The day began smoothly in New York. A gray sky – with unseasonably high temperatures – covered the city. In other words, a normal day.
But soon, the clouds of war overshadow our day, from the Stock Exchange to the nearby gas station.
War. War, not in some distant country, one which few know its place on the map, but war in Europe 77 years after the end of World War II!
Why war? War in the name of which ideology? In pursuit of which goal?
Is it justified to declare war in the name of a wounded national ego? In the name of revenge? In the name of returning to the glory days of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, to the days of the division of the World into spheres of influence?
This war does not only tarnish Russian history. It tarnishes human history. And it proves that people cannot live with the hope that mankind learns from the mistakes of the past. That humanity can look forward. That it is evolving. That the new civilization that is being created considers the act of war as outdated, as unthinkable. Especially unprovoked war.
That is why we say time after time: “but is it possible for this to happen in 1918” (World War I)… “in 1939 (World War II) … “in 1974?” (the Turkish invasion of Cyprus). And yet it happened. And it is happening now.
Isn’t it outrageous? Of course it is.
But wasn’t Hitler’s barbarity also outrageous? Was not it completely unacceptable for the Turks to invade Cyprus, to invade an independent member state of the United Nations under the pretext of “peaceful intervention” to protect its co-religionists?
How tragic, but also revealing, that the basic excuses that Putin is using today to invade Ukraine are almost the same ones used by the Turks?
And how hypocritical is it that today the West, unanimously, unequivocally, condemns Russia, including – look! look! even Turkey – while then, during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, they merely shed a few crocodile tears?
History has a bad habit of repeating itself in the form of an excuse for punishing current actions, when in the name of some short term interests countries sacrifice basic human principles and values, repeating mistakes – in worse forms and on larger scales – as is happening now in Ukraine.
It is difficult for this writer to understand how a paranoid person is allowed to start such a war.
To take countless innocent lives. To bring about immense destruction. To turn back the clock of History in pursuit of some of his dreams, for his personal glory, even for the correction of a mistake of the past – only to create new ones, which will one day also require correction.
The mistake that Putin is attempting to correct today was made in 1991, with the collapse of the Communist Soviet Union and the process that led to the humiliating extension of NATO right up to Russia’s borders. A mistake to which I have referred many times. It was a very serious mistake.
There was no reason to do so when the Russians were begging America to integrate them into the Western system.
However, NATO was not an active threat to Russia.
It is “brain dead,” Macron said. Trump threatened to leave it .
So nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies Russia’s shameful invasion of a weaker country.
But what worries me beyond this is, what conclusions the Turkish strongman will Erdogan draw from this?