March 31, 2014
Last week Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill approving a billion
dollars in aid to Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia. The bill will
likely receive the president’s signature within days. If you think this
is the last time US citizens will have their money sent to Ukraine, you
should think again. This is only the beginning.
This $1 billion for Ukraine is a rip-off for the America taxpayer,
but it is also a bad deal for Ukrainians. Not a single needy Ukrainian
will see a penny of this money, as it will be used to bail out
international banks who hold Ukrainian government debt. According to the
terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-designed plan for
Ukraine, life is about to get much more difficult for average
Ukrainians. The government will freeze some wage increases,
significantly raise taxes, and increase energy prices by a considerable
But the bankers will get paid and the IMF will get control over the Ukrainian economy.
The bill also authorizes more US taxpayer money for government-funded
“democracy promotion” NGOs, and more money to broadcast US government
propaganda into Ukraine via Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. It
also includes some saber-rattling, directing the US Secretary of State
to “provide enhanced security cooperation with Central and Eastern
European NATO member states.”
The US has been “promoting democracy” in Ukraine for more than ten
years now, but it doesn’t seem to have done much good. Recently a
democratically-elected government was overthrown by violent protestors.
That is the opposite of democracy, where governments are changed by free
and fair elections. What is shocking is that the US government and its
NGOs were on the side of the protestors! If we really cared about
democracy we would not have taken either side, as it is none of our
Washington does not want to talk about its own actions that led to
the coup, instead focusing on attacking the Russian reaction to
US-instigated unrest next door to them. So the new bill passed by
Congress will expand sanctions against Russia for its role in backing a
referendum in Crimea, where most of the population voted to join Russia.
The US, which has participated in the forced change of borders in
Serbia and elsewhere, suddenly declares that international borders
cannot be challenged in Ukraine.
Those of us who are less than gung-ho about sanctions, manipulating
elections, and sending our troops overseas are criticized as somehow
being unpatriotic. It happened before when so many of us were opposed to
the Iraq war, the US attack on Libya, and elsewhere. And it is
happening again to those of us not eager to get in another cold — or hot
— war with Russia over a small peninsula that means absolutely nothing
to the US or its security.
I would argue that real patriotism is defending this country and
making sure that our freedoms are not undermined here. Unfortunately,
while so many are focused on freedoms in Crimea and Ukraine, the US
Congress is set to pass an NSA “reform” bill that will force private
companies to retain our personal data and make it even easier for the NSA to spy on the rest of us. We need to refocus our priorities toward promoting liberty in the United States!