“. . . . President Biden and his generals are facing their own existential moment as they try to figure out the incredibly knotty problem of where the line is. Are Javelins OK and MiGs too far? How do we do everything we can to help Ukraine without spurring a sadistic and unhinged Vladimir Putin to start World War III and a nuclear conflagration?
Despite the threat, we must stand by Ukraine in what its ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, calls “the 1939 moment” of good versus evil.
As Illia Ponomarenko, a reporter for The Kyiv Independent, tweeted Friday (vulgarity excised): “I wonder how many Ukrainian cities Russia needs to carpet-bomb until the West realizes that every time it refuses to give Ukraine a weapon for ‘fear of provoking Putin’ is an invitation for further escalation in war.”
I talked to George Pataki, the former governor of New York, who is in Ukraine, near Hungary, helping refugees.
“When we ask Ukrainians what they most want, the answer we always get is, ‘Close the sky,’ because families, homes and towns are being devastated from above by the Russian military,” he said. “And it’s very disappointing not to be able to answer that question. I understand we’re not going to create a no-fly zone, but we should give the Ukrainians the material support to enable them to create their own no-fly zone.”
Echoing our military leaders, Michael McFaul, former ambassador to Russia, told Stephen Colbert on Thursday night that a “no-fly zone is a euphemism for a declaration of war. That means an American pilot shoots down a Russian pilot, and that’s a declaration of war.” Give Ukraine everything short of that in terms of military weapons and sanctions, he said.
The attenuated debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan have left many Americans weary of conflict. But this is no time for us to withdraw into ourselves.
It is a horrible position Biden is in, dealing with an irrational, soulless fiend with over 4,000 nukes who thinks he can glue the Soviet empire back together with the blood of innocents.
As Hamlet said, the oppressor’s wrong.”
David Lindsay: Ganook Ist Unchkifelt. Enough is too much. In the light of Shakespeare, we should be willing to die to protect our friends and allies and their families.
When the Soviet Union imploded, Ukraine was left with about 400 nuclear weapons. It signed an agreement with NATO, the US, and Russia, that it would give up those weapons if these countries would protect it from invasion. The US signed that agreement. We now have an obligation that we are ignoring.
Here is a comment that I approved:
“… Their heroic efforts against a gobbling tyrant set on empire recall America’s own beginning.” How ironic that the country Trump denigrated to get an edge in an election he wanted to turn the country authoritarian is now teaching us what true patriotism is! It’s sickening that the more atrocities are committed, the more the sway of public opinion turns to that existential question of how much is too much in supporting Ukraine. Like many, I’ve bought into the “no nukes” line if we inadvertently declared war on Russia. But didn’t Putin himself say US-led economic sanctions were already a declaration of war? Didn’t Zelenksy point out the obvious that every time we say what we won’t do, Putin gets bolder? If we would wage war to defend Poland, right over the line from Ukraine, the only question left is how many Ukrainians must die before we cross ours?