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What did it really matter? The poet was asking of the triumph of the Duke of Marlborough — “Who this great fight did win.”
What brings back this poem about the transience of glory and folly of war — during this week’s struggle over whose flag will fly over Crimea — is a wall chart that just arrived from the UN.
“World Population 2012″ projects the population growth, or decline, of every country and continent, between now and 2050.Most deeply involved in Crimea’s crisis are Russia and Ukraine. Yet, looking at the UN numbers, there seems an element of absurdity in this confrontation that could lead to a shooting war.
Between 2012 and 2050, Ukraine, war or no war, will lose one-fourth of its population. Eleven to twelve million Ukrainians will vanish from the earth, a figure far higher than the highest estimate of the death toll of the horrific Holodomor of 1932-33.
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