Budowsky: When Zelensky speaks, we are all Ukrainian
European and world security are endangered by an illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine. While Russian strongman Vladimir Putin threatens nuclear war, the army he commands engages in massive bombings of civilian populations. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has announced there is sufficient evidence to investigate possible war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed against Ukraine — which every leader of every nation, including China, should speak out against today, tomorrow and forever.
Beautiful Ukrainian children battling cancer are being evacuated from hospitals to underground bomb shelters, because Putin’s bombs threaten to destroy the hospitals that are striving to save the children. Courageous war correspondents reveal to the world evils and wrongs and dastardly deeds that violate the decent opinion of humankind, fundamental values of great faiths across the earth, and the safety and security of Europe and the world!
But the dark events today, historically reminiscent of Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939, have also created a spontaneous combustion of hope, decency, honor, purpose and resolve from decent men and women across Ukraine. And throughout Europe. And around the world. They are rising with righteous wrath against the threat to our nations, our values and our safety.
In recent columns I have noted that leaders, from President Biden and leaders throughout Europe to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, have risen to the occasion of defeating the threat that confronts us all.
President Zelensky deserves extraordinary applause for lifting his country to heights of patriotism, determination and valor. And for taking the cause of his country to decent people throughout the world, who rally to the defense of Ukraine.
Every minute of every hour of every day Zelensky is risking his life for his country, and for democracy throughout the world. And the world is responding powerfully and brilliantly.
When Zelensky speaks, we are all Ukrainian!
Putin provokes anger, rage and disgust, including from many of his own people who are beaten and imprisoned for protesting against his war.
Zelensky provokes hope, courage and purpose from Ukrainians who stand together to make a courageous and spectacular stand for their country, supporters who protest against Russia around the world and leaders across the globe who enact very strong sanctions to counter Putin’s ability to wage war against Ukraine — and other nations, if he is allowed to prevail in Ukraine.
We do not know if President Zelensky has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he has been nominated, I would proudly and strongly support him for the honor.
Zelensky is the voice of decency, democracy, and diplomacy, whose words move his nation and move the world. He is a leader who inspires his people to fight with indescribable courage for their families, their nation and their democracy. He is a world leader in the truest sense of the term.
Zelensky, the courageous people of Ukraine and those who stand with them everywhere embody the words of William Faulkner, who said, accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950: “I believe that man will not merely endure. He will prevail. He is immortal not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
The people of Ukraine are fighting with indomitable valor. Nations have enacted aggressive sanctions. Athletes and teams are refusing to play against Russia in the World Cup and other sports. The International Olympic Committee is calling for boycotts of Russian teams. Artistic festivals are beginning to act against Russian participation. Major global firms, including oil companies, are cancelling ties to Russian firms. Social media companies are acting against Russian propaganda and interests.
As people across Russia learn the truth, protests grow both within the nation and around the world. More European nations are considering joining NATO.
President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine inspire the world in a battle of ideas. They shine a light for democracy over dictatorship, peace over war and courage over fear against aggression.
We are all Ukrainians today.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.
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