The two most important things to know about Ukraine are:
ONE. There wouldn’t be such a place as Ukraine were it not for the heroism of Russia in WWII. Russia lost 24 Million Soldiers and Civilians defeating the NAZIS and thereby saved untold additional millions of Jews from the Holocaust and additional millions of American soldiers from the job of finishing Hitler.
Stalin wanted the “honor” of winning the race to Berlin. President Roosevelt and General Eisenhower were willing to defer and save American lives. The Russians think they did the World a good turn and are entitled to some respect.
TWO. Very few Americans would care about what happens to Ukraine were it not for the fact that the present President of Ukraine is Jewish. Virtually nobody cared when Russia slapped the Republic of Georgia around a bit in 2008. The President of the Republic of Georgia was Orthodox Christian. Wolf Blitzer slept through it. “Who cares, right Wolf?”
The Republic of Georgia went on to help us big time in Afghanistan after we were hit on 9/11. Israel and Ukraine couldn’t be bothered. It was dangerous in Afghanistan. People died. The countries that fought and died with us demonstrated their friendship and we, to a degree, “owe them.”
We don’t “owe” anybody else.
Back in Ukraine, before Zelensky came into power, Ukraine changed the country’s Constitution, to authorize seeking NATO Membership. Putin got claustrophobia. Sort of like how we’d feel if Putin showed the leadership of Cuba how to do things that are harmful to the USA. Big powers have had a tradition of giving other big powers breathing room. The USA would never allow a nuclear power in the Western Hemisphere. Russia was hoping to get some “reciprocity” from us…for lack of a better word.
They didn’t see any and attacked Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022.
Judging by how badly Russia performed in the first six months of the war, they exposed themselves as a less than formidable “world power.” Now, smart people seem to think they’ve gotten better at the business of war and the situation in Ukraine is entering stalemate mode with Russia in possession of significant blocks of land Ukraine views as theirs.
There’s a couple of people whose opinion I value on Ukraine-Russia. One is John Mearsheimer PhD, of University of Chicago. He’s a West Point Grad and a realist, not a dreamer. Another person whose opinion I value is Stephen Kotkin, PhD who I happened to meet in a bookstore in Washington, DC about ten years ago. I was there to hear him talk about a book he’d just written on Stalin. He’s brilliant and a great speaker. He’s clearly on Ukraine’s “side” but he’s capable of realistically assessing what’s what.
There’s an article in a recent issue of New Yorker by David Remnick in which Remnick conducts an ongoing dialogue with Dr. Kotkin on all things Ukraine. Kotkin speaks about how the public perception of Ukraine as being an effective fighting force is essential to Ukraine and that it’s important that Russia is viewed as quite the opposite. Leaking through is the impression that “Press” cheerleading….a CNN specialty under its new Jewish owner/CEO….was necessary for Ukraine survival.
Dr Kotkin lets on that “millions” of people have left Ukraine. He’s precise on many things but not on how many “millions.” One gets the impression that the “exit of Millions” is a negative for Ukraine and Kotkin wants to be factual but not negative. He’s on the Ukraine team.
Kotkin is complimentary on Russia’s ability to survive sanctions and gives begrudging respect for their ability to keep their economy functioning. He lets us in on an interesting fact. Ukraine gets artillery shells from us for free. They fire up to 90,000 per month. Taiwan pays us for theirs and doesn’t get delivery on what they bought. We produce 15,000 per month.
Hmmm, something’s got to give….
Maybe someone will suggest a cease-fire in place.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.