What more of the world's leaders must understand
clearly and permanently is all time periods matter--
we never completely leave the past behind; it causes
and informs the present, all the palavers about
"computers completely changed the world",
"...But now, in the 21st century..."etc. to the
contrary. It should be obvious (yet is not) that
every shame or ill regarding human behavior and
actions, as well as every sublimity, kindness and joy
have existed for eons, are still with us. The present
realities are most pressing, ones we can actually
affect/effect, intractable though they may seem. We
must strive to improve ourselves and the world,
the minimum owed to future generations, but
remain alert and sensitive to what got us here.
--A tall order and a forbidding prescription? Yes.
Mr. Obama, as he no doubt studied at Harvard (or
earlier) must recall stark realities of Russian history--
how often they were the nation Germans, the French and
others tried to take and subjugate. But the Russians,
in many ways an indomitable people, have actually burned
down some of their own cities rather than let them be
taken. That this is not every country or culture, must be
realized when negotiating or relating to anyone from there
... others must show they care, are aware.
Mr. Putin must care as well, should understand
other nations, such as ours, have problems too.
Without this perspective, expect a third world
war, period. --Terrifying to think about?
naturally, but denial and avoidance only
gets us all closer to such a dystopian
So slogans, assumptions, ideological purity,
braggadocio, macho posturing, et al. should go,
NOW. Let these behaviors truly, permanently,
land atop the dustbin of history, if anything ever
does. Mr. Putin, Mr. Obama, if you care about
your legacy and the rest of us, consider the past,
present and future when carrying out your
foreign policies or making speeches: We all need
you to be statesmen, not politicians, right about now.