By Paul Dame
Being the Chair of the State Party of one of the smallest states in the country I have been weary of weighing in on geopolitical issues that are far beyond my control or influence. But with the VT legislature on break, and status-quo results from Town Meeting day, my attention has been drawn to the wonder of how Ukraine, a former Soviet satellite has grown in to their role as a young Democracy, and rallied nearly the entire world behind them. It is easy to forget that perhaps roughly half the people of Ukraine are old enough to remember what it was like to live under the rule of Russian Communists. Perhaps it is that very memory, or living their entire life in the shadow of that memory, that has given their people the resolve to fight for the freedom that is still fresh in their history books.
In a world filled with politicians and administrative swamp creatures who would gladly lie and deceive to protect their status and pension, it has been remarkably refreshing to see President Zelensky swat down the opportunity to escape imminent mortal danger and instead ask for more ammunition — not a ride. Citizens around the globe have to look at their own leaders and ask — “Would they do the same for us?”
While 62% of Americans believe that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if Trump has won re-election, we have to be clear that this invasion is not Biden’s fault — it is entirely Putin’s. In a premeditated act, Putin massed troops along the border feigning diplomatic negotiations until he had his forces in place, then he swept in to attack the capitol of a sovereign nation. Putin’s blame should be so self-evident that it ought to be one thing Republicans and Progressive Democrats can agree on.
Republicans have responded by calling for a review of our energy policy goals in light of the changing geopolitical environment. There ought to be agreement that whether or not we continue to use fossil fuels longterm — we SURELY shouldn’t be buying them from Russia to finance the invasion of Ukraine right now. President Zelensky agrees and has asked us to do exactly that. By America adopting a more robust energy production policy — even if only during this international crisis — we can both weaken the Russian military, while also supporting Europe’s energy needs.
The only thing that can get in the way of pragmatic common sense is Democrat ideology. At a potentially pivotal moment in world history America has the ability to help our people, the people of Ukraine and millions more across the globe by simply out-producing Russia and other unfriendly actors in oil-rich companies. If America fails to provide the world with the needed fuel supply, and India, China and other large nations need to make longer term deals with Russia, Iran and Venezuela we risk giving up our position as a global leader that can be relied on in a time of crisis. If the Western world pushes for sanctions with Russia, but is unwilling to provide the energy the world needs – we may find ourselves in a swamp of unintended consequences regarding energy, the petrol-dollar and our position in global markets.
Instead of working with Republicans to address this critical moment in history, it seems that most Democrats are spending much of their time attacking Republicans for patently untrue claims of supporting Putin. Instead of dealing with the world as it is today, they act like their best hope for the midterms is to live in the past where Trump was a convenient punching bag. The world needs Republicans and Democrats to put domestic divisions aside in order to confront the new challenge before us on a world stage that could change rapidly in the next 2-5 years.
My personal prayer is that the crisis in Ukraine can be resolved with diplomacy, sanctions and global pressure, a “banks, not tanks” approach. But I think we all have to keep in the back of our minds that as much as the U.S. should not engage in the kind of military adventurism we have in the past, we need to be prepared to keep the promise we made to defend our NATO allies.
Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons for a vague promise to be protected. If they are unable to stop the Russians on their own, will they feel this was a mistake? Our more formal commitments to neighboring NATO countries like Poland and Romania may be tested as well. What will be more powerful: Putin’s Army — or the American Promise?
Given the news that Putin has begun recruiting Syrian fighters with experience in urban warfare, his designs may be more far-reaching and unconventional than we want to imagine.
Before it comes to that, I hope the world will unite to help Ukraine stop Putin in his tracks.
But if Ukraine falls,and Putin persists, the world may look to see what is the value of the American Promise.
5 thoughts on “Paul Dame: Democrat ideology stands in way of pragmatic solution to Russian aggression”
Putin is a thug and has proven himself an aggressor again and again. That said, what is needed at this point is an off ramp to this brutal war that will only get more brutal.
