Where have all the diplomats gone? Apparently to Kiev to pat Volodymyr Zelensky on the back and urge him on, to fight to the last city and the last Ukrainian. American weapons are on the way.
Where have all the Peaceniks gone? The silence of the anti-Vietnam War protesters is even more disturbing. Some, like Harry Belafonte and Tom Hayden, are dead, but there is a multitude of college alumni who in the 1960s and 70s had the courage to burn draft cards and burn buildings in an effort to end the bloodshed in America's deadliest war since 1945. Most are silent today, even to the point of not voicing an opinion on the war when challenged on their alumni protesters websites.
We even had congressional representatives protesting the war by eventually cutting off military aid to South Vietnam. Not today! Bernie Sanders has become a war hawk, voting for military aid for Zelensky's war. The only votes against the recent multi-billion package to Ukraine came from Republicans who wondered how we would pay for it. None of them were against supporting the war.
Vladimir Putin has warned the U. S. of possible nuclear retaliation of an undefined sort if this country continues its supply of ever more sophisticated weapons to Zelensky. Pres. Biden's decision not to declare a no fly zone over Ukraine was partly predicated on the fear that such a policy would bring American pilots into conflict with Russian aircraft, precipitating an expansion of the war and raising the possibility of the use of American ground forces against the Russians in Ukraine.
Were I a Russian father of a conscript facing death from the weapons we have already given Zelensky, I would demand that Putin send one of those missiles he's wasting on Ukrainian villages on a real mission. Why not hit the sources of the Javelins that are incinerating young Russians in their tanks and other armored vehicles. I would urge Putin to flatten that joint Raytheon/Lockheed facility in Troy, Alabama, that produces those Javelins. Obliterate it. Good God, if Americans were dying in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan because of Russian weapons, you can be assured that our people would insist that Biden obliterate the source of the weapons in Russia.
But the Russians are as largely silent as the Americans. In Russia, the fear is of a government that can and will eradicate opposition, whether it's a serious political opponent or a mother protesting against this war in the streets of Moscow. But here, protesters do not face that very personal threat. Yet, they remain silent as well. The only rallies that take place regarding the war are ones to support Ukraine.
The death toll and physical destruction continue to mount, unrestricted, in large parts of Ukraine. There is no accurate count of the dead Ukrainians, but it must be in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands, counting civilians and the military. Russian casualties are equally high. Upwards of five million refugees have now left Ukraine for nearby countries. Millions more are displaced within that country. Zelensky may have stopped the complete occupation of his nation, but much of Ukraine is in ruins.
It's time the U. S. used its diplomatic resources to end this war, a war that Zelensky could have avoided before it started by making two concessions to Putin. He could have dropped his insistence on NATO membership, a desire that was not within reach and he knew it. He could also have agreed to a peace settlement in the civil war raging in the eastern part of his country for many years. The Donbas wasn't that essential to the survival of Ukraine as a sovereign nation.
If for no other reason, Biden should move quickly to end the war, which he has the influence and power to do, in order to bolster Democratic chances in the midterm elections. It's the damn war that's causing much of the inflation now that the pandemic has regressed. An end to war opens Russian oil, natural gas and other resources that are now blocked through wartime sanctions. Prices will fall with Peace!
Had Zelensky done that, Putin would have had no justification for an invasion. There would have been no war, no deaths, and Ukraine's cities would still be intact. Biden can still end it by cutting off all weapons for Zelensky. Stop the carnage. Stop America's responsibility for the continued death of Russians and Ukrainians.