By Alex P. Vidal
“Nastiness and mockery and meanness sometimes seem as if they’re spreading like a contagion.”—Jake Tapper
TikTok videos meant to disparage and ridicule political personalities, especially those running for Philippine president, are now a dime a dozen.
Anyone with a digital communication gadget will almost instantly be greeted with a black propaganda item aimed at particular candidates as they scroll down their social media accounts these days.
The TikTok videos, spliced and carefully arranged to mock and malign mostly Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Many Pacquiao, have become so plentiful as to be valueless; they have become actually “overkill.”
They have suddenly spread and are almost unstoppable like Russian missiles that killed civilians and destroyed hospitals and elderly facilities in Ukraine.
It is so obvious they came only from one source—from one political camp with plenty of money to burn for the dirty tricks department.
Sad to say that election in the Philippines has sunk to this low that contending parties have given more premium on character assassination and gutter campaigns rather than promoting the candidates’ programs and plans once they are elected.
WE all don’t want it to happen, of course, and we wish and pray each passing day that World War III will not have its genesis in the Russo-Ukraine conflict now on its fifth week, or more than a month now.
As long as there is no ceasefire, the threat of a possible World War III will continue even if some people weren’t anymore paying attention to the bloody invasion that has killed more than a thousand civilians and displaced some four million Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.
World War III shouldn’t happen and world leaders must do everything to prevent it.
But while Russia appeared to be “losing” the war against durable Ukraine since February 24 (thanks to the support of the United States and NATO), the tension and fear of a possible bigger battle that might involve nuclear weapons will continue to mount.
What will happen if World War III will commence as an offshoot of the Russian invasion of Ukraine? We will all die. No one will survive. Nuclear weapons will erase all countries from the face of the earth in seconds.
No OFW will be given the opportunity to be with their loved ones if the most horrific episode—World War III—will occur, which should never take place, God forbid.
The big question should be, are there signs or so-called handwritings on the wall that would validate some fears that Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion in Ukraine that resulted in a carnage would deteriorate into World War III similar to the events that formalized World War II?
Before World War II, Adolf Hitler invaded Poland after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931; Italy invaded Abyssinia in 1935.
They were followed by the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, and the Spanish Civil War, which started in the same year; Anschluss with Austria and the Sudeten crisis of 1938; Operation Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor in 1941, which prompted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt or FDR to ask the U.S. congress to declare a state of war against Japan.
If the aforementioned events are mere coincidences, let’s hope they are just coincidences: Before Russia attacked Ukraine, it also invaded earlier Georgia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine; it carpet-bombed Aleppo; it used exotic radioactive and chemical agents against Russian dissidents on British soil.
Russia interfered in the U.S. elections and initiated massive hacks of computer networks; it murdered Boris Nemtsov and blatantly poisoned and imprisoned Alexei Navalny.
All these events occurred one after another before Putin wrecked Ukraine by falsely accusing the independent state of crimes to justify the bloody and military attack that has threatened the world food supply after the United States and NATO retaliated with severe economic sanctions.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)