The unreality was perhaps best summed up in The Convoy. It was like a bizarre, terrifying take on the OJ Simpson car chase.
The world watched in horror, but unable to take its eyes off it, as what appeared to be a three-vehicle-wide convoy, 20 km long, then 40 km, then 60 km long, slowly made its way to Kyiv, potentially killing everyone there.
The convoy seemed to falter from time to time, either strategically or not. And it seemed that even with virtually the whole world opposed to Russia’s actions, nobody could do anything.
The Ukrainians, for all their bravery, were seemingly powerless to blow it up. The rest of the world, as we know, couldn’t touch the convoy for purely technical reasons – the technicality being that they could avoid World War III.
The main hope seemed that the convoy would collapse under the weight of its own contradictions, as Russia has always believed about the West.
We hoped against hope. At times we pinned our hopes on the reluctance of 18-year-old Russian soldiers crying for their mothers, confused that they were not welcomed to help rid Ukraine of drug-addicted neo-Nazis.
We pinned our hopes on a logistical failure. As baffled as we are that the fundamentals of war haven’t changed so much since Napoleon or Hannibal that an army is still marching on its stomach and with a full tank of gas these days, we’ve been waiting for the Russian supply lines to collapse.
That is literally a great hope. That the convoy is running out of petrol or diesel, or that they don’t have a spare wheel.
We also pressed hope on Putin’s oligarchs or the reversal of the “diplomatic capitalism” that brought Western goods to Russia. As Apple, Google, Facebook, Disney, H&M, Ikea, Nike, DHL, Fed Ex, DPD and more methodically cut off or restricted Russia from services and an Iron Curtain came up on consumers, we wondered if it would make a difference.
But it got worse and more brutal every day.
In this age of cyberattacks and sanctions, we’ve wondered why we haven’t found a better way for countries to resolve conflicts than by sending young men, mothers’ sons, to kill one another.
We were struck by the bravery of Ukrainian men and women. But we also knew there was something seriously wrong with that.
We know it’s so admirable for young fathers to drop off their wives and children at the Polish border, then hug them goodbye and return to possible death, it seriously sucks too.
And while we vaguely knew this was the case, we’re also stunned that’s one of the reasons we can’t tell Ukrainians The help they need is because with the push of a button, a madman could bring about the end of the world if we helped.
If we weren’t awake before, we’re awake now. First, that we can no longer take liberal democracy for granted, and second, that if we get through this, a new generation will have to say no more—if not no more war, then no more nuclear weapons.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/if-we-get-through-this-we-must-finally-say-no-more-to-nuclear-weapons-41416128.html If we get through this, we must finally say “never again” to nuclear weapons