Kingston PeaceQuesters reunite to discuss the war in Ukraine
By Judi Wyatt, Kingston
Ten members of PeaceQuest Kingston reunited to enjoy one another’s company, share a delicious meal, and discuss the war in Ukraine. The issues discussed included the possibility of a diplomatic solution, Canada’s response to the war, and whether or not this conflict has challenged our general opposition to war.
While most of us believe that a diplomatic solution is possible, we agreed that Putin is unlikely to participate in negotiations, perhaps because he believes that he has the support of China and India. However, he grossly miscalculated the strength of Ukraine’s resolve, and did not anticipate the provision of weapons and munitions by many supportive countries. Putin claims to be rebuilding a Russian Empire, but he may also be motivated by narcissism and the desire to increase financial gain for himself and other oligarchs. Ukraine is demonstrating its strong desire for independence and democracy and Putin’s biggest fear may be that people in Russia seek this too.
All Kingston PeaceQuesters support Canada’s use of sanctions and all but one in our group support Canada’s provision of arms and munitions. The dissenter expressed concern about the prolongation of a war which results in an increased loss of life, refugee crisis, sale of weapons, global food shortage, energy costs, delays in climate mitigation, Russian aggression and a more rapid approach to a bigger and perhaps nuclear war.
During the discussion of the utility of war, a participant who was an American graduate student in 1965 observed that opposition to the Vietnam War was based not on pacifism but the conviction that this was the wrong war, and the wrong side. The threat of nuclear weapons has made countries very cautious in their response. Should Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons delay or accelerate our work for disarmament?
Throughout our discussion, it was agreed that we need to encourage global communication, cooperation and climate control partnership.
Most importantly we agreed that participation in Kingston’s PeaceQuest enriched us. I hope that we will continue to gather a few times a year to share culinary delights and to reflect on global challenges.
1 reply added
Mine was the dissenting voice, but I admit that one who has only known peace cannot urge those who are attacked to be pacifists.
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