Lately it seems like some people are calling for direct action against Russia via a no-fly zone. Some, like Adam Kinzinger, laughingly say this will not be an act of war. He falsely claims that shooting down Russian aircraft or bombing anti-air batteries or radar facilities in Russia wouldn’t be a direct act of war against Russia. He actually laughed when asked if it may provoke a nuclear response. Others calling for direct action include Gen. Wesley Clark and Gen. Phillip Breedlove, both former NATO supreme commanders.
Enter an always-complaint media that is now asking if this is a valid question, direct action in Ukraine. You know it’s starting to be a real thing because when people like Tucker Carlson or Donald Trump start questioning this madness, they get accused of being a Vladimir Putin apologist. They are accused of sacrificing Ukraine to a madman so he can reconstitute the Soviet Union because of their love or like or respect for Putin. This of course is madness but that wont stop them from the accusation of being unpatriotic, or worse. If you don’t think there won’t be any consequences for questioning this apparent rush to war, just ask the Dixie Chicks or Bill Maher how their dissent worked out for them post-9/11. Ask yourself if you remember George Bush’s press secretary lecturing Americans that they should be careful what they say in response to ANY question about the war on terror.
Questioning our leaders’ motivation and competence does not equal love for Putin. I can hear many saying that Trump said Putin was smart. Of course he’s smart but that doesn’t mean he can’t be nefarious or evil. Does saying Putin is smart foreclose on being able to say our foreign policy is dumb? I say no it does not!
Let us not be naïve about what motivates these newfound war hawks. The answer is partisan politics! It’s obvious when Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee compare the conflict in Ukraine with Republican opposition to their voting rights law. Do we not see where this is going? Where it could be going is using this issue to distract, divide and to silence for political gain. A large majority of Americans think nothing is going right in this country, so why not get the public riled up about a potential conflict with Russia? He’s a madman, they’ll say, who must be stopped! They know that nothing takes our minds more off $5 gas or a bag of groceries that cost $30 or $40 more than a good old-fashioned conflict with a psychopath!
They, both sides, have been wrong so often that to suddenly believe their competence and good intentions today against a nuclear-armed state run by a madman defies belief. Already political leaders like Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia have called on social media to censor Russian disinformation or misinformation. Keep in mind they aren’t asking for Russia media to be censored, but for the speech of Americans who aren’t on board with their madness to be censored. Sen. Warner clearly doesn’t have a problem with Putin still being on Twitter, but Brian Richards must be silenced.
It is clear our leaders will use this as a wedge issue, just as George Bush used Iraq as a wedge issue. Just as Barack Obama used Libya as a wedge issue. We were told those were bad dudes who need to be taken out. Sound familiar? Alas, neither of those moves worked out well for America or for the planet, for that matter. I, like a majority of Americans, supported the Iraq war but now I feel the Bush presidency was one of the most damaging in the history of this country. I am tired of being deceived by flawed leaders and a lazy media. It may feel good to start tangling with Putin, a madman, but what of the outcome?
We need to examine if direct action against Russia safeguards our interests and if it represents our values and, mostly, what will the human cost be? We must start be being smarter, although I wonder if we’re capable.