Ukraine On My Mind – One Year Later

One year ago this week, Russia invaded Ukraine. The Russians thought it would be a walk in the park and that Ukraine would just fall to them in a week. But in one day, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky changed that plan forever with these words:

First, outside the Ukrainian parliament in a direct address to Russian dictator Putin:

“When you come for us, you will not see our backs as we run. You will see our faces as we stand and fight.”

Second, later that day to the President of the United States:

“I don’t need a ride. I need ammunition. The fight is here.”

You see, Russia was counting on the Ukrainian government to flee into exile and for the country to collapse without any leadership. It was the same thing Hitler was counting on in 1940 when he began to bomb the living shit out Great Britain. Instead, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: “We will fight them on the beaches, and we will fight them in the streets.” Basically, Churchill and Zelensky were saying you’re going to have kill every damn one of us to take our country, but we’ll be sure to take as many of you with us.

Putin hasn’t capitulated yet, or fallen out of a window (like his critics seem to die accidentally from). But eventually Hitler was defeated and old Vladdy will go down too though I’d love to see him hanging from a scaffold in Red Square in Moscow. In the meantime, the Free World isn’t making the same mistakes as they did since the end of World War Two. This time they’re arming the Ukrainians with the latest and greatest in high-tech weaponry and providing real-time intelligence. Ukrainian membership in NATO and the European Union is being fast-tracked after years of both organizations being assholes and dragging their feet on a country that NEEDS to be in both organizations.

What’s really firing me up after a year is all the Russian propaganda being spewed out here on right-wing media like Fox News and other outlets. Let me break down a few of those lies for anyone who watches that fucking garbage:

Ukraine is led by a secret Nazi: No, they’re led by a Jew whose grandfather fought Nazis and comes from a long line of warriors.

There is no real-time reporting from Ukraine and what is being shown is all staged: DON’T BELIEVE THIS FALSE-FLAG BULLSHIT LIKE YOU BELIEVE THAT ABOUT SCHOOL SHOOTINGS HERE! I put that in all-caps because that false-flag, fake-news shit is like murdering people all over again.

Ukraine wants to be a part of Russia: No, they’ve been resisting Russian and formerly Soviet occupation for over a century. They’ve been starved to death, massacred, and oppressed by Russians so trust me, Russia hasn’t done a damn thing to be good to the Ukrainian people.

Oh, and this bullshit about how Ukraine needs to negotiate with Russia, here’s how to end the war:

Russian immediately ceases all hostilities and withdraws all troops out of Ukraine.

Russian returns all Ukrainian citizens taken prisoner.

Russia cooperates with war crimes investigators and turns over perpetrators to the World Criminal Court in The Hague for prosecution.

Russian pays reparations for damages to Ukraine.

Russian publicly accepts Ukraine as a sovereign nation and does NOT interfere in Ukrainian affairs or decisions in any way, shape, or form.

Now, Ukraine owes Russia NOTHING for this war. This war is all Russia’s fault and they’re the ones who must withdraw and surrender.

What angers me the most right now about this is elected members of the United States Congress spout Russian propaganda on a daily basis. To me, these members of Congress, all of whom are in the Republican Party, are Russian assets and traitors to the United States of America and the rest of the free world. I think in years to come when we find out how badly the Republican Party has been compromised, even extremely-jaded and cynical people like me will be shocked.

Most of all, too many people are silent in the face of all this. They might be thinking about it or working through the cognitive dissonance (here’s a link to a definition of that if you don’t know what that means). To those of you reading this who are ‘thinking’ through those Russian propaganda talking points, to quote my late father in all his rude and crude glory: shit or get off the pot.

And in the end, maybe somebody will push the big red button and blow us all to Kingdom Come. But my generation, (Generation X) has been living in the shadow of the mushroom cloud as the band Queen called nuclear destruction in their song, ‘Hammer to Fall’ like my parents’ generation did. But since 1945, cooler heads have prevailed and so many have saved the world whose names we’ll never know. So don’t talk about that nuclear-war bullshit to someone like me if you’re still trying to weasel out over going to the Russian side and thinking you can get away with lying about it.

Finally, in the worlds of the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island to the Russian warship that told them to surrender:

“Russian warship, go fuck yourself!”


