Thursday, 8 January 2015

Death worship

Amid the horror of seeing peaceful scribes slaughtered at their desks, I am reminded of the phrase I first heard in Beirut in the middle of the Lebanese civil war: "No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse."

It’s not precisely relevant to the Charlie Hebdo case, but worth considering how short-sighted reactions to things not going precisely how we want can lead to unintended consequences. One need not be a fan of Vlad the Impaler Putin to recognize that the delight of the Pentagon with the revived Cold War is profoundly dangerous. Putting the squeeze on Russia and crushing it economically may look like a winning strategy to chase Putin back into a Kremlin hole. But our masters better be careful they don’t ditch the devil they know for another of unknown characteristics—who would then inherit the Russian nuclear arsenal.

We dismiss the current jockeying for geo-strategic position as business as usual, but at our peril. We know too much to play around with human proclivities for irrational violence.

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