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Ron Paul to Obama: Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!

Published time: August 04, 2014 17:39
Edited time: August 05, 2014 13:59
Ron Paul (Reuters/Chris Keane)

Ron Paul (Reuters/Chris Keane)

Ron Paul, the former United States congressman who campaigned for the presidency no fewer than three times, is yet again warning the White House not to increase America’s involvement in the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

Paul, a 78-year-old retired doctor who spent nearly three decades in the US Congress representing the state of Texas, has spoken out incessantly this year about the ongoing skirmish in Ukraine — especially, as of late, with regards to how the administration of US President Barack Obama has so far responded to the stand-off between separatists in eastern Ukraine and the country’s legitimate government in Kiev.

When the uprising earlier this year in the Ukrainian capital that led to the ousting of then-president Viktor Yanukovych was underway, Paul urged in an op-ed that the US must “keep our hands off of Ukraine and let them solve their own problems.” Protests in central Kiev have since largely subsided, and Petro Poroshenko, Yanukovych’s successor, was democratically elected in late May.

Nearly six months later, though, conflict continues to rip apart the European nation. Separatists in the east of Ukraine have since escalated a military campaign against the Kiev-based government, and the New York Times reported last week that the skirmishes there have claimed the lives of roughly 800 civilians since mid-April.

In response to the role of the Kremlin in this uprising, as perceived by the White House, last week the US government announced a new role of sanctions targeting Russian businesses. On his part, Paul is now once again urging in an editorial: “Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!”

Obama has argued that the Ukrainians should solve this problem themselves and therefore Russia should butt out,” Paul wrote. “I agree with the president on this. Outside countries should leave Ukraine to resolve the conflict itself. However, even as the US demands that the Russians de-escalate, the United States is busy escalating!”

According to Paul, the US government’s actions so far in Ukraine, while subtle, may soon give way to activity of a more aggressive nature.

In June, Washington sent a team of military advisors to help Ukraine fight the separatists in the eastern part of the country. Such teams of ‘advisors’ often include special forces and are usually a slippery slope to direct US military involvement,” he wrote. “On Friday, President Obama requested Congressional approval to send US troops into Ukraine to train and equip its national guard. This even though in March, the president promised no US boots on the ground in Ukraine. The deployment will be funded with $19 million from a fund designated to fight global terrorism, signaling that the US considers the secessionists in Ukraine to be ‘terrorists.’”

The US has already provided the Ukrainian military with $23 million for defense security, $5 million in body armor, $8 million to help secure Ukraine’s borders, several hundred thousand ready-to-eat meals as well as an array of communications equipment. Congress is urging the president to send lethal military aid and the administration is reportedly considering sending real-time intelligence to help target rebel positions,” the former congressman continued.

Lethal aid may not be handed over anytime soon, but Paul suggests that sanctions like the latest waged by the US Treasury Department are enough to inflect unnecessary damage.

Even when the goals are clear, sanctions have a lousy track record. Sanctions are acts of war. These sanctions will most definitely have a negative effect on the US economy as well as the Russian economy. Why is ‘winning’ Ukraine so important to Washington? Why are they risking a major war with Russia to deny people in Ukraine the right to self-determination? Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!

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