There Is Nothing Dumber Than War
Ukraine existing is not an attack on Russia. Russians who chose to live in Ukraine were not asking for protection. The attack on Ukraine was unprovoked, unnecessary, and unreasonable. An entire war to feed one man’s ego. Be fucking furious about it.
In Normandy, there are signs of WWII everywhere I go. We drove to the doctor’s office, yesterday. On the way, there’s a war memorial sitting prominently at an intersection — the memorial includes an old full-size American tank. As I head north to run some errands, I pass the Canadian military cemetery. In my attic, as I change the sheets on the guests beds, I see shrapnel holes in the wood floors — a bomb came through the roof of this house, the house we live in, during WWII, and we found shrapnel pieces still embedded in the floors as we renovated.
There is a cathedral that sits at the center of town — it’s the highest point in the area, and you can see it from every direction as you approach Argentan. On foggy mornings, it looks like a mini Mont. St. Michel. This cathedral was bombed into ruin during WWII. There are photos of the cathedral-in-rubble hanging inside the now-restored church.
I know WWII feels like ancient history. It felt like ancient history even when I was a kid, and now I’m very middle age. But it’s not ancient history. In fact, I was born in 1974, and that’s less than 30 years from the end of WWII. 30 years is nothing. If I count back 30 years from today, the date is 1992. I was a senior in high school in 1992, and I promise, it wasn’t that long ago. 30 years is nothing, and WWII happened less than 30 years before I was born. 30 years is nothing, and WWI & WWII happened less than 30 years apart.
WWII feels close to us here, and Ukraine feels close to us too. For reference, Los Angeles to New York is 2789 miles (4499 km); Google Maps says it will take 41 hours to drive it. Paris and Kyiv are 1639 miles (2369 km) apart, a 24 hour drive, a 3-hour flight. It’s close. This all feels so close.
I’m watching Putin attack a country, totally unprovoked, and I’m furious. It’s a waste on every possible level, from every possible angle. Did you see the reports of the 13 border guards on Snake Island? There’s a recording of them. They tell the Russian military: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”. And then they all die. All 13 of them killed.
President Zelensky said the 13 border guards will be posthumously given the title “Hero of Ukraine,” the highest honor in the country. When we hear their story, we are in awe of their bravery, their boldness. We wonder if we would be as courageous in the same situation. We’re grateful their sacrifice is known and is being acknowledged; that they aren’t forgotten.
But what the actual fuck. Why Why Why??!!!! Will Putin give Russians better lives because he took over this island, and killed 13 Ukrainian soldiers to do so? Will anyone who is hungry be fed because of this? Will unhoused people find shelter because of this? Will children get a better education because of this? Will sickness be cured because of this? No, no, no, no, and no. There is no reason Putin needed to take over that island. There is no reason he needed to kill those 13 soldiers. There are no benefits from these actions for Russians. There are no benefits from these actions for Ukrainians. There is no upside for anyone, anywhere in the world. It’s just waste. 100% waste. A waste of time, of energy, of resources, of life.
There are so many stories of Ukrainian citizens taking up arms to defend their country from an unprovoked attack. These are not military folks. They are untrained and unpracticed. I read these stories and wonder: Would I be brave enough to do the same? I have 3 adult children. If they were in Ukraine would they stay and fight? Could I protect them? Stop them from risking their lives?
War is futile, unreasonable, and dumb. So fucking dumb. Just the dumbest, dumbest thing.
And don’t think it could never happen to you because you’re across the ocean. A disturbing number of Americans are itching for a civil war. 41 million Americans believe in the 3 key tenets of QAnon. They daydream about killing fellow citizens and brag about how they can’t wait to do so. And why? Just like Putin, they have no reason. Just like Putin, they are unprovoked. Just like Putin, they are willing to start a war to protect their fragile white-supremacist egos.
I know this sounds like something only extremists believe, but that’s not true. White supremacy is a key belief of the current Republican party. The biggest conservative conference of the year, CPAC, is happening right now, where speakers are talking about what a compliment it is to be compared to Hitler. It’s a conference heavily featuring Hitler admirers and Holocaust deniers, and so far, there seem to be no political costs or consequences for holding these beliefs. Republicans keep supporting and voting for these people.
Will a civil war where they “get to slaughter the libs” make their lives better? Will it feed the hungry? Shelter the houseless? Will it make healthcare affordable and accessible to all who need it? Will it improve the roads and bridges? Will killing democrats expand freedoms? Will it strengthen America in any way? No. there would be no benefits to anyone. The MAGA folks are not in danger, they don’t need protection. If at some point they decide to attack, it will be unprovoked, unnecessary, and unreasonable.
The desire for civil war is just dumb. The absolutely dumbest thing. So fucking dumb. There is nothing dumber than war.
Be fucking furious about it. Be angry about the loss of life. Be angry about children living in fear. Be angry about the destruction of homes and communities. Be angry about lives and educations and careers being disrupted. Be angry that wars suck up so much attention that we ignore other pressing problems. Be angry that wars use up so much money — money that should have been used for community building. The appropriate reaction to war is anger.
P.S. — Find more of the tweets I’ve been collecting and sharing on my Twitter By Design Mom Instagram account.
P.P.S. — We have been taught to think of crying as weakness; an embarrassing display of emotion. We were taught wrong. When you see a woman weeping as she watches the news, be warned: She is not sad. She is angry. She is fucking furious.
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