Roger Cohen in NYT Calls for World War 3 Against Russia

NYT op-ed columnist Roger Cohen calls for World War III:

The Suns of August

Flight 17: Ukraine’s War and Europe’s Passivity

JULY 21, 2014

Roger Cohen

LONDON — A century on from World War I, nobody wants the guns of August.

I was sort of under the impression, Roger, that that’s a good thing, seeing as how 1914 turned out and all.

Yet it must be asked if waiting years for the evasive conclusions of an official investigation into the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is better than acting now on what we already know: That the Boeing 777 with 298 people on board was shot down by a missile from a Russian-made SA-11 antiaircraft system fired from an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists, Russian mercenaries and Russian agents.

… The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 amounts to an act of war. It was impromptu perhaps, but still.

“Impromptu” is disingenuous, and you really shouldn’t be disingenuous when calling for the Guns of August. Nobody suddenly got an impromptu idea in their heads to shoot down a third party civilian jetliner. It was almost certainly unintended in the sense that the rocket wasn’t intended to shoot down a commercial airliner, just as the Ukraine government didn’t intend to shoot down a Russian airliner in 2001 when its forces knocked down a Siberian Airline flight full of Israelis.

The notion of “felony homicide” is more applicable. The plains of Eastern Europe are way too dangerous to mess around in.

You can always count on Eastern Europeans equipped with advanced technology to eventually screw up massively and kill a lot of innocent people. But only a few weeks ago, we were all congratulating ourselves on how much less hotheaded we are now than in June 1914. Or maybe not …

… The West has become an empty notion. The Dutch trade a lot with Russia. Europe floats along in a bubble of quasi pacifism. Better to be bullied than belligerent. Nobody wants the guns of August.

It sure sounds like Roger Cohen does.

… It won’t happen. Europe is weak. Obama’s America is about retrenchment, not resolve. Putin must be appeased. Nobody is about to call his bluff. The Putin-pacifiers have many arguments. Send forces into Ukraine and you prove the Russian argument that the West has designs on it. Besides, who wants World War III?

It sure sounds like Roger Cohen does.

The self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic stares down Mark Rutte. The deathly poppy fields of 1914 give way to the deathly sunflower fields of 2014. Dutch flowers wing around the globe, still, a thriving trade. …

Everyone wants the suns of August. Summer vacations rule. Nobody wants the guns

It sure sounds like Roger Cohen does.

— and damn the bigger guns appeasement may bring.

You know, Roger, Barbara Tuchman’s history of the beginnings of World War One, The Guns of August, wasn’t actually intended as a How To manual. When Santayana talked about the need to learn from the past, it wasn’t so we can do it all over again.

This is why I’ve been worrying about World War G for the last year. What’s the worst that hyping World War G can lead to? I mean, besides World War 3?