MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Ukraine's Draft Dodging (and Civil Liberties) Problem

I've blogged previously about some of Ukraine's current civil liberties issues related to its internal troubles here and here; this week Foreign Policy does a more thorough story, filled with specific Ukrainian voices, about the country's troubles willing to fight the war against Russian-backed rebels, a war theoretically in abeyance for now, and a war too many American politicians are willing to help the Ukrainians fight if it continues even as many Ukrainians themselves are not so willing.

Excerpts:

Last week, high-profile journalist Ruslan Kotsaba was detained on charges of treason and espionage after he spoke out against mobilization. Days later, President Petro Poroshenko announced that the security service had “detained 19 active critics of mobilization” for their “anti-Ukrainian activity.” New regulations reportedly in the works could soon prevent those eligible from service for going abroad or even leaving their home regions without permission.

The reports of large-scale draft dodging have raised questions about whether Ukraine will, in the face of a cease-fire that appears increasingly shaky, be able to recruit the manpower it needs to defend itself against Russia aggression — and whether it will be able to do so without repressing freedom of speech or civil liberties...

The story details the parlous state of Ukraine's official military and the slow shift back toward conscription over the past couple of years, initially starting just with former soldiers and then going wider.

The draft announcements have been met with alarm even in the country’s traditionally more nationalistic west. Ukrainian outlets have published reports of men fleeing the country en masse to avoid being drafted. In one village in the Ternopil region, 45 men out of the 60 who were to be called up left the country five days beforehand, and all the draft-age men in another village disappeared overnight, regional draft office commissar Andriy Masly told journalists. Of the 14,000 men who were supposed to present themselves at the regional draft office for medical examinations, 7,500 didn’t show up, he said.....

More than 1,300 criminal investigations have been opened against citizens suspected of evading military service, according to the Defense Ministry.

The Ukrainian government’s response to reports of draft dodging has been to tighten the screws on civic freedoms. At the end of January, Poroshenko ordered the government to adopt legislation to regulate travel abroad for those eligible for conscription. In February, the armed forces said it would forbid draft-eligible men from leaving their home provinces without permission from the local military commissar....

Human rights watchers roundly condemned [journalist Ruslan] Kotsaba’s detainment, and Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience. But that hasn’t stopped the Ukrainian government from pursuing other measures that would clamp down on freedom of speech when it comes to the fighting: After Kotsaba’s arrest, Anton Geraschenko, an aid to interior minister Arsen Avakov, said he was working with Parliament to introduce legislation making it a crime to publicly call on people to avoid mobilization. On Feb. 7, Geraschenko warned activists planning to hold a picket against mobilization the next day that if they spoke out, each of them would be held for several hours to ascertain their identity, Amnesty International reported...

The State Department continues today to make vaguely threatening noises at Russia in defense of what we see as Ukrainian liberty.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Draft dodgers are the last real heroes.

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    *golf clap*

  • Sam Haysom||

    Doesn't go far enough. The real heroes are deserting soldiers who in a beautiful cosmopolitan gesture turn their weapons over to the enemy.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Conscriptees aren't soldiers, shitpipe. They're prisoners.

  • kbolino||

    If you have to force people to fight for your cause, what does that say about it?

  • Homple||

    "If you have to force people to fight for your cause, what does that say about it?"

    It says that there is a free rider problem in national defense.

  • Homple||

    Union man, eh? I disagree with you so you must be a [something I don't like]. Argumentum ad Imagined-Hominem.

  • John Titor||

    No he's referring to the fact that union members complain about scabs or non-union workers receiving benefits at jobs which were obviously the result of the union they refuse to join. Hence free rider.

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    Would have been better to put something in about free rider and herd immunity....could have blazed up another vax thread full of comments!

  • kbolino||

    Did the Ukraine repeal taxes?

  • John Titor||

    As Heinlein brilliantly put it:

    "I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don't think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say : Let the damned thing go down the drain!"

