For Ukraine, maps and money tell a story
I continue to wonder what the purpose and rationale are behind our magnanimity towards Ukraine. Perhaps it’s Biden’s payback for Ukraine’s “support” for his family over the years (or maybe a response to blackmail, although so much of his pay-for-play has been exposed with no penalty, what more could there be)?
Granted, our war equipment manufacturers and those big corporations that rebuild after such devastation will maybe be “winners” after the fact if there’s a country left to rebuild—and the war fits the Trump/Russia narrative like OJ’s glove. Worse, our war output decimates our country’s readiness for self-defense, giving short shrift to our needy citizenry. I’m sure the Chinese are loving what’s happening, along with being granted carte blanche to get close to the Russians.
It’s apparent when you look at cold, hard facts that we’ve gone a bit…overboard…with our warmongering. It appears the sky’s the limit to our largesse, there have been no (and I mean zero) attempts at peacemaking, and now everyone’s talking about WWIII and nuclear annihilation.
When you look at reality, none of it makes sense! Think about this:
The continental US spans about 3,536,000 square miles, while Ukraine covers 230,000 square miles. It’s less than half the size of Alaska, which comes in at 586,000 square miles, and smaller than Texas’s 261,000.
Image: Ukraine with our money (American currency by jcomp).
Traveling cross-country from Washington, DC, to San Francisco, CA, you’d go about 2,450 miles. To travel from Washington DC to Kiev, the distance is 4,864 miles. It’s 6,129 miles between San Francisco and Kiev.
Ukraine’s population in 2021 (the latest clear numbers I could find) was just under 41.5 million, about 2 million more than California’s. The total US population is greater than 333,000,000.
Our US military budget for 2021 was $800.67 Billion. Our total aid to Ukraine from January 24, 2022, to January 15, 2023, is $76.8 billion. Yes, you read that right—$76.8 billion total. $46.6 billion was for military purposes. In the year before the war, our aid to Ukraine was $284 million, so we’ve increased aid to that country by a staggering 26,942%. What we’ve given this year dwarfs all other military aid to the rest of the world.
For a little more perspective, we’ve also contributed two-and-a-half times the total aid that all the EU/NATO nations combined gave Ukraine.
Ukraine’s tax revenue from its citizens in 2022 was around $48.7 billion in US dollars. In one year, our citizens have given Ukraine $76.8 billion, which is almost 60% more than the Ukraine government collected from its own people—and Zelenskyy assumes more to come.
I have nothing against Ukraine—well, one thing. When I was a teen, out with a friend, we were attacked in NYC’s lower east side by a gang of Ukrainian “youth.” Spent a delightful night in a precinct station after the cops ran them off, looking futilely at mug shots. That aside, I’ve tried a few Ukrainian recipes that I like. Beyond that, I feel no connection. Sorry.
Perhaps someone can explain to me why we’re spending nearly 10% of the amount budgeted for our own military for a year on a country so far away, and so ultimately without redeeming value to ourselves? Please feel free to point out the value Ukraine gives to our country and its people.
Having lived through the Vietnam War in my youth and watched Afghanistan for years, I know we are no strangers to forays into untenable wars. But this one seems to have bigger consequences. America seems to me to be run by a narcissistic maniac who acts like it’s his right to take our tax dollars when we need them for our own citizens. And, of course, there’s been little or no accountability as to where those tax dollars we all worked so hard to give our hapless America-hating government have gone.