In a recent Daily Post column, I voiced my opposition to the involvement of US troops in the fighting in Ukraine.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, I have received a few e-mails calling me a traitor for this column. I usually don’t respond to them, especially when they come in under social media handles. But in this case, I will try to simplify the task for them.
Although I don’t want the US military involved in the fighting, I never said I supported the Russians. This distinction is apparently too subtle for my detractors.
If you read a European story, such as “Europe: A History” by Norman Davies, “The Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin” by Simon Jenkins, or (for recent college graduates American) there is “European History for Dummies”. ”…
…you will recognize a recurring theme. Europeans have always been at war, killing each other for something. Territory, ethnicity, religion – take your pick.
So I am not enthusiastic about sending our sons and daughters into the whirlwind of one tribe of Slavs (Russians) invading the territory of another tribe of Slavs (Ukrainians) to settle a dispute that has been going on for centuries.
Biden’s press secretary, Jan Psaki, tells us that our intervention in this tribal war is necessary to preserve “American values”. The only American value I see we would preserve is our “military-industrial complex” which will benefit from our intervention.
Moreover, it does not seem that the Ukrainians need our troops. So far, they’re doing pretty well without our boots on the ground showing what motivated, armed citizens can do even against a modern army.
Keep that in mind the next time you hear someone wanting to take the AR-15s out of the Americans. Those of us who own them do so for this reason. To defend ourselves against tyranny – even against our own government if necessary.
Arms thieves claim we would never be able to stand up to the US military if that happened, so why should we have AR-15s? Ask the Ukrainians armed with AK-47s who have so far literally crippled the Russian army. There are not as many armed Ukrainians as armed Americans. But, again, if you know Ukrainian history, their resistance is not surprising.
After the Soviets recaptured it from the Germans in 1944, the Ukrainians continued guerrilla warfare against the Russians for another decade. And that was when Ukraine was surrounded by Soviet bloc countries. Now it will be a Ukrainian insurgency fueled across the borders of Poland, Hungary and Romania – three countries with no love lost for the Russians.
The United States learned this brutal lesson in Vietnam when the insurgents were supplied and able to escape from Laos and Cambodia. The Russians supplied the North Vietnamese in this war, now we can get a return by supplying the Ukrainian insurgency.
If the Russians manage to take Ukraine, which is not certain at this stage, they will be bled dry trying to hang on there. The Russians should have learned this lesson from the invasion of Afghanistan – a quagmire that destroyed the Russian economy and was a major factor in the downfall of the Soviet Union.
The peoples of Eastern Europe have been killing each other for millennia. I don’t want to see dead Ukrainians. But better that they die to defend their country, than the Americans. If that makes me a traitor…well, I refer you to this…
Gary Beatty lives between Florida and Pagosa Springs. He retired after 30 years as a Florida state attorney, holds a JD, is certified in criminal law by the Florida Supreme Court, and is now a law professor.