LAST Wednesday Republican Senator Dr Rand Paul gave a remarkable speech to the US Senate. Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s latest desperate attempt to rally Western public opinion to his side over his increasingly destructive war with Russia did not go down well on Capitol Hill, despite still flattering reporting by the mainstream media there. Even the Wall Street Journal admitted that support for continued funding had diminished. Zelenskyy was to go to the White House and Capitol Hill to implore the US for more support in addition to the $100billion in aid that Congress has already approved, according to the WSJ. This was the week that US debt topped the £33trillion mark for the first time.
No one has made the case against this eye-watering package more powerfully than Rand Paul, Senator for Kentucky, who has made it abundantly clear that he will not consent to the expedited passage of any spending measure providing more American aid to Ukraine. His bottom line is that ‘we cannot save Ukraine by dooming the American economy’.
On Thursday Paul also spoke on the Senate floor powerfully setting out why the United States should stop funding Ukraine. He referred to opinion polls showing a majority of the American people in favour of doing so. He rejected Zelensky’s call for another $24billion, and reported that weapons sent to Ukraine had fallen into the hands of criminal gangs and gun traffickers. He chastised Congress for voting down a proposal to have an Inspector General checking exactly where the billions sent to Ukraine was spent. He illustrated the corruption in Ukraine, saying its defence minister, six deputy defence ministers and 24 regional military recruitment officials had been sacked for corruption. Ukraine, he said, was not the shining example of democracy that its supporters proclaimed – all opposition parties have been banned, all television channels placed under state control, scheduled elections cancelled and ‘regulatory powers over journalists introduced’.
He made the comparison with the American Civil War, which killed 600,000 people, yet elections still went ahead. ‘Every day this war continues there is another spin of the roulette wheel with another chance for it to stop on Armageddon’. The senator’s speech is available to view online on The Hill website as well as on YouTube here. It is a powerful speech.
Last July 70 House Republicans supported an amendment to the US defence bill that would have cut off all military aid to Ukraine. The amendment was easily defeated by 358 to 70 yet it showed that disagreement with the Biden administration’s foreign policy was beginning to grow. Last Thursday two dozen Republican senators and representatives wrote to the White House opposing aid to Ukraine unless they knew where the money was going and what progress Ukraine armed forces were making against Russia. A conflict over spending now threatens to shut down the US government from this weekend.
The Republicans wrote: ‘The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to. How is the counter-offensive going? Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago?’
As Republican Senator J D Vance tweeted on X, it is becoming clear that America is being asked to fund an indefinite conflict with unlimited resources.
Before Zelenskyy’s latest visit to Washington he requested to address Congress again, but was turned down by Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Once a vocal supporter of the war, McCarthy has begun to question it: ‘I have questions for where’s the accountability on the money we’ve already sent.’
Needless to say, at the end of Zelenskyy’s latest desperate and increasingly controversial ‘begging’ trip to the US, President Biden promised to provide him with advanced long-range surface-to-surface missiles ‘to help Kyiv with its counter-offensive‘ despite Pentagon concerns that this will reduce the Defense Department supplies to dangerously low levels.