Is the Russia-Ukraine War Sputtering to an End?
Let the killing stop and the healing begin
A report from Sy Hersh today suggests that the Russia-Ukraine War may finally be sputtering to a diplomatic conclusion. The senior generals on both sides seem to be the main actors, but who really cares as long as the killing stops and the healing begins?
Conflicts and wars often exhibit a horrifying form of logic. Military hardliners, convinced of their own righteousness, claim that victory will come only on the battlefield when the enemy is totally defeated by force of arms. Armchair warriors at home and abroad glom on to this, cheering for their side and calling for no compromises, no negotiations, just more killing. Think here of “bomb’em back to the stone age” slogans heard in America during the Vietnam War, or expressions of apocalyptic destruction like “make the rubble bounce.”
Call it a total war fixation, the idea that victory can only be achieved by erecting one’s flag on a mountain of skulls. Here, anyone arguing for ceasefires or peace must be an agent or sympathizer for the bad people, in this case a “Putin puppet.”
To armchair warriors, the idea that people might simply prefer peace to war seems unfathomable. This is often true of wars everywhere. Those furthest from danger, those from whom no sacrifice is required or even asked, are those most likely to bray the loudest for more killing and more war. To the warmongers, they are the tough ones, the hardheaded realists, and those who disagree with them are disreputable and weak.
Here in the USA, there’s another element to this: the fact that the U.S. government, in the people’s name, has provided massive amounts of weaponry to Ukraine in a pursuit of decisive victory. Many still favor a Ukrainian fight to the death against Russia, though America in general is showing growing reluctance to pay for it all.
Is Ukraine’s senior general naive in supporting a ceasefire and negotiations? Allegedly, evil Putin will take advantage of any ceasefire to rearm and prepare yet more devastating attacks. Yet this “logic” of war could be applied to any conflict at any time in history. At some point, all wars come to an end.
After almost two years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of casualties, it’s high time to give peace a chance in Ukraine. War, as we can see from current events in Gaza, has no lack of chances to thrive in this world.