The conflict in Ukraine and the tragedy involving a Malaysian Airlines jet which was shot down allegedly by a Russian separatists’ surface to air missile was devastating news to me yesterday. I normally do not write about foreign policy or wars, especially not on Frank’s Forum, but I felt compelled by the events of the past few days to do so.
The conflict in Ukraine is a complicated situation where different factions of the population have different ideas about how they see the future of their country evolving. I think they could solve this matter with many other types of methods besides war and bloodshed, but that is not how that situation played out.
The White House has been advocating for diplomatic resolutions to this conflict for several months, and just issued some further sanctions on the Russian government to motivate them to end their support of the separatist group in Ukraine. It took the disaster of the Malaysian Air jet crash to get President Vladimir Putin to call for a ceasefire in Ukraine today. Therefore, if there is any good to come out of an international tragedy with 300 innocent lives lost on a commercial aircraft, it was the “wake up call” it provided to the Russians to hopefully end this conflict peacefully.
The debate in the mainstream media yesterday was trying to find who is to blame for the Malaysian air tragedy. Was it the Ukrainian forces that shot down the plane by mistake? Did the pro-Russian separatist forces mistakenly think it was a supply plane and shoot it down? Was it the fault of the airline because the FAA had sent warnings to avoid flying over that part of the Crimean region because of the ongoing war and the high risk factor, yet their flight plan went straight through the region?
The answer in my mind is that all those factions are responsible for the tragic deaths of innocent lives on a commercial flight yesterday. In fact, we are all responsible for what has happened because this type of violence and hatred should not be acceptable in this world.
Middle East Chaos
The decision by Israel to begin a ground forces offensive against Hamas is the same type of situation. That area of the world has been a mess for a long time, and it is very sad. So many innocent people have lost their lives in the back and forth, tit-for-tat style of attacks that have been ongoing in that part of the world for decades.
It is made even more complicated by the fact that neither side trusts each other, and then takes actions which only reinforce that overall lack of trust. The example that comes to my mind is the Israeli forces finding Hamas troops trying to sneak over the borders in a tunnel during what was supposed to be a truce between these rival sides. Now how can Israel trust that Hamas will halt attacks and agree to terms of a peaceful resolution to this conflict? I do not think they can trust Hamas, and the spiral into more violence, brutality, and destruction will most certainly continue.
Then there is the horrible situation with Syria and the I.S.I.S. group of terrorists and the instability within Iraq, which you will all notice has taken a backseat in the mainstream news cycle since the Israel – Hamas situation heated up, and the horrible tragedy in Ukraine yesterday. But remember when the big story was the collapse of Iraq to a terrorist faction of extremists? Well that is still going on.
I sent out a “tweet” on the social media site, Twitter, recently that received a great deal of attention and “re-tweets”. It was my harrowing thought of the week: I saw a report that this I.S.I.S. terror group and their elusive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, released an “annual report” to prove that they were more ruthless than the other terrorist groups. That is proof positive that we have major problems within our society.
Then I looked into it further and learned that I.S.I.S. was so brutal in their activities in Syria that even Al-Qaeda cut ties with them. This is a major problem for the stability and peace in that region and for the world. Yet now it is buried to the third or fourth story on the news, and it is unclear what the U.S. and the West are going to do to deal with that ruthless group. I do agree with the White House assessment that the best way forward is to build partnerships in the region in order to effectively deal with that situation in the long term. But what are we doing? What steps are being taken? How are we going to destabilize I.S.I.S.?
In the end analysis, all of these events of the past few weeks and months come down to a fundamental loss of respect and love for each other. A friend of mine commented on social media that essentially the world is suffering from the lack of common decency for others that people are unkind to one another.
The reliance on warfare to solve problems and disputes is a self-fulfilling situation where violence just leads to more violence and nothing really gets resolved. The “dogs of war” do not address the fundamental issues of what is plaguing the human society on an international level. The struggle between those with a great deal of wealth and resources and those who have little to none of either.
I saw on Twitter a few weeks ago a picture of a billboard someone took from somewhere here in America which had a dark color background and had a message in bright letters that read:
“You know that whole ‘Love one another’ thing…I meant that – God”
We have lost sight of the Great Commandment to love one another. We need to get it back and to find peaceful resolutions instead of violence, war, and the disrespect for life being shown every night on the evening news.
I will now close with a poem I wrote recently which sums up this situation:
The excuses are piling up
It’s not our business to get involved
The anger is piling up
By people all over the world
The death toll is piling up
In Syria, the C.A.R., South Sudan
The rage is piling up
Over the injustice of tyranny
The sadness is piling up
Over the hopelessness we all feel
The dead bodies are piling up
Every time I turn on the news
The numbers keep piling up
Of girls kidnapped in Nigeria
The frustration is piling up
As the U.S., the West does nothing
The evil is piling up
Everywhere it seems these days
My prayers are piling up
That peace will prevail, justice will reign
My hope is piling up
That the Lord will intercede for goodness
My confidence is piling up
Because I know He can heal all things
Copyright 2014 – Frank J. Maduri – All rights reserved. No republication without written permission from the author.