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Ukraine and the U.S. - Now What?

In the March, 2022 issue, we talked about our conflict resolution classes and the definition of war – being the ultimate non-engagement in a conflict resolution process –such as negotiation (mediation has already proved difficult – if not impossible). In the meantime, as press reports show, Ukrainian military and civilians alike have stymied the Russian assault. As this issue goes to press, the Russians are accused of horrendous abuses of the so-called Law of War. Scenes from Bucha and other places offer visual proof that the Russians are not intent on just pulling out or withdrawing their forces – they want to add punishment – to Ukrainian civilians. If there is such a thing as the Laws of War, their violation is clear.

Now, there is a clamor from all over the world – except that part of the world, limited as it might be - that listens and watches Russian media, that the current Western response including that of the U.S. is too slow.

History has shown that where the United States is concerned, we can be counted on to prevent or at least respond where there is aggression and a “free” nation is threatened by a neighbor. . At least this is theoretically true.

In 1950, the U.S, was barely finished with their extensive role in World War II yet, when North Korea invaded the South, the United Nations was there – and so was the United States and many other nations. Action then in the United States was “binding” as opposed to the recent condemnation of Russia. Granted, there was no threat from a bully that nuclear or chemical weapons might be used, but the peace-loving world stood up and fought the aggression at substantial cost in treasure and blood.

Any individual who has ever been bullied knows that the bullying will not stop until the bully feels some cost in pain, embarrassment or castigation for his conduct. Isn’t it time now for the free world to stop the bully? The Ukrainians have valiantly begun the stopping process (at horrendous cost which increases every day). Stopping a bully always carries risk; but history has shown many times that bullying will never end if the bully is not stopped – or at least hurt – in ways beyond financial penalties.

It is time for the U.S. and the rest of the world to show the bully, we (in the free world) cannot always give-in. If handled correctly – basically with a clear win on the battlefield (and we all hope it never goes beyond Ukraine) but a win is the only way the slaughter in Ukraine will stop– and it goes where it goes. The U.S. and NATO are a force to be reckoned with, (and what about Japan, Australia and all those nations that agree with the west against Russian aggression). While the supply of weaponry is also critical, this huge and powerful force will mean little until it flexes its military muscle.

Little Israel has shown several times that bullying by a much larger foe means a swift and penalizing response. By the way, I cannot fathom how Israel, with its own peoples’ history, could seemingly equivocate on the issues presented when Russia invaded its neighbor.

While some Israeli organizations are in or near Ukraine and are helping – the government in Jerusalem is trying to walk a difficult tightrope. This is true because (a) Israel needs Russia not to interfere with the Israeli Air Force going after shipments through Syria from Iran to Hezbollah, (b) there is a long Jewish history with Russia, and (c) are still many Jews in Russia.


War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and downgraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse.”
-- John Stuart Mill


Between the Invasion of Ukraine in February and now (perhaps 2 months) , the world seems different and maybe more dangerous. A cornered scorpion will strike – even if means its own death. So, we offer an ironic smile:

if it can wrong militarily, the Russians have already proved it will, while the Ukrainians prove so far – maybe it can go right even if the cost is dear.”

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