The ill-fated Malaysian Air flight MH17, from all appearances, seems destined to mark a milestone in what is turning out to be a surrogate war between the United States and Russia, and what to all intents and purposes may be an extension of Cold War antagonisms.
Among the questions that linger in the rest of the world is whether this catastrophe was an accident of war or part of a premeditated message. That the nearly 300 souls which perished aboard that Malaysian Airlines flight had nothing to do with either side in the Ukraine-Russia conflict does not help the victims’ relatives one iota.
A significant fact is that the downed plane was on an open route about 50 miles from the Russian border. The indiscriminate placing of sophisticated weaponry in the hands of irregulars whose discipline level is questionable makes for sure a recipe for international incidents such as this one.
A surrogate war is another name for a proxy war where two countries fight a war as indirect combatants as manifested in the client state of one country fighting the client state of another country.
This was a common practice during the Cold War which reduced the potential for it to grow to World War proportions. Such would have been likely if the two primary antagonists began fighting directly. The major players in the extant troubles have been known to support the worst sort of political degenerates in furtherance of their own policies, and based upon the emergent evidence the Ukrainian cauldron is likely to overflow with excesses.
The ironic thing is that unscrupulous beneficiaries are not averse to committing serious human rights violations which their sponsor can ignore conveniently in a scenario of plausible deniability. With most of the world in a state of poverty, would be leaders are first and foremost in pursuit of personal wealth with democratic rule taking a distant place in the scheme of things.
The Ukraine conflict is a surrogate war with the West (Europe and the US) up against the Russian Federation with the West trying to extend its influence east and the Russians trying to block these efforts. It should also be noted that Russia, which may still be remembering her humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, will not be content to let matters slide while the U.S. whittles away at what Russia perceives to be her national interest.
The conventional belief might have been thathttp://www.theguardian.com/world/nato even on his worst day Putin was unlikely to take overt steps to provoke the west into open warfare. However, the fact remains that he has the support of Russians who still smart from the humiliation they endured after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
And as Timothy Garton Ash, of the Guardian suggested Putin has more admirers around the world than the west might think. Syria, Iraq, Gaza, and to an extent, in Afghanistan have all been pawns in the surrogate game.
The world looks on with apprehension for the possibility of the reprehensible becoming the norm; where there is no hesitation about using civilians, including women and children, as human shields in pushing an agenda. Putin’s dare to the Ukrainian forces to shoot at their own children is evidence of an inclination in that direction; where the victims are blamed for causing their own suffering.
In the past it was not unknown for one or both of the major players engaged in a covert war to benefit in terms of plausible deniability; exculpability by propagandists or stakeholders looking for any excuse not to impose sanctions or take other meaningful actions against the other side.
The electronic media has also been blatantly used as a complicit tool to distort facts and to outrage viewers and frighten audiences. However, not to be accused of shirking their role the media have been providing reports highlighting the total lack of respect for the dead by insurgents and possibly local residents who are shown scavenging through the debris in search of valuable items.
The stark message seems to be that in the midst of horrifying death and human suffering there are opportunities for the ghoulish to profit. In other words the human state has degenerated into the abominable and has become brutish.
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