One of the great pull and tugs of recent months is the situation in Ukraine where Russia with the help of some of its leaders is pulling Ukraine back into a state of subservience, very much like it had when it was the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic; and the Western world with support of the majority of its people is tugging it toward the openness of the freedoms that exist in the West. I’ve noted how President Obama has for the most part remained silent during this tug of war so it’s hard to figure out on what side of the ledger we should put America on in this battle.
The European Union is clearly on the side of the people in Ukraine. It has made its intentions clear and is in the process of putting together a financial package to help them overcome their country’s financial difficulties even though it has such problems in some of the countries that are part of its organization. The United Nations is also somehow involved but outside of coming down heavily on the Vatican, it seems to have little solutions for any real problems because it has to always accommodate the Russian and Chinese view that do not often coincide with that of the West.
Our State Department represents our country in its negotiations with other nations. With respect to matters of the EU and Ukraine, it has designated Victoria Nuland as the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs making her our lead person.
I went to Wikipedia to learn something about her. She has worked for Clinton, George Bush ( the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney ) and President Obama who put her into the position she now holds. It escapes me that one of Cheney’s chief foreign policy advisers would be still determining our country’s policies under Obama but I suppose this show the chameleon-like beliefs of some who can change with the prevailing winds.
Nuland made a little bit of a stir back in 2012 when she was the State Department’s spokesperson who was intricately involved in phonying-up the talking points about the Benghazi affair.. Reviewing what the CIA provided which included information on prior threats and attacks by al-Qa’ida in the Benghazi area she objected to revealing them saying that they: “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …” In other words lets hide the truth of what happened so that we’ll escape any blame for our inaction which lead to the death of four Americans. For her performance in that little crisis, in September 2013 she was promoted to her new post.
As you know the EU leaders are not too happy with the US for our listening in on their private conversations. As they labor to get past that and they figure out what to do about Ukraine, Ms Nuland on behalf of the United States has stuck her nose into the matter. To date not much has come from her actions unlike those of the EU. A photograph in the Irish Times shows her delight in meeting with the present Ukrainian leader Victor Yanukovich, the one against whom the people have been protesting. She met with him yesterday. We are not privy to what deal she made with him. IT was reported that immediately after her meeting with her he went to Sochi where Putin is now holding court.
Before her meeting with Yanukovich we were made privy to a conversation between her and the American ambassador to Ukraine that had been intercepted by the Russians. One thing we learned from that is that Nuland is not on the same page as the EU. In a transcript of that intercepted call she was overheard saying: “Fuck the EU.” German Chancellor Merkel called her comments: “totally unacceptable.” That’s an understatement. This type of vulgar talk from the lead diplomat undermines our country. How do you think the EU members feel when the US is coming up with its own secret side deals with Yanukovich in light of Nuland’s attitude toward it?
The Russians meanwhile are playing a clever hand. They released the tape of Nuland for the precise purpose of dividing the US and EU. The Russian are now suggesting the US is interfering in Ukrainian affairs. Sergei Glazyev who advises President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Ukraine, recently stated: “What the Americans are getting up to now, unilaterally and crudely interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, is a clear breach of that treaty,[a 1994 treaty under which Washington and Moscow jointly guaranteed Ukraine's security and sovereignty after Kiev gave up its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.] “The agreement is for collective guarantees and collective action.” According to the article he said this gave Russia the legal right to intervene in the crisis. He did not specify what form such intervention might take.
My take on all this is that Nuland has disclosed the USA is working on a side deal. Obama’s silence in the face of Russian threats does not bode well for the Ukrainian people. Where is our State Department’s response to Glazyey’s accusation. Where is the forceful statement to the Russians that they stay out of Ukraine?
That we can have a former foul mouth Cheney advisor representing our nation in European affairs is something short of breathtaking. I worry that the US is making side deals with Putin which will let him sponsor a crackdown on the Ukrainian demonstrators using Russian forces. When the Olympics end so may the Ukrainians aspirations for freedom.