Two recent CNN interviews have stuck out for me. Before I get to the details, let’s be clear. I’d pretty given up on CNN. Too much biased blabber in place of actual news, and too many commercials. But, as someone pointed out, when the chips are down CNN is the gold standard for crisis coverage. Watching their correspondents defying personal peril inside besieged Ukraine, with reports uninterrupted by commercials, has given me renewed respect for that channel. Now to what has so stimulated my consideration:
First was a pro-Biden supporter who said that we Americans should, at the very least, enthusiastically embrace paying more for gasoline as a way of supporting the plight of those 40 million Ukrainians. On first hearing, this made me feel better, as if the empty shelves at the supermarket and the soaring prices at the pumps were allowing me to participate in this fight. Meanwhile, in Europe, protesters in the Berlin carried signs saying, “I’m ready to freeze for peace.” That is their sacrifice.
Then I saw another other interview. It was with an American, living with his family in Ukraine. A former US Army sergeant, he was fully kitted and actually joining his neighbors in the fight. He told the reporter that he and his family could have left, and come back after this was over. But, he said, “This is our home. How could I have faced my friends?”
Donald Trump. Ted Cruz. Josh Hawley. Marjorie Taylor-Whatever…all who are trying to take advantage of this situation for political gain… you are not fit to tie this man’s boot strings. But am I, and those Germans in the street, really that much better in feeling that a few extra dollars out of my wallet or an afternoon spent demonstrating equates with that veteran’s personal honor?
Inevitably the reporting of people like Clarissa Ward, who is one of the bravest people on the planet, is going to compel a military response from NATO. The human tragedy and the inhumanity of the Russian aggression will be just too much for the publics of the Western world to stomach. So what are we waiting for?
AIs it just me that feels guilty that we’re not, NATO is not, inserting itself militarily into this situation right now. That 40-mile-long convoy of Russian vehicles is such an inviting target. Reminds me of the Turkey Shoot we made of the vehicles of Saddam’s army fleeing Kuwait. Russian morale is already low, both in their army and increasingly in their public. A quick, limited strike, taking out that sitting duck, might end this whole thing.
Biden says he doesn’t want to start World War III. Newsflash Joe, it’s already started. And the sooner we put out this fire the sooner, the easier and the less costly it will prove to be. As Sting once intoned, “The Russians love their children, too.” We lived for 40 years in a nuclear standoff, a period of “mutually assured destruction.” Has anything really changed? Has either side given up its nuclear capabilities? Is anybody in Russia going to be any more willing to push the button now than then?
I’ve got grandchildren in the Washington, DC area, ground zero if it would come to that, and literally “skin in the game.” But, I’m sorry. Sanctions don’t mean a thing to Putin. Brute force is the only language he understands. It’s time Americans’ and Europeans’ levels of sacrifice get notched up.
Long live an independent Ukraine and the brave Ukrainian people!
©2022, David B Bucher