Further Thoughts on Ukraine
Those of you who are reading this post are most likely in America (at least based on my Google Analytics reports), and so probably have known relative peace and security throughout your life. I’ve been lucky, too, despite a parent who has been sent to many conflicts. Those conflicts were not in my home; I did not wake in the middle of the night to wonder if bombs would be dropped on me; I did not and do not fear for my right to express my political opinion, especially if it is contrary to the government’s; I don’t fear that my child will grow up in a world substantially different than the one I enjoyed.
When I was in college, I stumbled across the Montmaray series by Michelle Cooper, an Australian writer who movingly and realistically describes the invasion of Montmaray, a fictional island kingdom, by the Nazis in the leadup to World War II. She details the attempts by the royal family of Montmaray to insist that the League of Nations does something to defend their home; she writes about the bombing of Montmaray and, later, of England during the war. The series details the war from both civilian eyes and the eyes of the King of Montmaray, who joins the RAF in order to defend his adopted home and his kingdom.
There is a line in the first book–“Perhaps this is one of the reasons Toby dislikes politics–that some of the people who care most about politics seem to have the least compassion for ordinary human beings.” And how can that not be true, looking at the world today? When we could be imposing far stricter sanctions on Russia and the Taliban, but don’t because it would inconvenience our economy and the economies of our allies? Why should people’s lives matter when the cost of gas might go up? When profits might go down? What is a human life, compared to that?
We should do more. We can do more. We can’t just sit idly by because this is what happened in World War II–we let Hitler and Mussolini take what they wanted–Czechoslovakia, Abyssinia–and then the rest of the world almost tumbled like dominoes. A strong stance is needed now, sanctions and further measures are needed now, not later, not when Putin has taken Kyiv, not when Putin has made it clear that sanctions have no effect on him (surely he already has made this crystal clear, in any case). I urge you to call your representatives and encourage them to support further action against Putin.