Saturday, November 30, 2019

OPCW's Douma, Syria report manufactured a pretext for more US taxpayer funded war in Syria by suppressing its own scientists’ research-Moon of Alabama

11/29/19, OPCW Manufactured A Pretext For War By Suppressing Its Own Scientists’ Research,” Moon of Alabama 

“Leaks from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) provide that that the OPCW management ignored or manipulated reports its Fact Finding Mission had written about the April 2018 Douma incident in Syria. 

The history of the Douma incident and the OPCW and media manipulation around it is available from the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media under the headline: How the OPCW’s investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled. Our own post around the incident are linked below. 

The OPCW management ignored that the technical, chemical and medical analysis of its own specialists exculpated the Syrian government from the allegation that it poisoned some 40 people in Douma by dropping Chlorine canisters from a helicopter. 

The OPCW scientific staff found that dropping the canisters could not have created the damage that was found. Those canisters must have been placed by hand. The amount of chlorinated organic chemicals found at the two scenes was very low and it is very unlikely that they are the result of a reaction with chlorine gas. The medical symptoms of the casualties as was seen in various videos at the time of the incident were inconsistent with death by chlorine inhalation.

The OPCW management twisted the interim and the final OPCW report on the incident to make it look as if the Syrian government was guilty of dropping chlorine canisters. The detailed internal technical analysis was ignored. It was replaced by external analysis from unknown sources who claimed the opposite of what the OPCW engineers and chemists had found. The wording of the report suggests that high level of chlorinated organic chemicals were found without giving the very low concentrations (in parts per billions) that were actually found. The internal medical analysis was eliminated from the official report. 

OPCW emails and documents were leaked and whistleblowers came forward to speak with journalists and international lawyers. Veteran journalist Jonathan Steele, who has spoken with the whistleblowers, wrote an excellent piece on the issues. In the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens picked up the issue and moved it forward: 

New sexed-up dossier furore: Explosive leaked email claims that UN watchdog’s report into alleged poison gas attack by Assad was doctoredso was it to justify British and American missile strikes on Syria?

The ‘citizen journalists’ of the U.S. government financed Bellingcat propaganda shop made a laughable attempt to refute the claims the whistleblower made. Caitlin Johnstone took it apart. 

Hitchens also responded to the Bellingcat scam: Bellingcat or Guard Dog for the Establishment?. 

Quoting Bellingcat Peter Hitchens (PH) writes: 


“However, a comparison of the points raised in the letter against the final Douma report makes it amply clear that the OPCW not only addressed these points, but even changed the conclusion of an earlier report to reflect the concerns of said employee.” 


Apart from the words ‘a’, and ‘the’, everything in the above paragraph is, to put it politely, mistaken. Bellingcat have been so anxious to trash the leak from the OPCW that they have (as many did when the attack was first released) rushed to judgment without waiting for the facts. More is known by the whistleblowers of the OPCW than has yet been released, but verification procedures have slowed down its release. More documents will, I expect, shortly come to light. 

One, which I have seen, is very interesting. It is a memorandum of protest, written many months after the e-mail of protest published at the weekend. This was sent to the OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias (there is some doubt about whether it ever reached him) by an OPCW investigator (one of those who actually visited Douma), on 14th March 2019. It has reached me through hitherto reliable sources. This is nearly two weeks *after* the release of the ‘final’ report (on Friday 1st March 2019) which is supposed to have resolved the doubts of the dissenters.””… 

[Bellingcat’s job is to punish US taxpayers, it’s even funded in part by US taxpayers via US political class and warmonger group NED. Salary of Fat Cat Bellingcat Exec. Dir. is $130,000 (118,000 Euros)] 

In his discussion of the issue Hitchens also mentions this blog: 

“[The OPCW report claim] ‘Various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from Locations 2 and 4, along with residues of explosive. These results are reported in Annex 3. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is ongoing.’ resulted in some quite remarkable media reports. These are explored here: 

Bellingcat and its supporters may not like the source, and I do not much like it myself, but it is a unique record, as far as I know, of the initial media response to the issue of the July 6 report. I have in fact checked its claims with Reuters and the BBC and they do not dispute what it says, though they say they later corrected the output.” 

