Monday, July 18, 2016

Congressman Pascrell Lambasts Trump on anti-Ukraine Policy
Where are Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan when the former captive nations need them desperately? They’re all spinning in their graves listening to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump disparage them in favor of Russian dictator, imperialist and invader Vladimir Putin.
Hiring Paul Manafort, who worked as a consultant for Putin lapdog Viktor Yanukovych for 10 years, already sent a clear message to anyone who listened that Trump could care less about the winds of independence, sovereignty and democracy that swept across the former Soviet Russian empire and Eastern Europe 25 years ago. Trump doesn’t care that Manafort was working for Yanukovych during the Revolution of Dignity, when the Ukrainian despot he worked for, in collusion with Putin, killed more than 100 protesters in cold blood on the streets of the Ukrainian capital.
Since the start of the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Trump heaped praise on Putin while disregarding the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine and has been waging a war against it in violation of the UN Charter and resolutions and international law. Trump has discounted the defensive and political needs of the former captive nations.
He obviously didn’t have the slightest desire to form an appropriate plank in the GOP platform that would speak about these global issues. And the platform that was adopted on Monday, July 18, does not have a sentence of meaningful support for Ukraine and will be in opposition to all living and deceased GOP foreign policy leaders. Trump and his minions saw to that.
According to Josh Rogin, writing in The Washington Post on July 18, said: “The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces.”
Apparently Trump’s capos, who weren’t GOP convention delegates, were directed to listen in on the foreign policy discussion of the platform committee and ensure that pro-Ukrainian references were toned down or eliminated.
Rogin wrote: “Inside the meeting, Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas who was a Ted Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment that would call for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia, increasing aid for Ukraine and ‘providing lethal defensive weapons’ to the Ukrainian military. ‘Today, the post­-Cold War ideal of a ‘Europe whole and free’ is being severely tested by Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine,’ the amendment was to read. ‘The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle.’”
Great statement. It would have properly formulated a Republican statement about Ukraine in its war with Russia and its vision of addressing it.
However, Trump’s spies intervened. They convinced pro-Trump delegates to torpedo this proposal.
Denman told Rogin of this anti-Ukrainian ambush but it was too late to rectify the situation. She challenged Trump’s envoys by saying “What is your problem with a country that wants to remain free?” Indeed. Why does Trump dislike a country that seeks to be free? Except, of course, if it sought to be free of Russia.
An anti-Ukrainian plank meant a lot to the Republican nominee because his staffers wrote an amendment to Denman’s amendment that eradicated the call for “providing lethal defensive weapons” and replaced it with softer language that called for “appropriate assistance.”
Champagne bottles popped in the Kremlin.
“This is another example of Trump being out of step with GOP leadership and the mainstream in a way that shows he would be dangerous for America and the world,” Rachel Hoff, another platform committee member who was in the room told Rogin
Earlier in the campaign, Trump said he doesn’t care if Ukraine joins NATO and expressed disdain for supporting Ukraine in the war with Russia, saying it’s none of America’s business.
This evening I received an email from Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey’s 9th CD and a member of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, who castigated Trump on his anti-Ukraine position. Pascrell wrote:
“Donald Trump’s continued impacts on the Republican Party seem to know no bounds. I am shocked to learn his campaign worked behind the scenes to water down language supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russian and rebel forces in their party platform. As someone whose top aide has long and deep reported ties to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, and who had made cavalier compliments for brutal strongmen like President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions shows he would be dangerous for protecting human rights and democracy across the globe. Instead of rolling back support for our allies in Ukraine that would strengthen Russia’s hand, it is vital the US act to prevent Ukraine from descending further into chaos. It is time we stand up in support of the people of Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom.”
Presidential campaigns bring to the surface a host of issues and all voters have personal hot button issues. This one is mine.
If you do not believe that there exists a very real Russian threat faced by Ukraine and the other former captive nations and you don’t support their triumph over Moscow, then vote for Putin … I mean, Trump.

If you do comprehend the needs and perils faced by Ukraine and the other former captive nations, then you should consider voting for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, who, at least on this issue, has a verified track record of supporting those countries that are endeavoring to build new sovereign, democratic lives for themselves after fleeing Russian bondage.