The fight for Ukraine is a fight for the ideas of the west: democracy, and the freedom of speech and of religion.
We at InsiderNJ stand in solidarity with the brave men and women of Ukraine as they demonstrate to the world how to stand up in defiance of tyranny, ignorance, and the brutal repression of an evil dictator.
We applaud President Joe Biden for showing leadership in standing with NATO and working with our western allies to end this brutal act. We call on Democrats and Republicans, riven into opposing camps, to come together as one in the name of a free democratic society
We commend our New Jersey leadership, including that shown by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), who used unsparing, blunt and words to condemn the dictator’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Vladimir Putin and his leadership are waging a deadly war against Ukraine and its people,” said Pascrell. “They must feel acute pain for their crimes and the horrors they are causing. Seize their estates. Impound their yachts. Auction their possessions. Topple their stock market. Embargo their fuel. Kick their kids out of our colleges. Vladimir Putin may be one of the richest men on earth with billions he has looted from his people: grab every penny of it that can be grabbed.
“The United States must lead the world community. President Biden’s leadership in working with our European, G7, and NATO allies has allowed for these tough multilateral actions. And our allies must continue to join us in accepting the weight of further measures. Certainly there will be some pain and sacrifice for the greater good of freedom, democracy, and the world community.”
We back U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in his assessment of the defense of Ukraine and the urgent needs now of that besieged country.
“Vladimir Putin clearly underestimated the courage and resolve of the Ukrainian people who are mounting a brave and impressive defense, and he has also miscalculated the strength of transatlantic unity,” said Menendez.
“… I strongly support the administration’s announcement to provide another $350 million in security assistance for Ukraine. Since the beginning of the Biden administration, the United States has approved more than $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine. We must move quickly to rapidly deploy additional lethal weapons, ammunition, and body armor for Ukraine to defend itself against Putin’s illegal and unjustified invasion.”
We see this as a moment of renewal for the west, of recommitment out of the corroded and misguided detours of our own neglect to those principles at the core of the cause of America.
My generation came of age with the example of WWII men and women of sacrifice who stopped the march of Nazism across Europe, and passed to us a country of pride and honor. I remember as a child in Philadelphia, first seeing John F. Kennedy, one of those Americans who stood up to tyranny. He inspired me with the renewed hard and noble vision of our country.
The Cuban-Missile Crisis tested President Kennedy, America, and leadership in the West, and with his leadership we responded, turning the world away from a course of nuclear destruction though intensive diplomacy and negotiation with the enemy.
As the courageous people of Ukraine show us again in stark terms the preciousness of this sacred compact, we insist that our leaders follow through on securing – through politics and diplomacy, exhausting these tools even now – an end to this grievous mistake made by Putin. We must support our leaders – and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – as they undertake this cause, in the spirit not only of Kennedy, but our founders, and we must prepare – like those hard minded and courageous men and women before us – for the possibility of failure and – God forbid – for greater sacrifice in the name of protecting not just Ukraine, but our own sacred compact.
On Friday, Ukrainians braced for a difficult night, a day after President Biden announced new sanctions imposed by the West, not only on Russia, but on individuals in Belarus, including the country’s defense minister, for that country’s role in facilitating the Russian attack.
“It’s not enough,” Father Orest Kunderevych, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Manville said. “It’s not enough.”
He decried the power sharing among Russia, the United States and England, which enables these major powers to protect themselves, leaving Ukraine to largely fend for itself.
“People in the West don’t understand that Putin was a KGB guy,” Pastor Kunderevych said. “They don’t understand that this is not democracy. This is someone who has built his system over a 20 year period with the goal of recreating the Soviet Union. It’s really a dictator, and right now Ukraine fights alone against the second biggest army in the world after NATO. It’s very hard for people to understand that we are alone with the Russians.”
Ukraine is not alone.
Ukraine cannot be alone.
We will not let it be so.
There is more to do, far more.
They are fighting the same fight we have fought from the start, and we are with them, and we will bring all our economic and political might to bear in support of President Zelensky’s talks with the Russians– ever keen to the threats posed by the possibility of two world nuclear powers pointed at each other – and prepare to defend ourselves – like those before us – to the death.
We will not shirk our duty as Americans, and the fight for freedom in Ukraine and everywhere.
John Graham is the publisher of InsiderNJ.