Two leaders and a Biden

March 19, 2022

The day after Christmas, 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed a joint session of the United States Congress.  America was only nineteen days from the brutality of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning of December 7th.

Regarding U.S. supply shipments and British Army activity in Libya, he noted: “Hope has returned to the hearts of scores of millions of men and women, and with that hope there burns the flame of anger against the brutal, corrupt invader.”

On the Japanese: “What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible that they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?”

Lamenting appeasement of Hitler: “Five or six years ago it would have been easy, without shedding a drop of blood…”

And closed: “It is not given to us to peer into the mysteries of the future. Still, I avow my hope and faith, sure and inviolate, that in the days to come the British and American peoples will, for their own safety and for the good of all, walk together in majesty, in justice and in peace.”

On March 16, 2022 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of an invasion not seen since World War II addressed another American Congress via video call.

“Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided…whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy. Russia has attacked not just us, not just our land, not just our cities; it went on a brutal offensive against our values, basic human values.”

He compared with Pearl Harbor and 9/11 “when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories in battlefields, when innocent people were attacked, attacked from air…Our country experienced the same every day, right now, at this moment, every night for three weeks now.”

Weaved in:  “I have a dream.” These words are known to each of you today. I can say, “I have a need: I need to protect our sky.” I need your decision, your help, which means exactly the same, the same you feel when you hear the words “I have a dream.”

He presented a video that started with a Ferris wheel and sunny skies, then, as quick as the assault started, turned to the death and devastation Russia has caused.  It ends with a fade to black with six words that would stop it all:  “close the sky over Ukraine”

As one who is steeped in World War II, the images of cities in ruin, mass graves, women and children dead in the streets are with me daily.  But black and white stills are no match for what’s in that video.  Image after image of life destroyed, children broken, bombed out apartment buildings, again mass graves.

All in just three weeks. All in this, the 21st century that for eighty years the world has collectively said “never again” yet is indeed allowing again.

Mr. Zelensky closed with:  “Today, the Ukrainian people are defending not only Ukraine; we are fighting for the values of Europe and the world, sacrificing our lives in the name of the future.” And how American assistance was “helping not just Ukraine, but Europe and the world to keep the planet alive, to keep justice in history.”

Now, I’m almost 45 years old. Today my age stopped when the heart of more than 100 children stopped beating. I see no sense in life if it cannot stop the deaths. And this is my main mission as the leader of my people, brave Ukrainians, and as the leader of my nation, I’m addressing the President Biden. You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

There may be eight decades separating Churchill and Zelensky, but the words they speak, the ideals they espouse are as true in 2022 as they were in 1941.

They are the men that history remembers on the right side of the ledger.

Mr. Zelensky needs at a minimum, in addition to what’s already approved, anti-aircraft systems and the MiG fighter jets that Poland has offered. As of this writing Mr. Biden is still blocking both.

Send the systems Mr. Biden.  Release the Migs. Give Zelensky a fighting chance.

All your NATO “unity” summits mean nothing if what’s needed is not delivered.  If  Ukraine falls, it’s only a matter of time before NATO itself will be struck and Communist China moves on Taiwan.

After your Afghanistan debacle, history is giving you a second chance.  For God’s sake take it before it’s too late for all of us.

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