I continue to watch news outlets fan the flames of war in Ukraine with sensationalist clickbait headlines that taunt Putin and Russia.
It would appear that most editorial boards are more focused on journalistic masturbation and getting viral clicks for advert dollars than pursuing a more constructive form of journalism that contributes to the betterment of humanity.
Most thought war in Ukraine would never happen.
Six months before Russia invaded free Ukraine, I asked my friend Andriy on a trendy rooftop hotel bar in Kyiv what he thought about the possibility of Putin declaring war on his homeland.
He thought it would be very unlikely, as did many Ukrainians.
It’s hard to see your country at war, especially when it’s thriving, which Ukraine was.
In late January, we spoke again about whether or not to get his family out of the country. I said yes, do it; at the least, it’s insurance and a vacation for them.
They are now safely in the European Union, rebuilding their lives with millions of other proud Ukrainians.
Through YPO.org and Harvard Business school, I’ve met an incredibly diverse set of amazing people all over the world. I’m thankful programs, and institutions exist that bring global business together because we can also impact and influence policy together.
I have Russian and Ukrainian friends on both sides. A year ago, the thought of war with Ukraine was impossible right up to the point it was.
Nobody believed it could happen.
Now the same situation exists with nuclear weapons employment.
“Putin won’t use Nukes.”
“The cost is too high.”
I say, bullshit.
They said the same thing before Hitler started his rampage across free Europe.
The climate for nuclear war exists now more than ever, and this should be a wake-up call for us all.
Putin is not afraid to pull the nuclear Ace out of his sleeve, especially if cornered.
Western leaders and media (both get an F in diplomacy from me) continuously taunt the Russian leader on the global stage, and this is not a winning strategy, I can assure you.
No headline in big news media (or news personality) calls for a peaceful diplomatic resolution.
Even the Pope has jumped on the war bandwagon!
“Pope Francis Says Arming Ukraine Can Be ‘Morally Acceptable.” the New York Times
The Catholic church has a long and flawed history of bolstering popular opinion about sending young people off to die in the name of God and Country.
How’d the crusades go, Pope Francis?
The Economist shouts, “The West Needs to Send Ukraine More and Better Weapons”– Economist.
When did the Economist become experts on warfare?
Yet significant news editorial boards continue to fan the flames of conflict without considering the real consequences of their actions, like World War III, for starters.
Do we really want this?
Are we really doing enough?
Sending money, weapons, and drones to Ukraine ain’t cutting it.
Putin just doubled down with the annexation of territory and the recall of 300,000 troops.
So now what?
We can do SOMETHING.
The state of modern news media is quite disappointing to me on many levels, but it can be fixed if we demand that it does. So good reporters who’ve long seen good journalism swirling in the porcelain bowl should take a stand.
I’ve seen how terrible war can be firsthand in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There was no strategic reason to occupy Afghanistan post-2002.
After the terrorist training camps were destroyed, the Taliban out of power, and Bin Laden on the run with the rest of his gang, the US should have pulled out completely.
But this didn’t happen. Instead, America let its politicians and big defense companies (and their lobbyists) play war in the name of patriotism for over twenty years. And we all saw the result and situation today, at significant cost financially to America (Trillions wasted) and psychologically for the American war veteran and their families.
Take five minutes to put yourself in Putin’s shoes in an attempt to understand how we all got here, how American foreign policy and weak US leadership pushed and emboldened him. Then, you’d see things more clearly and seriously.
Unless America, the UK, and the European Union (and the news media) give Putin a face-saving diplomatic off-ramp, the odds of using nuclear weapons go up daily. And if he does the unthinkable, as Hitler did in the 1940s, those who remained silent and did nothing will be to blame.
I hope a few journalists stand up and make their voices heard along with you, the public.
We must demand better from our political leadership and the modern news media.
Make your voices heard. Write, call, email, and apply pressure.
Our actions or inactions are what define us all.