Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

War & Peace – a conversation with Masha Egupova

Written by on . Published in War - peace

From Masha:

Hey Tom,

Interesting take on the war issue.

I might disagree with you on several points as I see it in a different gender perspective. I believe that war is a man made thing. It is very unfortunate that English language does not really differentiate between man as a male and man as human kind. In my view it has been always about a man’s pride showing others that they are better than the rest. And it is about a risk-taking behavior.

I am not aware of any woman starting a war and igniting a huge international conflict, maybe it is not in our nature? Yet women are constantly perceived as irrational, emotional and incapable of dealing with things on a large scale. Throughout the time people have fought in meaningless conflicts and thousands of mothers and wives suffered from the losses. Do we really need all this suffering? Cannot we go by without wars in let’s say Afghanistan, Vietnam or Chechnya?

Russia is famous for its arrogant machist leader Putin, who decides what’s best for us all. He keeps spending more and more money on military and less on social issues. Even though he spends so much money on the army, Russian army is in it’s worst shape: no one wants to serve there, soldiers get killed by their fellow soldiers without any particular reason. Serving in Russian army can turn into a curse for young men. The country is on the edge of poverty, yet we have a national pride of being the scariest American enemy. The Cold War is over! But M. Putin probably does not know about it.

The same happened to USA in Iraq: clearly Mr. Bush did not really know what he was getting into, yet he still took a risk and lost. And now America is drowning in a conflict that has nothing to do with USA. I think this machism has to end and we should think more of what is important for the society and not some arrogant leaders.

What happened in Egypt and Libya is horrifying, but where does this hatred towards Americans come from? First of all, salafism and all orthodox muslim views come from Saudi Arabia – an ally of the USA. Saudi Arabia had nothing but sand and Bedouin tribes before the oil discovery in the region. Egypt was an advanced country before Mubarak came to power. US government supported him from the very beginning and kept subsidizing Egyptian military while Mubarak was gradually destroying the country. Divide and conquer at its best. Mubarak has gradually destroyed the country while Saudi’s money kept orthodox religious views alive.

USA keeps supporting Saudi’s economy. Saudi Arabia has the most repressive regime in the world: no human rights, no women rights, no anything. Then why USA supports such an undemocratic regime that spreads its influence in the region; why don’t they start a war against them? I can tell you why: it is not about democracy but about capitalism and risk taking. These strategies did not bring us any good, yet we are falling for our path dependency.




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Tom Fries Twitter: @tom_friesTom

Erstwhile neuroscientist ('97-'00), rowing coach ('99-'10), business student ('07-'09) and cupcake entrepreneur ('09). Now enjoying international work in the Germany and Washington offices of one of Germany's most prominent think tanks.