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EDITORIAL – In the name of humanity, when will we say ‘No more’ to Putin?

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

HOW MANY bombed-out maternity hospitals will it take? How many destroyed apartment buildings, flattened shopping centres, public buildings?

How many dead women, men and children? How many more hundreds of thousands of refugees? How many more destroyed cities? How many more atrocities committed by Russia against Ukraine?

How many, before we stop being bystanders to this outrage?

We rally and we march. We sanction and we condemn. But, we say, we can’t get involved, not really. So we send food and medical supplies and guns but sooner or later that will become more and more difficult and the humanitarian crisis will get even worse.

Is there no red line in this war? Is there nothing Putin can do that will push us into taking even the slightest risk?

We tremble in fear that he will launch World War Three if we offend him. He says a no-fly zone would be considered involvement in the war so we say, OK, Vladimir, no no-fly zone, not to worry.

He says we can’t give airplanes to the Ukraine because that would be an escalation so, alright, no airplanes.

Where’s the tipping point? Certainly not, apparently, people’s homes and lives being destroyed. Not the sight of injured pregnant mothers being carried out of a destroyed maternity hospital. Not the blown-up schools and kindergartens.

Russia doesn’t have enough missiles and cluster bombs, it seems, to change our minds.

But surely, in the name of humanity, there must come a time when we say, “Enough is enough.” A time when we say, “We accept the risk because the consequences of not accepting it are more than our sense of decency can endure.”

A time when we start sending in fighter planes and set up a no-fly zone as the Ukrainians are asking. It’s beginning to feel more and more as though it’s the least we can do.

To use that well-worn phrase, are we there yet?

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8893 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

10 Comments on EDITORIAL – In the name of humanity, when will we say ‘No more’ to Putin?

  1. Bob Gamble // March 16, 2022 at 1:23 PM // Reply

    I’ve been blessed, I haven’t had to go to war. My Dad did and my Grandfather did but as luck would have it Canada didn’t need to come calling for me. My two sons who are nearing 50 weren’t needed as well. Maybe before we start beating the drums of war, we should ask those who will shoulder the arms what they think.

  2. Ian MacKenzie // March 15, 2022 at 4:09 PM // Reply

    All these comments echo my own feelings and thoughts. My only question remaining is “when do we declare war on Putin before he swaggers off into the sunset supported by the financial might of China in order to allow him to press the red button on Finland or Sweden or ourselves.” It is already too late for us to release the dogs of was on this fanatic. Our casualties will be high, but not nearly as high as the price we and the rest of the world will have to pay if we keep allowing this maniac to pot us off like target practice. Is Norad as toothless as the United Nations? If so we better find out right now. Let’s get at it!

  3. Tony Brumell // March 15, 2022 at 3:56 PM // Reply

    It’s called ” a crap shoot ” Is Poutine truly insane ? If so he will launch Nukes and be willing to wright his own country off as well as the rest of Earth. If not ? Can we /they afford to roll the dice when consequences are so extreme ? I’m not an appeaser I want to see him get a bloody nose just like you . I’m also not a strategist. Just tell me where the deepest mine shaft is and I’ll let you answer the big question .

  4. Jennie Stadnichuk // March 15, 2022 at 3:12 PM // Reply

    Canada and the West needs to understand that Appeasement didn’t work with Neville Chamberlain’s efforts: that Sept 3, 1939 happened despite it! Why do we never learn? A bully cannot be appeased. It is more horrible watching his brutal sacrilege when you have family and friends in countries in Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia etc. As those are countries he aims for next as he plans to reassemble the Soviet Union to pre 1990 era.

  5. Graham & Wendy Strachan // March 15, 2022 at 1:43 PM // Reply

    You are reading the minds of the majority. It has to be stopped.

  6. Ken McClelland // March 15, 2022 at 10:09 AM // Reply

    NATO, collectively, has done little more than stamp their feet on real terms. I heard a person interviewed at the beginning of the invasion that said “imagine the outcome if our response to Adolf Hitler had been the imposition of economic sanctions?” Putin needs to be spoken to in the only language he seems to understand. Appeasement of a bully is no solution. Neville Chamberlain tried that in 1939, lousy result. This is no different.

  7. Total agreement, Mel. The time has come to recognize the pattern set by Hitler in 1939. Putin is a monster, even to his own nation.

  8. Sean McGuinness // March 15, 2022 at 8:27 AM // Reply

    We should have said that “enough is enough” a long time ago, after Syria, after Chechnya, after the imprisonment and murders of opposition leaders in Russia. After the assault on the free press. But dictators like Putin and Xi have been allowed to go unchecked by the rest of the world. We should not be doing business with countries which do not respect human rights. We should have been a lot tougher than we have been. Sooner or later dictators are no longer just some other country’s problem, they are our problem.

  9. I guess, in the broader Geo-political and financial/economic context, Ukraine civilians mean little, just like in Palestine, in Afghanistan and in Persia. Is a war waged by Russia any different than a war waged by the Americans with its allies in tow? It is ALL wrong in the name of humanity.

  10. John Noakes // March 15, 2022 at 7:56 AM // Reply

    It seems we care more about the death toll from illicit drug use than the death toll in Ukraine.

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