I can no longer watch broadcasts of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.
The unabated, minute-by-minute depiction of children and other non-combatants being blown to smithereens threatens my already precarious grasp on hope for humanity.
I know they say reporting the war’s brutality is a necessary front against Russia’s aggression. The depth and breadth of international sanctions against Putin and his inner circle would suggest the coverage has done its job.
But I’m still startled by how quickly the death and destruction in the make-believe world of PlayStation’s Call of Duty have morphed into real-life on our Cable news channels.
It used to be that the dehumanizing, real-life experiences of wars were reserved for the soldiers on the battlefield and the population directly impacted.
But Cable news is putting everyone on that battlefield now. Today, we are all Ukrainians.
We don’t need to ask “on whom” the bombs are dropping. We feel them falling on us.
Yet, we watch children being murdered every day and do nothing to stop it. Instead, we create artificial red lines of transgression to explain why we can’t. To prove our moral outrage, however, we create incentives that we say will make bitter the murderer’s thirst and strengthen democracy around the world.
But who is fooling who?
What new world order slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Because even as Congress appropriates $13-6 billion to shore-up democracy abroad, American democracy is itself in jeopardy. And even as Putin’s atrocities in Ukraine grow each day, the totalitarian thirst here at home hasn’t been quenched.
Look no further than Former Attorney General Bill Bar. After using his office to protect an undemocratic president, he now says he would have no choice but to vote for Trump if this would-be Putin win the Republican nomination again.
So, yeah. I can’t bring myself to watch any more broadcasts of the war. They are becoming too much like a regular television reality show.
To be sure, my decision offers me no solace because in tuning out the war, I feel I’m following the standard operating procedure for addressing undemocratic leanings here at home–burying one’s head in the sand.