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There’s considerable support in the U.S. for “No-Fly” zones in Ukraine. It’s a fine Orwellian turn of phrase: by some kind of magic, we simply won’t allow Russian warplanes to fly over key areas in Ukraine. And Russia will be happy to respect our no-fly zones because that’s how wars work. War is always predictable, calm, rational, and moderate, and countries at war are always tolerant of other countries dictating terms on where and when they can fly and fight.

What’s amazing is the number of people, including members of Congress, who have no idea that no-fly zones mean engaging directly in conventional war with Russia: killing Russian air crews in air-to-air combat, clearly an act of war, and one that would escalate quickly as both sides took losses.

Here’s one member of Congress who supports a no-fly zone without even knowing what it is and what it implies:

Well, “freedom isn’t free.” So on we go to World War III.

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Then there’s the Orwellian turn of phrase by the Russians that their invasion of Ukraine is really just a “special” operation, a conceit I’ve seen mocked on Facebook with this illustration:

Of course, Tolstoy wrote “War and Peace,” and the changed title is mildly humorous. But let’s not limit this critique to Russia. Think of all those lovely military “operations” that the U.S. military has launched over the years, such as Operation Enduring Freedom for the Afghan invasion beginning in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom for the Iraq invasion in 2003. We are far better than the Russians at camouflaging our wars as “operations.” Indeed, at least the Russians didn’t describe their invasion as “Operation Ukrainian Freedom.” So take that, Russia! We still overmatch you in Orwellian terms.

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Dishonesty of language isn’t just mendacious: it’s downright dangerous.

Finally, remember when nuclear war and World War III was supposed to be the end result of the madness of evil geniuses, Dr. Strangelove-like figures? What if World War III is the end result of ignorant dumbasses who think nuclear annihilation is worth it because “freedom isn’t free”?

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