Wed, Apr

Where Have Frightened Ukrainians Gone?


GUEST COMMENTARY - Wanting to express my inability to do anything about man’s self-destructive inclinations manifested in the drum-beating leading up to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent suffering of its people, I cast around for great anti-war imagery. 

Ironically, the initial lyrics of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” were drawn from a traditional Cossack folksong.  Written in 1955 to convey Seeger’s frustration about his blacklisting during the McCarthy era, it subsequently became one of the anthems of Vietnam War protesters.  

So I had no qualms about adding in many of the other wrongs in today’s world that we need to rise up and fix, or face the consequences.  Feel free to add your own verses.


Where have frightened Ukrainians gone?

Fled their country, too many of them

Of what do many Ukrainians dream?

They dream of flowers in the sun


Where have all the sunflowers gone?

Gone to Russian soldiers, every one

Where have too many Russians gone?

Duped by Putin, every one

When will they ever learn?


What have Russia’s newsmen done?

Muzzled by Putin, every one

Where have Moscow’ stock values gone?

Down the toilet, one by one

Where have all the rubles gone?

Stuck in Swiss banks, every one


Where have all of Russia’s nukes gone?

Lined up in Belarus, too many of them

Who calls the shots in Belarus?

Lukashenko, every one

What has Lukashenko done?

Sucked up to Putin like America’s Ex-One


Where has America’s Ex-One gone? 

Flushed out of office and Twitterdom

Another criminal on the run

When will he ever learn?


What has Vladimir Putin done?

Sold out to the oligarchs, every one

Russians should send him on the run

Straight to his dacha without his gun

But will he ever learn?


What have fossil fuel companies done?

Drove the conflict escalation, every one

What do oil and gas barons want?

Reduced regulations and more income

When will they ever learn?


What should Biden say to them?

Unless it’s green, your day is done

For Earth to survive, carbon stays in the ground

Only clean energy is now welcome


Rise up Russians, Americans, too

Show the world what people have to do

Take back your countries, it’s up to you

When will you ever learn?


What do all the people want?

Economic justice and no more guns

An end to excess by the wealthy ones


Fair play and civil liberties

Freedom for women and minorities

Health and education, made priorities


No more profiteer exploitation

Curtailing the lives of the next generation


Help for all who live in need

Saving the planet from corporate greed

Total truth and accountability

Calling out irrationality


Removing forever deleterious defects

Of the American military-industrial complex

Defund those wars, the lies and hate

Crafting love and peace just can’t wait


Entrenching human rights and public trust

If our leaders won’t do it, then the rest of us must


When will we ever learn?

When will we ever learn?



(Liz Amsden is an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She has written extensively on the City's budget and services as well as her many other interests and passions. In her real life she works on budgets for film and television where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today's world.)