I have lived through so many international conflicts.
The Cuban Missile Crisis – Even as a small child, I understood the threat of Russian supplied ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads ninety miles from our shore.
The Cold War – In school we had drills in which we went to the basement, covered our heads with our arms and hoped for the best in face of Soviet nuclear missiles and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).
The Vietnam War – It took over 58,000 American lives, drug on for nearly twenty years, divided our nation, and gave birth to a culture of protest. Two years after our withdrawal, North Vietnam declared victory. I just missed the draft.
The First Gulf War – Our forces, along with a large coalition of nations freed the tiny oil producing country of Kuwait and pushed Sadam Hussein’s forces back to Bagdad with speed and efficiency.
The Second Gulf War – Was an elective war to further punish Sadam for his treachery inflicted upon his own people, his disregard for UN directives, and for possessing Weapons of Mass destruction which we never found. The actual war lasted only a month. The resultant civil war and occupation lasted eight years.
The Afghan War was a retaliation for the 911 attack on our nation and lasted ten years making it America’s longest war. The Taliban quickly took over the country after our departure.
The costliest wars predate me. WW I (17 million lives lost) and WW II (60 million lives lost). Of course, we had our own internal Civil War which took 618,000 lives
The hot spots have been Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East, and now we are cycling back to Europe again. The more aggressive minded states seem to be Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. Nine nations have a stockpile of 13,000 nuclear weapons.
It seems like there are always a handful of ruthless leaders who have total control over their populous as well as control of the information they receive. There are always a few off-kilter dictators who want to force additional people into their submission and build a great empire by force. Dictators, empires, and wars are almost a summation of world history.
This war feels different.
- It is obviously a war of choice.
- It is being broadcast on social media by civilians caught in the middle of it.
- Russia is totally isolated.
- The Ukrainians are fiercely defending their nation.
- International support for the defenders is overwhelming, except…
- There is little willingness to do anything that might provoke Putin.
There are big issues to consider.
Two nations with nuclear weapons fighting each other
- The stability or instability of Putin
- The implications for the future: Will Putin stop with Ukraine, or will he move on to a neighboring NATO nation?
- How to respond to an international bully
- The morality, or immorality, of war
No sane person wants to be in a situation in which he may be killed or maimed or inflict the same upon others. But what about the morality of protecting your own family, your countrymen, your neighbors, your own brothers and sisters, your own fellow human beings?
It seems our country was slow and tepid in our response as we watched Ukraine be surrounded by over 100,000 Russian soldiers and massive amounts of war machinery. We watch as the attacks were launched and civilians in apartment buildings and so-called humanitarian corridors were brutally targeted.
Can’t we at least stop importing Russian oil and stop financing the war?
Can’t we at least ramp up oil and natural gas production (for now) and send it to Europe if the Russians cut them off and have enough so we don’t have a significant dependence upon imports?
Can’t we at least replace the warplanes that neighboring nations are giving the Ukrainians?
Can’t we at least stand up to the bully with the long-term outcome in mind, so we are not green lighting him and every other nefarious dictator to go ahead with their next conquest?
Can’t we at least do what we can now to avoid further war in the future?
Can’t we at least do our best now to be moral and ethical human beings to protect innocent people?
Mathew 26: 4-8