Ukrainians in their courage startle and inspire world -- and NPR beclowns itself
Ukraine is fighting back.
And that must startle invading Vladimir Putin, who seems to have expected another Afghanistan-style takeover, the way the Taliban did it -- the Taliban marching in, the the local president loading up his money and flying off without a fight, and the boldest locals cramming onto U.S. waiting jets. Few fought back in that one and the disaster speaks for itself.
We don't see that in Ukraine. The U.S. offered Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a flight out and he refused it. "I need ammunition, not a ride," he told the U.S.
He was last seen dressed in a military t-shirt with his cabinet in comparable gear and probably had a rifle in his hand. After that, he was seen in combat fatigues and a hard helmet, marching through brush. "When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs," he told the Russians. He told Ukrainians this might the the last time they saw him alive. The mayor of Kyiv had his fatigues and rifle, too, and was last seen positioned on a rooftop. Thirteen Ukrainian border guards on a place called 'Snake Island' off Crimea screamed to the invading Russians 'Go f--- yourselves' upon their call to surrender, knowing they would be shot dead and they were. The government radio station advised locals how to build their own Molotov cocktails with which to greet the entering Russians. That's normally a poor man's weapon associated with groups like antifa, but Molotov cocktails were invented by the Finns, who successfully repelled a Soviet invasion in 1939. The Soviets ended it quickly because they didn't want to mess around with the Finns. The Ukrainians are showing them yet again. Girls, very old people, all sorts of Ukrainians are signing up for military service. An old lady handed out sunflower seeds to invading Russian troops, advising them that they'd need some seeds for flowers to grow on their coming gravesites. A soldier blew himself up to destroy a bridge to prevent the Russians from entering. Other heroic Ukrainians are taking government-issued rifles and will fight sniper-style from high rises. A mysterious flying ace called 'the Ghost of Kyiv' reportedly shot down 6 invading fighter jets, thrilling the world as the world's first flying ace since World War II, although the story was reportedly not true. It was something people wanted to believe, though, because the masculine virtue of mortal combat, described in Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff' always thrills people in a life-and-death struggle. There was one unconfirmed report that the Ukrainians are taking the war to Russia itself, reportedly strafing Rostov airport much to Putin's surprise.
The great historian Simon Schama, who knows the region's history well better than Putin does, and who was recently filming in Ukraine, noted this:
Putin imagining that the capture of Kyiv will finish the job is exactly like Napoleon assuming taking Moscow would ensure a Russian capitulation. And now Kremlin panicking they may have to attack civilian population in big cities. Not in their plans— Simon Schama (@simon_schama) February 25, 2022
That tweet deserves weight, given the depth of Schama's knowledge. Schama knows history in minute details and knows how to interpret history. He's seeing Napoleon and that's bad news for Putin.
And the Ukrainian heroism will be the same as the Russian heroism of the era of Kutuzov. The heroism is contagious. We are seeing other forms of heroism from the outside. How about those Romanian private citizens who lined up in their cars by the thousands to greet incoming Ukrainian refugees and take them and shelter them in their own homes? How about Poland, whose locals also greeted the Ukrainians warmly, and sent truckloads of ammunition back to Ukraine? Slovakia and Hungary reportedly helped, too, and the Baltics reportedly sent jets. The British citizens and some parliamentarians are demanding that Ukrainians be allowed into Britain for safe haven without red tape.
I wrote about some of the stupid things being said from the outside from the non-heroes who don't seem to grasp what is going on yesterday.
Schama had withering contempt for a new idiocy put out by NPR:
"make your grandpa's lasagna" - this is pathetic and insulting. You NEED to be stressed and Distressed by atrocity, calamity and tragedy not breathe deeply and bury yourself in pasta. https://t.co/K1SfShAPhj— Simon Schama (@simon_schama) February 25, 2022
That is damning, and rightly so. Ukraine right now is a nation of heroes. Putin is learning that the hard way. And the soft, soggy, self-obsessed snowflakes out there still never learn.
Image: Twitter screen shot