Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has begged President Joe Biden and NATO for a no-fly zone for weeks — and for weeks now, American neocons, hotheads, Russia hoaxers, sitting congressmen, and corporate media figures eager for escalation with Moscow are calling for it too.
A no-fly zone in Ukraine means NATO would prohibit Russian warplanes from flying through Ukrainian airspace. To do that, NATO fighter jets would engage and shoot down any Russian aircraft they encountered.
As noted by multiple lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle, as well as other experts, a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be an act of war against Russia. It would quickly usher in a conflict between multiple countries with access to nuclear weapons. A no-fly zone wouldn’t just mean NATO warplanes shooting down Russian aircraft, it would also throw the door open for Russian warplanes to shoot down American aircraft and take American lives in retaliation.
“It means starting World War III,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said. “People need to understand what a no-fly zone means. It’s not some rule you pass that everybody has to oblige by. It’s the willingness to shoot down the aircraft of the Russian Federation.”
Despite the clear consequences of imposing a no-fly zone, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who was censured by the Republican National Committee for buying into the Democrats’ lies about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and targeting political opponents, is just one of the many proponents of this dangerous idea.
To Kinzinger, who has nothing to lose because he isn’t running for reelection, a no-fly zone is an opportunity for political grandstanding.
Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, a likely candidate to become the next ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was also quick to call for “a strong coalition of like-minded nations” to “step in and seriously consider” a no-fly zone.
Some congressmen have yet to fully embrace such a rash strategy but have signaled a willingness to move toward an air campaign against Russia if the Ukraine conflict worsens.
“To take anything off the table, thinking we might not be able to use things because we’ve already taken it off the table, is wrong,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said when asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd if he would support a no-fly zone in Ukraine.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who recently called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he would endorse a no-fly zone if Putin turned to chemical weapons to fuel his invasion of Ukraine.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio reportedly joined his congressional colleagues in demanding drastic action via flight restrictions in Ukraine.
Other so-called experts and blue checkmarks on Twitter, egged on by war propaganda, have also endorsed the idea, as did retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, a former supreme allied commander of NATO.
The Washington Post also amplified calls for a no-fly zone. Politico jumped on board by publishing an open letter by 27 foreign policy experts who claimed that the United States and NATO should enact a “limited” no-fly zone in order to provide humanitarian aid.
“What we seek is the deployment of American and NATO aircraft not in search of confrontation
with Russia but to avert and deter Russian bombardment that would result in massive
loss of Ukrainian lives,” the letter states.
In addition to the propaganda press calling for a no-fly zone, some supporters have turned to psychological operations such as lullabies and manipulated videos to emphasize their desire for taking out Russian warplanes.
Whether they believe it or not, these bureaucrats and talking heads claim that the only way to end the conflict is to choose the option that will escalate confrontation with Russia and might well lead to U.S. boots on the ground in a full-scale war.
Seventy-eight prominent professors, experts, and other foreign affairs pundits said as much in an open letter last week, which they penned in an effort to communicate just how volatile a no-fly zone would be.
“We deplore Russia’s aggression, admire the bravery of Ukrainians, mourn the loss of innocent life, and wish for a speedy end to the conflict. However, it strains credulity to think that a US war with Russia would make the American people safer or more prosperous,” the letter states. “To the contrary, going to war with Russia, a nuclear peer of the United States, would expose Americans to vast and unnecessary risks. A war that expands beyond Ukraine’s borders could also inflict damage across Europe and weaken America’s Nato allies. We call upon the administration to avoid such a gambit and continue to use appropriate diplomatic means and economic pressure to end the conflict.”
The type of escalation required by a no-fly zone in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is not only unnecessary, but it’s also unpopular with the American people. While propaganda press pollsters drum up support for a no-fly zone, which they promote as the best way to “protect Ukraine from Russian air strikes,” most Americans still do not want to go to war with Russia over Ukraine.
In that, Americans have demonstrated better sense than our talking heads and neocon politicians, who are willing to go to war with Russia under the guise of imposing a no-fly zone.