June 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 65°F


Letter to the Editor: A student responds to a commentary about Ukraine

Dear editors of The Ithacan,

While we should all be in support of Ukraine and its people, a recent commentary by Cornell sophomore Landon Le argued in favor of American military aid for Ukraine from a deeply immoral perspective.

I recognize that Le wrote his commentary with good intentions. However, describing war as an “investment” is the type of thinking that has led to the deaths of countless innocent people. The United States’ illegal invasion of Iraq was pitched as an “investment.” Twenty years later, this “investment” has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

The truth is that when a war begins, nobody knows how long it will last, how much it will cost and what the outcome will be. The true cost of war is only revealed after the fighting stops. So far, 14 months of fighting in Ukraine has led to mothers without children, thousands of dead Ukrainian and Russian soldiers and entire cities reduced to rubble. 

At no point does Le mention the possibility of a diplomatic end to the war, an actual investment that, if successful, would end up costing taxpayers a grand total of $0. Those making incredible profits off the war stand to benefit from further use of taxpayer dollars to fund military escalation.

War should never be seen as an investment. It is a moral issue and nothing else. As Le and I write about this conflict, we are living lives of peace and wealth in Ithaca, New York. We will likely never know what it’s like to see a loved one killed in front of us, to have bombs rain down over our city or to be tortured on the land our ancestors call home. If Le wants actual investments, he should call for global leaders to take drastic action on climate change, a potentially world-ending issue that can only be solved with international cooperation.

Thank you for reading,

Elijah de Castro

Senior, former News and Life & Culture editor, senior writer, Journalism major. Contact him at edecastro@ithaca.edu.