Is it time to throw long instead of bleeding money for more of the same?
The only thing more presumptuous than an armchair quarterback is a desktop general blogging from the safety of the Emerald City in wintry Wisconsin USA. But does that stop the Squire of Stately Blaska Manor? Hell no!
Volodymyr Zelensky’s well received address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday 12-21-22 echoes Winston Churchill’s wartime address in 1941. That’s when he said if his father had been American and mother English, instead of the other way around, he might have made it there on his own.
The arsenal of democracy is sending more Christmas gadgets of death to besieged but doughty Ukraine — $1.8 Billion worth! — while Congress debates gifting another $45 billion. More tit for Putin’s tat. The budget hawks on both sides of the political aisle are war wary. Our total $68 Billion in aid to Ukraine so far is an investment in democracy and national security. But at the price of making the rubble bounce?
Is it time to throw long? Time for MacArthur to land at Inchon? Cross the Delaware River to surprise the Hessians on Christmas Day?
An international bearing of witness
What would happen if, say, Poland sent several regiments to western Ukraine, perhaps joined by Slovakia and the Czechs? Throw in a platoon of Romanians and Bulgarians for seasoning. A company of U.S., Canadian, British and Swedish “peacekeepers” — volunteers, all — posted in Kiev and other major cities. A squadron from the Baltic States to interpose their lives and moral conscience against the wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure. Far enough from the Rooskie border to allay any threat of offensive invasion, but stylish French and Italian boots on Ukrainian soil just the same. (NATO article 5 does not require their intervention but neither does it prohibit. In any event, it would not be a NATO action, per se.)
Their mission could be portrayed credibly as humanitarian. Help put out the fires, clear the rubble, restore power, police the streets. Also, two greater strategic purposes:
- Free up Zelensky’s fighters to wage war at the front.
- Put Putin on the spot — does he really want to risk harm to NATO members by bombing civilians with whom they are embedded? The Amish who came peacefully to help Harrison Ford at the conclusion of the movie Witness stopped the violence merely by their brave presence.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: It’s a statement: the world stands with Ukraine and against naked aggression. A moral rebuke that will resound throughout the world.