The Mysterious Silence of President Obama on the Ukrainian Protests

Ukraine with the bearHow is it we are so willing to put our prestige on the line for people in the Arab countries for whom democracy is a stranger and women’s rights are often held hostage to male ignorance while ignoring people in the West who cry out for democracy, are willing to put their lives on the line for it, and accord women equal rights with men.

I’m talking about the situation that is occurring in Ukraine as compared to those countries where we have put in our troops in an attempt to force on them an alien concept: democracy. Do you really think after all our blood, treasure and toil that Iraq or Afghanistan will become true democracies where women have equal rights? Or will they forever be dependent upon us supporting the tribe in power over the enemy tribes seeking to get back in power?

Back in  May 11, 2011, President Obama made a speech that spelled out the United States’ goals for the Middle East and North Africa. This was occasioned by the so-called Arab spring that lasted as long as an early spring on Cape Cod before the chilly seas pushes it away.

Here are a few of the statements that he made. I consider them in light of the happenings today in Ukraine. I’m at a loss to understand why he doesn’t apply them to what is happening in Maidan Square. Has he entered into a Devil’s deal with Vladimir Putin that for his support in the Syrian situation that he will support Russia’s takeover of Ukraine? One has to assume it is something like that if one reads what he said in this speech.

“There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity.”

That is what the Ukrainian people seek. They have demonstrated for over two months against the deal that will give Russia control over it. This is not one of those American demonstrations where the weather is warm, the accommodations civil, and the police kind. It is being done in brutally cold weather by people living in unheated tents against gangster-like police who have killed four and brutalized many more.  Yet on Ukraine Obama is silent.

“The United States opposes the use of violence and repression against the people of the region”

Are we to understand that it is only in the Middle East and North Africa  that the United States takes this stand? Tune into a Ukrainian channel (google “5UA” and click on Ефір) and see what President Obama fails to see.

“The United States supports a set of universal rights.  And these rights include free speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly, the freedom of religion, equality for men and women under the rule of law, and the right to choose your own leaders  -– whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus, Sanaa or Tehran.

What about if you live in Kyiv,Ukraine? Did President Obama condemn the legislation that outlawed the freedom of peaceful assembly that the Ukrainian parliament recently passed?

 “[I]t will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy.”

Throughout Ukraine the people are not asking Americans to put their lives on the line for them but are merely asking for our soft power to come into play. We need the president’s voice and his executive actions to insure the slaughter of the protesters does not take place. Check this story to see what almost happened ten years ago during the Orange Revolution.

 “The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy.  President Assad now has a choice:  He can lead that transition, or get out of the way.  The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests.  It must release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests.”

What about President  Victor Yanukovich of Ukraine? Where is the call for him to get out of the way of the demonstrators?

“Our message is simple:  If you take the risks that reform entails, you will have the full support of the United States.”

The demonstrators representing the people in Ukraine are doing just that thing. Where is the full support of the United States? These are people who know what democracy is and seek it. Where is our president’s voice.

“What is true for religious minorities is also true when it comes to the rights of women.  History shows that countries are more prosperous and more peaceful when women are empowered.  And that’s why we will continue to insist that universal rights apply to women as well as men “

Ukraine accords women full rights. A woman was its prime minister. Yanukovich tossed her in prison. Ukraine  is not like those countries where women have a lesser status. Look at our good friend Saudi Arabia where women can’t drive automobiles; or any of those other Muslim countries where people in power, like we saw with the Taliban, want to keep women on the level of farm animals.

Offering support for the Ukrainian uprising seems to be so natural in light of his professed beliefs that failure to do so can only leave one thinking Obama has made a deal with Putin to sell the Ukrainians down the river into slavery. 

