Opinion | Declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism

Russia’s current behavior matches all the behavior of a rogue nation.

Peter Anders, Opinions Contributor

Throughout the Russo-Ukrainian war, Russia has attacked civilian targets, used fear tactics, and has committed war crimes daily.  The list of violations against international norms is long and growing.

But still, the Biden administration has not moved forward with requests by Kyiv and members of congress to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

While the declaration does not lie with President Joe Biden but rather with the Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the consensus is clear, the Biden administration must listen to his colleagues on Capitol Hill, Kyiv and voters across the country and label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

State sponsors of terrorism are countries that repeatably provide support for acts of international terrorism. Sanctions are applied to any individual, country or entity that does business with Russia.

There are currently four countries listed as state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Cuba, Syria and North Korea.

There are fears that declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism could have dangerous consequences. Declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism could affect the possibility of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. It would also exacerbate an already poor relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

But the idea of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are unlikely. What’s even more unlikely is the U.S. and Russia forming a new kindred bond.

Russia has never been especially helpful and has not contributed to U.N. General Assembly efforts to create a better world.

Labeling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism will make them a pariah in western eyes, which a vile regime like Putin’s Russia deserves.

Russia helps create societal conflicts, undermines international organizations, and actively sabotages them. Russia is anything but an ally in any regard on any matter. Labeling them a state sponsor of terrorism should have been considered well over a decade ago.

If we don’t use the label when it applies, then what is the point of having the term “terrorism” as a category in our vocabular? It’s a hard call to make but sometimes situations like these require us to call things out as they are.

Biden needs to use his position of power to call out Russia, and Iowans need to be part of the conversation demanding Biden to do so.

Russia invading Ukraine may not visibly impact us here in Iowa. But we are seeing the consequences of it already, with the rising price of gas and the cost of living being exacerbated by the war.

We should care about Ukraine because what happens there affects us all and we have a moral obligation to defend those who are oppressed. This is not something that is just affecting Europe. It affects us all.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.