When Russian dictator Putin began threatening invasion of Ukraine, there were many who didn’t take him seriously. President Biden did take him seriously and began laying the groundwork for NATO countries to throw full support behind Ukraine.
When Russia did indeed invade Ukraine last winter, NATO countries were united in their condemnation of the invasion. Their rules did not allow NATO troops to join the battle, but they pledged financial support to the tune of billions of dollars. With the U.S. leading the way, support for Ukraine was unanimous, immediate and committed for the long haul.
This support, matched by the courage and fighting skills of Ukrainians, has resulted in amazing success in the brutal war. Ukraine is paying a heavy price, but they are convinced they are on their way to driving Russia out of their country.
There are probably many more months, maybe years, of fighting before Russia is expelled from Ukraine. It’s not a sure thing, but military analysts believe Russia will ultimately fail because Ukraine has the upper hand in military talent, resources and dedication. Ukrainians simply care about it a lot more than Russians. Everyone predicts it will take many more billions to win the war, and more billions on top of that to rebuild the country whose infrastructure and economy has been severely damaged.
The United States has committed enormous financial and humanitarian resources to Ukraine, and the support is bipartisan. Congress didn’t hesitate to fund the war at the outset, and generally their commitment has held fast. The question is, will the United States and other NATO partners be willing to sustain the billions of dollars in aid that will be needed for Ukraine to fully recover?
There’s grumbling already, especially among the MAGA crowd and some leftists, about the money the U.S. is spending on Ukraine. Every day, they complain how that money could be spent on programs for Americans. Their resentment of “our money” going overseas will only grow stronger as the war continues.
This is the time for Americans to look back at history and educate themselves as to why Ukraine’s fight against Russia is our fight, too. We aren’t pouring billions of taxpayers’ money into the fight just out of the goodness of our hearts. We’re not putting our full support behind Ukraine just because we feel sorry for them.
The United States is protecting our own democracy and our own security because we’ve seen this movie before.
We are remembering Hitler. Everyone always asks, how in the world did Hitler conquer much of Europe leading up to World War II? How could the world’s leaders have let Germany invade country after country without resisting Hitler’s ruthless domination?
And how could political leaders in some of the occupied countries cooperate with Germany as their own people were being subjugated?
Sadly, few people were willing to take on Hitler as he grew bolder and bolder. Too many Americans refused to listen to warnings from President Roosevelt. The British ignored Winston Churchill sounding the alarm about the growing threat to their own freedom. By the time, America and Great Britain woke up to the threat, it was too late.
Signs were always there of what Hitler was up to. He started World War II because Germany had lost World War I. He deeply resented the loss of Germany’s prestige and was publicly demanding the return of its territory. Just like Putin, he was intent on regaining glory for his country.
Hitler denied Germany had been defeated; instead, he created the myth they were betrayed by socialists and Jews whom he blamed for the ruined economy. Hitler lied and the people were eager to believe him. They were glad to have a target for their own anger and resentment.
As Hitler moved his troops into countries across Europe, he was met with little resistance. The whole world paid a heavy price for their passivity.
This time, when Putin invaded Ukraine, the U.S., Great Britain and Europe paid attention. This time they immediately recognized the threat to our own freedom. This time, they’re fighting back hard.
Except for a few Russian sympathizers, Americans are all in this time.
Today, NATO is stronger than ever. Putin’s warped vision of regaining glory will be repelled. He will be defeated.