ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
I do not support U.S. military intervention in Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion. But I do believe this is the first instance since World War II of a conflict our country could get involved in for geuninely moral and just reasons.
More than 60 years ago we were told that we needed to get involved in the Vietnam Conflict because the South Vietnamese people were in danger of losing their freedoms. What we weren’t told was Ho Chi Minh led the revolution to expel the French from that country and then we stepped in to divide the nation in two because Ho was a communist. Essentially, we turned a war of independence into an extension of the Cold War against communism.
Though President Richard Nixon embarked on a “Pacification” policy to have South Vietnamese soldiers handle more of the fighting, it took only two years for North Vietnam to capture Saigon and unite the North and South in 1975.
We had been told if Vietnam fell, communism would spread to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. And we were told Vietnam would become a puppet of the Soviets and Chinese. We were told wrong.
We learned too late we weren’t really welcome over there.
The Gulf War almost 20 years later also had its propaganda and false marketing. We wound up spanking Iraq and defending a feudal monarchy in Kuwait. We won, but victory wasn’t long lived.
After the U.S. was attacked by a small group of Muslim extremists on Sept. 11, 2001, we were told the culprits were Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Afghanistan. Again, we were told wrong.
Most folks I asked didn’t know that 15 of the 19 nuts on those planes were from Saudia Arabia and four others were from Egypt.
Not long afterward, then-Vice President Dick Cheney told us about the Iraqis, “They will greet us as liberators.” Again, we were told wrong. We were greeted as invaders and occupiers, even though bin Laden and Hussein were tyrants.
And Afghanistan has a long history of being the land were military empires go to die. We somehow thought we were the exceptions and the Afghan people would greet us as liberators, but it didn’t take long for its local government to collapse and enable the hated Taliban to seize control.
It is my firm belief that our foreign policy has gotten it wrong for more than a half century, and the results have been a once powerful empire slipping into decay.
Now comes Ukraine, which has the unusual significance of being a country of people who genuinely seem to want to establish a democracy and shed the yoke of its oppressive neighbor, Russia. These people have demonstrated fierce resistance against horrible odds.
They have shown us that indeed, they would “greet us as liberators.” So a noble cause presents itself and all we can do is impose economic sanctions. And, for once, we seem to have the rest of the world on our side.
I repeat: I do not support U.S. military intervention because the wages of such a decision might lead to nuclear war. I totally support anything short of sending in troops to combat what Ronald Reagan once called, “The Evil Empire.”
So, to the Ukranian people, we send thoughts and prayers and declare we’re rootin’ for ‘em.
I am again haunted by the words of columnist Coleman McCarthy: “If violence really solved problems, what a peaceful world we’d have.”