The US House of Representatives, which never ceases sticking its nose in other people’s business, is tomorrow scheduled to take up H. Res. 348, a bill “Supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely elect their government and determine their future.” The bill can only increase tensions in Ukraine and threaten the fragile eight month old “Minsk II” ceasefire agreement.
The “Minsk II agreement” continues to produce relative calm in eastern Ukraine — earlier this month both Kiev and the breakaway regions of the east have agreed to withdraw remaining tanks, artillery and mortars from the front line, in a move the Telegraph (UK) observed “could signal end of war.”
The US was not a party to the Minsk II talks, which took place earlier this year between Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany. US involvement from the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine — starting with open US support for the unconstitutional coup in 2014 — has been to exacerbate tensions rather than to help ameliorate them.
It is a US position that continues in H. Res. 348, a bill scheduled on the House “suspension calendar” reserved for “non-controversial” legislation. The Resolution completely distorts objective reality in Ukraine to continue the discredited story that the Ukraine unrest began not as a result of US support for a coup in February 2014, but because of a Russian invasion.
No longer is the term “Russian-backed” separatists” even used, swapped out for a much more aggressive “Russian-led” separatists in the text of the Resolution:
Whereas Russian-led separatists have forcibly seized large areas of Ukraine and continue their attacks on Ukraine’s forces (emphasis added)
The implication being of course that the Russian military led an invasion of eastern Ukraine, for which there is zero evidence and in fact is only true in the feverish minds of the Beltway think-tanks and their media conduits.
Further, the Resolution’s false narrative continues:
Whereas the United States has supported the democratically elected Government of Ukraine, which represents the will of the people of Ukraine
The crisis came about precisely because the United States supported those who used violence to overthrow the constitutional order in Ukraine and then seize power themselves. The “elections” to which the Resolution refers took place in post-coup Ukraine after the former-ruling-now-opposition political parties had been prohibited from competing.
The Resolution then condemns by implication the eastern part of the country for not abandoning its grievances against the rule of what it sees as an illegitimate in Kiev. Elections are threatened, it goes, because the breakaway region refuses to surrender to Kiev:
Whereas the Russian-led separatists in eastern Ukraine continue to refuse to implement Ukrainian law and to permit Ukrainian authorities to conduct elections in the areas they control and have therefore made free and fair elections in those areas impossible
One can sympathize with or oppose the position of eastern Ukraine, but this Resolution veers into fantasyland by pretending that the grievances do not exist. It is only a matter of disobedience on the part of eastern Ukraine.
Self-determination is celebrated when it is in Washington’s interests, as with the US-backed Sudan-South Sudan split. John Kerry wrote as recently as last December on the South Sudan breakaway vote:
We remember the long lines of voters standing and waiting with patient exuberance to vote in their country’s referendum and joined with the crowds on independence day to celebrate the realization of peaceful self-determination.
Those same happy voters in Sudan are unlawful separatists in Ukraine. Don’t ask Washington why. It doesn’t feel the need to explain.
The House Resolution set for Floor action tomorrow ends in a flourish. It “condemns attempts on the part of outside forces, specifically the Government of Russia, its agents and supporters, to interfere in Ukraine’s elections,” while calling on the United States Government to “facilitate the political, economic, and social reforms necessary for free and fair elections.”
Yes, newspeak is the ability to say two completely contradictory things at the same time and without contradiction. The US House of Representatives condemns any outside force from interfering in Ukraine’s elections while calling on the United States government to interfere in Ukraine’s elections.12:16 pm on October 19, 2015 Email Daniel McAdams