Confronted with another’s pain, our humanity moves us to compassion. For anyone with a functioning heart and soul it’s a natural response. Images and accounts of events unfolding in Ukraine evoke sadness, understandably so.
Invariably, amid scenes of destruction and death, compassion runs some people right off the rails. “Make it stop!” comes the cry. “End the violence! We want peace!”
That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.
The only rational answer to violence is violence.
Peace isn’t a solution. It’s not a tool and it’s not a means to an end. Peace is an end, the hoped-for result of war or the threat of war.
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”Latin adage, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
The sovereign country of Ukraine has been invaded, without provocation, and its people face a choice between resistance and surrender. Against overwhelming odds, they’ve chosen to stand and fight.
It’ll be cruel and it’ll be ugly. Many will die. Entire families will disappear. Neighborhoods and villages, perhaps whole cities, will be leveled. For what?
“Everyone wants to be a Patriot,” goes the popular meme, “until it’s time to do Patriot shit.” The people of Ukraine, to preserve their independence and the freedoms they cherish, are doing Patriot shit.
Freedom doesn’t come by way of diplomacy, or by sanctions, or by flooding the Web with inane hashtags. Neither does peace. And with all due respect to The Faithful, freedom and peace don’t come by prayer, however fervent or sincere.
Human history holds the answer. It instructs us that the only way to win freedom — and to sustain it — is with the blood of brave people willing to fight and die for it. There are no exceptions. That’s the price.
There must be violence.
Vitaly Skakun, we’re told, was part of a Ukrainian marine battalion fending off a Russian tank column. The order was given to blow a bridge, the mining of which wasn’t yet finished, to slow the enemy’s advance. Skakun radioed that he’d detonate the charges himself, manually from the bridge, and sacrificed his own life to allow his comrades to regroup and redeploy.
That’s some Patriot shit right there. That’s the price of freedom.
Now, my fellow Americans, look around you. I mean, wherever you are, look at the people on your street or in your community, your co-workers, the folks who inhabit the city in which you live. What do you see?
Suppose that We, the People of the United States, were called on to defend our own freedom from an enemy foreign or domestic — how many of your fellow citizens would (or could) stand and fight? Fifty percent? Ten percent?
Let’s face it, Los Angeles (including Hollywood, good riddance) might as well just surrender. Chicago and New York (forget Greenwich Village and SoHo), maybe Atlanta and Columbus, could make a game of it for a while. I’d feel better about our chances in places like Bristol or Bandera than I would in Bozeman or Baltimore.
Here in the hills’n’hollers of The Ozarks, places like rural Ohio, West (By God) Virginia and other pockets of Liberty, I strongly suspect it’d be a different story. There would be, I believe, no shortage of Americans willing to do Patriot shit in defense of freedom.
Ultimately, however, we need to admit that Americans overall are soft, spoiled and entitled. You’d have to look pretty damned hard to find an actual rifleman, much less a true warrior. The moment shit got real it’d be easy to tell flag-waving posers from fierce Patriots.
It’s always been that way, and that’s fine. Those who remain — say, three percent — must bear the burden and pay the toll.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.