Part One - Why the Cause?

Full Photo Album:

Man with a tie taking a selfie and funny caption

A few weeks ago, I wore a tie for the first time in several years because I had the privilege of advocating before elected U.S. Senators and Congresspeople’s offices and staffs for a cause I cared deeply about.

The cause was to convince U.S. Congresspeople and Senators about the continued need for the U.S. to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom from Russia.

Razom Ukraine (Together for Ukraine) made this event possible. They are a wonderful U.S.-based organization that began after Russia’s full invasion in 2022 and has accomplished some amazing things for Ukraine.

Advocates from around the nation were invited to the nation’s capital to help advocate on behalf of Ukraine. I was honored to be included. While there, I met many other Ukrainian-Americans and non-Ukrainian Americans who shared my view. It was heartening.

On the surface, supporting Ukraine seems like a no-brainer for the United States. But this is 2023, and big money is at stake. Common sense and bipartisan support of anything is rare in D.C. these days. It’s also apparent that Russian propaganda is having an impact, in particular, on one specific segment of the U.S. population, which bizarrely used to be counted on to be rah-rah USA! USA! USA! It now seems more to be Putin! Putin! Putin!

It’s disorienting. But these still are the minority of Americans. And there is much debate, at least in my mind, about the reality of these opinions. Do they think these thoughts, or do they think they think these thoughts? How many people are somehow angry at Ukraine because Donald Trump tried to blackmail their president in exchange for political dirt (Quid Pro Quo), which led to his first impeachment inquiry? Talk about victim blaming.

Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, much of it fueled by Russian propaganda and the mainstream and alternative media’s sometimes unwitting and sometimes purposeful (X/Twitter in particular) cooperation, Razom’s polling shows that most Americans still support standing with Ukraine, as you can see HERE.

But Russia, with their troll farms has a patient understanding of America’s bird-like attention on all things shiny and new.

So, let’s dig deeper and explore why the U.S. should continue to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom.

There are two main categories of motivation: Moral and strategic. Let’s delve into each.


Land mine warning sign in Ukraine

1.1) CIVILIAN DEATHS: From a moral perspective, over 10,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed (murdered) so far, between 500-1,000 of them are children. Compare this to Russian civilian deaths, which are zero. Notably, Russia invaded Ukraine simply for not being a Russian puppet state (much as it tried to do in Georgia in 2008).

As per their Modus Operandi, Russia consistently commits war crimes and terrorism by targeting schools, hospitals, maternity wards, and daycare centers where civilians are located. There are no military personnel or terrorists (or Nazis) hiding amongst civilians.

Ukraine is huge and spread out. When a hospital or playground is hit, it is either on purpose or through willful disregard for civilian life, which is consistent with Russia’s operations in previous wars. Helping Ukraine defend her civilians may be the most clear-cut example of right vs. wrong I can cite in recent history.

1.2) IT’S NOT NATO, IT’S GENOCIDE: NATO expansion is just one of many shifting transparent false-flag pretexts Putin has used for his latest aggression. But the effort by Russia to exterminate Ukrainian culture is several hundred years old and far predates the formation of NATO. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, and Ukraine’s independence in 1991 Russia has consistently tried to control Ukraine. You don’t need to be a geopolitical expert to understand bullying and control.

This ARTICLE from Paul Grod is well worth the six minutes to read. It succinctly and accurately demonstrates that Russia does not believe Ukraine and, thus, Ukrainians even have a “right to exist,” hitting all the five factors consistent with the definition of genocide. Soviet Russia’s Holodomor (government-sponsored famine) against Ukraine during World War II killed almost as many Ukrainians as the Nazi Holocaust.

News article about Putin and Stalin Genocide

1.3) KIDNAPPINGS: Additionally, 20,000-30,000 Ukrainian children have been kidnapped and taken from their families in Ukraine to Russia and are actively being “re-educated” to hate their homeland. This, of course, is also a war crime.

1.4) PHYSICAL WOUNDS: Millions more, children and adults, of course, have been wounded, displaced, and traumatized. There are more amputees in Ukraine than all of World War I already

Amputee soldier listening to music in Ukraine

1.5) LAND MINES: The Russians have mined over 30% of Ukraine’s rich farmland, which the world depends on. Estimates are that it could take seven centuries for the mines to be removed. Of course, this means Ukraine will have even more deaths and amputees in the years to come.

1.6) TRAUMA: Millions of children and adults have undergone extensive post-traumatic stress and trauma that will take decades to heal.

1.7) FATIGUE & ATTRITION: Russia can afford to be more patient; their soldiers are primarily the uneducated poor and are used as cannon fodder. Despite this fact, Russians say they overwhelmingly support Putin and war (75-85%).

However, the democratic West cannot afford to be impatient.

While Russia uses its poor and imprisoned in its war of attrition, Ukraine is forced to defend itself carefully, with a mix of volunteers and professional soldiers. They don’t have the raw population numbers Russia has, and more crucially, as in the U.S., every life is precious to Ukraine.

