The following article Russia’s Putin gambles that the West is weak by Australia’s Prime Minister (2013-2015) appeared in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL February 28, 2022
Ukraine’s fate was probably sealed when President Biden said last month that America might not respond to a “minor incursion” and definitively ruled out “boots on the ground”.
No consideration whatever appears to have been given to declaring a “no fly” zone for Russian military aircraft over Ukraine, even though that had been done to protect Iraqi Kurds against Saddam Hussein and would have given the Ukrainian army a much fairer fight against the Russians’ greater numbers.
America’s unwillingness to take risks to protect Ukraine, a democracy of more than 40 million people, is now fuelling doubts about the risks the US might run to help defend other countries that were once controlled by Russia — especially the Baltic states, which are part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
It’s obvious that small countries are largely helpless in the absence of collective defence and that countries that won’t or can’t fight an aggressor are doomed to negotiate the best possible surrender.
Yet the West’s bigger surrender has been economic and cultural. For at least 15 years, much of Western policy has been directed to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. In Australia, former prime minister Kevin Rudd declared that climate change is the “great moral challenge” of our time.
The British parliament, along with many others, has officially declared a “climate emergency”. Last week, as the air raid sirens wailed over Kyiv, John Kerry worried that the Ukraine crisis would produce “massive emissions” and distract the world from climate change.
Reducing emissions is an important policy objective but should never be governments’ main task — especially when it entails risking significant economic damage and putting national security at risk. Europe has been busily closing down coal-fired power stations (and in Germany even emissions-free nuclear ones) only to become dependent on Russian gas that Mr Putin can turn off and on like a tap.
Here in Australia, we’re set on closing coal-fired power stations without any base-load substitute even while our thermal coal exports surge to record levels (including to China, an even more dangerous strategic competitor than Russia).
It’s the private sector that’s doing this, an unforgivable folly reminiscent of Lenin’s reported quip that the “capitalists will sell us the rope by which we hang them”.
Then there’s globalisation, which has undoubtedly made the world richer but at the cost (as we’ve only lately come to realise) of strengthening the West’s competitors and exporting its manufacturing base. Free trade should continue to be promoted but principally between countries with comparable standards of living and only between democracies that respect the rule of law.
The worst contemporary folly is the constant undermining of Western civilisation, history and national virtues.
Partly it is deliberate subversion by cultural Marxists, but mostly it’s the polite acquiescence of diffident and historically ignorant people conditioned not to give offence.
These days the rights of men who want to be women routinely trump those of women who don’t want to face unfair competition in sport. Religious free speech is still OK, as long it’s not the Bible you’re quoting.
Martin Luther King’s famous plea that his children be judged by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin, would be denounced on most Western campuses as an example of “colourblind racism”.
“Monty Python’s Life of Brian” couldn’t be made today due to politically correct wowserism. And I wonder how many students are still taught to take pride in Australia Day, which celebrates the founding of a country that’s as free, fair and prosperous as any on earth.
A Western world that has spent two years sacrificing freedom to preserve life is hardly going to sacrifice life to preserve freedom. Or at least that’s how it must look to the hard men in Moscow and Beijing.
As Churchill said of the Munich sellout in 1938, this is “the first foretaste of a bitter cup that will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time”.
Tony Abbott was prime minister of Australia, 2013-15.
Fortunately for Christians what is unfolding has been prophesied by God in His History book, the Bible. He told us how His world came into being and why.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
It is the habitation for the people He made in His image to be sovereign over His creation but under His authority. He told our ancestor Adam what the consequences would be of disobedience but he and Eve chose to disobey God. SIN and death were the outcomes that we are dealing with today.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16
Fortunately, God provided a way out by Jesus’ substitutionary death for us and yet most reject God’s offer of eternal life. They foolishly want to control their own destiny for the short time they have on God’s earth and we have history to show us what sinful man has accomplished. For those of us that have realised our sinfulness, repented and submitted our lives to Jesus Lordship, we have received the Holy Spirit that God the Father has sent to indwell the Spirit of each believer. How blessed we are, without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to live a Christian life. The unbeliever has no understanding of what they are missing out on.