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While our leaders shy away from nuclear fears, Americans want to stand up to Putin

A new survey by Reuters/Ipsos shows that 74% of Americans, including majorities in both parties, want NATO to impose a No-fly zone in Ukraine. It is not an outlier: opinion poll after opinion poll showed that the American people want a stronger response to the Russian invasion.

The amazing thing about the no-fly zone poll in particular is that our political and pundial class was almost universally opposed to this move. Even conservative populists, who shun expert opinion on everything from COVID to school curriculum, are suddenly able to tell voters to shut up and trust those in power.

So what explains this massive disconnect?

Some will argue that normal, everyday people just don’t get it risk associated with this action by NATO. But this elitist argument strains gullibility. Citizens follow the news and hear the dire warnings that patrolling Ukraine’s airspace could trigger World War III or a nuclear holocaust.

Americans are unaware of the risks linked to a no-fly zone, and they are not new to the confrontation with an arrogant and aggressive Russia. They are so eager to continue doing this for obvious and compelling reasons.

The most basic: people understand that Vladimir Putin, like his Soviet predecessors, is benefiting from American weakness. Deep down, we don’t like the idea that Putin’s nuclear arsenal gives him veto over the exercise of American power.

A sign at a rally in New York City calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine on March 6, 2022.
A sign at a rally in New York City calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine on March 6, 2022.
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

After all, we also have nuclear weapons. The concept of mutually assured destruction that has kept missiles in their silos for over half a century only works when there is a two-way street.

Also, unlike the pundits, Americans don’t seem to accept the idea that a no-fly zone would automatically lead to US troops on the ground (which polls show they’re opposed to).

You’re right. If NATO planes secure the skies over Kyiv, the ball is in Putin’s hands. There is no reason to assume that he will embark on an all-out war with the West.

Since 80% of Russia’s armed forces failed to defeat Ukraine, forgive the Americans if they don’t tremble at this supposed military power.

Another reason: Americans understand that without a no-fly zone, Russia is likely to overthrow the Ukrainian government and occupy a country bordering NATO allies.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 74% of Americans want NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 74% of Americans want NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
REUTERS/Tim Reichert

After conquering Ukraine, an emboldened Putin might assume that Poland and Romania (or at least the Baltics) are his, given the weak and degenerate West has no will to fight. Americans are unconvinced by Pollyannaish promises that Putin will not go beyond Ukraine.

What the polls showing a willingness to take action against Russia says is that support for it is almost equal among Republicans, Democrats and independents, something unmatched on almost any other issue.

If Americans agree on anything, it’s that they don’t fear Putin, and they want their own nation to show some pride in the face of his illegitimate aggression.

Our politicians and foreign policy makers should heed these polls. Even if they don’t impose the no-fly zone, they should at least consider keeping such an action on the table.

Right now we’re giving up an important piece on the chessboard and getting absolutely nothing in return. No sane person thinks showing Putin how sane we are to thwart his imperial goals is a sound plan.

Many Americans may believe that the no-fly zone is the only way to withstand Putin's aggression.
Many Americans may believe that the no-fly zone is the only way to withstand Putin’s aggression.
REUTERS/Tim Reichert

The United States (not to mention our NATO allies) has more money, power, weapons and resources than Putin’s Russia. The little dictator can only survive through fear and intimidation. But the American people are not afraid of him, even though many are in the halls of power and the newsrooms.

Putin embarked on this war confident that the recklessness of the Biden administration and our European allies would shield him from all but economic repercussions. What he didn’t anticipate was the attitude of the American people, which still puts thugs in their place and protects the innocent who want nothing more than freedom.


Get the latest Update in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with live coverage of The Post.


The United States did not call for this conflict; Ukraine did nothing to invite them. Vladimir Putin wanted it and he started it.

The Americans are sending him a clear message: if he decides to start a fight, we’re ready to end it.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/06/as-our-leaders-flinch-over-nuke-fears-americans-want-to-face-down-putin/ While our leaders shy away from nuclear fears, Americans want to stand up to Putin

JACLYN DIAZ

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