The horrors of war again

Oh, the war.

Vladimir Putin threatens with more than 150,000 troops and forward-deployed armaments an invasion of Ukraine with the full backing of Fox News. To anyone not paying attention, this must sound like a terrible joke. But no, Tucker Carlson and his ilk are really siding with Moscow in the growing tensions and threat of war.

Can you imagine if Trump had managed to steal the 2020 election and was back in the White House now, how would this current scenario play out? The US administration would encourage Putin to come in and take control of Ukraine, at least.

With Trump in the White House here, Putin would be free to stick with NATO and roll his tanks into Ukraine for what would most certainly have been a gruesome massacre of tens of thousands of innocent people.

Of course, it could still happen. But the likelihood is a fraction of what it would have been with any other US president right now.

What is most often overlooked about the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is its most obvious consequence, its human toll.

Americans now have very little experience with warfare. With the end of Vietnam, the American project came to an end, a shrewd move by proponents of the American war industry to remove the general public from any intimate and sensual involvement in the horrific war business that operated for the 50 last years.

Those who died in the wars of the period that followed were surprisingly detached from the American public consciousness. In this intervening period, all American war participants have left voluntarily, so to speak, and without any national outrage against any war, even the longest in American history which only recently ended in Afghanistan, the cost of wars on national populations, for example, has on the whole been completely overlooked.

In Iraq, for example, the loss of life from the unprovoked US invasion in 2004 amounted to well over half a million civilians, according to Oxfam, a British confederation of more than 21 nonprofits, but with it almost entirely concealed. here, who cares?

How ironic that there has been more outrage in the United States for the Biden administration’s long-awaited decision to finally end this horrible war than to continue it indefinitely even further. The media narrative in the United States continues to be that the American end to this war, involving an airlift of over 120,000 personnel from Kabul, was chaotic and misguided.

Yet it was the most astonishing operation of its kind ever recorded. It was going almost perfectly until one, and only one, terrorist attack killed 100 or more people, sparking the massive onslaught of criticism that continues.

Clearly, this unfair characterization of withdrawal was encouraged by the massive war profiteering industry in the United States.

But now America must take a look at what another major war initiative might look like, while remaining emotionally detached with the assurance that no American lives will be endangered if the Russian invasion of Ukraine actually occurs.

Not American lives, but tens of thousands of innocent Ukrainian human lives.

This future Russian invasion must be viewed with horror, and if not, the emotional lives of American citizens will be exposed as horribly damaged.

The general Russian population will most certainly be outraged far more than we in the United States, despite the fact that the invasion will be the responsibility of its own murderous tyrant.

But such moments are exemplary of the incredibly insensitive factors that go into decisions to go to the mass killings we call wars. Some wars, of course, are necessary to suppress pure evil, such as the American Civil War and the need to stop Hitler in World War II.

Americans were remarkably courageous in their efforts to defeat the genocidal evils of slavery and racial discrimination. But there is nothing in the current war threats that reflects this in the least.

Yet the bloody horrors of war nevertheless stand at our doorstep.

Jerry B. Hatch