Hawks In House Call On White House To Send Arms To Ukraine
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) March 2, 2015
A bipartisan group of hawkish committee chairs and rankings members in the US House of Representatives has sent a letter through Speaker John Boehner’s office to President Obama calling for arms shipments to Ukraine.
Referring to the violent coup that brought down democratically elected Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych as the “Revolution of Dignity” and asserting that the events in Ukraine are a “challenge to the West” the letter claims President Obama has the authority to enter America directly into the Ukraine conflict by arming forces aligned (however temporarily) with Kiev.
The possibility that the arms will fall into the hands of neofascists is not mentioned in the letter nor the human rights abuses perpetrated by those likely to receive the weapons. Instead, the signatories appear concerned with the optics of America “leading” Europe into further escalation of the conflict.
The letter claimed that Congress had authorized US belligerence with the Ukraine Freedom Support Act and that it was time to use the authority. Outside of vague platitudes there was no mention of how the US had any interest at all in the Ukraine crisis. Nor, of course, was there a discussion of what happens once the US directly inserts itself into the conflict.
Consequences for the country appear to be less important to the members of Congress that signed the letter than the possibility of preening before the media as “tough.” A cynical and reckless game that could have a tragic outcome.
The letter is signed by Speaker Boehner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.