Had enough war?

The attentive reader will have noticed that I have had nothing to say on the War in Ukraine, during the last few months. This, in addition to “no comment” on several other items of news. I propose to deal with one nothing at a time.

It is more difficult than it once was to tell what is happening upon the old Scythian plain. The effect of propaganda — the intention to deceive the captive audiences on both sides — makes reporting generally unreliable. The events will never be perfectly clear; and the right and wrong of battle depends on the interpretation of such news. The best we can hope for is a few indisputable atrocities; but most of these will be faked.

Ossetes, from one of a pair of ethnications within the blend of the Caucasus, are believed to be the nearest living descendants to the ancient Scythians (or Saka, Sacae, &c) who flourished three thousand years ago. They were in turn very far from being the first inhabitants. The latest “nation,” the Ukrainians, have just finished inventing themselves within the vast pool of Slavic peoples.

Human beings are not, in any political, moral, or historical sense, indigenous to any part of this world. In our arrogance we deny that we are creatures of God, whose past is as unknowable to us as our Maker. We demand science: a science which in nature cannot exist.

We read of ancient wars, between peoples long since dispersed, or annihilated, who left nothing but their orphaned children. Why did they fight? What could they gain? We cannot really know that either, for the past becomes incoherent as soon as any part of it fades.

In what way was their suffering redeemed? We don’t know.

Another of these grand and pointless wars is playing out, until one side or another acknowledges defeat. The fate of the victorious is often more poignant than the fate of the vanquished. We, who happen to survive (maybe there will be an exchange of nuclear missiles?) must confront the time ahead. We cannot know what that will be, either.