Ukraine–Russia; Gaza–Hamas–Israel; Where Lies Hope?

Missiles, artillery and bullets are easy; diplomacy is hard. So bloodshed continues. How did the Protestants and Catholics stop fighting in Northern Ireland (at least most of the time)? Well, it only took a few hundred years, but they eventually did. Mothers tired of sons dying played a major part. Outside mediation another part–by an American where America had no vested interest in an outcome favoring one side or the other. America favors and supports Israel, so despite efforts to aid in mediating the dispute in Gaza and the West Bank it will forever be less than a perfect aid. Egypt and other Arab and/or Muslim countries have the opposite problem of being sympathetic to Hamas and are in the midst of their own problems between Sunni and Shia militants fighting for influence in respective governments. Europe relies too strongly on foreign trade with Russia–France selling weapons to them, Germany needing to buy natural gas–to impose strong enough sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s Russia, while the US sanctions seem ineffective on their own, at least so far.

The UN would be a logical place to seek impartiality, except so many countries disparage its influence even when it can achieve a modicum of solidarity and avoid security council vetoes by the one of the major countries with an interest favoring one side or another in a conflict. Yet, maybe that is at least a forum that should be worked toward, with an evolution away from government-led decision making in favor of making use of NGOs and real people who have an interest in peace but no financial or geopolitical stake in outcomes. Just a thought.