President's Note

As always, I view writing my President’s Message as an enjoyable privilege rather than a duty!  It’s a great time to share the latest news and information involving or affecting the IPCC with our membership, outside friends, and those interested parties overseas who are planning to become one or the other…or even better…both this year!

As always, the IPCC strives to present the news and information flow to our readership in a timely manner, from a position of neutrality, without spin (as has been our ironclad #1 policy requisite for well over 10 years)!

To begin with, we here on the Board are delighted that the COVID pandemic may be easing a bit, along with numerous mandates and restrictions.  These governmental policy changes could potentially usher in a return to our in-person monthly meetings for the first time in two years, sooner rather than later!

After the tragic losses of members to the pandemic during the 2020/21 time period, we have yet to identify any cases within our organization in 2022!  This comes as a major relief for all of us, and we pray the trend continues!  However, it appears some of us have traded COVID for the accompanying aches and pains from mishaps and the occasional operation, the ranks of which I have joined as well with a new hip!  But happily, all of us are on the mend or have returned to a state of full functionality! 

 

In addition to ongoing program developments of every initiative previously reported on during my New Year’s Message, we are working on booking new speakers and expanding our diplomatic relationships here in Chicago! Many of our membership and Board Members are even preparing their own impressive array of travel itineraries to Europe, South and Central America, Turkey, Russia, and even to islands in the Mediterranean throughout 2022!

As grandiose as our 2022 plans are, at no time can we pursue these personal and institutional undertakings in a vacuum without just consideration being paid to the events unfolding daily around us and the world. 

Our foreign members have supplied us with daily feeds of how poorly conceived foreign support initiatives and their very real on-the-ground resulting consequences are affecting Ukraine and surrounding countries.  While appearing supportive on the surface, their ambiguity has begun to foster the resurgence of opportunists throughout Europe all while being viewed by those who are living daily across the region in fear and trepidation with the ever-developing results of these efforts and shows of concerned good faith!

Games of blatant brinkmanship, and the drawing of unenforceable Red Lines introduced to the world by never ending yet meaninglessly supportive strings of verbose rhetoric could very soon give way to the emergence of actual events and very real Red Lines which won’t be allowed to be crossed!

We must pay attention to the information flow around us, the beliefs of those being most affected, and the views of all sides of the equation before it is too late.

There are no clean answers or sides to be taken.  Common sense needs to prevail!

Wayne Toberman

, President  - International Press Club of Chicago