Why the US needs to intervene in Ukraine

11x17 poster we stand with Ukraine

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Preface: I know this isn’t a normal esrati report type topic- and my highest military rank was E-4, but as the saying goes, those who don’t study history are bound to repeat it. With the world wired web- technology and information flow is totally different for this war than any other. It’s why I can reach just as many people as the Dayton Daily news on any given day.

War has been obsolete since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; we just refuse to admit it. If the goal is to obliterate “your enemy” it’s come down to a few reckless leaders “pushing a button” which will end life as we know it on our planet.

War was never something to be proud of. It’s the result of a failure of statesmanship, a failing of leadership; it’s what happens when there’s a mis-balance of power; or it’s the manifestations of someone in power who is off their rocker. While we try to wrap war in glory and love of country, there is never anything romantic about death and destruction, no matter how many medals you hand out.

Sadly, war is also big business. The United States spends ungodly amounts of money to have a military that’s supposed to protect us. I’m not sure we’ve got our money’s worth. We lost our “investments” in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Sure, we whipped Grenada and successfully kicked Panama’s butt, but when it comes to fighting our big bad enemy, Russia, we let them waltz into Crimea, Syria, and now Ukraine without lifting a finger.

But Ukraine is different. We actually had the nerve to get the Ukrainians to give up their nuclear weapons with the promise to protect them if they were attacked with nuclear weapons. Since Putin has only used “conventional weapons” – well, you’re on your own.

And it’s not just governments coming to the aid of the Ukraine. Hackers like anonymous have stepped in and disabled Russian websites. Microsoft jumped in to stop a Russian malware.

Putin is posturing to unleash his nukes if we intervene, just to make sure we don’t embarrass him if we did step in. Because, that’s what would happen. Putin is re-fighting a war like WWII, and if there is one thing the US military has always been exceptional at it’s in knowing and preparing to fight the last war. If we stepped in, Putin’s navy would be on the ocean floor, his air force would be obliterated and his armored columns would be roasted hulks to be pushed off the roads in a day, or maybe two.

Putin knows this, which is why he’s threatening to use nuclear weapons as a threat to stop intervention. Economic sanctions won’t hurt Putin personally a bit, although over time, his own people may tire of the manifestations of his Jesus complex. The invasion of Ukraine is going to be different than previous wars. Ukraine isn’t some third world backwater and the internet has empowered people to publish first hand accounts in real time, outside of our leaders’ grasp or their power to censor.

There will be instant documentation of the horrors of war for all to see. Gone are the days of covering up war crimes, or even being able to hide your tank movements: Google maps identified traffic jams where tanks were impeding traffic. Seeing Ukrainians gather bottles and broadcasting how to make a Molotov cocktail brings the mismatch of a David vs Goliath into clear view. The fact that the Finnish improvised weapon, named after a Russian politician, has become a rallying message for the world to step in and stop the bully is both ironic and iconic. But so far, the leadership of the “free world” seems to be frozen in place, unwilling to do more than impose sanctions and send arms. Fear of nuclear retaliation is finally starting to dawn on them as a real possibility after ignoring Putin’s misbehavior for decades.

There have been books that warned us of the futility of war, there have been movies that have showed us the horrific personal tolls wars cause, and yet, we still have waved the flag of “peace through strength” and blabbered on about the “nuclear deterrent” as if it was a real thing. Stopping the sale of Russian vodka in Ohio is the brainchild of an incompetent imbecile, cutting off the SWIFT payment system to the Russians is almost as ineffective, because no one had any faith in the Ruble to begin with. Coming to a gunfight with an arsenal of Swiss Army knives is just as impotent.

There is the possibility that the Russian people could rise up against Putin and end his rule of terror, and the demonstrations in St. Petersburg and Moscow show that his iron fist isn’t as feared as he believes. The bravery of the Russian people to demonstrate is inspiring. So are the images coming out of Ukraine showing the former boxer Vitaly Klitschko, turned Mayor of Kiev leading the fight, the former Miss Ukraine Anastasiia Lenna wearing safety glasses and modeling an assault rifle, and an unnamed teacher, who has just enlisted: crying, fearing death, but doing her part to defend her country with a gun she barely knows how to use.

The Ukrainian people deserve our support. They deserve the whole world’s support. We have battles to wage against a pandemic-causing virus, we must stop climate change, it’s not too late to end hunger, illiteracy, cure cancer, and bring peace on earth, but it won’t happen until people like Putin are stopped cold in their tracks. Because, we’ve already had two “wars to end all wars” and apparently failed to learn the real battle, the real enemy, the real problem is that we don’t understand that peace is worth fighting for and that peace is all that matters.

End the Russian invasion, and stop believing that lines on a map, or that cultural differences matter. We’re all members of a single race, on a single planet, and we’re all responsible for the human condition, no matter what flag we fly.

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