Whenever my editor asks me to write my column in English, I prefer to keep it simple, stupid. Of course, this is not because I am not perfect in literature, whether English or Turkish. In this regard, please see my previous article “Flight by Night
”My previous column related to both insurance and war, and I prefer to keep it this way again. As a marine insurance broker, I’m expected to write about marine insurance matters only; nonetheless I feel the need to say something more about the war having recently read an article in The Economist about the upcoming food catastrophe and mass hunger.
Rush for flour
As soon as I finished reading and understood what this article was all about, I found myself asking my wife to mobilise and drive to Metro gocery store to buy 100 kgs of flour for upcoming emergency situations. I think I’ll be buying another deep freezer for rainy days as well. It rings a bell when remembering Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” right? Yes, the simple needs are at the most basic level; food and water, followed by security needs. Then I remembered what I was feeling previously regarding Putin. He will be gone in the near future and he won’t have to push a nuclear button, as he implied in the beginning. No, he is far from it; it turned out that be his main weapon is organic actually. Putin knew an important part of the world would crumble into famine and cold without him. Mainly, he destroyed the logistics and farms of Ukraine so they will not be able to come back to normal again, even five years after this. Most of Europe depends on Russia for energy. Now, India has also closed doors to wheat exportation; and some expect mass hunger in the northern hemisphere.
Speaking of the “northern hemisphere,” as an ex-navy officer, I believe NATO could have been focused on better causes than military ones, after the USSR collapsed while Europe invited Russia into their economic zone in order to keep the world in a stable position. Russia is an important part of what makes Europe, thanks to it’s contrubitions to, music, art, intellectual power, scientific capabilities, etc. Unfortunately, that ship has sailed and Russia is still suffering from its oldest fear: attacks from the east and west for centuries which started in the Middle Ages; i.e. the Vikings, the Mongolians, Napoleon Bonaparte, Hitler, etc. The Russians don’t live in a geographically protected area, but have only steppes surrounding them. They have no means to build a “Great Wall of China,” but can build only political walls. The second basic need from Maslow’s hierarchy, protection, comes to mind.
Russia has most of it but the USA has it all
Thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy again, Mother Russia possesses all the means and advantages of her geography and is capable of feeding her people, as well as keeping them warm. Of course, the US has that too, but I don’t believe other people in other continents will benefit from the US’s political ideas and technology which represents the zenith of Maslow’s hierarchy only. I really wonder what happens when Trump is elected again! I remember when Trump was negotiating even with the North Koreans and there were almost no clashes in the world! Now that the Pentagon has its power to say more, regulating and adding value in international affairs, Biden had to lower his tone after giving messages in a more superior tone. It is of course the generals who know the real threat of death rather than aged presidents shaking their hands in the air.
Europe and insurance
Insurance regulators in the UK are strengthening their hand by formally, or even morally, by imposing more sanctions on Russian trade. I am curious whether this will work, but this reminds me of the Iranian trade; which still continues no matter what happened during the past 40 years. I believe the Russians will turn to their local insurance providers and thus more money will be sucked out of the UK’s financial system and poured into Russia’s. In the end, the world needs Russian food products and energy for at least five more years until more nuclear power plants are built and local farming is supported in all countries locally. In the meantime, we shouldn’t forget there are some gruesome shipowners (140 ships) who leave their crew members trapped in Ukrainian waters to be used as a “shield” against possible attacks. I remember those first days. Ukrainian mines were laid, pontoons were scuttled at the entrance of river ports, etc. Nobody could move. I don’t recall if Ukraine has commented regarding these lost assets, but I remember Russia declared they wouldn’t touch merchant ships 20 miles outside of Ukranian waters.
Fear of hunger changes opinions
As you can read above as illustrated, many of the people will change their views regarding Putin when they feel the fear of hunger in their veins. I am not a supporter of war despite my military education & training, and I am deeply sorry for the Ukrainian people who had to leave their homeland or stand and defend their Mother land against Russian aggression. I am trying to do my best by supporting several charities. I could only wish for a socialist fraternal kiss (by mouth) between the leaders; like Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissed East German leader Erich Honecker, and three times more for similar hugs between Putin and Zelinsky. Turkey avoided World War II, knowing the sufferings of war from time in the trenches thanks to our founding fathers and I want to close my column with Atatürk’s saying: PEACE AT HOME PEACE IN THE WORLD.
* KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.
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