It is the big elephant in the room, and almost everyone is ignoring it - because they are unbelievably unaware or uneducated or, more accurately, complacent.
We have had our heads so far in the trough with our eyes firmly fixed on the self greed of what is best for us as individuals that we (and our Government - elected by us) have ignored the first and fundamental rule of society; safety - being safe and secure. After that comes food and health, followed by education. But our, and the rest of the worlds safety - because we are a global economy and totally inter-connected now; for that reason, world peace concerns us all, or should do.
Well - we are possibly, about to find out and get a very sharp and rude awakening. Having just had and dealt with the catastrophe of COVID, the world is now faced with the ghastly prospect of war. If that happens, and I am of the opinion it is bound to at some stage, there is no one who will escape and not feel the effects of the world at war.
But we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking this has just happened as if a freak of nature struck us by chance. Yes - it is partly down to a psychopathic megalomaniac driven by his own greed and ego, namely Putin - but there is more to it than just Putin.
Putin is strategically trying to reinforce his regime by keeping a buffer between Russia and Europe, i.e., Belarus and Ukraine. He knows that dissent will happen in Russia eventually if he continues to deny the Russian people the freedoms that we take for granted in the west. He wants a buffer between Russia and Europe and stirring up some good old nationalistic fervour and taking advantage of a fragmented Europe and America is ideal timing for Putin. He is no fool - this has been in his planning for a while, and we were sleeping.
We have neglected world politics; we have over and over again failed in our diplomacy and execution of soft and hard power. We have failed to listen and to see - we have let our guard down and taken our eyes off the ball. We lost concentration and were subverted by our own greed. But that is down to us - by us, I mean - all of us. It is the result of electing countless leaders who are not just wholly unfit but are utterly unequipped to fulfil the role of the leadership of a democratic country.
We see it in the United States of America, here in the UK, and we could argue many other countries besides. This leaves a vacuum which in turn allows the Putins, Jinping's, Lukashenko's and all the other varying degrees of dictators in our world to carry out their monstrous crimes against humanity.
And here we are; we have a weak geriatric president in the Whitehouse, who, despite his years of experience in Congress, is not up to calling the big decisions correctly as he clearly demonstrated in Afghanistan. We have a fool of a clown in Number Ten Downing Street, who has demonstrated his inability in Foreign Affairs and as if that wasn't enough, a visibly fragmented Europe.
The only way to deal with threats is to stand up to them. That is why we have our Armed Forces. Neglected and depleted by successive Governments, we now wield a fraction of the power we had forty years ago. It is like facing an accident and realising we let our insurance policy lapse because it saved us money. But oh boy - what is the cost to come?
This is why we have our armed forces, and they may be very costly, but they are also a price worth paying if they can prevent or win wars. There are many philosophical arguments to be made for ridding ourselves of all forms of violence and instruments of war - but as long as there are Bully's, psychopaths and madmen in our world - we need our Armed Forces. And we need them fully equipped, funded, trained and strong enough in numbers so they can do the job for which they are intended.
Right now, our Armed Forces are vastly depleted in numbers and equipment and are not strong enough to defend us or be a massive deterrant.
It is not unlike the argument for Health and Safety in a company; if you think it is expensive - try an accident.
Having fought in a war myself and experienced some of the misery, tragedy and pain of war - well - it is definitely something to be avoided if possible. But is it worse than living life under the thumb of oppression - a dark place where humanity is extinguished and civilisation as we recognise it is absent? No - I don't believe it is. As ghastly as war is - we have to stand up to oppression and Bullies and psychopaths. History teaches us that - if nothing else.
It is only by being weak and complacent that Europe has reached this place, and if war can still be avoided - it will be through America and Europe being strong and even stronger right now - but alas, now may be too late.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 14th February 2022