Did the whole world just change?


I was reading this transcript of a conversation among talking heads at the New York Times, and they seem as stunned as I am about what just happened, and is still happening, in Eastern Europe.  

Frank Bruni: ... I’m struck, listening to both Farah and Ross, at this sense of disbelief that all of us seem to feel. And I feel it. I see it all around me. Farah said Americans aren’t ready for this. I think she’s absolutely right. Ross called this “astonishing.” I think that’s absolutely right. This feels like a page from the 20th century. And here we are in the 21st century. And I’m struck by this sense I pick up in everyone around me that the world, we were somehow past this, that war in Europe was something that we wouldn’t see.

And so I don’t think we’re ready for this. I think people don’t know how to process this. I don’t even think they’ve gotten to the point of fear and terror yet because they’re still in that state of shock. And I wanted to also follow up on something Ross said. He talked about the incredible risk Putin is taking here. I think when people mention that, they’re usually thinking of the risk he’s taking internationally. But he has taken an enormous, enormous risk internally, too. The Russian people are going to feel this gravely in their economy. They’re going to feel this in terms of lost lives. And he is betting — and it is fascinating and terrifying — he’s betting that this flexing of might and the stoking of national pride is somehow going to transcend and compensate for all of that. I don’t know that we know that to be the case.

There aren't many people still alive who remember the last time something like this happened in Europe. And this time, there are nukes and drones and satellites and cyber warfare and germ warfare and you name the potential horrors. Not to mention a hopelessly fractured America and frayed alliances from the ongoing nightmare known as Trump.

When people compare modern figures to Hitler and the Nazis, it usually gets an eye roll from me. But not this time. That's what it looks like. "I've got nukes, don't try to stop me." Where does that end? When he cruises into Berlin?

To some Americans, the war may seem like a faraway incident that can be shrugged off, but I'm afraid it will be an unwelcome guest in all our houses before long.

Comments

  1. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and most of central America disagrees. We organized the coup in Ukraine (Victoria Nuland) and now are crying in disbelief when Russia finally said enough is enough? There are over a dozen US military bio-labs in Ukraine cooking up who knows what- so we are not the good guys by any stretch.

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  2. Perhaps Hitler was no Trump?

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  3. Oh, I dunno, it all has that 'Sedetenland and Silesia' feel to it what with Crimea first and all the posturing inside the eastern reaches of Ukraine ever since.

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