I will summarize the contents of the bill with comments about Russia's viewpoint as well as a worldly review. On December 4, 2014, the bill HR758, which strongly condemns Russia and Putin for their policy of aggression, was finalized. This bill will likely go to Obama for signing. In reality, and this is very key so don't lose sight of it, this bill is pretty much meaningless. This bill is more of a sad laundry list of US complaints, most without foundation or justification, with a wish list of nebulous desires that further stretch the boundaries of sanity. Russia is rightfully pissed off, but this bill appears more like the last saber rattling of an old, feeble foe than the rally cry of a new populist movement that is about to spring into action.
Here, then, is a brief review of this "blusterous" congress pounding its semi-caved in chest in anemic, half-hearted growls of injustice that it doesn't even understand.
The bill starts out with this, "Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence." Trust me, this is the least idiotic of the "whereases" in this bill. The hubris of this Congress to blame Russia for something this same Congress helped start and actively promoted is beyond words. Here is the Bloomberg article showing how the IMF was strangling the Ukraine with promises of a new loan .... if ....there's "a significant up-front increase in gas and heating tariffs for households and adoption of a schedule for further increases." The increases of 40% followed the IMF's forced increase of 50% from 2010. According to Wikipedia, "In December 2013 Ukraine again applied to IMF asking for providing money, approximately 20 billion dollars, in order to meet the costs incurred due to signature of Association with European Union." Um, Russia's "domination" over the Ukraine seems to be noting more than a minor cameo role compared to the IMF imposing draconian measures on the poor of the country and then plunging it into an even larger abyss by forcing a $20 billion loan to join the Association of the European Union, an enemy of Russia!
It gets worse.
The bill admonishes Russia's invasion of Ukraine. There is a modicum of truth to this in as much as Russia took back Crimea, which it had transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkrSSR) (it wasn't a country at the time) in 1954. But that incursion was actually greeted by the Crimeans, who are overwhelmingly Russian in culture, with applause. I'd applaud too if my heating bills were suddenly reduced to pre-2010 levels and I no longer felt the crush of IMF loans. But the real invasion is still the coup d'etat sponsored by the West in 2014.
The bill cries foul at the Russian violations of the ten 1975 Helsinki Accords. It conveniently refuses to mention the West's continued violations of the same. It must also be stated here that the 1975 Helsinki Accords had nothing to do with Ukraine. The country didn't even exist at the time. This is like citing the US annexation of Hawaii in 1898 as a violation of The Peace Treaties of Westphalia from 1648.
Congress then attacks Russia under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, a nonbinding agreement to get the 3rd largest agroupment of nuclear bombs out of Ukraine and its close neighbors. It was successful. It is also no longer valid. But Americans have no clue and foreign names with dates from over 10 years ago and big words always seem important to the feeble, ignorant American filled with US propaganda and Fox's latest "Hate Those Other Americans Who Don't Look Like You."
HR 758 puts the entire blame and burden of the current civil war in the Ukraine on Russia. While it is important to always be cognizant of the number of dead, wounded and displaced in any armed conflict, to suggest that Russia is the only one with bullets is ridiculous. Let's never forget that this whole thing started because the IMF and the West wanted to impose draconian policies on the poor of Ukraine and move the Ukraine to the EU, something the population and the neighbors of Ukraine weren't all too happy about.
Then this bill laments the fact that the Ukraine has less military forces than Russia, but at the same time, it wants to beef up those forces with US taxpayer paid military forces ..... staring at the Russians ..... from 50 yards away or less, just in case the US can justify another military attack. Now it is understood here that should that justification occur, the average Ukrainian will either be dead, terrified to death or living in a foreign country in fear for his life, but hey, the US will have another "justified" war and Wall Street couldn't be happier.
Then the bill goes on to address alleged violations of the Minsk Protocol from September 2014 committed by Russia. It conveniently ignores those violations committed by the Ukrainian government and its neo-Nazi sympathizers. Just another sad fact that Congress doesn't want the American public to know.
In fact, while Congress is busy denouncing the pro-Russian separatists for holding their elections at a different time and for not voting in other elections outside their domain, the US Congress fails to mention one huge, important fact: they are the fundamental reason that these elections are happening at all. The world knows full well that the coup d'etat brought on by Washington and her European allies in February, 2014, precipitated the need for these elections. They may decry the fact that eastern Ukrainians don't want to legitimize NATO's putsch that toppled the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych by voting in the election's predestined winner, Petro Poroshenko, but they cannot escape the illegal act they committed to get to these elections in the first place. Coup d'etats are illegal, full stop.
The discussion here about Russia's use of economic pressure on Ukraine via the gas and oil supplied by Russia is totally bogus. The Ukraine has been notoriously late, as in years late, on its payment for gas and oil provided by Russia. There have been many accusations that the Ukraine would even siphon off gas and oil destined to other European countries just to skirt having to pay for them.
As far as a military presence in Ukraine is concerned, the last nation to use that as a moral objective would be the United States. The US has military bases in over 100 countries around the world. From Guantanamo Bay to Diego Garcia, the US has installed military forts that are subject to US law exclusively, even though they exist in other countries. I remember the US military compound in Geneva, Switzerland, in the 1970s with its dozen or so US Marines marching out front. My friends would ask me if the US was planning an invasion of Switzerland since no other country in the world was allowed the luxury of having military command posts there.
Furthermore, this bill asserts that the "Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty." It would be wise to note that intermediate nukes mentioned in that treaty are of no value to the US. These are missiles that would fall harmlessly in the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans by their very definition if the US deployed them on their own soil. Russia's concerns are real, however, and for the US and NATO to offer these same missiles as a defense shield for Poland, The Czech Republic and the rest of Europe against Russian and Iranian "aggression" just proves once again the hypocrisy of the US in these dealings. We can "provide defense" to other nations while Russia cannot provide for its own defense.
Another major hypocrisy is Congress's concern that "the Government of the Russian Federation has repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government..." I would be curious to hear German Chancellor Angela Merkel's response to this after her phone was illegally tapped by the NSA.
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