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I am the founder of Unpublished Media Inc., a company I started in 2012. I am also a communications professional and community activist, living in Nepean, Ontario. And, I am a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate for grassroots, participatory democracy at all levels of government.
EU must accept Ukraine and come to its defence
John Ivison is right in his column on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. What if the collective effort of western nations isn’t enough to save the fledging democracy of Ukraine from being destroyed, in real-time, in front of our eyes?
I believe the West cannot afford to make the mistake we made in WWII with the appeasement of Hitler. In much the same way now, we are appeasing Putin by playing by his rules—allowing Russia to invade Ukraine without providing any real military aid other than some armaments because we're afraid to escalate a war we didn't create, when what the Ukrainians really need, at the very least, is air cover in the form of a NO FLY ZONE over their country.
Hillary Clinton's statement that the West can fight an insurgency war against Russia in Ukraine like we did in Afghanistan seems defeatist. The wrong response to a humanitarian crisis that is threatening 'democracy' everywhere. I agree with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy's assessment that this is an attack on all democracies. And, for that reason I believe the West must act.
If the Ukrainians aren’t attacking the very long and very vulnerable Russian 40 mile convoy right now, it’s because they don’t have the air defenses to do so. That can’t bode well for the future and it most certainly means that the Ukrainians will have to resist a full siege of their capital, and of many of their metropolises. We're seeing in the south of Ukraine right now that the Russians are destroying electricity and water infrastructure in Ukrainian cities. There is no food and water. People will be starving in a few days.
Are we really going to sit by and wait for Ukraine to fall and be completely destroyed? Are we going to watch live on TV how they die in defence of not only their nation but also for the West's entire way of life? It is We the West who created democracy and we who have grown it around the world, allowing for people everywhere to become more free, better educated and self-reliant. Many have come onboard, from South Korea and Japan to the Ukraine, Poland and all the other former eastern block countries. Since WWII many countries around the world have seen their people freed from oppressive regimes through the creation of some form of democracy. Now it seems, we must defend what we have created. And, we can't do that sitting on our butts watching it unfold on TV.
After Ukraine falls, then what? Are we really going to allow for Russia to re-establish its defenses around Ukraine, all the while suppressing and terrorizing the Ukrainian population?
Despite Putin’s threat of “severe consequences” for any country that comes to Ukraine’s aid, or his threat of using nuclear weapons, we cannot allow Putin to control the course of the war if we are going to be involved militarily at some point in the future. Does anyone think we won't be, given what has transpired? NATO and/or the EU have the ability to enforce a no-fly zone, even though they’ve made it clear they don’t want to escalate the conflict. But how can we sit by and watch when we know we can not only intervene successfully but also destroy the Russian convoy and bring the invasion to an end?
Yes, the nuclear threat is real. But, we can't allow it to hold us back. If Putin, now with a $1 Million bounty on his head, uses nuclear weapons in any way, NATO can respond by moving against Russia and putting troops on the ground. And, we can respond in kind, which I hope will never be necessary. It would be folly for Putin to allow a military defeat in Ukraine to result in the total destruction of Russia, if not the world. That doesn't achieve anything for anyone. The West opened its door to Russia before and it can again. I believe we will when Putin is no long in charge and Russia becomes a true democracy. We know this war is Putin's war, not Russia's. We know this because many of the captured Russian soldiers have told us so. Some even thought it was just a training exercise.
The Russian invasion has been anything but convincing. The Russian army doesn't appear to be a 100% professional force. At the same time, western armaments have proven their superiority as they have provided Ukraine the ability to punch far above its weight thus far. The opportunity is there, right now, for the West to change the course of this war and end it.
In an interview two days ago Former Canadian General Rick Hillier put forward a good argument for enforcing a no-fly zone. He also asked why we are not going further? (https://youtu.be/mOpzoOJCwkI) With China still threatening to invade Taiwan, the West needs to send a message that no amount of aggression will be tolerated against any democratic nation. We must conquor our fears the way the Ukrainians have. They are an inspiration to us all.
The EU may prove to be a better vehicle to intervene than NATO given NATO’s defensive nature. And so, I encourage the European Union to accept Ukraine immediately and to come to their aid. This is the EU’s chance to become ONE. To become the Union of European states it’s founders believed it could be. Don’t miss the opportunity to become united—don’t miss the opportunity to save Ukraine.
James O'Grady is the founder of Unpublished Media and a student of history, politics and communications. You can view his profile here: https://unpublishedottawa.com/users/james-ogrady