I don't want to be a sunshine patriot
Zelensky's speech to Congress will ignite our Spirit of '76
Tomorrow morning Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will remotely address Congress concerning the state of Ukraine. No doubt he will make an inspirational plea to the American people and the free world to help his people fight to take back Ukraine from Putin’s army. It will spark our ‘Spirit of ‘76’ that has been dormant as we quarrel among our selves and weather our political and social strife. There are no sunshine patriots in Ukraine.
President Biden, in the opening weeks of the Putin invasion of Ukraine, has been calm and measured in his response with the goals of containing this war within the borders of Ukraine; keep NATO out of the conflict; not provoke a wider and more dangerous war. The President has fostered NATO consensus against Putin.
Well-deserved sanctions are in place and more are promised. Defensive military assistance has been sent by many nations. Millions of women, children and elderly have made the dangerous trek to escape war torn Ukraine. Many more are still in harm’s way. I cannot argue against measures taken at this early stage of the conflict.
It appears that the leaders of the free world are willing to sacrifice Ukraine to avoid a wider war. Biden is front-and-center on board in this quiet neglect of freedom. Zelensky tomorrow will politely thank us for our help. He will call on Biden to do more and his eloquence and the power of being in the right will raise Biden’s stakes. The countries that can and should help Ukraine have already written them off as a loss. Help them, but not go “all in.”
With all that has been done it has not been enough to stop Putin’s continued destruction of Ukraine and the killing of innocent civilians.
It gnaws on me that Biden—the leader of the free world—is not making the rousing speech defending freedom. I understand why he is not. I also understand that that he is not a rousing kind of speaker. I would still rather hear it from our own President.
The current policy of incremental aid that does not result in Ukraine surviving is myopic and more difficult for Americans to digest as opposed to a policy to save Ukraine. I believe that Americans will favor stopping the carnage in Ukraine. A policy directed at helping Ukraine to stop the destruction of innocent citizens is in line with our American moral compass.
I find it unacceptable for free Europe to not do enough to stop the destruction of Ukraine. It is counter to the American spirit to not take measures that stop the killing of innocent civilians by Putin’s army. Do all steps taken to outfit Ukraine to stop the destruction and killing of innocents lead to World War? Is there no open space between real help to stop Ukraine’s destruction and use of WMD by Putin? Does using NATO Article 5 as a shield for non-action make for a good moral outcome?
Thomas Paine published “The American Crisis” at a time marked by low morale and our revolution hanging in the balance. Washington’s army licked its wounds after suffering the loss of New York City to the British during the winter of 1776. Paine’s words were an inspiration to our patriots wintering in Trenton, and apply no less to Ukrainians standing up to Putin in their time of crisis.
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
I don’t want to be a sunshine patriot. I do not know what the right combination of measures that need to happen to stop Putin’s killing in Ukraine. The time has arrived to set the goal of stopping Putin from destroying Ukraine.
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