A Caged Rat - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2080758

A Caged Rat

The anniversary of the Ukraine war has arrived, with tens of thousands of their citizens dead at the hands of the brutal attacks by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It has been estimated that over 140,000 mostly unwilling Russian soldiers have been lost as well.

Last week, our president traveled to Kiev, risking life and limb, to rally Ukraine citizens in his proxy war and assure them of the United States’ resolve and support.

Over 60 years ago, the United States and Russia were brought to the brink of war during the Cuban missile crisis, when Nikita Khrushchev decided to extend Russian missiles only 90 nautical miles from our shores. Naturally, JFK objected to this close proximity and, through negotiations and a show of strength, a catastrophic war was averted.

For 200 years, we have used the Monroe Doctrine as reason to claim our own sovereignty in the Northern Hemisphere. Unlike Russia, the United States has never been attacked on our mainland shores.

American treatment of Russia since the end of the Cold War has been to ignore Russia’s legitimate concerns about guarding their western borders, from which they have been attacked numerous times since Napoleon invaded the Russian heartland. The death toll from Germany during World War II alone amounts to 26.6 million soldiers and citizens.

In 1991, western leaders promised that NATO would not expand eastward, but by 2004 NATO soon engulfed Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and the Baltic States. NATO will have armed Russia’s eastern border with a foreign military presence, including missiles. Russia sees Ukraine as the last straw, and Putin has been complaining of this for years.

Joe Biden is sleep-walking through another potential forever war, one he is willing to fight until every last drop of Ukrainian blood has been shed. For the first time in 30 years, we will be without a treaty limiting nuclear weaponry, as Putin has suspended the START nuclear pact. Joe Biden, as well as Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has declared Putin guilty of war crimes and continues to back him into a corner, which may never have happened if anyone heeded Putin’s concerns and warnings from the past.

Simply put, NATO in Ukraine, right on Russia’s doorstep, where every other western invasion has crossed, is a direct existential threat to Russia. Biden has been pushing Ukraine into joining the NATO alliance — and that is Russia’s Cuban missile crisis.

Khrushchev was smart enough to never let it get to the point of releasing tactical nuclear weapons, but he wasn’t a caged rat, backed into a corner, and threatened with war crimes.

Never underestimate the Russian capacity to endure extreme hardship and a colossal death toll of their own citizens once provoked.

John Porta