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America must stay course in Ukraine to prevail

To the Editor:

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” Those famous words from Thomas Paine’s “The American Crisis” fit very well to today’s situation in Ukraine.

In December 1776, George Washington’s army was in retreat, a cold winter was setting in, and dispirited Patriot volunteers were drifting away to their homes and families.

Today in Ukraine, Putin’s forces are probably peaking in their bayonet-at-back motivation, while promised weapons from America have not yet fully arrived on scene. Thus it is with anxious hearts we must endure reports of Russian tyranny grinding slowly forward in many areas.

Yet in the present instance, unlike in Paine’s day, it is not the will of the fighting men themselves upon which the future of their cause depends, but rather it is the resoluteness and steadfastness of seemingly unthreatened peoples in distant lands.

As Putin’s bumbling stormtroopers first crossed the border in February, the Ukrainians themselves certainly responded with plenty of heart and enthusiasm. They astounded the world. And four months of watching their people slaughtered, their women raped and their cities pounded into rubble have done nothing to reduce their desire for independence from Russian dictatorship.

Ukraine is not America’s puppet; we are not somehow tricking them into fighting against tyranny in their own land. No, Ukraine stands ready to restore their sovereign borders — they want to fight.

But they need our continued help. Putin thinks he can count on America to go wobbly. He thinks he can hold on until we lose interest in defending freedom. He hopes we will turn back to squabbling among ourselves, and abandon Ukraine.

With our continuing support, Ukraine will achieve victory. Russia’s GDP is only half of California’s GDP, and from that stunted economy they must provide general government to the largest nation, by territory, in the world.

Out of their pathetic military budget, they must maintain a superpower-sized nuclear arsenal and submarine fleet, before they can spend anything on useful battlefield weapons. In reality, Russia is right now scavenging from the bones of the failed Soviet Union. They are consuming huge amounts of stored weapons and have no money to replace them.

Putin brags about advanced weapons, but they have little besides prototypes. Russia cannot even produce the critical IC chips their more modern weapons systems are built around.

If America puts its money where its mouth is, it will be Putin’s clock that runs out first.

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