Thursday, 5 February 2015

pax populi

Back to World War III—though it’s hard to say when the declaration came, the sort of false urgency lent to housekeeping items that really could and ought to be tabled until cooler consideration can be paid, like breaking the internet or pushing through a shambles of a shady trade deal with international ramification usually seem to herald its beginning—it seems that the US is poised to directly, rather than its usual proximate warfare, supply armaments to certain factions in Ukraine.

The whole business seems pretty murky and shrill propaganda won’t allow matters to settle enough for any party to gain their bearings. Naturally, this announcement is also an overture to the broader coalition of the West to join in, willingly or not. I cannot think of an instance, at least during the American Century, when arming terrorists/unionists/rebels/freedom-fighters (depending on one’s point of view) has ever served to calm the fighting and did not escalate the violence. Arguably, US support for al Qaeda bankrupted the Soviet Union and ushered in Glasnost and Perestroika, but of course that backing had unintended consequences, whose inheritors are at the war’s other front. I don’t pretend to know what course to take, even if there wasn’t the little strip-tease of opposing world-views, but I do know in many instance no action is wiser and not at all the same as inaction, much more in line with the popular peace we’ve consented to. There’s a real danger in conflating the belligerents, and distinctions will be lost while circling one’s wagons, forgetting that one faction is looking for the barest sign of provocation and the other already has every justification it needs.