Why does the US govt support attacks on civilians in Ukraine?


By Michael Collins

Support by the United States government for Ukraine reached stunning levels of immorality with the clear endorsement of the Kiev government’s attacks on civilians in eastern part of that nation. Numerous reports (see below) in the world press indicate that the Kiev government is indiscriminately attacking the city of Slavyansk.   That leaves no doubt that the Ukraine army and National Guard are attacking civilians. (Image: Save Donbass Children)

In addition to the widespread news of attacks on Slavyansk, there are also on the scene reports of Ukraine bombardments of the following eastern Ukraine cities: Seemyovka, Slavyansk, Kromatorsk and Donetsk City.

This represents a high-risk path for the Obama administration and the new cold warriors in Congress. It’s one thing to kill civilians in the context of seeking to overcome the latest evildoers. It’s quite another to support a government led by an oligarch that orders attacks on entire cities with irregular troops drawn self identified Nazi sympathizers and the nation’s regular forces. 

Why would the administration take such a risk?

What stakes are so high as to justify the steadfast support of a regime that attacks its own citizens after branding everyone who opposes the central government as a terrorist?

Before attempting to answer those questions, lets take a look at the doublespeak employed by the official spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Jen Psaki, at the Daily Press Briefing in Washington, DC, May 30, 2014. Ms. Psaki represents the very latest official word of the U.S. government on the situation.

The official U.S. position begins with the official spokesperson defining terms in a way that seeks to provide insulation against support for the attacks on civilians.

Defining terms

MS. PSAKI: And in our view, since the beginning of the unrest, while we’ve seen numerous human rights abuses by the separatists, including murder, kidnapping, and looting, the Ukrainian Government has, continues to have, the responsibility to enforce law and order on its territory. And while unfortunate incidents will always happen in a combat zone, we commend and continue to commend the Ukrainian Government’s restraint and efforts to limit damage and injury to the civilian population.

The separatists commit human rights abuses while the indiscriminate bombardment of cities is subsumed under the category unfortunate incidents. Note that Psaki talks about what “we’ve seen” referring to the human rights abuses. How does the U.S. see incidents? The U.S. and its eager NATO partners have aerial intelligence capable of spotting artillery bombardments, no doubt. The U.S. refers to this intelligence when charging Russia with troop concentrations on its border with Ukraine. Therefore, Ms. Psaki knew or should have known that Ukraine forces are attacking cities.

The official endorsement

The U.S. representative goes on to provide an official endorsement for the Ukraine governments actions.

MS. PSAKI: And while unfortunate incidents will always happen in a combat zone, we commend and continue to commend the Ukrainian Government’s restraint and efforts to limit damage and injury to the civilian population.

So our view has consistently been that they [Ukrainian Government] have every right to take steps to maintain law and order in their own country.

It doesn’t get any clearer than that. The Kiev rulers have “every right” to take those “steps” they’re taking (i.e., bombing civilians) to protect their precious law and order.

Colloquy with a reporter

A restrained but seemingly incredulous reporter questioned the official representative about her use of terms.

REPORTER QUESTION: Okay. So you believe – the Administration believes that the Ukrainian military has shown restraint in its operations in the east?
REPORTER QUESTION: Okay. … so when you talked about human rights abuses, what were you referring to before?
MS. PSAKI: By Russian separatists?

The definition of terms prevails. When separatists act to protect themselves against troops sent by the central government, it is a human rights abuse. When the Kiev troops abuse human rights, kill and injure their citizens, it is an unfortunate incident.

The reporter couldn’t resist memorializing the contradiction.

REPORTER QUESTION: An unfortunate incident isn’t necessarily a human rights abuse.
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

The bombardment of cities by Ukraine’s government is completely ignored. How else could the official U.S. representative make the following statement?

