On Christmas Day, 1776, George Washington restored hope and optimism within the struggling colonies and the bedraggled Continental Army that the British yoke could be removed and a free nation could be established as a beacon of hope for all mankind. It meant that Christmas celebrations had to be replaced with a stealth surprise attack, crossing the ice-filled Delaware River, in order to win a victory and restore confidence that the colonies could defeat the British.
Today, Christmas Day 2021, the Schiller Institute has released a timeline with a stern warning contained in its title: “Are We Sleepwalking into Thermonuclear World War III?” While Christmas is a time to give blessings and prayers for Peace On Earth and Goodwill Towards Men (Luke 2:14), we, like George Washington before us, must recognize that there can be no peace or goodwill if the current descent into war and a new dark age are not addressed and reversed, immediately. How can we celebrate the birth of the child Jesus as a savior of mankind while the trans-Atlantic nations are denying the means of subsistence to millions of children facing starvation in Afghanistan, in Yemen, and other nations as well? How can we honor the Prince of Peace while our political leaders are threatening economic destruction and even nuclear war on Russia and China?
President Vladimir Putin reflected this same sentiment during his four hour annual year end press conference Dec. 23. “Mr. President,” he was asked, “what should we prepare for? What is a realistic outlook, and since the word ‘war’ has been said out loud, have we estimated the probability of war even as the result of a provocation?” Putin answered by reviewing the history of Ukraine, which was created as a nation as part of the Soviet Union in 1922-24, including regions which were historically Russian, and with majority populations which spoke Russian. With the collapse of the U.S.S.R., these Russian citizens were stranded outside their own country, both in Crimea and the Donbas, but Russia accepted this—until the U.S.-backed neo-Nazi coup against the elected government in 2014. Putin said he could not turn his back on the Russian people in Crimea who voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, but when the people of the Donbas formed independent republics, he negotiated with Kiev, and with the Western powers, to not use military force against them, while peace was negotiated. But now, Putin said, “we hear: war, war, war,” with preparations to use military force against the Donbas, while “under the cover of these new weapon systems [delivered by the U.S.], radicals may well decide to settle the Donbas issue, as well as the Crimea issue.”
Most revealingly, Putin concluded his answer: “This is a serious matter. I have just spoken about our plans for infrastructure development, social policy, and healthcare. But what does it all mean if we end up in the conflict you are asking about? This is not our choice, and we do not want it.”
There are some positive steps, however tentative, indicating that some in the West are trying to pull back from the brink. A ceasefire was negotiated in Ukraine by the OSCE, working with representatives from Kiev, the Donbas and Russia. Talks are planned for early January between Russia, the U.S. and several European states on the security demands presented by Russia, as well as strategic stability. Putin said that “the overall response we have been seeing has been quite positive. Our American partners are telling us that they are ready to launch this conversation…. Both sides have appointed representatives.”
Also indicating some steps toward sanity, the UN has agreed to lift sanctions on humanitarian aid to be delivered to Afghanistan over the next year, while former Afghan President (during the occupation) Hamid Karzai, told CNN that the world must work with the reality on the ground, meaning the Taliban government, and to “bring Afghanis together.” Asked about Taliban “atrocities,” Karzai said there were atrocities on all sides—Americans bombing villages, Taliban suicide bombers. Now there must be peace: “we must plan for the future.” He added that there had been some small aid during the war—some roads, some education facilities and so fourth, “but under the name of a war against terorism, it has been a disaster for us.” He asked for a “relationship of respect and understanding” between Afghanistan and the U.S.
While we mobilize to prevent war, to reverse the financial and economic collapse, to provide modern health systems to all nations, to build independent and productive nations worldwide, to restore classical culture—these are all One, and will only be achieved as a One, a new paradigm for mankind. Let us celebrate Christmas with that dedication, that commitment to truly achieve Goodwill Towards Men.