Congress wants to play WWII in Ukraine. The trouble is that could start WWIII.

Volodymyr Zelensky.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's appearance before Congress Wednesday morning was a moving event. Using a combination of translated remarks, video montage of Russian attacks, and direct address in English, Zelensky made the case for increased American support of his country's self-defense, including the enforcement of a no-fly zone.

The spectacle seemed to work on its immediate audience. Members of Congress were unusually attentive, applauded in unison, and even choked back tears during the montage. With his background in entertainment, though, Zelensky no doubt understands he wasn't only talking to people in the Capitol Visitor Center. The words and images, including Zelensky's appearance in a worn military T-shirt rather than the statesman's suit and tie, were intended to be disseminated around the world via social media, bolstering Ukraine's propaganda advantage.

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Samuel Goldman

Samuel Goldman is a national correspondent at He is also an associate professor of political science at George Washington University, where he is executive director of the John L. Loeb, Jr. Institute for Religious Freedom and director of the Politics & Values Program. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard and was a postdoctoral fellow in Religion, Ethics, & Politics at Princeton University. His books include God's Country: Christian Zionism in America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) and After Nationalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021). In addition to academic research, Goldman's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.