I blog on this site about abuse: neglect of children, workplace bullying, racism, school bullies. I suggest ways to combat these ongoing problems, or else offer emotional support, encouragement and so on.
Today, though, I want to touch on war. On what dictators everywhere, during any generation, can and will do to civilians. This is because recently I recalled the lead-up to our new millenium, and the high hopes many of us had for the year 2000. A new century with fresh ideas, improved approaches, a more enlightened world.
Instead, it became the “same old,” beginning with the 9/11 attacks in 2001 in the US, and continued with such horrors as the Arab Spring: a revolt against exploitation of civilians. This began in Tunisia and spread outward from there. Protests against government corruption in that region of the world led to violent suppression of societies by heads of state. Think of what Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has done to the Syrian people (assisted by such other countries as Russia). Syrians were murdered by bombs, chemical warfare, deliberate starvation and more.
I will mention also the bombing of Iraq by the US; the extreme suppression of Afghans, especially women and girls, by the Taliban; the ongoing imprisonment and torture of Uyghurs in Xi Jinping’s China plus Xi’s reneging of the official agreement regarding Hong Kong. There is Burma’s genocide of the Rohingya minority, and on and on.
Now, it’s Russia. Previously taking over Crimea, Putin has set his sights on Ukraine. Zelinskyy is defending his country.
For the first time, we in the West are seeing almost in real time, and every day, the massive damage to buildings and resulting deaths and injuries to civilians. Hospitals, railway stations, schools. Deliberate strikes from Russians intent on inflicting as much murder as possible.
This is what happens when “school bullies” grow up. Schoolyard punching of one young victim becomes the annihilation of whole communities, whole cities, and in this case the target is a whole country, intended to be wiped out and absorbed into Russia. When school bullies get away with their actions, their victims are traumatized, often for life. School staff usually do nothing. We hear this all the time. Many teachers decide it’s easier to ignore the problem, because they’re not backed up by the administration or the board. On a larger scale, those countries that allowed the monstrous bully Putin to get away with his actions in the past have allowed his belligerence and power-addiction to swell. An outcry, such as for Crimea in 2014, and then nothing. The abuser continues, unabated, because he has always been allowed to.
When will this stop? I sincerely hope the Ukrainians prevail. They need a lot more assistance against one such as Putin.
What has this got to do with Picasso?
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica is one of the most famous artworks in the world. During one search of his home by the Gestapo, one officer noticed a photo of Guernica and asked Picasso: “Did you do that?”
Picasso said: “No. You did.”