Unfortunately, the Democrats, as usual, are failing to explain the reasons behind what they are doing. I’m extremely grateful for the help but I do wish there was an effort to explain instead of doing things in the usual imperious manner.
Why not talk about the Budapest memorandum and the need to continue the work of nuclear non-proliferation? I’ve been talking about this in a myriad of public appearances in the past 8 years, and people always say, “wow, I had no idea. I wish somebody explained that before.” Why not talk about “aid to Ukraine” as the largest investment in decades into updating the US weaponry stockpile and spurring the US R&D? Old, outdated weapons are being given over to Ukraine, which creates an opening to develop and manufacture new, state-of-the-art weapons for our defense. (This is exactly what Trump kept talking about but never actually did). Why not mention how this is the only realistic way of battling inflation that has historically been wildly successful at revving up an anemic economy? Why not talk about how Russia has been threatening the US with a nuclear strike since before Putin and how these threats have now become an almost daily occurrence?
Many people sincerely don’t know why the US is siding with Ukraine and not Russia in what looks to them like one more regional conflict with no relationship to the US. They have absolutely no idea how passionately Americans are detested in Russia and how this hatred has grown not in spite but because of the endless US gifts, aid, and appeasement towards Russia since 1991. They don’t even know why the war in Ukraine is different from Iraq and Afghanistan.
We could pout about this or we can talk, explain, and make the case patiently and for as long as it takes. For now, many people support Ukraine because of the stories of Ukrainian victimhood that are everywhere on the news and social media. But there’s a problem with this. Or actually several problems. For one, every media wave about genocide on Ukraine makes the support for Putin and the war in Russia spike up. Russians are energized and encouraged to keep fighting by these stories. Also, it’s not the whole story. Ukrainian victimhood is real but it’s a small part of what’s happening. Don’t feel sorry for us. Join us to tap into our energy and strength. Join us to feel inspired and renewed.
Here’s an example. I’m working on a large translation project (for free, obviously) with a group of translators in Ukraine. I’m supposed to be participating in the project to help Ukraine but, in all honesty, I’m being helped a lot more than I’m helping. Every morning, I’m getting such a jolt of energy from this group that I have cut my caffeine intake by 2/3. Everybody who is doing something in Ukraine or with Ukrainians is feeling this. It’s like a huge energy field has opened and anybody who comes in touch with it can’t get enough. It’s clear that this is, for example, why Boris Johnson got so stuck on Ukraine. Remember what COVID (or the treatment for COVID, or both) did to him? It’s only when he started going to Ukraine that he managed to replenish his energy.
13 thoughts on “Why Help Ukraine?”
The defense contractors are facing the same supply chain and labor problems as everyone else. I’m not sure that more money will make them work any faster.
More weapons are no use without more ammunition where capacity also needs to be increased.
From a geopolitical point of view, it’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity to permanently weaken a rival. This, I believe is why the US will keep helping Ukraine regardless of what people think. The security/military establishment sees the benefit. It’s also a clear message to China on how badly things can go wrong when you invade another country.
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Very good points.
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Exactly. The geopolitical situation is in flux, whether we want it or not. Passivity will create nothing but problems.
“permanently weaken a rival”
I do have the idea that western (esp US) military aid has the goal of exhausting russia as a military power… the fact that it had to admit it is no longer a power in the Black Sea (that’s Turkey’s sphere of influence now….) is just another signpost of russia’s ever-increasing decay.
Not only are they reduced to trying to get weapons from Iran and North Korea… (let that sink in… russia is dependent now on Iran and North Korea for weaponry) the war is doing irreparable harm to russia demographically from battlefield deaths (and pre-battlefield deaths about a fifth of recorded deaths among the mobilized happen long before they get anywhere near the front) to the brain drain of so many of the more intelligent leaving…
As terrible as what russia is doing to Ukrain is…. the self-damage putain is doing to russia will be far, far worse in the long run…
The damage will be generational. There are children today who will carry scars for the rest of their lives; and eventually when they have their own children, they will pass on their disdain and apprehension for Russians.
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“pass on their disdain and apprehension for Russians”
Good. To paraphrase Michelle Pfeiffer in White Oleander, motivated hate cradles you.
It’s unmotivated hatred (which lies behind every russian action in the war) that destroys you (because it’s actually hatred of the self).
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There’s nothing to stop Russia’s neighbors from simply buying as many weapons as they want. It seems like much of the debate is just haggling over who is going to pay.
Thank you Cliff for the point on the Black Sea – I’d missed that.
From a British point of view we’re seeing this as a Poland 1939 perspective whilst hoping that we don’t need to get brought into total war (because we would struggle immensely these days).
I really hate everyone who doesn’t mention that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the reason that Britain needs to maintain an independent nuclear deterrent and that we are obligated to meet our treaty obligations for persuading Ukraine to voluntarily surrender its nuclear weapons (alongside only apartheid South Africa in world history, and Putin has made sure that no other country will ever do so!)
I need some energy. How does an English speaking civilian get in on this?
“… the need to continue the work of nuclear non-proliferation?”
You do realise I’m in favour of nuclear proliferation, but that’s to be expected because it goes with the territory.
Not only is this work I don’t see any use in supporting, but also this is work I’m very much in favour of ending.
I’m all for “McNukes”, although personally I can’t see a use for anything over 75 kilotonnes except for mass deforestation related to commercial building projects.
McNukes cost money, real money, just like precision arms of any kind.
My small collection in .338 Lapua Magnum alone would give you sticker shock.
But that doesn’t mean that a group of “armadillos” wouldn’t have a use for a community McNuke or even a McMIRV platform just to keep the neighbourhood bullies at more than arm’s length.
Imagine everyone along the Ukraine border having a McNuke, even a 5-10 kilotonne Chicken McNukeits in a backpack. (Couldn’t resist that pun, BTW. 🙂 )
Now imagine how Vlad the Invader would be shitting his pants over pushing through a border where anyone could have a backpack nuke to return the favour.
Do you want a story about this kind of world?
Go to your library and check out “The Collected Short Stories of Vernor Vinge”.
Then read the story titled “The Ungoverned”.
In lieu of peace, I’ll settle for some calm in which my enemies are afraid of me to the marrow of their bones and then some.
That’s the problem with the nuclear hegemony world: nobody takes you seriously until it’s much too late.
I’m in favour of putting the fear on the front burners and the mongering of it toward the back.
So I really am that kind of guy after all.
Try to cope when I push the bad guy out of the airlock. 🙂
What needs to be explained as well is that Ukraine isn’t just some random country on the other side of the world, it is a geopolitical keystone state and thus its fate ties directly into American national security. It has a huge amount of natural resources (hence the impact on global grain production) and is a major pathway through which to invade Russia or for Russia to invade the West. Allowing it to fall to Putin would result in numerous very bad things:
1) Other aggressors would see that the West really is weak and would then start acting to take territory of their own, which really could result in a world war as someone would miscalculate and start a chain of events that would pull in the major powers
2) It would give Putin far more territory and resources from which to further bully and threaten the West.
3) It would give Putin an ample staging ground from which, in combination with Belarus, to attack and invade NATO, which he would be all the more encouraged to do given the weakness displayed by the West in such a scenario.
Unfortunately, there is a view be parroted that the Russian attack of Ukraine is in fact the fault of the West by “expanding NATO” closer and closer to Russia, which is IMO very wrong (well way overly-simplistic).
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What a great comment, thank you. What saddens me is how many people have interiorized anti-Western, anti-American beliefs and simply don’t see why it’s important to defend the Western civilization and stand up for American interests.