It is sad, Peter, that you don’t like this blog much but I am afraid I can do nothing about it. 

A few hours ago Hitchens published another piece: In defense of journalism – ‘Citizen journalists’ are no such thing. In it he again takes on Bellingcat and other such ‘citizen journalist’ and ‘researchers’ to then reveal that he himself now talked to an OPCW whistleblower: 

“Luckily for me I have had the backing of people who know deep down that journalism must take risks to be any good. Someone had to say ‘yes’ to me when I headed off at short notice a few days ago, on my complicated way to a safe house somewhere in a major city on the European continent. Someone had to fork out for my train fares and my cheap station hotels. Someone had to have the guts to let me tell my story about what I found when I got there — which was an honest man in turmoil. His job was to tell the truth and he was being prevented from doing so. So I could help him. In four decades of journalism, I have seldom felt closer to the Holy Grail, truth that had to be told, and truth that would shake power. Here it was. A pretext for war had been manufactured by suppression of research.”  

The “pretext for war” can not refer to the missile strike F-UK-US launched on April 16 2018, 8 days after the Douma incident and before any OPCW inspectors had visited the site. Hitchens must refer to an upcoming war that was supposed to be based on the now disgraced OPCW report. 

There is indeed a possible path to war. 

The original agreement for OPCW investigations in Syria stipulated that the OPCW would report the results of investigations to a Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) at the United Nations where the Security Council would then attribute guilt to either side of the conflict. The U.S. tried to use the JIM process to attribute dubious chemical incidents in Syria to the government. Russia vetoed those attempts. The U.S. then decided to circumvent the UN process. 

In 2018 the U.S. and its proxies manipulated the OPCW statute and added the task [June 27, 2018] of identifying the guilty party of chemical incidents to the OPCW’s agenda: 

“[The decision] also calls upon the [OPCW] Secretariat to put in place arrangements “to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic by identifying and reporting on all information potentially relevant to the origin of those chemical weapons in those instances in which the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission determines or has determined that use or likely use occurred, and cases for which the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism has not issued a report”. 

The decision further affirmed that whenever chemical weapons use occurs on the territory of a State Party, “those who were the perpetrators, organisers, sponsors or otherwise involved should be identified” and it underscored the added value of the Secretariat conducting an independent investigation of an alleged use of chemical weapons with a view to facilitating universal attribution of all chemical weapons attacks”.” 

The manipulated OPCW report, which omitted the OPCW scientists’ findings, will now be the basic document which the new OPCW attribution group, the Investigation and Identification Team, will use to find the Syrian government guilty. That guilty verdict can then be used to publicly justify a [US taxpayer funded] war on Syria without further UN Security Council interference. 

This is what Hitchens means when he writes that A pretext for [US taxpayer funded] war had been manufactured by suppression of research.” 

Russia, China and several other governments have protested against the change in the OPCW statute. The Russian statement to this years Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) conference [Nov. 25, 2019] says: 

“The decision to vest the OPCW Technical Secretariat with functions to identify parties responsible for the use of chemical weapons adopted in June 2018 at the CSP-SS-4 in contradiction of the Convention is illegitimate. This innovation forced on the OPCW goes beyond the scope of the CWC and the Organization, the decision itself was adopted in violation of the Convention, and its implementation is nothing other than an interference with the exclusive competence of the UN Security Council. 

As a clearly foreseeable result of this questionable decision, fundamental problems with its realization ensued, namely, the lack of transparency and accountability of the “attribution” mechanism, which is the Investigation and Identification Team, to the OPCW governing bodies. The States Parties have yet to learn about the terms of reference of this entity, its operating conditions, its criteria for selection of “incidents”to investigate or sources and modalities of its financing. [Which will be US taxpayers, as always]. 

The OPCW scientists found serious evidence that the Syrian government can NOT be guilty of the Douma incident. Under U.S. pressure the OPCW management suppressed its scientists’ technical reports or replaced them with those from “external experts” to make it look as if the Syrian government caused the incident. The new attribution group at the OPCW will use that manipulated report to find Syria guilty of causing the incident. The U.S. and others could then use that guilty verdict as pretext to launch a [US taxpayer funded] war. 

