The World Is Upside Down With A Leader Such As Putin, by Morak Babajide-Alabi
Featured, Newspaper Column

The World Is Upside Down With A Leader Such As Putin

by Morak Babajide-Alabi

Many things are happening in the world that can make one doubt humanity. The past three years have been moving at a frenetic pace that we barely have time to breathe. These events have left indelible marks on our lives one way or the other. There have been no let-downs nor breathing spaces as the world moves from one disaster to another.

 

Towards the end of 2019, we had the idea that the world was changing. But we never imagined that it would be as much as we have it now. When Donald Trump, the former President of the United States of America, was impeached on December 18, 2019, we thought a new world order had come. A few days after, on the 20th, the British Parliament finally passed the BREXIT “Exit Bill”. We heaved a sigh of relief as we looked forward to a future independent Britain without the “benefits scroungers” from Europe. Thankfully, the “£350 million a week” paid to the European Union would stop, we reasoned.

In 2019, to us, climate change was one of the urgent problems of the world. The Amazon was burning. The concerned people of the world rose in unison to condemn the careless Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, accused of ‘sitting back’ as fire ravaged the rainforest. How dare he? We seemed more concerned than the bereaved. “Our house is burning. Literally,” a very concerned French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, miles away from the Amazon.

 

2019 was a prelude to the “mad” years that followed. It was a sign of the unprecedented. However, no matter the scale of protests in Hong Kong in 2019, the hype about the Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting, Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro’s tight hold on power, the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris or the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State by the US Special Forces. Nothing prepared us for the events of the past two years.

The world changed for good with the Coronavirus pandemic. Nothing has remained the same. In other words, 2020 marked a turning point in humanity. The pandemic highlighted our resilience and tested our patience and ability to survive in a different setup. We conditioned ourselves to do many things differently as we adjusted to the challenges. We locked ourselves up. Not only that, but we ignored the world economy as we shut everything down to survive. It was understandable. The priority was healing the world first.

It will be an exercise in futility trying to itemise how the pandemic has dealt with the world. In the midst, the Belarusians cried for freedom from their maximum leader, Alexander Lukashenko. But all to no avail. They defied the virus, gathered in thousands, but just like COVID-19, they realised they would have to live with their leader.

While the world was about heaving a sigh of relief, the Russian President Vladimir Putin decided it was time to disrupt world peace. He had said in 2018: “We need to build co-operation with the EU. We don’t have a goal of dividing anything or anyone in the EU.” In 2022, he decided it was time to wipe neighbouring Ukraine off the map. He decided it was time to dictate the future direction of a sovereign Ukraine. He concluded that the country’s membership in the EU or NATO is a threat to him.

The atrocities on the Ukrainians compared to the massacre of Jews during the World War. He has been called out for war crimes and genocide as bodies lay on the Ukrainian streets. Putin cares not as his troops continue to target the defenceless civilians in Mariupol, Kyiv, Bucha etc. His strong-arm tactics are deplorable. It is no surprise that the world has united against him.

After the 2018 Helsinki Trump-Putin summit, I concluded in an article published on July 22, 2018, that “… Russia is still a big threat to the world, no matter what Mr Trump or his handlers would want us to believe. The Russians are in control of happenings in Syria and to a large extent still acting behind the scenes while the dictatorial regime of Al Bashir Assad continues to kill innocent civilians.

“As Putin remains unchallenged on his country’s activities in Ukraine, this will embolden him to take a step further. A seeming validation of Russia by Trump’s administration is nothing but a “peace agenda” taken too far.”

Putin’s misadventure in Ukraine is having ripple effects all over the world. When we should be recouping the economic losses of COVID-19, the war has further taken us on difficult paths. The cost of living has risen astronomically. Thanks to the war and the effects of the various COVID-19 lockdowns. The Ukrainian refugees are trooping out of their country with no clear idea if they will still have a place to call a country.

Coupled with the collapse of various economies, the actions of Putin, at this time, show that he has no milk of kindness in him. History will judge him, but not in a good way. You may ask, does he care? I guess not.

Troubled by the happenings in the world, I published a piece – Injustice is Humanity’s New Definition – on May 15, 2020. Here is an excerpt from it.

“We are all damaged. We have all been hurt. We have all had to learn painful lessons. We are all recovering from some mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, injustice or misfortune. All of life is a process of recovery that never ends,” Bryant McGill.

In a world full of contradictions, the pretence to love amid so much hate, injustice and inhumanity is commonplace. In a world where we say “this” and mean “that”, the two words, injustice and inhumanity, are most times “misdefined.” We confuse these two words because the dictionary meanings are quite different from what we see in the larger society. We rarely bother to cross-check the definitions with what we see or hear. We jump on the bandwagon and talk about injustices and inhumanity, so we can fit in.

Most of us talk about these words as often as we can. Some of us have made careers out of injustice and inhumanity. Do you doubt me? Watch our politicians speak about injustice and inhumanity on the soapboxes. You will be swept away by the oration and instantly dream of a better world where injustice and inhumanity are history. As followers, we shout “end injustice and inhumanity.” We all pretend to seek the same goal – eradication. But we know deep inside that the leaders are as less-inspired as we followers. It is a drama of going round in circles.

It is a cruel and dangerous world, full of evil and conscienceless individuals. Some occupy the highest positions in the world, while others are at the lower rung of society. No matter the level of power these individuals attain (or do not attain,) their thoughts and behavioural patterns are the same. They care less about justice or how good humanity can be. They present a facade to the world that they care, but in their closets, they are monsters with no atom of human compassion in them.

John Hartung wrote: “There is a difference between what is wrong and what is evil. Evil is committed when clarity is taken away from what is clearly wrong, allowing wrong to be seen as less wrong, excusable, right, or an obligatory commandment of the Lord God Almighty. Evil is bad sold as good, wrong sold as right, injustice sold as justice. Like the coat of a virus, a thin veil of right can disguise enormous wrong and confer an ability to infect others.” This is an apt description of the world we live in.

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ABOUT MORAK

I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.

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