Tag Archives: Ukraine war

Again, put Putin on trial!

Russian war criminal and all-round nasty individual Vladimir Putin is showing the world — yet again! — why he needs to stand trial in the International Court for crimes against humanity.

Witness the Russians’ bombardment of an apartment complex in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. They are still digging bodies out of the rubble. I lost count of the number of civilians who died in the missile blast; last I heard it was about 30, including at least three children.

It’s good to ask: Why in the name of the rules of warfare do you target an apartment complex? It contains no military value. It is not a part of the country’s infrastructure. It contains housing for families.

Yet the Russians are continuing their assault on these so-called “soft targets” while waging a losing war against Ukraine.

They act on orders from the Kremlin. Who runs the government? Vladimir Putin!

There is plenty of precedent for putting a head of state on trial in absentia. Putin must stand trial for the crimes he is committing against humanity, as the world is witnessing during the Ukraine War.

Putin has been committing crimes ever since he sent his troops in to launch his illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainians have fought back heroically and have actually gained the battlefield advantage against the Russian aggressors.

That only has accelerated Putin’s desperation, resulting in the kinds of attacks that have leveled civilian targets … killing civilians, to boot!

This individual needs to stand trial for the crimes he is committing!


Politics goes topsy turvy

At almost every level imaginable, one can see evidence of our political world being turned upside down, topsy turvy, poked in the eye, ear and gut.

Let’s examine briefly one of those levels.

Imagine for a moment how Republicans a generation ago would have reacted to a Kremlin strongman deciding to invade a sovereign nation. Why, they would have jumped on their congressional desks and shouted at the top of their lungs that we need to do all we can to stop such naked aggression.

Not these days, man. Oh, no. We have a former president of the United States leading an amen chorus of cultists in standing up for the Russian invaders. Russians invaded Ukraine in February. The Ukrainians have fought valiantly and successfully against the aggressors.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to a joint congressional session, which greeted him as the hero he has become. Two right-wing radicals, Reps. Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz, sat on their hands while their colleagues stood and cheered Zelenskyy’s entrance into the chamber.

These two nimrods echo the belief of their own political hero, Donald Trump, who has called Russian hitman Vladimir Putin a “genius” for invading Ukraine; he also has lavished Putin with praise for being a “strong leader.” Oh, never mind that Putin derives his strength by intimidation and execution of those who disagree with his policies.

Imagine such acceptance of that criminality coming from, oh, Ronald Reagan, or Barry Goldwater.

It wouldn’t happen. Men such as them would never find a good word to heap on a trained killer.

Oh, boy, those conservatives today are singing an entirely different dirge. Disgusting …


Of course they clapped … Tucker

Tucker Carlson, the right-wing blowhard who — to the best of my knowledge has zero foreign policy experience — cannot understand why Congress stood in virtual unison and applauded the remarks delivered by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Why, it’s as if Congress has blinders on, said the Fox News gasbag.

Well, as an old guy with whom I once worked, would say, “Well hell, fire and save matches.” 

Of course Congress would stand virtually as one — a couple of right-wing soreheads notwithstanding — to applaud the heroic head of state who is facing the Russian invaders’ onslaught with courage and grit.

And … so damn what if he showed up in his customary olive-drab military wear? Carlson called it a demonstration of “maximum disrespect.” Bullsh**, Tucker! Did you bellow your disgust when independent U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema presided over the Senate wearing a sleeveless denim blouse? Of course not, you nimrod!

Congress wants to help defend a democratic state against an onslaught initiated by a war criminal presiding over the Kremlin. Is it expensive? Well … yeah! It is! No one doubts that the United States is paying a hefty price in sending defensive weapons to Ukraine to help fight the Russian invaders.

Tucker Carlson: Congress Disagrees On Everything Bitterly, But When Zelensky Comes They All Applaud | Video | RealClearPolitics

Moreover, the Ukrainians are putting that expense to good use as they have seized the initiative on the battlefield and have pushed the Russians out of territory they seized.

