This week marks the first anniversary of the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the government of Russia and its sociopathic leader, Vladimir Putin.
The Ukrainian people have demonstrated to the world that freedom isn’t free. The enormous sacrifices they are making in order to fight off the Russian war machine have served as an inspiration to freedom-loving peoples around the world.
Russian atrocities against Ukrainian civilians — the rapes, executions, forced deportation of children, and the atttacks on civilian infrastructure — have risen to the level of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Those in our country who question our commitment to help the Ukrainians resist the Russian invaders suffer from a combination of being incredibly naive, selfish, and shortsighted.
The Ukrainians, not Americans or anyone else, are the ones on the front lines. They are making the ultimate sacrifices in defense of both their country and the free world. Our allies in Europe, especially in Poland and the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, know all too well that Russia, if left unchecked in Ukraine, will focus on them and that they will be next in line to feel the weight of the Russian oppressors, who will seek to undermine their democratic governments.
Vladimir Putin has gone on record as lamenting the dissolution of the former Soviet Union empire, for which he served as a KGB agent, and his invasion of Ukraine, in his eyes, is the first step in restoring the U.S.S.R. to what he perceives as its former glory.
We would note that the war in Ukraine is fundamentally different from that of every other conflict since WWII. This is the first time that an independent, democratic nation has been invaded by a foreign power since Hitler invaded European countries in the late 1930s starting with Czechslovkia, then Poland, and then the rest of Europe.
With England remaining as the lone bulwark against the Nazis, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a fireside chat in late 1940 in which he spoke to the American people these words.
“The people of Europe who are defending themselves do not ask us to do their fighting. They ask us for the implements of war, the planes, the tanks, the guns, the freighters which will enable them to fight for their liberty and for our security. Emphatically, we must get these weapons to them, get them to them in sufficient volume and quickly enough so that we and our children will be saved the agony and suffering of war which others have had to endure.”
Later in his talk he coined a phrase that has remained true ever since:
“America must be the great arsenal of democracy.”
President Roosevelt’s words are as true today as they were then. We urge all of our elected leaders to ensure that American support for Ukraine continues to be strong and unquestioned.