I spent Saturday morning in my office, listening to the Ukrainian anthem and weeping.
I think that Americans are supporting us so much because what we are experiencing speaks to their most recent national trauma. What Ukraine is going through is 9/11. Remember how you felt when you saw the towers falling and people jumping to their death? If you are an American, you know exactly how I feel. There’s been a new 9/11 for me every day for 255 days. Nobody who hasn’t personally lived it can fully understand, and Americans have lived it.
This is why Colombians, for instance, are completely indifferent to the war in Ukraine at best and cheering on Russia at worst. They haven’t been invaded. Their national consciousness hasn’t been wounded in that way. Colombia’s most painful national trauma is a civil war. A hundred – or actually more like 150 at this point – years of Colombian solitude are those of a bloody, devastating civil strife. I’m not devaluing the painful nature of the Colombian experience. Colombia has experienced terrible suffering but it’s completely different from ours, so they sincerely don’t feel our pain.
In America, the people who are hostile to Ukraine are like those liberal US Jews who can’t look into the face of their Holocaust trauma. Identifying with the Holocaust will shatter their psyche, so they hide behind an exaggerated concern over racism.
One thought on “Saturday Morning”
Colombia and most of Latin America consistently vote against Russia at the UN. They’re definitely not on Russia’s side. But it’s also a part of the world they know very little about.
I don’t know if you could make such a strong distinction between traumatic civil war pain vs pain from a invasion . I think a lot of the calls for peace come out of an understanding that war is bad, but a incorrect understanding of the situation in Ukraine where further war might be necessary to avoid future war.