Echoes of The Archduke
Written by Mario Tovar
More than a century has passed since Archduke Franz Ferdinand was murdered in the streets of Sarajevo, yet just a few days ago on live television it seems my generation has experienced its own similar event; Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was gunned down by Mevlut Mert Altintas. When Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in 1914 it set off a chain reaction that ultimately led to the “War That Would End All Wars” and with it, leaving an entire continent destroyed and almost 38 million dead; in retrospect the total carnage that resulted in such staggering death is now called the “Lost Generation”. Many Americans who have seen the recent events were appalled by what they saw but at the same time many people including myself might not be completely aware of the ramifications and possible consequences of this murder. I always look at history when it comes to these matters because I truly believe history does repeat itself and as the human race despite how much we try, history’s mistakes are repeated.
Many countries including the United States have seen the tragic consequences of the events taking place in Syria, in particular the refugee crisis, however behind the war and its related events there’s a lot of politics and back room power plays that go on as with any war or conflict and most of us here are not aware of them, whether that’s on purpose is up to you as an individual. The coverage hasn’t exactly been overwhelming here at home but when Ferdinand was assassinated its consequences were not immediate but once the ball got rolling it became an avalanche, and there was no stopping the avalanche.
What many people do not understand that before the Archduke was assassinated, Europe along with several other countries such as the Ottoman Empire were all divided by treaties that linked all countries like an intricate spider web. And like a domino effect, once one country declared war on another it led to another doing the same until the entire continent was at war. The recent assassination poses a similar risk to peace due to the fragile peace between Turkey, where the Russian ambassador was murdered, and Russia who was had an active role in the Syrian crisis. Just like in 1914, the world is divided by treaties and complex relationships such as NATO and the United Nations which did not exist in 1914 but also what worries Americans, no matter their political allegiance, is what the new President will do if this event leads to a political crisis.
In 2016 just like back then, many Americans want a neutral stance when it comes to situations in the Middle East and anything having to do with Russia. One can look at the sentiment of many Americans towards Syrian refugees for proof, many feel we cannot afford to get involved. I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next few months we start to see the results of this tragedy. My heart goes out to the family of the Ambassador, and now we wait to see what and how Russia and Turkey reacts, but more importantly how this will affect American foreign policy going forward with a new President.