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Athens man’s exchange with Congressman on aiding Ukraine’s fight against Russian invaders

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Bruce Menke on Dec. 12 filled out this contact form on the website of Mike Collins, Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia:

Mike,

By denying the urgently needed assistance to Ukraine, you are placing at risk the very survival of Ukraine as an independent democratic state and endangering the security of all of Eastern Europe.

Stop playing games.

Approve the vital assistance essential to preventing the Russian victory over Ukraine and the resulting threat to the United States and NATO.

You have chosen to be a member of Congress, with all the immense potential to either protect our national interests and honor our commitment to defend democracy or to irreparably sabotage those vital interests.

Time to show you are up to faithfully discharging your duties to our country and to our state.

If you can’t do that, it is time for you to return to private life, so that a Georgian willing and able to do so can take your place.

Map indicates land that remains under Russian control since invading Ukraine in February 2022

Collins on Dec. 15 responded with this letter:

Dear Bruce,

Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for the war in Ukraine. As your Representative, I appreciate you sharing what matters to you, your family, and community with me.As you may know, the United States has given Ukraine the equivalent of approximately $113 billion to defend itself against Russian military operations, including military training and equipment, and economic and humanitarian support. The Department of Defense has also provided weapons to the Ukrainians.While many argue that we must continue depleting our weapons supplies and sending billions of dollars across the globe, I believe it is time for our European allies to step up and contribute more to the effort. Further, we should have a full accounting of where our money and weaponry has gone and for what purposes they were used. This administration has a track record of mismanaging military equipment as evidenced by the fact that they left more than $7 billion worth of weaponry in Afghanistan.The United States cannot indefinitely borrow money to police the world, and we need to ensure that taxpayer money is spent wisely. With our national debt above $31 trillion and rapidly rising, we must be more frugal and consider shifting our priorities. Again, thank you for contacting me. For more information on my work in Congress, please follow me on social media and sign up to receive my e-newsletter by visiting Collins.House.Gov.Sincerely,

Mike Collins

A Ukrainian apartment building is in ruins after being bombarded by Russian drones

Also on Dec. 15 Menke responded to Collins with this letter:

Dear Mike,

I have received your letter of December 15th.

It is beyond belief that you want to abandon Ukraine to the tender mercies of Vladimir Putin and the Russians. Surely all Americans remember Neville Chamberlain, Czechoslovakia and Hitler and the disastrous consequences of appeasement . Nothing could be more wrong-headed and dangerous. If we want a wider war involving the United States and NATO, that course of action is the ideal way to get there.

Mike Collins

In your letter, you say:

The US has given Ukraine $133 billion in support-Just think: Ukraine has given total mobilization, tens of thousands killed and wounded, Russian mass rape, torture and murder of civilians, the abduction of thousands of children and months of attack by tens of thousands of drones and missiles on its schools, hospitals, infrastructure and housing. Which country do you think has given more?

It is time for our European Allies to"step up"- They have done so, and massively, including supplying F-16 planes and other weapons when the US would not do so. Of the total 25 billion in heavy weapon commitments (Jan. 2022-Oct. 2023), the US accounts for 43 per cent, while the EU countries account for 47 percent. The EU is the largest provider of military training (40,000) to Ukrainian troops.

We should have an accounting for where our money and weaponry has gone-Vladimir Putin has done that accounting. Here are some of the accounting numbers for you: 315,000 Russian losses (equals 87% of troops when attack began); 2,200 tanks destroyed ( of the 3100 available at the time of invasion). The losses in personnel and armored vehicles "have set back Russia's military modernization by 18 years."

You are worried about equipment sent to Afghanistan. Fine. You can look into that. In the meantime, we have Ukraine and all of Eastern Europe to save from Putin's intent to return to the Russian domination of Eastern Europe and suppression of democracy that lasted almost fifty years following the Second World War.

The US cannot police the world-Because of the threat to all of Europe posed by a nuclear armed Russia, the US led in the formation of a military alliance (NATO) to prevent Russian military aggression, an alliance that led to the end of that Russian threat and contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union. The Russian threat is real, once again. That is why Finland and Sweden requested emergency admission to NATO. We know the price to pay for allowing violent dictatorships to use military force against their neighbors. We have lived that experience. We all learned about that in junior high school history class.

Taxpayer money must be spent wisely-If Russia succeeds in the Ukraine, that will not end of Russian aggression. If you think this is a lot of money (and it is), just think about the cost in lives and treasure of a full scale war involving the United States and NATO to try to stop the already announced ambition of Putin to turn back the clock in Europe if he succeeds in Ukraine.

Ukraine and its people are on the front line of a war which is, in actuality, a war on democracies in Europe and on the United States. Putin is astonishingly forthright about this.

Russian success in Ukraine threatens the vital security interests of the United States. It is absolutely essential that our country provide urgent and unstinting support to Ukraine.

The real danger to the United States is not Putin and Russia, it is members of the US Congress who do not yet understanding the significance of what is at stake.

Bruce Menke



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7 Comments


Thank you Bruce. Your letters are well researched and demonstrate Mike Collins lack of knowledge. I hope you have educated him about Ukraine. I bet his response is the same response Jim Jordan sends to his constituents. The "Freedom" Caucus likes to keep their members ignorant. Sadly, we are so gerrymandered that Collins will likely continue to stay in Congress. However, thank you Bruce and those like you that continue to poke the bear. More should follow your fine example.

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Thank you Bruce for writing Mike Collins on this very important subject. The fact that you got such and elaborate response is impressive. I have had no such luck. It is clear that Representative Collins is good at asking questions but not in doing the work of getting answers. Your response to him was right on target. Facts of such nasty things. It is unfortunate that we are represented by a man who is more upset over drag shows than the aggressions of Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. Lord help us.

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Gotta love the liberal lefts opinions. For Gods sake Bruce just quit posting. Nobody cares about your opinions. We already know what they are. If you want to help send your money to Ukraine to help.

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Replying to

Bruce’s well thought through, well written posts are far more readable and respectable than what you just did, regardless of whether you agree or not. Bash away, I will ignore anything you write, which, I suggest, is what you do when you come across something that offends you.

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Thank you, Bruce, and Joe, for posting this exchange. The only additional point I might make is (according to reports) the weaponry sent to Ukraine by us has been mostly surplus,outdated, with newer versions already in the pipeline before Russia’s invasion. Please correct me of I’m wrong. Our taxpayer dollars are being used to fund our elected representatives and their families’ healthcare and generous pensions for life. Giga-billionaires are paying little or no income taxes since 1980,:etc. etc. Mikey’s protestations of needed frugality are disingenuous.

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