Daily Tribune (Philippines)

History repeats (sort of)


Everyone is connected.

Don’t you The wise men and

see what is women of history

happening? have said this again

That’s why it is and again. Even the

very important now that you, age-old Chinese I

millions of Jews Ching wisdom says

around the this in the great

world, do not book written many

stay silent. thousands of years

ago. The universal Golden Rule essentiall­y means the same.

Yet here we are, looking once more at the shelling of great cities, the killing of thousands and the injury of a national psyche that could take many more decades to heal.

War? The world has always had some war going on somewhere — in Europe, Africa, Libya, Syria and, before, Afghanista­n. From religious extremist ideas to outright takeovers, man had been fighting man for ages.

Yet if we are all connected, and even as we somehow see that this is true, why do we let human atrocities happen?

This Russian attack, leveling firepower at people and property, allegedly with the intent to “erase” an entire culture and history, has the world currently in the grip of indecision.

The first aggression on 24 February 2022 led many to exclaim they could not believe a war like this — with the potential to escalate into apocalypti­c levels — could be happening right now.

An anchor from Aljazeera, writing her thoughts as a continenta­l European, shares her “why” in the following assessment: “A new world order was created post-1945. An imperfect one for sure, but NATO, the United Nations and what eventually became the EU were all born out of the desire to never again see that kind of destructio­n on European soil.

“‘Never again’ seems to have lasted roughly 75 years. I know the same world order brought devastatin­g and unjust invasions to countries outside Europe. But no one will emerge safer out of the terrible situation in Ukraine. European wars have a tendency to escalate.”

Fears of such “tendency” are clearly felt by world leaders. Looking back at Adolf Hitler’s time, for example, many reacted strongly to the idea bluntly suggested by a US official days after the first attack on Ukraine was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, however, was twitted by fellow leaders for his tweet last week, which said: “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenbe­rg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service.”

There was applause, there was condemnati­on, but while many actions have been taken to show Putin he is not supported by most world leaders, for now these are mostly talk.

US President Joe Biden called Putin a “dictator” and stressed the economic and diplomatic sanctions he would suffer for the war crimes he is waging in Ukraine.

He praised the Ukrainian “wall of strength” against Russian aggression during his first State of the Union Address — but “Biden made clear there would be no US boots on the ground in the week-old war on Europe’s doorstep,” a report stated.

President Putin, obviously enraged by the internatio­nal backlash on his actions, said the various sanctions affecting his country’s economy were, in effect, declaratio­ns of war. No one knows at this point what he will do or is capable of doing, knowing full well the arsenal of nuclear weapons in Russia.

This volatility was glimpsed by our own President Rodrigo Duterte, who once warned that people should be careful of

Putin because he is “suicidal.”

So, for the Philippine­s last week, Duterte voted in favor of a UN General Assembly Resolution expressing “explicit condemnati­on” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but then also stated that he chooses to remain “neutral.”

For the beleaguere­d Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, however, “This is no time to be neutral,” calling on the world to act in favor of peace, not fear.

The Ukrainian leader reminded, once more:

“Don’t you see what is happening? That’s why it is very important now that you, millions of Jews around the world, do not stay silent. Because Nazism is born in silence. Scream about murdering of civilians, scream about murdering of Ukrainians.”


if we are all connected, and even as we somehow see that this is true, why do we let human atrocities happen?

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