Kira Rudik is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and a leader of one their political parties. Today she made a speech to the Henry Jackson Society in the UK asking for a no-fly zone over her country. Not the blood of our treasures on the ground, just a little American air power. And I promise you that if anyone asked for volunteers to step across a line in the sand, you’d have enough pilots to blanket the airspace from the Ukraine to the UK.
If you recall Churchill’s asks of Franklin Roosevelt before Pearl Harbor, Kira Rudik’s ask should sound familiar. That’s how we got lend/lease before America entered WWII: Roosevelt found a way to do the right thing, and his December 29, 1940 fireside chat is where we got the phrase “arsenal of democracy.” And this passage:
The Nazi masters of Germany have made it clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world.
But what may not be obvious to a contemporary audience is that the venue where Kira Rudik spoke is the Henry Jackson Society, named after the great American Congressman Henry “Scoop” Jackson. Scoop was a major influence in building Congressional support for the Polish Solidarity movement and a host of other freedom fighters in the Cold War.
I knew Scoop, and I can also promise you that if he were with us today there would already be a no-fly zone over Ukraine or he’d know the reason why.