John McCain — everyone’s favorite possibly senile senator who Vladimir Putin thinks may have gone nuts in ‘Nam and who has had quite a difficult time shaking rumors about his past dealings with “brave” Syrian ‘freedom fights’ who may have gone on to become ISIS militants — is ‘back in the (former) USSR.’
Earlier this year, McCain expressed his disappointment in the glacial pace at which Washington is moving on the path to World War III, saying he is “ashamed” of the President, the country, and of himself, for not “doing more to help those people.” By “those people” McCain meant Ukrainians and by “more to help” he meant sending lethal aid to Kiev so the Ukrainian army can turn the on-again-off-again “conflict” with Russia into a proper war that self-respecting hawks can be proud of.
McCain is no stranger to Ukrainian politics. In 2013 he spoke to a crowd of protesters in the wake of then-President Viktor Yanukovich’s (who was once the victim of an attempted assassination-by-egg and who famously fled the country amid widespread protests last year) decision to lean Russian on trade, telling the crowd that “the free world is with you, America is with you, I am with.” It appears McCain is taking that pledge quite literally because as you can see from the following official release from the Ukrainian government, the Senator has been added to Poroshenko’s International Advisory Board.
Decree of President of Ukraine on May 13, 2015
REGULATIONS of the International Advisory Council reform International Advisory Board Reform (hereinafter - the Council) is a consultative body under the President of Ukraine, whose main task is to provide suggestions and recommendations for the implementation of reforms in Ukraine based on the best international practices.
International Advisory Board Reform
Miheil Saakashvili - President of Georgia in 2004-2007 and 2008 -2013 years, chairman (by consent)
Carl Bildt - Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden in 1991 - 1994 years, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden in 2006 - 2014 years (by consent)
Elmar Brok - Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (the agreement)
Mikulas Dzurinda - Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic in 1998 - 2006 years (by consent)
Andrius Kubilius - Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania in 1999 - 2000 and 2008 - 2012 years (by consent)
John McCain - United States Senator, Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate of the United States (by consent)
Anders Aslund - Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics (United States), Professor (by consent)
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski - Member of the European Parliament (by consent).
Note that former Georgian President Miheil Saakashvili also made the list, which is notable because .. well, he’s an international fugitive. Here’s RT:
Saakashvili has been appointed as head of the new advisory group, says the statement on Ukraine’s presidential website…
Back in February Saakashvili was appointed as a non-staff adviser to Poroshenko. The ex-Georgian president, who was in power from 2004 to 2013, faces numerous charges at home, including embezzlement of over $5 million, corruption and brutality against protesters during demonstrations in 2007. Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched proceedings to indict Saakashvili and place him on the international most wanted list, but Kiev refused to hand over the fugitive president, despite an existing extradition agreement between Ukraine and Georgia.
Saakashvili is known for his strong anti-Russian stance, which garnered heavy US support. In August 2008 during his term in office Georgia launched an offensive against South Ossetia, killing dozens of civilians and Russian peacekeepers stationed in the republic. Georgia’s shelling of Tskhinval prompted Russia to conduct a military operation to fend off the offensive. Despite Saakashvili’s claims that the conflict was “Russian aggression,” the 2010 EU Independent Fact Finding Mission Report ruled that Tbilisi was responsible for the attack...
Following the new Kiev authorities’ attempt to suppress dissent in the east of the country and Crimea’s ascension into the Russian Federation, McCain became the main engine of lobbying for lethal arms supplies to Ukrainian forces to “defend themselves” and Europe from “Russian aggression.”
“The Ukrainian people don’t want US or Western troops to fight for them; they are simply asking for the right tools to defend themselves and their country,” he said late last month at a hearing on US security policy in Europe. “Russia’s invasion and dismemberment of Ukraine should remind everyone of the true nature of Putin’s ambitions and the fragility of peace in Europe.”
Yes, the "fragility of peace in Europe," which is of course made infinitely more fragile by the type of snap drills, troop buildups and NATO sabre rattling that the good senator so ardently supports. But as anxious as McCain may be to do his part to help the "poor" people of Ukraine by plunging them into a bloody civil war, he's still keen to express the proper deference to ethics, the law, and "that kind of stuff":
"I was asked to do it both by Ukraine and Saakashvili and I said I would be inclined to do it, but I said I needed to look at all the nuances of it, whether it's legal under our ethics and all that kind of stuff."
We're sure the makeup of this new "advisory council" will do wonders to promote peace in Eastern Europe. And as if on cue (via Bloomberg just hours ago):
Senate Armed Services Cmte approves bill on 22-4 vote, says Sen. Jack Reed, ranking Democrat on cmte.
Bill would preserve A-10 close-air combat plane; authorizes arms to Ukraine, McCain says.