Politics are no games; they are power plays and diplomatic arenas as well as sometimes ‘hunting’ grounds. If as voting individuals in a democracy we want to stay that, namely have a choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to some party’s politics – we need to stay put:
Bother the wrong choices – each and every day. Raise our voices additionally to voting, to stop them, whoever they are: In Brazil (Bolsonaro, recently lost 🙂 ) the US (the last but one president till 2021 and his followers) or Italy (sadly extreme right won this time; but Italy may change their government again soon) in China, Russia or the Ukraine, or any other place:
There are always those that hunger for more, more wealth, more power, more attention. And never have enough. And those that don’t.
Let reason and free thinking prevail – by keeping to be bothersome.
The voice of reason is the voice that can be heard in the United Nations’ Human Rights Declaration – and all who make it their task to remind those other ‘hungry’ ones of those rights.
Each day and any day: Let’s keep bothersome! Push them into the right direction by letting them hear our voices.
You, me, we: if we don’t do something against it – we are just as responsible as the perpetrators themselves. Peace is the order of the day – any day!
Remember: Behind all those diplomatic corps, ‘suits’ and all those wars are just people – each with their helpings of fear, vanity and pride.
War follows patterns: in its creation, starting points – and ends. The patterns of human behaviour can be found when looking at history. The war in the Ukraine and the aggression seen these days on all sides are not new – and they did not start yesterday – or the day before that.
Propaganda is the way in which people talk about something – or somebody. The principle, any time, being:
“It’s their fault. We are nice, we didn’t do a thing. If they do it that way, we’ll hit back.”
If we use the language of war, we should not be surprised to get an answer.
Stopping negotiations is just one of those steps known throughout history as being part of a war.
If we want peace, we have to talk peace – and negotiate. Negotiate again. And again. And again. And again. Until a satisfactory result is reached for all concerned.
The 17th century saw one of the most cruel wars in human history: The Thirty Years’ War. It took 5 years of negotiations to end it. The population throughout Europe was reduced to a 3rd of its previous number; whole regions where laid to waste. Hunger, starvation and sickness were present everywhere.
That one was a war of ‘conventional’ weapons. The next war we may not live through, any of us.
Russia and Ukraine – hopes have been shattered today. War has been started. I still believe that negotiation is the only long-term solution to keep the peace.
At the same time to understand motives can help. Looking at it from here in the middle of Europe the actual situation President Putin finds himself in is indeed that of a trapped bear in many ways:
He started his own journey down the road of dictatorship a long time ago: The first change of laws to enable his repeated candidacy and elections for him as president was the first sign that power indeed corrupts.
Internal affairs are at an all time low: More and more opposition has to be met with more and more arrests and violence, even political murder, also going on for some time now. A political leader who feels strong enough would not use such measures, indeed would not need them.
‘Bullies’ always were like that – and will stay that way if we let them be: They feel weak and in consequence they do everything to appear strong – or what they take for strength.
The situation as regards NATO from a Russian point of view is less straightforward:
The balance of power between the ‘superpowers’ always was a rather pointed one – not to say fragile – since WW II and stayed that way after the Cold War had ended. As long as the more verbal than actually written agreements on the limits of NATO expansion were observed there was some manner of peace.
Imagine yourself living in your house or flat attending to your own business – and suddenly a tall apparently friendly guy knocks at your door and when you open – you see him standing there with a ‘big ol’ smile’ on his face – carrying a machine gun…
Wouldn’t you become nervous, in spite of appearances?
I get the impression that for some time now Russia may have felt like that person in the flat, seeing all those friendly people – with weapons … right in front of their place…
The recent US American history since WW II is fraught with wars and interventions practically all over the world. I have posted about their last but one president almost too often in some ways; not naming names can be important.
President Joe Biden is a representative of sanity and goodwill in the Oval Office and millions of people there and elsewhere are grateful, altogether.
Mr Putin may have just lost his way temporarily… or is seriously lost to the good cause.
Yet, even he knows what war means, one part being a dreadfully bitter truth about it: In the short run weapon arsenals and storage spaces will be cleared by it – to make room for new ones…
But one thing is true too:
Soldiers, armies, naval forces – they are not nameless masses – they are people!
Each and every one of them is the son to a mother and father, perhaps a brother or nephew, maybe uncle – and father himself some day; these days also often daughters and nieces, aunts and sisters, in many parts of the wold; beloved, cherished – and remembered for their smiles, their laughs, jokes, games and even arguments or fights.
Wars kill people!
Wars ‘create‘ enemies.
The Russian arts and crafts are sometimes just wonderful, think of Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, or in music, Tchaikovsky, to name only a very few.
There are things that are quite special about the US culture:
Although a very young culture yet, they have artists, writers, painters, poets, musicians: Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Emily Wharton, George Gershwin, to also name just a very few; and a huge movie industry; their laws even allow major, high-budget movies be made that criticize their system and culture.
This is my own trailer version of the movie „Good Morning Vietnam“ that makes the bold move to show both sides of the story of a war and telling it from the only real perspective there is: the human one, the story of people, smart, kind, good or bad.
Ukraine, Russia and the US, Europe in between – it is not really new – it is once again the fight for power and money. Gas, weapons and influence on the continent are among the most prominent features of this conflict.
The global balance of power too is at stake, to some extent. Or so it appears.
War is no option. It is no solution. War is driving a knife into the ‚Gordian‘ knot that others have tied – sometimes it‘s not even really ‚Gordian‘, just made to appear that way.
War is the ultimate failure of diplomacy.
War sometimes is just a means to hide even uglier goings-on.
Sometimes it is used as a means to make more money by selling weapons to both parties.
Sometimes it may even be a means to reinstate apparently lost pride. Which is perhaps the most pitiful of all reasons for war imaginable. In my opinion that reason would be sign of a severely disturbed mind.
History is full of examples for that too: Russian opposition in any shape or form is handled so cruelly and severely, not even murder being excepted in subduing any other than the official opinion; it‘s sad, tragic and dreadful all at the same time. Putin for quite some time now has become another sorry excuse for a man.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born and raised in peaceful and democratic surroundings, living in such a country where I can write what I think without having to be afraid.
That the expansion of NATO is viewed with vary eyes from all – others – concerned is only natural. Having Russian influence in Cuba for decades is one of the other variants of these opposing forces.
I could go on writing and perhaps not end till after another thousands of pages, because the principles involved are very very familiar.
Lets learn! Let‘s learn again and make peace. Not war!
Learn and start realizing if not already done so, to understand each of the parties’ involved necessities to ‘safe face’. Which is probably the most crucial aspect of international diplomacy.
After that: Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate again, and again, and again. Perhaps that kind of patience can be learned from trade:
No trade, no profit; no agreements – no trade…
War is the ultimate failure of diplomacy – and no doubt about it.