We only learned of this plan because courageous scientists and engineers at the OPCW do not want to see their organization abused to find pretexts to wage [US taxpayer funded] wars on the innocent. They came forward and told the public what it needs to know. They deserve our gratitude.”
“Previous Moon of Alabama coverage of the Douma incident and its aftermath:”

April 8 2018 - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Update II)
April 9 2018 - Syria - Any U.S. Strike Will Lead to Escalation
April 11 2018 - Syria - A U.S. Attack Would Be Futile - But Serve A Purpose - by M. K. Bhadrakumar
April 11 2018 - Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't
April 12 2018 - Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back
April 13 2018 - Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated
April 14 2018 - F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won?
April 16 2018 - Syria - Pentagon Hides Attack Failure - 70+ Cruise Missiles Shot Down
April 19 2018 - Syria - Who Is Stalling The OPCW Investigation In Douma?
April 20 2018 - Syria Sitrep - Cleanup Around Damascus - WMD Rumors Prepare For New U.S. Attack
July 6 2018 - Syria - OPCW Issues First Report Of 'Chemical Weapon Attack' in Douma
July 7 2018 - Syria - Mainstream Media Lie About Watchdog Report On The 'Chemical Attack' In Douma
May 13 2019 - Syria - OPCW Engineering Assessment: The Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged
November 16 2019 - OPCW Whistleblowers: Management Manipulated Reports - Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged
Posted by b on November 29, 2019 at 19:02 UTC | Permalink

Added: Peter Hitchens says he was requested to withhold names of OPCW senior execs to whom 6/22/2018 email was sent. “The original email of protest was sent to senior executives at the OPCW (whose names we know but have been asked not to publish).” Did the people who pay his salary ask or was it just the Queen who’s legally able to prevent publication of anything she wishes? As it happens the main recipient of the 6/22/18 OPCW email is Robert Fairweather, a career British diplomat and subject of the Queen. “The e-mail is dated 22nd of June, 2018.It is addressed to Robert Fairweather, Chief of Cabinet, and forwarded to his deputy Aamir Shouket and members of the fact-finding mission to Douma.”  

11/24/2019, OPCW management accused of doctoring Syrian chemical weapons report," Stundin [Iceland], Gunnar Hrafn Jonsson 

“Wikileaks today publishes an e-mail, sent by a member of an OPCW fact-finding mission to Syria to his superiors, in which he expresses his gravest concern over intentional bias introduced to a redacted version of the report he co-authored….The e-mail is dated 22nd of June, 2018. It is addressed to Robert Fairweather, Chief of Cabinet, and forwarded to his deputy Aamir Shouket and members of the fact-finding mission to Douma. 

He says this misrepresentation was achieved by selective omission, introducing a bias which undermines the credibility of the report. Further it is claimed that crucial facts, that have remained in the redacted version: “…have morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted.” This is said to have been done at the behest of the Office of the Director General (a post that was held by Turkish diplomat Ahmet Üzümcü at the time, he has since been replaced by Spaniard Fernando Arias).”… 

From: ******** 

Sent: 22 June 2018  

To: Robert Fairweather [OPCW official and career British diplomat] 

cc: Aamir Shouket [OPCW official and Pakistani diplomat] 

Subject: Grave concern about the ‘redacted’ Douma report“… 


Added: Excerpt from Hitchens article in which he admits knowing but withholding names of OPCW senior execs to whom 6/22/2018 email was sent: 

11/23/19, New sexed-up dossier furore: Explosive leaked email claims that UN watchdog’s report into alleged poison gas attack by Assad was doctored – so was it to justify British and American missile strikes on Syria?,” Peter Hitchens, UK Daily Mail

“The scientists accepted this. But even this promise was then broken, and a third version of the document was issued which left out the vital fact. The wording of this report was so vague that news organisations around the world concluded – incorrectly – that it said that chlorine gas had been used or might have been used. If the key material had been left in, they could not have done this.  

Since then, dissenting scientists have sought for months to find a way of setting the record straight, inside the OPCW. But all their efforts have failed, leading to the leak of the email.  

