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Why Ukraine Matters

By March 19, 2023Commentary

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stretches on, a large segment of the US population, cheerled by certain politicians, has become more vocal in opposing support of Ukraine.  Governor DeSantis, who I will strongly support for President given the practical effects of his administration in Florida, recently expressed his position on Ukraine, also indicating hesitation and wrongly describing this as a territorial dispute.  Woe be to Taiwan if this is the case.  As usual, I think people often miss the big picture, particularly in foreign affairs.

We live on a world; it is one world, particularly in the modern age.  As long as there is more than one geo-political subdivision on this world, there will be issues about relations between those subdivisions.  How we think those relations are appropriately handled is critical to the entire world.  Will we tolerate a world in which larger countries with strong militaries can impose their will on other countries through force, including literally taking the territory of those other countries, or will we insist that this use of force is not acceptable in any circumstances?  Once there is a perception that use of force will be tolerated in some circumstances, it is inevitable that further conflict will occur.

Russia is led by a maniacal dictator, one who delusionally imagines that he can restore his country to some theoretical past empiric glory, the Soviet Union, or Tsarist Russia.  He has no morals, no soul.  Murder, rape, theft; these mean nothing to him.  If he doesn’t perceive that there will be strong resistance to his actions, he won’t stop.  The democracies on his border–Poland, the Baltic states, Finland–have reacted most strongly to the invasion because they know they are next in his grandiose empire-building plan.

It is deeply ironic that Putin refers to Ukrainians as “Nazis” to justify his invasion.  Putin is our current Hitler.  He is using the Hitler game plan.  Saying he is protecting Russians in Ukraine.  Claiming Ukraine was historically Russian territory.  Demonizing Ukrainians.  And he is as brutal as Hitler–slaughtering civilians, destroying everything in the country, forcibly removing and enslaving the population.

So what is the appropriate response?  Do nothing, just watch this happen and pretend like it doesn’t affect us?  How is this different than Kuwait?  How will it be different than China invading Taiwan?  Will we do nothing if Poland is invaded, or the Baltic states or Finland, even though they are NATO states?

It is beyond naive to imagine that we can ignore Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and not see consequences.  But most importantly, it is a rejection of our obligations as humans to define the world we live in as one in which this kind of action is unacceptable, to resist it in the strongest possible terms.  So it may seem far away, but it is far closer than you imagine.

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Gregory Schuler/MRM Capital says:

    Well thought and well written. As Churchill demanded of his weak-kneed ministers, “When will the lesson be learned? You can’t negotiate with a tiger when your head is in his mouth!”

  • Morry Rotenberg says:

    Everything that you said is true. The first problem is that we have never faced a dictator with a nuclear arsenal. The second problem we have is that we are too weak militarily and economically to effectively carry on any hegemonic foreign policies. Once the Ukrainians run out of cannon fodder it’s all over. As long as ESG/DEI is the policy of this stupid incompetent regime we will be losers to demons like Vladimir.

  • JB says:

    Strongly disagree, the situation in Ukraine was precipitated by the US complicity in the overthrow of an elected government in 2014. Putin has always warned that Ukraine must remain neutral but the US and NATO pushed it to join NATO. This backed Putin into a corner. Add to that the Ukraine regime unleashed their Nazi loving military brigades to harass and kill Russian-speaking peoples residing in eastern Ukraine. This is a CIA-manufactured war. The US and EU are the aggressors and in the long run will be the cause of WWIII. Zelensky is a puppet, corrupt to the core and skimming multi-millions of dollars as the US funds this proxy war.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I don’t think one sentence in this comment is true. You may be spending too much time reading internet nonsense. The US had nothing to do with Ukrainians ousting, it wasn’t an overthrow, a Russian stooge. Ukraine is entitled to seek NATO membership if it wants to, but it was very clear NATO had no intention of admitting Ukraine. Putin wasn’t backed into any corner, he has always intended to invade Ukraine based on his delusion fantasy of being Tsar Peter, if you read his speeches and writings this is clear. Same as he invaded Georgia and other countries and installed friendly dictators in Belarus. The Nazi smear is absurd–which leader is most like Hitler–Putin or Zelensky? You really need to get your head out of the toilet and stop believing every piece of crap on the internet

  • John Oh says:

    We need to stop the adolescent all-or-nothing thinking. It is possible to support Ukraine and still demand that our money and weapons be wisely used. Working quietly to find a way to stop the war is not giving in, it’s sensible if a good solution can be found. It’s not wrong to try. Everything in the past — NATO membership, color revolutions is in the past. Only one person sent tanks into his neighboring country, and he didn’t have to do it. Sorry. Putin’s arguments only make sense if there is an imminent threat and there certainly wasn’t one, except in his mind. Finally, if you don’t know how serious this is, look at the reaction of the Poles and the Baltic states who have direct experience with what is happening. And Finland now wants to join NATO.

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