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Media Steps Up Americans' Guilt Trip About Ukraine

Applying pressure for the $61 billion aid package. But mum on peace talks.

Ever since the wily leaders of the United States Senate - Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell - passed the $61 billion Ukraine aid bill, and Speaker Johnson stalled its progress in the House, the Left and media have been relentlessly taking Americans on a guilt trip. 

A guilt trip causes people to feel responsible for changing their behavior or taking a specific action. Because guilt can be such a powerful motivator of human behavior, people can wield it as a tool to change how others think, feel, and behave. President Zelenskyy is the absolute master of making Americans wilt in shame by taking us on his never-ending guilt trip. 

Zelenskyy and his supporters in America's Military Industrial Complex have used various guilt trip arguments for continued American support. Ukrainians are fighting for democracy and the restoration of the international world order. Ukrainians are losing their lives and limbs protecting democracy against a tyrant - and are not asking for any contribution of American blood. Ukrainians are fighting NATO's future war against a maniac so that the war doesn't ever expand to NATO countries or come to America's shores. Aid to Ukraine is spent in America to build America's industrial capacity, create jobs, and strengthen supply chains. So, what is wrong with Americans who are reluctant to support Ukraine? 

Not a single day passes without an article in the major newspapers about how America's failure to pass the aid bill is directly threatening Ukraine. The Editorial Board of the New York Times was at it again on Saturday with the catchy title: Help Ukraine Hold the Line. It quoted Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, when he visited Washington last month. "This is not some political skirmish that only matters here in America." The speaker's decision "will really cost thousands of lives there — children, women. He must be aware of his personal responsibility."

Wouldn't more intense fighting cost the lives of soldiers and allied personnel? If saving lives is the goal, shouldn't we all be advocating for peace? 

But such reasonable logic has fallen on deaf ears, even on those of Speaker Johnson, who finally capitulated and indicated that he would hold a vote in the House after all. Expect the Ukraine aid bill to pass with cosmetic concessions, such as permission to develop an oil and natural gas terminal in Louisiana. Sen. Robert Byrd, the erstwhile king of pork, would be laughing at Johnson from his grave for not extracting more concessions, such as a brand new federal agency building in Baton Rouge. How incredibly inefficient!

Media reports tell us that the Ukrainian situation is dire. Soldiers have been bravely fighting in the theater for two years non-stop, with no rotation or rest. Fatigue, illness, frustration at being away from home for extended periods, and a dwindling strength of the fighting forces as soldiers die or are wounded would all make any nation go to the peace table. Ukraine made no progress during its summer counter-offensive last year and has actually lost territory since. 

Worse, Ukraine is having issues far from the fighting front. The commanding general was replaced, presumably for failing in the counter-offensive. And it is woefully short on offensive weapons, conceding that its dwindling supply may force Ukraine to retreat further to give the Russians even more territory. According to the New York Times, Russia is now firing at least five times as many artillery rounds as Ukraine. Russia continues to enjoy an advantage in terms of the number of soldiers and the sophistication of its weaponry. 

Ukraine has postponed its elections indefinitely, so we do not know how Ukrainians on the street feel about the war. Opinion polls are notoriously inaccurate when a country is at war and are never a substitute for people pulling the lever in a voting booth. This week, Zelenskyy signed an extremely unpopular and controversial law that lowered the conscription age from 27 to 25 at the urging of Sen. Lindsey Graham. The law is expected to close loopholes to prevent Ukrainians from avoiding the draft. 

Of course, just because people vote a certain way does not mean their wishes are fulfilled by those elected. President Nixon, desperate to win office in 1968 after being defeated by JFK in 1960, promised Americans that he would end the Vietnam War if elected - but he didn’t. The war dragged on for five long years as Nixon escalated the conflict secretly. It was not until January 27, 1973, during Nixon's second term, that the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam signed a peace agreement that enabled the United States to withdraw from the war and welcome American soldiers and prisoners of war back home. Neither of the Vietnamese parties abided by the settlement, however, and the war continued until 1975.

America and the West don't have much to show for prosecuting a war in Ukraine that could have ended two years ago when warring sides met in Istanbul to discuss peace. After nearly $200 billion in arms shipments, training, logistics, and strategic support, Russia continues to advance in Ukraine. According to the Harvard Kennedy School's Russia-Ukraine War Report Card in December 2023, Russia occupied about 20% of Ukraine, nearly 9,000 square miles more than before the Feb 2022 invasion. 

Reasonable Americans ask: What will the extra $61 billion do that the first $200 billion didn't? Shouldn't we enter peace talks before Ukraine loses even more territory and people? 

Zelenskyy's supporters' unreasonable response would be to trigger one of the many canned guilt trip narratives. This strategy has been highly effective for two years, and they hope it will continue to work in the future.

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