In a cringe-worthy moment, of course captured on video, Florida Republican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar enthusiastically endorsed a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Worse, after appearing to not know what a no-fly zone would entail, Rep. Salazar even more enthusiastically endorsed NATO or American planes shooting down Russian planes – which as figures like fellow Florida Republican Marco Rubio have pointed out, means starting World War III.
Salazar was responding to questions from progressive anti-war journalist Max Blumenthal, founder of The Grayzone.
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 9, 2022
Blumenthal was making the rounds of elected officials near the Capitol to ask them what they thought about various details of the war in Ukraine.
The exchange between Salazar and Blumenthal went something like this.
Blumenthal asks Salazar, “Do you support a no-fly zone in Ukraine?” Salazar replied, “I support everything that has to do with punishing Vladimir Putin and helping the Ukrainians.”
Blumenthal then tries to get more information from her and says, “Wouldn’t that mean direct conventional warfare with Russia?” Salazar then replies with a bumper sticker slogan, saying, “I don’t know what it will mean, but you know, freedom is not free.”
Blumenthal then clarifies exactly what a no-fly zone means. “You don’t know what a no-fly zone will mean? You do have to shoot down Russian planes.” Salazar then says, nearly shouting, “Of course!”
Max Blumenthal then appears to make sure that he understands the Congresswoman’s statements and asks, “So, conventional war with Russia?” It is at this point that Salazar must have realized what she was advocating for and simply said, “thank you,” and headed for the nearest exit.
Florida Congresswoman Maria Salazar in support of a #NoFlyZone even though she doesn’t know exactly what that means or what the repercussions would be or whether it would mean engaging Russia in all-out war but freedom isn’t free. Or something. pic.twitter.com/kP6qo9Oynf
— 🇺🇸Lionel🇺🇸 (@LionelMedia) March 9, 2022
American opinion on the war has been all over the place since the beginning of hostilities.
On the day of the invasion, February 24, just 26% of Americans said the United States should play a major role in the conflict.
However, a Reuters/Ipsos poll from March 4 shows 74% of Americans would support a joint effort between the United States and NATO to create a no-fly zone.
That is undoubtedly a major role, as any direct combat between the U.S./NATO and Russia would mark the beginning of direct conflict between nuclear-armed powers.
Reuters notes that “It was not clear if respondents who supported a no-fly zone were fully aware of the risk of conflict.” Perhaps Reuters should have made that clear in their question, given it was their own poll, but nevertheless.
Being unaware of the risks would track with the answers given by Rep. Salazar, who as a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has no excuse for not having a basic understanding of what a no-fly zone entails.
Some people have problems understanding why NATO refuses to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. If NATO shoots down a Russian plane, that’s an act of war which could lead to an all-out nuclear exchange and mutually assured destruction.
— John Simpson (@JohnSimpsonNews) March 9, 2022
If Rep. Salazar was unclear as to what she was talking about, she had only to go to her fellow Floridian, Sen. Marco Rubio.
During an appearance on “ABC This Week,” Rubio told host George Stephanopoulos exactly what a no-fly zone would mean:
“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. It’s the willingness to shoot down the aircrafts of the Russian Federation, which is basically the beginning of World War III.”
To erase any doubt about how Russia would view outside parties establishing a no-fly zone, Vladimir Putin put it very plainly: “That very second, we will view them as participants of the military conflict, and it would not matter what members they are.”
‘I Don’t Know What It Will Mean’: Republican Rep Says She Supports No-Fly Zone After Admitting She Doesn’t Understand It https://t.co/w53tCudeNA
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 10, 2022