War is more than collapsed buildings, deaths, and lots of people maimed for life. It is also paralysed infrastructure. We have just seen the beginning of the war with Russia. We have not seen the end of it.
As I write tonight, I find myself without internet. The internet service provider assures me that the break is due to a ruptured cable. That may well be the case, but what is also the case is that it could have been caused by Russia. Russia might yet decide to create havoc on our electrical grid, our water mains, etc. After all, war is war, and we (Europe) are in it, contributing in a big way to its perpetuation.
So we may all wake up one day to find that we have no Internet, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Google… That would be scary! But what if we have no water? In much of Europe, water is coming to an end due to droughts and heat waves. What if it disappeared altogether?
Russia has made it clear that they do not want to precipitate a nuclear disaster. Nor do “we”, obviously. But disasters do happen. And there are other forms of disasters that most of us lack the imagination to envisage. Such disasters are truly disastrous – not least for the allegedly innocent party.
Are we an innocent party? You might be interested in what Jeffrey D. Sachs has to say about that.
Yesterday, I spoke with compatriots who complained: “We were used to differences being sorted out with diplomacy and dialogue, and suddenly Russia attacks us!”. Was that really what happened? Did “we” (NATO/EU), prior to this war, really try to sort out differences with Russia with dialogue?
After the war started, did “we” belatedly try to halt its progress, settle differences?
In countries at war, dissidence is not tolerated. In Russia, individuals openly expressing opposition to the war are being arrested. In my country this is not yet the case, since no dissident voices are heard at all. Hence dissidence represents no threat to the powers that be. On the contrary: Support for NATO has never been greater in this country. I am tempted to maintain that the propaganda machine is more effective in Norway than in Russia
That, Mr Putin, is something you should consider. You may win the war in Ukraine, you will probably see Europe reduced to indigence, but you will be facing the hatred of Europeans.
Does Mr Putin care? Do we care? Alas, war turns us into primitives.