The world is at war and neither side can back down. Too much is at stake.
Russia, pushed into a corner where it was demanded that it negate all lessons learned concerning its past where in excess of 25 million Russians died, and accept NATO encroaching right to its doorstep, at last refused to comply.
The explosive train of events since that fateful decision continue to impact ever-greater parts of the global economy. Despite the massive fallout already felt this appears to be only the beginning with much more and greater impacts to come.
But the two powers squaring up to each other, instead of finding some accommodation with one another drift ever farther apart in ever-growing antagonism, mistrust and acts of escalation of the type that make mortal enemies who are irreconcilable in anything but the most minor details… if any at all.
Demonisation is the order of the day, the portrayal of ‘the enemy’ as a subhuman monster only deserving of complete elimination. No quarter is sought or given and the burial grounds of human casualties are hardly a factor for either in a war without limit that leaves only one side standing.
In the middle of the face-off where two foes stand eye to eye ready to tear each others’ heads off the battleground becomes a sea of blood and bone, a wasteland where the traumas of death, fear and destruction replace all earlier tendencies toward common humanity.
Such is war and such is the state of a world that thought itself beyond such barbarism.
Wars need two instigators however and the history of the Ukrainian war clearly shows only one, the collective western leadership who by degree after degree negated Russia’s right to security and sphere of influence. In a macabre anti-Cuban missile crisis Russia was pressured to accept that it had no right to peace of mind, that a belligerent NATO had every possible right to creep right up to its door and squat there like one of Steven Spielberg’s gremlins.
Like a schoolyard bully relentlessly pushing the shoulder of another, seen to be a younger and less muscled victim, there sometimes can be an unexpected outcome.
In recent days there is every indication that the high command of the USA has been providing Ukraine with precise location data on Russian targets the use of which has resulted in many civilian deaths. In response, it seems, Russia has today attacked a building deep within Ukraine where it says Ukrainian military officers were meeting with arms dealers, presumably western civilians.
This appears to have all the hallmarks of a tit-for-tat attack and significant escalation of violence encompassing the apparent acceptance that certain civilian casualties may be inevitable and perhaps even desirable due to their involvement in supporting one side or another militarily.
In war there is a strong tendency toward ‘mission creep’ and an increasing acceptance that things which would have been abhorrent before become regarded as ‘unfortunate necessities’ before becoming in due course an every day ‘accepted normality’.
Once the Rubicon is crossed there may be no turning back.
Thus we move to the necessitated compartmentalisation of conscience within a steely-eyed compulsion to utterly decimate an enemy that has become only a fiendish shadow of a human representation, a thing to be exterminated by all means possible.
We stand on that threshold now. And into that evil mire we may now plunge.