Welcome to TNP’s first debate in the Senate. Today Madison Reyes and Leo Gray debate the different aspects of the ongoing Russian and Ukraine war. To give each writer an equal playing field, I have created three sections in which both writers had an interest in debating.
The subject is listed below.
Was it NATO's or Russia's fault?
Should there be a no-fly zone?
Should the United States get involved?
At the end of the debate, each writer will have the option to respond to the other.
All of the information given is as of March 22nd. As events unfold in the ongoing conflict, we understand that more information and arguments will arise. However, we will not update this debate any time after publication. If both writers want to, we will host another one for them and others to join.
Thank you, and on behalf of Leo, Madison, and I, we hope you enjoy the debate and remember that at the end of the day, we all want is best for the world and the safety of its people.
~Emma Woodhead, editor-in-chief.
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Was NATO at fault for this or Russia?
Madison- It is Russia’s fault.
Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has been a dying power trying to reclaim some form of glory they used to have. They have threatened for years that they wanted to take back the former satellite states. In 2014, we let them take the Crimean Peninsula. That should have been a red flag right there for NATO to step in and stop Russia. This has been mapped out for years, and yet we had sat by and let them announce over and over again what they were going to do and then were shocked when it happened. We knew very well that Putin is a dangerous man, hungry for power, and this is just the first domino to fall in his plan to take back the satellite states. Russia has been aggressive toward’s it neighboring states for years, and it was only a matter of time before they unleashed a war on Ukraine. They are the ones who initiated an unprovoked attack. They are in the wrong.
Leo- It is NATO’s fault.
NATO was created in 1949 to defend the west from the Soviet Union. If you’ve looked at a map recently, there is no more Soviet Union, and most importantly, there is no Warsaw Pact anymore. It was dissolved in 1991. There is no reason any more to have NATO because the force it was created to fight against has been eliminated. With the power and alliance that NATO still has, and the dissolvent of the Warsaw Pact has led Putin and Russia to feel threatened by NATO because he does not have the coalition that used to be in the Warsaw Pact nations. NATO continued to push its control of Europe into the east, and the final nail on the coffin was bringing Ukraine into NATO. Putin said he would leave Ukraine alone if they didn’t join NATO. NATO and the Ukrainian government knew what would happen and still continued to poke the bear until Russia attacked.
NATO has backed Russia into a corner even if it doesn’t mean to pose a threat to them, and what happens when you back a scared animal into a corner? It attacks.
Should NATO enforce a no-fly zone?
We are in this situation because NATO sat by and let them take Crimea. Creating and enforcing a no-fly zone will show Putin that NATO will not sit by and let him take over a sovereign country. Russia acts like Ukraine is still a satellite state of the USSR. Ukraine has its own democracy and its own form of government, separate from Russia. Creating a no-fly zone will allow for Ukraine to protect its skies and land from any aerial attacks that are harder to defend than land ones. It will be NATO finally saying no to Putin and pushing back on his efforts.
I’ll keep it simple because it is straightforward. Enforcing a no-fly zone will send the entire world into war. If any Russian plane flies there, NATO will have to shoot it down. Shoot down an aircraft, and that is a declaration of war. And many people think it is NATO vs. Russia. No, it’s NATO vs. Russia and its allies. Shooting down a Russian aircraft is also declaring war on the former Soviet countries that are still allied with Russia, many of the Middle Eastern countries that hate the West (primarily the United States), North Korea, and most notably China. A no-fly zone will not cause an all-out war between two sides with many allies that are either powerful or have nothing to lose when they charge into battle. No country is going to let a nation shoot down its planes and not respond to it with equal if not more violence.
Should the United States get involved?
The United States is still the most powerful country in the world. Now is our time to prove it, and now it is our time to prove it and show our opponents that we are not a country to push around. We have the strongest military, and we’ve always assumed the role of protecting countries that are democratic from countries that are not. We have always been the country that others can look to defend the same values we have. The United States getting involved with not only protect an innocent country but also allow us to continue our presence as the world superpower. The United States is more powerful than Russia and can stop the threats being thrown to the West.
One word. Afghanistan. Do I need to remind you all how quickly Biden let Afghanistan fall to the Taliban, a group that we could have eradicated if we so wanted to but, for some reason, held back on? If this were a different administration, it would be a different story. But Biden let Afghanistan fall; what makes you able to lead us through a war with Russia and allies?
Biden does not have the backbone or drive to lead our country through a war. There is a conflict of interest. Biden’s son has deep ties with Ukraine’s oil companies and economy. ‘Sending 10% to the big guy,” no, are you remember? Yeah, that laptop was said to be propaganda, but now news outlets are starting to backtrack and say that it is real and that Hunter Biden has been in connection with the corruption of Ukraine, China, and other foreign entities.
Governments also make money during wartime, and we forget that it is not the people who declare war that have to go fight but you and me—the average folks. We will be sent off to war as politicians who declare and fuel it sit in their ivory towers. Are you really willing to go off and fight a war that is surrounded by corruption on both sides?
"Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die." — Herbert Hoover
It is time to stop sending Americans into wars. We did it in Vietnam and failed. We did it in the Middle East, in fact we are still doing it and how many have to die in these endless wars? Why do we think sending our men and women into Europe will be any different?
And why would anyone want to fight under the orders of an administration that has only things to gain from this conflict personally? The US won’t gain anything. Only our politicians will.
I think both Madison and I have the same end goal but have different ways of getting there. She wants to protect people by getting involved to stop Russia, and I want to protect people by staying as far away from it at all costs. What I think Madison forgets about in her answers is that it is not just us going against Putin but almost half the of the world. It will send the economy into chaos, and the world will be shattered as war is not what it was like back in the 40s, 50s, 60s, or even 70s anymore. It is no longer just the USA and Russia with nuclear weapons, but nine countries (the USA, UK, Russia, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, China, and North Korea) have nuclear weapons. Unleashing away between these countries will lead to mass destruction on a scale that we can’t even comprehend.
I might have different feelings if this is the UK or France being invaded, which are long time allies of ours or if the United States is being attacked directly, but to risk a war with that level of casualties and destruction for a country that is not our ally and that is ranked in the top ten most corrupt governments is not a risk many Americans or I am willing to take. It is sad what is happening in Ukraine and to the Ukrainian people because they are innocent in this conflict, but it is their corrupt government that has led to these events and the over-reliance on NATO, which is no longer needed in the world and like the United Nations, has caused more problems than solving them.
We both want peace, but I want to protect Americans. Americans should be first in the minds of our government, and sending us to war will be putting our needs and safety last.
Madison-has chosen not to write a response.