Ukraine On My Mind

Last week I wrote about the heroes of Ukraine but this week, those heroes are just fighting to survive. Over a million Ukrainians have fled creating the worst refugee crisis in Europe this century so far and more are fleeing every day. Thousands are returning to fight and save others and the pressure is on the Russians economically. But things will get so much worse before they get better because it seems the Russian strategy is to bomb as much of Ukraine into rubble like they did in Chechnya and Aleppo in Syria and then murder as many fleeing civilians as possible, all while trying to create false narratives such as the latest one that Ukraine was secretly developing nuclear and biological weapons (which isn’t true at all).

What I’m fighting like hell right now to contain is my rage at the conservative Republican establishment in this country who spent the last five years praising the butcher that is Vladimir Putin and his corrupt and extremely poor Russian Federation. To these motherfuckers, Russia is an idealistic utopia with no people of color, gays and lesbians, and transgendered people to live with, and no Jews, Muslims, or anyone not of the state-approved Russian Orthodox faith.

Over the last twenty-two years since Vladimir Putin came to power over a trillion (yes that is trillion with a ‘t’) dollars has been taken from the Russian people and stashed in banks, yachts, real estate, and in lawmakers and organizations to de-stabilize and take down the free world. And over these past years, there are people who have said this was all fake news, or paranoia, or that why shouldn’t Russian oligarchs get rich off the backs of poor working-class Russians?

I’m fighting like hell not to scream and rage at Republicans and conservatives who are speaking out against Putin now and trying to support the Ukrainian people. I’m trying not to scream and rage at them that Trump was impeached the first time for unlawfully withholding military aid to Ukraine. I’m trying not to scream and rage at them for their silence on this.

Over the years of my adult life I’ve heard this bullshit-saying that people tend to get conservative as they get older. I call bullshit on that because I’ve never been conservative to begin with, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve worked to embrace the idea that the best time to do something is NOW. Because all my life I’ve heard that sometimes you have to wait to make real changes. That’s a bullshit diversion tactic by gutless cowards who shouldn’t be able to make any real decisions because they have no conviction or courage to begin with.

Because over the last six years, in addition to trying to figure out just how fucked up I am mentally and emotionally and what I could do to repair as much damage as I can, I also really dug into my political and ideological beliefs. And I realized the side I chose as a child, the liberal, progressive, democratic side was the right one. I just wished I hadn’t given in to silence on that but the best time to break that silence is now.

I’m going to be completely honest here and say I’m worried when I speak out like this with all my colorful language that I’m just further alienating myself from people. But then I tell myself I’ve been alienated and alone all my life, and maybe the course of my life is to be the traveling old lady telling stories and always alone. I say this because when I write like this, I’m showing the world I will not compartmentalize my emotions, especially my compassion and empathy. I will not part-and-parcel them out only to a few people. I fight with every ounce of strength I have not to embrace the lure of rage-turned-hate. When I feel that lure I respond simply with: ask yourself why you think and feel the way you and keep asking until you find all the answers you can though I will warn you, you might not like the answers you find, and you will have to deal with them sooner or later. Because I have not stopped asking myself the same thing and I never will. I will never have all the answers, but neither will anyone else.

The fires of the ‘culture wars’ against black and brown people, Jews and Muslims, lesbians/gays/transgendered people have all been complete and utter fucking bullshit. They’ve been used by the oligarchs of the world to steal and drive millions of people into poverty, and into mass graves from poverty and disease. In the United States alone, next month a million people will have died from COVID-19 and many of those deaths (250,000 at the latest estimate) could have been prevented had there not been opposition to public health guidelines such as mask-wearing and vaccines.

The people of Ukraine are taking a stand against a country that has been trying to subjugate and take them over for the last century. Whether or not they will succeed remains to be seen. This could devolve into a guerilla war, or a proxy-war between the West and the Russian Federation. Or it could all end a blinding flash of light under a mushroom cloud.

At this point I say all you can do is take it day by day. I get up now and check the news and for the last eleven days the city of Kyiv still stands free. I see President Zelensky is still alive. But I also see the dead, the burned-out ruins of cities, the masses of refugees and my heart aches. That ache hurts but it reminds me time and again that I’m human, and that ache is pain, and compassion, and empathy. And I will fight with every ounce of strength and courage not only to feel those emotions, but to speak out with them, too. “Slava Ukraini!” (Glory to Ukraine!) 

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