Dear Michael: FULL M.A.D. article (2.7x more) Sept 15, 2014
Thank you for writing. My Administration continues to be deeply concerned by ongoing events in Ukraine, and I appreciate hearing from you.
Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, its attempted annexation of Crimea, and its support for violent separatists constitute a threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. These actions violate international law, including Russia’s obligations under the United Nations Charter. Russia’s intervention is also inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which the United States, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom committed to respect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and existing borders. The United States reaffirms this commitment to the Ukrainian government and the people of Ukraine, and we condemn Russia’s failure to abide by its commitments as demonstrated by its unilateral military actions and its continuing efforts to destabilize Ukraine.
Russia’s actions undermine the foundation of the global security architecture and endanger European peace and security. Its support, encouragement, training, and arming of separatists in eastern Ukraine led to the senseless shootdown of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 and the sudden and tragic loss of nearly 300 innocent lives. As I have said from the very beginning of this crisis, we want to see a negotiated solution, and I have urged President Putin to work constructively with President Poroshenko and the international community to reach a lasting settlement to the conflict. However, as long as Russia continues to take steps to destabilize its neighbor, we will continue to take the necessary steps to respond to its ongoing provocations.
Through sanctions, we have imposed significant costs on Russia. And we have told Russia in no uncertain terms that any crossing of the Ukrainian border, without the formal, express consent of the Ukrainian government would violate international law and lead to Russia’s further isolation from the international community.
America will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to affirm its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we will provide assistance and the best expertise available to help Ukraine repair its economy and address humanitarian needs. It is up to the Ukrainian people to determine their own destiny. As they work to restore unity, peace, and security to their country and build a more democratic, prosperous, and just state, we will stand by their side.
MENU- Commentary Articles of Michael Hammerschlag – letters fm White House +luminaries
LETTER TO OBAMA Aug. 4th (when military aid to Ukr, esp HARM missiles, could have helped them win) LETTERHEAD DELETED
Dear President Obama,
Kiev: Greetings from the ex- Evil Empire. Happy Birthday. Belated congratulations at your victories- the 2008 Primary race was the most thrilling race I’ve ever seen (cause there was no possibility of McCain winning- either outcome was good), I thought decades ago the key to the nomination was taking over the caucuses, having run them (also said Lieberman was a poor choice for Veep in 2000, that Biden was the best).
I’ve spent the last +7 years as a journalist in Russia, Europe, and Ukraine, writing for every English paper in Moscow + Kiev, plus IHT, NYT, Capital Times, Seattle Times, Prov. Journal, etc (and 2½ years in Russia ’91-94). I covered this since it before began, questioned 12 Parliament Deputies inc. Yatseniuk, most Ministers in the new Gov, and a raft of foreign leaders. A Kyiv Weekly piece predicted this denouement (probable loss of sovereignity) almost 4 years ago http://kyivweekly.com.ua/accent/editorial/2010/05/19/163624.html . See genesis of standoff: COUNTDOWN: Last Chance for Ukraine, and the devastating costs of the Crimea Invasion to Russia in IMPERIAL STRETCH: A Bridge Too Far on Yahoo . My BLOG has full coverage of the Uprising/Invasions. http://HAMMERNEWS.blogspot.com
Mr. President, the time has come to take a stand and provide Ukraine with the arms they desperately need to survive. They were close to winning, but Putin, even as he’s chatting with you, has sent a veritable flood of vehicles and heavy equipment across the still open border: Buk, Strela, Grad missile trucks, tanks, APCs, artillery, maybe 250-300 pieces in the last week. He is only escalating, and the Ukrainians, who now have achieved a daunting level of competence and courage after their faltering start, are suffering… and being killed unnecessarily. Putin can take the sanctions- he’s on a mission, though I think he’s unleashed titanic forces that will sweep him away in 4-5 years. He respects only strength and power, not efforts to reach a common ground.
The rebels now constitute perhaps 10,000 men, 60% Russian, estimates gonzo Aussie photographer Demjin Doroschenko, who has been everywhere in the Donbass for 3 months. But Strelkov, in a recent post, bemoaned the fact he could only get 1100 volunteers from the 4.6 million of Donetsk region (indicating the real depth of support for unification w Russia), so the ratio of Russians is maybe far higher- 80-90%. It is not a popular uprising- it is a Russian invasion; every Ukrainian Sep leader has been purged.
Had Ukraine wiped out all 3 columns of Separatists fleeing Slovyansk (they did one by tanks + artillery), they would have panicked and retreated to Lugansk, where pushing them into Russia would have been relatively simple. But Ukraine was afraid of even flying air ops because of the numbers of missiles the Seps have. Negate that advantage- rush them HARM missiles that can take out these deadly long range AA missile systems (and maybe the defence suppression jets that carry them), drones for surveillance and targeting leaders, A-10s to destroy their armor, Super Cobras for ground support, constant satellite feeds on the disposition of enemy forces; you want to be audacious, throw in an AWACS and some F16’s or 15s. Give Ukraine the tools to drive out these bastards and start finally healing- they deserve it after all their travails.
Shutting down any credit for Russian banks or actually seizing Russian bank assets is another good step- Kiev has no hot water because Russia shut off the gas over $1-2 bil debt, while they have stolen or destroyed $100-150 bil of Ukrainian property.
The alternative is a frozen conflict and endless bloodletting that will cripple Ukraine no matter how many billions are thrown at them- they can’t take the loss of this huge economic zone- after Crimea and the $40 bil Yanukovich stole. Putin, of course, wants them helpless and dependent.
And politically, if you think the idiotic attacks about Benghazi were bad, wait for the RW “who lost Ukraine” debate. I understand America has no appetite for boots on the ground or more war. But if you weigh in with this military aid, this could all be over in 2-3 weeks, we could stop this dangerous escalation with Russia, and have a potent election issue- Dems can’t lose the Senate.
Considering our (+ the Brits) utter failure to enforce the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, it is the least we can do. Otherwise, when will any other nation… like… Iran, fall for that pledge- nukes for security- again?
Michael Hammerschlag’s political commentary and articles have appeared in 25 major newspapers and magazines over 34 years- including NYT, IHT, Seattle Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Providence Journal, Honolulu Advertiser, Capital Times (Madison,WI), Outside, Modern Photography; Moscow News, Guardian, Tribune, + Times, We/Mui, Novaya Gazeta; Kyiv Post, Kyiv Weekly, Business Ukraine, Politics in Ukraine, Media Channel, and Intellectual Capital. He spent 2 1/2 years in Russia/Soviet Union from 1991-4, and 7 years in Russia/Ukraine from 2007-2014.
He broke the comprehensive story on all the 2000 election night TV mistakes, and had national scoops on the Duval fraudulent sample ballot, the Heavens Gate suicides, Dean’s destruction, Cheney’s hunting accident, the lack of airline security, the RI nightclub fire, and did a big story about the 2012 Repub clown race. He has been in the center of momentous events: Russia 5 weeks before the Soviet Union collapsed, was supposed to fly over Manhattan on 9-11, and drove through the smoke of the hellish RI nightclub fire on his way home. http://tomhammers.tripod.com/menu.htm – Articles by Subject: National + Scoops first
PS: Only got “not an working number” for WH phones and fax. With Democrats Abroad you have a pool of 4 million expats who swayed several races, we even have a DNConvention delegation.
FULL UKR COVERAGE: http://HAMMERNEWS.blogspot.com