World View: Missile Attack on Ukraine Helicopter Portends Bigger Conflict

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Missile attack on Ukraine helicopter portends a bigger conflict
  • Hamas and Fatah move to unified Palestinian government, as Israel objects

Missile attack on Ukraine helicopter portends a bigger conflict

Black smoke rising from the scene of the helicopter crash (AP)
Black smoke rising from the scene of the helicopter crash (AP)

On Wednesday, pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine launched a ground to air missile, and downed a Ukraine army helicopter, killing 12 government soldiers. This was a devastating blow to Ukraine's government, and it seriously escalates the conflict.

There have been multiple reports that fighters from Russia have been joining the anti-government rebels. According to one report on the BBC, there have been numerous fighters from Chechnya, Abkhazia and South Ossetia crossing the border and fighting on the side of the pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine. There have also been some reports of rebel groups fighting each other for control of their individual regions.

The ground-to-air missile that brought down the helicopter may or may not have been supplied by Russia. Ukraine itself is a manufacturer of many kinds of weapons, so there are multiple possible sources where the rebels could have obtained this weapon.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Ukraine is in a generational Crisis era, which means that a spark could ignite a conflict that spirals into a war. I'm particularly struck by how often I hear the words "fascists" and "Nazis" used, evoking memories of the bloody battles of World War II. The people who are using those words have little or no memory of the horrors of the torture, rape and mutilation that occurred in those battles. All they know is that their side were the heroes, and the other side were the criminals, and that it's finally time to even the score. BBC and Kyiv Post

Hamas and Fatah move to unified Palestinian government, as Israel objects

With last month's collapse of the Mideast "peace talks," the Palestinians made it clear that they're going to go their own way. This means, for example, applying to hundreds of United Nations organizations as the State of Palestine.

On Thursday, the Palestinians announced the next step in their plans. Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority (PA/Fatah) announced that Rami Hamdallah, who is considered to be a relatively non-ideological technocrat, is to be the head of the new unity government, combining Hamas and Fatah.

There were problems almost as soon as the announcements were made. There were also supposed to be announcements of the entire unity government cabinet, but they were postponed because of disagreements. Fatah and Hamas were at war several years ago, and several subsequent attempts at unity have collapsed because of hostility between the two.

If the Palestinians do succeed in forming a unity government, then they'll face other problems. The U.S. and the EU identify Hamas as a terrorist organization with a charter that includes the total destruction of Israel. So Israel has said that they won't do business with any government that includes Hamas. And U.S. law prohibits aid to the Palestinians to benefit Hamas, "or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence."

If a unity government is actually successfully formed, then there will be pressure within the EU to recognize the unity government. That would certainly change the geopolitical landscape, but there are many "if's" that will have to be faced before that point is reached. Ma'an News (Bethlehem) and Jerusalem Post

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