Six dollar-a-gallon is less painful than radiation burns. Devil in the details, of course, so celebration of America’s “ban of Russian oil” should be suspended until all the details are known. But my African friends think my ardent support for this is hypocritical. One of my favorite commentators, Joy Reid of MSNBC, last night echoed that sentiment. They’re all wrong.
My certainty that all links with Russia must be cut is a moral one. You don’t do business with the devil. Only video game players or brain-washed Trumpians believe otherwise. Unfortunately, though, I have to start by pointing out the practical side.
Banning the Bad Guy’s source of revenue was an option in pre-apartheid South Africa which the American public finally embraced after Congress successfully overrode President Reagan’s vetoes. We as America were, in fact, able to prevail a moral position over an immoral leader.
Even further back in African history a dock worker in Liverpool whistle-blew the scam of the barbaric King Leopold. In a relatively short time Europe cut Leo off from their largess and the slaughter and slavery in The Congo subsided.
But this option – cutting off outside sources of support – did not exist with the French or British brutal marches towards colonialism: there were no powers of any substance capable of turning off the screw of money that funded their Sherman social/cultural marches over the continent.
Nor were there any ways to stop the more recent Rwandan Genocide or the neo-Fascists of Zimbabwe or the brutality of the MPLA or any of a number of al-Qaeda or al-Shabaab terrorists by “squeezing revenue.” We don’t even fully understand today the sources of revenue for those devils.
So the ordinary person in a moral regime wasn’t able to decide if they should essentially double their taxes to stop such horror. There were plenty of ordinary persons who evinced morality – I like to think I was one of them in the protests which I joined against the Vietnam War. But as a concerted geopolitical movement joined by multiple sovereign societies, there simply has never been aggression in the modern era of this sort other than the previous World Wars.
Face it. This is World War III.
The embargo on Russian energy is much less difficult for America than in Europe: We might have to pay $6/gallon but in Europe entire industries might grind to a halt. Even so and even though I’m the privileged American not the budget-struck German, I think it has to be done! The economic suffering will be much less than the ramifications of Ukraine falling.
If Putin prevails in Ukraine — even partially so — conservative and neo-Fascist regimes throughout Europe will get a boost, much less in the United States. We thought we had just conquered the hill and were hopeful we were beginning to come slowly down the other side. This is more than a bump in the road. It’s Everest. Reversing Ukraine’s independence mortally cripples advocates for truth and democracy.
Can you imagine Tucker Carlson if Ukraine falls? Well, extrapolate that to the Marine Le Pennes, the anti-constitutionalists in Poland and the Boris party-goers. You thought Chavez was annoying? If Putin prevails so does Trump.
The moral position couldn’t be stronger. None of the atrocities against Africa or non-white races except the Holocaust is as simple as the aggression of Goliath Russia against David Ukraine.
The simple academic fact is that this is not a civil war (as most terrorist battles are). It is not a proxy war (as the battles in the Sudan and Ethiopia including the largest tank battle on earth were). It is not a war of recovery (as many Balkans and Turkish/Ottoman wars were.) Russia is not trying to regain itself following some external aggression. Russia took itself apart.
There is nothing in the history of post-colonial Africa of such a simple blatant takeover of one country by another.
What is humbling and embarrassing if shameful at the same time is that America’s wars in Southeast Asia, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan were likewise immoral. America vies with Russia for most immoral aggressor. I was as loudly critical of America in all those battles as we all must now be of Russia.
There is Right. Wrong, Truth and Lies and Facebook be damned.