I send my love and heartfelt wishes to the people of Ukraine
I send my love and heartfelt wishes to the people of Ukraine, who are showing enormous courage in standing up against colossal evil. The world stands with you.
My nation and the other nations of NATO are united in our determination that evil will not prevail. Philosophy has little to say in the face of such obvious violations of international law and human decency. Crimes against humanity are being committed all over Ukraine.
But what I believe is that if the nations of the West stand together with you we will prevail in the long run. Putin has shown his inability to inspire courage even in the Russian army, who are thinking like decent human beings and often refusing to fight.
Carry on, brave brothers and sisters, and may you be an example to all history of how right can make might.
The shock of the past week in Ukraine was, in large part, the shock of seeing some of the worst chapters from history textbooks re-enacted before our eyes.
Since it is perilous business to compare anyone to Adolf Hitler, let’s limit ourselves to speaking of Hitler-like actions: declaring that a neighboring country has no right to exist, blitzing through its border posts, shelling civilian neighborhoods, inflitrating thuggish saboteurs into a capital city, sending a hit squad to dispose of a duly elected President. Few of us were alive when these things last happened so blatantly in Europe, though many remember the atrocities in the Balkans. But as readers of books and viewers of documentary films, we have all shuddered at such imges repeatedly since childhood. If you want to know how you would have reacted to Poland in 1939, just state clearly what you think of Ukraine today.
Unfortunately, it is no surprise to hear words of support for Putin’s actions from the slithery proto-fascists of the Right who leak from the cracks of Europe or lament their missed opportunity to murder the American Congress. There is no point in dialogue with such wretched figures.
It is more disappointing when such sentiments come from the Left. At its best, the Left is a moral case against inequality and exploitation in the name of hope. Ukraine ought to be a clear moral moment for anyone not distracted by their own nationalisms or geopolitical chess moves (Russian, Chinese, Venezuelan).
Unfortunately, this clarity can be obscured by a competing imperative on the Left: anti-Americanism, and its corollary anti-NATOism. But whatever gripes one might have with the post-Soviet pax Americana, whatever crimes we might spotlight from American history, whatever historic Russian fears might spark passing sympathy in the West, none of this justifies a cruel laugh at Ukraine’s expense.
All political abstractions aside, there is not one of us who would prefer life in a demolished military protectorate to life in the growing new democracy of Ukraine. We lie back and critique our own societies like jaded gluttons, and it takes the Ukrainians to remind us of what we all could still lose: freedom, self-determination, the rule of law.
Tell me what you think of Ukraine, and I’ll tell you who you are. We must support Ukraine.