Ukraine: On the Fault Line Between East and West

MSNBC’s Joy Reid thinks the West’s galvanizing response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unfair. “Let’s face it,” she said on March 8th, “the world is paying attention because this is happening in Europe. If this was happening anywhere else, would we see the same outpouring of support and compassion?”

The Western world is indeed less interested in the victims of war in places like Yemen and Syria, but there’s more to the distinction than Reid’s commentary allows. It’s not just that Ukraine is, as Reid put it, “white and largely Christian”—Russia is also mostly white and Christian, yet the vast majority of Westerners would side with non-white, non-Christian Japan (to name just one example) if it suddenly found itself in a hot war with Putin’s military.

A nuclear conflict is also a possibility for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and no serious person thinks the wars in Syria or Yemen are likely to lead to a global apocalypse.

More here by Michael J. Totten in Quillette >