We Did Not Want To Be Here. And Yet We Are

War

A continuation of…

As Legions Before Us. We Will Be Tested

This not grandstanding; nor doomsaying; nor least of all a rallying call. We are moving past all of that. We are in the place where Reality is demanding our choices. This is how it is. You are being drawn to those choices, you will be asked to judge which paths.  For there are two human emotive tectonic plates grinding together and at some stage one will flip over the other, and there will be the quake. Those are National Domestic Pressures and The War  In Ukraine. Both remorseless, unavoidable, most of the elemental forces out of your control. Your reaction though will still be yours, along with tens of millions of others, each drop, each flake with its own weight and influence. Prepare yourself. And do not look for advice or guidance here I would not presume such arrogance.

The world is still dealing with a pandemic, the, medical, social and financial costs. Nations are facing domestic political upheavals in one form or another. The two closest to my heart being The Fracturing of Consensus in the USA and Brexit in my own UK. While now we have on the European Continent a full scale conventional conflict between two nations; The War that has been on hold since the Nuclear Sword of Damocles arrived. Both nations are locked in. One for survival, the other for a complex mix of motivations, some traditional, others recent. Both have invested great amounts of blood and treasure. One has massive resources, the other is in receipt of a steady stream of support. With each passing day, each shock of more death and misery. While in our own nations the domestic world goes on; at times you could be forgiven for briefly not thinking about Ukraine. But it will not go away.

War on the doorstep, be that literal, continental or geo-political in scope. War in one of its uglier industrial scales. No fast sweep of motorised columns; a hard version of commuter traffic, while folk stand gawping, some shaking fists, and then in a few days, it’s all over. ‘How shocking. I hope our government protests,’ you would have thought. Not this time, this was one militaries prepare for; well to begin with not so much The Russians. This was the grand demonstration to a horrified public what happens when the invaded supplied with latest weapons, trained for this happening, take a stand. The attacker very rarely gives out with a collective ‘Whoops’ and pulls back. Instead they revert using whatever they have in their locker, irrespective of the structural damage. While their troops on the ground, weary, low of morale, confused and angry take out their fear on the civilians. And there are the brutal mercenaries, bringing resonances of the WWII German SS police battalions .

Even so, after a while a certain adjustment can take place, what was in your mind, grabbing all of your attention, slips into the background. Back to the Domestic. Home news pushes to the fore, again. Ukraine: you’ve done all you can, you think; price rises, job security, polemical domestic politicians, they cannot be avoided.

However this war will not go away. The scenarios in which NATO is involved begin to take credible shape. Are you prepared for those? Are you ready to support such a step? Or would you judge it is best for all if the war is let to run down and Ukraine accept it has Fought the Good Fight, but must accept some compromise with Russia? Would you then hope the cost in men, material and economic damage would cause the downfall of the present Kremlin Court, then fences can be repaired, slowly and to salve our consciences money is poured into the surviving parts of the Ukraine. Money? Where from? Our own economies are suffering. National Debt is high. Some economists must be having sleepless nights, more so those in the various Financial Branches of governments. There again as we steer around the circle, NATO being involved would bring its own heavy costs. Unavoidable, pick one.

Whatever path is taken there will be prices to be paid. Militarily, Economically, Politically, Ethically even (Remember, every Ukrainian victory or defiant stance comes with a price in Russian blood, we also are now locked into that one way or another. Remember those days when you thought killing of anyone was reprehensible, but you still do. Except the World doesn’t allow you that detachment)

To re-visit. With the coming of Covid the world changed, though we got off lucky; a different strain could have brought an unmanageable death rate. But we are learning to live with it; just have to stop playing politics and silly conspiracy role-play games . A war in Europe involving Russia vs The West. Now that is no so easy to walk through; if it stopped tomorrow, all arms laid down the resonances would continue for at least the rest of the decade. How long before Russia and Russian stops being associated with brutality?

So far I have used the ‘?’ symbol six times. Could have been more. Strategies still developing in The West and Blindness to Consequences in the Kremlin. We are on a road in a fog, approaching something more than a crossroads.

