We had a saying when I was younger: “I would rather be dead than Red.”
Sure, this was back in the Cold War days, but we didn’t like the Russians. In fact, we would rather be dead than be a Russian.
Yes, it sounds a bit goofy now, but we took our hatred of all thing Commie very seriously. That is why I can’t understand anyone not absolutely horrified by the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.
If you have watched the news, you have seen the shelling of Kyiv and the killing of countless innocent civilians. Hit squads are also reported to be after the Ukrainian president. We must use plain language here: Putin is a vile human being. He is a threat to the stability in the region and is not now and has never been a friend to the U.S.
He is a murderous thug. He is not our friend. He is not a good guy or a smart guy.
While the former president tried to play nice with Putin, it really meant nothing. Putin doesn’t play nice. It is not who he is as a leader or a person.
Russia has not been our ally in my lifetime. The last time we were on the same side was WWII, and that ended when the war did.
Putin is a bully, and he needs to be dealt with and treated as such. I am glad to see not only our country, but others placing strong sanctions on Russia for this action. It is and will hurt. Will it make the difference? Only time will tell. But we cannot sit by and do nothing.
Some people say, well, it is just the Ukraine. Yes, Ukraine has had a closer relationship with Russia in the past. But that is the past. Ukraine is a developing country and has an elected president who has proven himself to be a man of courage in the face of overwhelming odds. This is the kind of country that the U.S. has long supported and helped. A fledgling democracy next to Russia is a good thing.
But Putin, being a man who only seems to understand aggression, won’t stand for that. He has also already threatened our allies in Sweden and Norway. History shows us that madmen like Putin don’t stop once they get forward momentum.
What does all of this mean? We will see as it unfolds. As I write this the attacks continue, so I have no idea where things will be even a few days from now. I do think people talking about another world war are overreacting … for now.
But the Ukraine does and should matter. And we should not shrug our shoulders about this and ignore it. Seeing the outpouring of support around the world has been great, but it ultimately won’t stop the killing.
And that is what we need to focus on. A country is being invaded by a neighbor with a vastly superior force. Civilians are being wiped out and families are taking up arms to try and beat back the invaders.
Maybe the Russian people don’t want this, but their leader is doing it anyway, even after he said he wasn’t going to do it.
So yes, I would rather be dead than Red is Cold War saying, but it still fits.