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Why America and allies need to fight for Ukraine

Why America and allies need to fight for Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to have split America – and Europe – along a horizontal (bipartisan) axis instead of the usual vertical (partisan) axis.  There seems to be both Republican and Democrat – conservative and progressive – voices that oppose America’s intervention in the war in Ukraine and others of both sides who support it.

FOX News’ Tucker Carlson is the personification of the “no involvement” position.  He questioned what Russian Madman Putin had done to him personally.  That is a ridiculous argument.  Others fear that were America to push back at Russia, it would trigger a nuclear war.  And others see no national security issues for the United States.  

Taking those arguments in that order, I would suggest that Carlson’s is just too stupid to even debate.  There were Jews in America who could have said the same thing about Hitler.  What was he doing to them personally?  Put another way … why should I worry about fighting drug gangs in the inner cities.  They have not done anything to me personally.  Tucker’s argument is just absurd.

The concern about triggering a nuclear war is more valid – but should even that preclude driving Putin back to his Kremlin bunker?  Would he really use nuclear weapons?  His threats may be a bluff.

If we were to accept his threats and not respond in a meaningful way, Putin is free to continue to invade and conquer – having only to endure harsh words and ineffective sanctions.  Sanctions may make the Russian people suffer – and even those countries imposing the sanctions – but they do not make Putin suffer.  And that is all that matters to him.

It has been the lack of a military confrontation that has enabled Putin to feel free to invade Georgia, crush the Chechens, defeat the insurgents in Syria, grab off the Crimea, and essentially create a separatist movement in the Donbas Region of Ukraine.

If the threat of using a nuclear weapon means no military response, then Putin can go after Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and …  He has already demanded that NATO withdraw to the 1990s boundaries – removing from the Alliance all those nations that were once held captive under the banner of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Would Putin be so audacious?  Go back a couple of years … and did anyone think he would invade Ukraine?    Every success will embolden Putin more … provide him with more resources … convince him that there are no real obstacles to the next invasion.  Other nations may also succumb to Putin out of fear.  That is how Genghis Kahn concurred his empire – brutally wipe out one village and accept the bloodless surrender of the next.

The world’s democracies simply cannot allow the threat of a nuclear strike to allow Putin to continue his maniacal ambitions of an ever-expanding Russian empire to continue.

Then there is the issue of American National security.  The Carlson types see no American security issues.  But they are just wrong.  Every time an adversary takes over another piece of world real estate, they gain enormous natural resources.  That is especially true of Ukraine. It is rightfully called the breadbasket of the world.  Its wheat is exported throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.  Control that much grain would give Putin another money-making export.  He could weaponize food like he has weaponized oil.  Ukraine also has a wealth of minerals.  It is an important market for imports and exports.  It is not only an ally of the United States, it is an asset.

It is also important to the strategic security of NATO – and ergo America.  Right now Ukraine is a buffer state between Russia and the NATO alliance.  If it should fall into Putin’s empire. The guns of Russia would be amassed at the border of NATO – the very portion of NATO that Putin covets.

The fall of Ukraine would also embolden America’s enemies throughout the world.  Some argue that the surrender in Afghanistan has already emboldened the autocratic states – and play a role in Putin’s thinking regarding Ukraine.

And finally, there is the question of what good people do when confronted with evil – even if the good people that are confronted are not us personally or nationally.  One of the most fundamental characteristics of the United States and the world’s democracies is they come to the aid of those innocents who are in need … are oppressed … or are suffering outrageous misfortune.  We have shown that character in times of natural disasters … famines … plagues … and in times of war.

Too often in modern times, we have turned a blind eye and a cold heart to those in need.  We have lost our spirit of Good Samaritanism.

I cannot imagine that the America I know and love would stand down as the murderer in Moscow kills innocent people by the tens of thousands – men, women and children.  I cannot believe that America would say that as long as it is not our maternity hospital being bombed … or our schools … or our family, it is not our job to get involved.  There is such a thing as moral responsibility.

If Putin is not stopped now — cold in his tracks – we will leave a far more dangerous world for our children and grandchildren.  Tens of thousands of innocent people will die – and millions suffer.

We are paying the price today for the decisions in the past that did not stop Putin.  It would be an obscenity to leave our children and grandchildren and an even more dangerous world.

What happens in Ukraine is very critical to both America’s and our allies’ security AND honor.  Our internal enemy is acquiescence and appeasement.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

12 Comments

  1. Richard Hutchinson

    The boxer Mike Tyson said something like>>>Everyone has a plan until that first punch in the nose.
    If we were to get involved we must fight to win! It seems our politicians talk a good game until that first punch in the nose.

  2. Frank stetson

    You are certainly consistently hawkish on this one. Once again, old men making decisions so that young man can take action and die.

