Editorial: Understanding war

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

WE CAN’T. We never will. War as history will tell us is waged way above the heads of us, the minions, the hoi polloi. Now Russian president Vladimir Putin, having already played the host to Winter Olympics 2014, has sent his forces to war in Crimea, a peninsula in Ukraine. For what? Who will ever know for sure, when we do not inhabit the thoughts of Putin?

Ukraine confirmed it has put its army on full combat alert following the approval by Russian parliament for deployment of Russian troops.

While in a live television address aired over BBC, Urkaine acting president Olexander Turchynov urged Ukrainans not to fall for provocations and instead bridge divisions among people in the country.


He added that he believes Russia will not intervene militarily "as this would be the beginning of war and the end of all relations".

But reports from the ground show that Russia is already there.

US President Barack Obama had urged Putin to seek a peaceful engagement with the Ukrainian government and international bodies, reminding Putin that his actions are "breach of international law, including Russia's obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine."

The international community is concerned.

We should also be.

While we may not understand why Russia is marching into Ukraine nor why there wasn't even much coverage about this until the other night, we know that the world economy as it is now has become so intricately interwoven with each other, major disruptions like war, will most likely hit us in still unimaginable ways.

Given too the widespread reach of our oversea workers, it's not likely that there are Filipinos out there, quietly working for the families back home.

Who really understands war outside those who wage them? No one. But one thing we are sure of, in all wars, it's the innocents, the unarmed, the ordinary folk who are hit most; and we don't even have to be caught in the literal sense of a crossfire. The war can be a world away, and still we will be affected. We just have to attend more to our domestic economy and growth prospects to buffer us from the effects of major economies falling into conflict.

After all, with the concern raised by US, the European Union, and other world powers, we get a hint that Russia will not be allowed to do whatever in pleases in Ukraine without expecting some interventions from the powers that be.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 03, 2014.


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