Here is my take on the current stand-off between Russia and the west. First, there is no justification for war! There is also no justification for provocation, that is building a force that is likely to threaten another nation into starting a war. When you have a force like NATO moving towards a perceived enemy, then you are inviting a conflict. There are no winners here, only hypocrisy and the failure of leaders to create peaceful societies. After the Second World War, the world had a prime opportunity to give peace a chance. However, the western allies redefined the boundaries with a view to their own nationalist gains. At the same time, much of the world was rejecting their imperial rulers and decolonizing. Rather than seeing the pitfalls of nationalism, many countries became independent and formed nation states. The result was a vast capitalist expansion and immigrants heading to the lands of their powerful rulers and taking up residence. The acceleration of capitalism led to the need for cheap labour and new forms of colonization (neo-colonization), but instead of helping to develop poorer countries the west’s neo-colonialism used foreign capital for the exploitation of countries, especially in the less developed parts of the world, this increased the gap between the rich and the poorer countries and it served to heighten competition between the major powers. It became known as the struggle between capitalism and communism and it developed into the Cold War. The Cold War took place in the 1960s but it had its beginnings much earlier. Leaders of the big powers, especially the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain met several times during the last years of the Second World War to try to put together a picture of the post-war world. The last meeting between the Allied powers during the war was held in Yalta, Russia in February 1945 between the US, the UK and Russia. There was a prime opportunity at this time to invoke a cooperative agreement towards world peace, but money, power and ambition curtailed any hope of lasting world peace. Capitalism and communism were viewed as ideological opposites and therefore always in conflict, but in fact both the capitalist and socialist ideologies stem from the same foundations, the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, which gave rise to the new mercantile class and eventually fast capitalism. (It also gave rise to the modern social movements). The post war world became divided into two sides, the capitalist west and the communist Soviet dominated regions. The term used to describe this divide was the “Iron Curtain”. As time moved on each side moved to secure more territory, Stalin in Eastern Europe and America’s President Truman in his commitment to fight against all anti-communist countries. What resulted was a series of confrontations. It started with the Soviet blockade in Berlin in 1949. The victory of the communists in China in 1949 gave rise to the spread of this conflict to Asia, resulting in the Korean War of the 1950s. Around the same time, in 1953, the US supported the overthrow of the Iranian regime who were said to be supporting the communists. In early 1959, communist rebels in Cuba overthrew a US-backed government and this led to the conflicts in Central America and the Caribbean. By the 1960s the east and west had entered a new paradigm with the threat of a global nuclear war. Also, in the 1960s conflict spread to Southeast Asia with US forces supporting southern Vietnam and communist China and the Soviets supporting northern Vietnam. In the late 1970s, the Cold War confrontations moved into southern Africa and also into the Americas. Both of these regional conflicts continued into the 1980s and some morphed into religious wars fought in the middle east. The communist governments of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union collapsed between 1989 and 1991, however the battle was never over and the bad blood still exists, hence the current fight in the Ukraine. There is no solution in wars only pain and hardship. The world must find new ways to avert the dynamics of war. We must begin a new age of freedom without fighting. That men are forced to fight for their country is abhorrent. If leaders wish to fight among themselves then the population must be free to leave and other countries should welcome them.