Despite scenes of normalcy, not one Ukrainian is unimpacted by this war, with relatives in harm’s way constantly.

If you are tired of this war, imagine how tired a Ukrainian must be.

1.8) WAR CRIMES: While Russians continually target civilian hospitals, daycare centers, and restaurants full of journalists and NGOs, fire upon volunteers, practice eco-terrorism (i.e., the Kakhovka Dam travesty), and threaten nuclear terror at every turn, Ukrainian soldiers, many of them injured and amputees, return to the front to fight for liberty and values that are shared by the rest of the civilized world, especially the United States.

Protesting Russian War Crimes

1.9) BUDAPEST MEMORANDUM: The 1994 Budapest Memorandum explicitly guaranteed Ukraine’s protection in exchange for their giving up their nuclear weapons, weapons that, if they currently had, would most certainly mean Russia would never have invaded. Our allies need to know we live up to our commitments.

SO…. WHAT IS YOUR MORAL COMPASS? Whether you claim Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, pro-life, pacifism, or claim to have a basic “good” moral compass, any stance other than supporting Ukraine would be impossible to justify.

HALL OF SHAME: Yet, every day, I see posts and comments by people claiming these very same religions and philosophies, openly disparaging Ukraine and supporting Putin.

Elected officials like Congressman Rand Paul of Kentucky was joined by a who’s who of deplorable politicians like Marsha (“Big Pharma Marsha”) Blackburn (TN) and America’s dumbest Senator, (Coach) Tommy Tuberville (AL).

Tommy Tuberville and Marsha Blackburn vote against Ukraine aid

or Troy Nehis of Texas who seems to pleasure in any of Ukraine’s setbacks.

Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas is pro Putin
Troy Nehls – Ignorant arrogance personified.


Tech Billionaire Elon Musk has tweeted inane “peace” plans that show a complete lack of understanding of the situation, and he’s even sent out horrific “tweets” making fun of Ukrainian leaders during their darkest hour and heroic fight for freedom.

Elon Musk Ukraine Tweet
I've been inundated with bots since I tweeted this to +40K views.


There are many more politicians, of course. But there are also “musicians” and “entertainers.”

Like rabbit hole, Qanon-inspired “musician” Aaron Lewis of the early aughts rock band “Staind” (Kind of like Nickelback with ½ the talent) who says we should “listen to what Putin has to say,” all within the cushy confines of the country he claims to love so much yet, deep down, seems to hate. Why?

Just asking questions. I have a few potential answers.

Perhaps these folks are self-hating and know they could never stand the bravery and courage exhibited by the Ukrainian people. Or maybe they are genuinely compromised assets of Putin.


Upon my return from Ukraine this summer, I had someone at my mother’s church ask me which side I was on, delivered with an accompanying self-satisfied snicker and guffaw. War, murdered children, genocide… other’s misery… funny stuff. The Christian sense of humor has changed alot since I was a child.

I never expected or wanted a parade or a bed of roses at my feet for simply going to Ukraine during a war, but I didn’t expect this bit of thinly veiled mocking disdain for risking my safety to do something I still consider worthy.

Maybe an encouraging word? Or pass around a collection plate some Sunday to help some of our humanitarian causes there?

Is it because Ukrainians worship differently than many in the U.S.? Are Israeli children worthy to live but Ukraine children deserve to die? Or for that matter Palestinian children?

Instead it seems SOME Evangelicals for some bizarre political agenda have been programmed to admire the authoritarian leader of a country where almost no one believes in the afterlife and religious freedom is a sham.

This is more than demoralizing to me; it is a stain on the memory of those who gave their all for freedom and democracy, not just in Ukraine but across the world, including some from my home state of Tennessee who died fighting for Ukraine’s freedom, including freedom of religion.

Pray for Ukraine


2.1) UKRAINE’S FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT: From a strategic perspective, it feels like a no-brainer. For less than 5% of the total defense budget, the U.S. can weaken a powerful terrorist foe without firing a single shoot or risking a single American soldier.

In the process, victory will send the message to other would-be invaders, such as China, that international rules and laws since World War II still stand… and the world will be much safer for future generations.

2.2) PREVENTING WORLD WAR III: If, like me and 99% of the Ukrainian people, you are a peacenik, then you understand that defeating Russia is the best way to ensure that World War III does not occur. If Putin wins, the likelihood of a multi-national engagement spinning out of control is high.

Putin is taking a page out of Hitler’s playbook and has demonstrated not only can he not be trusted but that he aspires to reassemble the old Soviet Union under imperialistic Russia. If you don’t understand why this is bad for the world, not just that region, you should read more history. RECOMMENDED READING (Any book from Timothy Schnyder, but particularly Bloodlands).

