First Quarter 2022. A turning point in the geopolitical history of Humankind and a challenge to human values, dictating the coming decades.
Looking at the world today, I am utterly appalled at what I see. And what do I see? I see a cockfight, an ugly cockfight, surrounded by a hysterical crowd braying, screaming, shouting, their eyes bloodshot with hatred, fists clenched, mouths twisted in fury, eyes burning with the fires of vitriol. Fired up, tense, screaming like banshees. The world today looks like a Medieval witch hunt, or a cellar where the Inquisition tortures people to death using unspeakably cruel methods and devices. The very worst of human behaviour has come back to stare us in the face.
People can be branded undesirable and accused of harmful propaganda just because they are exposing facts or expressing their opinions. Is this where we have arrived after all these years of development? Are these the parameters of democracy which everyone says they adhere to? Are these the pillars of our so-called civilised society?
Yet again, what happened to the rule of law? What happened to posture, to balance, to maturity? Let us try to bring some balance with a mature approach to what we see before us.
The case in point today is the military situation in Ukraine which is between Russia and Ukraine. I repeat, Russia and Ukraine and nobody else. Russia has already exposed its reasons for its operation and Ukraine has already said and shown that it does not like being invaded. Nobody does.
The mature approach would be to examine the differences in the positions and facilitate discussion and dialogue which will lead to a peace process and then a reconciliation process. By now everyone knows Russia’s position and everyone knows Ukraine’s position and the main guidelines of a peace agreement seem quite easy to manage. Russia ceases its operation, Ukraine ceases shelling the Russian-speaking citizens in the East, pledges to adopt a non-military approach to the Donbass Republics and Crimea, pledges to respect the right for citizens to enjoy Russian language, culture and traditions and removes Fascists wearing Fascist insignia from its official armed forces, while promising not to join NATO or to hold military exercises with foreign troops on its territory. And it gets to join the European Union.
Now how cool is that? Practically the whole of Europe has benefited from membership, (albeit with a few disagreeing) and now the European Union, a trading organization, would rub shoulders with Belarus, Russia, Lugansk People’s Republic, Donbass People’s Republic, Crimea and Moldova. Problem solved, you smile at a guy you want to sell your products to, you don’t glower at him down the sights of a gun.
See what I am doing here? I am being positive, I am not getting involved, I am minding my own business, I am approaching this situation with balance, I am not braying like a jackass, I am not inciting hatred, I am not posting videos of alleged atrocities from either side. I am calling for a trading solution, I am calling for peace, I am calling for reconciliation.
What is everyone else doing? They are practising censorship and coupling that with draconian measures against those accused of propaganda. Isn’t censorship a form of propaganda? Isn’t posting videos of incidents allegedly perpetrated by only one side a form of propaganda? Isn’t one-sided reporting complete with hate mongering a form of propaganda? What is this flurry of posts and pictures appearing everywhere if not a concerted and organized propaganda campaign as Russophobia hits the stratosphere?
Where was this sudden wave of concern when the USA and the UK were conducting their campaign in Iraq, dropping more bombs in one day than Russia has done in a month? Or when Libyan kids were being strafed by military aircraft? Or when they were bombing the crap out of Serbia? For those who were nowhere, then I suggest they should feel ashamed of themselves. Nobody said boo to a goose. Except a few concerned like me and what happened? My Facebook account was taken over by one [email protected] and nobody did anything to help me recover it. That was back in 2011. Here we are ten years on and things have got worse.
And don’t you think that this wave of hatred and involvement in this conflict is helping to prolong it? Is providing offensive weaponry the road to a peaceful solution, or a prolongation of suffering? Surely all sides should be advising Ukraine to implement the terms of the Minsk Agreements in a new settlement, surely all sides should be saying OK let us have a full investigation of any alleged atrocities before jumping to conclusions?
And no I am not going to get involved in the Bucha case because I was not there, I did not see what happened and I would express my opinion if and when there is an independent and fair investigation.
I am not going to post videos of alleged atrocities by either side, I am not going to fan the flames of hatred, I am not going to act like a spectator at a cock fight. I am not braying for blood.
By providing weaponry, which includes mechanisms to murder people and includes stoking up hatred on the Internet or via media, we are moving away from a platform for peace talks and that means we will see more tears shed. I have said this before and I shall say it again: tears taste of salt, whoever sheds them. So I would suggest we forget the hatred, forget the puerile Pavlovian reactions to anything Russian, see the wider picture, do not take sides, and suggest ways and means for this situation to be solved.
Picking and choosing tidbits from the Internet without any evidence to back it up, surfing a russophobic tsunami, censoring out the other side and accusing journalists of propaganda when they are trying to do their job is a clear sign that human values have descended into some kind of global Fascist fantasy, that we have slid into a nightmarish dark chasm where the rule of law does not enter.
Welcome to the arbitrary world in which what I say is true because I say it and if you try to prove otherwise I will make sure you are silenced. What happened to debate, what happened to discussion, what happened to dialogue, what happened to maturity, what happened to balance?
Let us, together, help Russia and Ukraine find a table, two chairs, two glasses, a bottle of something cold and hopefully, some adults in the room.
Looking around me today, quite honestly, I thank God I am entering my mid-sixties and that I do not have that many more years to live on this planet. What a disgusting, horrible, depressing, unbalanced and unfair world, what a primary and useless species the human being has become. When people need help, they are kicked in the teeth, when people are about to shake hands, someone throws gas on the fire. Look at what we have become: spectators at a cock fight.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey can be reached at [email protected]
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate