Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Tragedy Is - We Can't Speak

Today in Beijing, thousands of people danced, acted and performed traditional martial arts in front of a rapt audience of 90,000 in the Bird's Nest Stadium, and billions more around the globe.

Not that many miles away, over 1400 civilians died in a single area. Unknown and, until later this afternoon, largely unmarked.

Victims of yet another Russian invasion of sovereign soil.

Once again, we saw footage of Soviet Russian tanks crossing international borders to crush dissent. This, of course, was not as important to Pravda the BBC as coverage of the Tainted Flame and the opening ceremonies hosted by another morally-bereft, murdering regime.

Of course, we're all used to the sight of Russian tanks rolling into yet another nation. After all, they've got form - Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, Afghanistan 1978 and more recently Chechnya.

But this time, there is a three-fold tragedy to the news of this invasion.

First Tragedy - Nobody Noticed.
We're all supposed to be seduced by the Glorious Opening Ceremony, and Putin's presence there, that we weren't supposed to notice the airstrikes, the tanks and the fierce fighting with a country who just wish to be free of their former Warsaw Pact masters and gain membership of the free world.

Second Tragedy - We Can't Do Anything.
We're already subject to record oil prices and - in case anyone's failed to notice - deeply embroiled in an argument with Iran, who can hold the world to ransom with their control of the second-largest natural gas supply in the world.

The Russians have the some of the largest reserves in the world.

So how can we force a country to show restraint? What sanction do we have against a morally-bankrupt nation that will invade its neighbours - when that nation holds in its hands the power to turn off every radiator and electric light in Europe and, probably, the West as a whole?

What the Soviet Union's massed armies failed to achieve, the gas fields can do without a shot being fired.

Third Tragedy - We Can't Say Anything.
This is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of all. Our nation, along with the United States, once stood as bastions of freedom and democracy, defending both of these in war and in peace.

Today, we stand as guilty as the former Soviet Union of invasion of sovereign territory; of the fabrication and use of lies as evidence for the justification of our actions; of the diminution of the civil liberties of our own citizens. They murdered their dissidents - the case is as yet unsolved as to whether we did the same.

No doubt the politicians of both our nations will rail ineffectively against Russia's actions. But who are we to talk? How can we, any longer, take the moral high ground against a regime that once boasted the Gulags, and now is quietly controlled by the Mafia and KGB/FSV?

Maybe that's the fourth Tragedy of today's news.

What have we become?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

extremely well put Neil. I feel a little shameful that the our two great nations have stopped being the models of a just democracy. But... nothing a bit of shopping can't cure ;-)