Lost in the news that for the moment a govt. shutdown has been averted is that House Republicans got a provision inserted into the Continuing Resolution to block 6 Billion in aid for Ukraine. Yes, this is the work of the Free-DUMB caucus but there are plenty of other GOPers and frankly some Democrats in both chambers developing a “Ukraine? Why isn’t that over and why should we keep funding them?” attitude. This infuriates me in a way I can’t put into words, even if I reverted back to my jarhead days and spoke in “colorful” grunt language.
Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat. Yes, the U.S., NATO and other countries have provided enormous support to Ukraine. Hell, it was in the west’s own interest to do so. But it’s also true that from the get-go there has been resistance to providing more advanced weapons systems along with the training (and logistics) to operate and maintain them. F-16s are the “magic” item folks have talked about for way too long but they aren’t some silver bullet that would end the war in weeks. I also get that NATO has had to maintain a balance of providing support without escalating things to the point Russia would attack into a NATO nation. Of course if that happened and Article 5 were invoked Russia would be defeated in less than two weeks – unless Putin went off the deep-end and decided to pop nukes.
In any case Newsweek has an article that talks about how support for Ukraine has been waning. And it notes that suddenly Ukraine is hit with two piece of bad news in a one-two punch:
However, both the United States and Slovakia delivered bad news to Ukraine this week, threatening to upend the amount of humanitarian and military aid Kyiv receives as the war continues.
As I’ve mentioned House GOPers want to stick it to President Biden in any way they can. His rebuilding and strengthening of the NATO alliance as well as other diplomatic relations around the world rankles them. Trump had promised Putin he’d tear all that down you see. Yet it’s more than just a few crazies like MTG or Gaetz. As I said they’d never have pulled off their stunt with the 6 billion in aid without plenty of support from others. Plus acceptance, if grudging from Democrats. In case you missed it Zelenskyy came to DC as part of his trip over here for the U.N. Annual General Assembly. He met with President Biden at the WH and made the rounds on the Hill, and there was a formal request made for him to address Congress, something that as Speaker it would be up to Kevin McCarthy to approve. Even a President has to get a formal invite from the sitting Speaker to appear to deliver the SOTU. The point is that McCarthy said NO. Why Democrats didn’t raise holy hell is beyond me but what do I know?
However, it was reported on and you can bet in other country’s capitols folks took notice. Add that in with this GOP stunt of blocking the 6 billion in aid to Ukraine to keep our govt. open and hell yes it’s a problem. This folks is the WORST possible signal to send and at about the WORST possible time. The article also notes Slovakia has had elections and with them new leadership in the person of Robert Fico, head of the populist (and pro-Russia) Smer-SD Party.
Slovakia shares its eastern border with Ukraine and has provided it with Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets amid the Russian invasion. Fico, however, pledged to put a halt on military assistance from Slovakia, saying he would only support humanitarian aid packages. He has also opposed issuing sanctions against Moscow and ran on a pro-Russian message, according to the Associated Press.
In a September interview with the UK’s The Telegraph Fico stated arming Ukraine brings nothing but killing. To which I would ask “Just who started all this killing? Just who has gone out of its way to repeatedly attack civilian targets committing war crimes in the process?” It sure as hell hasn’t been Ukraine but his buddy PUTIN! (And Russia)
I encourage you to read the entire article I linked to because it also provides some sobering statistics on waning support for Ukraine among Europeans. President Biden has done an extraordinary job marshalling support both here in the U.S. and around the world but Republicans are so effing afraid of Trump when he says “Putin is the good guy and Russia deserves Ukraine” they no longer ignore him. Instead they whine about how much we’re spending, and again THAT gets noticed around the world. It’s a virus that is spreading.
A six billion dollar statement has been made and it doesn’t say anything good. All it says is that Russia is going to get some breathing room to try and regroup, thanks to the “leadership” of Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans (and Democrats that aren’t fighting back the way they should) that Ukraine is more and more going to be on its own. And our allies (and our enemies) have been noticing.