History was never my strong suit. But, as I understand it, World War I began “over there.”
World War II began “over there.”
The Korean War began “over there.” (Korea, obviously.)
The Vietnam War began “over there.” (Again, obviously, in Vietnam.)
And now it seems that another major war is developing rapidly “over there,” this time in Ukraine. The point of this reflection is not so much that the major conflicts of modern history have begun somewhere other than in our own country, but more so that when a conflict was begun “over there,” it grew into a major war involving multiple nations who joined in to fight. Let me cut to the chase: I cannot dismiss the possibility that we have finally succeeded in planting the seeds for World War III.
I will allow that I could use further education about the whole Ukraine/Russia confrontation, but from what I’ve been hearing (and here I also allow that a grain or two of salt should be added, since the only information I hear is what comes thru the filters and lenses of the major news outlets who themselves promote their own biases and agendas), Russia’s attacks on Ukraine – at this point, focused on the capital, Kyiv – were initiated pretty much unilaterally by the country’s autocratic (and some are even using the word “deranged”) leader, Vladimir Putin.
It scares me to think that one man has that much power.
Whatever those microscopic nerve impulses were that happened to dart around in his brain have already been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilian lives in a country that never wanted to be part of Russia to begin with. One man – on impulse – has been capable of creating such horrors. It staggers the imagination.
The best hope that Ukraine has for coming out on top of this war (might as well call it what it is) lies in the combined forces of the NATO countries who are bound to defend fellow NATO countries. Russia is a huge country with exceptional resources, but it’s not impossible to defeat. With the right strategies – and, let’s admit it, the help of Almighty God – this army of invaders can be overcome. Again, from what I understand, the sanctions imposed on Russia are already causing panic, with people forming long lines outside of their banks to withdraw their accounts before there is no money left in the vaults.
It’s important for us to keep watching what’s going on “over there,” the latest piece in the complicated, ever-evolving puzzle of history. It’s important for us to accept that one man can be responsible for creating the conditions that can cost a grievous toll in human life and to do all we can to counter that kind of power.
It’s more important than ever for us to pray for peace on earth.