Arms manufacturers and uniform suppliers everywhere are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of another war. How apt, considering that this is 2014.
I watched program recently on how World War I started, one hundred years ago. I learned in school only that an anarchist shot the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian dictatorship. In fact, he was a tool of the Serbian government. None of the participants wanted war, and most did not understand what they were getting themselves into...until it was too late to back down. No politician or king likes to admit making a mistake. After all, infallibility is perk. A disagreement between Serbia and Austria caused all major powers of Europe to waste a generation of men and led to further disasters in the 20th century. The history of the Balkans is messy and difficult to understand; problems still rumble below the false charm offensive needed to join the EU.
The situation in Ukraine, with an equally turbulent and misunderstood history, could be a spark to cause another unnecessary war, either cold or hot. Stupid politicians do not know the stakes nor what they are doing, despite the arrogance to believe they are right. But, there are profits to be made, so others are stirring things up and whispering sweet nothings in their ears.
Hypocrisy reigns supreme. Ukraine is threatening to develop nuclear weapons, which they can, while screaming about the potential threat of Iran. Known terrorists are present in the leadership of the new Ukraine government, but only terrorists that threaten the United States are denounced. One should not be surprised that Russia upset about such treats on its border. Of course, US news media, especially Fox, are telling a different story. The narrative must fit to a conflict, that the US can "solve". Like they did in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.
I always liked the bit in the US Constitution about no foreign entanglements. People that constantly tout this document tend to ignore this line, so important to the Founding Fathers. The United States is totally tied up in foreign entanglements, most of their own making. The problem seems to be that this line does not help sell guns...
Once again, the idiotic and bloody Balkan War has raised its ugly head and tarnished news reports with horrible memories. There seems to be a never-ending parade of "finally arrested" villains from that dark period. I recall living less than 1000 kilometers from the war and feeling no impact, beyond confusion about its cause and sympathy for the enduring suffering of innocent people. Even reading the history of the Balkan region did not lead to complete understanding.
Now, some news reports remind me of my incomprehension. Since that time, I have acquired friends in Serbia and have met many friendly people in that country...which adds to my lack of understanding of what I see on television.
In that region of the world, it is painfully obvious that one man's villain is another man's hero...and vice versa. The moment one villain is arrested, after decades of living amongst the population of one country, opposing sides start praising the arrest or maligning authorities for making the arrest. Someone that treated other people so barbarically can still be honored by those that welcomed the butchering.
As I have repeatedly stated: man is a bad animal.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.