Petty Wars Everywhere You Look

Sunday 22nd March

And some not so petty either.  The fighting in Ukraine may be officially halted by a cease-fire but the hatred remains as deep; and there is sniping and occasional incursions daily, each side trying to steal a few yards, an abandoned hamlet or a field.  Nobody has any real expectation that this latest halt to the fighting will last; both sides Russia and us are re-arming their proxies as quickly as possible with almost no attempt at hiding it.  It may be months or only weeks but as soon as one side or the other feels confident enough real fighting will break out again.  In Syria there is still at least a four-way battle.  Assad is fighting both the Western backed rebels and Isis.  The rebels are fighting Assad while quietly thanking Isis for keeping him from hitting them so hard.  The Americans are bombing away as if at a shooting range, but seem to be very ineffective.  The Kurds are also fighting Isis, but their agenda is undoubtedly eventually their own state, which of course Turkey, Syria and Russia oppose.  This is another war with no end in sight, it only hits the news when other wars are a bit quieter.  In Iraq itself fighting is heavy with Iran now the saviour of the Shia majority.  They are slowly rolling Isis back (we are occasionally dumping tons of crap on them too, for what possible good I cannot imagine) and will probably win in the end, though what a Shia victory will mean for the Sunni areas is likely to be another disaster in waiting.  We forget about Yemen, which is also being torn apart by sectarian violence, as is Somalia.  And I am sure that all over the Arab peninsula the battle for dominance between Sunni Saudi (supposedly our friends but who are covertly arming Isis) and Iran (supposedly our enemy but who are winning the fight against Isis) is being played out.  Israel, basking in another Likud victory is flexing its muscles for a fight with Iran, but maybe they will just beat up Gaza again (nobody seems too bothered whenever they do).  Libya, after our intervention to help topple the belatedly Western friendly Gadhafi is now a total mess with several civil wars raging.  There are bombings now in Egypt and Tunisia too and it won’t be long before real wars erupt there too I suspect.  Nigeria is engulfed in its own battle with Boko Harem, which may or may not be linked to Isis, and this is spilling into Chad and Niger.  Sudan and the breakaway South Sudan are engaged in constant border fights.  In the Central African Republic and Congo there is even more fighting between local warlords. I may well have missed a few wars on the way too.

And what is it all for?  Why do young men (boys often) and women continue to die fighting people they consider as different to themselves?  Why is rape and impregnating innocent girls considered an acceptable weapon? Why are there even rules in warfare anyway, which seem to be broken with impunity, when to my mind the very act of killing another person is the greatest crime anyway?  So many wars, so many unreported deaths and so little we can do about it.  Switch channels and watch some more Celebrity rubbish before we have to even suspect that most of this might just be our fault in the first place.