Andrei Anghel and the end of pax americana  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , , , , , , , , ,

I have been staying away from the news of the moment, but this recent tragedy hits extremely close to home, whichever way a member of the Toronto Romanian diaspora (including myself) chooses to define that notion.

Andrei-Anghel-and-girlfriend-OlgaBefore going through what we know, I will disclose my biases.

  • I was born in Romania, have double citizenship, came here with my parents and call Toronto my hometown. Ajax is somewhere in the East, past Pickering; I don’t recall travelling there but I expect it to be less than 2h drive on the 401.
  • He went to Hilltop Middle School and Ajax High School, I attended only the last year of G S Henry Academy in Toronto.
  • I have never been a fan of Czar Putin, his big European gas blackmail, his disciples such as Voronin or Igor Girkin / Strelkov, or his [Putler’s] meddling in the affairs of states he considers satellites.
  • I have a [western] Ukrainian grandmother (not the one born in Bucovina, the other one).
  • I applied to University of Waterloo, but ended up going to University of Toronto Engineering instead. I also considered continuing my studies in Romania, but did not.
  • I recently went in a holiday with my German girlfriend (not Bernardette), but it was not a warm destination and needless to say, none of us died. Nonetheless, this kind of tragedy could happen to anybody traveling across the globe.
  • I was generally, even before this incident, no longer courageous about flying.
  • His first job in Canada was Crew Trainer at McDonald followed by Photo Lab Technician at Walmart. My first job was lifeguard at a neighbourhood swimming pool after which I started my own business, working on contract.

I haven’t listed the above in order to claim some sort of affiliation, authority or representation for him and / or his family. However, whenever you consume information, you need to be cognizant of the biases of that particular news source. These are seldom disclosed to my liking, but I always try, when presenting something, to disclose my own.

My initial impression is that the Russian rebels have shot down the plane and then, together with Moscow, have engaged in an amateurish propagandist InfoWar to decline responsibility and shift the blame onto the (western) Ukrainian government. Let us now consider whatever evidence has so far transpired.

  • CNN/BN/AFP/TG/etc: crash moment, Bremmer, what, timeline, crash, site, inside, trains, bodies, mother, securing, CAAP, Buk, roof, truce, OSCE, refrigerated, RTquit,
  • RT/AJ: crash site, crash reports, who, remove, leak, raw, OSCE,
  • The Security Service of Ukraine has released a recording of what it says are conversations involving a rebel fighter named 'Bes', Russian Colonel Vasyl Mykolaiovych Geranin and Cossack military leader Mykola Kozitsyn discussing the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over eastern Ukraine. (grdn-mh17-rec)
  • Though I could probably call the Anghel family, I prefer to quote what they have already said. Globe and Mail quotes them with the following:

    “I just don’t get it. It doesn’t feel real. I just talked to him,” Ms. Anghel told The Globe and Mail on Friday, sitting near the Lake Ontario shore, not far from her parents’ home. She’d lit two candles for her brother, who turned 24 in May, wedging them into stones by the water. “I miss just hanging out down here with him, at the lake. … and [we’d] just talk about nothing, talk about life,” she said. “… I know that pretty soon, I’m going to want some answers about what, and why.”

    Alexandra and Andrei were born in Romania. Their parents applied for a visa when she was born, Alexandra says, but she was 10 and Andrei 8 by the time the family made it to Canada. “They just wanted a better life for me and my brother,” she said of her parents’ desire to move.

    Andrei was once a shy boy, she recalls, but that changed when he was a teenager. “He got tall one day,” she said, laughing, “And then I wasn’t his big sister any more. I was always his little sister after that.”

    He became outgoing, gregarious and ambitious. Andrei went to high school in Ajax, doing a volunteer trip to Costa Rica, his sister recalled. He liked drawing, camping, longboarding and being outdoors. He attended the University of Waterloo for his undergraduate degree, before setting his sights on a career in medicine. “He wanted to change the world,” his sister said.

    “I still feel like I’m going to wake up and it’s just going to be a bad nightmare,” Ms. Anghel said. “… We’re so sheltered from that kind of life here. I would have never thought, in a million years, that this would happen to my brother. And that’s because we live here.”

