I keep hearing it over and over again. This is a "new type" of "economic war." It keeps getting repeated over and over and over again. But what if, and stay with me here, it really is not all that new?
What if it could be shown that the same things were tried prior to WWII with both Germany and Japan?
What if I could show you that now, just like then, the cost of attempting to do this was simply more civilian casualties and another unavoidable conflict?
You probably would not like it. I really do not, either. Yet it is, in fact, true. History is repeating itself.
Prior to 1939, both Britain and France, the two largest world trade conglomerates, attempted to embargo (an earlier word for sanction) Germany. The goal was to cause massive economic damage to the country in hopes that it would drive Hitler to reverse course and prevent him from invading Poland. Yet then, just as now, there was enough of a black market and ability to self-provide to keep Hitler in power.
Well, that and his ability to convince the German people to "sacrifice for the Fatherland."
The same was done in the Pacific theater with the US finally dropping an embargo on Japan in 1940 with aviation fuel and scrap iron being the targets. This only caused Japan to broaden its war into the Dutch East Indies and Indochina so that it could procure supplies that were being sent to England and France in Europe.
In both cases, the sanctions failed to achieve their goals just as the current sanctions are failing to achieve theirs. After all, sanctions only truly effect a regime if there is both true democracy and that regime cares about the welfare of its people. Since neither is true in Russia, why would we think that they would work?
Yes, I get it, we are "trying to save American service member's lives!" Well, when sanctions failed the first time we still lost American service member's lives, but we also lost millions upon millions of civilians and introduced the worst genocide ever attempted in the history of mankind.
Today? Well, we have not yet had service members die, but we are seeing atrocities committed, war crimes being committed, civilians being attacked, and we are doing nothing about it. Well, nothing that might actually change it that is.
Which brings me to the point of this article. I read a rather smug article in which the writer attempts to paint this new "warfare" as one that will ultimately "save lives" and was "Christlike."
Wait, save who's life? The Ukrainian mothers in that maternity hospital? The people in the subways being targeted with bunker buster bombs? The defenders who had a thermobaric bomb dropped on them? The civilians caught up in canister or cluster bombing? I mean, seriously, the only thing Putin has not done, yet, is use chemical or nuclear weapons, and no one puts it past him to do so.
I imagine myself standing in front of a Ukrainian woman who fears for her husband's life who is fighting back in Kiev who may not even be alive and she does not know. I imagine hearing her story and replying with, "well, we are doing our part, you should see the sanctions that we have hit them with."
I can hear her response now.
"Sanctions? What is that? Is that some new type of missile?"
No, I attempt to explain, we are destroying the Russian economy in hopes of their citizens rising up against Putin and ending this.
The look in her eyes shames me to the core, even if its only in my imagination.
Yet our politicians gave up their shame a long long time ago.
Oh, you'll hear all of the usual nonsense. The "lesser of two evils" quote will come out. They will likely pull the old Cold War adage of "war being the enemy" to the front as well. Yet in the end, there is no escaping the truth, we are exchanging military lives of people who are trained for these situations for civilian casualties which include women and children and we comfort ourselves by saying that they are not American so it does not matter to us. Well, if that is true, then it is even a more blistering indictment.
No, those who are fooling themselves by saying that our sanctions are somehow a new sanitary form of war should take a good hard look at the photos. This is a war, in every possible way, and our sanctions are not going to change one iota of it. If the Russian economy collapses, they will just restart the bread lines. Putin does not fear the Russian people because he would gladly treat them the same way he is treating the Ukrainians.
Instead all we are doing is choosing to look the other way while innocent people are killed to appease one man's ego and dream of reassembling the U.S.S.R.
To say, as I have seen, that Jesus would approve of this new type of warfare over the other is to say that Jesus welcomes the slaughtering of the untrained civilians, women, and children over allowing for military service members to righteously protect them.
No, Jesus would have done everything he could have to prevent the war. Yet, as He is God, He can do things that we cannot. So instead we do the righteous thing and lay down our lives for the innocent.
We heed Paul's spirit from Romans 5 where he says that while we were yet sinners Christ laid down His life for us.
While they were yet strangers, our Service Members proved their love in this, that they laid down their lives to protect the innocent.
A Soldier has no higher calling.
As a nation, neither do we.