Scrolling through Twitter today brought tears to my eyes, several times. While there is war raging in the Ukraine, the world has come together to fight without actually fighting.
Germany has declared that they will start spending more on their military, over 2% of their GDP, which is a lot more than they have been doing before. If you remember, during his 4 years in office, Trump had often been bemoaning how Germany wasn’t spending enough money to be a regular member of NATO. Germany didn’t like to be a military country, with the history we have. But it’s time to shake that off. We can be powerful if we need to be, and while spending money on weapons is almost never something I want to see, in this instance, with Russia still a powerful threat, it is essential that we are prepared. Nobody wants a cold war again - but nobody wants ONE country in the world to have all the gun power - be it Russia or the US. America is in a very volatile situation right now. They have a very strong and strange conservative base that lives on their own word little planet planet, and if they ever get back to power, nobody knows what they could mess up. So yeah, Europe. Be intimidating. It’s good for something.
Switzerland this morning has declared that they will be sanctioning Russia like the EU and the rest of the world does. However, Switzerland has an ace up their sleeve - about 80% of Russia’s commodity trading goes through Switzerland. Turning off this tap could spell dark days for Russia’s economy. The fact that Switzerland is no longer neutral, for the first time in since I remember, has a lot of meaning for me. Not getting involved when something bad is happening means you are siding with the aggressor. Times are changing, and you get now judged instantly if you don’t do the right thing, by EVERYONE.
More countries are considering to join NATO. Sweden and Finland, who up to now have resisted may change their minds, if their neighbour to the East doesn’t stand down soon. Putin has managed what many years of diplomacy could not.
Even China has been heard saying that they are no ally of Russia, and that nobody should "recklessly harm the sovereignty and security of other countries out of seeking its own absolute military superiority and absolute security."
I don’t know how this is going to end. We may find ourselves all reduced to radioactive dust in a matter of days. But in the meantime, I will wipe away my tears and marvel at the beautiful unity of the world, which gives me hope for the future. Even if Russia will end up backing down, we still have a common enemy who is threatening our lives… climate change. While Russia is a more tangible threat with a face and a name, a threat that provides the world with an easy to understand target, climate change has not yet been accepted by all as an enemy and will prove much harder to fight.
But I have proof now that the world can stand together in unity against evil, and we can indeed accept economic and financial hardship for a common goal.
Image by Christian Lue.