14 thoughts on “The Mysterious Silence of President Obama on the Ukrainian Protests

  1. Elmer

    What’s the best English language Ukrainian e-media? I’m reading a e-paper called UNIAN. Is there anything better? RT satellite TV has edited its footage in such a way that it appears to be the protesters attacking the police, rather than the reverse. There is a lot of disinformation being shopped around in the media regarding the situation in Ukraine.
    If Yanuchyvich (sp?) packs up, and, pulls out, can Ukraine’s Armed Forces successfully resist a Russian military attempt to seize the eastern oblasts and Crimea? If not, does that mean partition?

    1. I will give you several – except they have a paywall on some stories, but many links also to BBC, and other European newspapers – good source, but slightly stilted translation and no pictures — a very good news blog very good blog with analysis — blog with excellent analysis — human rights watch — very good blog – look at the twitter posts stream on the left hand side of the page

      1. Elmer:

        Thank you, again for the very informative e-sites.

        One of those e-publications, maidanua, envisioned a possible scenario in which Putin uses the security troops he has deployed in Crimea for the Olympics, to either support a Russian friendly coup, or, blatantly invade Ukraine. What’s your opinion on the possibility of Russia employing its’ military to crush the revolt? The invasion of Hungary in 1956, and, the quashing of Dubcek in 1968, have established imperial Russia’s tendency to utilize armed force when the national interest demands action. Where does the Ukrainian Officer Corp stand vis-a-vis the revolt? If they are united in their opposition to Great Russian hegemony, how long could the Armed Forces of Ukraine resist a Russian armored onslaught? I’ve studied the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The Russian Army can move very quickly, once its’ leaders have decided on a course of action.

  2. Elmer

    The police must be quite cowed if they allowed the demonstrators to advance on them with fired-up Molotov cocktails in their hands. Cops in this country would react very differently to such an immediate threat.

    If one were to compare the casualties of the initial weeks of the recent Egyptian Revolution to those suffered by the protestors in the Maidan over the last few weeks, it’s easy to see that there is different set of cultural rules in play. Why didn’t the police open fire on the crowd?

    1. they did open fire on the crowd

      people died

      the police used stun grenades, plus they claim they used “rubber” bullets

      but steel bullets were found

      people died

    1. Elmer:
      The Putcher, or as some call him Vladimir Putrid, is definitely not taking this slap in his face lying down. he was given a cold shoulder at his recent trip to Brussels so he’s determined to show the world – as recent Russian propaganda has proclaimed – that he is the most powerful man on earth. He would have moved by now but he feared a massive boycott of his baby, the Winter Olympics. Once that kicks off he will begin to take steps to undermine the Ukrainian people. I think he won’t use them as cover, as the article states, but will wait until they end, but I could be wrong.

      When Putin moves Obama may huff and puff but not much more since his response to the Ukrainian situation seems to be to wish it away. i think he’d finding being president isn’t all its cracked up to be – you have to make life and death decisions affecting thousands of people something he’s not comfortable doing as was shown by his quickly backing down after the red line was crossed when he found an out.
      There is really nothing that he could do from a military point of view; no one wants another big war in Europe. The response in the world must be that an iron curtain be brought down on the relations with Russia and the seizure of Russian assets on the outside. That will not happen. Europe, dependent on Russian gas, is wary of doing much and Putin keenly understands that. Putin can have his cake and eat it if the West doesn’t respond forcefully to him if he invades Ukraine either with uniform troops or those in civilian clothes. He’s counting on that happening knowing Obama’s distaste for controversy.

      1. Right now, the US is working on targeted sanctions against the Ukrainian regime based on responsibility for violent crackdowns against the population.

        In Davos, at the World Economic Forum, the PM, Azarov, was shunned – all his speeches were canceled and he was not allowed to participate in the forum.

        But here is yet another case of extreme brutality:

        35-year old activist Bulatov was held for 8 days, tortured, cut, his ear was cut off:

        This is all done at the behest of the brutal sovok mafia regime.

  3. Thank you for keeping a focus on this.

    The Rasha is conducting a massive campaign to try to take over Ukraine – including a bit of a cyberwar.

    Some info that I have received ——






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