REPORTER QUESTION: — [So] the difference between an unfortunate incident and a human rights abuse, I think – correct me if I’m wrong – is intent, right? … an intention to commit an abuse, as opposed to an accident.
MS. PSAKI: Sure. That’s —
REPORTER QUESTION: And you don’t see that the – any – that any of the unfortunate incidents committed by the Ukrainian military have been actual abuses. Is that correct?MS.
PSAKI: That is our view. Yes.

That may be the view of Ms. Psaki but it is not the view of the citizens of the United States. Using the military of the central government against citizens is totally unacceptable. The clear reluctance of the public to support the U.S. policy in the Ukraine would turn to absolute outrange were it not for the corporate media’s exquisite self-censorship of news and cogent analysis on the situation in Ukraine.

Why would the administration take the risk of supporting the Ukraine government attacking its citizens?

Why not?

In 1932, 10,000 World War I veterans converged on Washington, DC demanding payment of their promised bonus for the war effort. The Great Depression was under way and the veterans needed the bonus just to survive. They camped out in the near the capitol. When the Bonus marchers refused to leave at the order of President Herbert Hoover, the U. S. Army took action. General Douglas MacArthur ordered “cavalry with drawn sabers, and infantry with fixed bayonets” to attack and drive the veterans from Washington.

As dreadful as that incident was, it is no match for a central government bombarding cities in order to eradicate undesirable political factions in those cities.

There is no justice or rationale for such an attack in the Ukraine or anywhere else. In terms of governing a nation, it is the height of immorality.

What desperation infects the White House, Congress, and their masters to justify support for the bestial actions of the Ukraine government?

Is this part of a larger effort to start up a new Cold War with Russia? The defense industry would reap significant benefits from a new global war against an old enemy. This is a nonstarter. The public is indifferent and the financial powers are not unified in their support of this. A blue ribbon list of major U.S. corporations (Exxon, Microsoft, etc.) was slated to attend Russia’s recent St. Petersburg Economic Forum conference. President Obama had to apply direct pressure to intimidate many to stay away, an action that may damage those who complied. This will hardly engender support for new Cold War.

Have the neoconservatives from the Iraq War disaster taken over foreign policy again? It would seem so with the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, a long-term neocon, at the helm of the coup in the Ukraine, right down to the selection of the interim leader. But, the neocons can be benched at any time unless there is some overriding use for them.

The deeper motivation here may be purely political. The Obama administration took a very high profile, hard line on removing the government of Syria. President Bashar Al-Assad was told to simply leave his country on multiple occasions by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, current Secretary John Kerry, and countless subordinates. He refused to comply. The Syrian government has successfully resisted the U.S. supported take over of that nation and the policy is in tatters. The president and his party cannot afford another major foreign policy fiasco given the poor record. The administration may have sought a quick win in Ukraine to offset Syria (and the chaos in Libya) and used the neoconservatives as shock troops. Now, facing another even higher profile loss than Syria, acute desperation may prevail.

What if Ukraine simply falls apart?

What happens if the eastern region mobilizes a full resistance and effectively secedes to form its own nation, with or without U.S. – NATO recognition?

Has the administration bet so much on a win in Ukraine that it will do anything, up to and including supporting the Kiev government’s attack on citizens?

The Orwellian definitions of human rights versus unfortunate incidents may be the Obama administration’s latest attempt to support an inhumane and immoral policy on the part of Ukraine while trying to avoid paying the price for that support.

This path is doomed. The lies are too obvious.

Hopefully a pragmatist will emerge and tell Obama to give Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko the word: Stop killing civilians and make the best face saving deal with Moscow and fast or we’re done.

It’s a nice thought but not likely.


Creative Commons 3.0

World news on attack on Slavyansk:

Shelling continues in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk May 31
Ukraine to go ahead with army offensive May 31
Ukrainian army launches mortar attack on Slavyansk May 30
May 30th combat SITREP update by “Juan” May 30
Shells hit school, kindergarten in Slavyansk amid Ukraine military op (VIDEO) May 28

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