it was exactly one hundred years ago today, that millions of soldiers from France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and England were heading toward borders in order to prevent THE ENEMY from invading their lands. It was a hundred years ago today, that the sound of war was growing louder and louder. Each nation was prepared to fight. Why? The prior month in the city of Sarajevo in the southern region of Austria Hungary, the son of the Emperor was shot by a man bent on seeking the rights of oppressed people. This set in motion a series of events that wound up causing the deaths of twenty million. At the beginning of this tragedy not a single European nation was seeking war, by the end of this tragedy, most were bent on war. Not a single European nation thought the assassination would result in anything other than a bit of anger. By the end of this sequence in which none wanted war most were ready for war.
World War I occurred at a moment in time when Europeans had enjoy one hundred years of virtual peace. Since 1815, there had only been two or three minor wars on the continent. Most leaders thought that peace could be maintained. But, in 1914, they all got trapped in a process in which a minor incident became increasingly a major event. There simply was no process to halt the march toward war. It just proceeded.
There is no question that President Vladimir Putin lacks a sense of stability. He rules over a Russia which lacks a legislature to reign him in or a media that could rip him to pieces. He has become accustomed to doing as he desires without any interference. A normal leader, after the shooting down of a civilian plane, would hesitate, not Putin. He simply does what he wishes to do. So, what can be done before the Guns of August again blast away?
1. There is need for an immediate meeting between Russia, Germany, France, England and the US. Leaders of these nations must meet together and discuss what happened in August, 1914. All must pledge the Guns of August must never fire again.
2. Leaders of Germany, France, England and the US must convey to Putin that even if he invaded Ukraine, they would not respond with military forces. However, they would immediately ban any financial transactions with Russia, ban Russian products from their lands as well as forbid the entry of any Russian. He would be allowed to seize Ukraine, but Russia would become an economically isolated nation.