Thursday, February 19, 2015

We should help Ukraine, right now

Atlanta, GA – The Cold War is supposed to be over. It was supposed to have ended more than twenty-five years ago when the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR began splintering into many different states. But apparently the Cold War ending is a bit like the Ukraine crises ending. It just “ended,” for the second time with a truce, on Valentine’s Day. But the Rebels and the Russians apparently are not feeling the love, as they continue to fight, and the Ukrainians continue to retreat.

And Americans will not support the Ukrainians with “lethal aid.” We will send them first aid kits to bandage their wounds, but not bullets to make some in the enemy.
Neither the Ukrainian army nor the Russian backed and aided rebels will pull back their big guns and rocket launchers from the contested border until the other does so.  So neither does so. Just yesterday, the rebels showed video of them parading Ukrainian prisoners in the streets while the Ukrainians pulled out of the town of Debaltseve, giving even more ground to the unruly terrorist fighters who call themselves “separatists.” Killing continues today.
Sounds like its over? No, the Ukraine crisis is still, unfortunately, far from over. Yes, things have gotten a bit better, they have kicked out their last leader, brought down the corrupt web that surrounded him, and have begun to move back towards being a truly democratic nation, electing a chocolate king in their country as their new president.
And the Ukraine crisis is a bit like the whole Soviet Union-end of the Cold War thing in miniature. Things have gotten better, in a sense, around the world. The Russians are no longer threatening to blow up the rest of the planet with Atomic Bombs. The Red Hoard has been beaten back in many places all over the planet, but it’s not over.
Russia has a strong man in power. Putin is a man who understands power and how to use it, and apparently enjoys doing it. He has been elected to the presidency three times now, and he has been prime minister twice-he likes it at the top.
Putin resides over a country that has no free market, no free press. He and his minions control the information that reaches their people, and with their propaganda tell them what they must believe, or else.
Such men do not reside over free and independent nations. Such men are not elected by democratic nations with real understandings of free press, free trade, free men. Russia has not yet made it out of the red shadow.
With people like Putin and those around him having access to Atomic Bombs in Russia, the cold war cannot truly come to a final end. Things have gotten better, but they could easily get much worse in a hurry.
And Ukraine is a result of that. Ukraine was, according to Forbes magazine, the most important satellite state of the Soviet Union. It is full of natural resources, and was the lifeblood of the old USSR. It was so pivotal in fact, that Adolf Hitler gambled his entire invasion of Russia to invade them. He lost.
Vladimir Putin is one of those men who will not be satisfied. At first he said he wanted nothing more than a trade agreement with Ukraine, then it was just that he needed to enforce peace there, and then he needed a large chunk of its ground, and now he wants an even larger chunk-can we expect then, that he will stop here?
No, it is not a safe assumption. Putin grew up in the time before the Soviet Union fell, a former Communist Party member and KGB officer, why should he stop with just Ukraine unless something makes him? In his long rise in life he has never stopped unless someone made him. And no one ever has. It is high time for that to change.
There has been a lot of talk from many global leaders calling for Putin to stop. Is that what you do in a football game? Call the opponents ball carrier to stop? No, you give him incentives to.
And America still stands idly by, uncertain whether or not to arm the Ukrainians against the Russians. (We are not talking about ground troops, or airstrikes, just weapons.) The argument has been made that we can’t arm Ukraine, weapons don’t solve problems. While weapons may not solve problems, they can often keep them from happening, and the problem to be kept form happening here is Ukraine falling to a new Mongol hoard from the Russian steppes.
For now, the fighting is not too close to Kiev, the capitol, and is not about to fall. But with its army falling back and the west fighting back-with sanctions, Ukraine stands alone in all but words and a few first aid-kits. We can’t let the happen. If Russia’s advance is not stopped in Donetsk and the Crimea, in Ukraine, where will it stop? Probably nowhere. Unless Ukraine makes it stop, and they cannot do that on their own. And that is why we should help Ukraine.

Andrew C. Abbott

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