The Ukrainian people have shown themselves to deeply love their country and are willing to fight and die for it. In this way they mirror the Finnish people who also resisted Soviet aggression. A Finnish solution, whereby Ukraine becomes independent, democratic and neutral, but not a puppet of Russia, might be the answer. Ukraine would of course have the right to maintain its robust defensive force.
Ending this conflict would require compromise on all sides including some possible border adjustments. There seems to be some openings for such an off-ramp to this war on the Ukrainian side, the ball clearly is in Putin’s court.
I think we need to get away from the idea that “this is all Putin’s fault.”
We can hold two ideas simultaneously: Putin is a butcher, and the West failed to negotiate in good faith to prevent war by agreeing to Russia’s central demand of no NATO in Ukraine. Instead, the US continued to insist– through Secretary of State Blinken– that NATO in Ukraine was on the table. This was a direct slap in the face– or even a punch in the gut– to the Russians.
The question we should ask is: did the West really want to prevent war? It’s not appeasement to agree to conditions that had been understood between the West and Russia for decades: no eastward expansion of NATO. So why did the US refuse?
Interesting to note: Ukraine and Russia are virtually the sole producers of neon and palladium, essential in microchip production. No impact from war? Also interesting to note: rising fuel prices impact fertilizer prices for American farmers. And remember: Bill Gates is on a buying spree for American farmland. If farms go bankrupt through untenable costs for fuel and fertilizer, who might scoop up farms?
Many people are in denial: things aren’t really so evil as all these coincidences might suggest, are they? Maybe they are: https://www.scribd.com/document/563147077/Statement-on-Russian-Ukrainian-Crisis-Vigano-Mar-7-2022 (You might need to download the document to read it properly.) I like to fact-check pieces such as this by following links (do they really support assertions?) and I find very interesting the “footage” from the war in Ukraine that’s being sold to us (Star Wars?)
One can see how this might tie in: it was “necessary” that we had restrictions on our liberties with Covid. Now, with a war that will no doubt have far-reaching repercussions, we’ll have food shortages, chip shortages, and rising energy prices which will trigger other “necessary” measures which, along with the necessity to curb climate catastrophe and insure safety from emerging diseases, will result in the necessity to surveil the entire population to ensure compliance with measures that will be absolutely necessary to save humanity. “We have no choice.” Can you spell, “Chinese-style social credit monitor/control society”?
Everything will be a manufactured necessity. It’s corruption as far as the eye can see but many can’t, or won’t, see it. The US government is trying to stop people from seeing: why do we suppose they’re now going after “misinformation,” and might even make spreading misinformation a crime? Because free speech is anathema to the American way?
Time to wake up?
Let me be clear: I don’t think the corruption is of the Vermont government or doctors or scientists in general. It’s of the wealthy elites who collectively have many trillions in offshore accounts and manipulate the media and the science to further their own agendas.
It’s a big club, and we ain’t in it.
I’d disagree with you on it’s not bidens fault. Although not directly it has
has been the ploy of Democrats since BJ Clinton to get NATO into
the border county of Russia. He promised Ukraine would be protected by
the west if they just give up their Nuke arsenal which they did and now
regret as no one’s protecting them. Next came Obama who deprived them
of defensive weapons when Russia invaded Crimea sending them blankets
and medicine instead of arms. While the Ukrainian people are on the short end here the government is as corrupt as the Russian government
and the East Ukrainians have been fighting the West Ukrainians since
the inception in 1914. The only losers besides the Ukrainian people is the
American people who are getting hosed at the pump by high global
Petrol price and a government here who hates on fossil fuel with regulation and denial of permits. When the whole of the new world order,
the EU, the lying press and corruptocrats in DC are behind this I tend to
not be or be very skeptical. Oh yes how much has bidens coke head
son pulled out of Ukraine with 10% for the big guy?
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