Message of the Day: War, Human Rights

Berlin Interviews 2022, (c) 2022 Planet Earth Foundation


Memorial Day in the US is tomorrow, May 31st, with the Memorial Day three-day weekend ending today. Every year it marks the honoring of those who died in military service to the US, and the creation, evolution and defense of freedom, human rights and democracy.

Military action by the US hasn’t always lived up to those ideals. Sometimes it has been questionable, with reasonable people disagreeing strongly. Sometimes it has been in direct contradiction to these ideals.

The largest, and most horrific conflict in human history, was World War Two. Regardless of whatever mistakes it made during World War Two, the US saved the world from fascism and was at the forefront of the attempt to create global peace and security first defined in the main by Franklin D. Roosevelt in The Atlantic Charter, further outlined in a call for expansion of the Bill of Rights to include basic needs for all people in his last State of the Union address, and by Eleanor Roosevelt in leading the process of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As we’ve noted often, much was accomplished since and much was not, as well as much being impeded and undone. And everything has been part of a process and struggle for progress throughout human history.

Today, many troubling issues face the planet and all life on it. The most significant conflict, and threatening to the positive aspects of an international order accomplished since World War Two, is the war of aggression by Russia in the expansion of its invasion of Ukraine on February 24th of this year.

We are four days away from this war’s 100th day. And no end in sight.

The US, European Union, NATO and much of the world has come together to help defend Ukraine in a resolve not seen since the end of the Cold War and arguably since World War Two. It is already the most horrific conflict in Europe since then.

Russia’s brutality, led by its effective dictator Vladimir Putin, is unquestionable, with the committing of genocide and war crimes of every kind.

The Ukrainians have defied every expectation that they would be quickly crushed within days. But the price has been and continues to be unimaginable. Although sanctions against Russia and aid to Ukraine from the US, Europeans and others has been unprecedented, whether it will be enough, and questions about what the cost has been and will be of what has not been provided or provided timely, may end up being the questions of our time. As anyone paying attention and with even a minimum of knowledge knows, this war threatens to become unavoidably a larger war, even a global war, in an age of weapons of mass destruction. In an age of weapons of mass distraction and misinformation, a global war is already raging.

The implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine are so momentous as to be impossible to overstate, not just in global conflict, but in global economic chaos, world hunger and starvation on an unprecedented scale, worsening of the climate crisis and the exacerbating or creation of countless other social upheavals and conflicts.

The end of the world. Or another chance for the beginning of a new one. Or many things in between—although we don’t have much time to deal with the crises facing the planet in any event and survive.

What happnes next hinges for now on what happens in Ukraine and the response of the rest of the world, especially by many of those same players who were at the forefront of defeating fascism in World War Two, joined by those such as Germany which have since become thriving democracies, and other previously neutral countries applying to join NATO because of Russian aggression, and who will ultimately determine what happens in what is already a global conflict in fact.

As we noted in our post on April 30th, we recently went to Berlin, where we covered and filmed the arrival, plight, experiences and activism of countless Ukrainian refugees arriving daily, those of the Ukrainian diaspora already there and those supporting Ukraine’s fight for survival, human rights and democracy.

We previously posted public service campaigns we produced. Today we post an approximately half-hour documentary of interviews and activities in Berlin as an introductory part of a planned larger project which will occur over time.

The video, titled Berlin Interviews 2022, literally speaks for itself. Here it is: