I don’t agree with some of the sentiments (like Ukraine was our ally) expressed by this person who made a comment to the OP-Ed by John Bolton (a neo con who never saw a war he didn’t like) in the Los Angeles Times but for the most part it tells a story of Ukraine that should be heard. (hat tip to Elmer)
“Although I am a fervent supporter of Obama (I worked as a campaign volunteer for his election and re-election), I agree with the author on this. The outcomes of the Bolshevik revolution, the second world war and the cold war are being fought for this very moment in Kyiv. These protests are for more than an EU agreement. They are about whether Ukraine will become a legitimate democracy. And how that will affect the future of Europe, Russia and NATO.
People in the CIS countries (including 140 million Russians) are watching the Ukraine protests with interest and envy. If Ukraine does it, others will be inspired to follow.
Ukraine was our ally in the second world war. Yet more Ukrainian civilians died in the war than in Germany and Japan combined (and that does not include the Holodomyr or Stalin’s terrors). Europe and the US largely forgot about Ukraine as it was absorbed into the Soviet Union. The protestors, the children and grandchildren of one of the most wounded generations in human history, are now asking for our help. And they have already handed Europe and the US a NATO sized Christmas gift. Imagine a post-Putin democratic Russia. Imagine the peace dividend. This is not a simple slam dunk. And the EU diplomats are not up to the task alone. Putin also understands all this and has quite different plans. Game on.”
The importance of Ukraine is beginning to be realized by the American people and some of their leaders. Secretary of State John Kerry statement of “disgust” was forceful and needed to insure the safety of the protestors. Our local Congressman William Keating has also taken an active stand. He has stated:
“Since the beginning of my Ranking Membership, I have been impressed with the progress Ukraine has made in meeting the European Union’s conditions for signing an Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. As such, the Ukrainian government’s decision to suspend – even temporarily – this process comes not just as a surprise, but as a disappointment. Twenty-five years ago no-one could have imagined that Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – then Soviet republics – would be on the verge of signing or initialing Association Agreements with the European Union. Their laudable progress demonstrates each country’s resilience and the strength of their citizenry’s desire for transparent governance, rule of law, and prosperity. Despite the considerable pressure, signing an Association Agreement is the best long term guarantor of rule of law and prosperity in Ukraine. There is still time for the Ukrainian government to do what is right for its people. Our European partners have assured Ukraine that the door is open, but it is up to Ukraine to walk through. The United States will continue to stand by Ukraine in the face of outside pressure. In the meantime, we in Congress will continue to watch the developments closely.”
Congressman Keating has provided some well needed leadership in Congress. Not only is he out front along with Senators McCain and Murphy in Congress on the Ukraine issue; he is also providing the leadership in the investigation of the FBI’s involvement in the April 15 Marathon terrorist attack.
Right now it looks like the Ukrainian protestors are still being ignored by their rulers. We only can hope that the pressures from Kerry and our members of Congress deter Yanukovich from sending in the brutal special police.
But the situation is tenuous. Ukrainian leader Yanukovich meets with Putin tomorrow. For Putin, this is a huge embarrassment showing to the world that his Russia of today is more like the Soviet Union of yesterday than a democratic state.
As I see it this is a telling moment for the USA. It’s nice that the State Department tells Yanokovic not to brutalize the people; but where is the leader of the free world in this decisive tug of war. Strangely our president continues to be silent. Why won’t he respond to the brave protestors who only want to be able to say: “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”