Thursday, April 11, 2024

Opinion: Sean Penn, Barbra Streisand, Imagine Dragons tell Congress to fund Ukraine | CNN

Ukrainians are fighting for their existence. On territory that Russia occupies, it tortures Ukrainian citizens, kidnaps Ukrainian children and murders Ukrainian leaders. On territory Russia can reach with its weapons, it strikes civilians and rescue workers. Russian missiles, drones and bombs destroy churches and monuments to the Holocaust. Russian occupation threatens Ukraine’s Muslims, the Crimean Tatars.

Russian leaders say openly that their goal is the destruction of the Ukrainian state and the elimination of Ukrainians as a people. Russian propagandists threaten genocide almost every day. Right now, Russia is using missiles and glide bombs to destroy the ancient and beautiful city of Kharkiv, once home to 1.5 million people, just as Russia destroyed Mariupol, Aleppo and Grozny.

Ukrainians are also fighting for our safety and for everyone’s freedom. By resisting Russian dictatorship, they show that democracy can defend itself. By defending their borders, they are protecting the international order and holding off chaos. By fighting Russia alone, they protect Europe. By showing how hard offensive operations are, Ukrainians make a Chinese war in the Pacific less likely. By fighting a conventional war against a nuclear power, they are making nuclear proliferation and nuclear war less likely.


So I'm on the same side as Barbara Streisand and Sean Penn. Who woulda thunk it? I would know little about Ukraine if my son hadn't gone there after college and ended up marrying a (great) Ukrainian woman and staying there. All of the points made in this letter strike me as sound, however nutty are some of the people espousing them. I will simply add in my trip to Kyiv and in following the news, I've learned what is only too obvious to the Ukrainians. For whatever reason, they are fighting a force of profound evil, led by Putin. The analogy to Tolkien's orcs is apt. Yes, I know, monsters are easy to find in history, but the Ukrainians have definitely found them. They are fighting for their freedom. It's really that simple. We are part of the reason they are fighting, how we encouraged them. But fighting they are, and this is a fight to the death, as much as the Warsaw Ghetto or Bastogne were, with little ambiguity about who the good guys and bad guys are. The cost to us is relatively cheap and the Ukrainians are like Israelis in their craftiness and grit in fighting. If we don't help them win this war, they may end up losing it. Then it will be an open sore of shame on America for a generation to come, and will do nothing to advance the cause of liberty at home either. And the Ukrainians will be either dead or have fled to Europe, which won't do Europe any good either. I guess this makes me not a post-liberal, nor a nationalist, nor even an America-firster. So it goes. I'm confident Jefferson, Madison and other guys I like would be like me.

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