Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will surely be viewed by historians as one of the saddest days
in human history; as profoundly consequential as Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Even
then, the European nations failed to realize, that the Austrian Corporal would not be satisfied
until all of Europe was under his rule, and that appeasement is never an effective deterrent
against a man who sees himself an emperor. It did not work then and it will not work now;
nor will pitifully weak, slow-acting sanctions—another form of appeasement.
The Hitlers and Putins of this world are nothing more than bullies who pick on the weakest
kid in the schoolyard to intimidate. When confronted by another kid with the courage and
strength to stand up to them, however, the bully will always back down. So too would Putin
if we, the United States of America—with NATO, if the will is there; without it if not—send
the full force and might of our military into Ukraine to fight shoulder to shoulder
with the Ukrainian people.
Some would consider my suggestion irrational. It would start World War III, and
escalate to nuclear warfare, they would warn. Would it? I don’t think so, and they have less
to back up their position than I have mine. Nuclear weapons were first dropped on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki to force the Japanese surrender during WWII. Since then they have made their
way into the arsenal of perhaps a dozen countries and never resorted to; despite the long
“Cold War” engaged in by the United States and the U.S.S.R., the continuing “war” between
India and Pakistan, and the ominous threat of Communist China. The world has seen first-
hand the awesome destructive power of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, and every
world leader with such a weapon at his disposal knows, that should he ever press the “red
button” he would be signing his own death warrant; his, and that of billions more people
on this planet.
If we were to confront this “bully” I would be one of the first to volunteer. I was on the
ground with the U.S. Marines in Korea, flew over the jungles of Vietnam as an Air Force
fighter pilot, and stood watch during the “Cold War” to insure the old Soviet Union
remained behind her ‘Iron Curtin.” My best years may be behind me. Nonetheless, I
am ready, even now, to pick up a rifle, or “strap on” a fighter jet, and fight alongside the
brave men and women of Ukraine to help secure their freedom.
Why? Because it is not just their fight. It is our fight, our responsibility to defend
against the tyranny of men like Putin, who, if left unchecked, would strip away our
God-given right to live free.