Keyboard Warriors and Ukraine
Many Ukrainians are facing a though choice. Flee, fight or simply stay. What would you do if it was your country?
Reflecting upon the possibility of war and seeing it actually happen is very different. With social media and smart phones everywhere we can get a glimpse into the lives of ordinary Ukrainian and what they are experiencing just now. Of course we cannot feel their fear but the pictures and videos they send us can give an inkling of what their life is like. Small windows in time into their life at this moment. The young women sweeping up glass from her blown out living room window while singing the Ukrainian national anthem to her song. She is both stoic and sad, and it hits you in the stomach.
Then there are does driving on the highway while pop music is blasting from the speakers. It is what would be an ordinary dull car ride, familiar to anyone. Except along the road we keep seeing one truck or armored vehicle ablaze, belching thick black smoke.
Others show us swarms of Russian attack helicopters flying low across their neighborhood firing rockets at targets in a distance.
The unlucky ones feel the ground shaking as a missile hits a neighboring building and they wonder if they are next. In times like these every family has to make though decision for which there seems to be no right answer: Do we stay? Do we flee and get caught in columns of tanks? Do we fight?
These are not easy decisions for anyone to make. I think what provokes me a lot is when fellow Westerners such as my self sitting far away and safe from all of this horror start tweeting and typing that Ukrainians must fight for their country. When they disparage those who flee the country for safety for themselves or their family. I remember the same accusations from the Syrian civil war. Why do these people come here? Why do they inconvenience us? Why are they not in their home country to fight for their freedoms?
With Syria, this was an absurd demand. Who exactly should they fighting against or with? Fight Assad and get some Islamic dictatorship? Fight Islamists rebels and retain the oppressive dictatorship of Assad?