I have supported aiding Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression. I don’t understand conservatives who want America to watch Russia crush an independent country. That is not the America I thought conservatism embraced. At the same time, the opponents of aid to Ukraine do make valid points. For example, America should not seek regime change in Russia; peace should be pursued as vigorously as war; and compromises — such as an agreement that Ukraine does not apply for NATO membership, at least for a specified amount of time — will be necessary.
But there is one argument made by opponents of American aid to Ukraine that holds no water — the argument that Ukraine is corrupt.
One reason this argument doesn’t hold water is that had it been applied in the past, America, to cite one example, would never have aided Korea in its fight for survival against North Korean/Chinese/Soviet aggression. It took many years for (South) Korea to become a fully functioning democracy. Yet, thank God and thank America, which lost 37,000 men, that America did aid Korea, or the entire Korean peninsula would have become what North Korea is — the world’s largest concentration camp.
And to cite the most extreme example, if corruption were a reason not to aid a country, America certainly should not have aided Stalin’s Soviet Union in its war with Nazi Germany. Stalin’s regime murdered about 30 million Soviet citizens, including the deliberate starvation of about 5 million Ukrainians. But we did aid Stalin because, at the time, Hitler was the evil that most needed to be destroyed.
There is a second reason the argument that we shouldn’t aid Ukraine because it is corrupt holds no water. It is hard to imagine that at this time Ukraine is more corrupt than America. I never imagined I would ever write such a thing. But it is, sadly, the case.
Under the influence of the left, both the government and virtually every governing body in America has been corrupted.
To begin with, with the possible exception of Lyndon B. Johnson, Joe Biden is the most corrupt president in American history. While in government service, he has enriched himself and his family to an unprecedented extent. Have Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his extended family become as wealthy as Joe Biden and his extended family? Even if they have, would it make a difference? If it were proven that Zelenskyy was the most honest head of state in the world, would any conservative opponent of aid to Ukraine become a proponent of aid to Ukraine?
And while on the subject of relative corruption, are Ukraine’s intelligence agencies more corrupt than — or even just as corrupt as — America’s? America’s intelligence heads serve the interests of the ruling Democratic Party, not of America. To cite just one example, 51 heads and former heads of intelligence agencies signed a lie — that the Hunter Biden laptop was likely Russian disinformation — in order to help Joe Biden get elected president in 2020.
Has the Zelenskyy government sought to imprison a previous president or the leading opposition candidate as the American left is now doing?
Does the Ukraine government have as many political prisoners as the Biden government has?
Has the Ukrainian Medical Association announced that the sex of all Ukrainian newborns not be listed in the child’s birth certificate — because we do not know for certain the sex of a child and because the child should be able to choose his/her/their sex later in life? I doubt it. Yet, that is precisely what the American Medical Association has announced vis-a-vis American newborns.
Do Ukrainian children’s hospitals encourage pre-adolescents to take hormone blockers if they say they think they are a person of the opposite sex? Do Ukrainian medical schools tell their medical students never to say “pregnant woman” but “birthing person”?
The list of corrupted major American institutions — inside and outside the government — is almost as long as the list of major American institutions.
To repeat, I agree with opponents of aid to Ukraine that America should be pursuing peace as vigorously as it is pursuing war. Comments such as Joe Biden’s calling for regime change in Russia, his declaring Putin a “war criminal,” and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III’s statement that a key U.S. goal in supporting Ukraine is “to see Russia weakened” are likely prolonging a very dangerous war.
Nevertheless, we should all agree that one does not refuse to aid an attacked nation based on the amount of corruption in that nation. Especially when that nation is no more corrupt than one’s own — and considerably freer than the attacking nation.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist.