Brian Bonner: The 7 stages of Western ‘concern’
By Brian Bonner
I’m not sure who came up with this list, but I saw them on the Twitter account of “Darth Putin” overnight, following the May 23, 2021, hijacking of a Ryanair civilian commercial jetliner by the Belarusian military to carry out Alexander Lukashenko’s order to arrest opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.
If such a crime can happen to Pratasevich, it can happen to anyone. If you live long enough, you’ll see everything and this is a first for me – a civilian airliner flies from one European Union destination to another EU destination and gets forced down because one mad and murderous dictator is afraid of a 26-year-old journalist who has set up the popular Nexta Telegram channel to organize opposition to Lukashenko’s illegitimate presidency.
Ukraine, more than seven years after Russia invaded militarily, seizing Crimea and parts of the eastern Donbas, is more than familiar with Western impotence and hand-wringing when it comes to the lack of courage by elected politicians in Europe and the United States to stand up to bullying from Russia, Belarus and other nations governed by autocrats.
So, without further ado, here are the 7 stages of Western “concern” – edited only slightly by me.
- We are concerned
- We are very concerned
- We are gravely concerned
- There must be answers & a complete, independent investigation
- There will be consequences
- It is important to engage
- We should separate this issue from commercial issues
I don’t expect this brazen criminal act will change Western spinelessness. So many more terrible crimes committed by Russia – which looks to have played a key role in the Ryanair hijacking on behalf of its client state — have gone unpunished, especially in Ukraine, Syria, and Georgia.
This world needs stronger democratic leadership. If those in power today in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere won’t supply it, it’s time to vote them out and put in politicians who will stand up for democracy globally and isolate with crushing sanctions those who try to destroy it, no matter the financial costs.