Image courtesy Euronews. IMO it’s probably staged, or a training exercise. It doesn’t matter. Here is a Ukrainian woman approaching middle age with a rifle in her hands, in the uniform of her country. If she’s not in immediate danger, she will be (or has already been). It doesn’t matter what her background is, or her Military Occupational Specialty. If a bullet finds her, or shrapnel rains from the sky, she’s in deep shit.
Look, I’m not a pro-war guy. If any of you have read my books, you have probably figured this out.
War is disgusting. War is a large-scale loss of resources and lives. War is the destruction of all you hold dear.
Sadly, it is also occasionally necessary. The fight against fascism in World War Two is a great example. Live on our flatscreens in our comfy living rooms, we are seeing another.
It’s not hard to see the bad guy here. For no plausible reason, the Russian Army invaded Ukraine. They proceeded to terrorize the civilian population and engage in behaviors that are unworthy of modern military professionals. You don’t have to believe a damn word I say, every creditable news source on the planet will give you reams of almost unbearable information on this front. But sure, if you want to tune into the mouthpieces of the Russian regime or Communist China, I’m sure you can get another perspective. Just like you can find people who will sell you some bill of goods anywhere.
A quick aside as to the validity of NATO hordes pouring across the Russian frontier to threaten the Rodina. If you think NATO was indeed a serious threat to Russia (for example, the fearsome German Army, with somewhere between 200-300 serviceable main battle tanks), I’d suggest you do some light reading into Flat Earth Theory, or some other bullshit.
But hey, the point of this article is not to convince you of anything. What you choose to believe is up to you, even if we disagree.
No, I’d like to talk about the obligation of a warrior.
What is a warrior?
I’m sure there’s textbook definitions. I’ll give you my take.
Simply put, a warrior is someone who places themselves between the people and harm. A person who willingly chooses the path of sacrifice and danger for the greater good. (BTW, this doesn’t just have to be with feats of arms. There are many forms of courage.)
Yes, war is terrible. Conflict is undesirable. Violence is best avoided.
However, sometimes the path to conflict is the only choice. The whole idea that “no war is justified” is crap, refuted by any study of history and kindergarten logic.
My dad used to always say that I was never to pick a fight. However, he added a coda. If he found out I had run from a fight, I had a problem. He said “you’ll never be in trouble for defending yourself, or someone who deserves help.” He put action to words.
There was a boy who bullied me terribly when I was eleven or so. I dreaded riding the bus because of this kid. He was bigger than me, and he tormented me. One day when we got off the bus, I had enough. He started his routine. I punched him in the nose, breaking his glasses. We fought a few minutes and then he ran home. So, I left for the old farmhouse with the taste of blood in my mouth from a split lip.
My father soon received an angry phone call from the boy’s mother. She berated my dad and demanded that we pay for the glasses. She threatened to sue.
Dad knew this kid had been giving me a hard time. He laughed at her and said “Go ahead. And send your husband over here to collect payment for the glasses.”
The fellow never showed up. It was probably for the best. Dad, the product of a rough edged working class family, would have beaten the shit out of him.
He never said a word to me, and I’m pretty sure he bought me a fudge sundae at McDonalds. I wore my fat lip to school with pride, and that asshole kid never bothered me again.
Yeah, it’s a minor childhood incident. But it left a strong impression.
When someone gives you or someone you care about a problem, you do what you need to do.
The woman in the photo above? I’m sure she’d rather be doing something other than laying in the mud with an AK-74 in her hands. But she’s doing what she needs to do. She is a true warrior, who has chosen to stand for the people. Maybe she’s dead. If so, she has earned her place in Valhalla. Every generation has those who will dare to answer that terrible call to the colors. God bless them.
There is such a thing as a good fight.