I wish I could keep politics off of this website.
But, world events have made it so I can’t.
As an American, I know that my own government’s hands are far from clean when it comes to starting unnecessary wars – or even keeping our nose where it belongs in the affairs of other countries (yes, CIA, that would be you.)
I was in high school during the first Iraq War. I agree that we needed to intervene after Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait. I agree that we needed to intervene with Al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11.
But, I never thought we should have attacked Iraq the second time, just because W was nursing a grudge against Sadam Hussein for threatening his daddy during the first Iraq War. We broke Iraq and made the situation in the Middle East even worse. Notice that I haven’t really mentioned Afghanistan – the humbler or empires since Roman times.
We Americans can’t even call these ‘conflicts’ wars because only Congress has the authority to declare war. The last time Congress declared war was during World War II.
Now, Russia is using our own words to rationalize their invasion of Ukraine. The difference is no one believes it. Somehow, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine feels more real and closer than the first Iraq War or even the attacks on Al Qaeda/the Taliban after 9/11. Ukraine has worked hard to become a fully functioning, messy democracy. They have consciously chosen to emulate what they see that works in western Europe and the US.
I stand with Ukraine. I stand with the protesters in Russia who are risking their personal freedom. I stand with the platoon of Russian soldiers who chose peace and turned themselves in rather than kill Ukrainians. I stand with the countries around Ukraine who are welcoming the refugees.