Where Should We Draw the Line?

I’m losing patience. At first, I’m like, yeah, we, the US and the rest of Europe, shouldn’t engage with Russia directly. World war III. Nukes. All that.

I thought, this is a test. Can we isolate Putin with the heaviest sanctions ever? Can we show the world that we can end war without engaging in the war, without escalating? And I’m still worried about nukes, don’t get me wrong, but does the line we’ve drawn make sense?

We are giving weapons and aid to Ukraine. Putin already complains that we are escalating by waging “economic war.” We are clear about whose side we are on. It’s no secret to Putin. Ok, Ukraine is not part of NATO, and we have no pact that binds us to consider an attack on them an attack on us, but that doesnt mean that it isnt one. Putin’s invasion is an attack on the west. There is no other way to look at it. He attacked Ukraine because they are our friends. He attacked Ukraine because he thinks he can because they are not in NATO. He attacked them because they are a democracy, like us.

We are giving them weapons, but we balk at giving them planes. They use our weapons to kill the invaders, but we try to pretend we aren’t in this fight. The only reason he might not consider that an escalation is because he might think it’s not enough to defeat him. And what if he’s right? Are we holding back because we think Ukraine can win? What if we are wrong? Even if we’re right, how many innocent lives have to be lost that might not need to be?

Why do we draw the line at direct engagement with NATO? We could draw another line. We can say that we won’t go into Russia as long as Russia doesn’t attack a NATO country, but why shouldn’t we go into Ukraine? Putin did. They’ve invited us in. He wasn’t invited

The combined forces of NATO are vastly superior to Russia. But we’re being pushed around by a weaker opponent, because he’s a bully who threatens to use nukes.

Well, I ask this, what if he wins? Then the bully who threatens nukes is still around. And what if he starts losing without us in the fight, whose to say he won’t use nukes anyway. And then what are we going to do after its over.

I’ll tell you what. We’ll have to wait for the next time. Like we did the last time. Bullies don’t stop, until you make them.

So, yes, I’m scared. But he must lose.

And I don’t really understand the logical distinction between supplying Ukrainians with weapons and firing them ourselves, where one keeps us out of it and the other doesn’t? If we engage directly with Russian troops in Ukraine, when they have no business being there, how are we the ones escalating? Who started it?

Maybe there is hope that the sanctions will work, that the Russian people will rise up. Maybe we need to give it a little more time, I don’t know. But how much time does Ukraine have?

2 thoughts on “Where Should We Draw the Line?

  1. Like you, I am asking the same questions, except I asked them from the very beginning. Did the west learn nothing from the progression of WWII? Wasn’t there another madman who invaded one country after another with impunity, killing innocents and targeting specific groups? Every time I get angry when I hear of yet another atrocity that contravenes the rules of warfare, and it’s every goddamned day now, I ask out loud why the western powers have done nothing to stop this crazy autocrat. My husband gently reminds me that NATO doesn’t want to start WWIII. My response every single time is, the earlier you start it, the earlier it’s over, and more lives have been saved. Now we watch as women, children, pregnant women, old people and invalids are killed because that asshat in the Kremlin is bombing hospitals, schools, seniors’ residences and apartment blocks. Anyone who speaks out against him in an effort to inform the Russian people what is actually going on ends up in jail or otherwise silenced. Sanctions are all fine and well, but they take time to work. Putin has shown that he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, so the people of Russia may starve, or freeze, or suffer other privations because the west has cut off absolutely everything going in and coming out of their country, but as long he himself is not inconvenienced, the war must go on. There is no stopping this guy with words or political actions. He can only be stopped through force. The time for diplomacy has been past since it became obvious to everyone watching that this man is insane, that human life means nothing to him, and that even the fate of his own countrymen isn’t important; and for me, that moment was when he invaded Ukraine.


    • I might argue that the moment might have been when he invaded Georgia or interfered in Belarus, or Syria or Chechnya. You’re right it is like WWII, although people don’t like those comparisons. A guy like this won’t stop (and actually, to the countries of the Eastern Bloc, WW II might as well have been lost when Stalin came in and replaced Hitler). That said, unified sanctions this severe may not have been tried before and we are providing arms and money. I also don’t want nuclear war (ww III may arguably already be here), and I honestly don’t know what’s the best move, but I do know that Putin needs to lose.

      Liked by 1 person

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