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Munich Security Conference: Merkel Vs US Warhawks

Merkel, speaking at the Munich security conference Saturday, said she wanted peace in Europe with Russia.

The Guardian reports:

Germany has opposed aiding Ukrainian troops for fear of worsening the conflict, which has already cost more than 5,000 lives, but the idea has many supporters in Washington.

I cannot imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily,” Merkel said. “I have to put it that bluntly.”

Disagreement has emerged between Europe and the US about how best to confront Putin as Moscow-backed rebels make gains in eastern Ukraine. Barack Obama is under pressure from some in Congress to send weapons to Kiev.

Also in Munich, NATO’s top military commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, confirmed his position that the West should consider giving weapons to the Ukrainian army. And as the WaPo reported from the Conference:

A bipartisan congressional delegation to the conference of nine Republicans and six Democrats — all of whom favor the United States sending lethal weapons to Ukraine — met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who played down the prospects for peace.

“It’s safe to say he is not overly optimistic about these negotiations,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who led the group.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that Ukraine is facing an economic crisis as well. “Ukraine is on the brink,” he told reporters. “We need to help it with significant financial support, sanctions and arms.”

As Common Dreams reported…

At a security conference in Munich on Saturday, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vigorously pressed for more western military backing of Ukraine and escalation towards Russia, openly clashing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and pointing towards a deepening transatlantic rift over strategy.

Addressing the conference on Saturday, Merkel declared, “I cannot imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily. I have to put it that bluntly.”

“I understand the debate but I believe that more weapons will not lead to the progress Ukraine needs,” added Merkel, who has pressed for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.

Graham lashed back at the chancellor, accusing her of turning her back on struggling ally Ukraine, as paraphrased by Reuters.

“At the end of the day, to our European friends, this is not working,” said Graham. “You can go to Moscow until you turn blue in the face. Stand up to what is clearly a lie and a danger.”

Nato’s top military commander, US Air Force general Philip Breedlove, also urged the conference to consider military escalation. “I don’t think we should preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option,” he said.

Merkel’s statements, furthermore, were immediately slammed by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).

The verbal sparring takes place as the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama falls under increased pressure from U.S. hawks, including those within the GOP-controlled Congress, to step up its military response to the crisis.

Pressure is mounting despite evidence of war crimes committed by the Ukrainian military, including use of cluster munitions against civilian populations in Donetsk, as documented by Human Rights Watch.

Our Veep…

Here’s McInsane’s written text of his speech

Here’s Poroshenko’s address…

Here’s some more food for thought…

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Munich Security Conference: Merkel Vs US Warhawks

Merkel, speaking at the Munich security conference Saturday, said she wanted peace in Europe with Russia.

The Guardian reports:

Germany has opposed aiding Ukrainian troops for fear of worsening the conflict, which has already cost more than 5,000 lives, but the idea has many supporters in Washington.

I cannot imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily,” Merkel said. “I have to put it that bluntly.”

Disagreement has emerged between Europe and the US about how best to confront Putin as Moscow-backed rebels make gains in eastern Ukraine. Barack Obama is under pressure from some in Congress to send weapons to Kiev.

Also in Munich, NATO’s top military commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, confirmed his position that the West should consider giving weapons to the Ukrainian army. And as the WaPo reported from the Conference:

A bipartisan congressional delegation to the conference of nine Republicans and six Democrats — all of whom favor the United States sending lethal weapons to Ukraine — met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who played down the prospects for peace.

“It’s safe to say he is not overly optimistic about these negotiations,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who led the group.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that Ukraine is facing an economic crisis as well. “Ukraine is on the brink,” he told reporters. “We need to help it with significant financial support, sanctions and arms.”

As Common Dreams reported…

At a security conference in Munich on Saturday, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vigorously pressed for more western military backing of Ukraine and escalation towards Russia, openly clashing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and pointing towards a deepening transatlantic rift over strategy.

Addressing the conference on Saturday, Merkel declared, “I cannot imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily. I have to put it that bluntly.”

“I understand the debate but I believe that more weapons will not lead to the progress Ukraine needs,” added Merkel, who has pressed for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.

Graham lashed back at the chancellor, accusing her of turning her back on struggling ally Ukraine, as paraphrased by Reuters.

“At the end of the day, to our European friends, this is not working,” said Graham. “You can go to Moscow until you turn blue in the face. Stand up to what is clearly a lie and a danger.”

Nato’s top military commander, US Air Force general Philip Breedlove, also urged the conference to consider military escalation. “I don’t think we should preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option,” he said.

Merkel’s statements, furthermore, were immediately slammed by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).

The verbal sparring takes place as the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama falls under increased pressure from U.S. hawks, including those within the GOP-controlled Congress, to step up its military response to the crisis.

Pressure is mounting despite evidence of war crimes committed by the Ukrainian military, including use of cluster munitions against civilian populations in Donetsk, as documented by Human Rights Watch.

Our Veep…

Here’s McInsane’s written text of his speech

Here’s Poroshenko’s address…

Here’s some more food for thought…

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