This won’t be a post about the current status of the war. By the time I write it, the status will change. And, in reality, I don’t know the status. The one thing that has served me well is to not believe anything from the legacy media or any government mouthpiece.
It also won’t be a regurgitation of why Russia took the action it did earlier this week. Those who care to know already know; those who pretend they know, don’t. I don’t write this because I glory in war and death, however Russia’s actions are clearly understandable.
Let’s just call it a reverse Cuban Missile Crisis, and consider how desperately one will fight if doing nothing is viewed as the equivalent of suicide by cop. When Putin says all options are on the table (my paraphrase), I believe it. As long as he feels the situation is existential…why not?
I have good friends from Ukraine. They live here now, and have for many years. But they have family still there. I have been speaking with them regularly during these days. The sadness, bitterness, desperation – it is all on display in the voice.
They, of course, see the situation as very one-sided – just as the legacy press and the US government present it. I don’t spend any effort to convince them otherwise. This is not the time for this. They see their home country attacked; they see their family at risk. Now is just time to listen.
I am reminded of a book by Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Ukraine figures prominently in this story. I have written several posts based on this book, but the one that will never leave me is regarding the famine. The scene that will never leave me is the silence:
In Soviet Ukraine in early 1933, the communist party activists who collected the grain left a deathly quiet behind them…Ukraine had gone mute.
All life stripped – human, livestock, birds, cats, dogs…all dead and gone. When I got to this part of the book, I just had to stop reading it for several days.
All of this is just a reminder – those pulling the strings, making the decisions, initiating action, they don’t pay any consequences. They push the consequences onto others, people with no political power, people with little means to fight back, people who are less than pawns. Because, to be a pawn implies that you have utility in the game – something useful to those moving the pieces.
These people, and the same is true for most of us, are just collateral damage. Consider them the plastic wrapper that the chess game came in when new – irrelevant to the game, trash to be thrown out.
When I get off the phone with my friend, I pour myself a nice scotch with a little ice. I’ve got to wind down. It is his turn to be the one crushed by unaccountable madmen, helpless. It has been my turn before; it will be again. It sucks. He is ready to go fight. I know the feeling, as I have had it. Emotional? Sure. Will he? Would I? I doubt it. But the feeling is real.
Blame Russia, blame NATO, blame whoever you want. It is irrelevant, in reality, to those on the receiving end.