In other words: Russia invading Ukraine warrants a blog.
I feel for Ukraine but I think the invasion is more than just Ukraine. It is an invasion of the authoritarian regimes against the democratic ones. This bold move by Putin is basically a taunt, a posturing, a signal that he/Russia has power. P-O-W-E-R! But why would he do that when the rest of the world does not think or act as if Russia is a major threat much anymore? Why would he do that when Russia was ticking along like a lap dog for him? The answer, I believe, is now obvious: Putin still has imperious ambitions and he thinks China has his back. It is not just Russia threatening and it is not just Ukraine being threatened. It is the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon not only flexing muscles but openly giving the West a loud raspberry and a middle finger all at the same time.
Ya gotta wonder……why do this? What is in it for Putin? I can see what is in it for China…..they get a ‘trusted’ oil supply, they get an ally at their back in case they need one* and they have a trapped customer for their goods. Without even making an insult to the increasingly self-absorbed USA and weakened NATO alliance, China gains immensely in resources, marketplace and defense.
*And if China takes Taiwan within the next year do not be too surprised. If Ukraine falls with just a whimper, China will be emboldened. They might invade. This is scary stuff.
Regardless of my ignorant view of international maneuvering and the greater evil that men continually do, my point is simply that the timing of this was no accident. It is all post Trump. Trump exposed the ugly underbelly of the United States over the past four years and divided the population. Trump sided with Putin and helped minimize the Putin threat perception. Trump was financed by Putin (follow the money from the Russia-backed VTB, through Deutsche Bank direct to Trump) . Trump has been an insidious insurrectionist from day one and it has all been in aid of Russia.
But, of course, it is ‘just business’, isn’t it?
So, what does this mean to me? Well, we have an unstable, divided nation just south of us. We have Covid-disrupted supply lines already. Trump also managed to drive wedges between the USA and Mexico and Canada. Trump also aggravated relations with NATO countries and the USA is increasingly irked with China on so many other levels. The big boys are getting testy. Everyone is in a bad mood.
And I live in a country that has fools in parliament, institutions that can barely cope with Covid and, on a day-to-day basis, could not even cope with a motley crew of alt-right protesters in pick-up trucks. None of the above is confidence inspiring. I do not feel safe.
Safe, for me, was distance, isolation and minimal needs to satisfy. Getting all that by living OTG turned out to be a bigger joy and reward and was a HUGE bonus personally. I mean, I had no idea that WW3 might play out right over my head but I did have a palpable feeling of dread about ‘the great unraveling’ (that feeling started circa 2001) and so I chose to live in a place where such an event would impact me the least. But, of course, a brand new, missile-launching, EMT, radioactive, planet-disrupting WW3 leaves no one unscathed. And, currently, we have all been scathed somewhat already. None of us are safe.
What’s more, it only seems to be getting darker.