  • kbolino||

    The argument is pretty simple. If you to resort to enslaving the populace in order to save them, then they aren't worth saving. We aren't all a bunch of children to be guided (forcefully) by the hand of our father, the government.

    If people cannot be bothered to defend themselves, then let them die. You can't, and shouldn't, save someone from his own stupid choices.

  • grrizzly||

    Naivety reinforced by two large oceans.

  • John Titor||

    The opposite position is barbarism reinforced by empty nationalism.

  • grrizzly||

    I'm glad that my ancestors were not so stupid.

  • kbolino||

    I'm glad that my ancestors were not so stupid.

    Survival is a luxury. Intelligence is the tool that allows you to develop luxuries on your own. Violence is the tool that allows you to take luxuries from others.

    Saying that you are owed the conscription of your neighbors for your own survival is no different from saying you are owed the food your neighbors cultivated to prevent your own starvation.

  • John Titor||

    Funny story, my ancestors were conscripted, spent years in a shitty jungle getting shot at by Suharto's buddies, and returned home to find that the government had taken their property and left them with nothing but one tenth the cash of what the property was worth. What a wonderful system that is, slavery for the state's needs.

  • grrizzly||

    You obviously don't realize how ridiculous blanket equating conscription to slavery sounds to someone who wouldn't have been born if Stalin's Soviet Union hadn't defeated Hitler's Germany.

  • John Titor||

    So your existence justifies conscription, but the actual lives of conscripts killed (not to mention their own potential for children) don't matter.

    Talk about an ego.

  • John Titor||

    Blanket equating conscription to slavery

    Because they're so vastly different right? One is forcefully exploiting the labour of a fellow human being, and the other is...forcefully exploiting the labour of a fellow human being.

    If you're so strongly in favour of it, call it what it is. Don't try to dress it up. Just admit that you need a slave army in times of desperation. At least that's honest.

  • Jordan||

    Please tell us how conscription is not slavery.

  • kbolino||

    You obviously don't realize how ridiculous blanket equating conscription to slavery sounds to someone who wouldn't have been born if Stalin's Soviet Union hadn't defeated Hitler's Germany.

    You're going to hang your hat on the moral superiority of the mother­fucking Soviet Union?

    Jesus Christ.

  • grrizzly||

    I grew up in the real world and I know history. Pretty much every country that was invaded had to resort to conscription in order to defend itself and save the majority of the population. Not every country succeeded, but those that didn't try are not with us anymore. Survivorship bias.

    Since the wars for Americans are mostly the wars of choice and aggression, you implicitly assume that it's the same for other nations. Not all of them are so lucky.

  • Jordan||

    save the majority of the population

    Invading and toppling a government is not the same thing as genocide. I have a hard time believing the average Russian would have been worse off under Hitler than under Stalin.

  • grrizzly||

    I disagree.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....viet_Union

    In 1995 a paper published by the Russian Academy of Science M. V. Philimoshin put the civilian death toll in the regions occupied by Germany at 13.7 million. Philimoshin cited sources from Soviet era to support his figures, he used the terms "genocide" and "premeditated extermination" when referring to deaths of 7.4 million civilians in the occupied USSR caused by the direct, intentional actions of violence. Civilians killed in reprisals during the Soviet partisan war account for a major part of the huge toll.[64] The report of Philimoshin lists the deaths of civilian forced laborers in Germany totaling 2,164,313. G. I. Krivosheev in the report on military casualties gives a total of 1,283,000 POW dead.


    Russian sources generally include Jewish Holocaust deaths with total civilian dead. Martin Gilbert puts Jewish losses at one million within the borders of 1939; Holocaust deaths in the annexed territories there were an additional 1.5 million deaths bringing the total Jewish losses in Soviet territory to 2.5 million.
  • John Titor||

    Because the Soviet government certainly wasn't killing their own civilian population with gusto.

    How many people died in Holodomor alone Grrizzly? Yes, that Stalin, such an improvement over Hitler when comes to genocide.

