful bombs of today will wreak much more dangerous effects throughout the world.
So, one can only hope that this is saber-rattling by Putin at UK, France, India, Israel, China, Pakistan, and the USA because he should know that if push comes to shove with the USA, he and Russia would be completely obliterated, and taking the whole world with him, which is mutually assured destruction (MAD). However, the suspicion can still never be ruled out that Putin’s comments were intended more for domestic political consumption than to poke a finger at the west. Putin’s entire political legitimacy rests on two simple things: (1) restoring Russian pride after the post-Cold War humiliations they suffered during the 1990s and (2) establishing Russia as an economic power. He is beginning to falter on the second, which is why he is probably doubling down on the first.
The first is a clich? that Russians love ?strongman? leaders, but it?s at least partially true. He is reminding Russians that he is the one who has restored Russia’s military might, that he is standing up to ?the west,? with ?the west? always the inevitable boogeyman in Russian domestic politics, and that under his leadership Russia is once again a great power with far-reaching influence.
At his core, Putin may be a little more than an old-fashioned Russian strongman who is very adept at evoking nostalgic feelings for the glory days of the Russian empire by romanticizing the idea of a ?Greater Russia? for political ends. He may be calculating and utterly ruthless, but he is not a reckless suicide case. He is financially a multi-billionaire, thanks to the oligarchs with whom he has surrounded himself, and he enjoys the trappings of power. For that reason alone, he has probably calculated precisely how far he can push things without risking everything through nuclear attack annihilation.
But the Ghana government should learn to draw the line between sound international relationship and commitment to non-usage of weapons of mass destruction; unless, of course, it has an interest of diversionary tactics from its own present and steep domestic economic problems.