When a brave underdog conquers a country such as Ukraine suffered devastating casualties at the hands of a genocidal invader, it’s easy to say that other nations should do more to help. But what does “more” mean?
If it means sending troops into Ukraine (or Ukrainian airspace) and risking a shooting war with another nuclear power run by a delusional tyrant, most Americans would object. president Joe Biden understands this.
He rightly declined the invitation to start World War III, opting instead for a top-down strategy. On the arms front, he had previously decided against sending planes to Ukraine because, contrary to what his critics claimed, they proved unnecessary in the battle for Kyiv. Now that the action has shifted to the Donbass region, Biden has responded appropriately. After sending an $800 million security aid package, he announced last week that he would “send an additional $800 million to further strengthen Ukraine’s combat capability in the east.”
Biden also reminded Americans of the vast amounts of other military equipment and key intelligence information being offered to Ukraine. For every Russian tank, the president said, the US sent 10 anti-tank systems. And by “facilitating the significant flow of weapons and systems into Ukraine from other allies and partners around the world,” the US has ensured that Ukraine has the weapons to sustain the fight and continue to push back Russian forces, what few thought possible. Biden has nearly depleted the funds provided by Congress and must ask for additional funds.
In addition to arms, the US gave Ukraine another $500 million in non-military aid, bringing the total to about $1 billion in two months. Biden said, “That’s the money [Ukrainian] Government can help stabilize its economy, support communities devastated by the Russian attack and pay the brave workers who continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, Biden has put together an unprecedented international sanctions regime that will halt US imports of Russian fuel and commit Europe to weaning itself off Russian oil and gas. In addition to the financial sanctions added almost weekly, Biden also announced a total ban on Russian ships in US ports.
After some criticism for taking in refugees too slowly, Biden is also stepping up US efforts to take in Ukrainians. He has already announced that the US will take in 100,000 refugees and has launched a new humanitarian probation program called Unite for Ukraine.
After all, Biden has channeled and amplified the outrage of the world. He was right when he said that Russian leader Vladimir Putin should not remain in office. Russia also commits war crimes. And the US has unified public opinion on the need to preserve Ukraine’s freedom and self-determination. Biden doesn’t mince his words: “Every American taxpayer, every member of our armed forces can be proud that the generosity of our country and the skills and services of our military have helped arm and deter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.”
Biden has made it clear that Ukraine’s fight is ours too. “The Battle of Kyiv was a historic victory for the Ukrainians. It was a victory for freedom won by the Ukrainian people with unprecedented support from the US and our allies and our partners,” he said. He added: “Our unity at home, our unity with our allies and partners, and our unity with the Ukrainian people sends an unequivocal message to Putin: he will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine.”
At times, Biden seems uniquely able to convey the moral despair of civilized people. “In recent weeks, Putin’s quest for conquest and control has come at a terrible human cost,” he said. “About two-thirds – two-thirds – of all Ukrainian children have been evicted from their homes. More than five million Ukrainians have fled their country. It’s an absolute outrage. The idea of this happening in the second quarter of the 21st century is just… (sigh).” Yeah, it’s indescribable.
Biden warned that this will not be a quick fight, noting that “Putin is counting on us losing interest”.
“We will not weaken our resolve. We will continue to stand by the brave and proud people of Ukraine. We will never fail in our resolve to defend liberty and oppose tyranny.”
In our age of perpetual cynicism, distrust, and discontent, it would be unheard of for an opposing party to recognize that a government is doing just about everything humanly possible to confront evil. But this administration is. Biden deserves a lot of credit for that.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/joe-biden-deserves-credit-for-his-support-of-ukraine-41583504.html Joe Biden deserves credit for his support of Ukraine