I’m not sure how anyone can see the destruction and the naked aggression wrought by the troops of Russia on the people of the Ukraine without being moved emotionally and thinking of what actions must be taken to help these victims.
Surely we folks, whose parents fought the Axis aggression, see the similarities in President Putin going in to “liberate” Russian people living in Ukraine, to that same rationale Hitler used in Poland, Czechoslovakia and other countries. The similarity continues with the blatant lies to the citizens at home about the conduct of the war, “victories” achieved by the aggressors, and the casualties taken by those same aggressors. In the same manner, Japan rationalized its aggression in China, Korea, and throughout Asia.
Having said that, you may be thinking that I am next going to call for a commitment of NATO troops to the Ukraine to confront the aggressors. Maybe, to take my World War II similarities further, I could compare President Biden’s conduct to date to that of Neville Chamberlain. However, I want to use my time to urge caution, in spite of the horrendous pain and destruction being inflicted on the Ukrainian people. I hear many voices from various legislators and civilians calling for a more aggressive response that may include troops and/or pilots to directly aid the Ukrainians. Before we go that far, I urge the “hawks” to consider whether they are willing to commit their own children and grandchildren to war and to bear the costs of that war.
As an infantryman serving in Southeast Asia, I am all too aware of the direct and indirect costs of combat. All too many of our generation were lost in both military and civilian populations in Viet Nam. Then we get to add those deaths by including the physically wounded and mentally damaged. Today, like during the war in Southeast Asia and more recently in Afghanistan, many “hawks” advocate the hard line from the luxury of safe refuges thousands of miles away, their greatest sacrifice is high gasoline cost and running out of groceries at the supermarket.
Before we put “boots on the ground” or planes in the air, think of the real costs in the blood being spilt and be willing to commit sons and daughters to paying that cost in coming home broken or, worse, in coffins.