Thursday, August 28, 2014
Legislators Denounce Russia for War with Ukraine
It has been eight months since Russia invaded Ukraine and seized Crimea. Soon afterward Russian mercenaries – its hired guns from many countries – began pouring into eastern and southeastern Ukraine, waging war and razing peaceful Ukrainian towns and villages.
For nearly three-quarters of a year very few government leaders and pundits refused to accept the terms invasion and war in reference to what Russia has been doing in Ukraine. They rather chose a variety of antiseptic terms that did not force them to undertake uncompromising actions to stop Russia from subduing Ukraine, re-subjugating Ukraine, then invading the nearest former captive nation and doing the same.
Sanctions failed to stem the flow of Russian mercenaries, tanks, armor, artillery and now regular Russian troops into Ukraine. The world remains pathetically fearful and tepid in its response to Russia.
However, today’s Russian rapid escalation of its war with Ukraine has caused a few to take note of the invasion and war.
President Barack Obama said today about the situation in Ukraine that he spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and that the two agree “Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine.”
“The new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see,” Obama said, noting he would meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko next month at the White House. But enough about Ukraine, he then turned to the crisis with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Regrettably, it’s not violence that should cause you concern, Mr. President, it’s Russia’s war against Ukraine.
US legislators are continuing their criticism of the White House’s inaction and denouncing Russia for waging this historically inevitable war with Ukraine.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ), a member of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus who represents northern New Jersey issued a statement today forcefully admitting that Russia is “supporting, arming, and fighting alongside the separatists,”
“While multilateral sanctions are an important part of stopping Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, we must also ensure the Ukrainian people are able to defend their families and homeland. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people, and I am proud to have helped introduce bipartisan legislation that would authorize the President to provide military assistance to Ukraine and reaffirms our commitment to helping Ukrainians. Even though they are not in NATO, Ukraine is a friend of the United States, and it is unacceptable that we not provide them the means to defend themselves and preserve their territorial integrity.”
Pascrell is correct in urging Washington to treat Ukraine as a friendly country that needs and deserves American help – to preserves its territorial integrity, an important statement that attests to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and indivisibility.
Also today Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released the following statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
“Russia's ongoing aggression in Ukraine can only be called one thing: a cross-border military invasion. To claim it is anything other than that is to inhabit President Putin’s Orwellian universe.
“For months, the critics of providing arms and additional assistance to Ukraine have warned that doing so could provoke a Russian invasion. Everything the critics said would happen if we did more to help Ukraine has now happened anyway. Believing that the answer now is to do more of the same, or to do even less, is folly. Such a minimalist policy has been a large part of the current problem. It is most certainly not the answer now. Instead, the United States and our European allies should immediately begin providing intelligence and defensive weapons to Ukraine, including anti-armor systems. We should also impose real sectoral sanctions on Russia – not the half-measures taken to date, but full sanctions on Russia’s defense, financial, energy, and other sectors.
“This is a moment to speak and act with clarity. A sovereign nation in the heart of Europe is being invaded by its larger neighbor. This runs completely contrary to the civilized world that America and our partners have sought to build since World War II. If we will not or cannot defend our own values now, as well as friends who share them, the future will be dark and dangerous indeed, not just for Ukraine but for us too.”
There will be more statements in the near future. Governments, such as Canada and the US have also announced boosting their military presence in Eastern Europe. Indeed, they and others must fulfill their commitment to protecting the x-captive nations.
Words will not stop Russia from fulfilling its imperial manifest destiny. The battle to do so must be waged in Europe or else it will be waged on the Atlantic Coast of the United States.
Traditional friends of Ukraine are continuing to call for military aid for Ukraine while America’s and global liberals have turned a deaf ear to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.