According to NPR this morning, only a single shot–and that a warning shot–has been fired, and Russia has backed off somewhat.

I should comment on my previous post:  Why such a reaction to one more invasion when there’s war all over the place?

A couple of things, I guess.

There was war all over the place when I was growing up.  I suppose some of my reader(s) may be a little too young to recall Viet Nam, (or as we said in those days, Vietnam or ‘Nam).  That was a constant background.  To illustrate, Sunday mornings my parents would often take my brother and I to open skating at Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota.  They would play the local “beautiful music” station (I think it was WAYL), which broke every 15 minutes or so for news.  In those days, the top of the news was a report listing the number of American, Vietnamese, and North Vietnamese killed in the past 24 hours.  We called it “skating to body counts.”

Not all that different from today, except today we have body armor and YouTube and drones.

Anyway, the other thing in the “couple of things” I mentioned above.  Nuclear war.

Not “nuclear terrorism” or “limited nuclear war.”  Global nuclear war.

My childhood was spent with the United States and the Soviet Union (aka “Russia”) toe to toe.  Fields of missiles; bombers in the air at their fail-safe points.  Tactical nuclear weapons in (West) Germany.  We had “tornado drills” at school that involved us moving to the central hallway, and tucking our heads between our knees.  Nobody was fooled about what these were.  Malls had fallout shelter signs.

So when one of the nations in the world that holds massive numbers of nuclear weapons gets into an argument with another nation that has massive numbers of nuclear weapons over a region in which both have interests, it’s damned scary.

I recognize the suffering in the other wars; I do my best to act as a peacemaker where I can; but in the face of the nuclear djinn, I find myself paralyzed–feeling somewhat, as Tom Lehrer once put it, rather like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.

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