I stay away from political rants. I’ve tried to anyway. I have strong beliefs formed from extensive listening, but even more observation. You never believe you are wrong, at least, until you are.
Watching this crisis in Ukraine has found me riding the fence about America’s responsibilities, but I’m not writing this to gain approval or change minds. My opinion has never been influenced by what other people think about me. I will admit that my opinion has been silenced—many times—by an inner voice that says, “Tim, this isn’t the time for this. Shut up and move along.” I’m having a hard time suppressing my thoughts this weekend.
I’ve watched the brave souls in a country meeting overwhelming odds with a determination that I only hope I could have if—maybe when—I am faced with what could be certain death. To walk toward the fight of your life, armed with little more than a bottle of gasoline, matches, or a rifle that I have never fired while carrying a total of twenty rounds of ammunition, makes me exceedingly jealous of the inner fortitude of my fellow humankind.
Frankly, as a very proud American, I wouldn’t have any problem being born a Ukrainian. I think it’s because I have had nothing but full meals of freedom for over fifty years; they’ve merely snacked on tidbits of the liberty that I’ve enjoyed.
I’m spoiled; it’s plain and simple.
Hearing women and children in a subway tunnel cry out for help from what was once the most extraordinary power for good in the world—in my opinion—shook my inner core. That’s not hyperbole.
I fully understand the purpose of NATO, so it’s not lost on me how our government has had to tread very carefully. However, it seems like the pundits only wanted to talk about how much our gasoline prices will rise during the buildup to this crisis. We saw it coming; we hoped it wouldn’t; we all know that hope is not a strategy.
Now, we are watching people beg for assistance, and we tip-toe around a man who has found himself losing badly at the hands of a rag-tag group of people who only wanted to be left alone, to thrive, to have families, to be free. The wholesale slaugher of people should never be met with, “It’s not my problem.”
I guess my tipping point was this afternoon when the madman—embarrassed that his army is not up to the task of taking on those who are fierce about their freedom—threatened the use of what is unthinkable. Don’t even start to believe that he doesn’t mean it.
I grew up in the Cold War; I remember the moments when our parents silenced us so they could consider the gravity of the news presented by Walter Cronkite. They felt the fear and shielded us from the same worries we are experiencing today.
Pacifying this heinous piece of authoritarian garbage has not worked; I think standing up to him could be catastrophic, but it’s not always about the price of gasoline or bread. They need our help, and America owes them more than a wink and a pocketful of rocks to throw.
I don’t have the answers to this mess, but it wouldn’t bother me one bit if America could channel some inner Ukrainian.
That’s all I’ve got.
From the Jagged Edge, I remain,