[18th parag.] It has been a long struggle. The original email of protest was sent to senior executives at the OPCW (whose names we know but have been asked not to publish) on June 22, 2018. The third (interim) report was published on July 6, 2018. A fourth report, even more mealy-mouthed, but still heavily censored, emerged in March this year.  

The leak follows other alarming developments concerning the OPCW’s report on Douma, which suggest an organisation in severe crisis. Last May, another leak from the OPCW’s HQ in the Hague cast grave doubt on claims that gas cylinders found at the Douma site had been dropped from the air, a vital part of the Western case against Syria.  

An OPCW engineering and ballistics expert called Ian Henderson (who was not the leaker) had strongly suggested that two gas cylinders found in Douma and examined by the OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission had been ‘manually placed’.  

This vital detail too was left out of the OPCW’s own published report, which implied strongly that they had been dropped from the air. This was crucial as Syrian government helicopters were the only aircraft in the area. On this occasion the OPCW revealed that the Henderson document was genuine, probably unintentionally, by announcing a leak inquiry on May 16.”…



Friday, November 29, 2019

Only 3 things wrong with Russia: They refuse to bow down to the US, they’re an independent, mostly positive role in the Middle East-the antithesis of US violent subversions, and they have peaceful and fruitful alliances all over the world-John Pilger, Strategic Culture

11/27/19, “American Exceptionalism Driving World to War-John Pilger,” Strategic Culture interview with Finian Cunnigham 

“Question: It seems the American Cold War obsession with “communism as an evil” has been replaced by an equally intense Russophobia towards modern-day Russia. Do you see a continuation in the phobia from the Cold War years to today? What accounts for that mindset? 

John Pilger: The Russians refuse to bow down to America, and that is intolerable. They play an independent, mostly positive role in the Middle East, the antithesis of America’s violent subversions, and that is unbearable. Like the Chinese, they have forged peaceful and fruitful alliances with people all over the world, and that is unacceptable to the US Godfather. The constant defamation of all things Russian is a symptom of decline and panic, as if the United States has departed the 21st century for the 19th century, obsessed with a proprietorial view of the world.”… 


Comment: A strong Russia is the the world's only hope against a genocidal US and its Islamic terrorist partners.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Weapons to kill Russians are being illegally trafficked to Ukraine by Serbia-Armswatch, 11/21/19


"While US President Donald Trump boasts about the defeat of Islamic State in Syria, US government-purchased weapons appear in the hands of Islamic State terrorists in Yemen."...US Central Command gave special award to companies who helped US ship weapons to Islamic terrorists in Syria....

11/21/19, Serbian arms trafficked to Ukraine: evidence of contraband mortars used against Donbass,”, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva

“New evidence has emerged of Ukraine’s Army using contraband Serbian weapons in the war in Donbass. Serbia officially has not exported weapons to Ukraine since the beginning of the armed conflict between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). However, Serbian weapons manufactured in 2016 appear to be used by Ukraine’s Army in the war in Donbass.

This 60 mm Serbian mortar shell M73 HE KV lot 02/16 was found by DNR [Donetsk People’s Republic] soldiers in Donbass, according to photos published by the DNR Ministry of Defense on 9 November 2019. The mortar shell was fired by the Ukrainian Army but did not explode.

This is not the first documented case of alleged Serbian mortar shells being fired by the Ukrainian Army.

In his first comment Serbian president Alexander Vucic denied that Serbia knew about Serbian weapons being exported to Ukraine. According to Vucic, this particular lot of weapons (15,000 pcs.) was sold by Krusik to the private Serbian company Tehnoremont which exported the weapons to the Polish company Natan via Cyprus. However, Ukraine was not indicated as the end user of these Serbian weapons.

Leaked documents from Krusik though, prove that Vucic lies and Serbia knew that the Krusik weapons were destined for Ukraine.

