No more war. Peace. Will that ever happen? Not at this time. Not in this place. Not on this planet.
War is caused by a divide but has the power to unite the world also. I’m saddened by the daily news of suburban buildings being shelled, maternity wards bombed, and civilians murdered in the streets of Ukraine. And yet I’m also inspired by the Ukrainian resolve to continue to fight for every inch of ground against a daunting, and much larger adversary. And the majority of the world is joining with the people of Ukraine through sanctions, thoughts, prayers, generous refugee policies, weapons, intelligence, and the sharing of information.
The buildup to the materialization of this physical war has taken years and I fear it will not end soon. In fact, Russia has been at war with the west since the early 2000’s through the spreading of disinformation in Europe and North America and other, smaller scale military attacks and annexations in their local region. One man’s conquest to rebuild an empire through brute force and the destabilization of NATO has succeeded, in some ways. But will it continue to succeed?
And now, with the onslaught of war news, I sometimes drift off into a daydream, or daymare as I like to call it, and think of what it would be like to be under totalitarian rule. Would I stand up? Organize protests? Speak out while being threatened with imprisonment and torture like the Russian people are now experiencing within their own country? Then I remember that I have done just that during the past 5 years as our culture has struggled with attempted Fascism at home. Fortunately, I live in a place that, for now at least, does not lock you up or kill you for protesting and speaking out. But that could easily change, and it almost did.
With Ukraine well under siege and the Russian and Chinese disinformation machines churning out lies like never before, I ask myself if we’ve wised up in our own country? I fear we have not as I look at the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, Lauren Boeberts, and Madison Cawthorns in our congress, echoing the messages churned out by these very same authoritarian states. Are these members of our own governing body a direct result of those campaigns to weaken NATO and western democracy? Think about it.
As for the dictator abroad, we can look back historically and see that we, outsiders, cannot stop him. We can starve him of global currency and trade to keep him weak, but only the people of Russia can stop the onslaught of authoritarian rule there. It starts in their minds, and only they have the power to unite, overthrow, rebuild, and monitor their own government. Do they have the courage and strength? Do they have the mental willpower? We shall see in the days, months and, possibly, years ahead.
Freedom is not free, or so I’ve been told many times before. Now I truly believe it.