EDITORIAL – As images of war assail us, we must never become desensitized

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

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 opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9648 Articles) 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 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.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – As images of war assail us, we must never become desensitized

  1. Marcus Lowe // April 28, 2022 at 7:42 AM // Reply

    At some point all people must face Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Achin Afghanistan, and depleted Uranium weapons as modern horrors that mirror Russian tactics in the information war because it is the very real use of these weapons that makes us fear ourselves and what we have chosen as our path. We can choose a different path too.

  2. A large segment of our society is already majorly desensitized and I don’t think it is Trudeau’s fault either…

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