Each news days begins and ends with [The] Ukraine.  We consult the Times, Wash Post, NPR and other relatively reliable sources throughout to follow the ongoing war criminality and resistance. As we said in HL 151, one day before Russia invaded (“Volodymyr Zelensky 2022 is Haile Selassie 1936”) this atrocity presents classic liberals with numerous historical, ethical and pragmatic mindbenders, only some mentioned in that previous post.
Although one pathetic and irrelevant Putin excuse for these crimes against humanity is that Ukraine really is part of Mother Russia, we admit that in America until recently it was “The Ukraine” unbracketed, whose main city Kiev and its “Great Gate” evoked Russian master Mussorgsky and butter gushing out of chicken at one’s favorite Russian restaurant. Chernobyl was considered a Russian disaster and crime against her people.
That earlier post previewed, but only scratched the surface of, this Jewish liberal’s cognitive dissonance concerning America’s and our own responsibility to support Ukraine. Weighing heavily are the centuries of Ukrainian anti-Semitic atrocities culminating in enthusiastic local support and participation in Babi Yar, which French Cleric, Patrick Desbois, called the “Holocaust by Bullets.”
Still in mind is the decades long effort to unmask and deport Ukrainian emigré, Ivan (John) Demjanjuk and his eventual conviction by Germany as an accessory to 28,000 murders of Jews and Roma at the Sobibor extermination camp. And the consistent assertion that all THAT has changed because Zelensky, Ukraine’s President, is a Jew. Reminding us of the equally ignorant assertion that on November 4, 2008, America entered a post-racial era.
As bigger and more numerous craven crimes are daily revealed, we uncomfortably are confronted by the tenacity and bravery of Ukrainians and our responsibility to them and ourselves. Their courage stands out and is unsurpassed in this long life’s memory. With the surrounded and outnumbered Israelis of 1948 presenting both a rough equivalent and a monumental paradox for reasons mentioned above. But Ukrainian bravery conforms to a set of rules and norms substantially abandoned in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe and indeed in Israel. By and large men become fighting soldiers while women no less courageously protect their young and Ukraine’s future. “G.I. Jane” apparently resonates as little in Ukraine as at the recent Oscars.
Finally, the constantly debated big one, concerning when, if ever, we send planes, establish a no-fly zone and deploy troops. Virtually every night at 10:00 pm Eastern MSNBC tells us it’s “unthinkable” because it risks the other big one. And then a little voice, but with steadily increasing volume, asks “really, no matter what the Russians do, no matter how many Ukrainian civilians are murdered with cluster munitions or while bound.” At what point do we remember how often we’ve said, “Never again” and realize “again” is happening now and risk our own lives rather than watch the murder of Ukrainian sisters and brothers ?
 Credit and apologies to T.J. “Red” Arnall who composed “Cocaine Blues” and Dave Van Ronk whose specific lyrics are adapted here. Classic liberals believe in and uphold intellectual property rights.
Well written as always, Lloyd. “Never again” seems to be quite empty words. Putin needs to be stopped.