Holier than thou

Image thanks to WorldWar42

The situation in Ukraine is appalling. I can see no justification for Russia to be doing what it is doing. I’m not there though and so the only view that I can obtain is from our side of the fence. I believe what I am reading and watching yet you know the way that news works.

It’s very easy sitting thousands of miles away from the theatre of war to think of ways in which it can be stopped, and stopped it must be, yet reality in a conflict situation is so much different. Again, I believe this to be true as, thankfully I have never had to experience such things.

One thing I am certain of though is that this is not a simple case of Russia is bad and the west is good. Nothing in humanity is that binary. I don’t believe that every Russian wants war, indeed I doubt that the majority of the soldiers do, yet they must do as they are told. I am also prepared to accept that there are issues that have led to the conflict which will need to be addressed whatever happens. I also imagine that the conflict is a symptom of wider issues in the region and across the world.

I also know that the vast majority of countries in the west have done exactly the same thing as Russia is doing now. Yes, it may well be in the past but most of the countries we take to be civilised and on the right side of this conflict have invaded sovereign states on a whim. Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal etc. have all had their empires not to mention Britain. The United States has a history of invading countries where the population has selected the wrong flavour of government, mostly in South America. Each has used the flimsiest excuse to meet its own ends and millions have died in the process.

Human history is steeped in war yet military aggression can never be justified. We need to be mindful of falling into the belief that somehow our past aggression was different. We may feel we are a peaceful nation but history tells us we are no holier than them.

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