A Personification of Evil

A work of flash fiction where a father and son attempt to reconcile with their thoughts and feelings about the war in Ukraine…

by: Frederick Foote

“The war in Ukraine is a morality play with obvious good and bad guys for a change. We finally have somebody to root for,” my twenty-year old son Owen said to me.

“In war atrocities and lies are the coin of the realm for every country in the conflict,” I replied.

“Yes, but the Russian invasion is the personification of evil. And the Ukrainian defense is heroic.”

“It is evil without a doubt, and Ukrainian valor is beyond question. However, you must consider that most of the world doesn’t believe that Russia is the bad guy.”

“Pop, are you kidding? Who supports Russia besides Belarus?”

“China, North Korea, most of Africa, India, and Venezuela. Many of these nations don’t trust NATO and still see Europe as a colonial power continuing to exploit Black and Brown peoples. They believe that Russia had a right to keep NATO out of Ukraine.”

“Bullshit! Every nation has the right to be free of military coercion. Ukraine is a sovereign state and has the right to join NATO if it so chooses.”

“I hear you, but you don’t hear me. Most of the world disagrees with your morality play analogy.”

“Okay, Pops, I get it, but the war will be over soon anyway. The Ukrainians are kicking ass and taking names. They’re winning.”

“If winning means evicting the Russians and reclaiming all Ukrainian territory the Ukrainians are not winning. They are giving the battered Russian Army fits, but that is far from winning. The western press is projecting the illusion of winning, and we are eager to see the brave good guys successes. Yet, it is wishful thinking.”

“Pops, I believe that Ukraine can win the war with our help.”

“The war will be won or lost at the negotiations table, not on the battlefield. The Russians can keep sending conscripts to the front even if they are armed with broomsticks and the numbers will eventually overwhelm Ukraine.” 

“But what about all the sanctions on Russia? Those alone should turn the tide in favor of Ukraine.”

“Sanctions will not win the war on the ground. The greatest impact of sanctions will probably be on everyday Russians and not on the elites. The billionaires have the resources to continue their current lifestyles despite the sanctions.”

“Shit! I don’t see why so many nations support Russia.”

“Well, if you compare the benevolence the Europeans are bestowing on Ukrainian refugees and compare it to the brutish European reaction to Syrian and African refugees. That alone is sufficient reason not to trust the West. We’re Black. You have to see that.”

“Pops, I see that but—”

“What would the United States do if Canada or Mexico tried to join the Warsaw Pact?”

“I think that the mutual defense agreement died with the Soviet Union. But I get your point. We would definitely not let that happen.”

“Ultimately, the Ukrainian war is White people protecting White people and all the rest of the world sees their virulent racism, again. That is our morality play.”

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