By Daniel McAdams
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to Washington tomorrow (Thursdsay) is the consummation of a marriage made back in February, when the Obama administration ripped up a compromise agreement between elected president Yanukovich and the rebels who were seeking to overthrow him. Overnight, the US government endorsed the rebels’ seizure of power, and it has not wavered in its support of the coup leadership from that point.
Poroshenko will arrive in town buoyed by Congressional passage of H.Res. 726, a resolution “Strongly supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely determine their future, including their country's relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries.”
The lie is in the very title of the bill, however, as in supporting an anti-democratic coup against a legally elected government, the US has undermined, not supported, the right of the Ukrainian people to “freely determine their future... without interference…by other countries.”
The Ukrainian people expressed their desires when they voted for Yanukovich. After the coup, the people in Crimea and the eastern part of the country also expressed their preferred “relationship with other nations” when they voted to, respectively, join Russia and declare independence from the US-backed government in Kiev. Those votes didn’t count in Washington, however. The people voted the wrong way so it wasn’t democratic. It was, in the words of US Secretary of State John Kerry, “contrived and bogus.”
The current resolution repeats the lie that the pro-independence fighters in the east part of Ukraine actually killed their own people with the backing of Russia. It states:
…the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in ongoing conflict that is responsible for over 3,000 deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction.
Poroshenko comes to the US expecting a massive economic bailout and the military equipment to destroy the pro-independence fighters in the east, with whom his government currently has a ceasefire. Wouldn’t an assault by newly-armed Kiev forces break the ceasefire agreement? We should not hold our breath for Washington to condemn such a move. In fact, recent Kiev bombardment of Donetsk is blamed on the pro-independence forces – even though they control Donetsk!
Poroshenko will likely soon find out that Washington is a fickle partner, and its attention can easily be swayed by any attractive crisis that happens to pass. President Obama is currently enjoying the benefits of becoming a “war president,” as he escalates the US military campaign in Iraq (and soon Syria). Boots on the ground are likely the next move. Poroshenko may find himself feeling like a jilted former lover, a flavor of the week. The Ukrainian people will too soon find out that US intervention usually creates a Libya, not a Switzerland.