By E.P. Unum
March 13, 2022
A casus belli (Latin) is an act or an event that either provokes or is used to justify a war. A casus belli involves direct offenses or threats against the nation declaring war. A casus foederis involves offenses or threats against its ally—usually one bound by a mutual defense pact.
European nations and the United States have been providing weapons of war to Ukraine to help that beleaguered country defend itself against the unprovoked and unnecessary invasion of its country by Russia. These weapons are being used to curb the onslaught of the Russian army which includes approximately 200,000 troops along with Russian tanks, APC, and air assets. The weapons include sophisticated anti-tank Javelin missiles, anti-aircraft systems including shouldered fired rockets, ammunition, rifles, RPGs, machine guns, drones, MRE, and other aid. The Ukrainian military has used these tools with great effectiveness against the Russians and has exacted a significant price in terms of life and materials on the Russian forces.
All of this has prompted Vladimir Putin, who might best be described as a street thug, to begin using massive bombing and missiles against the Ukrainian civilian population including children’s hospitals and maternity wards of pregnant women. He has even targeted civilians attempting to leave Ukraine. These are, to be sure, crimes against humanity for which Putin needs to be held accountable.
President Zelensky has requested that the West send him fighter jets to help offset Russian dominance in the air and specifically to provide Ukraine the ability to attack missile systems and tank columns en route to Kyiv and other major cities. Poland is willing to provide some 28 MIG 29 aircraft to Ukraine by way of a NATO airbase in Rammstein, Germany, a NATO country. The U.S. has refused. The explanation given for this refusal is that “by providing these assets to the Ukraine Air Force, it might be viewed by Vladimir Putin as “assisting a nation with which he is at war and seeks to control” So what!
I have a word to describe this feckless self-serving response. It is Cowardice. Americans are not cowards.
We already provide munitions to Ukraine…billions of dollars worth of munitions and the Ukrainians are using them well. We have already established a casus belli and Vladimir Putin knows this full well. He also knows that if Ukraine received the necessary air support President Zelensky requested, Russian forces would be faced with the prospect of a long and bloody war, much like they encountered in their fiasco in Afghanistan when they were a much more powerful military. And when they were immersed in that conflict the United States and other nations were helping the mujahedeen fight against the Russians. Russia did not threaten any NATO country nor did it threaten the United States.
But today Vladimir Putin, the little man with the Napoleonic Complex, has threatened the West with World War III and the possible use of his nuclear arsenal. So, our brave leader, President Joe Biden, whose family has been enriched by Russian and Chinese payments over the years, has decided that the citizens of Ukraine are not worth protecting to the extent Ukraine’s President Zalensky has requested. How convenient. Tell me, President Biden, what would you do if Putin suddenly proclaimed that if NATO continues to provide weapons to Ukraine it would create a casus belli and lead to a direct conflict with Russia i.e. WWIII? Would you fold your tent and walk away?
Vladimir Putin is a bully. He makes his bones by picking on nations weaker militarily than he is. Georgia, Crimea, Syria are recent examples. Bullies will always do that to allow themselves to portray an image larger than what they are. But he is a punk at heart and it ought to be obvious that he is flexing his muscles because he perceives the West and specifically the U.S. to be weak. Well, President Biden, you ought to tell Putin to take his black belt in Judo and stick it where the sun don’t shine. The only way to defeat a bully is to punch him in the nose and keep on punching until he cries “uncle” and runs away.
So here is what I would recommend to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and General Mark “White Rage” Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
1 Get Ukraine the fighter jets it needs. Poland can provide these directly to Ukraine because NATO has its back. Do it today. Without delay. And while you are at it, install the Iron Dome in Ukraine.
2. Get Japan, Australia, and the U.K. to conduct Naval exercises off the coast of Russia complete with a carrier strike group as soon as possible. Don’t say anything about it because you don’t need to. Putin will understand and realize that we have nuclear assets as well.
3. Continue to provide lethal aid to Ukraine along with humanitarian supplies such as food, medicine, and medical aid. If Russia targets any of these exact a price on Russia by directly targeting their forces. Let Putin know that if he seeks a wider conflict we will oblige him.
Now, before the knee-jerking starts about all of this being “unnecessarily provocative” let me say at the outset that I hate war in all of its forms. It is the greatest scourge of mankind. It creates untold hardships, not just for those fighting it but for civilians caught up in it. But we cannot live in fear. As Americans, we refuse to live on our knees. And there comes a time in all of our lives when we take such action to preserve the peace and to protect the innocent. Mr. Putin is committing genocide in Ukraine. Innocent people are dying in the streets. Women and children are being targeted and killed. By God, this can no longer be ignored and must be stopped. And is there anyone out there who honestly believes that Putin will be satisfied if he is successful in Ukraine and makes it once again part of Mother Russia? How long before Moldova, Poland, Romania, Estonia, or any of the Baltic Nations become his next target?
Mr. Biden, you are on video during your campaigning for the office you presently hold announcing that “if you are elected President of the United States, Mr. Putin’s days of tyranny will be over. I will stand up to him”
It is now time to put up or shut up Mr. President. You need also to take one more action to send a message to the rest of the world. You need to announce and implement a course correction and open up America’s ability to produce its oil and gas. Expand oil leases, remove restrictions and expand exploration and production of oil. Finish the Keystone XL Pipeline and educate your press secretary that recommissioning this project will enable oil to be transferred to refineries at three times less cost than by rail and truck. Expand and intensify fracking to produce more oil with a goal of once again becoming energy independent. Good leaders can adapt, improvise and overcome situations that arise. You need to stop acting like Neville Chamberlain and start acting like Winston Churchill. Like it or not, we are in this war already. And our citizens and country are being harmed.
Yes, the far-left wing of the Democratic party will be gnashing their teeth, yelling and screaming that you have abandoned their dreams. But you are not doing that at all. You will be responding to challenges as they arise. And by making such a policy course adjustment, you will attract significant investment in our ability to quickly deal with the pain our citizens are facing with significant gasoline prices at the pump. You will have injected a dose of reality into life as it currently exists. We can deal with climate change later after the crises of Ukraine, oil production, and inflation are addressed. Don’t beg for OPEC to pump more oil or negotiate with terrorist nations like Iran and Venezuela. A long time ago my grandfather once told me that if you lie down with dogs you may end up with fleas.
We are Americans. We can fix these problems if you would just listen to the people and not those whispering in your ear.
Remember, you are accountable directly to the people of the United States. And China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea are watching.
Remember also this brief history and famous quotation spoken by the Carthaginian General Hannibal to his commanding generals from the year 218 BC: Aut iveniam viam aut faciam! “I shall either find a way or I shall make one”
In 218 BCE, during the Second Punic War, the great Carthaginian general Hannibal led his army from modern-day Spain to Italy and toward Rome, in one of the most famous military achievements in history. As the troops neared the daunting peaks of the Alps, Hannibal’s generals warned him they would not be able to cross the mountain range with the horses and elephants they brought with them. Refusing to be deterred, Hannibal responded with the quote, “I shall either find a way or I shall make one.”
He and his troops forged their path across the mountains and continued their march through Italy.
Find a way to get the Ukrainians what they need Mr. President.
We are Americans. Act accordingly.