The company involved which purchased the Serbian weapons, Petralink, with a registration in Cyprus, is owned by the son of the former director of the Ukrainian intelligence gen. Vladimir Petenko, who was convicted of arms trafficking, according to documents published by Marinka Tepic, member of the Serbian Parliament. On papers, Petralink exported the weapons to the Polish company Natan (30,000 pcs. of 60 mm mortar shells) in 2016 and according to the end user certificate it would not re-export the weapons to a third party without the written consent of the Serbian government. However, the weapons were re-diverted to Ukraine, not to Poland.

In his second comment after got caught lying, Serbian president confirmed the presence of Ukrainians in the deal but in his words “Serbia warned them not to re-export to Ukraine”. Furthermore, [Serbia Pres.] Vucic called Arms Watch “spy sewage system” for exposing the arms trafficking of Serbian weapons to Ukraine. So did the ruling Serbian Party whose president is Alexander Vucic.

The scandal with Serbian arms being trafficked to war zones broke in September [2019] after Arms Watch published an investigation into who arms ISIS terrorists in Yemen. Documents published by Arms Watch reveal that Serbian weapons manufactured by Krusik and sold to Saudi Arabia had ended up with Islamic State terrorists in Yemen. Three days after Arms Watch broke the story, on 18 September, Serbian prosecutors arrested the Krusik whistleblower Alexander Obradovich.

Instead of investigating the arms trafficking to terrorists in Yemen, the Serbian prosecutors launched an investigation into the leak from Krusik and charged the whistleblower with revealing trade secrets. His arrest caused a wave of protests in Serbia and he was released from prison under house arrest. Yet Alexander Obradovich is under arrest while those who traffic arms go free. The full 3-part investigation into who arms terrorists you can read here: 

Islamic State weapons in Yemen traced back to US Government: Serbia files (part 1)

US Task Force Smoking Gun smuggles weapons to Syria: Serbia files (part 2) 

[9/2/19,US Special Operations Command unit code named Task Force Smoking Gun…has been deployed in Croatia since 2017 and tasked with diverting tons of arms and ammunition from Europe to [Islamic terrorists in] Syria.Task Force Smoking Gun has been operating an arms depot in the Croatian city of Podhum near Rijeka Airport from where Pentagon-commissioned American carriers (Atlas Air and Kalitta Air) have transported the military cargo to the US air base Al Udeid in Qatar. The weapons originate from Serbia. The buyers are four American companies which have been contracted by the US Government to supply non US standard weapons (weapons not in use by the US Army) – Sierra Four Industries, Orbital ATK, Global Ordnance, and UDC. Leaked passports reveal which US Government officials and private contractors have ordered, inspected and accepted the weapons. The same names have been listed by the Pentagon as recipients of a US Central Command award in recognition of their support to the Syrian Train and Equip program-the US program for arming [Islamic terrorist] militants in Syria.”]

Leaked arms dealers’ passports reveal who supplies terrorists in Yemen: Serbia files (Part 3)…[US passport posted below]

[9/15/19, “Leaked documents including scanned passports of US, Saudi and UAE arms dealers and government officials expose for the first time an international weapons shipment network for arming militants in Yemen, including Islamic State terrorists in Yemen.”]




Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Trump has only himself to blame for Ukraine show trial, surrounded himself with Russia-hating activists from Fiona to Volker to Bolton, failed to fire all Obama ambassadors on day one, and left Deep State intact-Martin Sieff, Strategic Culture

Trump in a very basic way has no one to blame but himself for this horrendous state of affairs [such as Ukrainegate] in Wonderland. He surrounded himself with Russia-hating Armchair Warriors from Fiona Hill to John Bolton and Kurt Volker. So he should not be surprised that to a man-and woman-they have betrayed him. Trump did not try to roll back the dark influence of the Deep State."

 11/25/19, “Trump in Wonderland: Off With His Head?” Martin Sieff, Strategic Culture
Far from endangering the security of Ukraine and withholding US aid, Trump has unwisely approved a flood of lethal US weapons, most especially Javelin missiles for Kiev. 

This massive arms transfer gravely increases the potential threat to the breakaway provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. It therefore also automatically ratchets up the threat of direct war between the United States and Russiaa danger of inconceivable horror that the “Hate Trump!” and “Hate Russia!” fanatics in Washington are insanely blind to....The Hate Trump fanatics in the US Congress and in the US Media are stampeding the human race towards an annihilating nuclear war that nobody else remotely wants. [Unlike Trump, JFK stood against the Deep State in 1960s which tried to push him into nuclear war with Soviet Union. It enraged them that JFK and Khrushchev both wanted peace]. 

