Russia has crossed the line the West has warned against for months. In response, President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States and its allies would look for ways to expand economic sanctions on Russia, but stopped short of calling the recent Russian aggression an invasion. It would be great to find out just why the most powerful country in the world is afraid of a “regional power” and won’t use the words WAR or INVASION. But words are one thing, action another.
Ukraine needs help NOW. Western governments should have been providing Ukraine military equipment for months, be it anti-tank, anti-aircraft, or equipment designed to help Ukraine secure its border. Ukraine has demonstrated its military competence during the ATO fighting with merely Soviet-era equipment. Our soldiers have excelled in Iraq, Afghanistan and other international endeavors when fighting alongside American troops using NATO-standard equipment.
H.R.5190, the “Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014” was introduced in the House of Representatives in July 2014 and provides military assistance to Ukraine and designates Ukraine as a Major non-NATO Ally (MNNA). The bill was drafted in a bipartisan manner and is co-sponsored by Reps. Jim Gerlach, Marcy Kaptur and Sander Levin, co-chairs of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. Furthermore, this bill currently has 4 Democrats and 6 Republicans sponsors. Congress is returning from a month-long vacation next week and will only be in session for 2 weeks at the start of September. While many initiatives seem to be dead on arrival, we have the opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation designed to get Ukraine the help it needs.
Also tell them about H.R.5241, the “Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act,” which would prohibit the United States by law of recognizing the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, de juro OR de facto. This bill was quietly introduced by Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) in July, but would put into law what we all believe: Crimea is Ukraine.
Finally, let’s get some real sanctions. No more waiting for Europe. Following the model used against Iran, the US can UNILATERALLY forbid dollar transactions with Russian financial institutions, forcing Europe to go along. Just like with every other rogue state, it has always been the United States’ responsibility to lead. At the very least, freeze the assets of every Russian oligarch’s funds who gained their money illegally. US law clearly states that no ill-gotten capital should be allowed harbor in US institutions.
Let’s call the White House and State Department, with emails/phones/faxes demanding the President’s threats of new sanctions be backed up and retaliatory action taken against the thugs ordering the attacks on the people of Ukraine. Call the White House today:
Email President Obama at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments
Email Secretary of State Kerry at: http://www.state.gov/contact/
Furthermore, you will have an opportunity to follow-up with your Member of Congress in Washington during yet another “Ukrainian Day” of Advocacy on Wednesday, September 17 and Thursday September 18: http://www.ucca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=7&Itemid=24&lang=en
Originally posted on Facebook by Andrij Dobriansky