By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
There are very few things on this boiling rock called earth that I hate more than war, but I’ve also been fascinated with war for as long as I can remember. There is just something about the cataclysmic conjunction of clashing cultures, rugged geography, radical ideology, and existential philosophy that seems to trigger my own cataclysmic conjunction of obsessive-compulsive disorders and ADHD. All of which leads me to follow international conflicts the way more well-adjusted dorks follow sports teams.
It’s an admittedly perverse hobby likely driven by my own history of childhood trauma and the resulting need to gain some sense of control over the horrors of a violently uncontrollable universe, but it also ultimately drove me to become a downright evangelical anti-imperialist and anarchist once I realized the very basic fact that states kill. It is their most defining attribute. A monopoly on the use of grotesque behavior and the insanity of war is how they justify their very existence. All of them, in ways big and small. Not one of them is special. Every team in this blood sport sucks.
But I can honestly say that in my 34 years as a compulsive antiwar nerd, I have never seen a war more horrifically insane than the rapidly expanding mess in Ukraine. There have been plenty of wars that are more violent. There’s about a dozen raging in Africa as we speak that make the carnage of Bucha look downright quaint by comparison, but I’ve never in my lifetime seen a war that is more pointlessly dangerous.
A savage proxy war between two disintegrating nuclear superpowers that somehow combines the Mad Max-style barbaric warlordism of Afghanistan with the almost casual disregard for mankind of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Every fucking second that that Slavic dumpster fire keeps burning brings us another step closer to a nuclear apocalypse and literally everybody has already lost this war months ago, at least in any way that counts. All conceivable reason should lead even an insane person to just fucking end this thing, but this monstrously hideous thing has defied all reason from day one.
The war in Ukraine didn’t start this February, it started in 2014 when a wicked clique of neocons buried like a tick in the Obama Administration and led by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, hijacked the Maidan protests in Kiev with openly fascist thugs and used what was left of it to overthrow the very corrupt but still very democratically elected government of Ukraine in order to replace it with something compliant enough to allow NATO to use the country as a platform to heckle Russia from.
Russia in turn responded by kind-of-sort-of recognizing the autonomy of the most heavily ethnic Russian regions of Ukraine that demanded independence from an overtly Russophobic new government that they never consented to be a part of. With Uncle Sam’s credit card now in their arsenal, the new regime in Kiev responded to Russia’s meddling by sending neo-Nazi death squads to these breakaway regions and launching a dirty war against their impoverished citizens for nearly 8 years straight, resulting in the senseless slaughter of over 14,000 people.
Meanwhile, NATO began throwing increasingly provocative dress rehearsals for Barbarossa 2: Electric Boogaloo on Russia’s shores and borders with nuclear capable battleships and bombers until things finally exploded late last year into a jarring series of violent twists that has left even seasoned observers like myself with a serious case of whiplash.