Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 20, 2014 - 5:14 pm

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unveiled tonight a framework for Congress to take legislative action on the crisis in Ukraine.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who’s been at loggerheads with the Obama administration over the Iran nuclear negotiations, said Wednesday that he expected the White House “with congressional support to act swiftly on this issue of critical importance.”

Today, the chairman outlined what steps should be taken, including freezing assets of Ukrainian officials “determined to have sanctioned or carried out state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protesters” and advocating for visa bans for “any Ukrainian officials determined to have sanctioned or carried out state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protestors.”

Menendez wants to increase aid “immediately for democracy, civil society actors, and independent journalists” and cut “assistance temporarily to any organizations possibly involved in repression and violence until necessary reviews is completed.”

“The violence and oppression in Ukraine is spiraling out of control as peaceful demonstrators in Kyiv’s Maidan Square are brutalized and killed by government forces,” Menendez said. “We in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have monitored these developments closely, from holding a hearing last month to introducing a bipartisan resolution expressing deep concern for the undemocratic rule and abuse of individual rights in Ukraine.”

“Only President Yanukovych can put an end to the mayhem that he has unleashed in the Ukrainian capital, but we will not stand idly by while the Ukrainian people are targeted and killed on their own streets. I regret that it has come to this, but I have consulted with my colleagues on the committee and in the days ahead we will take legislative action.”

The White House said yesterday that they were considering some sort of sanctions on Ukraine, while some officials at the European Union were moving forward with such punitive measures.

“I’m not in a position to confirm any additional steps that the United States has decided to take at this point,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at today’s daily briefing. “The President and other senior members of this administration alluded yesterday to the fact that there were a range of tools that could be used by the administration to hold accountable those who have either ordered or are responsible for the violence that’s being perpetrated by the Ukrainian government against peaceful protesters.”

“So there are a range of options that are available, and it is fair to say that a range of options is being actively considered at the White House.  But I don’t have any specific things, any specific decisions about those options to relay to you now,” Earnest added. “As soon as some decisions have been made, if they are made, we’ll let you know.”

Vice President Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych this afternoon and asked him to “immediately pull back all security forces – police, snipers, military and paramilitary units, and irregular forces,” the White House said in a readout of the call. “The Vice President made clear that the United States is prepared to sanction those officials responsible for the violence. The Vice President urged President Yanukovych to take immediate and tangible steps to work with the opposition on a path forward that addresses the legitimate aspirations of the Ukrainian people. The Vice President underscored that the United States supports an independent, democratic Ukraine that pursues the future its people choose.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
What is occuring in Ukraine AND Venezuela AND Syria AND South Sudan AND Central African Republic are crimes against humanity. If the International Criminal Court has ANY point in existing today, it should be issuing arrest on sight warrants for all those it can identify as responsible.

Don't count on Obama for sanctions help until next week. He obtained advance copies of the new seasons of Game of Thrones and True Detectives while in Hollywood and plans a long weekend of fun and relaxing before he has to listen to boring briefings about all that stuff.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Menendez - how about throwing a little democracy to We The People? The FCC set to invade newsrooms all over the USA and nobody really knowing their real aim (return of 'The Fairness Doctrine maybe??? - sly bastards! Do you really think We The People are that stupid?) - the IRS still has their jack-booted foot on the neck of real democracy (IE the Tea Party etc) - a health care system being systematically trashed in the name of social justice (whatever that REALLY means) - the EPA's war on coal - the democrat's war on women (See Bill Clinton, one intern, and a cigar for explanation) etc etc.

We could use a little more 'democracy' around here ya putz! If we don't get it - and soon - the Ukraine will be the least of your worries. Maybe the Ukraine (or the Swiss - eh?) will be contemplating a freeze on your ass-sets.


8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why are the internal affairs of the Ukraine our concern? Are we going to continue to police the world?

It's time to butt out. This may be an EU concern and perhaps they can learn to assume responsibility if they are not longer dependent on us. Enough!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
And the United States has what leverage over Ukraine to make them fear not following Biden's demands?

Though I have no experience in foreign policy and knowing that the only thing keeping me from getting experience is my inability to bundle large sums of campaign money for the re-election of the president, my non-professional advise is to understand our severe limitations and stay out of a country that is culturally separating in slow motion. But given the track record of the Ivy League indoctrinated brainiacs we currently have playing our geo-political power hand on the world stage, something tells me us foreign policy adviser wannabes are going to be ignored.



8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our esteemed congress critters can't do anything about problems in our own government, but they are going to settle problems in the Ukraine? Give me a break Washington!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is occuring in Ukraine AND Venezuela AND Syria AND South Sudan AND Central African Republic are crimes against humanity. If the International Criminal Court has ANY point in existing today, it should be issuing arrest on sight warrants for all those it can identify as responsible.

Don't count on Obama for sanctions help until next week. He obtained advance copies of the new seasons of Game of Thrones and True Detectives while in Hollywood and plans a long weekend of fun and relaxing before he has to listen to boring briefings about all that stuff.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Menendez - how about throwing a little democracy to We The People? The FCC set to invade newsrooms all over the USA and nobody really knowing their real aim (return of 'The Fairness Doctrine maybe??? - sly bastards! Do you really think We The People are that stupid?) - the IRS still has their jack-booted foot on the neck of real democracy (IE the Tea Party etc) - a health care system being systematically trashed in the name of social justice (whatever that REALLY means) - the EPA's war on coal - the democrat's war on women (See Bill Clinton, one intern, and a cigar for explanation) etc etc.

We could use a little more 'democracy' around here ya putz! If we don't get it - and soon - the Ukraine will be the least of your worries. Maybe the Ukraine (or the Swiss - eh?) will be contemplating a freeze on your ass-sets.


8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why are the internal affairs of the Ukraine our concern? Are we going to continue to police the world?

It's time to butt out. This may be an EU concern and perhaps they can learn to assume responsibility if they are not longer dependent on us. Enough!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I seem to recall that Egypt had an uprising not too long ago.

What did His Magnificence do then?

Hmmmmm. Oh, that's right....he sided with the bad guys and said a bunch of crap and ....global warming/climate change (or something).
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure, send them some money. After all, they're American citizens who just haven't gotten here yet. The whole world is.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are they white? Are they Christian? Are they educated?

If they meet any one of these criteria then, no, they don't qualify as future American citizens.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meddling fools...........and the left says nothing when it come from DemoRats....
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
When it comes to foreign policy Obama couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. Anything he does will be screwed up. He's a loser.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm thinking the old Blame America First crowd, now ascendant in Democratic politics and Obama's own Administration, consider his weakening of American influence, strength, and credibility as a feature, not a bug.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
That sternly worded letter ought to do the trick.

Yup, yup.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
If that doesn't work I'm sure an indignant e-mail will do the trick.

After all, do they realize who they are talking to!! This is OBAMA, For God's sake!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All