I got a new cap to an old tooth last week. As the dentist was grinding down my old weak molar the assistant produced the new gold cap and offered it to the dentist. “Wow, that’s heavy!” he commented before cementing it into my mouth.
Wealth in my mouth.
I imagined an invading soldier shooting me in my wife’s garden as I held my hands up. Then he flipped me on my back and pulled out his Leatherman and opened my dead jaws, looking to pry out my dental wealth.
Twenty first century justice, despite the accoutrements of shoulder-fired missiles and remote-controlled drones is not too distant from the Vikings or the Huns. We take what we can. Might makes right. The school yard bully cowers us.
Russia is taking what it wants from Ukraine. She will want more. We wring our hands, dreading the nuclear arsenal we know they harbor.
What if the bullied playground colleagues thought to play differently? Bullies need to be confronted, and the nuclear end game is what they use to hold us hostage. There is a corollary to their gambit.
What would Russia do if Norway and Finland sent a column of tanks to Murmansk right now? It’s only a hundred miles or so and there’s a good road. I’m sure most of Russia’s military is looking toward Ukraine. That’s less than the distance from Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine to Mariupol, close to the Black Sea. It’s the same as a drive from Moscow, Idaho to Grangeville. It’s very doable.
The Scandinavians could easily argue the residents want their governance. Maybe their news media could dun up support.
And Turkey and Iran, with the support of Armenia and Azerbaijan might move into Georgia, in south central Russia to “free” the oppressed Georgians.
Then, over on Russia’s east Pacific coast, let’s say Japan and China decided the residents of Vladivostok wanted their assistance to dissolve the oppression of Moscow.
We should not be sheep. If the playground rules are to just take what you want, then let’s encourage our allies to go get it.
The possibilities are endless.
I’m sure Finland and Estonia see value in St. Petersburg. It’s only a hundred miles from their borders. Fifty tanks could make it in a day easily. Think of all the cruise ship passengers who want to dock and tour The Hermitage. It’s a cash cow.
Comrade Putin has opened up the game. We just have to play it like he does.
It’s too bad here on our continent we are just looking at Toronto, Ottawa, and Monterrey. If Biden sees some value there, let’s get our tanks rolling. I’m sure he could convince Fox News and Facebook to sell it to us. Would we buy it?
But the game is in Europe right now. It might come to the Western Hemisphere in another generation.
This limited warfare game of taking what you want and keeping the big stick of nuclear weapons in your back pocket begets bullies. Do we want such a system for ourselves? Did we invade Iran on such a pretext? Did we and the world look the other way because of our arsenal, our economic position?
Any meaningful global response to nuclear powered bullies is crippled. Any significant worldwide sanctions through the UN or the World Court requires the consent of the nuclear empowered bullies.
The Romans had their legions, and that worked against the Gauls and the Huns. Ballistic megaton missiles up the ante.
It is hard to consider global justice from north central Idaho. But seeing the painful pictures of dead civilians in Ukraine makes my jaw ache.