Ukraine Asks for Lend-Lease from U.S.

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The new president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, wants a Lend-Lease agreement with the U.S. government, to focus on military assistance and training. If the U.S. agrees, that inserts the U.S. directly into the war currently being waged between Ukraine and fighters for the two breakaway republics: the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic. This war has been steadily escalating.

Americans should firmly reject such a program.

The original Lend-Lease program began March 11, 1941 and provided material aid to foes of Germany and Japan. I view it, as did Senators Taft and Wheeler, as a backdoor entry point of the U.S. into World War II without a declaration of war by Congress. Acts of war legally involve armed conflicts. Lend-Lease didn’t involve U.S. armed forces at first, but FDR gradually got armed forces involved since convoys had to be protected. By September, 1941 he had ordered Axis submarines to be sunk.

I have yet to hear reported anything said by a Ukrainian politician that sounds remotely sensible from the perspective of Americans, whom I regard as having no interests in Ukraine that rise to the level of intervening in that land. Ukraine’s leaders seem to want the U.S. to confront Russia. They want to get the U.S. involved in the internal political problems of Ukraine and its breakaway republics. They want to be bailed out of their particular political and economic problems. I wonder if they have any idea what Lend-Lease actually meant (a material entry into a world war) and what it led to.

Given that he’s the new head of state, Poroshenko cannot be blamed for trying to get help. Why should he not attempt to have Ukraine become another Israel? Why should he not attempt to exploit the U.S. taxpayers? Why should he not attempt to exploit the sentiments of neocons, warmongers and expansionists in the U.S.? If there are those here who want worldwide hegemony, why should he not attempt to exploit that sentiment?

If the U.S. goes for such a military program, it ratchets up the confrontation with Russia. It also yet again links the U.S. to yet another trouble spot in the world, a linkage that could go on and on for a very long period of time, as it has in other border areas such as South Korea and Taiwan. The U.S. always finds it very difficult to disengage from areas in which it intervenes.

U.S. interventions typically fail miserably. Only with ungodly applications of force did they succeed against Germany and Japan. In more recent cases like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, they have failed despite applying enormous power.

The U.S. shouldn’t touch Ukraine with a ten foot pole.

6:11 pm on May 29, 2014
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