After making Reagan roll over in his grave by misusing his famous quote, they’re back.
- Back with a quote about the “nationalist” Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry;
- Back with less prevarication about their views/connections;
- Back with a noble mission of educating Ukrainians about NATO; and
- Back with more appeasement toward the good old benevolent Kremlin.
Discover these fresh offerings in Say No to NATO, an article by Graham Stack at Russiaprofile.org.
I found this article thanks to a French-language anti-NATO site that calls my blog “Ukrainamania” and puts it in the ranks of neocon public relations. What can I say? I’m flattered! Just get my blog’s name right, OK?
In Say No to NATO, the American Institute in Ukraine (AIU) finally abandons any pretense of neutrality and nonalignment: “Ukraine’s NATO membership is not in Ukraine’s interests. Nor is it in U.S. interests. All that it will create is a nuclear trip wire at the heart of Europe.” What took you so long, guys?
Now that you’re so brave, straightforward and openhearted, let’s examine the Kremlin’s hymnbook quote by quote:
Anthony T. Salvia, AIU Executive Director: In Ukraine, U.S. opinion is often represented as being monolithically in favor of Ukraine’s future membership of NATO. We’re here in Kiev to show this is definitely not the case.
Do you have any scientific — and independent — U.S. poll numbers? I, for one, can’t argue with the poll numbers in Ukraine. According to various polls, support for NATO membership clocks in at 20-30%, nowhere near the 77% found in Georgia. Which brings us to the question of why you’re here. You gave up on Georgia and focused on Ukraine. You’re here to tell us what to do with our security. Moreover, you think that our security has nothing to do with your security. Well, think again.
Doug Bandow, a guest speaker at AIU: The U.S. should refrain from making promises to Ukraine it cannot honor, but which might embolden Ukraine to provoke a conflict. The Ukrainians should realize that the US will never fight Russia over Ukraine. Ukraine must learn to rely on its own resources for securing its sovereignty, and not to trust to U.S. promises.
Would the U.S. fight Russia over Latvia or Poland under Article 5? (Just curious.) At any rate, thank you for disarming and disowning us! Indeed, today, we Ukrainians only have ourselves to rely on if attacked by our friendliest neighbor in the universe, Russia. If and when that happens, you shouldn’t expect us to control our missile technology as we promised you in 1998. We’ll be too busy. See if you can intercept a bootleg SS-18 with the “reset button.”
Salvia: Ukrainian NATO membership, by ruining relations with Russia, would make Ukraine less secure than it is, not more. And it would also harm U.S. security, by ruining the chances for cooperation with Russia over vital issues such as Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran, all issues that the new administration has said it will prioritize.
If you ruin our security with your art of appeasement, your cooperation with Russia over Iran and North Korea will become a joke. And the Kremlin will have no regrets.
Salvia: There are other mechanisms available for strengthening Ukrainian security. One is a new European security treaty, similar to that being proposed by Dmitry Medvedev. The other is for European Union membership. The Kremlin is basically open toward Ukraine’s future EU membership, especially if it is an alternative to Ukraine’s NATO membership.
A new European security treaty? You mean, a new Yalta Conference? The EU is a security organization and the Kremlin is open toward Ukraine’s future EU membership? Really? Can you call the Kremlin again and come back with the details?
Yelena Biberman, a U.S. Embassy policy specialist engaged in research on Ukraine’s foreign ministry (according to the article): Foreign ministry officials are ideologically anti-Russian and nationalist to the extent that they may not always be able to objectively assess Ukraine’s real national interests. They believe that Russia is inherently imperialistic and bent on regaining control over Ukraine as a step to rebuilding its empire, and NATO membership is the only way to stop this. Even for a new Ukrainian president, it will be very hard to change their perspective.
So, to restore objectivity, the new Ukrainian president should by all means try to change their perspective, as in “change Putin believes in?” That’s a very insightful perspective from an FSO trained at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). Has the U.S. Embassy outsourced some of its staff to AIU or vice versa? What’s next? A garage sale of “reset buttons” and “Made in USSR” memorabilia? Clientitis classes? There’s nothing new about the fact that Russia hasn’t refreshed its historiography since the Brezhnev era — if not for a brief moment during perestroika. But, for State’s sake, aren’t there any post-Soviet history textbooks on Amazon.com or at Brown? Doesn’t Prof. Sergei Khrushchev have any?
Salvia: We don’t engage in lobbying, but work exclusively in the public field holding conferences, talks and round table discussions. What we are trying to tell Ukrainians is simply that you can be pro-America and pro-European without having to want to join NATO.
Tell it to the Poles. Tell it to the Czechs. Tell it to the Slovaks. Tell it to the Hungarians. Tell it to the Romanians. Tell it to the Bulgarians. Tell it to the Lithuanians. Tell it to the Latvians. Tell it to the Estonians. Tell it to the Georgians. Tell it to the IRS.