Lesson from Ukraine -- Don't Give Up Your Guns (or Nukes)
Ukrainians are being urged to arm themselves to resist the unprovoked Russian invasion of their country. The immediate question is, "with what?" noting that Ukraine has exactly the kind of gun laws the Democratic Left wants to inflict on the United States. Handguns are illegal unless licensed, and licensing is "may-issue" the same way it is in New York. It is also necessary to have a license to purchase a long gun (as is the case in Illinois with its firearm owner ID card), and authorities can exercise discretion as to who can have a license. There are at most thirteen firearms for every hundred Ukrainians, versus more than one firearm per capita for Americans. Magazine sizes are restricted to 10 rounds, which would of course delight the governments of California and New York.
Guess what, boys and girls -- the Russian Bear doesn't have magazine size limits, nor does he obey international norms and treaties that forbid invasion of other countries. Vladimir Putin is simply another Tsar, and I mean an expansionist land-grabber like Peter I, Elizabeth I Petrovna ("like father, like daughter"), Catherine II, and Nicholas I "the flogger." Peter and Catherine are not called "the Great" for nothing, but they were great for Russia and not for Russia's neighbors.
It is also to be remembered that Ukraine inherited roughly five thousand nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union. "When the Soviet Union collapsed, Ukraine turned over thousands of atomic weapons in exchange for security guarantees from Russia, the United States, and other countries." The British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, signed a similar scrap of paper with Adolf Hitler, and we know what that got him. Ukraine's former defense minister, Andriy Zahorodniuk, said of the more recent security assurances, “Now, every time somebody offers us to sign a strip of paper, the response is, ‘Thank you very much. We already had one of those some time ago.’”
Israel, despite its legacy of immigration by Holocaust survivors who were disarmed by Nazi gun control laws, also has the kind of gun laws the Democrat Left supports. Perhaps Ukraine's recent experience will be a wake-up call for Israelis as well, noting especially the frequency of terrorist incursions whose purpose is to murder civilians in their own homes.
The Chinese communists have meanwhile threatened similarly to invade a neighboring country while challenging Australia and the United States. North Korea is run by a nuclear-armed madman. This is a very strong argument for the region's civilized and peaceful nations such as Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, to tear up another "scrap of paper," the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and arm themselves with enough nukes to make it unequivocally clear to the Chinese communist dictators and Kim Jong-un that the consequences of a war of conquest would be too horrific for any rational person, regardless of how evil he might be, to even begin to contemplate. Hitler, Stalin, and Tojo were some of the most evil rulers to have ever lived but had Poland, Ukraine (as subjected to genocide by Stalin during the 1930s), Finland, China, and Korea possessed even a few atomic bombs with the means of delivering them to Berlin, Moscow, and Tokyo, the Second World War would have never happened. The United States needs to modernize its own arsenal to match Putin's because Putin has made very clear his willingness to use violence to get what he wants.
The United States and Europe will impose economic sanctions on the Russian Federation, and rightly so. The League of Nations also attempted to use sanctions against aggressors, and even expelled the Soviet Union, but was clearly helpless to stop Nazi, Fascist, and Imperial Japanese aggression. Some members were unwilling to comply with economic sanctions that hurt their own economies, and the Russian Federation has natural gas that Europe needs.
Rudyard Kipling's “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” is well worth reading, and it is absolute common sense.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
The Washington Naval Treaty limited the size and number of battleships and battlecruisers the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, France, and Italy could build. This was either circumvented through the conversion of battlecruisers into aircraft carriers (USS Saratoga and Lexington were laid down as battlecruisers intended to carry sixteen-inch guns, and IJN Kaga and Akagi, both of which attacked Pearl Harbor, also were converted battle cruisers) or violated outright
Tsar Vladimir's invasion of Ukraine should teach the civilized world the following lessons.
- Don't give up your guns. If you have them, you should probably have more.
- Don't give up your nukes and, if you (Israel, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and maybe Australia) don't have them, you'd better build them. If you have them (United States, France, UK, India, and possibly Israel) you need to improve them and build more up to whatever treaty limits are in place. The Chinese communists have been making noises very similar to those made by the Russian Bear, and they also do not subscribe to the international norm that the use of violence to steal somebody else's country is unacceptable. Regardless of how evil their rulers might be, these rulers also are coldly rational and will refrain from violence if the likely consequences of backing anybody into a corner are clear to them.
- Treaties, including those signed and broken or circumvented prior to the Second World War, along with "assurances" to Ukraine, are scraps of paper unless backed up with the prospect of overwhelming and devastating force.
It may be too late for Ukraine -- let's make sure it's not too late for us.
Civis Americanus is the pen name of a contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way. He or she is remaining anonymous due to the likely prospect of being subjected to "cancel culture" for exposing the Big Lie behind Black Lives Matter.
Image: National Park Service