The Tomato

Profoundly brave act brings peace to war-torn region

Photo by Karishma Chopra

A local Ottawa man took a selfie on Mar. 25 in his Glebe apartment, and effectively ended the conflict in Crimea.

Twenty-four-year-old Jason Thompson posted a self-portrait looking serious and concerned to Twitter late at night, which within hours went viral. The photo, which was accompanied by the caption, “I think peace is better than war. #Crimea has made me concerned, please share,” made it all the way to Russian President Vladdie Poutine early the following morning.

Poutine promptly called a press conference later in the afternoon in which he announced that all Russian troops had been pulled out of Crimea.

“The fact that our conflict could so profoundly affect this middle-class Canadian man really opened our eyes,” he said. “To be honest, even though this conflict is the consequence of centuries of tension in the region, this gross oversimplification is just what we needed.”

Nikolai Vlasic, captain of the Russian military’s mission in Crimea, said the photo’s effect on soldiers from both sides was “instantaneous and profound.”

“Men who had been shooting at one another hours before came together to retweet this wonderful man’s act of courage,” said Vlasic. “No plan for a more democratic election had been put in place, and a huge divide still exists among locals regarding their nationality, but everyone here recognized that all that was nothing compared to what Jason had gone through.

“Here’s a man who could have been out at the bar, and instead he took two minutes out of his night to express his concern,” said Vlasic.

Human rights lawyer Dave Peterson, who has spent the past 30 years advocating for peace in Crimea, wasn’t as enthusiastic.

“Neither Thompson’s video nor its 3 billion retweets have contributed anything to the world except the obvious,” said Peterson. “There are much more complex issues working here than war is bad, and peace is good.”

But Poutine has dismissed Peterson’s objection, calling the 60-year-old a “glory hog.”

“He’s clearly just jealous he didn’t think of such an awareness campaign first,” said Poutine. “That’s why Thompson has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize already, and all Peterson has for his efforts is a second mortgage and severe back pain.”

Thompson said that he will now dedicate every Tuesday night to solving a world issue with a selfie. He has already planned to tackle cancer, poverty, AIDS, and racism by the end of April.

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