If I see a family being attacked – the father killed, the mother raped and the children kidnapped – and I do not come to their aid, because I may get hurt or killed, I am a coward.
I may seek to defend myself by saying that I am old and weak, or that the odds are against me, or that I may not make any difference, but possibly make everything worse. I will then be saying that I am acting prudently – or with discretion. But any such argument from prudence is manifestly self-interested , and can hardly rise any higher than ‘The better part of valour is discretion.’
And Falstaff was cowardice made flesh.
That looks to me to be what I and others in the West are doing about the Russian war on the Ukraine – and I am revolted and ashamed at our failure to perform what I see as a positive moral obligation to come to the aid of someone who is attacked.
We just sit in front of our televisions watching these crimes being committed before our eyes every night, and we do nothing out of fear of what an evil man and an uncivilised people might do to us if we do the right thing. We just sit and cheer on the victims and make faces at the war criminals. We just let the dictator dictate to us.
Put to one side the lessons of 1938, and the abandonment of the Czechs, and the encouragement of China now. What does it say about us? We are defenceless against a major power. And if one of them attacks us, we will not be able to rely on the U S or anyone else to do the right thing. They will act in their own interests – as we do.
And we will not be able to complain that others are looking after themselves and not us.
We should all be ashamed of ourselves.
Ukraine – Russia – War – Hitler – Appeasement