What Zelenskyy Should Have Said

Former actor and comedian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine was back in Washington last week seeking more American tax dollars to aid in his “defense” of the Russian “invasion” of Ukraine. This is his third visit since the beginning of the war in Ukraine early in 2022. But he is going about it the wrong way.

Before meeting with U.S. senators and with President Biden in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Zelenskyy made his case for additional military aid for Ukraine in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.:

Ukrainians haven’t given up and won’t give up. We know what to do and you can count on Ukraine and we hope just as much to be able to count on you.

Every one of you here understands for a soldier to wait for munitions, waiting for weeks, months, without knowing if support will come at all. Every one of you with command experience knows what it means when instead of moving forward, you’re just watching, waiting for armor or equipment while your enemy is satisfied and preparing for assaults.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who introduced Zelenskyy before his speech, said that the U.S. is “determined to help Ukraine consolidate and extend its battlefield gains and to build a future force that can ward off Russian aggression in the years ahead.” War Room / DailyClout ... Kelly, Amy Buy New $9.99 (as of 07:14 UTC - Details)

While in Washington on Monday, Zelenskyy also met with the director of the International Monetary Fund and the heads of U.S. merchants of death. Said Zelenskyy on social media: “I met with leaders of US defense companies and expressed my gratitude to every American worker who manufactures weapons that help us safeguard our people and defend our land.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Lockheed Martin) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Northrop Gruman) invited Zelensky to speak to a meeting of all senators. Both are highly supportive of sending billions of additional American tax dollars to Ukraine.

In a press conference with President Biden, Zelenskyy claimed that today was a special day for Ukraine:

It’s the day of our land forces — almost 600,000 incredibly brave Ukrainian sons and daughters — are on the battlefield.  And they are powerful.  And this is their day.  And — and, really, they prove every day that Ukraine can win.

And our forces are advancing, and we have successfully defeated Russia in the Black Sea.  And Russia is hiding the remnants of its naval fleets in remote base.  And meanwhile, Ukraine has set up an export corridor in the Black Sea that’s really boosting our economy and global food security.

President Biden said that he “called on Congress to do the right thing, to stand with Ukraine, and to stand up for freedom.” Congress “needs to pass the supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess — before they give Putin the greatest Christmas gift they could possibly give him.” He then announced that he “just signed another $200 million drawdown from the Department of Defense for Ukraine, and that will be coming quickly.”

Two days later, Congress passed the massive $874.2 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2024. It includes a $300 million authorization for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the $61.4 billion that President Biden is seeking for Ukraine and the over $100 billion that the United States has already given Ukraine.

There is one group of people that Zelenskyy never bothered to meet with during his trip to the United States: the American people—the ones who pay the tax money that he seeks.

Zelenskyy should have taken his case directly to the American people. He could call a press conference and hope that some networks show up. He could send out direct mail. He could purchase television time. He could place ads in newspapers, magazines, and social media.

Here is what he could have said. Twinings Earl Grey Bla... Buy New $16.86 ($0.70 / Count) (as of 07:14 UTC - Details)

Dear Americans:

I know that your infrastructure is badly in need of repair, that you are $34 trillion in debt, that many of you are out of work, that many of you are struggling to pay your bills, that many of you live paycheck to paycheck, that many of you will never be able to afford a house of your own, and that many of you have huge student loan and/or credit card debt that you will never be able to pay. But in spite of all of these things, I am asking you to give me money to support my [corrupt] government and continue my [futile] war with Russia. Because I know that your Constitution does not authorize your government to take American tax dollars and give them to Ukraine or any other country, I am appealing directly to you, the American people, to help with the war effort in Ukraine. I can take donations directly or you can purchase weapons from your friendly neighborhood defense contractor and have them shipped to Ukraine.

Now, how much money do you think Zelenskyy would raise from this fundraising effort? Probably not enough to buy himself a plane ticket back to Ukraine.

Not one penny from the U.S. treasury should be authorized by Congress or the president to be given or loaned to any government for any reason. Any member of Congress or any individual American who wants to help Ukraine should use his own cash, credit card, or checkbook.