“I Stand With Ukraine” is quite a popular phrase at the moment.
But, for the most part, it’s a pretty hollow expression.
It’s basically a show of approval, and certainly there’s a lot to approve of in how the people of Ukraine are handling themselves.
And a hell of a lot to disapprove of in what the Russian government is up to.
I mean, I added the Ukrainian colors to my avatar picture on this site so I clearly am not objecting to simple expressions of approval.
Go for it.
But it’s not “standing with” Ukraine.
It’s more “standing behind” Ukraine, since they’re the ones between us and all the danger.
And make no mistake: Russia’s territorial ambitions (especially what appears to be Putin’s personal ambition to re-conquer all of what had been the old Russian Empire) is a danger to all of us.
But standing with someone would mean actually sharing some of the danger with them, not merely cheering from the sidelines.
It would mean more than sending weapons and supplies, more than economic withdrawal and sanctions, though those are important too.
It would absolutely mean directly engaging the Russian military; stopping the atrocity rather than bemoaning it after it’s done.
And it would be dangerous; Russia has many nuclear bombs, and may very well be deranged enough to use them,
But not helping Ukraine directly because we’re afraid that Putin is actually that nuts doesn’t help in the long run; it just tells Putin that yeah, economic weapons are all we’re willing to use against Russia. And believing that is kinda what makes him think he can get away with this now.
After all, he got away with it in Crimea already and I can’t see any reason to think that he won’t have another go if he gets all of Ukraine this time.
So we should be actually “standing with” Ukraine right now.
For the rest of us, it really is a situation of If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next: