Monday, March 7, 2022
I remember some lines from an old movie inspired by a Broadway musical, Paint Your Wagon.
Where am I goin’?
I don’t know.
When will I get there?
I ain’t certain.
All I know is I am on my way …
Some days that sounds, inside my head, like an anthem for wandering aimlessly – but more often, it’s a reminder that sometimes we don’t know what today or tomorrow will hold. The past two years of pandemic education we all received are painful reminders of not knowing where we are headed or when we are going to get there.
The past two weeks, a Russian war on Ukraine, crude oil prices spiking high – and again, where are we going, and when will we get there?
Clearly, we are on our way to somewhere – a world we’ll mostly recognize, but one with massive changes that are in no way inevitable. What Putin thought would be a one-week walk-over has shifted to a world of watchers and Ukrainians saying no.
Many say, “Over my dead body.”, which will sadly be true for many innocent citizens of a democracy.
Putin doesn’t care; to him, they are one more bit of rubble beneath his tank-track heavy feet. The machinery of evil is at work, not unlike Hitler in 1939. Putin must be stopped. Russia must be stopped, and like despotic war criminals everywhere, Putin and those doing his bidding deserve to be prosecuted for their crimes. Democracy can do this, and sadly we’ve seen too many harsh words and not enough action from our leaders. Yes, sanctions and cutting off funds, seizing billionaire’s yachts and pinching Putin’s purse are essential steps – but the democratic world, all the loud voice countries inside NATO and at the United Nations have yet to fire a shot, launch a missile, or turn off energy taps.
Putin will not respond to anything – and it might appear the only thing that will end him is execution or assassination. It looks like he wants either martyrdom or domination. We (the rest of the world) must demonstrate that we will fathom neither of those. Sending money and bullets to Ukraine is helpful, but it isn’t enough.
Putin is on a suicide mission – and I wonder if the powerful countries, like ours, will stop talking and start acting to hasten his end before he takes any more lives in his wake. I don’t wish Putin death – I want for him to rot in a filthy damp dark prison until dead because that would send a better message to anyone who would try such heinous barbarism in the future. Or maybe it doesn’t matter; and maybe evil manifests periodically no matter these repeated historical lessons. Generals Patton wasn’t, it would now appear, wrong when he wanted to not stop after defeating Hitler; he wanted to press against Russia … perhaps he was right.
I am reminded of the term “wounded healers”—people who strive to help others as a way to solve their own problems. Admittedly, the experience of others is important, but if we rely on that alone, we run the risk of taking advice for slaying our dragons from people who are in worse shape than we are, HW, Calgary, AB