    As her parents – identified in property records as Sorin and Anca Anghel – grieved inside the family home, Ms. Anghel said she struggled with how to react. “I want to be angry, because in a way anger is a little bit easier to deal with than the hurt, and the just completely feeling broken and lost,” she said. “I don’t know how to do this without him.”

  • CBC tells a similar story: “Alexandra, who lives in Edmonton but returned to Ontario after learning of her brother's death, described him as always happy, smart and "destined for big things." She said she doesn't harbour anger towards the person or group who may be responsible for the crash because it won't bring her brother back. (..) He was en route to Bali, Indonesia, to celebrate finishing the second year of medical school. He was with his girlfriend, a German woman identified by his sister as Olga. They had been dating a year and had planned to go hiking.”
  • RoPress: ProTV, TVR, Cotidianul titreaza omul “foarte foarte foarte bun” citandu-l pe Sorin, tatal, Stiri-de-Cluj (stdc) is upset that the family did not give them an interview

While I, much like everybody else, feel empathy for and offer my condolences to the victims’ families, I can identify a few issues worth discussing.

1. Could the plane have been shot down by the Ukrainian government, as Putler’s propaganda apparatus is trying to suggest?

Obviously, the answer is yes. I, together with most other information consumers in the Western world may have possibly been victims of an elaborate web of lies, sewn by NSA and other “imperialist capitalists” bent on asphyxiating the Russian bear. But even if that were true, my allegiance would still be with the West. While I am not happy with the status quo, I’d be far unhappier in Russia under Putin. Yes, he scored big in my book by giving Snowden asylum, but that’s not enough, that’s just a first step. He has to do much more to establish his brand of politics as a credible alternative to the Western combination of “gentle capitalism” and “managed democracy” and so far I saw no evidence of that. As such, it is not worth it for me to consider the possibility that the plane was shot down by Ukraine.

2. How can you (and I) avoid finding ourselves in a plane flying over conflicts?

I am quite sure that most of the people in that flight had no idea they were going to fly over Ukraine and the danger they were exposing themselves to. Simply asking the travel agent or the airline is not enough – they are probably not trained to answer that question, they are unlikely to know the real answer and furthermore, they are unlikely to suffer adverse consequences if they lie to you; OTOH, if as a result of their answer, you decide not to buy a ticket, they are likely to be penalized by their supervisor, so they have a strong incentive to lie. One could also try to figure out the trajectory of their flight and try to determine if it goes over conflict zones, but that’s not easy, and besides, with all the war zones and the many conflicts happening today, you cannot really eliminate risk, unless you completely avoid Asia and Africa; furthermore, this happened in area considered to be part of Europe. And if you are to be paranoid, considering the secrecy and lack of oversight in North American governments, if NATO had mistakenly shot down an airplane over USA or Canada (or it was brought down by an unknown/unclaimed terrorist attack), do you really think you would have learned the truth?

3. What is there to be done to avoid this in the future?

Without a credible antagonist (such as the former Soviet Union), USA can no longer guarantee and enforce “pax americana” – meaning that the appearance of safety/democracy/freedom is much harder to maintain these days even in “civilized” countries/areas. This is not to say that this is a new development; rather, this event brings this reality further into the limelight.

I’ve read in the recent past essays trying to play down Snowden’s revelations with arguments such as “nobody is really interested in your masturbation stories” but such arguments miss the point. We live in a postindustrial-litigation-surveillance complex and the main “selling point” of this Orwellian reality, safety, holds true only for wide-eyed idiots. If you are one of the latter, you have my sympathy, but please don’t waste my time with grammatically-challenged comments.

More in .

Sources / More info: grdn-mh17-rec, LI, db, resume, ppt, gizmodo-tweetbot, ny-after, bbc-intercepts, stratfor-diary, cbs-igor, intmag-rt, fp-infowar, tlg-wikipediaedit, np-anghel, hp-anghel, The Star, protv, obs, cotd, a1, tvr, hvy, stdc, Wiki-Pax

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Sunday, July 20, 2014 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
Aici vei găsi ştiri inedite, articole hazoase, perspective originale in politică, societate, economie şi relaţii interumane. QUESTIONS (Intrebări)? We got Answers (Răspunsuri există)!  
blog comments powered by Disqus