By Joe Rector

“If the film were black and white, we couldn’t tell the difference between it and those from World War II.” That’s a comment from a person who is familiar with both wars. We old folks never thought another conventional war would occur after the slaughter and destruction of the battles from the 20th century.

What makes this war so alarming is the constant streaming of it on many stations. From the time we rise to the time we hit the hay, cable stations bombard us with stories, videos, and commentary of every moment of it. However, none of us should turn from the screen because the sights are too graphic. The young, especially, should see what happens when a madman leading a country decides to set his army against citizens, as well as armed forces.

Other countries around the world should also involve themselves with this invasion of Ukraine. NATO was in tatters prior to Russia’s aggression. Somehow, the leaders of countries let go of past grievances against others and decided to present a united front. While no one is about to send troops to the war-torn area, countries are sending aid, both military and humanitarian, to Ukrainians.

This horrible war has also stirred patriotic feelings in our own country. For the first time in too many years, both parties are working together to open the way to sending Ukraine stockpiles of weapons that will help them make the Russians suffer. The takeover that was supposed to be quick and easy has turned into a brutal, sluggish assault on people who are determined to fight for their country.  Still, America and other countries can do only so much. No country wants its aid to Ukraine to be construed as joining the war against Russia. Putin, in his warped mind, has declared some aid might lead to nuclear retaliation.

Sanctions imposed against Russia, Putin, and oligarchs already have hit that country hard. Their money is worthless; their credit cards no longer work; properties of the rich are seized. The new sanction against Russian oil will further strangle the country’s economy. The sharp rise in gas prices has some folks here criticizing President Biden. I don’t like having to pay exorbitant prices at the pump, and it seems that perhaps oil-producing countries and oil companies could cut the prices of a barrel for the short term. Such actions would gain great favor for them from the citizenry. I would also hope that our leaders would remember which countries and companies refused to join the plan to end the illegal actions of Russia and then take actions against them at a later time. As for me, I am willing to pay higher prices for fuel if doing so aids Ukraine and harms Russia.

The Ukrainian people remind me much of our ancestors. They refused to follow the demands of an evil leader of another country and decide to fight a stronger, better-armed foe. What was at stake was freedom, democracy, identity. Even the attacks on hospitals and schools won’t change their resistance. Instead, the Ukrainian people have chosen to fight to the death for their homeland. God, watch over them and give them comfort. We here in the U.S. should take a long look at ourselves and see if we still love democracy and freedom that much or if we’d rather have someone tell us what we can and can’t do.

I hope this war is over soon and that Russia fails. Then the task of rebuilding Ukraine can begin. The people of that country can be proud of their courage and commitment to the principles that we in America have espoused for years.