RPI Director Daniel McAdams was interviewed yesterday on the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. Following is the interview in its entirety:
Making quick judgments over the situation in Ukraine, including the latest bus tragedy, suits Washington’s political goals as, unlike the EU, it is incapable of backing down, Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute, told RT.
Twelve people were killed Tuesday in the shelling of a bus in east Ukraine.
OSCE Ukraine mission representative Michael Bochurkivt said group monitors visited the site of the attack and would later present a report on their findings.
Meanwhile, the US State Department was quick to draw conclusions and immediately accused east Ukrainian rebel forces.
“Today’s vicious and repeated attacks on the Donetsk Airport and the shelling of a bus that killed 10 people and wounded 13 are just the latest egregious violations of the commitments made by the Russia-backed separatists,” stated State Department spokesperson Marie Harf on Tuesday.
RT: The US State Department has accused anti-government protesters of the recent shelling that took 12 lives. Why is Washington so certain who's behind the attack, when the OSCE for example says there's still too little information to make a conclusion?
Daniel McAdams: I think there has been a pattern of the US acting very rashly and making very quick judgments. We saw this on the MH17 downing where the US was immediately certain that it was the rebels or indeed even Russia itself that had downed the plane.
Frankly the US credibility has suffered quite a bit because of these assertions. We just saw a couple of weeks ago that the Obama administration was certain that the North Koreans were behind the hacking of Sony even though the top of cyber security firm says that it just doesn’t add up.
You have an administration that is almost out of control making bizarre accusations that are simply not backed up by facts. This may or may not be one of those but I think we should be suspicious considering their past behavior and considering the speed at which they reached this conclusion. I think it suits Washington’s political goals to have this as the separatists attacking this bus of civilians. But if they were required to put up some evidence it might fall quite short of the mark.
RT: Russia is actively involved in the peace process in Eastern Ukraine but the State Department blamed Russia for the recent ceasefire breach. Why are Moscow's peace efforts being ignored?
DM: Let’s not forget it was just a little over a month ago that the US House of Representatives passed and signed into law the Ukraine Freedom Act of 2014 in which the US explicitly urged the Ukrainian government in Kiev to start moving against the provinces in the East that are attempting to separate from Kiev’s control.
It is very, very clear that Washington does not want the Kazakhstan summit to take place next week. It has been made very clear the US is doing everything it can to stop this. Remember it was just a few days ago French President Francois Hollande said that if any progress is made in Kazakhstan, the sanctions against Russia should be lifted immediately.
Clearly the Europeans, at least the French and Germans, are looking for a way out these sanctions which have hurt their economy far more than they realized it would, far more than they thought it would. They are trying to find the way out of the looming recession in the EU. The US is seemingly incapable of backing down from its poor foreign policy choices, namely its support for the coup in Ukraine just a little less than a year ago that has presented all of these problems from then on. The US is incapable of admitting its mistakes in supporting this coup. So now it is doing everything it can to prevent progress from being made.
The US Treasury Department today announced an additional $2 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine which sounds like a lot but knowing Ukraine’s absolutely disastrous situation it is not even a drop of water in the ocean for Ukraine’s problem. So the US is incapable of backing down, the Europeans are looking to back down.
RT: The recent meeting in Berlin of the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, Ukraine and France produced no results. What do you think is behind the lack of progress?
DM: It is hard to say without having all the facts. I think it is very difficult. I think the EU is facing a lot of pressure from Washington. The EU is also facing some backlash among its own citizens over the economic hardships that these sanctions on Russia have produced. So it is difficult for them to backtrack on a bad policy as well. It is interesting that Washington is not involved in this process.
Frankly, considering what passes for diplomacy these days in Washington we should probably be a little bit encouraged that Washington is not currently involved in the process. But you can be sure that they are burning up telephone lines right now where the German and French partners trying to manage these things from behind the scenes.
RT: Many European politicians are warning against further sanctions against Russia. What do you think Washington's going to do in light of the EU's growing discontent with the penalties?
DM: I think the US will continue to exert pressure on Brussels and on individual governments in the EU to stay strong and tough against the sanctions. Although, you are seeing that they now are affecting the US economy whether or not the US is conspiring with Saudi Arabia to lower oil prices. Certainly some people believe that is the case to hurt oil exports for Russia.
However, it is hurting the US economy. You have a number of bankruptcies in the hydraulic fracturing sector of the economy which was a huge boom. The oil bubble in the US has now burst. And the US may be looking at even more serious economic consequences of its policy with regard to oil and with regard to sanctions against Russia. So the US at this point is incapable of backing down and it remains to be seen what the next move will be.
Reprinted with permission from RT.