In recent weeks, as if we haven’t already suffered enough during the pandemic, the events in Ukraine have pushed us to experience something we hoped never to meet or meet again. It is not true that in recent years the earth has not been stained with the victims of war; Iraq, Libya, Kurdistan, Syria, and Afghanistan have been experiencing years of the evils that are plaguing Ukraine now, but they have not produced the same outrage in the eyes of public opinion and in the world. And it’s worrying. People are the same everywhere. There are no people that deserve more to live or less to die. But this is the case for probably some main contributing factors:
- the threat of a nuclear conflict, as this war is potentially able to escalate and involve nuclear powers;
- the network of alignments and alliances between states, that let us think that some conflicts are more righteous because triggered to defend our own values;
- it is a conflict that concerns a country that has been wanting to join the EU for years – Ukraine is simply one of us.
The war of today
Even if the conflict is geo-localized in only one country, we are already there, it’s World War III. It is still a war fought with sanctions and embargoes, with the tools of propaganda, and with attacks on government sites, but it is a wider war.
Yet, it seems so strange that the Ukrainian and Russian peoples are fighting each other, they who are descended from the Vikings, from the Rus. If such a strong historical heritage does not push us to dialogue, it means that as humankind we have done many things wrong.
However, whether they are bombs or sanctions, it is the people who pay the consequences, as it has always been and always will be.
The misunderstanding of the war
Who can really understand war? It is an unfathomable mystery with fadable reasons. We have invented the rule of law so as not to have to fight, to abandon violence, so as not to offend and mortify the other with a hostile and violent act. We must refuse to believe that dialogue and diplomacy are obsolete and inconsistent tools, and that war can be an answer.
Perhaps we should seriously engage in a global demilitarization campaign, diverting funds and resources towards that which aims to bring people together. It would be nice to have that in these dark hours. All of us, without any distinction of class, ethnicity, and religion, raise a single cry of peace, so that war becomes just an entry in the dictionary or a chapter in the history books, and not everyday life for some, and the threat to others.
Instead, we are experiencing a period of social inter-disconnection, where the other is seen as a danger or threat. Without mentioning xenophobic and anti-migrant policies again, let’s think of the pandemic, where physical contact or simple encounter could give rise to a contagion that, in a short time, could create a worrying outbreak. Worrying times, and sad indeed!