#55 Russia’s Attack on the Ukraine

I started writing something, but kept deleting whatever I wrote because I couldn’t convey my thoughts well enough. I was and am too angry. Too angry that the world turns a blind eye to those that threaten the lives and freedoms of others. Too angry that our world, the bubble that exists in the United States and other developed nations feels unruffled and unmoved by the international events that have recently transpired. Then I saw former President Barack Obama’s statement on the Russian attack on Ukraine, and felt like he was speaking on behalf of me and what I only hope are many others:

Last night, Russia launched a brazen attack on the people of Ukraine, in violation of international law and basic principles of human decency. Russia did so not because Ukraine posed a threat to Russia, but because the people of Ukraine chose a path of sovereignty, self-determination, and democracy. For exercising rights that should be available to all people and nations, Ukrainians now face a brutal onslaught that is killing innocents and displacing untold numbers of men, women, and children.

The consequences of Russia’s reckless actions extend beyond Ukraine’s borders. This illegal invasion in the heart of Europe also threatens the foundation of the international order and security. For some time now, we have seen the forces of division and authoritarianism make headway around the world, mounting an assault on the ideals of democracy, rule of law, equality, individual liberty, freedom of expression and worship, and self-determination. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows where these dangerous trends can lead — and why they cannot be left unchallenged.

People of conscience around the world need to loudly and clearly condemn Russia’s actions and offer support for the Ukrainian people. And every American, regardless of party, should support President Biden’s efforts, in coordination with our closest allies, to impose hard-hitting sanctions on Russia — sanctions that impose a real price on Russia’s autocratic elites.

There may be some economic consequences to such sanctions, given Russia’s significant role in world energy markets. But that’s a price we should be willing to pay to take a stand on the side of freedom. For over the long term, we all face a choice, between a world in which might makes right and autocrats are free to impose their will through force, or a world in which free people everywhere have the power to determine their own future.

Michelle and I will be praying for the courageous people of Ukraine, for Russian citizens who have bravely declared their opposition to these attacks, and for all those who will bear the cost of a senseless war.

There’s so much to unpack here. All of it is what makes him a great president and leader. More importantly, it is a demonstration that there are good people that helped lead this country into what it is. They still take office. We cannot give up hope that there is a better world to be made for people. Doing so means we have succumbed to brutality being the rule of law.

Russia did so not because Ukraine posed a threat to Russia, but because the people of Ukraine chose a path of sovereignty, self-determination, and democracy. For exercising rights that should be available to all people and nations, Ukrainians now face a brutal onslaught that is killing innocents and displacing untold numbers of men, women, and children.

This was an unprovoked attack on people who chose democracy and freedom. You need to digest that. This isn’t the Iraq war. This isn’t internal strife like Vietnam. This was a third party attack on another sovereign and civilized nation. People who chose freedom. You should feel anger. You should feel disgust against the actions of these aggressors.

The consequences of Russia’s reckless actions extend beyond Ukraine’s borders. This illegal invasion in the heart of Europe also threatens the foundation of the international order and security. For some time now, we have seen the forces of division and authoritarianism make headway around the world, mounting an assault on the ideals of democracy, rule of law, equality, individual liberty, freedom of expression and worship, and self-determination. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows where these dangerous trends can lead — and why they cannot be left unchallenged.

If you think the actions of Putin don’t affect you, you’re wrong. If you think that these atrocities of war and genocide occur daily and yet we do nothing to prevent or decry against it, you’re right. But that doesn’t mean this is the same. This shouldn’t be the end goal, it should be the beginning steps in ridding the world of evil. This is a threat against the way you live your life. You should not wait for Pearl Harbor type event to show concern. The concern should be occurring now. Left to their own devices, the Putin Russia is only just getting started. To think that it starts and ends with Ukraine is naive. The same way we thought the annexation of Crimea would be it. Even I thought that Crimea would be a one time event under Putin. I was naive and ignorant. I hoped that needless death and violence would be behind us.

People of conscience around the world need to loudly and clearly condemn Russia’s actions and offer support for the Ukrainian people. And every American, regardless of party, should support President Biden’s efforts, in coordination with our closest allies, to impose hard-hitting sanctions on Russia — sanctions that impose a real price on Russia’s autocratic elites.

People of conscience. An amazing phrase to sum up all those that should be mobilizing. If you have a conscience then you need to do something. Do ANYTHING to make a difference and express our disdain for the acts of war started by Putin.

For over the long term, we all face a choice, between a world in which might makes right and autocrats are free to impose their will through force, or a world in which free people everywhere have the power to determine their own future.

Freedom is a fundamental right. As long as you aren’t hurting other people, you should have the right to live your life. If you’re afforded that right, then shouldn’t everyone have that same right? What did you do to earn it? Or was it just a product of your fortunate position to be born into freed.

It’s true that people hurt people. That shouldn’t turn you away from recognizing that people can also help other people. We should do our part. Take a stand for what is good in the world. Decry the actions of Putin’s Russia. Take any actions you can reasonably do to aid in the humanitarian efforts to send aid and resources to the Ukrainian people. Let the world know. Let the universe know that you stand for what is good and just. Do not just enjoy freedom, defend it.

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