Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Once more: Be careful!

After the downing of the Malaysian plane over Eastern Ukraine, the cold war thinking in East and West has intensified even more. Events are distorted and used to stir up tensions.

Like in my comment to my previous post to take just one example. Another example: Politicians and papers in the West demand that Putin should be treated as a criminal like Gaddafi after the Lockerbie bombing. 

You almost get the impression that the passengers were murdered deliberately, and that Putin personally pulled the trigger. And after the crash the bodies were desecrated and their belongings stolen.

After the Russian annexation of Crimea, tensions could gradually have faded. But Western and Russian one-sided interferences in Ukraine have maintained the East-West confrontation. Especially the Russian support for the separatists has been harmful. And after the plane tragedy the resentments in the West have deteriorated considerably.

Black and white thinking now flourish even more. The West and the Ukrainian government are seen as responsible freedom-lovers, while Russia and its allies are perceived as irresponsible evil barbarians suppressing democracy. Of course Russia has its own opposite black and white thinking where the Ukrainian government is a group of fascists, whom the West supports. Right now after the shooting down of the plane, the extreme Western reactions are the most worrying. They will of course be reciprocated from East.

Why this resurgence of cold war thinking in a presumably intelligent civilization? As said modernities like our present typically are finished with an end fight for supremacy. In spite of this after the end of the Soviet Union we have seen a period of peace, understanding and cooperation. It looked as if intelligence had finally taken over. Maybe this was just too good to be true. It is as if the hawks have just been waiting for an excuse to start the confrontations again. It is certainly not so that the separatists in Ukraine or the Kiev government are the only responsible for the worsening global tensions. They and their supporters have contributed, but importantly, they have furnished welcome excuses for others to "start the fire" of the cold war again. This of course still means that all provocations, not least from amateurs and desperadoes, should be avoided. We should not furnish such excuses.

But it can be feared that our civilization will not be the first to avoid confrontation in the competition in the end of modernity. The earlier mentioned decline of politics is a part of the explanation for this. This political decline often means that the sense of responsibility and the willingness to base decisions on more than a few facts or the interests of a single group are lost. And that medium and long term consequences are not considered. Such political thinking is a major danger in global politics. Unless we are very careful!

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