Four weeks in, the loss of civilian lives and the massive destruction of Ukrainian cities continues. Civilian refugees continue to flow over the borders of neighboring Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Moldova.
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On March 16th, US President Biden added more fuel to the fire. Publicly stating Putin is a “war criminal, thug and murderous dictator” leaves little room for open diplomacy or, back-channel solutions. Name-calling is reminiscent of the Trump era. It did not lay the grounds for diplomacy then, repeating it merely proves the fact. To date, unsupported allegations of a chemical weapons’ “threat” bears a dangerous echo of the Iraq war and, “weapons of mass destruction”. Rumors that gave the US grounds for war, and the billion-dollar business of war, have never been sufficiently substantiated.
War, the ultimate economic money machine. First weapons and aid, followed by partnership deals, and finally, private contractors and “reconstruction”. On March 25th, President Biden made a “landmark” energy deal to increase US transatlantic gas deliveries. A hard-core hit to weaken the EU’s dependence on Russian supplies. A potentially trillion-dollar economic win for the US. With Europe’s Bread Basket under threat, American and Chinese wheat prices will skyrocket under an increased market shift demand.
On March 24, Biden warned that “food shortages are going to be real” blaming the war on Ukraine and thereby placing the blame squarely on Russia. One didn’t need to be Nostradamus to see that one coming. Talks with G-7 nations for increased US and Canadian exports to the EU are not clear on how this will directly affect Americans.
AS G7 leaders pledge of “We will make coherent use of all instruments and funding mechanisms to address food security and build resilience in the agriculture sector in line with climate and environment goals,” in Brussels does not yet clarify How this will actually get done. Further, “We will address potential agricultural production and trade disruptions, in particular in vulnerable countries.” Seems a big ask of “vulnerable “countries and will require a level of diplomacy not seen since Robert Anthony Eden and Kofi Anan.
This may be good news for North American farmers. But, continued rising costs and home country shortages will double or even triple due to higher export volumes. This will hit average consumers hard. Covid continues to disrupt supply chains with no signs of immediate relief or, solutions. Nor will be there be additional pandemic help to ease the grocery check-out pain. We will quickly find the gap between the cost of living and paid wages to be unsustainable. Read between the lines for; more protests and riots and possible military interventions. We can merely hope for the possibility of new jobs that support all these new initiatives and a more positive conversation on actual living wages.
Globally, in the wake of current unrest and re-aligning corporate politics, banks will be sweeping up a wave of bankruptcies and business foreclosures. Ordinary lives are again simply, collateral damage. One can almost feel the Scrooge-like glee as investment portfolios fatten further. War always equals profit- to someone.
Private ownership and consumer choice are becoming a “thing of the past” in this new world. This enforced attitude may (or may not) be a benefit for future climate change management. This is a subject for consideration and/or another “benevolent tyrant” debate. For now, in an era of unprecedented inflation, the wolves will be howling and clawing on the doors of many families, not just in the US but around the world.
What is the cost of doing business? Lost lives and disrupted futures, for both soldiers and civilians. Politicians have a name for that; “collateral damage”.
It is interesting to note that even as the crisis deepens, the Biden Administration continues to insist the US will not get involved. Which begs the question; define “not involved”. Past and current actions and speeches imply otherwise. This week President Biden’s visit to the UK, France, Germany, Poland, and Italy are for direct talks that could be construed as – involvement. Might inflammatory, fear-mongering rhetoric be translated as involvement? It is certainly creating immediate cause-and-effect situations.
Let us not forget, that as early as February 2, 2022, US troops were being deployed to Poland, Germany, and Romania. Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s then comment decrying the word “imminent” invasion by Russia was laughable. This analyst/journalist predicted war as early as mid-January. The writing was blatantly, on the wall for any to see.
Ukraine is not the end game. Not for anyone, nor for any theoretical side. We have entered the Middle Game stage of this global chess match. New pieces are being played for both defense and attack. More pawns will be cleared in the deployment of strategic knights and bishops. Countries bordering Ukraine know they are currently in danger of being the next in play.
Current and past events indicate that the US and Europe may continue to stand by offering little in the way that may be construed as direct military involvement. One could argue that the indirect help being offered is fueling the proverbial fire. Bullies will always choose to perceive indirect resistance as weakness. Sometimes, political involvement is a deadlier game than bullets.
We cannot argue the evil of this war or, that of whoever may have started it. We should however be deeply concerned regarding the manner and context in which this is being projected to the world.
Blatant red rags to a cornered bull. Distraction from end game moves. American lives are not publicly on the line, yet. Like Iraq, the bodies will first arrive home in the dark of night. The body count for Ukrainians and potentially her neighboring nations are however very much, in the light.
Bidens’ additional comments of “ his back against the wall and now he’s talking about new false flags he’s setting up, including asserting that we in America (North or South?) have biological as well as chemical weapons in Europe- simply not true.” He emphasized this denial with an; “I guarantee you”.
Personally, that last one clinched it for me. It lines up with political campaign promises. Dirty confetti left and forgotten after a parade. We are naïve to believe that any politician or leader stepped up to the podium lily-white with innocence. Politics is a filthy game and supporter payback is a motherfucker of blood money.
As this chess game continues to play out on the global stage, China, the Queen is moving silently across the board. We are busy at home with so many distractions. Kamala Harris is feeling “wounded” by her Vogue cover photo. Urgent warnings of Russian cyber-attacks, covid, violent storms, fires, and new Netflix shows.
We are left with a personal question of priorities. Immediate and future. Chicken Little is running around screaming; “the sky is falling”. This time he may be right. It is up to us to make sure that it will not happen.
What are our priorities; present and, future? Can we truly protect ourselves, our families, or our countries in an era of climate change and war pursuing an “us vs them” attitude? Can we afford, at any level, to believe that without “them” we can still survive alone?
Economic and climate facts argue against this belief.
We must, for ourselves, loved ones, and the future find better solutions than fear and war. Differentiating between “over there” vs “at home” is a moot point in today’s world. This is an end game. The ordinary peoples end game. If we, as individuals, decide that Ukraine or Europe or Korea is not our game, we will have no game to play later. If any of us are to survive, now is the time for a return to real diplomacy. Personal and, global.
Diplomats, roll up your sleeves and get your game faces on. Time to get involved.
Cassandra signing off.