I said it before Russia invaded, during the invasion, and I’ll say it again: NATO should intervene in Ukraine to stop this genocide of the Ukrainian people.
I have already intervened and signed a contract to “never to betray the Ukrainian people”, but alone, I am not enough – I need help.
When I volunteered to defend our country after 9/11, I fought alongside our NATO allies in Afghanistan as they honored their commitment to defend us after we were attacked. Ukraine was there, too, as part of the International Security Assistance Force. When America pulled out of Afghanistan, and left our allies hanging, literally, off planes, desperate for someone to save them from being occupied by an army of terrorists that blocked humanitarian aid as a negotiation tactic, starving millions – like Russia does today – Ukraine was there to help. As reported in Canada’s Globe and Mail: “The evacuees said they were stunned that Ukrainian troops had taken risks to save them that Canadian and U.S. forces had not.
After Russia occupied Crimea in 2014, violating the agreement of the Budapest Memorandum whose first article states Russia must: “Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty in the existing borders”–again–our nation’s government leaders failed to honor our collective commitment to protect Ukrainians, after they sacrificed their own safety to lessen the risk of global nuclear war by removing nuclear weapons from their soil. And today, Ukrainians are forced to sacrifice themselves, so that the world can continue to profit off of a Russian economy that spends its euros, yuan, and dollars on funding more war crimes, day after day.
We have heard all the arguments. “Ukraine is not part of NATO”, and even if it were, it does not appear our leaders would have honored that piece of paper either. Words are merely words unless they are enforced, and nobody is forcing anyone to help someone else. On paper, NATO members are obliged to act if one of its members is attacked, but it does not keep NATO from acting on its own, separately or collectively. Similarly, no UN mandate is needed for a country to defend itself, and any country is free to come to the aid of another country under attack. Nuclear weapons? By being afraid of their use, after using our own, we are only encouraging more states to acquire them; thus, we increase the risk of nuclear war, as more players rationally seek to protect themselves against Russian (and perhaps Chinese) aggression by threatening mutually-assured destruction with their own nuclear weapons.
What I am left pondering here in Ukraine is something more fundamental – about what it means to be a human among other groups of humans, some more like me than others, in ways visible and invisible. Are we all on the same side? If some of you are going to continue funding the attacks on my Ukrainian friends, so that you can live in luxury, safe from harm, why should someone like me, or any of us, fight to protect someone like you?
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