Sunday, July 20, 2014

Regional Conflicts, Global Repercussions

Among the horrors of the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, thought to be perpetrated by Russian-backed separatists using a ground-to-air missile is the fact that one-hundred and eight HIV/AIDS researchers were killed. Let that sink in for a while... one-hundred and eight top-flight AIDS researchers, men and women who devoted years of their lives to the study of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, were killed in a stupid, brutal act in a pointless regional conflict.

Among the dead is Joep Lange, Ph.D. and M.D.- doctor, scientist, humanitarian. More than one headline blazed, "Could the cure for AIDS have been on that plane?"

Centuries work adding to accumulated scientific knowledge, decades of activism- all brought to cessation by a deed that took seconds of thoughtless action. The effects of this meaningless attack will reverberate for generations.

Back in 1991, I was captivated by a shooting at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, that claimed the lives of several authorities in the field of theoretical space plasma physics. My fascination with this rampage was largely due to the near-elimination of experts in an esoteric field of research. My main thought was, "The killer is now the foremost expert in the field, and by the time he gets out of prison, everything will have changed." Talk about setting things back by decades... and theoretical space plasma physics doesn't impact the lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. That tragedy doesn't quite compare to this recent one. One-hundred and eight brilliant, good people killed by dumb, bad people who are basically engaged in a dick-measuring contest.

Humanity kinda bites.


mikey said...

In 1914 Europe marched off to another war, just like the hundreds before it. But when the troops got in contact, they found something profound had changed. Mr. Maxim's gun, the devil's paintbrush, the machine gun. And MILLIONS would die in the mud of "no mans land" while they tried to figure out how to integrate industrial technology into their longstanding concept of warfare.

Well sir, technology is moving much faster. Today, a single fighter can kill a tank, or a helicopter, or sometimes a jet fighter. And the larger, richer nations fueling the proxy fights can contribute money, or they can contribute weapons. Weapons like the SA-11/SA-17 Buk. Weapons like the Fajr-5 ballistic missile. Weapons that will soon include drones, and smart bombs, and intelligent fire & forget missiles.

You can't pretend that today is like 1980 - the world has changed, the tools have changed, the motivations have changed, the rules have changed. We now live in a world of increasing savagery armed with high tech weapons. There are smaller corners in which to hide, and there is NO avoiding the consequences.

I'll say it again - we'r lucky - we won't live to see these chickens truly come home to roost. But for anyone with children, they are inheriting a bleak, ugly, violent reality that no one knows how to stop...

Emma said...

Watch quietly while nobody learns anything whatever from this extremely preventable and cinematic tragedy, and attempts to use it as evidence to convince the government/David Gregory/the people who watch Fox News that we need to start a new war with Russia. (Or Iran.) (They’re not picky.)

We will at least be getting some new missile-targeting missile defense systems on the East Coast, or placed upon otherwise useable farmland inside the borders of one of our ally countries.

Those poor people — all of them.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And our favorite allies in the Middle East have killed over 400 in their vast open air prison camp.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Has anyone ever seen Tom Tomorrow and B^4 in the same place at the same time?

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Humanity seems to be rather rabid in several sections of the world right now. And yet, McCain say's the airliner shoot down was Obama's fault. Holy crap, is there ANYthing that isn't the fault of the Magic Black President?

never mind that the thugs doing the shoot down were armed by the Commie hero of the Right -- Vladimir Putin!