https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/03/z.php

Z was the 1969 political thriller that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Referring to the political assassination with which the film begins, “Z” stood for “he lives.” I hope that when the Russia’s war on Ukraine comes to an end, “Z” can stand for Zelenksy and his survival will be literal rather than metaphorical.

Zelensky’s appearance before Congress yesterday prompts these obvious thoughts.

• Ukraine is an independent and sovereign country. I support its persistence as such.

• Victor Davis Hanson presents the excruciating choices available to it under present circumstances in the American Greatness column “Zelensky’s classical choices.” He sketches four choices: Salamis, Thebes, Thermopylae, or Melos.

• If I were Ukrainian, I don’t know for which I would opt. What about Victor? He suggests it is too soon to tell (“These four choices depend not just on reason, morality, and emotion, but on the pulse of the battlefield in the next few days”).

• I support the choice of Ukrainians as represented by President Zelensky. If he choose to fight, we should support his desire to fight so long as it is consistent with the interests of the United States.

• Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unprovoked aggression. Putin himself has been unable to state a reason that can be taken at face value.

• David Goldman invokes the specter of World War I in his Asia Times/PJ Media column “Reliving the nightmare of 1914.” Goldman cites Christopher Clark’s 2013 book The Sleepwalkers. I’m sure the thought is on the mind of many others.

• American interests limit what we can prudently do to support Ukraine’s resistance. How far can we go without provoking Russia into expanding the war or going to war with Russia ourselves?

• The Biden administration’s alleged efforts to “deter” Russia’s aggression were a complete and utter failure. The administration’s denial that it intended to “deter” Russia is pitiful.

• VDH’s “classical choices” column is somewhat clinical in nature. His own judgment is explicit here: “So far Zelenskyy has been brilliant as he expresses his appreciation for Western sanctions and arms. His insight seems to balance his otherwise unhinged demand for far more dangerous escalations—specifically to establish a no-fly zone and thus in World War III style confront, in the air above Ukraine, a bellicose Russia with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.”

• He provides additional observations in today’s column “10 realities of Ukraine.” His tenth “reality” observes:

It is not “un-American” to point out that prior American appeasement under the Obama and the Biden Administrations explains not why Putin wished to go into Ukraine, but why he felt he could. It is not “treasonous” to say Ukraine and the United States previously should have stayed out of each other’s domestic affairs and politics — but still do not excuse Putin’s savage aggression. It is not traitorous to admit that Russia for centuries relied on buffer states between Europe — lost when its Warsaw Pact satellite members joined NATO after its defeat in the Cold War. But that reality also does not justify Putin’s savage attack.

That still leaves us with the question: What is to be done? I.e., what more is to be done, if anything?

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