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.