Former JAG officer and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has received an invitation to visit from the Ukrainian government. Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko wryly indicated that, as a former member of the Navy, isolationist DeSantis should know the difference between a “dispute” and a “war.” But if not, he is invited to go to Ukraine and see for himself.
DeSantis recently responded to a questionnaire from Fox anchor Tucker Carlson where he claimed the presently unfolding war in Ukraine was a “territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia,” as various outlets reported:
‘While the U.S. has many vital national interests… becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.’
The Ukrainian official added in a tweet:
‘We are sure that as a former military officer deployed to a combat zone, Governor @RonDeSantisFL knows the difference between a ‘dispute’ and war. We invite him to visit Ukraine to get a deeper understanding of Russia’s full-scale invasion and the threats it poses to US interests.’
The Florida governor joined a growing arm of the Republican Party, the so-called isolationists. The Republican Party is facing a great divide between the isolationists and the more traditional GOP members in Congress. A large group of Republicans, including some of the party’s most prominent members in the Senate, have supported the aid U.S. officials have assembled for Ukraine.
As highlighted from various sources, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that DeSantis’ words showed “a misunderstanding of the situation:”
‘This is not a territorial conflict, it’s a war of aggression… To say it doesn’t matter is to say war crimes don’t matter.’
“Former Vice-President Mike Pence has also called for the US to increase its support,” BBC also noted. When asked whether America’s support for Kyiv was critical for the US government, another isolationist, Donald Trump, responded:
‘No, it is for Europe. But not for the United States.’
Evidently, DeSantis was honorably discharged from his military service in 2010.
The governor served at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, right out of law school and then moved on to the office of the staff judge advocate in Guantanamo Bay. There he witnessed the terror faced by its residents but has mostly not addressed his time there, as The Tampa Bay Times noted. “DeSantis’ interactions with detainees would have exposed him to complaints about conditions at the detention center, including accusations of torture and abuse, at a time when tensions at the camp were reaching an inflection point,” according to the same outlet.
Retired Colonel Michael Bumgarner, a past commander of the Joint Detention Group at Guantanamo, said DeSantis had “very, very intimate knowledge” there:
‘He would’ve had face-to-face contact with them — he would’ve known them intimately, their backgrounds and all.’
Gloria Christie is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions, her book written in her own unique style with a twist of humor on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress).