I just finished writing a piece on Ukraine that didn’t get it done.
So, I thought for a few minutes and two names popped into my head. John McEnroe and the late Joan Rivers. Two people who spoke their minds, no matter the consequences.
I remember Johnny Mac at Wimbledon “You cannot be serious” and Joan Rivers “can we talk? I mean can we really, really talk?” Another comment by Rivers about Show Business “If you’re afraid to speak the truth, get out of the business.”
So, I’m reenergized. Let’s reboot and talk about Ukraine, again.
First, we don’t OWE Ukraine anything. They didn’t help us after we were hit on 9-11. NATO Countries were obligated to help us under the NATO Charter. BUT, many countries who were not members of NATO did help us because they thought it was the right thing to do. Countries that fought and died with us in Afghanistan, who were NOT members of NATO, included Jordan, Iran, Sweden, Georgia (not the one near Alabama) and New Zealand. Israel didn’t help. Ukraine didn’t help.
While we never owed Ukraine support it was in our interest to help Ukraine as we have. But, nothing is forever and we’re getting close to long enough right now.
Second, our present Media speaks very little about Russia’s historical relationship to Ukraine. When World War II is mentioned today it’s usually to talk about The Holocaust. Diminishing that tragedy in any way shape or form disqualifies one from civilized company. Relatively few people are aware of how Russia was impacted by World War II. The numbers are staggering. Considering military and civilian losses, Russia lost 24,000,000 people. That’s 24 Million people. Not a misprint. No other country came close to that suffering.
If it wasn’t for the heroic resistance, first by the Russians to Hitler, and ultimately the total defeat of the Nazis by the US and all the Allies the numbers in the Holocaust would have been much higher and there would be no such place as Ukraine.
Third, were it not for the fact that Ukraine President Zelensky is Jewish, the three Main Cable Networks FOX, MSNBC and CNN would give the Ukraine War about as much coverage as they gave the War Russia waged against the Republic of Georgia which was started by Russia on August 8, 2008. The President of the Republic of Georgia at the time was Mikheil Saakashvili. He was not Jewish. Pretty much nobody noticed the war. I can report that Wolf Blitzer was alive then, as he is now. Wolf was busy preparing for an appearance on Celebrity Apprentice that took place sometime in 2009. Hey, the guy can’t be everywhere. The war against Georgia came and went and the Press slept through it.
Fourth, it’s getting very dangerous. Putin came into Ukraine ill prepared (remember the convoy stuck in the mud for three months) and without enough troops. He came in with 195,000. Hitler had 1,100,000 to attack Poland. Now, things are not going as well as expected and Ukraine has figured out how to hit Russia fairly deep in. We say they’re not doing it with our equipment or permission.
Bottom line, the smartest guy I know, John Mearsheimer, says there is a chance (he won’t put a % on it) that Putin might use Tactical Nuclear Weapons on targets in Ukraine. Putin knows that Zelensky can’t retaliate in kind and thinks the US would respond with Conventional Weapons in Russia that they could absorb.
All of this points to the fact that Biden must have a sit down with Zelensky and tell (not ask) him how this ends. Reagan had no problem telling the Israelis he wanted a massacre in Beirut stopped “or it would change our relationship on all matters.” It stopped.
Time to step up, Joe. Every now and then you have to earn it.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.