Tiny Steps To War

A hundred years ago in June, 1914, a man shot and killed the son of the Emperor of a nation called Austria-Hungary. The story was reported on page 12 of The New York Times, and in Europe there were some sad comments, but the son was not particularly liked by the Austrian nobility so his death was not greatly mourned. Days went by with some notes of protest sent by the Emperor to the kingdom of Serbia from whence the shooter came. Most Europeans went about their daily business without any concern regarding the shooting. Serbia was a tiny country and Austria-Hungary was a large empire so it was clear that Serbia needed friends. To make a long story short, nations in Europe took up sides with their allies and without anyone realizing by August, World War I had begun. This war changed the lives of all on this planet and led to World War II.

Vladimir Putin has initiated a process of attempting to proof that he is one tough dude. Ukranians really do not have an army, but they are organizing some volunteers as the Russian army gathers on its borders. An accidental shot, a plane shot down, who knows, just the wrong tiny step and we could have a shooting war. Putin is the bully who runs Russia and he can readily believe the entire world is afraid of him. All it takes is one man firing at the wrong time at the wrong person.