It's sort of a weird feeling for me, wishing the United States would get more involved in a war after being opposed to the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan (I supported the initial push to get Bin Laden, but not the twenty years in Afghanistan afterward).
However, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has pushed a warmonger button in my psyche.
It's been infuriating to watch Putin's army bomb residential areas in Ukraine that have no military significance. I feel for the million or so Ukrainians who have fled their country after the Russian aggression. My heart aches to watch the brave Ukrainian fighters gradually get worn down by far superior Russian firepower.
Yes, it's wonderful that the United States and our European allies have been supplying Ukraine with much-needed military equipment, such as Javelin anti-tank and Stinger ground to air missiles. This isn't enough, though.
Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have been begging for MiG fighter jets from NATO countries that Ukraine's pilots are familiar with and could fly immediately. So far they haven't gotten any, apparently because the countries that could supply them are worried that Putin will retaliate.
I understand why many believe the no-fly zone being pushed by Ukraine isn't a good idea. If the United States were to enforce a no-fly zone, we'd have to shoot down Russian planes violating the zone. That could lead to a war between two nuclear powers -- not a good thing.
However, a Reuters poll conducted the past two days found that about three-fourths of Americans support a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - A broad bipartisan majority of Americans think the United States should stop buying Russian oil and gas and work with NATO to set up "no-fly zones" to protect Ukraine from Russian air strikes, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Friday.
The poll, conducted Thursday and Friday, suggests that U.S. outrage is growing over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which in recent days has increasingly involved Russian bombing of urban areas.
That puts pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden to take more aggressive actions against Moscow, although he has dismissed the notion of no-fly zones because of the risk of open conflict between NATO and Russian forces.
It was not clear if respondents who supported a no-fly zone were fully aware of the risk of conflict, and majorities opposed the idea of sending American troops to Ukraine or conducting air strikes to support the Ukrainian army.
Some 74% of Americans - including solid majorities of Republicans and Democrats - said the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine, the poll found.
An equally bipartisan 80% of Americans said the United States should stop buying Russian oil. The White House on Friday said it was weighing cuts to U.S. imports of Russian oil, though it is proceeding cautiously, concerned about a spike in gasoline prices that would add to high inflation.
Moreover, 81% of Americans think Washington should impose additional sanctions on Russia, up from 77% in a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday. Support for more sanctions was also bipartisan.
Some 77% of respondents said the United States should seize the assets of Russian oligarchs associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
That's encouraging. Now President Biden has to put additional pressure on Putin to stop his war on the Ukrainian people.
There's got to be steps in between what we're doing now and full-out war with Russia. It irks me that Belarus is openly fighting on the side of Russia, but supposedly if any NATO country fought on the side of Ukraine that would be a horrible provocation.
As if Putin responds to anything except brute force. Putin likes to scare other nations with a threat to use his nuclear arsenal, but there's no evidence that Putin has a death wish -- for himself personally or for Russia. He's not going to start a nuclear war.
Putin got away with sending his Little Green Men, thinly disguised Russian soldiers, into Crimea in 2014. That led to him taking over that part of Ukraine. It sure seems like the United States or other NATO countries would be justified in sending Special Forces into Ukraine to aid in the fight against the Russian invasion.
Or, today I heard retired Colonel Alexander Vindman speak about how the NATO countries should set up massive staging areas for weapons needed by Ukraine just over the border of that country. He thought that large amounts of offensive weapons such as tanks and drones needed to be sent to Ukraine.
If Russia succeeds in taking over Ukraine and installing a puppet government, then the priority would shift to supporting an insurgency in that country, as we did in Afghanistan after the Russians invaded that county.
So, yeah, I'm becoming a war hawk to a much greater degree than I could have imagined before Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Given the Reuters poll, it looks like I have a lot of company among both conservatives and progressives.
There's no way I'm going to thank Putin for anything. But he has succeeded in bringing our country, and the world, together on supporting the Ukrainian people against his aggression.