It’s a regular occurrence that’s become way more regular in recent times. It’s dangerous, not just because of the perpetrators, but also by the reaction of those to whom it occurs.
Earlier this week Russian jets over the Baltic Sea flew close by US warships:
The US military would have been within its rights to shoot down Russian aircraft that flew close to one of its warships in the Baltic Sea, Secretary of State John Kerry says.”
Really! Has anyone mentioned to the world that Russia and America are at war? Perhaps we missed that news bulletin?
According to the BBC reports of the event, the Russian Sukhoi SU-24 fighters weren’t carrying weaponry. So why the fuss? Could not the crews of the US ships have just given them a friendly wave and carried on with their routine tasks? Both planes and ships were in international waters, so both had a right to be there, though quite why US warships should choose to parade themselves on Russia’s doorstep is open to question.
Righteous indignation flows forth from politicians whenever these events occur, with mild threats of retaliation and much blustering and posturing. Also this week the French and Russians quarreled over a warplane that buzzed an aircraft carrying a Russian politician to a meeting in Geneva. It turned out to be a Swiss aircraft, so the Russians had to apologise for accusing the French of being irresponsible.
These, oft-occurring, crazy, situations only serve to prove that we’ve never grown up. Adult people, supposedly of sufficient intelligence to run a country, shouldn’t behave in such a way. Squabbles between neighbours should be restricted to the, “you’re playing that music too loud,” or, “your dog keeps crapping on my lawn,” variety.
So why do our politicians continue to indulge in such infantile behaviour? It’s obvious to all thinking people that the way to resolve issues is by friendly consultation and mutually acceptable agreements, taking account of each others needs and fears. The United States, to President Obama’s credit, has proved this with Iran. Why can’t they do the same with Russia?
Ah, I hear you cry, but Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea! Yes, it did. But only because NATO was threatening it’s doorstep. Besides, the vast majority of Crimeans wanted to be part of Russia. NATO has been creeping ever closer towards the Russian borders since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
We have be adult enough to recognise that we in the West aren’t the ‘good guys’ and Russia the ‘bad guy’. We’re both equally bad and it’s time we both grew up, respected each other’s views and cultures, and became ‘good guys’ together.
If we don’t, one of these days a childish incident such as occurred this week will escalate into something very nasty. And it won’t just be a fist fight over dog shit on our lawn.