One of my favorite quotes describing what could have been said in the lead up to the First World War is by Stephen van Evera of MIT. He once remarked that France and Great Britain could have helped avoid the war by telling Russia simply:
Hey you guys! Put a collar on the Serbs! They’re out there shooting Archdukes!
Turning on the television news after putting Jamie to bed tonight I immediately thought of this line when the flash came up that the Russian ambassador had been assassinated. Considering the regional context – Europe, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the attack in Jordan over the weekend, and the continuing instability brought on by the migration crisis – perhaps it is worth someone telling President Obama:
Hey you guys! Put a collar on the Turks! They’re out there shooting ambassadors!
We’ve been here before – twice, in fact, in the last century.
It would be a shame to head that direction once again.