As for Congress “clapping like seals” at Zelenskyy’s appearance before the joint legislative body, let ’em applaud. The Ukrainian president has earned our admiration.


Sickening boorishness on display

Political boorishness is a remarkable trait to witness unfolding in real time, especially when it is aimed at a visiting head of state.

Consider what happened Wednesday night as most members of Congress stood and applauded the entry of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into the House chamber to speak to a joint session of Congress.

At least two Republican House members — members of should be called the MAGA Cult Cabal — chose to sit on their hands. I refer to Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Matt Gaetz of Florida.

Think for just a moment about the man they were snubbing. President Zelenskyy came to this country at considerable risk to his safety to speak to Americans about the struggle he is fighting against the illegal and immoral invasion of his country by Russian military forces.

He spoke to us from the podium in the House chamber in English. He offered his profound and heartfelt thanks for the support shown by President Biden and by members of both parties serving in the House and Senate. He told us the money we are spending for Ukrainian defense is “not charity,” but it is an “investment” in Ukraine’s struggle on behalf of democratic principles.

Not everyone is on board with that, obviously. Boebert and Gaetz represent a segment of Congress that prefers to attach strings to our aid to Ukraine. However, for these two nimrods to sit on their hands and not extend to a heroic head of state the courtesy of their applause is reprehensible on its face.

They sat there intending to make some sort of idiotic statement.

It is fair to wonder whether the likes of Boebert and Gaetz will ever condemn in loud voices the war crimes that are occurring in Ukraine as Russian thug Vladimir Putin orders his troops to fire on schools, hospitals and residential developments, inflicting casualties on women and children.

They remain silent on those events while demonstrating their boorishness in the presence of a hero.



‘Your money is not charity’

Almost with exception, great speeches produce phrases or sentences that those who hear them will remember and perhaps repeat in conversation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tonight delivered one of those great speeches.

In it he told a joint session of Congress and the nation that sends these lawmakers to serve there: “Your money is not charity. It is an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.”

And so, with that the Ukrainian president who is leading his nation in the fight for its life against Russian invaders delivered a statesmanlike rebuke against those in Congress who are resisting the effort to fund Ukraine’s courageous effort.

He spoke to a joint congressional session not in his native language, but in English. He spoke from his valiant heart and with the conviction of a man dedicated to standing against tyranny, just as his forebears — and ours, too — did eight decades ago in the struggle against Nazism.

Yes, this brave leader delivered a speech for the ages.


Yes, Putin is a war criminal

Emanuel Macron is sounding every bit like the world leader many observers contend he has become. I heard a demonstration of his forthrightness and strength the other day in a “60 Minutes” interview.

The French president said in response to a direct question about whether Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal.” Without flinching, blinking or pausing, Macron said “yes, he is a war criminal.” Putin’s crime, according to Macron? Putin is ordering the bombing of civilian targets in Ukraine.

There. Done deal. Putin, who launched the illegal invasion of Ukraine in February, has demonstrated beyond a doubt that he needs to go on trial for war crimes, said Macron.

Indeed, the French president is emerging as Europe’s most formidable leader. He took over that role when German Chancellor Angela Merkel vacated her office this year.

It’s no small feat that the European Union has held together stronger than ever in opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Or that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization stands as one against any threats that Russia might pose to any of its members.

I credit two people for that solidarity. One is President Joe Biden, who has summoned NATO to be firm against the Russians. Another is Emanuel Macron, who speaks with strength and resolve in condemning the Russian tyrant.

We need a strong Europe to stand against the Russian aggressors. Europe needs a strong United States to lend its own resolve to this fight.


Now … get Whelan home

President Biden made this key point abundantly clear, which is that Brittney Griner’s release was not a trade for the fate of another American being held unjustly by Russian captors.

Paul Whelan has been stewing in a Russian prison cell for four years, far longer than the nine months that the Russians held Griner captive.

Whelan’s family has been gracious in welcoming Griner home. Clearly, though, they are distressed that their loved one — a former Marine — remains in prison.