    I am guessing this is one of those “I held my nose but voted for him anyway” sort of Larry-Trump experiences given his overt love affair with Putin including calling him a genius just as he invaded.

    My take is it’s better not to directly engage Putin at this time. We can always destroy the entire world at a later date. After all, we can only do that once.

    I agree that Biden has screwed this up. Do Ukrainians holding out for over a month makes Bidens decisions worse. Trump also screwed it up before Otherwise, Ukraine would’ve already had weapons capable of reaching Russia rather than in-country defense-only systems. Why didn’t we give them Israel’s iron dome and the ability to strike deep into Russia have Russia decided to cross the boundary line. Which apparently is what you’re calling for for us, an offensive measure rather than just defensive posture for the US.

    Given where we are today, I would just as soon let the sanctions do their thing, help the Ukrainians as much as possible to do their thing, and if we have to take Putin on, whether we do it today, a week from now, a month from now, or years from now, I really doubt the outcome will be different.

    I am also moved by the Russian protests, I note that Russia is more connected to the world and unable to disconnect as easily as they have previously. We still get news coming direct from Russia, I believe Russia is still getting some news from the outside world in some places, and many Russians are acting less like nationalist and more like global citizens. It’s not quite the same as it was in 2000. I am hopeful that the oligarchs realize Russia cannot succeed anymore with Putin whether they take Ukraine or not. I am hopeful that the oligarchs will decide that Russia needs a better path forward than Putin. .

    Meanwhile, in terms of the disruption due to Ukraine’s economy, there is no doubt that Russia is the number two oil producer and that will hurt. While there are at least 50 other oil producers, many of which can make up some of the slack in terms of production, there will be disruption. In terms of wheat, Ukraine is the number six producer but that’s way down from the number one producer, China, in volume. Or the number two producer Russia. IOW, Russia really does not need Ukraine’s wheat in order to put a squeeze on that market and having it will still make Russia number two, no change. The US is way down the line in wheat also which sort of tells you that the value of wheat is far less than many other things the US produces in our breadbasket.

    Overall, Ukraine’s economy ranks about 50th or so out of 200 nations. It’s a good economy, but it is much smaller than say Russia’s or Italy’s or most other developed nations.

    So I don’t really see the economic necessity for saving Ukraine, not that the human necessity that you mention is not there in spades. Still, I am not sure that we need to rush to either involving our young men and women in yet a war that risks a nuclear holocaust. Because that’s what nuclear war is Larry, the end of the World as we know it. I don’t not see the loss of Ukraine as being end of the world.

    So I know what you’re saying. But I don’t think the immediate need versus waiting will change anything. It would’ve been nice to be in front of this and that is both on Trump’s and Biden‘s watch. Trump could’ve put Ukraine in a much better position given all the money and weapons he provided there, but Biden who seemingly saw this coming, could’ve taken other last second actions that could’ve helped. For example, stating that there is no way that we are going to enter a war in Ukraine was probably much less helpful than saying “everything is on the table.” Even if the end result was the same and everything stayed on the table.. That’s just stupid.

    So, there’s my two cents.

    • larry Horist

      You are not making sense. First you call me a war hawk and they tie me to Trump as a Putin lover. Generally, your writing seems to be the product of the 1960s anti-war movement. You seem to forget that Trump actually sent weapons to Ukraine — reversing the Obama no-weapons-for-Ukraine policy. You are buying Putin’s threats no matter how preposterous they are. I do not believe he would use the nukes — or even that his generals would allow it. If he did, it would not be the end of the world — and most experts that I have heard from say the chance of Putin using a nuke is next to zero. I think the risk is worth it since the alternative is to let Putin continue to build his empire on bloody grounds. Is there any time you would confront Putin militarily? With your kind of thinking, we might be living under the 1000-year Third Reich. You seem to eliminate human carnage as an irrelevant factor. You only see an “economic necessity” as justification for war. We do agree on the stupidity of assuring nutty Putin that we would not make him face the power of the United States and NATO. Our leaders have been bragging about having the strongest military in the world only to keep getting our ass kick by third-rate powers.

      • Frank stetson

        Come on Larry, learn to read. I am 100% sure my rating is not that bad.

        First, I said you were a freaking hawk. That is true.

        Second I said given the fact that Trump has a love affair with Putin, you must be holding your nose given your love affair with Trump. OK, that was a little sarcastic, I can understand where you might misinterpret. My bad for attempting humor. You’re bad, for taking it seriously.

        Third, clearly advocated I know the Trump sent them weapons. What I stayed it was it would’ve been nice of you had sent them the right weapons so they could’ve created an iron dome and then capable of carrying the war to Russia rather than just to be on a defensive mode.

