I was very disturbed by the lighthearted and arrogant tone of David Shanahan’s editorial last week, “It’s my party”. The article makes fun of Russia sanctioning 300 Canadians, mainly politicians and some Canada-Ukrainian organizations, as well as Vladimir Putin.
War is not a joke, there are no winners. If Putin had seriously chosen the tit-for-tat option where might we be? Russia and Ukraine control 25% of the world’s wheat exports (will Ukraine even have a crop this year?); they supply 40-50% of Europe’s oil and gas (in spite of western media rhetoric, Russian gas is still flowing west, fortunately for the EU economy, and for the heating and lighting of millions of homes); and what of raw material exports such as cobalt, palladium, nickel and aluminum (Canada may have enough, but not Europe). While the US is openly salivating over the prospect of selling its own surplus gas to Europe (which will take an estimated 7 years to set up), it is not alone; there is now a revived interest in the Goldboro project, a Nova Scotia offshore gas initiative. So much for Climate Change goals, so much for COP26. Economies are incredibly complex, and even as things now stand, supply chain issues are certain to increase.
And what exactly has the name calling, rhetoric, and sanctioning brought us? As it is, there is now considerably more distrust, and considerably more difficulty in arranging civilized diplomatic negotiations for long term peaceful solutions.
And the bottom line? Are the 7-15,000 Russian lives lost any less tragic than the estimated 3,000 Ukrainian lives lost? Where is our humanity? Is that a joke?