Comic mocking Putin's rationale for invading Ukraine

And again, it’s not just Putin; it’s also the remaining Russian people who have been programmed for decades to be imperialists, with some 75-85% of them openly supporting Putin’s invasion, some of whom have family members in Ukraine.

One Russian woman recently interviewed stated she supported Russia’s victory in this war because she feared for her pension if Ukraine won and Russia was forced to pay reparations. You can’t reason with such selfishness.

Like German society after World War II, Russian society must be de-programmed entirely before it can move on to join the civilized world.

SO, WHY DO I HAVE TO TYPE SUCH BASIC RATIONALE? Usually, I would not have to explain fundamental American values to Americans, but these are different times.

As you can see, we have apologists and supporters for Putin in our government, media, and various high-profile positions across the U.S. Their numbers are growing, and they are clamoring for more power.

It is not a proud moment in American history or politics. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

January 6 rioter

THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE: Quick… call the arsonist to put it out!

I’ve visited DC before but never the Capital grounds, and it brought back memories of 1/6/21…. remember? After over 200 years of free and fair elections and a peaceful transfer of power, one losing president decided to try to overturn the election and instigate a coup like something out of a movie about a banana republic dictator in the 1960s.

When I visited DC, the US House of Representatives was once again in chaos, but of a more peaceful sort. The Republican Controlled House couldn’t agree on a speaker to replace Kevin McCarthy.

As I overheard in one of the GOP Senator’s offices, Ex-President Donald J. Trump was behind the scenes lobbying for his pick. As you know, he’s been trying to ensure that Ukraine didn’t continue to get funding.


Is he simply stoking chaos to further his political comeback and distract from his myriad of genuine legal issues? January 6, 2021, in my humble opinion, gave the green light to Putin to invade after he witnessed the extent of our division.

Asking Trump his opinion on political matters like these is like asking an arsonist to put out the raging, out-of-control fire the arsonist started.

But as I said, common sense is in short supply these days.

RUSSIA = TERRORISM: Now that Israel and Hamas are fighting a brutal war, one that is more compactly brutal but also more nuanced than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the headlines were all on the Israeli / Palestine continuing conflict.

Israel, which on October 7th, 2023, suffered a shocking and brutal terrorist attack and failure by the Netanyahu government at the hands of the terrorist organization Hamas, is now bombarding Hamas targets but, in the process, has also killed thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians (over 4,000 Palestinian children have been killed at the time of this writing) in the name of “defending Israel.”

It bears repeating that while defending itself from Russian terrorism, Ukraine has killed ZERO Russian children or civilians.

See the difference here?

How can any politician justify supporting Israel (someone the US has supported since its formation) without supporting Ukraine? Freedom for Israel but not for Ukraine? It makes no sense… again, common sense is lacking.

Putin War Victim
Putin's legacy

After the October 7th Hamas terrorist attack in Israel, Putin had recently met with Hamas representatives in Moscow and for several days refused to denounce the Hamas Terrorism attack. Terrorists tend to stick together. Iran = Hamas, and Iran = Russia.

Again, why on earth would either of our political parties do anything other than support Ukraine?

IT’S THE EXTREMES WHO DON’T GET IT: Following the “left” vs. “right” narrative reluctantly here, let’s break it down.

WHAT I THINK: We are divided, but we can be united and be proud of our solidarity on this issue. We are the USA. We are not weak. We are not poor. Our economy has fared much better post covid than most prosperous nations.

We can walk and chew gum at the same time and help Israel fight Hamas terrorists and promote Palestine to become a terrorist-free, non-apartheid, free state while helping Ukraine defeat peace’s biggest enemy and the root cause of much of this and other chaos in the world, Putin.

TOO MUCH MONEY? The USA is the wealthiest economy in the world, with the world’s most powerful military. Do you know that if just the top 1% of people and corporations paid their outstanding taxes, we’d have more than 3x the amount of money to support Ukraine and Israel, with plenty left over to secure the Southern Border (which, for some reason, scares those on the extreme right more than Putin or Hamas)? We’d even have money left over for domestic priorities. Imagine that.

Do you realize how much more expensive it will be if Putin is not defeated now?

HISTORY: History has proven time and again that isolation doesn’t work, and even the not-so-well-read, anti-intellectual, extreme right-wing politicians likely know this. But they are being influenced, if not by Putin directly, then by someone whom Putin is influencing, and it’s scary to witness such apparent ignorance followed by such tangible apathy on my social media pages.

People who were all fired up to support Ukraine just 18 months ago now glibly look away and pretend this all is not happening or does not / will not affect them.

When given a chance to show even moral support, so many no longer can afford a like, a share, a comment, or even a word of encouragement. It is disheartening, demoralizing, and sad, but it will not stop me, and more importantly, it will not stop Ukraine.

A good journalist should not stop reporting on a travesty because their audience has stopped paying attention but should only stop reporting when the travesty has stopped.

Young lady pointing a camera
Anastasia Zui in 2019