It is important to remember many historical references regarding the Ukraine war. First, no flight zones, many Westerners desire NATO aircraft to establish a zone above Ukraine to stop Russian bombing. It is a horrible idea. Russian planes can still fire missiles from the airspace between Russia and Belarus.
This 12-year-old airlock was put over Iraq during the Gulf Wars. NATO also established a no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s and in Libya in 2011.
These efforts were directed towards Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, who are bloody but minor-time dictators. None had nuclear weapons. The air defenses were eventually destroyed. Many of their foes could use ground assault helicopters at low altitudes.
Despite being long-time wartime enemies of the United States, the United States has never tried to establish a no-fly area against nuclear Russia or China during the Cold War. A third party can enter the middle. There is no nation that would want to be there.
Next, is regime change. There has been much written about assassinating President Vladimir Putin to bring about regime change in Russia. Joe Biden is an example. The U.S. has had mixed results in this field, with the death of Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem and the assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Fidel Cuba also was a target.
Many of America’s Cold War-era forced expulsions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America failed to achieve U.S. long-term objectives or stability in the region.
Are dictators that are oppressive and evil able to take power from the peoples they serve in a chicken-and-egg fashion? Putin and the Soviet premiers. Russia’s strongmen after World War II. Western liberals slow to remove heads from states. Is Putin really going to try to undermine Western presidents?
Then, Nation-building, These idealists can also be called “neocolonialists”, or “imperialists”, depending on their political views. Americans believe that trillions could be spent abroad, but it is better to spend them at home. Let us take a look at Afghanistan’s 20-year-old mess.
Next, moral panic, the U.S. has a horrible record of turning wars into moral crusades and branding our enemies as satanic and our allies as divine. America made a mistake when it prohibited German language instruction during World War I. Japan was wrong not to have patriotic Japanese Americans and Japanese legal residents in World War II.
Russians have been portrayed as subhuman thugs by Americans since the 1950s. Volodymyr Zelskyy is the President of Ukraine. He has shown himself to be a brave and skilled leader. He does not have moral superiority over Russian tourists or pianists. Millions of Russians are living in poverty and have nothing to do with Putin’s misadventure in Ukraine.
That Ukraine is morally in the right and certainly deserves Western help does not mean that all Russians should be demonized or an often-corrupt Ukrainian government that just suspended its opposition parties should be deified.
Finally, Russia’s military outpost, dispersed Russian expeditionary arms have had to fight against determined foes in major invasions. Moscow was humiliated and completely defeated during the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905. Russia lost 1919-1921. Stalin’s 1939 invasion of small Finland was a quick and bloody disaster. Afghanistan’s decade-long occupation resulted in defeat.
History has proven, Ukraine can defeat Putin’s expeditionary army if the U.S. and its NATO allies increase aid, do not embrace no-fly zones or other provocative trajectories to World War III, cease crazy talk of killing or removing Putin, stop whipping up hatred of all things Russian, and remember that history was never on Putin’s side when he invaded Ukraine.