An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE PERSONAL STORIES of those coming from Ukraine, or who have loved ones in harm’s way, continue to bring the images of war to the Tournament Capital. Yet there’s a danger those stories will, over time, start to seem common place.
Each day, the media show us heartbreaking video of destroyed buildings and destroyed lives, complete with bodies left unattended on streets and the discovery of mass graves left by the Russian invaders.
Too much familiarity may well, over time, inoculate us from the horror and anger we should feel. Hopefully, it will, instead, solidify our resolve.
The West continues to send humanitarian and military support to Ukraine but it may not be enough as Russia dramatically steps up its criminal bombardment of civilians in the east and south.
We are, it seems, daunted from doing anything further by Putin’s threat to use nuclear arms. This week, his foreign minister repeated that threat, warning that the possibility of nuclear war is “serious.”
At one time, such threats would have been unthinkable. Now, they’re part of the Russian strategy, and they’re working. While likely just bluster, they’ve instilled fear into the West as we envision mushroom clouds rising from countless cities while Russia and the U.S. engage in a war of mutual destruction with the thousands of warheads in their arsenals.
At some point, Putin’s bluff must be called, because if he gets away with it this time, he’ll use it over and over again. He already has his sights set on tiny Moldova, Ukraine’s neighbour that is officially neutral and lightly defended.
With this week’s visit to Ukraine by senior U.S. officials, there are signs of a willingness to accelerate support but without direct intervention, such as a no-fly zone, we may be increasing the chances of a third world war instead of avoiding one.
In the meantime, our job here at home is to never become desensitized.
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 email@example.com.