Wednesday, January 24, 2024

'Guarantees' (Read the small print)


The "international community" is not however a single, amorphous layer of well meaning outsiders.

And even when it is essentially a euphemism for the developed western world plus supposedly multilateral institutions like the UN, it has a rather patchy record when it comes to such guarantees. 
For example: when Ukraine was encouraged to surrender its nukes in return for 'protection' from any subsequent Russian aggression. (See also, right now, as it apparently runs out of shells.) 

Finding the strength is only the beginning of the process. In almost any conflict situation, the preservation of it is the hard part.
Given the underlying ideological and geopolitical polarities that have long operated in the Middle East, such guarantees would require cooperation between blocks that are fundamentally disinclined the cooperate on almost any issue. 
And one only has to gaze across at Kosovo to see how these committee-based solutions can result in a terrible muddle...and one could put money on the Middle East being able to come up with a far bigger mess.
Beyond the outside powers who have long been anything but impartial in this conflict, it seems to me that in the lead up to October 7 the UN in particular already has a quantity of blood on its hands. 
There is simply no way they can have been anything other than complicit with the misappropriation of global aid for non-peaceful, non-humanitarian purposes, and have done almost nothing to prevent the ascendance of a venomous, chauvinistic culture within Gaza in particular. 
Indeed, their insistence that refugee status is heritable has been unique to these circumstances and profoundly unhelpful, playing into the strategies maintained by other nations within the 'Arab World', which are as cynical as they are partisan. 
Yes, there is a cycle of violence, the spinning of which has to be slowed as much as possible, but after October 7 pieties alone are unhelpful. They are often merely vanity positions adopted by individuals who like to shore up their public image on social media. 
The cycle does not spin evenly. This is because anger and hatred are both real human emotions felt by individuals in the moment and also culturally induced phenomena, sometimes explicitly taught to children in a cruelly inverted process of socialisation. 

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