The War. The Economy. Our Psyches
The war has had a profound effect on inflation.
One is the obvious impact that sanctions on Russia have had on the energy markets with shortages raising prices everywhere.
Another is the lingering supply chains snarls generated by the pandemic, now worsened by the conflict.
And then there’s the enormous effect on our psyches. The corrosive effect of seeing the count of dead people grow, buildings destroyed, lives wrecked.
When will it end?
How much more pain will be inflicted?
Now we are beginning to suspect Russia will not be pushed back and out of Ukraine.
We are beginning to suspect that Russia will subdue and demolish it. With impunity and the whole world watching.
If Putin wins, we will have to worry about his future behavior and how it emboldens China’s quest for dominance.
Putin may be tempted to invade another country. Tiny Moldova, for instance, sitting on the southwest border with Ukraine, where Russian separatists already occupy the Transnistria region.
How long will the sanctions against Russia be kept?
The cumulative effect of these factors is not only weighing on markets but on our minds.
Central banks are raising interest rates. Companies’ forecast for earnings are decreasing while the price of stocks plummet and plummet.
Uncertainty and more uncertainty.
Can anything be done about it? Or do we watch impotently?
There is something unsettling about feeling a lack of control.
We were recovering from the pandemic, which we knew would be difficult anyway,
and then Putin chose to start his war. And his war became everybody’s war.
Nations have taken sides and the world has divided into two camps.
The United Nations has become an impotent body. Russia, the grand aggressor, holds veto power in the Security Council, as does China, rendering that distinguished body ineffective.
With energy prices rising and rising, the possibility of a recession grows greater and so does the chance of a depression.
But can anything be done to change the present course of events?
We have two options before us.
In one, we do nothing. And Putin wins, the world cements its divisions and the economy goes into a long slowdown.
In the other, we fight back. We challenge Putin. And we do it now.
Public figures like Henry Kissinger and Emmanuelle Macron have come forward in favor of accommodation, Kissinger stating that there’s a role for Russia (a role depriving others of their freedom?) and Macron saying that we have to learn to live with Russia (why?).
But those statements sound weak when a nation like Ukraine is willing to offer its people in battle, when they have already sacrificed thousands upon thousands of men and women, for the sake of their freedom from the Russian boot.
They cry of the Ukrainian people keeps piercing our minds, the pain of their agony keeps intruding into our daily lives, ‘Help us,’ they cry, ‘Give us the weapons to defend ourselves!’
And we have, to some extent.
But not enough.
The war has changed our minds and hearts since it started on February 24th.
Back then we didn’t know how courageous a nation could be.
Ukraine’s is a lesson for the entire world.
Short of nuclear weapons, they have earned the right to get all the assistance the West can provide.
They have earned it with their blood.
Macron of France, was quoted as saying that it would take years and years, maybe 15 for Ukraine to become part of NATO. How wrong can that man be?
There are just so many Ukrainians to die in defense of their land, of their right to be free.
We in the West, those willing to do so, need to do all we can to assist them now.
History will record which nations chose not to help, but that’s for them and their conscience to settle. For now, it’s those willing to go all out that need to step forward and make a full commitment to the freedom of Ukraine.
And that means a willingness to challenge Putin.
If Ukraine falls even though they got all the help we could give them, so be it.
But our consciences will be at peace, that in the hour of need, we didn’t cringe or surrender to our fears, but stepped front and gave our full support to a courageous people.
Ukraine’s fight is telling the world, ‘this is what is needed to step up and say We are Free’ while Russians and Chinese, and the rest of the subjugated people in our world, watch with admiration, envy and remorse.
This is the time to go all out for Ukraine.
Or we’ll have to live with the regret of not supporting those who deserve it.
Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts