Anyone getting too close to Ukraine usually gets burned

Does anyone but me conflate “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani with rock-and-roll legend “The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis? Probably not.

In 1994, the Clinton administration closed the most significant American diplomatic achievement since World War II. In exchange for some chump change, we got Ukraine to give up its formidable (i.e. third largest in the world) nuclear arsenal. Given the stupendous level of corruption and incompetence of Ukrainian governance, had we not done this, many of their 5,000 nuclear weapons would no doubt today be in the hands of “bad actors” out there in terrorist land. Or already have been detonated somewhere unpleasant.

So good on Bill Clinton for pulling that deal off. I know many incurable Clinton haters say” baloney;” but I say, “give that man a cigar.”

That 1994 deal implicitly pledged that we’d protect Ukrainian territorial integrity. In 2014, when Vladimir Putin stole the Crimea from Ukraine, then President Barack Obama chose, wisely, to believe our pledge to the Ukraine involved nothing more than a few more bucks and some anti-aircraft missiles. Obama knew Americans were not inclined to risk major war with Russia in defense of the corrupt, clownfish government of Ukraine.

Which brings me back to The Killer. Jerry Lee Lewis has been married seven times, generally to stupendously age-inappropriate ladies, and often without the necessary paperwork being tidy. His third wife, who he married before his divorce from the second was completed, was to his 13-year-old first cousin who still believed in Santa Claus on her wedding day. The resultant scandal ruined his career. But Jerry Lee never learned to keep away from the wedding chapel. He just can’t help himself.

Similarly, there are elements of the American political class that just can’t keep their mitts off the jailbait that is the Ukraine. Obama got scorched there, as did Joe Biden and his son Hunter and President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort and Rick Perry and so on and so forth.

President Trump was impeached over Ukrainian-related kerfuffle. And now Rudy Giuliani is apparently in trouble up to his shoe-polished temples because of his dealings there. These guys just can’t help themselves.

My advice to American politicos regarding Ukraine is don’t touch it. It’s nothing but great balls of fire.

Jon Ketzner


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