UKRAINE: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy summoned the memory of Pearl Harbour and the Sept. 11 terror attacks Wednesday in an impassioned video plea to Congress to send more help for Ukraine’s fight against Russia. Lawmakers stood and cheered, and President Joe Biden later announced the U.S. is sending more anti-aircraft, anti-armor weapons and drones.
In a moment of high drama at the Capitol, Zelenskyy livestreamed his speech to a rapt audience of lawmakers on a giant screen, acknowledging from the start that the no-fly zone he has repeatedly sought to “close the sky” to airstrikes on his country may not happen. Biden has resisted that, as well as approval for the U.S. or NATO to send MiG fighter jets from Poland as risking wider war with nuclear-armed Putin.
Instead, Zelenskyy pleaded for other military aid and more drastic economic sanctions to stop the Russian assault with the fate of his country at stake.
Wearing his now-trademark army green T-shirt, Zelinskyy began his remarks to “Americans, friends” by invoking the destruction the U.S. suffered in 1941 when Japan bombed the Naval base at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, and the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon by militants who commandeered passenger airplanes to crash into the symbols of Western democracy and economy.
“Remember Pearl Harbour? … Remember September 11?” Zelenzkyy asked. “Our country experiences the same every day right now.” To halt the carnage, Zelenskyy told the American lawmakers: “”I call on you to do more.”
Zelenskyy, speaking from the capital of Kyiv, showed the packed auditorium of lawmakers a graphic video of the destruction and devastation his country has suffered in the war, along with heartbreaking scenes of civilian casualties.
“We need you right now,” he said.Lawmakers gave him a standing ovation, before and after his short remarks, which Zelenskyy began in Ukrainian through an interpreter but then switched to English in a heartfelt appeal to help end the bloodshed. “I see no sense in life if it cannot stop the deaths,” he said. – JAPAN TODAY