OOPS: GOP Congresswoman Says She Supports ‘No-Fly Zone’ in Ukraine, Admits She Has No Idea What That Means

Though it sounds pleasant, testing “positive” for drugs in the workplace is actually something negative, but one has to be familiar with full context and lingo to know this.

The same apparently goes for “no-fly zones,” a procedure intended to “close the skies” where military forces set up an airspace and announce that they will shoot down any planes who enter it. (Without shooting down planes to enforce it, a no-fly zone is meaningless). 

Shouldn’t members of Congress know this? Well…

“Do you support a no-fly zone in Ukraine?” The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal asked GOP Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar in a video shared Wednesday on social media.

Salazar replied, “I support everything that has to do with punishing Vladimir Putin and helping the Ukrainians.”

Blumenthal pressed, “Wouldn’t that mean direct conventional warfare with Russia?” 

Salazar responded, “I don’t know what it will mean, but you know, freedom is not free.”

That’s right: She admittedly doesn’t know what a no-fly zone would mean in practice. 

Salazar is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“You don’t know what a no-fly zone will mean?” Blumenthal explained. “You do have to shoot down Russian planes.”

“Of course!” Salazar said excitedly. It’s fine to be enthusiastic about Russian planes being taken out, but does she actually realize the United States would be on the hook to do it?

Blumenthal pressed her again, “So, conventional war with Russia?”

Salazar did not respond. She said “thank you” and the interview ended.

While one might expect more from an elected member of Congress that sits on a foreign affairs committee, Salazar isn’t alone.

On Tuesday, BASEDPolitics’ Brad Polumbo explained that while recent polling shows 3 out of 4 Americans supporting a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, it is highly likely they don’t understand this could easily result in a U.S. war with Russia.

A Reuters poll showed that 74% of Americans, including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats, support the US “working with NATO to set up ‘no-fly zones’ to protect Ukraine from Russian air strikes.”

But as Polumbo observed, “I’m deeply, deeply skeptical of this polling result. Why? I find it almost impossible to believe that most of these poll respondents know what a ‘no-fly zone’ actually is.”

“After all, only 1 in 4 Americans can correctly name all three branches of the federal government: legislative, executive, and judiciary,” he noted. “Yet we’re supposed to believe they know what an advanced military procedure entails?”

“If you called a no-fly zone what it actually is, or at least explained it involves shooting down Russian planes, far, far fewer Americans would support it in the polls,” Polumbo said.

Like many Americans, Salazar rightly sees Putin as an enemy who should be punished. Tough guy talk about not crossing lines or not flying over Ukraine is emotionally appealing, particularly from afar. Americans losing their sons or daughters in a faraway war the United States could have stayed out of would also bring out emotions. Very different ones.

This second part is surely not what Salazar or other “no-fly zone” supporters are thinking about. They likely don’t understand that part of the equation.

Or, as Reuters noted of their own poll, “It was not clear if respondents who supported a no-fly zone were fully aware of the risk of conflict, and majorities opposed the idea of sending American troops to Ukraine or conducting air strikes to support the Ukrainian army.”

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar has some studying to do. U.S. media could do a better job of making clear what a no-fly zone actually entails for American audiences, too.

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunterhttp://LibertyTree.com
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for Rare.us.