The shootdown of the MH17 flight: The horror of the massacre has been topped by the Separatists’ looting and lack of respect for the dead. No dignity, zero basic empathy. Modern piracy, soulless mercenaries. Radio shows and world newspapers are unequivocal: “There is growing anger in Europe.” “Reaction among Europeans is shock.” The foreign ministers met today [July 22] in Brussels to discuss matters. European leaders are threatening deep sanctions against Russia.
NPR airs an interview with Heather Connolly, director of the Europe Center for Strategic and International Studies: “The Separatists’ abysmal handling of the situation has struck a chord in many Europeans. Europeans are absolutely morally outraged at the lack of respect showed to the deceased … You are seeing rhetorically a very new and different face for Europe.” Then, Anton LaGuardia, who covers the European Union for The Economist: “The mood has changed in Germany.” Finally, British prime minister David Cameron, threatening actions against Russia: “It is time to make our power, influence, and resources felt.”
But the world is as absurd and surrealist as a Père Ubu or a Eugene Ionesco play: the NPR host goes on to announce that France “will go ahead with the sell of two warships to Russia.” On a separate news agency note, I read Francois Holland’s rationale: “The Russians have paid. We would have to reimburse the 1.1 billion euros.” He added: “The warship deal wouldn’t fall under new sanctions because it was finalized in 2011.” French officials emphasized also that the warships will be delivered without any weapons — as if it won’t be their fault if the ships are used for military purposes.
Empty words are an insult to the innocent victims: “You are seeing rhetorically a very new and different face for Europe” — “It is time to make our power felt.” (And that goes for those fallen in any war.) The hypocritical language of war: The only rhetoric that counts is the semantics of profit. Business is as insidious a cause of war as anger, rage, ideology or revenge.