Trump in a very basic way has no one to blame but himself for this horrendous state of affairs in Wonderland. He surrounded himself with Russia-hating Armchair Warriors from Fiona Hill to John Bolton and Kurt Volker. So he should not be surprised that to a man-and woman-they have betrayed him. 

Trump did not try to roll back the dark influence of the Deep State, the Jabberwock monster of his Wonderland. So he should not be surprised that now the Deep State Jabberwock is once again trying to eat him. 

Former US Ambassador to Kiev Marie Jovanovich and former National Security Council official Alexander Vindman both consistently and relentlessly supported the illegal gangster regime in Kiev which only took power by a violent coup in 2014 by toppling the democratically elected president of the nation.”… 

[Ed. note: Trump voters were alerted that Obama's third term was underway when Trump failed to fire every Obama-appointed ambassador on his first day. The Obama-holdover Ambassador to Ukraine whom Trump allowed to stay on the job for two and a half years, Marie Yovanovich, has certain basics in common with another viscerally prejudiced against Russia Ukraine activist at the top of the US bureaucrat heap. Both Yovanovich and Alexander Vindman are children of parents who were born in the Soviet Union and eventually emigrated to the US. In Vindman’s case, he was born in the former Soviet Union in Ukraine and moved to the US with his parents at a very young age. Yovanovich’s parents moved from USSR to Canada and then to US. Marie was born in Canada in 1958. Both speak Russian because they learned it as children. Vindman also speaks Ukrainian. They have in common that they can never be US president because they weren’t born here, but no matter. These activist parasites were allowed to believe that their views were more important than the president's. Certainly, no one in the political class was going to object. Anything that circumvents voters and taxpayers is fine with them. The "interagency" had every reason to believe it was royalty and still does].

(continuing):Yet Jovanovich and Vindman have never been held to account for their double standards and betrayal of their primary loyalty to the government of the United States. They know they are safe: They live in Wonderland, where treason is patriotism and loyalty to the law and Constitution of the Nation is the most unforgivable of crimes. 

For it is the Elected President of the United States who sets all foreign policy: Or at least is supposed to. And it is the diplomatic and security apparatus of the United States that is presumed to implement that policy loyally and without questioning it. 

Also, all ambassadors explicitly serve at the pleasure of the president and Trump should have fired Jovanovich as soon as he took office. She had been appointed by his predecessor Barack Obama, with the blessing of his own foreign policy guru, Polish-American and Russia-hating former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to implement a policy that Trump was explicitly elected to abandonreckless, potentially highly dangerous unconditional US support for the unstable coup government in Kiev. 

But none of this matters: We are Inside the Beltway and Down the Rabbit Hole. We are in Washington. And Washington is Wonderland. Lewis Carroll and his Alice would have understood immediately.”

Added: Jan. 1, 2017, in eastern Ukraine: US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich with US Senators Amy Klobuchar and John McCain, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Ukraine military urging the Ukrainians to commit violence against Russian speaking population in eastern Ukraine, preferably with weapons the US would provide them:

1/1/2017, Above: Near the front lines in eastern Ukraine."US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, US Senators Amy Klobuchar and John McCain, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, and US Senator Lindsey Graham (left to right at center) pose for a photograph with Ukrainian servicemen. Photograph: Mikhail Palinchak/TassUS,via UK Guardian, Speaking during tour of Baltic states, Ukraine, and Georgia, McCain and fellow senators say US will support the countries despite Trump’s comments”

Fueling More Bloodshed in Ukraine:” In January 2017 Marie Yovanovitch, US Ambassador to Ukraine, was near the front lines in eastern Ukraine with a contingent of Ukraine troops and billionaire Ukraine President Poroshenko. Also present were Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Amy Klobuchar. “In the presence of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Graham told the soldiers: “Your fight is our fight2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia.” McCain promised the assembled troops, “we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.