A helluva question, but one that’s very pertinent today.
In my view as an elder Western citizen, we have never been closer to WW3 as we are today, and I was born just 9 years after WW2.
Mentally and physically, too many of our countries’ civilians in the West are soft. They’re over weight, lazy, and used to a soft life of having it all too easy for way too long now.
My wife has studied the global economy for decades, and the one thing she always tells me, “when a country sneezes we ALL catch a cold.” So if China’s or Russia’s economy is taking a downturn then the rest will follow as we are all connected in this modern global world. Just look at the economic effects from COVID…everyone’s suffered, and yes just like a cold, some worse that others.
As if that wasn’t enough to put everyone on edge…along comes the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Pretty soon the war there will be into it’s second week. Every day I’ve been reading the more serious and realistic reporting, and again in my lifetime I’ve never seen the West look weaker. I would go as far as to say that now is our weakest moment in 80 years.
We’ve had the Russians’ foreign minister state that the next war will be nuclear. That’s quite a statement giving what they’re doing and how the West are reacting. Yet, as far as preparing the public to defend themselves…well, there just is no defence right now. If this extremely serious scenario was being played out back in the 1970s, we’d all be supplied with nuclear, biological and chemical personal protective equipment by now…even with slightly less actions and slightly less rhetoric from Russia (or the Soviet Union as it was back then).
Perhaps given the sham performances that we’ve all had to put ourselves through with COVID (not unlike a biological agent), staying 6 feet apart and wearing a paper mask…just maybe our governments expect those same paper masks will save us from a nuclear attack.
For way too long now, our governments and big corporates have been very cosy with China and the Russians, like our economies they are joined together in ways that the less said the better. But now it’s all beginning to unravel. Western corporates that have made billions and billions of $$$$ through the use of foreign workforces are now having to have a rethink about returning home. But sadly it’s not because they believe that it’s the right thing to do…but that it’s the only way to continue in business.
Again, for the first time in my lifetime, if I watch the news for any subject…general news of day, economic news, or even sports news…it’s all about Ukraine. That shows the real seriousness of the matter. The very first time that full coverage of all forms of news is about one country and it’s dreadful scenario. Yet with that seriousness comes a less serious response from the West in my view. Taking the bully’s sweets away from him is not going to stop him from bullying today or tomorrow. However taking him away will!
Western leadership is weak, it’s not savvy, and it most certainly hasn’t for some time operated on the front foot.
Just how much longer are our universities going to accept so many foreign students over our own, and continue to give them a great education in subjects such as engineering and sciences, only for them to take this home and in many cases press ahead of the West…it’s nuts?
So what of China in all of this? Everyone in the West is centred on Ukraine and Russia’s misdemeanors there. I use that term, as right now the punishment most certainly does not fit the crime.
We know that China is taking Russia’s side here…but what are their intentions on the world stage in both the near and long term future, and do they too see the West as weak? No doubt sometime soon we’ll all find out.
I would like to see our civilian populations taking this seriously, asking serious questions to our governments here in the West…receiving the necessary equipment to be safer at home, being given lessons in how best to survive under nuclear, biological and chemical attack…let’s for once take a baby step towards getting on the front foot…preparedness.