“I have a need, you know what defense systems we need.” And the US president promises missiles and another 800 million
WASHINGTON – Volodymir Zelensky
he repeated the word “peace” several times. But it was her a war speech. The appeal not from a head of state, but from the leader of a “resistance” that has already begun. The Ukrainian president, today Wednesday, March 16, spoke for about 15 minutes to the deputies and senators of the American Congress, gathered for the occasion not in the Chamber, but in the Auditorium of the Visitor Center.
Zelensky summoned the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941, which prompted the US to intervene in the Second World War. Then he recalled it on September 11, 2001, the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. “We are experiencing something similar to your September 11 every night, for twenty days ». There are no glimmers, there is no light.
With his military green shirt, with the long beard of a fighter in the trenches, Zelensky never referred to diplomacy, negotiations, possible peace talks. He did not accept the invitation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to indicate a possible way out. On the contrary: “Strength – he said – is the only way to build peace”. He did not even mention the difficult choices that Ukraine could be called upon to make in the coming days: the renunciation of NATO, the adoption of a model of “perpetual neutrality”, to be written in the Constitution.
It is not here, connected on the screen, to ask for political guarantees, to urge the United States to put pressure on China, in order to open other avenues for negotiation. None of this. And to explain it even calls into question Martin Luther King. Even if it is not clear to what extent, given that the great leader of civil and political rights of African Americans preached “non-violence”. Zelensky, with a rhetorical device, readjusts the legendary slogan “I have a dream»,« I have a dream », with«I have a need»,« I have a need ». He has no intention of giving up and is convinced that he has the whole country behind him. It is possible to defeat Putin, or at least resist him: «I thank you for everything the United States has done so far for Ukraine. I thank President Biden. But I’m here to ask you to do more. We are fighting to defend our values, which are the same as yours: democracy, freedom, human rights “.
Zelensky’s list is a scrollable list. “It seems too much to protect our skies with a”no-fly zone“? All right, I offer you an alternative: you know which ones defense systems we needsuch as the S-300 (Soviet-made long-range missiles ed) or similar. You know how crucial aircraft are to defend us. And these planes are already there, you have them. But they are firm on the ground ».
The Ukrainian president then urges another wave of sanctions, targeting “all politicians” connected to the Kremlin; urges American companies to leave the Russian market; calls on US ports “to reject all Russian ships”.
In short, a very hard line, “zero tolerance», One could say for any person, goods or service coming from Russia. Finally, an unprecedented and politically daring proposal. Zelensky proposes no less than “to replace the international organizations that have not been able to prevent the war” with “an association of countries, the “U24” ready to intervene in 24 hours to reject military threats and offer humanitarian assistance to those in need“.
Joe Biden’s answer arrives a few hours later, around 1pm (6pm in Italy). Zelensky asked him to be “strong”, to be “the leader of the worldWhich means to be the “leader of peace”. The American president is very short. A few coins of rhetoric and then gives the list of help: another 800 million dollars which are added to the 200 million allocated on Saturday 12 March and another 350 million at the end of February. Total: 1.350 billion in less than a month. Long and short range anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles will arrive in Ukrainemore automatic rifles, ammunition for “resistance”.
It is important to note that Biden does not mention either never to the negotiations which would also be in progress. The American administration, pressed internally and by some European countries, seems to want to change pace. “We are moving with our allies and we are ready to further increase our support.”