Other People Thoughts

You probably have heard this all before in loose tidbits, here and there.

Much is being said about the war in Ukraine these days. So much thinking and re-thinking is going on into what takes place it is hard to come up with something original. Yet people do. A good portion of what is being described below was collected on Twitter, so some of the original thoughts are not our own. But we found it fascinating enough to mesh it with our own thinking on the subject.

The war is a litmus test of a kind. It is revealing what was hiding in plain view. It is as if a cover was removed from an old mirror in the far corner of a house we live in, and we get a good look at ourselves. This careful examination of the world’s face was long overdue. It is quite revealing.

What we once considered solid turned out to be rotten to the core (Russia). Where we expected to see weakness we found fortitude and strength (Ukraine). In place of unquestionable unity, the European Union, there exists a bunch of states, driven by their individual agendas, some good and some not so honorable. We learn that rigid neutrality can be as bad as evil itself (Switzerland). State-level duplicity is something that lives everywhere (Turkey, India, Germany, Hungary, Israel, China, even in the U.S.A.)

We learned that President Biden and his administration are totally unwilling to take any political risks to end the war sooner. They help Ukraine, yet deny it the kind of weapons that will tip the scale, afraid to get involved beyond carefully measured participation. It’s cowardice. History shall reveal if it was political caution or something more sinister.

The UN continues to be impotent.  When it needs to be powerful it is not, and this isn’t about to change.

That “Amnesty International” organization must live on subsistence from Russia, else it would not be saying what it does. The self-serving weak “International Red Cross” is concerned with its own viability only; and the funds it collects in the name of good causes are mostly spent on itself. The support it lends to the people in need is incidental and rare.

Some people (with funny hairdos) can turn out to be surprisingly brave, freedom loving and decisive such as Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. Others we thought of as “pillars of society” are not entirely solid and are prone to mood swings and bad behavior (like the new Twitter owner). A great deal is revealed about us, as individuals. We are either on the side of decency, truth, supporting the noble fight for freedom, or we are not – siding with the murderous lying assholes that wish to impose their Nazi vision upon the rest of the world. There is no middle ground.

The countries that always projected a powerful political vector upon the rest of the world have largely failed (France, forever with its own political agendas; Germany and its left-leaning government). New country-leaders are emerging because they, at great cost to themselves, support the rightful fight and accept responsibility for the people displaced by the war (Britain, Poland, Czech Republic, the Baltic nations). Their voices are what the world should hear. Those who lost their footing amidst political maneuvering should step aside.

One regretful example is the country of Israel. To-date, it took a position of neutrality, of lending no military support to Ukraine, citing her own precarious position with Syria and the Russian military force there, which they maintain neutrality with. From what we know, Israel largely chose to ignore the war Russia wages against Ukraine. Israel’s failure to lend help is akin to a wrong answer to the multi-choice exam. In hindsight, they will be politically haunted with the choice they made. But there may be facts we simply don’t know, so in time this critique may be out of place.

We get to see the military that will forever be a model to the rest of the world (Ukraine, for ages to come). And the military caught with their pants down (as in Germany, where they are not combat-ready). The NATO forces were making plans for a much smaller war. They have totally overestimated their own strengths and kept inadequate stock of the war supplies in peacetime. We bet feverish recalculations are taking place now, resulting in significant military budget allocations in the near future.

Much is discovered about our societies and economies. The collective West has a lot of built-in strength to weather any eventualities, even blackmail from the former energy suppliers. Yet, we are not consistent in our actions. Even today, wittingly or not, Western companies continue to supply technology to the state that uses it to build missiles and drones, to attack its neighbor. We haggle with the enemy about the cost of gas, oil, metals and diamonds we continue to buy, and support Russia financially (to the tune of one billion dollars per day) amid sanctions, while sending weapons to Ukraine. Some Western firms stay on as part of the Russian economy. Must be greed, stupidity or both. Moral aspects aside, they shrewdly call it “managing your investments”.

 But the most divulging is the truth about two countries, Ukraine and Russia. The latter’s army turned into the horde of murderous thugs not much different from Hitler’s army defeated in WW II. We get to see what plans Russia has for the rest of us and we get to do something about it. Ukraine, on the other hand, which forever lived in Russia’s shadow, wasn’t much in the news until this year. Just another country. Or so we thought. Well, we thought wrong. They are one hell of good people. United to fight for freedom. Galvanized, determined, unyielding, smart, resourceful and powerful. We all have a lot to learn from them, in ways large and small.

The old world carries the same ills, nothing new there. Occasionally, it needs a surgery here and there, to remove cancerous growths. It’s happening today.

Take a good inquisitive look in that old mirror.