As a citizen and proud Nevadan, I feel it is my duty to speak out against the tragedy in Ukraine.
This morning, I woke up to reports of Russian bombs having struck near the Babyn Yar Holocaust site in Ukraine. Among the various horrific reports coming out of Ukraine, this one in particular struck me hard.
We are appalled by reports that Russian bombs have struck near the memorial site of Babyn Yar, killing more people where tens of thousands of Jews were massacred in the Holocaust. We condemn this brutal war against Ukraine. https://t.co/qvazYHjgIH
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 2, 2022
Ukraine was one of the Nazi occupied territories in Eastern Europe that hosted the massacre of Jews during Adolf Hitler’s crimes against humanity in World War II.
The Jewish Virtual Library notes:
Today, Babi Yar has come to symbolize the horrific murder of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen as well as the persistent failure of the world to acknowledge this Jewish tragedy.
Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union did the new Ukrainian government acknowledge the specific Jewish nature of the site and an appropriate rededication was held.
On October 6, 2021, the presidents of Ukraine, Israel, and Germany inaugurated a memorial center for the victims at the site of the massacre and attended the unveiling of the “Crystal Crying Wall” memorial The names of 159 of the Nazi soldiers who participated in the killings were also released.”
Just a few days before Putin’s forces dropped bombs near this memorial, I heard reports of the Israeli government being as conflicted about the tragedy in Ukraine, as I was. Israel’s Realpolitik reasons were perfectly understandable as Russia is a major player in the Middle East. Israeli and Russian intelligence infrastructure has created lines of communication that have aided in keeping relative peace in Syria (Russia’s client state).
I have never held any delusions about Putin’s “Russia First” inclinations, but during the four years of the Trump Administration, Putin remained calm and watched, as we all did, President Trump bomb Syria in April 2018 using the “Mother Of All Bombs” to decimate ISIS in Russia’s client state. Putin understood there were red lines that dared not be crossed and he acted, or retracted, accordingly.
However, Putin’s recent behaviors and provocations under President Biden have troubled me deeply. He has asserted that he does not want an agitated anti-Russian NATO alliance on his doorstep–an alliance that has the principal goal of confronting and controlling Putin. But, his invasion of Ukraine has led to a revitalized NATO and an EU alliance with an immediate purpose: to stand united against Putin and assist in arming Ukraine with lethal weapons….not food rations and blankets.
With the bombing near the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial, Putin has now successfully alienated Israel and other U.S. allies in the Middle East. Just last week, the UAE abstained from voting for a UN resolution condemning Russia but has just pledged five million dollars to Ukraine–inspired by the bravery of President Vlodomyr Zelensky.
Yet, just as I am troubled by the volatile and horrific situation unfolding in Ukraine, I am also troubled that the U.S. Congress and the Biden Administration have not gone to greater lengths to punish Putin.
Senators Catherine Cortez-Masto and Jackie Rosen were among a handful of Democrats who supported Senator Ted Cruz’s sanctions bill on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Germany. The bill failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to move forward. They should each be applauded for their votes.
Perhaps these Nevada Senators can now reverse their green energy agenda and revive the development of traditional, natural sources of American energy. The American energy independence revolution– achieved under President Trump, can and must continue in order to provide American’s with the safety and security that this independence ensures and our constitution demands.
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