Ukraine Foolishness

Frank S. Robinson
4 min readMay 11


May 11, 2023

This is the biggest foreign affairs crisis of my post-WWII lifetime. Shattering a world order which had seemingly eliminated the age-old curse of major power wars.

Some “peace advocates” deem America and its Western allies blameworthy for the carnage, saying we should stop fueling it by supplying arms. They’re full of moralism but devoid of moral sense. Really urging that Russian aggression be allowed to succeed. Would such reward for war-making somehow make a less warlike world?

These fools also parrot Putin in blaming us for this war because we pushed NATO in Russia’s face, threatening its security. But NATO was never conceived to threaten Russia — rather, to defend against it. Had Russia been no threat to its neighbors in the first place, none would need NATO for their security. And the monstrous attack on Ukraine proves those fears of Russia were justified.

President Biden has done a great job rallying our allies against this Russian crime. Were Obama — or Trump — still in office, Ukraine would be a goner by now. Encouraging China to invade Taiwan. Which would really wreck the world as we’ve known it, something we must do everything possible to prevent. Russia’s defeat in Ukraine would help to deter China.

Russia has already gotten a bloody nose, suffering immense losses in men and equipment. Its incompetence reflecting the literally insane delusionality that prompted the invasion — vainglorious preening of Russia’s supposed greatness; believing Ukraine and Ukrainians are not a real nation or people; that they’re somehow “Nazis;” and the fiction of Russia’s “security” somehow threatened by America and the West.

In contrast, Ukraine has done itself proud. Yet for all Russia’s battlefield losses, it can still deploy far more men and weaponry. In a long war of attrition, Ukraine will run out before Russia.

That mustn’t be permitted. To those fools who say we’re prolonging the war, the answer is not to quit it but to win it. We may indeed be prolonging the agony by still holding back from a full commitment.

So while I applaud what Biden’s done, it’s not enough, a squeamish drip-drip-drip of military help. In particular holding back on F-16 fighter planes. Ukraine has so far managed to keep Russia from gaining control of her skies, but has by now lost almost half the aircraft it started with. Russia has way more planes. We have around a thousand F-16s. Over decades we’ve spent many trillions building up our military. What is it all for, if not NOW? When our national interest, and the whole world’s, is critically at stake.

Another red line is barring Ukraine from using our weapons to hit inside Russia itself. Why such impunity? When you start a war, you yourself may get hurt. No?

Obviously, there’s fear of escalation, of provoking Russia, of a wider conflict. But I keep asking: what could Russia do that it’s not already doing? If anything, their military capability has now been much reduced. Going nuclear would be vastly self-harming, with no actual military gain. Not even Putin is that crazy.

In a recent zoom briefing, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine expert, suggested that the Biden administration imagines this war is an aberrational event, a blip really in a bigger picture. That we can still revert to some sort of normal relationship with Russia. And this fantasy inhibits our giving Ukraine F-16s and other military aid sufficient for victory.

There are three possibilities: Russia’s victory; Russia’s rout; or prolonged agony. Assuming the first and third are undesirable, we must bite the bullet to achieve the second. Better sooner than later.

And as Vindman said, we can have no “normal” relationship with Russia as long as Putin holds power. I would add that the idea of his regime’s replacement by something more benign is also a fantasy. More likely it would be the opposite.

A lesson I’ve been learning, from modern observation, is that things get worse. Evil has a certain momentum. People get more extreme. And even when you think a bottom’s been reached, there’s probably still farther to go. (Look at the Republican party.)

I’m still an optimist believing that human rationality will ultimately prevail. I just wish it would hurry up.