The narrative

News, commentary and discussions on the crisis in the Ukraine, possible interventions there and in Syria/Iraq haven't felt quite right to me. Belatedly I realized what exactly was missing: The view that soldiers are humans, too.

The narrative has been a technical, technocratic one.

This narrative enables people to discuss policy alternatives on these problems as if they could be something better than the least horror. The sad truth is, there's no "I win button" - there are only "I lose" buttons - the difference is merely how badly one loses. Every option is a failure.

Sure, one COULD intervene somehow and crack IS* or push the Russians out of the Ukraine - even the paramilitary ones. But none of the possible outcomes will look anything as good as the situation a year ago. The failure to keep peace costs mankind dearly, and no course of action will turn this around. We can only minimize the net damage.

A soldier deployed to a foreign country to intervene is one man who isn't productive, working for the wealth or health of his people. He's a man who's not going to be a father to a child any time soon. He's still going to be paid much - more than normal. His family will most likely miss him much. Even his dog.
He might become prisoner of war, endure poor food, poor housing, hard work, interrogations, pain and worse. For years, maybe even decades.
He's probably going to return with damage that will hinder him to become or be a father, or even to work only. He might even return as someone who needs help as if he was a child, and others need to work to provide this help. 
Or he might die.
Thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands.
And doing it through robots doesn't really help much - there are humans on those video screens as well. It's not all robots vs. robots (and even that would be horribly wasteful).

There aren't enough bloggers, journalists and television personalities who try to push back against the narrative, trying to give it a fuller spectrum. There are some bitter, often sarcastic, old men who distrust everything war. And other people who won't be listened to, like me.

This shall be my attempt, and an excuse for failing to resist the narrative myself all too often.

The video may strike you as oversteering on the issue,
but maybe this is necessary:


*: I don't even think it's that difficult, for it appears to be a thoroughly hyped new 'nemesis' to me.

1 comment:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_There_Be_Light_(film)
    should be mandatory to see before voting on war.