US senator speaks painful truth on Ukraine and Israel aid
A freshman US senator from Ohio has just given one of the most powerful speeches ever uttered on Capitol Hill, exposing the dishonesty of Washington’s Ukraine policy and the disastrous consequences of its decades-long military interventionism around the world.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that Senator J.D. Vance’s message was summarily dismissed or ignored by other lawmakers, including his fellow Republicans, and by the legacy media. As Vance acknowledged at the end of his speech, there’s no political appetite in Washington to have an honest reckoning with America’s foreign policy failures. “Let’s have a real debate,” he said. “We haven’t had one in 30 years.”
Speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Vance argued in support of legislation that would provide $10.6 billion in military aid to Israel, rather than combining assistance for West Jerusalem with $61.4 billion in additional Ukraine funding under an emergency spending bill that President Joe Biden unveiled last month. Democrats and neoconservative Republicans have insisted that Washington must bundle its support for Ukraine to fight Russia and Israel to fight Hamas in Biden’s $106 billion package deal, rather than allowing separate votes on the issues.
As Vance rightly pointed out, it’s obvious that supporters of Biden’s nonsensical Ukraine policy are trying to piggyback widely supported aid for Israel to push through increasingly unpopular funding for Kiev. “Too many of my colleagues would like to collapse these packages because they would like to use Israel as a political fig leaf for the president’s Ukraine policy,” he said. “But the president’s Ukraine policy – just like the Israeli policy – should be debated. We should talk about it. We should discuss it. We should separate the costs and benefits and analyze them as distinct policies because that is what the American people deserve.”
Basic questions about Biden’s Ukraine policy, including Washington’s true strategic objective in the former Soviet republic, haven’t been addressed, Vance argued. He noted that Americans are commonly told that the aim is to force Russia out of all Ukrainian territory, including regions that have been annexed by Moscow following overwhelming votes for independence from Kiev.
“And yet, when you talk to the president’s own administration in private, they admit that is a strategic impossibility,” Vance said. “No rational human being in the president’s administration believes that it is possible to throw the Russians out of every inch of Ukrainian territory. So, why is that the public justification offered by many advocates of indefinite, unlimited Ukrainian aid? Because this debate is fundamentally dishonest.”
We are not telling the American people the truth because we know that if we did tell them the truth, they would not support an indefinite flow of money to Ukraine.”
The senator added that Americans still haven’t been given answers on how long they’ll be expected to fund Ukraine and how their government is ensuring that none of their money is stolen. “Are we monitoring the fact that we have spent nearly $200 billion – if the supplemental passes -- $200 billion to one of the most corrupt countries in the world?” he asked. “Do we have proper assurances that all that money is being spent on the things that we tell ourselves it’s being spent on. The answer, of course, is no because we have not had a real debate in this chamber. The American people, I think, should be ashamed of us.”
Vance’s appeal for honesty fell on deaf ears, of course, as the Senate decided on Tuesday to block a standalone Israel bill and continue demanding passage of the bundled aid plan. In the meantime, we’re told that the sky will fall if Ukraine isn’t given more US taxpayer dollars. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) warned a Senate committee on Wednesday that Ukraine’s economy will collapse if more humanitarian funding for Kiev isn’t approved by lawmakers.
USAID, by the way, is a US agency that has been used by Washington to help engineer regime changes under cover of providing humanitarian relief. It’s headed by Samantha Power. That’s the same Samantha Power who was US ambassador to the United Nations in 2014, when she defended Kiev’s brutal crackdown on separatists who opposed the Washington-backed overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government.
In other words, Washington’s interventionist policies of the past have helped to bring about today’s crisis. It’s just one of many conflicts around the world that the US government has knowingly helped trigger. For example, the US attempt to bring Ukraine into NATO crossed an obvious red line, knowing that Moscow could never allow Kiev’s accession to the Western military bloc without a fight.
Biden and his NATO subordinates could have prevented Russian forces from rolling across the border – or ended the conflict a few weeks after it started – by ruling out Ukraine as a future member of the alliance. That didn’t happen because the Washington uniparty obviously wanted the conflict to escalate.
Some proponents of the proxy war, such as Republican Senator Mitt Romney and Representative Dan Crenshaw, have openly celebrated the fact that the Ukraine conflict provides the US a way to weaken Russia’s military without putting American troops in harm’s way.
Notwithstanding the fact that the conflict has actually made Russia stronger, not weaker, this vampiric thinking is disgusting. The same people who are preaching about standing with Ukraine and defending freedom and democracy – in a country that has neither freedom nor democracy – are getting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians killed to serve their geopolitical interests.
Vance, a 39-year-old venture capitalist who never ran for office prior to last year, pointed out that the Ukraine debacle is just the latest in a long line of US foreign policy blunders that were supported by both Democrats and Republicans. “For 30 years, Washington, DC, has run on bipartisan foreign policy wisdom, and it has run this country to the ground, with $1.7 trillion deficits, war after war after war that has killed thousands of Americans, millions of other people and has not led to the strategic strength of this country.”
He added, “Maybe what we should have is some bipartisan wisdom that the foreign policy consensus of this country for the last three decades has been a disaster. It has been a disaster for this country. It has been a disaster for our dead marines, army soldiers, navy sailors and air force airmen. It has been a disaster for this country’s finances, and it has been a disaster for the entire world.”
Unfortunately for Vance and the rest of us, that sort of wisdom isn’t on the menu in Washington.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.