US House Votes to Stop Training Ukraine's Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. But Does It Matter?

U.S. House passes amendments to Defense Spending Bill banning the training of the neo-Nazi paramilitary group Azov Battalion. Even if it becomes law, it can simply be ignored. 

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Check out this blowback.

On Tuesday, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) offered bipartisan amendments to block the training of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. The House unanimously passed the amendments. In a statement released by his office, Conyers said:

<figcaption>Still free to terrorize Donbass, though</figcaption>
Still free to terrorize Donbass, though

If there’s one simple lesson we can take away from U.S. involvement in conflicts overseas, it’s this: Beware of unintended consequences.  As was made vividly clear with U.S. involvement in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion decades ago, overzealous military assistance or the hyper-weaponization of conflicts can have destabilizing consequences and ultimately undercut our own national interests.

I am grateful that the House of Representatives unanimously passed my amendments last night to ensure that our military does not train members of the repulsive neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, along with my measures to keep the dangerous and easily trafficked MANPADs out of these unstable regions.

Two things. First: There's no reason to assume that these amendments are going to sail through the Senate. Second: Even if these amendments make it to Obama's desk, and even if he signs them, it means nothing. We live in a post-constitutional age where this kind of legislation doesn't even matter: If the U.S. military wants to train the Azov Battalion, it will. Period. End of story.

Any U.S. law banning the training of armed psychos isn't worth the paper it's written on. It's a ruse. Just ask Reagan. 

It's interesting to watch as the west realizes what it has been blindly supporting for the last year. Unfortunately we'll have to file this one under "too little, too late." 

By the way, six months ago Conyers introduced a nearly identical amendment to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but it was killed in committee by the Jewish lobby:

According to Democratic sources in Congress, staffers from the ADL’s Washington office and the Simon Wiesenthal Center rejected the amendment on the grounds that right-wing Ukrainian parties like Svoboda with documented records of racist extremism had “moderated their rhetoric.” An ADL lobbyist insisted that “the focus should be on Russia,” while the Wiesenthal Center pointed to meetings between far-right political leaders in Ukraine and the Israeli embassy as evidence that groups like Svoboda and Right Sector had shed their extremism. 

Stay focused!


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