Happy Birthday Mr. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky!

There is a photo of an orange and white ceramic cake with two tiny pink flowers and two green leaves with a lit yellow candle on a white and silver plate on a green and white checkered tablecloth.
Photo was taken by author: Joyce O’Day.

Google said you were born on January 25, 1978, and I thought you might need a pep talk on your special day.

Gosh, it is exciting to finally have an actor and comedian for president. It is a hoot that you played the Ukrainian president on your TV show Servant of the People before actually becoming president; that should have prepared you well for the challenges of the office. I know that our former president — Mr. Trump — gained vital experience needed for the job of president by hosting his TV show, The Apprentice. In no other situation could he have learned how to manage his countless staff rotations. No one says “you’re fired” like The Donald!

Boy oh boy, things in your country have gotten stressful lately. My birthday wish for you is that our President Biden will calm the heck down. But you know Uncle Joe, once he gets a bee in his bonnet, there is nothing holding him back. Word has it that Mr. Biden is preparing to send 50,000 American troops to your Eastern European neighbors to counter the 100,000 troops that Vladimir Putin has amassed around your border. Plus, Mr. Biden has told U.S. Embassy staff and their families to evacuate your country and for private American citizens to make arrangements to get the hell out since America cannot help them if the Russians invade. Despite your assurances that there is no imminent threat to Kiev, which you claim is safer than crime-infested Los Angeles and other major U.S. cities, Mr. Biden’s declarations are stoking fear among your citizenry. Clearly, Mr. Biden is attempting to be proactive following the debacle of getting Americans and their Afghan allies out of Afghanistan last summer.

A standoff between the Russians and the Americans is developing fast. Mr. Biden’s conference call to other European leaders on January 24 seems to have amped up the situation. America has already sent 80 tons of weapons to strengthen your defenses as an early birthday present and now other European nations are sending stocks of weapons your way. Secretary of State Antony Blinken authorized the Baltic states to supply you with American-made weapons, and Spain has even sent a warship to the Black Sea.

Rumor has it that Mr. Putin wants to oust you and install a pro-Russian leader in your place. This is not cool. Russia claims their primary concern is that Ukraine does not join NATO, something many Ukrainians favor. From appearances, you sir are hoping to arrange a parley with Mr. Putin, wherein the citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts can vote in a referendum to decide whether to remain part of Ukraine or to join Russia. Would this be an act of appeasement to Mr. Putin? Absolutely! But with pro-Russian rebels actively disrupting life in the Donbas region since 2014, it is time to resolve the situation.

You are in a pickle, Mr. Birthday Boy. Not angering Mr. Putin is “flawed logic” according to one of your foreign ministers. However, Mr. Putin has some powerful cards in his hand — and not just the nuclear option. With the ability to cut off gas to the rest of Europe, many nations (particularly Germany) are not rushing in to get involved in the standoff. From the opposite front, besides military intervention, the United States has economic sanctions as a weapon against the Russians. There is talk of halting the export of technology-related products to Russia and punishing Mr. Putin directly by freezing the assets of the 50 wealthiest Russian oligarchs who are hiding Mr. Putin’s money. You certainly do not want your country left out of any negotiations the same way Czechoslovakia was excluded from attending the Munich Conference that negotiated the surrender of the Sudetenland (the German-speaking rim of western Czechoslovakia) in 1938.

Mr. Putin is such an opportunist. He is making a move when the United States is at the weakest point of our history with the exception of the Civil War (1861–1865). The Democratic Party is plagued by two posers (Manchin and Sinema) who are blocking social progress, and the anti-democratic Republican Party has sold its soul to a former game show host — a carnival barker with a cult of personality — who embodies the seven deadly sins, but whose acolytes see him as the prosperity gospel incarnate. To fundamentalist Christians, Mr. Trump’s wealth is an indication of his divinity, despite the unscrupulous ways that his wealth was accumulated by both him and his daddy.

So, arrange that parley with Mr. Putin. Go somewhere nice and warm and fun — like Ibiza or Barcelona or St. Tropez — it’s your 44th birthday after all. Get this shit done, before Biden and Putin unleash WWIII.

Wishing you the best year ever, President Zelensky!

One thought on “Happy Birthday Mr. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky!

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