Americans are very short-sighted. Our attention span has been whittled away by the pace of 4 minute music and 15 second advertising videos. It seems to be the only pace we can run. Myself, I can read only a paragraph or two before my jet-fueled concentration flares out. .
We Americans hardly remember significant events from last week let alone 75 years ago. On the other hand, Russians, like Putin, are very studious and remember quite well the events from 1935 to 1945. He knows America has just gotten out of all our wars, and we have no stomach to get involved in another. In fact, only about 3% of Americans have had any personal involvement since the government ended the Draft. So, for most of us, we have no real history to remember as a reference. If we cannot learn from it, we are bound to repeat it.
Anyone remember Hitler? The parallels between Putin’s strategy and Hitler’s are overwhelming. The entire character of the historical setting is amazing. The West has been pacified and wants no part in any more war. In the 20th Century, people simply did not care what happened to the Jewish population.
That was then, this is now: most people do not care what happens to the Ukrainian population. Do we now care about the Ukrainians? Or, are you also just as torn as me? It does not really involve us. Many are willing to send life’s necessities, because many are charitable and caring people. However, we draw the line at war. It is not our war, after all. The thought of WWIII is paralyzing. So, let Putin have Austria and Czechoslovakia, Poland and Denmark, Norway and Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece. I mean “let Hitler have Ukraine.” It doesn’t involve us. We have “peace in our time.”
I am torn. Before my eyes, history is repeating itself.
I am torn. Is there some higher law of morality that demands we respond militarily? Do we just stand by and avert our eyes away from another genocide? As I said before, I am old and ill and have led a good life in a prosperous nation. So, it is easy for me to take the higher ground. If nuclear war takes my life, what does it matter? Heaven is my home. However, my opinion doesn’t really matter, does it?
I have an eerie feeling nations are being weighed in the scales of justice; we are being judged in the eyes of God; we are being measured for the coffin of consequences. And yet, I remain torn.
I am torn between the two: what is safe and what is necessary; what is wise and what is righteous. I cannot decide for myself and certainly not preach to anyone else. “Terrible times will come.” (2 Timothy 3:1) I am torn, and “terrible” is too light a word for my conundrum and my vexation.
Can we leave the decision up to our political and religious leaders? “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush…” (Jeremiah 6:13–15, NIV)
I guess “I’ve just got to fall on my knees and pray — just like yesterday.”