17 July 2014

If I were a Malaysian ...

If I were a Malaysian today I think I might want to lynch any Ukrainian or Russian I could find.  As far as I know we don't know whom specifically to blame for the shoot-down of yet another unfortunate Malaysian passenger jet, but unless the crash is proved accidental it will remain fair to say that the plane went down because the Ukrainian were fighting their idiotic civil war, with Russian idiots egging one side on and probably doing more than that. When conflicts like this break out, or when the Israelis and Palestinians get into one of their periodic brawls, too many people around the world want to take sides. They want to say these people are the good guys, those the bad; these the victims, those the aggressors; here the freedom fighters, there the tyrants. Whatever we say or hope about peace, for one side or another to get its way usually takes war, and with war comes collateral damage like we appear to have seen today. If we don't want war we can't take sides. The world should say that neither Israelis nor Palestinians are welcome anywhere; that neither Ukrainians nor Russians are welcome anywhere; and so on -- if we really want wars to stop and think we can do anything non-violently to stop them. If wars are wrong, then both sides in any war are wrong. If that's too sweeping a statement, you might accept that people who perpetuate pissant little wars like that in Gaza, or what the war in eastern Ukraine might become, are wrong regardless of whatever they stand for. To say that either side is right is only to perpetuate the conflict.

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