“When elephants fight it is the grass that gets trampled.” — African proverb.
There has never been a truer word, and lest we are inclined to forget, the recent events in Ukraine have brought this wise proverb center stage.
Although many of us had never heard of Ukraine until February 2022, that country cannot be categorized as an ‘elephant’, in world affairs. But, this war is really being fought by the USA, the European Union (EU) and Russia…. real big league!
Anyway, as the African proverb said, it’s the grass or the less wealthy countries that are suffering the most.
For while the price of energy is skyrocketing because of the war, wealthy countries are better able to deal with such spikes. And since energy costs affect most things, crippling inflation will be on the rise almost everywhere.
Ukraine has also been a very fertile agricultural country, producing significant amounts of sunflower oil, barley, corn and other basic foods.
Just think of our and other poor countries’ dependence on cornmeal as a basic staple! Either it will soon be priced out of our reach or there will be a chronic shortage. When corn and other basics are no longer produced in large quantities by Ukraine, starvation and famine will surely escalate in poor, dependent countries.
Let me state up front though that I support the USA and EU getting involved in the Ukraine situation, as the concept of a larger well-armed country invading a neighbour cannot be tolerated in civilized society.
It should never have happened in Iraq in 2003 when the powerful USA, supported by Poland and Great Britain, invaded that little country on a false pretext.
It should never have happened in Panama either when the powerful USA invaded to take out their leader Manuel Noreiga who had stopped colluding with the CIA. Some records say some 15,000 Panamanians were killed in that exercise.
So yes, modern history is replete with stories of big bullies invading less powerful countries on spurious grounds.
What we are seeing today though is the level of racism existing in many influential media houses in the western world.
For never before have innocent war victims been so deservedly humanized as have the Ukrainians, whose suffering has been brought into our homes so graphically and regularly.
Each time I see a report out of Ukraine, I have to ask myself what makes the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people at the hands of the bloodthirsty Putin worse than the pain and suffering of Afghan and Iraqi children in the past at the hands of the USA?
But they are still just a small sample of the innocent women and children who have been forced to flee their homes daily, often with just the clothes on their backs, in the face of bloodthirsty dictators worldwide.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), there are today more than 20 million refugees worldwide. Watching western television however, one would never get that impression, as no other race of innocent victims is being humanized anywhere.
Only the Ukrainians need world sympathy and assistance one could easily conclude!
And are there really more Russian war criminals around than in other countries where innocent civilians are being wiped out ad infinitum?
Quite frankly, the only difference I am seeing every night is that it’s white Europeans who are suffering in Ukraine whereas in other conflicts it is people from “shithole” countries or as some may say “children of a lesser god”.
As to the matter of international justice and punishing war crimes, Russia is one of the 144 countries that are members of the International Court of Justice (an organ of the United Nations that deals with those matters) but neither the USA nor China are.