COMMENTS ON DONALD TRUMP’S INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
During his television interview with George Stephanopoulos on July 31, 2016, Donald Trump unabashedly denied Russian military presence on Ukrainian territory. All Americans of every ethnicity and political affiliation should be appalled by such reckless comments. Trump has displayed his inherent inability to observe and comprehend the reality of the historical events as they occur before his very eyes. There is no reasonable doubt that Russia has -- in full view of the entire world -- illegally annexed Crimea and it is Russian military and mercenaries who are killing Ukrainian soldiers and civilians daily on Ukrainian soil. It was the Russian military that shot down MH17 and caused one million Ukrainians to flee to safety! Is Trump so politically blind that he cannot see this obvious reality?
During the interview, Trump also candidly admitted that it was “his people” who removed from the GOP platform the grant of lethal military assistance to Ukraine so that Ukraine could defend itself. He cautiously implied that he was not directly involved in these actions by “his people”. This raises the question as to which of “his people” is in charge of his foreign-policy. To whom did he outsource decisions on such critical geopolitical foreign policy matters as military assistance to Ukraine? And to whom will he outsource his foreign-policy decisions if he should become president?
Donald Trump has also flippantly suggested that as president, he would consider recognizing the illegal invasion and unlawful annexation of Crimea by Russia and would lift sanctions. Such a statement flagrantly and recklessly ignores the elementary principle of international law that a country’s borders cannot and should not be changed by the use of armies. Since the cataclysmic events of World War II, the nations of the world have established basic principles of international law and behavior that are to be adhered to by the governments of all nations so as to prevent future conflagrations on a global scale. The UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act [the charter document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and the various organic documents of the European Union, have had as their linchpin the principle of territorial integrity and security and the inviolability of borders of independent states. Mr. Trump does not seem to fathom that the mere suggestion that as president, he would contemplate the recognition of Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory by armed force [in obvious violation of international law] critically undermines the very foundation that has prevented a major war on the European Continent. Nor does he seem to comprehend that his offhand and irresponsible statements on foreign policy put into serious question - in minds of our allies - America’s longstanding leadership and future resolve to support the rule of law in the international arena.
The issue before us is not whether we support or oppose either political party. This crucial question is about the future of the United States. The issue is simply whether the next president of the United States will have the political foresight to comprehend the geo-political events occurring in the world and to take such steps as may be necessary to protect the United States of America. Regrettably, Donald Trump’s myopic and distorted geo-political vision of the world - as displayed during his interview – does not engender any confidence whatsoever in his ability to be commander-in-chief of the United States of America.
August 1, 2016
The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author
Myroslaw Smorodsky, Esq.
Communications Director of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA)
Tel: 201-507-4500; Email; firstname.lastname@example.org; Website; www.smorodsky.com