The Web We wove
By Tony Candela
Since my last post a week ago, the Russians have invaded the Ukraine and are pushing toward the capitol, Kyiv and other major cities. This is a conventional modern war (missiles, bombers, ground forces), but what a terrible result from webs that have been woven over many years. The Ukraine cannot “win” this war without direct military assistance. Despite some short-term ‘victories’ as Russian soldiers have been held off or even driven out of places they briefly occupied, the Ukraine will be overtaken sooner than later. Where is the military assistance the Ukraine would need to hold off Russia! Beyond supplying the Ukraine with weapons, probably lots of intelligence, and (effective in the longer run) economic sanctions, where are the NATO forces? They are sitting in numbers too small to affect any outcome on the borders of their own countries with no plans to directly join the fray. Why? One article I read states that the reason NATO will not join the counter-attack is the presence of nuclear weapons. These weapons have not prevented regional conflicts over the years, but they have prevented head to head encounters among the super-powers. So here we sit, watching the inevitable unfold. After the shooting stops and the mess is assessed, we will have a significantly damaged and traumatized Ukraine to help repair, albeit a Ukraine more severely under Russia’s thumb. The only persons who will be happy are Putin and perhaps our most immediate past President. Too many people prognosticated that the Russians would not invade to know if we can trust anyone to truly predict what will happen next. I hope they can negotiate a cease-fire soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Russian troops remain inside Ukrainian borders for quite some time. Ironically, the growth of NATO over the years (basically a military alliance) has both spurred on Putin’s actions and handcuffed the rest of us. Make no mistake about it. It is our fear of escalation into a possible use of nuclear weapons that has frightened us into paralysis. Putin knows this, of course, announcing a rather cryptic heightening of his own nuclear readiness status. Who knows what this actually means, but one thing is for sure. We are caught in a web of our own making and unless we dare to break out of it, the current fight will not end well for the Ukraine. So I ask: How do we feel about our apparent paralysis? Can we live with it; with ourselves; with the knowledge of what we could not prevent from happening; with what is happening to the people of the Ukraine? Are there any helpful options that would circumvent our nuclear fears? Unlikely, given how afraid we are, but perhaps one I’ve heard mentioned, a NATO-enforced no-fly zone around the Ukraine might be enacted. This would mitigate the fear Russian jets create and the damage caused by the bombs they drop. Much as the pandemic of 2019 to the present, our mettle is once again being tested.
Anthony R. Candela, Author
Saying aloud what should not remain silent.
Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy
A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports
Vision Dreams: A Parable
A sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.
Christian Faith Publishing, 2019
Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar. Read more at: https://www.anthonyrcandela.com/