Senator Marco Rubio issued a clear, stark warning that the implementation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine could lead to the start of World War III.
Pundits and even a majority of Americans – according to some polls – appear to be clamoring for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
The normally hawkish Rubio, the vice-chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that such a move would likely lead to a point of no return.
He thinks people may misunderstand what a no-fly zone would entail.
“I think people need to understand what a no-fly zone means … it’s not some rule you pass that everybody has to oblige by,” Rubio warned.
“It’s the willingness to shoot down the aircrafts of the Russian Federation, which is basically the beginning of World War III.”
Sen. Marco Rubio on implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine:
“It means starting World War III.” pic.twitter.com/gR8EATYXGk
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 6, 2022
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World War III
Indeed, implementing a no-fly zone isn’t a simple rule that everyone will blindly follow. It isn’t ‘no shoes, no service’ and everyone obliges out of decorum.
It means shooting at Russian planes if they violate the order. That is obviously an act of war, and would be direct conflict between the United States and Russia.
And that, as we have seen in some close calls throughout history, could very quickly lead to the unthinkable.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made yet another request for a no-fly zone during a Zoom call with U.S. lawmakers on Sunday.
“We repeat every day: ‘Close the sky over Ukraine!’” he said according to translation of a video posted to social media.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 6, 2022
Zelensky softened his tone a bit on Monday, offering an alternative request for countries concerned about a no-fly zone.
“We are waiting for a decision on closing the skies or providing the forces you have, or you can send to us combat aircraft and air defense systems, which will give us the strength we need,” he suggested.
Rubio has supported sending fighter jets to Eastern Europe as a means to free up jets in those countries for use in Ukraine.
“If that can be done, that would be great,” he said. “I do have concerns about a couple of things … But generally speaking, it’s something I’d be supportive of.”
Kyiv is waiting for the “clearing of the sky” by the forces of the West or the supply of combat aircraft and air defense systems, Zelensky said. pic.twitter.com/09CEGfZklh
— Koustuv 🇮🇳 (@srdmk01) March 7, 2022
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By contrast to Rubio (R-FL), ‘Never Trump’ Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has repeatedly called for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
“I still believe in establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine but we do have to act now,” he pressed. “I understand that many take Putin’s threat of nukes and are paralyzed from acting.”
A guy that wept at the thought of the ‘insurrection’ suddenly doesn’t think the threat of nuclear war is that big a deal?
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) echoed Rubio’s sentiments, stating that a no-fly zone could lead to direct conflict between nuclear powers.
“It would be World War III,” she said. “And I don’t think that’s in the best interest of NATO, our partners and allies and friends.”
Kinzinger doesn’t seem to understand the consequences of a no-fly zone, and certainly hasn’t acknowledged that he would be committing the US to a war.
Reckless posturing is not a policy position. Something actual conservatives have been saying about the Democrats for years now. https://t.co/NPI0sz1bLF
— Tony Katz (@tonykatz) March 4, 2022
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) agrees that a no-fly zone means a major conflict with Russia.
“I think we need to be clear that we are not going to go to war with Russia, that would be the beginning of WWIII, and it would drag all of Europe into a much broader war,” he said in an interview with Fox News.
“If the United States put planes in the air, we would immediately be shooting at Russian planes,” Murphy added. “They would be shooting at us. We would be at war.”
🙏 for Ukrainian people.
FACT: “…there is no such thing as a #NoFlyZone over #Ukraine.If the US put planes in the air, we would immediately be shooting at Russian planes.They would be shooting at us. WE WOULD BE AT WAR.” Sen. Murphy (D-Ct.)
https://t.co/j9cCmUyo3b via @nypost
— JustCallMeYoYo (@but75455972) March 6, 2022
NATO has also said a no-fly zone could provoke widespread war in Europe.
Perhaps the person whose opinion matters most over what a no-fly zone in Ukraine means is Russian President Vladimir Putin, who issued his own warning.
“That very second, we will view them as participants of the military conflict, and it would not matter what members they are,” he threatened to anyone attempting to implement a no-fly zone.