Not to be outdone by the hyper-interventionist State Department of John Kerry, Victoria Nuland, and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly yesterday to jump head first into the Ukraine crisis.
By an overwhelming vote of 381-2 the House went on record demanding that the democratically-elected government of Ukraine bow to the demands of protestors in the streets and accede to "the...European aspirations of the people of Ukraine, and their right to choose their own future free of intimidation and fear."
In other words, sign the association agreement with the EU or else.
The only two Members who held up the principle of non-interventionism by voting "no" were Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC). Mr. Jones is an advisor to the Ron Paul Institute.
The vote was par for the course for the House, which can imagine no crisis too small or insignificant to US interests to insert itself, armed with little or no real information but nevertheless certain of the solution governments thousands of miles away should pursue.
The House resolution notes that "the demonstrators have consistently expressed their support for democracy, human rights, greater government accountability, and the rule of law, as well as for closer relations with Europe," while conveniently omitting their embrace of a Europe from rather a few years ago...
The resolution condemns Ukraine's elected president for attempting to "forcibly evict peaceful protesters from central locations in Kyiv," without mentioning that the "central locations" were actually government buildings, including three cabinet ministries, and that protestors were even blockading the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament in his office.
Warning to would-be US protestors: don't try this with House Speaker John Boehner. The police have a more robust approach to this sort of thing on Capitol Hill. Do as Congress says, not as it does.
Should its word not be followed, Congress threatens "additional targeted sanctions against those who authorize or engage in the use of force."
The resolution presumes to know what is best for Ukraine. That much is certain. But its syllogism is faulty: the government must heed democratic aspirations of the people, protestors on the streets prefer an EU agreement, therefore the democratic aspiration of the people is to accept the EU association agreement.
The legitimate democratic aspirations of any people are reflected in the vote of the entire electorate, not a self-selected pressure group in the streets. Otherwise, the "Occupy" movement should have had the same democratic legitimacy to overturn the elected US government; otherwise the Tea Party protests reflect the democratic aspirations of the people and therefore the US administration has no choice but to resign or be overthrown.
With this resolution Capitol Hill is warning the Ukrainian government to leave untouched people who are burning police officers alive.
This is the same Capitol Hill whose police force shot dead an unarmed woman with an infant in her car for driving erratically and failing to follow the orders of the cops.
Do as we say, not as we do. A core tenet of interventionism...and hypocrisy. At least Congress is consistent.