Hosting the German Chancellor in Washington this week, US President appears to have developed cold feet over ardent American calls to send lethal weaponry to Ukraine. He is right, too. He knows such a move would spell the end of US global power.
The White House is coming under intense pressure from Republican and Democrat politicians, media pundits, think-tanks and armchair generals to send heavy arms to the neo-fascist Kiev regime. Even Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and the incoming Defense Secretary Ashton Carton have all recently talked up the need to arm the Kiev junta in the face of alleged “Russian aggression.”
But the danger for Washington is that such a move is jeopardizing the US-EU political front against Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Europeans are already leery of the US-led policy of economic sanctions; and with the latest calls for supplying weapons into Ukraine, the US-EU relationship is buckling under.
Germany, France and even American lapdog ally Britain have all voiced opposition to sending more military hardware to Ukraine, fearful that such a move would escalate the conflict and antagonize Russia into a wider war.
While hosting Merkel at the White House this week, Obama was at pains to emphasize unity between Washington and Europe over the Ukraine crisis and toward Russia. Obama felt obliged to shore up that waning unity, rather than talk about the weapons option that so many other American politicians are advocating.
Instead, the American president appeared to back the diplomatic option that Merkel and French leader Francois Hollande have embarked on since last weekend. The European leaders are due to have a follow-up meeting with Putin in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, this week in order to thrash out a possible peace deal over Ukraine.
Unlike the gung-ho bomb-bomb-bomb Americans, the Europeans have expressly said that supplying more weapons to the Kiev regime is not an option, and that the latter must sit down with the pro-independence forces in eastern Ukraine to work out a mutual settlement that could involve a degree of political autonomy for the ethnic Russian population in the eastern Donbas region. The eastern region has rejected the Western-backed coup in Kiev last February, which is the main reason why the regime launched its assault the following April, with a death toll so far of over 5,500 and more than one million refugees.
So, Obama, showing a bit more nous than most politicians in Washington, knows that if he pushes the military option that could blow open a fatal rift with European allies. That rift would undermine the underlying American agenda of driving a wedge between Europe and Russia, and the American primary objective of containing Russia as a global power.
Speaking with Merkel by his side at the White House, Obama sounded a note of caution: “Russia obviously has an extraordinarily powerful military and you know, given the length of the Russian border with Ukraine, given the history between Russia and Ukraine, expecting that if Russia is determined that Ukraine can fully rebuff a Russian army has always been unlikely.”
In other words, Obama also knows that, in addition to risking a damaging split with Europe, sending arms to the regime in Kiev is a futile military option anyway.
Hence, the president has taken to cooling on the military option, saying with a notable lack of conviction, “It is true that if, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options. What other means can we put in place to change Mr. Putin’s calculus? And the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that’s being examined,” he said, adding, “But I have not made a decision about that yet… it’s not based on the idea that Ukraine could defeat a Russian army that was determined.”
Obama’s belated caution is well-advised. The Kiev regime is falling apart at the seams, and no amount of weaponry will improve its performance. The pro-independence forces are inflicting heavy losses, with hundreds – if not thousands – of Kiev forces killed in the last three weeks.
Up to 8,000 Kiev soldiers are facing an imminent rout in the strategic enclave of Debaltsevo, as forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic tighten the noose.
Under-equipped, ill-trained, demoralized and leaderless, Kiev forces are deserting in large numbers across the border to Russia. These conscripts know they are being used as cannon fodder in a senseless war against their compatriots – a war that only benefits oligarchs and Western-indoctrinated ideologues in Kiev who are safely removed from the violence. One story tells a lot: the oligarch figure Igor Kolomoisky, the Kiev-appointed governor of Dnipropetrovsk, reportedly sold $3.5-worth of fake body armor to the Ukraine Armed Forces that was later found to be as bullet-proof as cardboard.
There are also reports of widespread mutiny among the populace of western Ukraine, who have taken to chasing army recruiting teams from their towns and villages. Journalists are being arrested for merely questioning the morality of the Kiev-imposed war in the east. One of them, Ruslan Katsaba, faces life in prison on “treason” charges because he said, “It is impossible in the 21st century to kill people – my compatriots – just because they want to live separately… there are almost no Russian troops in Donbas.”
The Kiev ministry of interior has threatened any protesters with arrest and has denounced them as “brainwashed idiots under the orders of Russia.”
And this is who the Americans want to give more guns, mortars and missiles to? A Nazi-adulating regime that is waging a terror war on its own people with cluster bombs and white phosphorus incendiaries.
Military consultant to the Pentagon and Russia expert Michael Kofman, based at the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, is one of the saner American voices. He has come out against the stampede to arm the Kiev regime. “Ukraine does not need weapons, it needs an army,” said Kofman recently in an interview with Ukrainian media.
“The Ukraine army is unfit for combat… It has many structural problems that weapons will not solve, even if we sent our best tanks and put rockets and grenade launchers on top of them,” adds Kofman.
He also points out how American supplies of weapons to Syria and Iraq have made conflict much worse and have backfired in terms of unleashing uncontrollable chaos and terrorism across the region.
Only brainwashed, imbecilic Americans could possibly believe that increasing the flow of weapons to Ukraine will not fuel more violence, bloodshed and death, and even spark a wider war with Russia, and cause a collapse in the Atlantic alliance between the US and Europe, thus bringing Washington’s hegemony to an end.
On second thoughts, the latter result of US imperial doom might be worth letting the American imbeciles have their way. Go ahead punks, make our day.
[DS added the video reports.]
All eyes on Minsk: Normandy 4 meet for E. Ukraine solution
RT on Feb 11, 2015
Leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia are expected to meet in Belarus on Wednesday to hammer out a peace agreement for Ukraine – and to put an end to scenes like we’ve just witnessed. The talks are billed as a last ditch attempt to solve the crisis.
CrossTalk: Ukraine’s Tipping Point
RT on Feb 11, 2015
There is wide recognition Ukraine’s civil war is at a tipping point. While NATO allies are divided, finding some kind of peaceful settlement still may be possible. The problem is whether there is enough political will on all sides. CrossTalking with Edward Lozansky, Dmitry Linnik, and Ben Aris.
Playing with Fire? A Debate on U.S. Arming Ukraine & NATO Expansion to Russia’s Border
Democracy Now! on Feb 11, 2015
http://democracynow.org – As fighting continues in Ukraine, President Obama said Monday he has not ruled out arming the Ukrainian military against Russian-backed rebels. Meeting with Obama at the White House, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her opposition to arming Ukraine, saying the conflict could not be resolved militarily. Merkel is set to hold talks in Minsk on Wednesday with the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and France in a bid to end the crisis that has killed thousands and displaced 1.5 million people over the past year. Should the United States escalate its role in the conflict by arming Ukraine? We host a debate between retired Air Force general Charles Wald, the former deputy commander of U.S. European Command, and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer.
This video is an excerpt from the 25-minute debate. Watch the full Democracy Now! segment in our online archive: http://www.democracynow.org/2015/2/10/playing_with_fire_a_debate_on
Updated: Feb. 13, 2015
Why are the U.S. and EU Split on Providing Lethal Aid to Ukraine?
TheRealNews on Feb 8, 2015
Tarik Cyril Amar of Columbia University says explicitly ruling out NATO membership for Ukraine would be in Ukraine’s best interest
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