By Robert Weiner and Ben Lasky
It's time for an Airlift, similar to the Berlin Airlift 1948-49, of food and medicines to major Ukraine cities, especially Kyiv and also other cities where Russia is trying to bomb, fire missiles against civilian living centers and buildings, and starve the entire populations-- what retired Four-Star General Barry McCaffrey today called a "war of extinction."
This is not creating a "no-fly zone". As was the Berlin Airlift, it would purely be a mechanism to drop emergency food and medical aid so the civilian population can survive. The planes should be labeled conspicuously in large letters as Humanitarian and Medical Aid so that if Putin shoots any such planes down--the planes should carry and immediately transmit by video such attempts if while flying--world media and people everywhere will see what happened.
According to a report, "The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949" by the Department of State Office of the Historian, "The Administration calculated that if the Soviets opposed the airlift with force, it would be an act of aggression against an unarmed humanitarian mission...Thus the onus of igniting a conflict between the former allies would be on the aggressor."
Many Soviet tanks are from convoys Ukraine already blocked and are in the woods. Their effectiveness is now questionable. Putin is not likely to shoot them down any more than he stopped the three EU Prime Ministers of Poland, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic who traveled this week by train to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Putin knows the press coverage against him and Russia would be horrific, since the airlift mission would clearly be purely humanitarian.
The parallel continues. According to the State Department Historian, in World War Two, "the city had been reduced to rubble, shelter and warmth were scarce...and starvation loomed." The United States launched the Airlift June 26, 1948,calling it Operation Vittles," and the United Kingdom followed two days later with "Operation Plainfare."
The State Department Historian's report concludes, "By spring 1949, the Berlin Airlift proved successful."
LINK TO STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, "THE BERLIN AIRLIFT, 1948-1949": Click Here
YouTube, "HOW WEST BERLIN WAS SAVED FROM STARVATION": Click Here
Robert Weiner is a former spokesman in the Clinton and Bush White Houses, and earlier for the House Government Operations Committee. He was senior aide to Congressmen John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Claude Pepper, Ed Koch, Senator Ted Kennedy, and Four Star General/Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey. Ben Lasky is senior policy analyst at Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change Foundation, Inc.
(Article changed on Mar 20, 2022 at 1:25 PM EDT)
(Article changed on Mar 20, 2022 at 1:44 PM EDT)