I expressed an opinion on Twitter the other day that I thought we should be responding to Ukraine’s request for full military assistance by sending NATO forces into Ukraine to expel the Russian invasion force. I got some interesting responses to my post, which I would classify as cold, uncaring if not outright cowardly. For the record I stand by what I said and if anything I think we should go further and continue to Moscow and arrest Putin for war crimes.
For the record I am no fan of wars, in fact I am against all war effort, and I believe invasions are never justified. I further believe all wars are just ego centric men trying to compensate and justify themselves. That being said while I am totally against starting all military actions, I am even stronger supporter of anything is justified when it comes to self-defense. In other words, one should never start a fight, but you damn sure should make sure you end it if someone starts one.
I want to take this opportunity to expand on my thought and respond to some of the comments I got.
“Ukraine is not in NATO, so we aren’t required to intervene”
This is a very cold and uncaring response in my mind. While I said we should use NATO, this isn’t about NATO. We, the civilized world, have the moral obligation to help those that are being abused by a bully. It doesn’t matter if they are our buddies, are in our secret club, etc. If they are in trouble and they come to us for help we should help them.
“If we provide military assistance, we will start WW3”
I find this response to be bit cowardly, but totally understandable. For the record we would not be starting WW3, Russia has threatened to start WW3 and possible even use nukes if anyone comes to the aid of Ukraine. It is totally normal and understandable to take this threat seriously and for it cause people to be hesitant to provide military support to Ukraine. This is exactly why Putin is making this threat, so that he can continue to abuse Ukraine unimpeded.
For the record we should never let the threat of increased violence threaten stop us from address violence that is actually happen. For example, you are downtown and hear someone crying out for help and you see a group of thugs beating up some people. You approach and try to intervene, and the thugs tell you to mind your own business, or they will kill you and your family. The understandable response is for you to leave and don’t get involved. The morally right approach is for you to get the cops (or your buddies) and take the thugs out depside their threat of increased violence. Do what is right first, worry about the consequences later.
Who’s to say that this won’t lead to WW3 even if Europe/NATO doesn’t get involved? I fear it is a very likely outcome that this invasion will lead to WW3 either way and that we will regret not intervening earlier.
“We didn’t get involved in other similar invasions in the past”
Also “You are just saying that because they are white Europeans”. Shameful actions in the past does not require continued shameful actions. This has nothing to do with skin color, failure to act morally in the past is a shame and does not justify inaction now. If we act now, it could be argued that obligates us to act in the future. I would argue that we are obligated to act, either way, both now and in the future.
Yes, the fact this invasion is so close to Poland does create certain urgency, and we can’t help the whole world. Helping your neighbor is a much more urgent than helping someone across the world.
If you are anti-war, you should be calling for peace talk negotiations
When two equals are fighting over some dispute, I would absolutely agree 100%. This is not the case here. Let us use an analogy. Let us say that a gang of thugs break into your house and start beating up your family. Should you negotiate with the thugs to get them stop the beating? Maybe offering them money, or agree to let them stay in your house? There is no dispute here, just thugs being abusive. You not wanting them to live in your house isn’t a dispute and neither is them not liking who you are friends with.
Another analogy. Say you live in one of those towns controlled by two gangs. Your house in is in an area that neither gang controls. You have indicated you are considering joining one of the gangs, so members of the other gang break into your house and start beating up everyone in your house and demand that you either join their gang or declare you will not be involved with either gang, else they will take over your house and make your live miserable. Is there anything to negotiate here?
Any negotiations under these sorts of scenarios are just giving in to demands of an abuser.
Help must be requested
One final thought on this, more for the record than anything else. One should be very careful about intervening in a situation without an actual request for help. Rushing in without understanding the situation and knowing for sure that your help is actually wanted can do more harm than good.