The Russians accused him of espionage in 2018. Joe Biden calls his imprisonment “unjust.” And it is. He was convicted in a Russian sham trial and sent away for a 25-year sentence.

Whelan needs to come home. Joe Biden vows to move heaven and Earth to make it happen. Indeed, it’s a tall order, given the state of U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of the Ukraine War and Russia’s immoral invasion of Ukraine.

We all want Whelan released. We all stand with him and every American being held unjustly. I am going to send every single good vibe and all the encouraging karma I can muster to ensure Whelan’s eventual release.


Welcome home, Brittney

Brittney Griner is set to have a Christmas to remember forever and ever, as she is headed home after serving nine months in a Russian prison … for bringing hashish oil into the country.

Big deal, you say? You bet it is!

Griner happens to be a first-rank celebrity. She is an accomplished basketball star, a Texas native and a woman who was being punished seemingly just for being an American while her nation was engaged in diplomatic warfare against Russia over the Ukraine War.

President Biden’s team reportedly negotiated a deal in a prisoner swap. The Russians get in return a convicted arms dealer named Viktor Bout, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence in this country.

It’s fair to ask: Is this a fair swap with individuals accused of similarly heinous crimes? On the surface, no. The Russians are getting more out of this deal than we are. On the other hand, we are bringing home a young woman who possesses considerable celebrity status.

It’s a big win for the White House.

Now, let’s look briefly at another angle. Another American, Paul Whelan, remains locked up in Russia. His family wanted him included in a Griner release deal. They are heartbroken that Whelan — arrested in 2018 on a phony spy charge — remains in prison. Perhaps now the White House can put the arm on Russians to set Whelan free as well.

Griner’s offense would be considered a misdemeanor in most civilized countries. Instead, she got a nine-year sentence in the slammer. Her family begged President Biden to do what he could to bring her home. The president has succeeded and for that he deserves high praise.

There’s more work to do, though. Paul Whelan and anyone else held without merit need to come home, too.

However, Brittney Griner is coming home to her family’s welcome embrace.

Merry Christmas, Brittney.


Yes! on this Person of Year


Time magazine gets pounded whenever it makes what many think is a dubious selection for its Person of the Year.

Not this time.

Indeed, the magazine hit it far out of the park by selecting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Spirit of the Ukrainians as its Person of the Year for 2022.

We know the story about Zelenskyy and about how he has stood up to the illegal, immoral and unjust invasion of his country by Russian military personnel under the command of the thug/goon/tyrant Vladimir Putin.

What many of us might not know has been the undying spirit of the people President Zelenskyy governs. Ukrainians across the country have rallied behind their leader. They have shown remarkable courage and resilience against the war crimes committed against them by Putin’s military machine.

We all considered the Russian army to be invincible. It damn sure isn’t! It has been routed on the battlefield by Ukrainian forces and by the Ukrainian civilians who have risen to resist the invaders.

The courage that Zelenskyy has shown will be written in history books as a shining example of statesmanship and unblinking courage.

Well done, Time. You chose wisely.


Put Putin on trial!

Vladimir Putin needs to be tried for war crimes against civilians in Ukraine … of that I am utterly certain.

The Russian goon/thug/strongman/despot/tyrant has stooped to even lower lows than I thought possible.

His military is now targeting heating infrastructure in Ukraine as the temperatures start to plummet to below-zero temperatures. Who suffers from such hideous attacks? Women, children, elderly people.

Russian propagandists insist they are targeting military operations. Bullsh**! Their aim is to bring the civilian population to its knees. It’s the only target left, given that the Ukrainian military machine is making mincemeat on the battlefield of what once was considered an invincible Russian army.

Putin is now turning his weaponry on civilians. Thus, he needs to stand trial. In absentia if need be.

There is plenty of precedent for putting war criminals on trial in absentia. The International Court needs to step in –and step up — to do its job by holding this Russian despot accountable for his obvious crimes against humanity.