It has been 15 days since Russia began its illegal war, a war they expected to last two days. Although Ukraine has proven itself to be a formidable opponent, they gave up their nuclear arsenal in 1994, with a promise from Putin that he would leave them in peace, and with the assurance that the US and UK would have their back.
We all know Putin’s word is not worth a tumbling ruble. In 2014, he annexed Crimea, breaking his promise to respect Ukraine’s borders. We punished him with sanctions, consequences that were temporary (thanks to Trump.)
In 2016, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov argued that the agreement Russia had made only stipulated that they would refrain from using their nuclear arsenal. Rules and promises mean nothing to Putin. What exactly did the UK and US mean when they asked Ukraine to trust them to protect their vulnerability?
Since Putin began this war, he has agreed to allow civilians to evacuate Ukraine on three occasions, after his representatives held talks with Ukraine’s delegates. He has attacked those attempting to flee at every opportunity. Putin’s idea of negotiating is to demand Ukraine surrender. On Wednesday, a Russian bomb destroyed a maternity hospital in Mariupol.
“Russia is not in a position at this point to establish a ceasefire. They seek a surrender from Ukraine. This is not what they’re going to get. Ukraine is strong, Ukraine is fighting.” ~Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba after meeting with Russian FM Lavrov.
Putin has suggested that NATO’s interference would be illegal, and he would consider it an act of war. He has mentioned his nuclear weapons. These calculated threats are his shield. At what end will the atrocities he is committing outweigh our fear that he will engage those missiles? Our moral obligation to do all we can will begin at what stage? He won’t stop; so how many more innocent people must die?
*This is the point in my post where my mind wanders and random information takes over.
We credit Franklin D Roosevelt with the phrase, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
Someone else said it before FDR. Sixteenth century French writer Michel de Montaigne wrote: “the thing of which I have most fear is fear.” I’d wager someone expressed it before him.
Back to our regularly scheduled post:
The rumor-mill early this week would have had us believe Poland donated the entirety of its fleet of Soviet-made MiG-29, 28 fighter jets, to the US military. The story continues, Poland would do so using the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Those planes could then be turned over to Ukrainian pilots to ensure the jets have a speedy delivery. Poland encouraged all other EU members to do the same. The US would then bear the responsibility of passing the much-needed cache to Ukraine. Why is this game of telephone with weapon’s a necessity? Poland fears Russia’s retaliation as Putin has threatened any country that offers assistance to Ukraine. Would the U.S., defy warnings and helping Ukraine defend itself be safer?
The US, hearing the rumor, denied its veracity. Reminding us all of Winston Churchill’s words:
“You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they have tried everything else.” ~ Winston Churchill
The follow up rumor is that the US is trading with Ukraine, old equipment for new, donated by Poland.
The free world is walking a tightrope, trying to find balance, to avoid WW3, without the inaction that will lead to genocide. Our fear of nuclear engagement is Putin’s greatest weapon. His overreaching failure has humiliated him, and his options are dwindling.
“Russia’s advance has stalled, it has increasingly targeted civilian population centers – a trend the US believes will worsen, following Russia’s past playbook in Chechnya and Syria.” ~Jim Sciutto, CNN political correspondent
Putin has lost the ground war and to save face, he is bombing civilians. He admits it. I believe his goal is to push the U.S. into acting, giving him the excuse he wants to broaden his attack. Our failure to stop his atrocities has emboldened him. He knows the threat of nuclear war is his shield.
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” ~George Santayana
A bully thrives on fear, like a shark smells blood. The free world is on team Ukraine, understanding that their loss would give Putin the confidence to carry on with his lifelong aspirations of rebuilding the Soviet Union.
Civilians and ex-military personnel around the world are organizing and heading to Ukraine to help in battle. But are we doing enough? We must do more.
If only there were a modicum of good news…
Proud boy Enrique Tarrio was arrested in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, in his underwear.
The FBI surprised us all. Perhaps they are doing more than we know. Secrecy is their superpower.
Let this be a warning to criminals far and wide, small- extra large. Invest in quality sleepwear. The internet is forever.