Any agreement to prevent American and Russian jets from bombing each other cannot and will not account for a “misguided” missile that takes out a plane and its crew over Syria. And the world will never know what provoked the mistake or even if it really was a mistake.
We will never learn who shot down the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine. We will never learn how many times Bashar Al Assad gassed his people. We will never learn whether or not Iran has ferreted its nuclear capability so far underground that only a mine shaft two or three miles down might uncover its existence. We will never (until some graduate thesis uncovers his machinations decades hence) learn how far Putin will go in his hegemonic pursuit of glory, honour and infamy for his legacy, under the guise of “restoring the respect” that once belonged to the Soviet Union.
We will never know whether or not China has actually adhered to its recent cyber-security pact with the United States. Clearly, General Clapper does not believe they ever will. We will never know the extent of the North Korean nuclear arsenal, nor the number and size of underground tests that have already contaminated that earth for centuries. We will never know the number and depth of the connections between the Pakistan government and both the Taliban and Al Qaeda and its many faces and names. We will never know how many refugees have perished in the hills and on the oceans in their valiant and desperate escape from the ravages of a war that includes a civil strife, a terrorist insurrection, and megalomaniacal tyrant and a supporting cast of Iraq, Iran and Russia. And we certainly will never know their names, their talents, their gifts, their struggles and their honourable legacies.
We will never know the real reasons for the execution of the first woman in forty-nine years in the state of Georgia. While all agree her crime was and continues to be heinous, even the Pope petitioned for clemency, at the last hours of her life. We will never know the real reasons why The Donald has so obsessively pursued the presidency, nor the real extent to which he will go to win the competition. We will also never know the names of the victims of Putin’s missiles, bullets and bayonets in Crimea and in Donetsk and other eastern Ukrainian towns and villages.
We will never know the assassin who took the life of Alexander Litvinenko, although his spouse is clearly confident that she knows. We will never know whether or not Oscar Pistorius actually intended to murder his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. We will never know whether the corruption in the Vatican has been eviscerated, expunged and removed. We will never know the depth of the divisions of opinion in the Anglican/Episcopal church over the legitimacy conveyed on Gays and Lesbians by scripture, although the current Archbishop of Canterbury will convene a conference in the Spring of 2017 to attempt to bridge the divide, or to develop loose federation of association that permits the two sides to claim justification for their views.
We will never know the depth of penetration into the global market of the new bank founded and funded by Brazil, Russia, India and China to serve as a counter to the International Monetary Fund. We will never know the reasons behind the Holocaust, although oceans of ink have been spilled in valiant attempts to explicate its root causes. We will never know the motives of the prison worker who assisted in the escape of two prisoners from a maximum security prison in up-state New York. We will never know numbers in the accounts receivable of Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq from the sale of fossil fuels on the black market. We will never know the savagery to which ISIS and their ilk have or will go in their pursuit of their sacred caliphate. We will never know the degree to which Edward Snowden’s disclosure of private security information has impacted or will impact the American government’s policies and practices. We will never know how much public monies the Harper government frittered away on private and friendly consultants, over the last decade. We will never know the real reasons for the long-standing and shameful apartheid in Canada or our indigenous peoples, although we have spent billions and painted rivers of ink in volumes to explain it.
We will never know the full story of how status, the pursuit of power and money and individual fame came to trump the pursuit of lives worthy of the ordinary people of the west. We will never know the real reasons why so many people live on the streets of our cities and towns, without a home and without anyone to care for them, in spite of the many speeches and theses that have been written and delivered to combat the problem.
And we will never know why so many references to a deity, in so many quarters, persist in the kind of reduction that renders the deity to the ashes of judge, jury, warden and hangman, both literally and metaphorically.