• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

‘I Just Can’t Stand By’: American Veterans Join the Fight in Ukraine

NewfieMom

I read, therefore I am.
Bartender
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
6,456
Reaction score
7,094
Location
New England, United States
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Most of the democratic world has rallied around Ukraine as it bravely faces invasion by Russia. This is shown by large pro-Ukraine demonstrations throughout major cities of the world.

The United States has certainly reflected this same sentiment. It shouldn't surprise anyone that American veterans have been among the Americans affected.

Recently there have been references made to the Abraham Lincoln Brigades who went to fight Franco when he attempted the fascist overthrow of the government in Spain just prior to World War II in which the United States was to fight the fascists from Italy (Mussolini) and Germany (Hitler).

The Abraham Lincoln Brigades have not been discussed in the United States much until recently, and in light of the war in Ukraine, but they were made of American volunteers, mainly college students, who wanted to fight the fascists before FDR was ready to do so. Sometimes they are pictured as communists (untrue), but they were idealist young leftists many of whom died on foreign soil in a precursor to World War II.

Their fate is something to be considered by young men volunteering to fight for a valiant cause now.

The following is excerpted from "The New York Times".



"Hector served two violent tours in Iraq as a United States Marine, then got out, got a pension and a civilian job, and thought he was done with military service. But on Friday, he boarded a plane for one more deployment, this time as a volunteer in Ukraine.
...​
Hector said he hoped to cross the border to train Ukrainians in his expertise: armored vehicles and heavy weapons.
'A lot of veterans, we have a calling to serve, and we trained our whole career for this kind of war,' he said. 'Sitting by and doing nothing? I had to do that when Afghanistan fell apart, and it weighted heavily on me. I had to act.'

All across the United States, small groups of military veterans are gathering, planning and getting passports in order. After years of serving in smoldering occupations, trying to spread democracy in places that had only a tepid interest in it, many are hungry for what they see as a righteous fight to defend freedom against an autocratic aggressor with a conventional and target-rich army.


'It’s a conflict that has a clear good and bad side, and maybe that stands apart from other recent conflicts,' said David Ribardo, a former Army officer who now owns a property management business in Allentown, Pa. 'A lot of us are watching what is happening and just want to grab a rifle and go over there.
...​

The risk of unintended escalation has led the U.S. federal government to try to keep citizens from becoming freelance fighters, not just in this conflict, but for centuries. In 1793, President Washington issued a Proclamation of Neutrality warning Americans to stay out of the French Revolution. But the efforts have been uneven, and often swayed by the larger national sentiment.

...




 

NewfieMom

I read, therefore I am.
Bartender
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
6,456
Reaction score
7,094
Location
New England, United States
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
...The civil war in Spain just before the start of World War II is the best-known example. More than 3,000 Americans joined what became know as the Lincoln-Washington Battalion, to fight with the elected leftist government against fascist forces.
...
That effort, now often romanticized as a valiant prelude to the fight against the Nazis, ended badly. The poorly trained and equipped brigades made a disastrous assault of a fortified ridge in 1937 and three-quarters of the men were killed or wounded. Others faced near starvation in captivity. Their leader, a former math professor who was the inspiration for the protagonist in Ernest Hemingway’s novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” was later captured and most likely executed.


That has not dissuaded a number of veterans who are all too familiar with the risks of combat.
James was a medic who first saw combat when he replaced another medic killed in fighting in Iraq in 2006. He did two more tours, in Iraq and Afghanistan, seeing so much blood and death that 10 years after leaving the military he still attends therapy at a veteran’s hospital.

But this week, as he watched Russian forces shell cities across Ukraine, he decided that he had to try to go there to help.
'Combat has a cost, that’s for sure; you think you can come back from war the same, but you can’t,' James said in a phone interview from his home in Dallas, where he said he was waiting to hear back from Ukrainian officials. 'But I feel obligated. It’s the innocent people being attacked — the kids. It’s the kids, man. I just can’t stand by.'"

(The above is a continuation of the quotation from above. It wouldn't fit in the space provided.)
 
Last edited:

snakestretcher

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
41,669
Reaction score
17,248
Location
Devonshire, England
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Most of the democratic world has rallied around Ukraine as it bravely faces invasion by Russia. This is shown by large pro-Ukraine demonstrations throughout major cities of the world.

The United States has certainly reflected this same sentiment. It shouldn't surprise anyone that American veterans have been among the Americans affected.

Recently there have been references made to the Abraham Lincoln Brigades who went to fight Franco when he attempted the fascist overthrow of the government in Spain just prior to World War II in which the United States was to fight the fascists from Italy (Mussolini) and Germany (Hitler).

The Abraham Lincoln Brigades have not been discussed in the United States much until recently, and in light of the war in Ukraine, but they were made of American volunteers, mainly college students, who wanted to fight the fascists before FDR was ready to do so. Sometimes they are pictured as communists (untrue), but they were idealist young leftists many of whom died on foreign soil in a precursor to World War II.

Their fate is something to be considered by young men volunteering to fight for a valiant cause now.

The following is excerpted from "The New York Times".



"Hector served two violent tours in Iraq as a United States Marine, then got out, got a pension and a civilian job, and thought he was done with military service. But on Friday, he boarded a plane for one more deployment, this time as a volunteer in Ukraine.
...​
Hector said he hoped to cross the border to train Ukrainians in his expertise: armored vehicles and heavy weapons.
'A lot of veterans, we have a calling to serve, and we trained our whole career for this kind of war,' he said. 'Sitting by and doing nothing? I had to do that when Afghanistan fell apart, and it weighted heavily on me. I had to act.'

All across the United States, small groups of military veterans are gathering, planning and getting passports in order. After years of serving in smoldering occupations, trying to spread democracy in places that had only a tepid interest in it, many are hungry for what they see as a righteous fight to defend freedom against an autocratic aggressor with a conventional and target-rich army.


'It’s a conflict that has a clear good and bad side, and maybe that stands apart from other recent conflicts,' said David Ribardo, a former Army officer who now owns a property management business in Allentown, Pa. 'A lot of us are watching what is happening and just want to grab a rifle and go over there.
...​

The risk of unintended escalation has led the U.S. federal government to try to keep citizens from becoming freelance fighters, not just in this conflict, but for centuries. In 1793, President Washington issued a Proclamation of Neutrality warning Americans to stay out of the French Revolution. But the efforts have been uneven, and often swayed by the larger national sentiment.

...




Same here in Britain and elsewhere across Europe...
 
Top Bottom