I’d hung a Ukrainian flag in my front yard and was looking at it this week when two distant neighbors stopped and stared. “Good for you, Bob,” they said, each raising a fist.
I was surprised — not that they recognized the Ukrainian flag, or raised their fists, but that they called me Bob. I don’t recall ever having met them.
Next day the nice Korean lady at the corner store was crying when I walked in: Live reports from Kyiv and Kharkiv played on the store’s big-screen TVs.
“Are you OK?” I asked, through my mask.
“No,” she said, through tears. “I don’t like war. I like peace.”
This, among many other things, is what Vladimir Putin has done: drawn people together, all around the world — against him.
But it doesn’t have to be against Russia.
Please, let it not be against Russia.
Let Russia rise up and free millions of people again, as it has done so often in its past — for its own citizens and others.
Like any human being with a functioning heart and brain, I’m disgusted with Putin, and inspired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. And since I carry no weight at all in world affairs, I think I can say, without fear of repercussions, that the best way to end this war, with the least loss of human life, is for the Russian military to depose Putin, sooner rather than later.
They could do it. The Russian military helped save the world from Hitler. Nikita Khrushchev’s security council arrested and executed Stalin’s chief hangman, Lavrenti Beria, in 1953. The Russian military refused to fire on Moscow protesters in August 1991 after the coup against Gorbachev.
Boris Yeltsin became a hero of world stature by haranguing the crowd, and the troops, who eventually turned the tank turrets around, away from the Russian Parliament.
Strange to say at this late date that the peace of the world may hinge upon the Russian Army, but I believe it does. And if they do depose that madman, I think it might be the best thing that could possibly happen to the world. Surely, it would be the best way to reintegrate Russia into the world again, without punishing sanctions.
Let’s get this straight: Putin has threatened to wage nuclear war.
Then think of this: The world would thank the Russian Army for not letting him do it.
I plead to the Russian armed forces to get this madman off the stage.
That said, I don’t want to “interfere” in Russian politics. (Sure I do.)
But it’s not “interfering” in U.S. politics for a citizen to offer a few observations, is it?
Here is my thesis: Republicans in Congress have become right-wing communists: cowards and bullies, squelching speech from their own comrades, threatening violence against domestic opponents, and even dissenters in their own right-wing communist cells.
Unfortunately, Democrats are also cowards, and incompetent.
The rest of this column will feature recent quotes from Republican members of Congress, and wannabes, each quote followed by a bullet point and a comment.
“The strongest peace force I’ve ever seen.”
— Donald J. Trump on the Russian invasion of Ukraine
• “War is Peace.” — Big Brother
"This gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis who occupied Kyiv and took the entire Ukrainian people hostage."
— Putin on Zelenskyy government
• Comrade Zelenskyy is Jewish, Vlad. Surely you know that. And who is holding whom hostage in Ukraine today? Common decency demands, Sir, that you wipe the blood from your face and hands before you open your mouth again.
“Ukraine isn't a democracy. It's a State Department client state.”
— Faux News host Tucker Carlson
• And whose client are you, Comrade Carlson? Show us your tax returns, and SAT scores.
“Ukraine's not even a country. It's kind of a concept. ... It’s just a corrupt area that the Clintons turned into a colony where they can steal money out of.”
— Steve Bannon
• How do you steal your money, Steve? And from whom? Or do they just give it to you, out of the hatred of their heart? And how do you spend it, Comrade?
“We did not serve in the Marine Corps to go and fight Vladimir Putin because he didn’t believe in transgender rights, which is what the U.S. State Department is saying is a major problem with Russia.”
— J.D. Vance, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Ohio
• Dear hillbilly: Read much?
“I adamantly oppose risking the lives of boys from Louisiana and Alabama to make the Donbass safe for genderqueers and migrants.”
— Republican commentator Rod Dreher
• Thanks, fellas! Now we understand what this war is all about: standing shoulder to shoulder with Russian Communists to make the world safe from gay guys and girls.
“Stop the Democrats, who are the Communist Party of the United States of America.”
— Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia
• “Morons, I have morons on my team.” — Republican Senator Mitt Romney from Utah
— U.S. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, to the Nazi general who had the Battered Bastards of Bastogne surrounded during the Battle of the Bulge, and demanded their immediate surrender
“Russian warship: Go fuck yourself.”
— Ukrainian troops on Snake Island in the Black Sea as the war began, when a Russian warship demanded their immediate surrender.
• Those brave Ukrainian citizens on Snake Island spoke like true Americans.
To my Republican fellow-citizens who side with the Russians: “Which side are you on?”
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