        Was Zelenskyy in office when Obama was in office? Or was at the previous corrupt Ukrainian regime That was basically a puppet for the Russian state? But sure, Obama bad on this one too.

        Fourth, I think I was pretty clear on where the red line is and that is called the NATO commitment. We have no firm commitment do Ukraine for protection even in the commitment we signed when they gave up the nuclear arms.

        Lastly, the fact that you are willing to risk nuclear war and I’m a little more tentative is a difference in opinion. Neither of us have absolute facts to be able to prove our case. It’s just that if you’re wrong, the world is ended. If I’m wrong, Ukraine is ended and the world survives. There is a big difference there Larry.

        Then to go on that I am espousing the peacenik strategies of the 60s, or would be willing to live under a third Reich today, is more than appalling. It is rude and it is disrespectful to both me and my family. I have not served, I protested in the street But I’ve always supported have been nothing but respectful to each of our troops. My family has served not only in almost every war that has ever been starting with the Civil. We have left many a family member on the battlefield. We’ve given our blood and I believe I have the right to accept or deny any war you hawks want to wage. I think I was also clear that indeed this is a terrible human tragedy, Putin is a war criminal, and that is the only factor that might lead us into battle. However at this point entering the war is not gonna change much of that to be honest

        So I still say stay the course, support the president, and pray to god it all works out.

    • Fred

      Chicken shits like you would rather have them take our country someday. And don’t think it’s not in Putin’s plans. He sees opportunities with a weak minded moron in the White House

      • Frank stEtson

        Not supporting entering the war at this time and being either brave or a chickenshit are dramatically different things. There is many a season general out there that would not recommend entering this war at this time. They have all proven there bravery on the front line at sometime

        And as far as Putin taking over our country, unless the Trumpist in the world like you invite him in for the genius that he is that you respect so much, in case you missed it we have these little things called nuclear bombs. We have enough to perform overkill on the world a dozen times over. And only ones would be sufficient. And we are quite capable of destroying the entire world.

        The best part of the nuclear war is that after all the strategic missiles go off, the anti-ballistics rain down, etc. and the world is smoldering in a fallout covered haze, then, silently, the subs surface and fire the final overkill on an already dead world just to make sure.

        Maybe we should drop a few just to remind people how terrible they are given that assholes like you seem to feel we might be able to survive it so what the hell, let’s go to war with another nuclear power just because we don’t think they’ll pull the trigger because they’re sane actors. I’m sure it all work out.

        If you seen the after affects of Hiroshima Nagasaki, I don’t think any normal human would say that defined working out.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson. From what you are saying, it seems you are stuck on 1950s movie versions of nuclear war. Make no mistake, it would be devastating — but not the end of the world. I have seen the results of the atomic bombs hitting Japan. Work out? It ended a war that would have cost hundreds of thousands of additional American and civilian lives. Just look at the estimates of a land invasion of Japan. Work out? For the most part the physical and emotional scars have healed — even as the memory remains. Japan is now one of our most important and loyal allies. I would say that despite the tragedy, it seems to have worked out. And above all, my recommendations for defeating Putin is based on my sincere belief — backed up by virtually all military and political experts — that even fighting Putin in Ukraine has zero chance of garnering a nuclear response. If we allow Putin’s intimidation to work, there is no end to what he can do. For me, too many innocent people are dying for us not to shut this war down ASAP. We have the strongest military in the world head up by the weakest political leaders — one of whom is the Commander-in-Chief of the military. A leader who even announces tot he world that we will not defend against even the most egregious aggression. Have you no red lines? Nothing that deserves defense? Does an enemy have to show up on the shores of California before you see vital national interest?

          • Frank statson

            Yeah Larry, I’m the one stuck in the 50s. I think you’re watching some twilight zones figuring what happens after you come out of the bomb shelter.

            How about some facts. The Hiroshima bomb was 15 kt.

            When the subs come up, each other’s missiles will be 475 kt.

            The B-53 I think it’s called is 1.2 Mt. I believe that’s our largest bomb today, I am not sure how big the Russians go or how much bigger than that the Russians go.

            Larry when scientist use the word “overkill,“ that they actually mean kill. And overkill means there’s nothing left. And we have between us and the Russians over a dozen times overkill. Even if you live in Australia and you survive the initial blast, death will be coming for you shortly either from the fall out or the pestilence.

        • Gary

          That’s going to happen during the tribulations after the coming of Christ. Are you ready to meet him? Born again Christians will not be here for it.

          • Ben

            Leave today, avoid the rush. Feel free a few Muslim extremists with you.

  3. Jonathan

    Muslims won’t be going in the rapture They are a cult

  4. Perry

    Like your daughter in law?