WORDS: 567 — The thought recently crossed my mind while viewing all the media reporting of the tenaciousness of the Ukrainian citizens. It’s difficult to ignore Zelensky’s reply to Biden’s offer to be evacuated with “The fight is here. Send me more ammunition, not a ride.” Of course, that reply from those soldiers who met their demise at the hands of the Russian warship by replying via radio, “Russian warship, go fuck yourself”. The incredible resolve of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, no spring chicken himself, dressed for combat… “Don’t trust Putin!”
Just a few minutes ago I watch media video of a “Tiananmen Square” moment with Ukrainian unarmed citizens literally walking in front of Russian tanks passing through a crossroads, forcing the tanks to stop. One can only imagine the verbal exchange between those brave citizens and the Russian tank commander sitting on top… perhaps trying to appeal one more time to not carry out their mission. It is very difficult to ignore their passion to defend their country, and by all account their resistance is having an impact against the invasion all over Ukraine.
In my last post I indicated a caution in the American military getting involved as that would certainly escalate the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders and could force Putin to use a nuclear option somewhere. America would have to refrain from taking official action in Ukraine no matter how compelling and heartfelt the media stories would be about their human struggle and fight for independence. Americans, by nature, are not immune to identifying with those struggles… and sharing the tears. We are easily inspired emotionally.. as we should be… and we know that we have the damn power to back our efforts. Yet with power comes the responsibility to use it as wisely as possible, and only when needed. Restraint can be a bitch.. and American will watch as Ukrainians die, especially when the food and water starts to run out amid the broken buildings. But the world is protesting.. supporting…. applying pressure on Putin from another angle.
Then I thought back in history.. when American civilians entered the seemingly lost cause struggles of other countries in the past. Of note was, in fact, the “Abraham Lincoln Brigade”, a collection of 2,800 American citizens that went off to fight in the Spanish Civil War against fascist Franco in the years just prior to the start of WW2 (America officially wanted to stay away from this conflict). Then there was the official/unofficial First American Volunteer Group that went to fight on the side of the free Chinese against the Japanese invasion, prior to our involvement following Pearl Harbor. Unable to commit military assistance to the Chinese since America was trying to stay away from a war, Roosevelt created a volunteer force of “discharged” active duty pilots and support crews to fly in American P-40 fighter planes “sold” to China, with Chinese markings, but under American command.. a Gen. Claire Chennault. This group was terminated and assimilated back into military active duty following our declaration of war after Pearl Harbor.
Would there be a similar group started to assist the Ukrainians in their valiant struggle for democratic existence? Might be a nice idea to send over there all these Right Wing, gun-toting radicals so itchy for a civil war over here. They could let off some steam onto the Russians.