Letter to the Editor: Perspectives on Ukraine


President Trump was impeached following a phone call to President Zelensky and President Biden was accused of orchestrating a corrupt fee-for-service scheme with one of Ukraine’s largest energy companies, Burisma. I recommend people listen to the entire Trump-Zelenky phone call and also show some curiosity about alleged Biden-Burisma corruption. Our biased political views on either of these issues shouldn’t matter right now and none of them need to be true for what I say to have any impact. These historical scandals are enough for everyone to admit that there are suspicious US-Ukrainian relations from our own partisan point of view. We are already involved and maybe we should quantify how much we have already messed up before we get more involved. Here I will make no argument to persuade anyone to love Biden, hate Trump or vice versa.

Edmonds leans mostly to the left. Left and right disagree on issues of divergence, but the war is bipartisan and John McCain is an American hero. The late George Carlin said that [when Republicans and Democrats agree on something it’s usually war and all of us are about to really get screwed]. Rick Steves boycotts Russian tours because of their invasion of Ukraine. It seems anti-war. Sanctions, even in a small part by Rick Steves, are a tool of war. “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” (Bastia). I don’t remember any boycotts or political activism in Edmonds when Hillary Clinton and the US State Department overthrew Libya, which was arguably the richest and most progressive country in Africa. Libya is decimated and torn apart by enemy generals; not to mention a robust new open-air slave-trading industry. Rick Steves is a world traveler and even visited Iran to give us perspective on a potential opponent. I googled “Rick Steves Libya” hoping to find equal activism regarding what happened to that country, but could only find comments on his travel forum about people fearing that the “Libyan conflict” disrupts vacation cruises in the Mediterranean. Generally speaking, Edmonds is happy with war, but we hate fireworks. We’re NIMBY about explosions.

And the neo-Nazis? Azov fighters have been fighting in the Donbass region (eastern Ukraine) since around 2014. They are self-proclaimed neo-nationalist-socialists, without shame; the same kind our grandfathers fought – not the guys we want to hit if we could ever find one outside of a Starbucks. Most of the fighting was fought by several extremist ethnic nationalist groups, which are ethnically against the Russians [and Jews]. The interception this week, an article wondered how groups officially banned by social media for being anti-Semitic are now hailed as freedom fighters and have hashtags. Some profess that Putin is secretly Jewish. I read that some named their children Adolf. Ethnic nationalists are terrible, but in this case they are also the official Ukrainian National Guard. Stalin was our ally and also terrible. We are all capable of holding conflicting thoughts in mind that require reconciliation and nuance. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, if you support him, you might also know that he made wearing blackface a sport. Vladimir Putin may be a terrible person, but he legitimately cites Nazi extremism when he returns to Ukraine. Germany is underpaying NATO hoping the US will foot the bill for a conflict between them and Russia – again. We were able to somehow ignore the ethnic/separatist violence in the Donbass region over the past 10 years. Now that Germany needs a northern pipeline (since the planned pipeline through Syria didn’t work because Russia prevented a war we wanted in Syria), now do we care about the Ukrainians? Let’s hope Russia doesn’t stabilize this region too much (rightly or wrongly, one could just ask Muammar Gaddafi about the morality of stable regions ruled by dictators).

Let’s get to the bottom of our own Ukraine-related scandals, provide only humanitarian aid and show peace through national strength.

Matt Richardson

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