The grandboy wanted to talk about war yesterday.
He’s eight and he holds a very strong good guy vs. bad guy image in his head.
I tried to explain greed and obscene wealth to him but it was a bit more than he was ready to fathom.
He thought Russia had a right to “take its land back…” that lead to a discussion about the Bolshevik revolution and the Ukrainian Declaration of Independence in 1991. I asked him if he’d be ok with some stranger taking over his home and telling him how to live. He replied, “I’d be pretty pissed off, but don’t tell my mom I said ‘pissed!”!” So I asked him how he imagined the Ukrainian people felt. He said he figured they were pretty pissed about it.
I was surprised and strangly pleased he knew little to nothing of the American revolution. I’m pretty sure by age eight I’d had George Washington and cherry trees and fifes and drums jammed down my throut. It was until many years later I came to see the American revolution as nothing but a power and land grab for the benefit of a very wealthy handful of slavers.
I tried to explain the immense profits or war, and greed and motivations of even greater profits from taking oil rich land, productive farmlands, mineral rich lands. I said I had a very real fear that water will become the next commodity that young men and women will be sent to die for, while fat rich men drink up heartily and laugh at the rest of us.
He seemed to be very confused when I said no one wins a war, there are simply profits.
He’s got a very real fear of nukes, yet he doesn’t quite seem to grasp what they are or how radiation can hurt you. He was confused to learn that the only nation on earth to yet unleash nuclear Hell was the good ol’ USA. He said he only thought bad people would use a weapon like a nuke. My only possible reaction to that was that in war and greed and power struggles you need to carefully examine who are the good guys and the bad guys.
I asked him if he thought all the enemy soldiers everywhere were really bad people who needed to die or were they just people who’d been lied to and mislead to commit horrific deeds all in the name of corruption and greed and something called patriotism… anyone’s patriotism.
He seems to know a bit about the world wars and had a great fear of world war three. He asked my why the US wasn’t helping Ukraine and I said they were, but with money and weapons, and I hoped it stayed that way. We discussed NATO. He asked me if the US was giving away the weapons for free and I told him as far as I know yes, but we are all paying for them here in taxes and someone some where was getting rich. He was shocked to learn one missle fired at an enemy target could cost about a million dollars…
He asked me if Hitler was a crazy man and I asked him if a guy who wanted to rule the world and kill people simply because of thier religion was a crazy man… He said yes.
He asked if the war against Hitler was a just war and I said it was probably as just a war as I’d ever heard of.
He asked if Putin was as bad as Hitler… I asked if he thought a man who attacked another country just because he could was as bad as Hitler. He said he thought was a bad man too.
Somedays it ain’t easy talking to the boy. Dinosaurs and cars are better subjects and more fun.