It is an essential characteristic of our individual existence to have developed an awareness of ‘self’, an inner space where we have established coping mechanisms to allow us to fully function as human beings. These psychological and sociological mechanisms, operate to harmonise our interactions beyond the self, beyond for example the dynamics of a family precinct; but within the economic and social boundaries of a community, and within the political limits of control of a nation.
There are very few entirely selfless people where their entire existence is centrifugal rather than centripetal. For most of us the selfishness of that inner space, that inner territory, makes dealing with issues, events, actions at the extreme ‘edges’ of our individual, familial, communal or national perceptions of ‘territory’ difficulty. This failure to cope with the ‘territories’ peripheral to our understanding, in turn generates feelings of fear and as a consequence of this fear a disabling defensive aggression; at an individual, familial, communal and national level.
But why should this be? The failure is much more a consequence, at both an individual and national level, of a failure to realise that the ‘edges’ at the periphery of our understanding do not really exist because within those ‘edges’ are the fulcrums of another person’s existence, other families, another community, another nation.
This failure of realisation is more a failure of reason.
The name Ukraine, derives its origin from the Slav word Kpaň (Kraj) for ‘edge’ and literally meant originally the ‘Land on the Edge’ i.e. the frontier land or territory between Christian Slav Europe and the Mongol Golden Horde and their successors the Turkic Tatars. Ukraine was Europe’s ‘Wild East” equivalent in the 12-15th Centuries of the American ‘Wild West’ of the 19th., populated respectively by Cossacks and Tatars, cowboys and Indians.
Continual raids and retreat by the Mongols and Tatars across the south eastern steppes of Europe ensured a distinct lack of central control and the emergence of hardened ‘freemen’ who organised themselves in frontier settlements for self-defence, as well as economic and political control. These settlements were known as Stanitsas and the people that populated them became known as Cossacks from the Turkish Kazak.
The Cossacks as a consequence have always pursued an independent existence.
The history of eastern Ukraine, and the history of Cossack ‘freemen’ was brought to mind when reading some of the transcripts released by the Ukrainian SBU (Secret Service) of intercepted phone calls between militia commanders – using their dissociative “noms-de-guerre”, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting down – by a Russian supplied and manned, and Insurgent controlled, BUK –SA Missile launcher – of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumbar:
The Major: “The Chernukhin (Chornukhyn) folks shot down the plane. The ones from the Chernukhin checkpoint. The Cossacks ( South Russian Don Cossacks under the control of Ataman Nikolai Kozitsyn who ‘invaded’ Ukraine in May 2014 ) who are based in Chernukhin.”
The Greek: “Yes Major.”
This tragedy occurred in an area just north of Donetsk in the very far east (almost exactly the area known as Ukraine in the 13th Century) of modern day Ukraine where there is now a battle for control between ethnic Slav Russians and ethnic Slav Ukrainians for a territory that has always been a frontier, always has had an identity of being on the 'edge'. The question arises that if by vicarious means the Russian Federation takes control of the ‘territory’ of eastern Ukraine will they be able to control the ‘freemen’ Cossacks into the future.
It must also be remembered that Russia has supported the insurrection with military and economic help and has ignored the undertakings it gave on the integrity of Ukrainian territory as recently as December 1994 in the Budapest Memorandum.
In this Memorandum on security assurances signed on December 5, 1994 to allow Ukraine accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – signed by Boris Yeltsin for the Russian Federation, Bill Clinton for the USA, John Major for the United Kingdom and Leonid Kutchma for Ukraine (UN Doc A/49/765) – Russia confirmed that it would,
1. In accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;and
2. Reaffirmed its obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence.
Obviously the old adage ‘Treaties are made to be broken’ holds true for the Russian Federation as indeed it does for Israel.
On May 14, 1948 Members of the People’s Council, Representatives of the Jewish Community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist Movement declared the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel (Land of Israel) to be known as the State of Israel.
The solemn Declaration of the new State also appealed to the United Nations to help the Jewish people and promised to co-operate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations… agencies of the same United Nations that Israeli tanks are now shelling, with the loss of lives of women and children taking shelter in UN buildings, during the current Israeli offensive Tzuk Eitan (Resolute Cliff) against Hamas sites in Gaza.
I do not understand how a people ( and a Nation) whose history was and is defined by the very notion of Ghettos – such as those originally established in Venice but more recently during the Holocaust of World War II in Warsaw – could possibly imagine that their ghettoization of the Gaza Strip – by land, sea and air – will ever succeed in its aspirations, no more than the Nazis achieved.
The English version for the name of the current offensive is ironically ‘Protective Edge.’ By choosing such a ‘Ukrainian’ name, such a deliberate way of engendering fear of the unknown amongst its citizens, a fear of the very ‘edge’ of reason, the aggressively self-centered, incredibly selfish Israeli State demonstrates once again that despite the hopes of allies and opponents there has never been nor ever will be an Israeli State peripheral vision of hope.In a week that one Liberian doctor died selflessly from the Ebola Virus disease he was trying to contain we have both in Russia and Israel a denial that ‘selflessness’ could possibly exist.