Saturday, April 19, 2014


So, in today's Washington Post, Obama intimate, David Ignatius, argues that the deal announced in Geneva from negotiations between US SecState Kerry, Russian FM, Lavrov, and the Ukrainian FM, which Lavrov called "a compromise of sorts," reflects a joint understanding that this situation resembles the pre-WW I situation from a century ago that led to that unexpectedly catastrophic war that upended a century-long establishment of international peace and relations, and that attempting to achieve a peaceful solution of the current crisis would show that our species has evolved to a higher state of international consciousness and relations that is beyond global conflict triggered by trivial eastern European political/ethnic/social/political/economic/philosophical disputes.

Decades ago I read Barbara Tuchman's _Guns of August_, which laid out the tragic path that led the world into the pointless WW I, which understandably led to communism in Russia and fascism in Italy and Germany, and thus to the even worse catastrophe of WW II, which was not supposed to happen after the "War to End All Wars."  I was convinced, and years later I learned that President Kennedy had read that book along with Thomas Schelling's _Strategies of Conflict_, reportedly on JFK's bedside table during the Cuban missile crisis,and so he understood that we should not repeat 1914, particularly in a world where the Great Powers held massive amounts of nuclear weapons, which is still the case.

So, although I could analyze details of the situation in eastern Ukraine, and even previously suggested that the US should engage in at least threatening a serious military manifestation (and indeed the US is gradually introducing ship by ship into the Black Sea, which I think is a "good thing"), I welcome this development, which many are ridiculing, although I think there is much more behind the move to  peace than is in Ignatius's column, and certainly beyond what is pubically known.  So, while I think that this current agreement out of Geneva has the doubts and limits that the many critics from all sides are pouring out of every sewer, I support that the peace party that has much going for it, not the least of which is that both Obama and Putin have in fact read or know of what Barbara Tuchman wrote about what happened a century ago, which everybody on this planet should hope that we should avoid.

Barkley Rosser

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