For this post, I will spare you my theories on this war and past wars. Suffice it to say, the innocent suffer, the rich get richer, and no one ultimately wins. Truly, what does conquering land and buildings yield? When we die, we cannot take earthly riches with us. It is a waste of time and human life.
On another note, NATO and supporting countries are condemning the actions of Russia and 'helping' Ukraine by sending weapons, medical supplies, and food. Some are offering homes for those escaping the war. They are not sending their own warriors. The world 'stands with Ukraine' in photos, memes, flag-waving, but we are not there fighting with them. Not really. Don't kid yourselves.
Food and medicine are important. Weapons are important.
I see people on social media scoffing when someone offers prayers and thoughts during a tragedy in our own country (e.g. a school shooting), as if prayers and thoughts do nothing. Yet, here we are with an entire country being besieged and we are offering prayers and thoughts.
Ironic, isn't it.
It's not acceptable in our own country, but it's perfectly fine when it's for someone in another country.
Why don't we put our money where our mouths are?
I applaud the rescue workers of Samaritan's Purse and other such organizations who go in, regardless of location, to render aid to those in need, be it from natural disaster or war.
I applaud anyone who renders assistance and aid.
I grew up in the era of Vietnam, the war no one wanted, everyone protested, and the government dragged out, leaving the country of Vietnam in worse shape than when we arrived. My big brother was there. My future husband was there. Many friends and other family were there. I was a toddler. I remember seeing the protests on the television (and shocked when color television replaced the black & white pictures in our home).
My dad fought in WWII and was wounded in action. He finished his time in the military by guarding German Prisoners of War (POWs). One of those soldiers knew some English and spoke with my dad, expressing that the war hadn't been between them, just their governments; that they were both soldiers doing their jobs as ordered.
Indeed, Germany had tried to take over the planet, led by an intelligent madman. But the soldiers, were real people, like you and me. They had families and they didn't play in politics. They did their best to support their families and their countries. Sadly, many didn't know the full extent of the atrocities forced on the Jewish population in Europe until after the fact. By the time some knew during the war, the machine was in place, and those who were not Jewish feared rocking the boat and their families' lives if they spoke out.
When I studied in Europe decades ago, I invited my parents to join me. My dad declined since he'd been there. I tried to assure him, it would be beautiful, no longer war-torn. He still declined and I respect his decision. I wish he could have seen the places he'd been, where shelling was daily, and he dug into foxholes. I wish he could have seen beauty and peaces in the places where he'd seen too many innocents die.
But, it was not something he could face. And that is the point.
None of us want to face the ugly, we do not want to revisit horror. Even worse, we don't want to learn from the past. We don't want to learn from someone like my dad, who lived through it. We don't want to hear from the survivors of concentration camps. We don't want to think of our own prison camps for those from the wars. We don't want to admit that there are no real rules in war, that it is survival of the fittest, just like in the animal kingdom for all eternity. True, countries and nations right treaties and rules of engagement on paper. But when you're in the war itself and on the battlefields (in the streets, in the forests, in the dessert, on the ocean), you, as a human, will do what you must to survive. That is true for any soldier.
Until you risk your life for your fellow soldiers. That is when heroes are born. They forget themselves in that moment, not having planned since childhood who they may save. They simply do. They jump on grenades. They run in front of tanks. They shove a buddy into a foxhole. They stay with the ship to make sure others escape. They take the bullet. They take multiple bullets and keep fighting, living on adrenaline only as the blood spurts from holes torn in their limbs.
We call them heroes. They, if they survive, simply reply that they were doing their jobs.
War is ugly. It is never pretty. Never. It may be glorified in song or by some award-winning journalist, but the truth is that war is ugly, forever and always.
Politicians may wax poetic and tell us how their hearts break for the families of the fallen, but until they lose someone in battle or someone to long-term battle illness (e.g. Agent Orange from Vietnam is still killing 50+ years later, slowly and insidiously), until they lose someone they love more than life itself, they truly cannot hurt for the wars they wage.
Presidents in the USA typically call families of fallen. Those calls must be bone-chilling for the person in the presidential office. There are no words they can say to a mother or father that will ever compensate for the loss of the son or daughter who died in battle the President ordered. Nothing will bring back their children.
Have you ever noticed that when a person takes the oath of office of President of the United States the demeanor is determined, focused, and proud? Have you noticed by the time the President leaves office, their hair is much gray-er, their shoulders are less straight, their gaze is more somber? A true leader wears the weight of the country on their shoulders and has learned much from carrying the responsibility of sending someone else's children to war and possible death.
Not all countries' leaders seem to age like the presidents of the USA. I would like to think that is because our country was founded on the belief of individual freedoms, freedoms worth fighting for, and not just being a sovereign country. I do not know the answer.
Look at the current President of Russia. He is not showing his age thus far. Why is that? I will leave that answer up to you, dear reader, and to him.
All I can do from my current keyboard is share thoughts and pray for the innocents of all wars. I ask you to do the same and try to do better. All nations need to pray for the innocent and to guide/elect leaders who will do better for humankind and our planet.
Pray. Lead. Educate. Encourage. Render aid. Pray.