In response to reports of a Russian takeover in parts of Crimea, Arizona Senator John McCain declared Friday, “We are all Ukrainians,” before calling for swift U.S. economic aide to Ukraine, new moves to condemn Russia at the United Nations, sanctions against Russian officials and the installation of U.S. missiles in the nearby Czech Republic as a show of American regional strength.
I found this odd, because just a few years back, John McCain was telling me I was something else. Oh, look, a reporter with an actual memory:
The comments echoed McCain’s 2008 statement, “We are all Georgians,” which he made as a Republican candidate for President after Russia invaded Georgia. Six years later, McCain says he feels the same about the plight of Ukraine. “We are all Ukrainians in the respect that we have a sovereign nation that is again with international boundaries… that is again being taken in as part of Russia,” he said in an interview in his Senate office. “That is not acceptable to an America that stands up for the rights of human beings. We are Georgians. And we are Ukrainians.”
I also remember brief bits when I was an Iranian, but that was before I was Egyptian and after I was an Iraqi with a purple finger but before I became a Libyan. I think I was briefly from Yemen, too, but I’m starting to develop a bit of an identity crisis. Also, some dude once cautioned about entangling alliances:
With tensions rising in Crimea and pro-Russian forces controlling the peninsula’s main airports, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on Russia to “not violate the Budapest Memorandum.” So what is the “Budapest Memorandum” and what does it have to do with Crimea?
What exactly is the “Budapest Memorandum”?
The “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances” is a diplomatic memorandum that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document under which signatories made promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.
So, what do we know about what is going on in Ukraine, aka Obama’s newest Hurricane Katrina.