Quote of the Week:
“Putin is the idol of white supremacists around the world. Prominent Russian fascists are given access to mass media during wars, including this one. Members of the Russian elite, above all, Putin himself, rely increasingly on fascist concepts. Putin’s very justification of the war in Ukraine, as an act of cleansing violence that will return Russia to itself, represents a Christian form of fascism. The recent publication, in an official Russian news service, of what I consider an openly genocidal handbook, providing a plan for the elimination of the Ukrainian nation as such, confirms all this. Moscow is the center of fascism in our world.” –Timothy Snyder, historian, author, April 22, 2022 New York Times
Take Two Actions Now:
Support Ukraine Military Funding
Background: Biden announces another $800 million to support Ukraine military
A Challenge for Progressives
Confronting the threat that Putin poses to the world creates a challenge for OI and all progressives. We are suspicious of military solutions to tyranny, believing instead in peaceful, constructive, humanist actions to oppose fascisim and authoritarianism. We tend to be pacificists because we know, from experience, that too often even well-intentioned military responses have unanticipated consequences that only create new problems and benefit the military industrial complex to the detriment of the rest of our society. So, why advocate for increased military assistance in the Ukraine?
One Conflict Among Many
First, because our hearts bleed for the Ukranians; they are victims of a genocidal war that Russia is waging. But, they also bleed for many other peoples in many regions of the world who are suffering from violence, some of which is sponsored or enabled by our own government and other nations. As we contemplate the tragedy that is Ukraine, let’s not forget about these others, some of which are described below:
Are There Really No Alternatives?
Equally, because the threat that fascism poses to our world, personified by Putin, is so existential at this time and the options left to us are so limited. Negotiated solutions are off the table. Why? Because present-day Russia serves as a sobering view of a powerful nation that has systematically disabled its system of checks and balances; Putin does not have to answer to the Russian people and has rejected the global order so his track record of treachery and deception is entirely predictable.
Negotiations can only succeed when each side has something at stake; Putin has nothing at stake and only contempt for the western world. The sanctions may work; they are certainly injurious to the Russian people. But will they work in time? In a war of economics, allies and access are critical. Putin appears to have economic allies that can soften the impact, particularly in the short-term, and military victory in Ukraine provides Russia with strategic access to a transportation hub.
Strategic in Response
We now know that Putin believes he can outlast the sanctions. We painfully acknowledge this grim reality, and choose to be strategic in our response.
Action 1: Call or email our Members of Congress to support Ukrainian forces.
Option A: Copy the script below to comment to our Members of Congress. Feel free to adapt the language to your own words.
Script: President Biden is asking for $800 million to help Ukrainian forces fight in the east of the Donbas region, where fighting has recently intensified.
Please move quickly to provide the funds that are urgently needed.
[NAME], [CITY, ZIP]
Option B: Take this action with one click in Take Action Network (TAN) Support Ukraine Military Funding
Thurston Comprehensive Plan 10 Year Update