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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

Fragments from a War Diary, Part #225



Last night I met an old, and dear, friend of mine, and she looked every bit as beautiful and humane as the very first moment I met her, all those months ago. It was a surprise, of course; neither of us imagined we would meet by accident in the way that we did. That’s because we both go to Church.


She may be Orthodox, and I may be Catholic; but together we may form a union of compromise and common good, and we may find reasons to cooperate and to work together. And this was the purpose of our unintentional and purely random meeting this evening, that nobody arranged and we certainly don’t know anything about that sort of thing.


Now I have a message to all those who want to talk and discuss and cooperate and all those with good intentions and all those who want to bring this horrid and mindless war to an end. There are people to talk to, and one of them includes me. Yes I am brash and brazen and bold and horrid, but I am a means of communication. With me you can talk to this sort of person and that sort of person and you can negotiate and discuss this type of thing and that type of thing, and you should not be afraid of doing so and you can approach me and communicate with me in confidence. Because look at it this way: I have not breached any confidences in all this time since I have arrived in Ukraine. I have done what is necessary in private but in all these diaries and these various other things I have written I have preserved anonymity and I have done the right thing.


We want people from the Russian-occupied territories and we want them now. We will speak to them and we will listen to them and we will look after them and we want you to come over to us. And we will do whatever it takes. I mean these words: we will do whatever it takes. Because we despite tyranny and we understand the human costs and horrors and nightmares and all the foul and filthy things that the Russians are doing to decent Ukrainian folk and I want you to know that we in the West are the good guys and I want you to know that if you come to work with us then we will take care of you and I personally will stand responsible for you. And I want you to know that with us life will be better and we will take care of your family and we will take care of your liberty and you will be treated decently and fairly.


Yes, you understand it well. We in the West are disgusted with the tyranny and neo-totalitarianism of the Russian Federation, and we are recruiting people like you to come and join us in the West and to embrace our values and to reject those of the old-fashioned Soviet system. We are now entering an era of sheer pragmatism, in which politicians of all stripes in the western world, right or left, Republican or Democrat, Biden or Trump, are of one and the same mind: Russia must be stopped. We are determined to stop them and we will do everything in our power to achieve this. Just like US Presidents Johnson and Nixon, mortal enemies in theory but reluctant friends in practice, pursued similar policies to achieve the end of the Vietnam War, so will subsequent US Presidents, whatever political party to which they adhere, embrace common western democratic values to do everything in their power to defeat Russian crypto-fascism and neo-communism and all the insidious influences that Europe must do her utmost to combat.


I had an argument with my family last night. Apparently I am a “travelling hippy” in my idiosyncratic support for the Ukrainian cause. I find their attitude profoundly disappointing, perhaps reflecting an inbuilt conservative bias for pursuing the conventional life and actually not giving a damn about the most important things in life which include fighting existential conflicts to preserve the western values of liberty, democracy and the rule of law. I find it all so hypocritical. I think that everyone in the West should provide all the financial and moral and political support they can. They should donate and they should lobby their representatives and they should make noise about the cause we are facing and we are fighting. We are facing here a determined threat to our values and our entire way of living in the West, and armchair philosophers in the West like to pontificate with their opinions, some of them suggesting that the war is in a stalemate and we are paying too much for Ukraine but in fact they do not understand what is going on.


Our whole way of life is at stake. Do you not understand this? Where is your money? Where is your support? Why have you stopped donating? Why have you stopped engaging? Where are you at this critical juncture when Ukraine needs you most? Have you no shame? There are dozens of causes that need money, from feeding the starving to keeping soldiers warm on the front to caring for amputees to rebuikding destroyed homes and a thousand more things that need to be done but just aren't being done. Do I need to force you to pay, by appealing to your sense of guilt and embarrassment? Do you not realise that this is a matter of your own interests, because western democratic values are at risk of being destroyed and destructed by Russian imperialism and military aggression? Why don’t you give a damn? Where is your money? Where is your support? I don’t want your words. I want your actions.


Why are my words falling on deaf ears? Please, I implore you, stop not giving a damn. I am here, devoting my time and energies and yes my own money, all for free, in pursuit of this global cause to pursue the western values we all so cherish. So let me ask you this: what are you doing to maintain the values that you purport to hold so dear, and that have you made you wealthy and maintained the lifestyles for which you now take for granted? In the words of Sinclair Lewis, “It can’t happen here.” Oh yes it can. It can if you dissolve yourselves in complacency. I want to know: what are you doing to stop all of this? Because if the answer is nothing, then you cannot complain when dictatorship, war, fascism and oppression once again overtake Europe, just as they have repeatedly before.


I need you to do something now, and not wait and sit back with fine words. I need you to back your words and sentiments up with concrete actions. I need you to help Ukraine and I need you to do it right now. The Free World is relying upon you and your decision will define the world our children and their children live in in the future.


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