Ukraine Chicken Out

By Tom Cranmer*
Thursday, August 13th, 2015 @ 11:54PM

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Left: Pro-Russian forces have been seen taking a navy base in Sevestapol hours after Russia signed a treaty on Crimea, March 14, 2015.

The Obama administration sold out another country: Ukraine. This is in spite of a bi-partisan authorization to provide arms to Ukraine, voted by both houses of Congress and signed into law (Public Law 113-272) by Obama at the end of December 2014.

The Russians are sponsoring an armed attempt to take over Eastern Ukraine and the Ukrainians are losing. Russia grabbed Crimea (part of Ukraine) with no challenge by Obama. Crimea is where the famous Charge of the British Light Brigade occurred against Russia on 25 October 1854. This time the Americans and Europeans did nothing, and rationalized it by saying most of the people there speak Russian and Russia has a naval base in Crimea.

A same language excuse is being used in Eastern Ukraine. Similarly, Hitler claimed part of Czechoslovakia, called the Sudetenland, where three million ethnic Germans lived. On 30 September 1938 Hitler, Mussolini, French Premier Daladier and British Prime Minister Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact that led Hitler to take over Czechoslovakia. Neville Chamberlain infamously claimed this would lead to “peace in our time.”

Although Russia forced most Ukrainians to learn Russian while Ukraine was a satellite of the Soviet Union, most Ukrainians hate the Russians. Stalin starved 1.8 to 12 million Ukrainian children, women and men in a forced famine during 1932 and 1933. He ordered all the food produced confiscated in order to kill farm owners as part of Communist liquidation of private property. The children, women and men tried to eat grass and bark off trees before they died.

As a quid pro quo for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons, Bill Clinton signed on 5 December 1994 an agreement with Russia, the U.K., and Ukraine that they 1. “Re-affirm their commitment to Ukraine …to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.” This clearly was not honored by Russia in taking over Crimea.

These countries also claimed to “2. Re-affirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense…” The Russians have threatened and used force supporting the rebels who are fighting to turn over Eastern Ukraine to Russia.

The UN representatives of the countries sent the agreement to the UN on 19 December 1994 as “a document of the General Assembly.” It is titled “Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”

Obama has shown lack of leadership by not participating in the negotiations for peace agreements for the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. The German and French leaders have been the negotiators.

Obama and the Congressional Democrats so far have imposed minimal sanctions. Some have characterized the sanctions as not permitting some Russians to go to Disneyland. The administration has provided Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) that are prepared for our troops, and little else.

The Ukraine government asked for arms and Obama refused. The new law provides for “defense articles” that include “anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, crew weapons and ammunition, counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery batteries, fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance and control equipment, tactical troop operated surveillance drones, and secure command and communications equipment.” None of this has been provided.

In the same manner Poland agreed to allow the U.S. to put in anti-missile defenses. This would have helped protect European countries, including Ukraine, from Russia and the Middle East. Obama cancelled the agreement, getting nothing in return from Russia. This is further proof to Russia that America has no spine, similar to Chamberlain’s attitude that a deal could be made with Hitler. Backing down before a bully never works, but then hope, rather than common sense, seems to prevail in the Obama administration.

Senator John McCain, on CBS’s Face the Nation on February 22, 2015, said this was “a dark chapter” in U.S. history. “The Ukrainians aren’t asking for American boots on the ground….They are being slaughtered and their military is being shattered. They are asking for weapons to defend themselves…. They are asking for weapons to defend themselves,” he said. The Senate Armed services Committee chairman went on to say “I’m ashamed of my country. I’m ashamed of my president. And I’m ashamed of myself that I haven’t done more to help these people. It is really, really heartbreaking.”

Robert Knight, a Washington Times commentator, is right: “At this darkening hour, we need a Winston Churchill, not a new-age Neville Chamberlain.”

* Tom Cranmer, a former planner and treasurer at Mobil Oil, monitored issues in Russia, among other countries, for three decades.   He first visited Russia in 1970 and toured Ukraine in 2006.

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