Zelensky Talks To Congress, Asks For More Aid

Zelensky Talks To Congress, Asks For More Aid

Zelensky Talks To Congress, Asks For More Aid

Volodymyr Zelensky certainly knew that he wasn’t going to get everything that he asked for during his Zoom call to Congress.

However, he had nothing to lose by asking, so he went for it. The president of Ukraine gave a speech via video to members of Congress, where he first received a standing ovation before beginning his address. He started the speech in Ukrainian, but then spoke in English at the end during his personal appeal to Joe Biden.

Switching from Ukrainian to English, he closed his remarks by addressing President Biden directly, urging him to “be the leader of peace.”

“I am addressing President Biden, you are the leader of the nation, your nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace,” Zelensky said.”

The problem for Zelensky is that Joe Biden isn’t so much a leader as a follower, and he’s going to go in whichever direction his administration flunkies pull him. That being said, the no-fly zone that Zelensky is asking for, while it sounds good at first blush, is a no-go for the United States and NATO.

And the American public, once they have the actual details of what a “no-fly zone” actually means, isn’t in favor of it either. Without Russia stepping over a line and attacking a NATO member country, the United States is not going to commit to military action. The one thing that Biden has actually been correct about is that our military involvement against Russia would indeed be “World War III.” Granted, it might be short-lived, given the condition of the Russian army, but it ends just as quickly if Putin pushes the nuclear button. Zelensky is right that his people are dying every single day – he invoked both Pearl Harbor (as an example of a surprise attack) and September 11th (as an example of civilians being attacked) – but if Putin detonates a nuke, odds are good that thousands of Ukrainians die instantly, and the country becomes unliveable. Again, one cannot fault Zelensky for asking. But the United States and NATO have every good reason for refusing to implement a no-fly zone.

That being said, Biden swung into action almost immediately after the speech to pledge even more money toward Ukraine.

Biden announced $800 million in new assistance for Ukraine, which, paired with $200 million authorized over the weekend, brings the total new aid for the country to $1 billion over the past week.”

The new aid will help provide 800 anti-aircraft systems to combat Russian planes; 9,000 anti-armor systems to help destroy Russian tanks and armored vehicles; 7,000 small arms such as machine guns and shotguns; and a total of 20 million rounds that includes artillery and mortar.”

“I want to be honest with you: this could be a long and difficult battle,” Biden said.”

“We are united in our abhorrence of Putin’s depraved onslaught, and we’re going to continue to have [Ukraine’s] backs as they fight for their freedom, their democracy, their very survival,” Biden added. “And we’re going to give Ukraine the arms to fight and defend themselves through all the difficult days ahead.”

Arms, but not MIG-29s, apparently, and Biden straight up ignored a question about the deal that he personally scuttled just last week. Seriously, what is the difference between an anti-aircraft system being used versus a MIG-29 being used? This is just a difference in semantics, isn’t it? Something feels very weird about the way Biden personally nixed the MIG-29 transfer, only to sign off on all this money and matériel now. Did Biden want personal credit for helping Ukraine out, so he said no to the hot potato transfer of military jets but yes to ONE BILLION DOLLARS (yes, use the Dr. Evil voice here) in aid, in front of the cameras? You make the call.

Zelensky is fighting for the life and independence of his country, so he’s going to ask for everything that he can in the hopes that he gets something. While it’s clear that Ukraine has won the social media war, it remains to be seen if they can get Russia to the point where they could get back to the status quo of before, but with some kind of guarantee that Putin doesn’t try to invade again. Zelensky has nothing to lose by appealing to NATO and the United States for all the help he can get. The problem is, he’s asking a weak Biden for help in a war that doesn’t need much provocation to trigger an escalation that no one really wants.

Featured image: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, official portrait, cropped, Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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  • Hate_me says:

    While I agree with NATO and Biden’s decision not to establish a no-fly zone, that it might catalyze WWIII…

    A funny trend in both WWI and WWII is that both wars, ultimately, needed to be fought and the free world needed America to fight them. In both cases, America hesitated – for very rational reasons. In both cases, when we finally resolved to take part, it was almost too late.

    The American (and at-large Western) public doesn’t have the resolve to undertake WWIII. The same in the buildup to both of its prequels. History suggests that, though understandable, that hesitancy was a bad move.

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