How Many of Us are Paying Attention to What is Happening Around the World?

The Russians are Coming, was one of my parents’ favorite movies. Now, over 50 years later I know why. The film made light of what appeared at the time to be an imminent danger, World War III. A Russian submarine curious for a closer look at America gets stuck on a sandbar off the coast of New England and the reluctant Soviet crew are forced to seek assistance.It’s the Cold War era, 1966, a time of open political hostility between the Soviet Union and the United States.The Russian sailors mean no harm, but the natural reaction of the residents in the small town where the Russians land is to assume they must be invaders. Havoc and comedy ensue.
     Today in 2022, Americans don’t know what to believe are Russian President’s Vladmir Putin’s actual intentions. He keeps repeating he has no plans to invade Ukraine, but 150,000 Russian troops currently surround Ukraine’s borders. If you repeat a lie over and over again, will some people start to believe it is true?
     According to Western Leaders, an invasion by Russia into Ukraine is imminent—particularly now that the Winter Olympics in China have concluded. Several Ukrainians have already died in a preamble to what appears to be shells fired by Russian backed separatist attempting to goad Ukrainian soldiers to fire back.  The Russians have now recognized the legitimacy of two breakaway independent states within Ukraine. Thus far, the Ukrainians have not taken the bait. They don’t want to be invaded and they don’t want a war.
     As to what the general population of Russia wants, we really don’t know. Supposedly, the majority believe what their president tells them. A number of intelligence reports tell us that Ukraine is being portrayed on Russian TV as being overrun by fascists promoting anti-Russia sentiments and thus it is justifiable that Russia invade Ukraine to set things right. The Russian leadership like to reiterate that Ukraine was once a part of Russia. Is that justification for conquering a neighboring country? If you keep repeating a lie, some people may believe it is true.
     Half of Americans are not at all concerned about what goes on in Ukraine, Russia, or Europe. What they may not fully realize is that we live in a global economy and that the actions on the Ukraine border will affect the cost of gas, oil, and other goods.
     In the United States, Americans don’t necessarily believe what their president tells them. Approximately 30-40 percent of Americans don’t he believe our current president Joseph R. Biden fairly won the 2020 election. Thus, they feel justified in not listening to statements issued from the current White House. Some of these Americans also believe the Covid vaccines are harmful, masks do not substantially prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and that the threat of illness from Covid -19 has been exaggerated. 
     Meanwhile, Americans are astounded by China’s refusal to acknowledge they have violated basic human rights violations and targeted the Uyghurs and other Turkik Muslim minority groups in an effort to repress religious expression and cultural identity.  We wonder how the citizens of China can be so unaware of how they are being controlled and manipulated by their government. 
     With so many media platforms in the USA accessible to espouse controversial messages things can get very confusing. While we don’t always believe our government, who should we believe? Not everyone carefully vets the sources where they get their information. But something so obvious as 150,000 troops surrounding a country does give the appearance of a war about to begin. 
     In an effort to end on a humorous note, I’m going to mention another movie, recently released Don’t Look Up!, a dark comedy about what happens when we refuse to acknowledge what is obvious— a comet is about to crash into earth. But if you don’t look up and see it coming, maybe you can pretend it doesn’t exist.  
     It’s an allegory about our refusal, due to politics, greed, and ignorance, to do anything about global warming.  We’ve been experiencing scary weather patterns, floods, and fires for several years. We have a serious problem. It’s easy to laugh at others, but when it impacts the quality of our lives, maybe it’s time to look around.

Follow me on Twitter at SN Maril. Read my latest published piece of flash CNF on Gastropoda.

Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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