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I Stand With The Ukraine

March 1, 2022

Caricatures of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, with colors of Ukrainian flag, blue and gold, overlaid on their faces, with #StandWithUkraine hashtag underneathRussian president Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of its western neighbor, the Ukraine, on February 24th. He said Russia could not feel safe because of the threat posed by the much smaller Ukraine.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The BBC puts the matter in context:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Many of President Putin’s arguments are false or irrational. He claimed his goal was to protect people (Russian sympathizers living in the Ukraine) subjected to bullying and genocide and aim for the “demilitarization and de-Nazification” of Ukraine.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

There has been no genocide in Ukraine: it is a vibrant democracy, led by a president who is Jewish.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“How could I be a Nazi?” asked (Ukraine President) Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who likened Russia’s onslaught to Nazi Germany’s invasion in World War Two.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Ukraine’s chief rabbi and the Auschwitz Memorial have also rejected Mr Putin’s slur.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

My own theory (which is hardly original): Putin hates and fears the Ukraine (once part of the old Soviet Union) because it has embraced democracy and Western values, and it’s been prospering.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The Ukraine makes Putin look bad because it stands in stark contrast to the dismal life of its Russian-controlled neighbors.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Kathryn Stoner, director at the Center on Democracy at Stanford University, writing in Politico, puts it this way:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

For Putin, the example of a free, independent Ukraine on Russia’s border is too inspiring a model for his own people who might eventually demand something similar at home, and that would mean his ouster.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

So for him, Ukrainian independence and democracy is an existential threat to his personalistic autocracy.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The Kremlin’s endgame, beyond ensuring the survival of Putin’s regime, is to create a multipolar world where autocratic Russia and rising China challenge Western liberal hegemony.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The goal is nothing short of the establishment of a new global order where might is right, and state sovereignty, individual rights and freedoms, and human rights are wrong.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

As I write this, Russia is shelling Ukraine’s major cities. Over half a million people have fled their homes. The U.N. Human Rights Office reports 102 civilian deaths, including seven children, and more than 300 injured. The world needs to hold Putin and Russia accountable for their horrific, unprovoked aggression.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I stand with the Ukraine. I’m sure our most famous U.S. presidents would, too. Here are some quotes that seem very appropriate just now.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

George Washington:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

“Real men despise battle, but will never run from it.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Thomas Jefferson:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“The man who would choose security over freedom deserves neither.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.”blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Abraham Lincoln:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

“When it comes to (depotism) I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty– to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

“Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.”blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I urge you to stand with the Ukraine.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Donate to one of the organizations providing humanitarian aid. Check the lists provided by Religion News Service, Time, or NPR.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can also contribute to Ukraine’s Armed Forces.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Claire Porter, PORTABLES, choreographer dancer performance artist

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2022 10:37 AM

    Wow, this is probably the most political post you’ve done. I think any direct donations to humanitarian organization is terribly needed right now. I fear what may happen over the next few months. 😦

    Like

    • April 7, 2022 8:53 AM

      Hi, Jean. I could never be a politician. Too naive. Too much heart, not enough head. There’s been an outpouring of humanitarian aid for Ukraine, and it’s very gratifying, but Ukraine needs more military aid and support.

      I understand the “political” dangers, and the danger of escalation, but for the West to stand by waving Ukrainian flags while the Russians shell hospitals and rape women and girls and destroy a country because it doesn’t share Putin’s obsession with an “Imperial Russia,” well, it’s shameful. It seems such a betrayal of what, supposedly, we stand for.

      I feel like we’re at a true turning point in history. The good needs to rise up and meet such evil. Surely history has taught us that much. OK, end of rant!

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 7, 2022 8:15 PM

        It’s rather strange how we slug along here in North America in our ordinary lives with a bit of covid pall hanging on the edges. Meanwhile somewhere else is a nightmare. Very strange, unsettling times. The majority of Russians haven’t liked their leader for a long time prior to this yr.

        Liked by 1 person

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