President Trump was impeached over a phone call to President Zelensky and President Biden has been accused of orchestrating a corrupt pay-for-play scheme with one of Ukraine’s largest energy companies, Burisma. I recommend people listen to the full Trump-Zelenky phone call and also show some curiosity about the alleged Biden-Burisma corruption. Our biased political opinions on either of these issues shouldn’t matter for the moment and neither of them needs to be true for what I am saying to have an impact. These history-making scandals are enough for everyone to be able to admit that there are US-Ukraine relationships that are suspect from our own partisan vantage points. We’re already involved and maybe we should quantify how much we’ve already messed up before we get more involved. In here I will make no argument to persuade anyone to like Biden, hate Trump, or vice versa.
Edmonds is mostly left leaning. Left and right disagree on wedge issues, but war is bipartisan and John McCain is an American hero. The late George Carlin said that [when Republicans and Democrats agree on something it’s usually war and all of us are about to really get screwed]. Rick Steves is boycotting Russian tours over their invasion of Ukraine. This sounds anti-war. The sanctions, even in small part by Rick Steves, are a tool of warfare. “When goods don’t cross borders, Soldiers will.” (Bastiat). I remember no boycott or political activism in Edmonds when Hillary Clinton and the U.S. State Department toppled Libya, which was arguably the most wealthy and progressive country in Africa. Libya is decimated and torn apart by feuding generals; not forgetting to mention a new robust open-air slave-trading industry. Rick Steves is a world traveler, and has even traveled to Iran to give us perspective on a would-be adversary. I Googled “Rick Steves Libya” hoping to find equal activism regarding what happened to that country, but was only able to find comments on his travel forum relating to people worried that the “Libyan Conflict” could disrupt Mediterranean vacation cruises. Generally speaking, Edmonds is happy about war, but we hate fireworks. We are NIMBY about explosions.
What about the neo-Nazis? The Azov fighters have been fighting in the Donbass region (eastern Ukraine) since around 2014. These are self-proclaimed, unashamed, neo-national-socialists; the same kind our grandfathers fought – not the kinds that we want to punch should we ever be able to find one outside a Starbucks. Most of the fighting has been by several hardline ethnic nationalist groups, who are ethnically against Russians [and Jews]. The Intercept this week had an article wondering how groups formally banned by social media for being anti-Semetic are now lauded as freedom fighters and have hashtags. Some profess that Putin is secretly Jewish. I’ve read some have named their children Adolf. Ethnic nationalists are terrible, but in this case they are also the official Ukrainian National Guard. Stalin was our ally and also terrible. All of us are able to hold in our heads conflicting thoughts that require reconciliation and nuance. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, if you support him, you may also know he made wearing blackface a sport. Vladimir Putin might a terrible person, but he is legitimately citing Nazi extremism on his way back into Ukraine. Germany is underpaying for NATO hoping the United States will foot the bill for a conflict between them and Russia — again. We were somehow able to ignore the ethnic/separatist violence in the Donbass region for the last 10 years. Now that Germany needs a Nordic pipeline (seeing how the pipeline planned through Syria didn’t pan out because Russia prevented a war we wanted in Syria), we now care about the Ukrainians? Hopefully Russia doesn’t stabilize this region too (rightly or wrongly, we could just ask Muammar Gaddafi about the morality of stable regions run by dictators).
Let’s get to the bottom of our own Ukraine-related scandals, provide humanitarian aid only, and show peace through domestic strength.