The World Can Be a Cold Dead Place…

Perhaps the Syrian conflict could have been solved before it killed as many tens of thousands as it is said to have done. I do not know. I doubt it but I am not smart enough to say. One thing I know, however, is that tens of thousands have been dying for almost as long as there have been tens of thousands alive. The twentieth century was scarred by such events as the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the rape of Nanking and the Cambodian genocide and this was a time when humanity at large had become less aggressive. Tens of thousands will die in the future. Perhaps tens of millions.

This is no excuse for passivity when good can be done. The starvation of thousands does not mean I should not share my lunch. But as we stumble deeper into this dramatic century it should be borne in mind that politics is often not a case of seeking to achieve good outcomes rather than bad ones, but of seeking to minimise inevitable horrors.

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