Russians Bomb Maternity Hospital
There can be no justification for Vladimir Putin’s latest act of barbarism.
Never let it be said that Joe Biden sat idly by, licking an ice cream cone while Vladimir Putin’s Russian scum launched missiles into high-rise apartments and airstrikes on maternity hospitals. (We know, we know. They were just following orders.)
“A children’s hospital. A maternity hospital. How did they threaten the Russian Federation?” asked a stunned Ukrainian President and Ronald Reagan Freedom Award recipient Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly video address, before switching to Russian to better express his disgust: “What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals, afraid of maternity hospitals, and destroys them?”
Video footage showed a group of men struggling to carry a bleeding pregnant woman through the rubble as a light snow began to fall on them. “There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenseless,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adding that Putin will be held “to account for his terrible crimes.”
We can hope so. But in the meantime, we can pray that a Russian man of conscience and decency — perhaps a member of Putin’s inner circle, perhaps a man with a wife and children of his own — will do the right thing and put an end to this slaughter.
Even the feckless United Nations denounced this latest act of barbarism: “Children are not targets. Ever. Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure — including hospitals, water and sanitation systems and schools — are unconscionable and must stop immediately.”
Immediately. If that admonition doesn’t shake Putin to his core, we don’t know what will. The UN may not be able to call Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an invasion, nor its war on Ukraine a war, but its flacks can certainly tweet out a sternly worded memo. (Earlier this week, an internal UN email directed staffers to describe this most massive military action on the European continent since World War II in more anodyne terms — terms such as “conflict” and “military offensive” — so as to avoid “reputational risk.”)
But back to Joe Biden, who just last year complimented Vladimir Putin as “a worthy adversary” who is “bright” and “tough.” In acknowledging the seriousness of Russia’s
invasion of war on conflict with Ukraine, he dispatched Vice President Kamala “Impeachment Insurance” Harris to Eastern Europe this week to show solidarity with our allies in the region and help burnish her foreign policy credentials. After all, if Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats find a way to medically retire him from office before he’s able to bumble his way through the final three years of his term, all this will be Kamala’s.
“I’m here standing on NATO’s eastern flank to reaffirm our commitment to Poland and to our NATO allies,” she said, in brief remarks no doubt crafted by abler diplomats than she. “There is no question that we stand united.”
No question, eh? We wonder if Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki would concur — especially after Team Biden turned down the offer of our Polish friends to supply some of their Soviet-era fighter jets to the U.S., which could then pass them on to Ukraine, which would then be better able to keep the Russians from bombing maternity hospitals. Such a proposal was “high risk,” and it wouldn’t “significantly change the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Air Force relative to Russian capabilities,” said the Biden administration’s Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby. And, of course, such an act might make Vladimir Putin mad — or, to put it in more appeasing terms, it might be “mistaken as escalatory and could result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO.”
Apparently, then, as Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton aptly noted during a Senate hearing today, aircraft-killing stinger missiles and tank-killing javelin missiles — both of which we’re supplying to Ukraine — aren’t “escalatory,” but Soviet-era MiG fighters are. Who knew?
This brings us to a final point: If Volodymyr Zelensky can ask what kind of country bombs maternity hospitals, we might also ask what kind of country simply stands by and watches it happen? We’re not in favor of sending ground troops to engage the Russians, but neither are we in favor of allowing a KGB thug to bully the United States with nuclear blackmail. Which is precisely what he’s done to Joe Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken.
Maybe that’s why, as the AP reports, “Diplomats working out of the [Ukrainian] embassy, in a townhouse in the Georgetown section of the city, are fielding thousands of offers from volunteers seeking to fight for Ukraine.”
“[These Americans] really feel that this war is unfair, unprovoked,” said Ukraine’s military attaché, Major General Borys Kremenetskyi. “They feel that they have to go and help.”
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