  • grrizzly||

    Are you seriously saying that Russians and Ukrainians were supposed to let themselves be enslaved or exterminated by Nazis because Holodomor was orchestrated by the Bolshevicks before that?

  • kbolino||

    Are you seriously saying that Russians and Ukrainians were supposed to let themselves be enslaved or exterminated by Nazis because Holodomor was orchestrated by the Bolshevicks before that?

    While there is no excuse for German aggression and the crimes of Nazi Germany, this response is total bullshit.

    You are shilling for conscription, a violent action undertaken by a government against the people, on the basis that it was the will of the selfsame people. That does not make any fucking sense. Why would you have to force people to do what they already want to do?

    If you want to defend yourself, then pick up a fucking gun and do it. You don't need somebody in the government to shove a gun in your face and bark orders at you.

  • kbolino||

    I grew up in the real world and I know history.

    Oh, you know history, do you? Tell me, what is the history of the Soviet Union prior to Germany's invasion?

    Because in the actual real world, the Soviet Union waged a war against humanity itself for 20 years before a single German boot stepped on Russian soil. The government which so nobly and smartly conscripted the Russian (etc.) population had already more or less enslaved them, after first killing off the actual smart people and then starving the rest.

    But no, please stand on the corpses of the millions of conscripts who did little but serve as receptacles for German (and Soviet!) bullets and tell us how glorious conscription saved the people from oppression.

    Don't let inconvenient facts like how the Germans utterly destroyed the conscript armies and were only brought to a standstill by people who were actually willing to fight, or how the Soviets turned Eastern Europe into their personal rape and pillage playground after driving the Germans back, get in the way of your conscription apologia.

  • kbolino||

    If the population isn't willing to fight, then they die. What is so naive about that?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    and whether it will be able to do so without repressing freedom of speech or civil liberties

    I'd have to say that jailing critics and compulsory military service means you have pretty much discarded civil liberties

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Careful, if you criticize Ukraine in any sort of manner, expect some on this forum to call you Putin's catamite and worse than Stalhiterlin.

  • Sam Haysom||

    On what other basis would you criticize a nation under attack by a nation lacking in press freedoms and with a conscription based army. Keep in mind that Russia has these two negative characteristics despite not being currently under attack by a much larger nation. I'm genuinely curious as to why you wouldn't either say nothing or at least acknowledge that at worst the Ukraine is temporarily acting like Russian always acts. It makes no sense for Reason to incessantly call out only one side in this conflict. Why the stricter standard for the Ukraine?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It makes no sense for Reason to incessantly call out only one side in this conflict.


    Is it possible for you to not speak in complete hyperbole?

    This video was published (again) on this site a mere 2 weeks ago:

    Garry Kasparov, Master Chess Player, Speaks Out on the Cold War and the West's Shameful Appeasement of Putin

    Not to mention every Zenon Evans article on the subject.

  • Calidissident||

    What version of Reason are you reading where they do not criticize Russia or Putin?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    But doesn't being a Ukrainian-American give me the ethno-cred to criticize them?

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    "Stalhiterlin"

    Oooh, I like that, and will steal it!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's all open source around here. Steal away!

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    Is it too wordy to add "Chairman" to get a little Mao action in too?

    Chairman Stalhitlerin

    or maybe "Darth"?

    Darth Stalhitlerin

    Hmm.

    Pol?

    Pol Stalhitlerin

    Maybe just leave it as is.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Keeping with the theme, Tostalhiterinjo.

  • Unreconstructed||

    The Turducken of evil?

  • ||

    The turducken of evil, Chairman Stalhiterlin.

    I like this.

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    The Turducken of evil?

    Tostalhiterinjo.

    By God, you people make me laugh - thank you.

  • Winston||

    I'd have to say that jailing critics and compulsory military service means you have pretty much discarded civil liberties

    So about Abe Lincoln...

  • Jordan||

    This is exactly why we shouldn't be helping Ukraine (aside from the fact it's none of our business).

  • Bill Dalasio||

    No, I'm sorry but the fact it's none of our business works all on its own. If it really were in our interest to get involved, the fact that they acted like dicks to their own people wouldn't particularly matter for us.

  • Jordan||

    Being in our interest and being our business are 2 different things, especially considering that "our interest" usually means the U.S. government's interest.

  • Drake||

    Well, if the Ukraine can't find anyone willing to fight for it's sovereignty, it doesn't really deserve to exist and won't for long. Good luck escaping the Russian draft board when they get annexed.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Why is anyone surprised that a country under invasion and occupation is cracking down on draft dodging? It's a shitty situation but really, what do you expect when a nation has its very sovereignty threatened?

  • Jordan||

    Not to resort to slavery? If a population doesn't view their government as worth defending, that's their business.

  • John||

    If no one is willing to sign up for the Army, then I guess you can get ready to live under Russian rule. When the Russians show up and draft you, I guess you can fight for the Russians and live by their rules secure in the knowledge that you never resorted to slavery.

    Have fun with that.

  • sarcasmic||

    It said they're leaving the country. Apparently they're choosing c) None of the above.

  • John||

    And when the Russians show up in Estonia or Poland or wherever they have gone, what then? At some point you might actually have to fight for your freedom instead of having it handed to you by others.

  • sarcasmic||

    At some point the Russians will show up on NATO's doorstep and stop.

  • John Titor||

    At some point you might actually have to fight for your freedom

    So in order to fight for freedom, you have to enslave people? You're arguing a contradiction.

  • Jordan||

    We had to resort to slavery to prevent it.

  • John||

    IF the option is be enslaved now for a short time so you can have your freedom later or not be enslaved now and spend forever enslaved by a foreign power, maybe being enslaved now is the better of two bad options?

  • John||

    And you would end up with a bullet in your head or a boot on your face. The Russians don't really give a fuck what you want.

  • John||

    Yes Spencer, you can always run and leave those who can't do so to die. That is an option. At some point you might run out of places to run or people to suffer so you can have your freedom.

  • Calidissident||

    Perhaps it is, but is it not that person's choice to make?

    And pump the brakes a little. I despise Putin and I'd be worried about Russia if I lived in Eastern Europe, but let's hold off on the inevitability of Russian global domination for now.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    but let's hold off on the inevitability of Russian global domination for now.

    Indeed. Just check out a map circa 1970 and compare it to today and then try to imagine what it would take for the Russian menace to be recreated. It's so far-fetched that bringing it up should get people laughed out of a room.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Having voluntarily served in the military, I can say that sometimes it does make sense to me. But not all governments are the same; some are worth fighting for and others aren't. If I'm going to be enslaved either way, I might seek a third option if one realistically exists.

  • Sam Haysom||

    we need to destroy jobs in order to create new ones. Everything sounds stupid when put in the worst terms possible.

  • Jordan||

    There is no good way to say "we're going to enslave you to defend a government you clearly don't wish to defend."

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    "candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker"?

  • Sam Haysom||

    Cosmopolitanism reduced to pure absurdity. Large armies are yucky and soldiers are mean can somehow coexist in their minds with if you can't defeat your much larger neighbor on the battlefield you don't have the right to exist.

  • Jordan||

    ...

    What?

  • Sam Haysom||

    Jordan everything I write will be over your head just install that blocker thing already so you don't have to read my comments.

  • Jordan||

    Your previous post was one giant strawman.

  • paranoid android||

    Jordan, clearly you are not familiar with the classic Sam Haysom playbook:

    1. Burst into topic with a rather sorry attempt at being witty

    2. Create some fabled straw-man of an argument and insist that this is what all libertarians must believe, then offer it as proof of their unseriousness

    3. Respond to any attempts at correction with churlish insults to the effect that the respondent is just too immature/stupid to understand the self-evident brilliance of his arguments

    4. If possible, make sure to insist to whoever is responding to him is a virgin with a small penis, because that is what passes for a sophisticated argument in the crawlspace of his mind.

  • Drake||

    Given their experience with Russian rule in the last century, you would think that Ukrainians would be willing to fight tooth-and-nail to keep those fucks out. If they aren't willing to fight, oh well, don't bitch when the Ruskies decide to starve a few million more Ukrainians to death just to make some elbow room.

  • John||

    When they end up starving and living under the Russian Yoke, they can die in the knowledge that Reason libertarians respect them for not resorting to slavery to save themselves.

  • John||

    OR, the russian state collapses again and they are again free without having to kill or die.

    yeah, you can always hope for a miracle and be able to live free without ever having to kill or die for it. I mean just because it has never happened in the entire history of the human race, doesn't mean it can't happen to you.

  • John||

    don't know. It's happened for entire generations of people in western europe and the americas.

    Ah no. It has happened to those people lucky enough not to have been the ones who died making it happen. If France or the UK are free today, it is because hundreds of thousands of people fought and died to keep others from taking it away.

  • John||

    You statement is idiotic. Had it not been for previous sacrifice, the people in those countries would have never been free in the first place.

  • Drake||

    Either way, they let laziness and cowardice be their guiding star.

  • kbolino||

    resorting to slavery to save themselves

    How can you get through the cognitive dissonance long enough to type shit like this?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I'm not condoning conscription, but it's historically true that when a nation is under occupation and has its very existence threatened it will throw civil liberties out the window.

    I don't think there is a nation on Earth that wouldn't do the same in a similar situation.

    In any case, it's their problem, let them deal with it.

  • John||

    An argument could be made that they shouldn't and allow a partisan groundswell to come up after occupation.

    You can make that argument, if you are a complete moron who has no clue how horrible and occupation and partisan war is. If you really that stupid and don't understand how much better it is to win the conventional war and never be occupied in the first place, yeah you can make that argument.

  • John||

    The Russians are hardly a juggernaut. They have a broken down conscript army that doesn't want to be there. Beyond that, I would rather die standing up than on my knees. If you would let a foreign country march in and walk all over your home, you are pathetic. I don't how else to put it. You must like the taste of the boot on your face or something.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If you would let a foreign country march in and walk all over your home, you are pathetic. I don't how else to put it. You must like the taste of the boot on your face or something.

    Or, you're an ethnic Russian living in Ukraine who view Putin's forces as liberators.

    Just saying there are two points of view here.

  • John||

    Mulatto,

    If you are on the other side and are happy to see them come, then go welcome them in. I am going on the assumption you are a Ukrainian and do not want the Russians taking over. That as you point out, may not be the case.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I am going on the assumption you are a Ukrainian and do not want the Russians taking over. That as you point out, may not be the case.

    Furthermore, there are obviously enough Ukrainians in the eastern part of the country who do want to be allied with/part of Russia that the whole civil war started in the damn place. Let's not forget that the Ukrainians drafted into the army are more likely to fight their fellow eastern countrymen then actual Russian troops. That adds a different dimension to the motivation not to fight, I believe.

  • sarcasmic||

    And when the Russians show up in Estonia or Poland or wherever they have gone, what then?
    .
    .
    The Russians are hardly a juggernaut. They have a broken down conscript army that doesn't want to be there.

    So you're simultaneously arguing that Ukraine could push them back if they tried hard enough, while also arguing that the Russians could steamroll over all of Eastern Europe?

    Make up your mind.

  • Homple||

    It is simple to a certain type of mind. Ukraine is a country with an army. Russia is a country with an army. Any country with an army can beat any other country with an army if they really want to. So if the Ukrainians aren't beating the Russians, it is because they don't think it's worth doing. Relative force size, equipment and organizational sophistication have nothing to do with the matter.

  • Jordan||

    So if the Ukrainians aren't beating the Russians, it is because they don't think it's worth doing

    Um, no. If the Ukrainians aren't volunteering to fight, then they obviously don't think it's worth doing.

  • Homple||

    Or they might think there is no use getting killed in an unwinnable war with an overpowering invader.

  • Jordan||

    Which would be the same as believing it's not worth doing.

  • Homple||

    "Which would be the same as believing it's not worth doing."

    Which, please correct me if I'm wrong, many libertarians might agree with in that situation.

  • Jordan||

    I'm pretty sure it's not just libertarians who would believe it's not worth going to die for no reason.

  • Homple||

    "I'm pretty sure it's not just libertarians who would believe it's not worth going to die for no reason."

    I think that's the reason for much of Ukrainian behavior. Too many people there know what the Russians are like--during and after a war that Ukraine will lose without a significant amount of outside help. And they are pretty sure that no such help is forthcomong.

  • Paul.||

    France didn't.

  • John||

    And that worked out so well for them.

  • Paul.||

    Hardly any french people died, and they preserved Paris. And why would they when they had the allies as their bouncer?

  • John||

    I am pretty sure the 500,000 or so Jews who got shipped of to the death camps have a different view of things.

    Seriously Paul, you guys have been reduced to pointing to Vichy France as a good example of what you are talking about. If there is a better indication that you have lost the argument than having to hold up Vichy France as a good example of it, I am unaware of what it would be.

    Game set match.

  • Calidissident||

    The French army used conscription in ww2 so I don't see how it's even a relevant example.

  • Paul.||

    Hmm, I've never been a fan of using sarcasm tags. Maybe I should start using them.

  • Paul.||

    *bursts in through door, out of breath*

    Ok guys, you're not going to believe this... Oh yeah OT ALERT... so yeah, you're not going to believe this.

    King County Metro is hiring a "comfort station manager"-- someone who can arrange potty breaks for metro drivers along their route. The job will be full time and pay $80,000 - $97,000 a year. NOTHING LEFT TO CUT!

    http://www.king5.com/story/new...../23711709/

    Metro is advertising for a Comfort Station Coordinator, paying $80,000 to $97,000 a year for a manager to solve the bathroom problem.
  • Jordan||

    Cue spam bots.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Why don't the drivers just piss themselves like a large percentage of the passengers do?

  • Paul.||

    They do:

    Too few bathroom breaks drove bus drivers to adult diapers

    http://crosscut.com/2014/11/ki.....s-depends/

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    Epi,

    Take the job. Monkey wrench the system from within.

    "King County Metro drivers strike due to hideous washroom conditions"

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    I want something even more twisted. Epi is up to that standard, I am sure.

    "I ran into the bathroom, and I got jumped by 4 Juggalos!"

    "As soon as I got in there, the locked...from the outside!"

    "WHO PUT THE #$%&ing; blowup dolls in all the stalls!!!"

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    "I don't want to talk about it! " *sobs while walking away - camera zooms in on issue of BDSM Gloryhole mag ad listing "comfort station"*

  • Robert||

    I can hardly wait for the Baggetoon.

  • Cyto||

    in defense of what we see as Ukrainian liberty.

    Geez. You don't have to be on the administration's side to see that Ukraine is under an existential threat. Whatever the current government is or isn't doing to their citizen's natural rights kinda pales alongside the annexation of their country by Russia.

    Besides, I'd say the jawboning is in defense of Ukrainian independence, not individual liberties.

    Whether it is in the US' interests to be involved is another matter, but invading a neighboring country for the purpose of annexing interesting bits of territory is kinda the opposite of everything most of us stand for.

  • Jordan||

    You don't have to be on the administration's side to see that Ukraine is under an existential threat. Whatever the current government is or isn't doing to their citizen's natural rights kinda pales alongside the annexation of their country by Russia.

    The government of Ukraine may be under an existential threat. And the ones who would have to live under the Russians don't seem to be particularly bothered.

  • B.P.||

    They have some pretty short memories, then.

  • Paul.||

    You should watch a Netflix documentary about the Ukraine situation.

    Those Russian separatists are old school. Supreme commander, squinting at reporters while smoking Russian cigarettes and fondling a Makarov lying on the table, ominously pointed at the media.

  • grrizzly||

    You can always rely on useful idiots. Too bad I don't like the Russian government, otherwise I could make a terrific career on Russia Today.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    One can argue that Ukrainians should be willing to fight this war. I would hope that people will refrain from arguing that Americans should fight it. I suspect that I hope in vain.

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    I have not seen anyone advocating Americans fight there....on these pages (note, I don't think Lindsey Graham or John McCain reads H&R).
    I'd like to sell them arms and have the Euroweenies pick up the tab.

  • Paul.||

    Have Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain draw straws.

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    I was thinking the Germans, who have hidden behind our skirts long enough, could pony up. Its not like they are spending anything on the Bundeswehr.

    Besides, if they will pay for Greeks to retire at 50, they could buy a few tanks and MANPADS to be used in Russian killing, ja?

  • SugarFree||

    MANPADS? Why don't they just use butt tampons?

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    Hmmmm...shoot down a HIND helicopter with a butt tampon. I sense some really disturbing combat fiction about to be written...

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    Hmmmm...shoot down a HIND helicopter with a butt tampon. I sense some really disturbing combat fiction about to be written...

  • Homple||

    "Besides, if they will pay for Greeks to retire at 50, they could buy a few tanks and MANPADS to be used in Russian killing, ja?"

    Jawohl!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I haven't yet. I want it to stay that way. I suspect that deep inside the neocons would disagree, even though they may be politic enough to avoid saying so openly.

    I'd further say that I'd prefer that our government stay out of it entirely. Those idiots make terrible decisions every fucking time they stick their noses into somebody else's war. I know damn well that's too much to hope for.

  • Drake||

    Selling them arms won't do much good if nobody there is willing to point them at the nearest Russian...

  • B.P.||

    When's the last time anyone heard from H-n-R's doctor friend who lives in Ukraine?

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    I think sloopy may have been the last one to hear from Dr. Groovus.

    Now I haz a sad.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    At the end of January, Poroshenko ordered the government to adopt legislation to regulate travel abroad for those eligible for conscription. In February, the armed forces said it would forbid draft-eligible men from leaving their home provinces without permission from the local military commissar...

    Looks like they will not be escaping if the government has any say in it.

  • John Titor||

    If anything, the moral of the story in regards to the Ukraine is: You probably shouldn't have given up your nukes.

  • Homple||

    They fucked up. They trusted us.

  • John Titor||

    This is also applicable to Qaddafi's Libya. Methinks a lot of nations in the future aren't going to be quite that into the idea of giving up their WMD programs given how the countries that do seem to be betrayed and destroyed on a regular basis.

  • Homple||

    A good point, and not just WMD. I'm pretty sure Assad noted what happened to Quaddafi and decided fighting on was his best option. He's a bad guy, but rational.

  • ||

    I have come to see every government as apparatus for enriching and protecting the political class, i.e. the elites.

    I don't think that Kiev is trying to save Ukraine as much as the political class there is trying to keep the Russian political class from eating them. Why would the average Ukrainian get his ass shot off so that Poroshenko and his cronies can keep living in palaces? After Ukraine is saved some guy will still be living in a palace and he gets to go home and live in poverty, only now he has no legs. Probably not much different than life under the Ruskies.

    I did my bit a long time ago. I wish I could take it back. Looking after the interests of the FedGov is not the same as defending America. Even at my age I would arm up and fight like hell to defend America. The FedGov? Not so much.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The pacifism of utter despair, except despite what you may think, it can always get worse.

  • Homple||

    More broadly, the apathy of utter despair, but your point holds.

  • userve32||

    Come on man lets jsut roll with it dude.

    www.AnonWeb.cf

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online