You and I. We in our places. And we wonder or we resolve. If we take the latter  will we stay the course? (Seven ‘?’s and counting). When we look back all the other stances we took, seemed to have elements of simplicity. ‘We shouldn’t have gone there’; ‘We shouldn’t have got involved’ ‘We shouldn’t be doing this/that’. ‘We should be’; ‘We should be’…. Now, in these early months of 2022, ‘We should be doing…What?’ Your choice of Statement. (Eight ‘?’s and counting).

I did not bring in other issues, such as the catastrophic drought in the Horn of Africa, or the likely famine in Northern Africa due to the disruption of grain supplies from Ukraine & Russia, or…..

On reflection I was likely wrong to use the road, crossroads analogy.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say ‘Make your accommodations, or sketch out your own forecast so you may navigate through the storms ahead,’. Perhaps? (Nine ‘?’s and counting).

28 thoughts on “We Did Not Want To Be Here. And Yet We Are

  1. Roger, well done, my friend. I like the reference to the lack of consensus. When one’s currency is lying, a key tactic is to make people believe everyone is lying as much as they are. The mission is to get people to trust no one. This is what Putin did with Brexit and in America, just water the seeds of discontent and sow new ones with the conspiracy parrots. He had fertile ground. While Ukraine is backfiring on him, in part because President Zelenskyy refused to leave, his disinformation strategy to cause the lack of consensus in the west has been hugely successful. I am sure the UK has its conspiracy parrots like Carlson, Ingraham, Trump, Greene, Boehbert, Cawthorn, et al here. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Keith.
      We are going to feel increasing amounts of discomfort over the coming weeks as we try to find our own levels as the new (The Ukrainian) crisis continues. There is nothing wrong with this, we should do. It is finding the accommodation which is the hard task, because that is we are Humans facing great challenges, each one facing this time.

      As for the wretched Conspiracy folk, yes we have them. Paradoxically apart from the thuggish EDL (extreme- right racists) ours are usually found on the Left, Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers being a man who has spent his life inventing them- and now having the time of his Life with Covid.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a thought-provoking post, my friend. Our consciences (for those of us who have one) will be sorely tried & tested in the months (years?) ahead. Sadly, as you say, we are also being tested within our own boundaries … so much to absorb, to try to understand … so many things vying for our attention, our compassion. Your words must be shared, for your eight or nine ‘???’s are ones which we must all face. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I was working on a post for this afternoon when I read this post by our friend Roger. After reading it, I set my own post aside for later, for this one begs to be shared. It gives us pause, makes us think, makes us question our priorities and realize that we will be faced with tough choices in the months, perhaps years, ahead. Our consciences, our values, are to be tested. Thank you, dear Roger, for thought-provoking words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I only hope the USA will not be so crazy and take acitively part of this war. Sometimes I don’t understand those responsible in Ukraine who keep demanding heavy weapons. As sad as it looks like for Russia, the war can only be won spending most of the Western civilisation we are knowing till now. These are no affordable costs. xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    • War has its own terrible logic which runs in fearfully different ways to Daily Life (if you are fortunate to live in a place where war is not Daily Life).
      Wars have not one cause, nor one specific date which you can point to.

      Wars are naturally mixed with politics, and in this case the public are not wholly innocent in the move to War, or the acceleration.
      In this latest European war, in which Russia is the starting combatant, The USA is but one player, and as in WWII is locked into the tides and storms taking place. The USA in effect is dancing to a European tune. Where this goes is still not predictable.

      Ukraine and Russia have a long complex history. Just reading the 20th Century part will give an depressing insight into why not just the Ukrainian government but the Ukrainians want those weapons.

      You are correct, unless the current Kremlin Court is toppled from within Russia, this is likely to be a war of attrition. Another in Europe’s history.

