TEXT SIZE: Decrease text size Reset text size Increase text size Print Page

MuskokaONline.com News - #GOTLOCAL



Posted: 2022-03-21 14:50:06 By: thebay

Remember a few years ago, when the big news was that cash register receipts contained toxic residue? Heaven forbid that I should handle a toxic register receipt, which I’d been doing for the last 60 years. Then, that health risk was trumped by the emergence of a deadly pandemic, followed by the corrosive divisiveness, misinformation, and acrimony spawned by that mysterious health risk. Now, cash register receipts and COVID-19 have taken a backseat to the specter of the escalating conflict in Ukraine. As I absorb more than my fill of unimaginable Russian war atrocities in Ukraine, I, like many of the rest of you, are wondering what is next. Who will call whose bluff? Ultimately, I think it comes down to how long the Ukrainians can hold back the barbarians at the gate. I wish I knew what would stop this war, but I doubt anyone does. I look at the hellish, Armageddon-like destruction of Mariupol and wonder if that will ever happen here in the west.

Like so many events reported in the world today, the more information I glean about this war, the more confused I become. NATO is unwilling to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but they will arm Ukraine with sophisticated air defense systems and other weapons that could even the fight somewhat, albeit quite late in the conflict. It is a war by proxy. I’ve listened to a lot of armchair quarterbacks offering their opinions on what Russia might or might not do, and the opinion I intuitively believe, not knowing much about armed conflicts, is that Putin has stubbornly committed to the destruction of Ukraine. He’s done it before, just not in countries where the consequences more directly threaten Western Europe. I guess nothing short of a domestic revolution in Russia will stop the carnage, and barring a miracle, I don’t think that will happen. Even if ALL the Russian people did know the truth, and I think a lot of them already do, they are not free to protest, a right we in North America take for granted. I applaud the bravery of that woman at Channel One in Moscow who held up the protest sign during one of the party line propaganda broadcasts. She spoke for millions of Russians and will likely face severe punishment for her bravery. She proclaimed, “They can’t arrest us all”, but I wonder if anyone will heed her rally cry. Regrettably, many of us are not as brave as she is, and she lives in a country where dissent is punishable by death.

What will China do, and will the U.S. have any political sway over their decision? I think China will do what is in China’s best interest. I can only hope that Putin’s ill-considered, abominable aggression becomes enough of an economic and public relations liability to the Chinese government that they choose to sever their ideological ties with Russia and cut bait. Right now, China will do for Russia what the west is doing for Ukraine, and sit on the fence to watch the bully brutalize his victim.

It's easy to over-simplify this Ukrainian conflict and paint it as a fight between good and evil. Most people understand that this is a simplistic analysis. Anyone who has studied the history of North America understands that we have our own skeletons in the closet.

Most of us, including some Russians, know this one-way land grab war is wrong. And yet, here we are, reliving the horrors of WWII, repeating the unlearned lessons of the past. Once again, a power-hungry despot has turned the world on its head. Eventually, there will be a cease fire if, as is reported, the war continues to go badly for Putin. Still, all of those good, courageous people and their beautiful, historic cities are well along the way to being destroyed. Russia will annex more land, probably not the whole country, and Ukraine will be kept out of the NATO alliance; a lose-lose outcome for everyone.

I’ll say this, I’m not quite as worried about handling the cash register receipts as I was a few years ago.


Written by Jamie Oppenheimer ©2022 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED