Give them the tools

Give them the tools

The urgency of munitions for Ukraine is well defined in Martin Wolf’s column in the Financial Times of 01Mar23. In this latest struggle for the survival of democracy the USA has been by far the largest donor to date. Promises made by others have been only half fulfilled and there is a lag in the actual response of many whose declared intention is to see Ukraine win and the war ended. It is Putin’s war and he is the first person who should call a halt to aggression. It doesn’t look likely that he will. For thousands to be dying and for a large population to be suffering the curses of conflict is a real indictment of mankind’s ability to learn from previous wars – two of which were called World Wars and one of which was, unbelievably, called The Great War.

The rightness of the Ukraine case becomes more apparent every day. Russia is behaving as though it is now trying to precipitate a serious escalation of hostilities. Whether rhetoric or intention it is a dangerous game and dangerously may we all have to answer for it. Slowly increased supplies are the most worrying of all scenarios. “No nuclear” doesn’t mean that nuclear material will be shunned. If it has any meaning at all it is that there is no plan to drop a major nuclear bomb or equivalent. Little nuclears are mentally excluded from the thinking and discussion of all parties. They are not excluded from the action.

Once recognisable nuclear activity starts there will be only one way to stop it. That will cost the lives of millions of people, some immediately, many more as the years go by. It will cost the destruction of much that human beings have laboured over and loved to create. It will increase the already advancing belief that artificial intelligence would do better than modern humanity. It will risk killing the joy of life on earth. Some may be happy to close the world’s door. I am not.

So much of all that has happened in my ninety years has been appreciation and beauty. So much has been love that many have received and given. So great is the opportunity for humanity to realign itself with all that matters and to reject whatever doesn’t. So hopeful is our eighth great grandchild being born this month. To deny who we are in favour of possession, to dismiss the toil and the sweat of those who have laboured to make the planet what it is – all this is an inheritance beyond wealth, a rite of life, a right of those who follow.

I am as against war as all thinking people are against war. I am as pro right as all praying people are pro right and I am for effective action as all thinking people are for effective action. That action is now as clear as it is ever going to be. 

It will be enacted through the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Give them the tools and they’ll finish the job.”*

Good morning

John Bittleston 

*Adapted from Winston Churchill’s plea to the United States to help Britain in WWII.

Whether you write or not to comment on this, may I ask you to pause for a quiet moment and think about what we have control over today that tomorrow we may not?

The thoughts of every one of us decide the future. 

02 March 2023