We’re in the fourth week of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russians. Slavic nation against Slavic nation, bloodlines fighting to the death over the rich fertile plains of Ukraine, that provide along with Russia, one-third of the world grain products.
The major wars fought on earth’s vast domain have been over land and religion. This latest conflict appears to be over land and Putin’s vision of restoring and resurrecting the old USSR empire.
It has been over three decades since Ukraine split away from “Mother Russia” and established as a separate democratic country. Putin misjudged that some of the population would not like to return to his communist regime. It was reported that some of the Russian soldiers in the war were instructed to take their dress uniforms and that they would be welcomed as liberators and heroes.
Instead, they were met with javelin and stinger anti-tank weapons.
The red army doesn’t appear to be the tough, rugged, hardened troops that defended Stalingrad and defeated some of Germany’s best SS troops who perished on harsh Russian soil.
The Romans, Persians, Mongols, Egyptians, British, Japanese, a lengthy list of empires and rulers, attempted to take more land by warfare and military invasions. Some were successful and changed world boundaries forever. Early day Americans took land away from the Indian tribes and put them on reservations.
Germany wanted to dominate Europe, and had they invaded England, rather than Russia, the UK might be producing Volkswagens and better beer. Where would Hitler have stopped?
But it was not Hitler invading Poland that brought the U.S. into World War ll, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. President Roosevelt proclaimed on Dec. 7, 1941, “Today is a day that will live in infamy.” The United States entered the war against Japan and Germany shortly thereafter. Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the death of 2403 military personnel, America was sending military supplies to England and had not entered the war somewhat similar to the present-day Ukraine conflict.
President Roosevelt, and the nation’s leadership, became fearful of the Japanese, many born in America, and forced 120,000 Japanese/American citizens into 10 concentration camps across America. One of the camps, “Ameche” located at Grenada, East of Pueblo in the Arkansas Valley, became home to 7,300 Japanese internees. A total of 10,000 Japanese passed through Ameche. This past year the camp was designated as a National Monument site and will be preserved into history as a reminder of the harsh treatment of Japanese citizens and how hysteria can grip a nation. Our Japanese citizens were innocent, but death and destruction of American lives and the threat of a possible Japanese invasion invoked the action at that moment in history.
Governments, when challenged, can do stringent things and invoke certain emergency powers that may be right at the time, but looking back into history may seem arbitrary by modern-day thoughts.
The proposal to rename Mt. Evans, because Gov. Evans was governor at the time of the Sand Creek Massacre of Indians, is an example of rewriting history from then, to now.
Recently, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau crushed the trucking impasse in Ontario by seizing the trucks, closing their bank accounts, and seeking retribution from donors to the peaceful trucker protests.
Currently, any Russian Oligarchs who owns property in the United States, and world locations, are having their yachts, jets, estates, and a world-class soccer franchise, all seized because they have alleged contact with Russia. Going back in history 30 years, only 13 percent of the old USSR was dominated by the Communist elite, who divided up much of the Soviet wealth when the USSR dissolved. Some stayed in the newly formed government while others departed over time, investing their wealth worldwide, including New York, London, and even Aspen real estate.
What right does government have to seize private property at will anywhere in the free world when not at war? If a war breaks out with Russia, are we going to round up millions of Russian/Americans and reopen Ameche?
It is repulsive to see peaceful dissident truck drivers have their trucks and bank accounts seized. It is repugnant to see any foreigner’s property seized in the United States over a political driven civil war or uprising around the world. Many middle east investors own property in the United States. It is reported that China owns thousands of acres of agriculture land in our farm belts, along with some of our meat processing firms. If they invade Taiwan and we seize Chinese-owned U.S. land and properties will they, in turn, seize U.S. investments in China like the new Tesla factory?
Emergency powers in war time may reach extremes, but so far the United States has bolstered military aid to Ukraine while attempting to stay out of a major war with Russia. I give credit to President Biden and the Pentagon for not putting boots on the ground and “no fly” air support and delivery of jet planes from NATO countries. The conflict is so painful to watch and endure for all Americans and the civilized world. We can only pray for a peaceful treaty to come to end this conflict before a larger conflict explodes.
Ukraine fighters have captured the hearts of Americans and we want them to maintain their democracy and freedoms. Many local Russian/Americans are appalled at what President Putin has done to their Russian reputation and image. There is a message to heed; the Russian public would not support this war if they had transparency in their media. We still enjoy freedom of the press and we must never lose that constitutional privilege.
Putin may find the old proverb, “If you live by the sword, you may die by the sword.”