I write this brief note thinking of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people like me who have suffered and continue to suffer the psychological and moral torture of having been pushed to live through a war and to take sides when it does not reflect our vision, our feelings or our way of thinking and acting. Although horrified by the suffering and death of thousands of human beings like us, we are forced to choose sides between unacceptable options, by corrupt and lying media and individuals and political and military organisations that we find abhorrent. I share the anguish that you undoubtedly suffer as I do, and my thoughts go out to the victims of the conflict.

Since the beginning of the “Operation to disarm and eliminate Nazi groups controlling the Ukrainian government” and the sceptical invasion with thousands of troops and tanks, to attack “strategic targets, but taking care of the civilian population”; my mood, my feelings and ideas and even my physical state have gone through a “roller coaster” of passion, frustration, compassion, sadness, internal violence, depression…and a multitude of contradictory feelings and sensations.

I was taking NATO’s position for a moment and then in my head, degrading and eliminating it, remembering the images of victims in Donbass and recalling the endless sequel in my historical memory of more than sixty years of continuous American wars since Korea and Vietnam, until today, on all the continents of the earth. I saw rivers of innocent blood flowing in front of my eyes with a feeling of fury and revenge. Then I sought to calm down and find my centre. Then I would go to Donbass, the Russian border and see reports of the invading army, advancing slowly and inexorably, facing little resistance, and the explosions of shells, destroyed buildings, people fleeing desperately, with children and personal belongings…escaping death and destruction. The image of human pain and cruelty live. Knowing that in every destroyed building there were also human beings torn to pieces.

Behind Russia’s apparent defensive action I could not fail to see the cruel and disproportionate deployment of force. There might not be other ways to prevent and protect Russia. How could Putin’s advance on Ukraine, pre-emptive assassinations to prevent further killings by Stepan Bandera’s Nazis and NATO, feel justified?

Today the red lines are being drawn in blood – was that necessary? Where and when and definitively will the final line be drawn that rejects violence in all its forms in the human mind itself?

Must I declare the failure of the principles that have guided my life since my youth, and embrace the cause of vengeance on one side or the other?

Then to see these ‘insolent bureaucrats’ representing the authority of Europe. Individuals who represent nothing and nobody. Politically unaccountable to any electorate. Perhaps aware of their insignificance they shout condemnatory outbursts while dictating hundreds of sanctions on Russia. They, always partners in all NATO’s criminal adventures, have never been sanctioned. Vociferous priests of a self-created justice imbued with some kind of quasi-divine mandate.

Seeing them every time on the screens threatening, judging and punishing Russia. Ignoring their position and their right to defend it. In fact, and for that very reason generating the action they are censuring today. Yes, because the Russian population of Donbass is not human, has no rights and the crimes perpetrated on them have no sanction. The Minsk agreements and their breach do not exist. The thousands of dead and wounded of the last 8 years of impunity did not happen….

Everything is so crude, unjust, inhuman, and cruel that I feel the anger, and the desire for revenge and the accusatory instinct populating my conscience…then focusing my attention on my heart, and breathing in deeply and holding the air for a moment I pray within myself to be free of all contradiction, desire for revenge, and internal violence…and to regain faith in the human being, faith that the future will be better.

However, it is not easy, this going up and down into mental hell. I notice the gradual accumulation of tiredness during the day as I follow the news reports and graphic content of dozens of media that distort, manipulate or invent information according to their own convenience and interests. This is the dystopian world in which we live, pandemics, restrictions, confinements, alarming figures of thousands of deaths, and new and unrecognisable diseases resulting from Covid-19 or vaccines…which apparently did not complete rigorous clinical trials, hiding statistics of adverse effects…so as not to affect business, or as they have stated “so as not to confuse and frighten the population”.

But that topic disappeared from our daily perception now the topic is the war and the crimes of Putin…who must suffer a dreadful sentence in the Hague courts and cannot escape the justice of Europe…the dignified, just and civilised Europe…of course we do not talk about the crimes of Tony Blair who lied to the parliament, and to the UN instigating wars that cost millions of dead and displaced people. Of course Putin is horrible and Russian. Blair is British.

The raison d’être of the geopolitical entities, the strategisms and discords that seem to justify all the manoeuvres and crimes of the superpowers. An irreducible logic and “raison d’etre” of the “security of states”, of the defence of their “styles of Life”, of their “interests”, of the “rules-based world order” … fallacious legalisms created by the same old opportunists.

I look down at the leaders of both sides, Biden, Putin, and their cronies, and I see the same corruption, the same lust for power, and the same disdain for other human beings. I perceive in them a similar level of contradiction and suffering.

I cannot exonerate some and condemn others without feeling equally stupid and rogue.

Who chooses what to think, feel and do, if you haven’t chosen to be born and it is your circumstances that choose for you? Where there is no freedom, there is no right or wrong!

Human tragedy cannot be stopped until we realise by careful meditation and inner faith that violence exists deep within our consciousness and is the result of thinking, feeling and acting in opposite directions.

Liberation from violence and suffering will never be achieved through war.