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  5. I will only talk about me. I am a pacifist. I do not believe in war. I do not believe in killing. But immedistely when Putin sent his army actoss the border, and the West retaliated with sanctions, I could see something was wrong. Sanctions affect the Russian people. Sanctions are not affecting Putin one iota. The only thing Putin will respond to is force. The most effective force is to sacrifice one life, Putin’s, to save thousands or eventually millions from being killed. I was shat upon for even suggesting it. So I turned to the second aternative, a huge show of military force (fighting not needed) that would overwhelm Putin’s forces and scare the shit out of them. Again I was shat upon. So what has changed since Putin started this war, and the West has retaluated with sanctions? The war is no longer between armies, but now involves the mass killings of non-combatants. Everyone is crying about war crimes and crimes against humanity, but no one is willing to take action! None of this would have happened if Western leaders had retaliated directly against Putin himself, or his armies. Only one life really needed to be ended. And tha is still the best way. But none of our efforts are doing a damn thing in Putin’s mind. Instead of showing strength, we are showing our weakness. And it pisses me off no one with any power can see see the best solutions. And the bodies keep piling up, mostly on Ukraine’s side, but really on both sides…
    Where will this end? (QUESTION MARK!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • As much as taking out Putin and The Kremlin Court is an attractive idea rawgod; War is always a collection of actions, reactions and consequences.

      The only way Putin could have been taken out would have been a missile strike at the Kremlin…assuming the intelligence could be certain he was in the Kremlin. That would depend on getting through the Russian Missile defences. If, and if it had been successful the vast bulk of the Russian population would have seen this as an act of war against them; Russia for all its size in very insular. There would have be a response, in kind, and so on. Putin and the Kremlin Court have to be taken out from within, and even then the dislocation within Russian society could bring about shock waves which may not be favourable to the outside; depends who seizes power…hopefully ones who want to get out of the war.

      In War there are no best solutions. There are calculations, accommodations, risks (of course) and a pragmatism which takes on the nightmarish proportions. And part of that matrix is the death of civilians.

      War:
      Think of your worst imaginings and that’s the story.

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      • I have a list of those rawgod, past, present and future, but there are always ramifications and consequences. (Let us fervently hope Trump never gets assassinated, he would be raised to Martyr Status by MAGA and there would be ‘reprisals’)
        For Putin we can only hope for a ‘Palace Coup’. It has to come from within. And it has to be classically Russian.

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      • That works for me, but Putin is so paranoid he already suspects everyone of plotting against him. When Brutus assassinated Caesar, he was shocked. Putin needs a Brutus right now. Not a palace coup that can be sniffed out by a paranoid megalomaniac who is watching and listening everywhere. One person, on their own, suddenly and unexpectedly. I doubt that is classically Russian. And I doubt there is anyone in Russia able to get close enough to Putin to assassinate him.
        So I have no idea how to accomplish this.9 I am
        not an assassin strategist. But Putin needs to e taken off his throne. This is something the whole world needs to get done

        Liked by 1 person

      • There have been a few czars assassinated, some by power-grabbers, others because their grabbing had run of out steam and some by political activists.
        It has been suggested by some historians that Stalin might have survived his seizure if everyone hadn’t wary of sending a doctor in, in case Stalin came around and assumed it was a plot.
        His hatchet man Beria (even more vile) tried to seize power, but the politburo was too quick for him and he was shot.
        Malenkov who took over from Stalin entered into a power struggle with Khrushchev, lost, tried a sort of political coup, lost again and oddly was simply appointed as a manager of a power plant in of a hydroelectric plant in Ust’-Kamenogorsk in Kazakhstan.
        Khrushchev himself was later to be retired.
        (The mid 1950s to mid 1960s seemed to be an era of ‘retiring’ folk and not killing them)
        Thus by one means or another Putin is far from secure.
        If he was ‘retired’ he could well be thrown under the proverbial bus by the next regime as a sacrifice to the International Community in exchange for Russia being allowed back in.
        Or he could die of a sudden heart attack / stroke due to strain of the war (The Official Line, to which everyone in the Diplomatic / Political West nods their heads sagely and says to the new Russian leadership ‘Of course. Quite so. Quite so,’

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