WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?
“All wars are a symptom of human failure as a thinking animal.” – John Steinbach
Vladimir Putin is making a colossal mistake. Not only Russians and Ukrainians but also he himself will have to pay a terrible price for starting an unwanted war. History will remember him as a cruel sociopath responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and destruction of beautiful country. When do we learn that war does not solve anything?
Homo sapience is the only species that fights war within the same species against each other. Other living organisms fight for food and sex partner but do not engage in wars. They don’t kill unknown strangers en mass. History has proven that wars never solve problems but worsen existing bad situations. Then what is Mr. Putin up to by invading Ukraine unprovoked? Outrageous madness! Thousands of innocent people have already died and more will. Millions became refugees. It is creating worse situations for all parties since German invasion of Poland in 1939. We must do everything to help save lives and to prevent all-out war.
Many pundits predict a devastating result of Putin’s fatal mistake not only on Russian and Ukrainian people but also on Mr. Putin himself personally. Many dictators died pathetic and often violent deaths. It will be a repeat of Soviet misadventure into Afghanistan during the 1980’s. It resulted in the downfall of the Russian Empire “USSR.” The bottomless quagmire dragged the Russian economy into the bottomless bog and turned the populace against the once powerful empire. Humans fought each other from time immemorial. History tells us that there haven’t been very many positive effects on the victors as well as on vanquished. No one wins a war. Like Bob Dylan lamented: “When will we ever learn?”
As World War II ended, severe recession fell on the U.K. It was so bad that people rejected the war hero Winston Churchill in the general election. American economy was going through a same doom and gloom. Severe recession fell. while Germany and Japan thrived in an economic miracle. A standup comedian Jackie Mason proposed a quick passage to prosperity. “Declare a war against Germany and Japan, and surrender next day. We get lots of foreign aid, and we will kick start economy.” Often comedians are a sharpest and acute observer like Charlie Chaplin was. The current president of Ukraine Valensky was a comedian. Mighty Russian army may be defeated by a comedian in a green T-shirt.
When I came to Canada in 1957, in Vancouver where I was appointed to the my first job in Canada, the city was full from the elites of Japanese business class who were representatives of trading companies. I had a luck (or misfortune) to get invited to the parties at the Consul General’s Residence often because some of them came to my church. Many of those businessmen were former officers of the defeated former Japanese military. They were full of passion for revenge but through commerce and technology: Buy up everything Canada wanted to sell: coal, lumber, oil, fish, wheat, oil, everything, and sell superior quality technological manufactured goods: cars, electronic gizmos, mortor-bikes, etc. The passionate conversation was frightening for one committed to Canada. I quit going there. In retrospect, I guess they succeeded not in the war but in commerce and technology. Germany can tell the same story. When will we ever learn? Nobody wins a war. Mr. Putin is trapped in the same bottomless qugmire and will be remembered as a blood-thirsty tyrant like Joseph Stalin.