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Op-Ed: Risch Says Don’t Bail on Ukraine

By • March 30, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t win many friends in Congress when he dismissed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “territorial conflict,” but may well be the toast of the Kremlin and Russian strongman Vladmir Putin.

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has not commented about DeSantis specifically. But the politicians who are speaking out against Ukraine are getting plenty of attention … in the wrong direction.

“If somebody says ‘I’m against that,’ it not only makes news here, but the statement will go across Putin’s desk,” Risch told me.

Overall, Risch says, support for Ukraine is strong.

“Those who had doubts are the same ones who had doubts from the beginning and that is not increasing from what I’ve seen. What has happened is that those who have doubts are speaking up, and they are getting lots of media attention.”

So, don’t look for Risch to be making headlines in Moscow – unless it’s in Idaho. The U.S. commitments to Ukraine have been in place for almost 30 years. The pact was put together a few years after the fall of the Soviet empire.

“An offer was made – you (Ukraine) get rid of your nuclear weapons and we will defend you. Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons, so we assured them of border security,” Risch said. “So, we have a choice to make. We can keep the agreement we made, or turn our backs and walk away. If we walk away, our standing as the leader of the free world would be diminished, if not evaporated.”

The U.S. is still reeling over the way troops departed from Afghanistan. “Everybody wanted to get out, but not like that. If you add Ukraine to that, the party’s over,” Risch says. Aid to Ukraine is not a blank check. Risch says he’s had some frank discussions with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, about that country’s reputation for corruption.

“I told him that if you want to see support from the U.S. evaporate, all you have to do is get caught with corruption and it will be the end,” Risch said. “He was not offended, and acknowledged they had a reputation for corruption. He assured me he would take every step to stop that. But to make sure, he’s also aware that we have an army of auditors who track weapons and money, and they are watching everything that is sent to Ukraine. So far, there is no evidence of corruption. Money and weapons are going where they should be going.”

Risch makes no predictions about when the war will end, but he says it’s one that Putin cannot win. Military experts were convinced that the war would last a few weeks, at the most – that is, until they saw how Ukranian troops were willing to fight to the death to keep from being taken over from Russia.

“The performance on the battlefield has been embarrassing for the Russians,” Risch says. “That great and powerful Russian army is not there. They have been beaten by a country that by comparison has sticks and stones.”

Risch gives the Biden administration props for saying and doing the right things,

“although it’s not as fast as I’d like to see. I’d like to see the rhetoric ramped up a bit in regard to escalation. I want Putin to wake up in the morning wondering what he would do if there was an escalation on our part. Of course, that’s not what we need to be talking about. We need to arm the Ukrainians to the point where they can win this war.”

As Risch sees it, losing is not an option.

“Putin will do his best to put the old USSR together again – he’s not living in the 21st century, that’s for sure. Who would start a war in the 21st century, especially in Europe. But that’s what he has done.” One policy is clear, Risch says. “We will not be putting U.S. troops on the ground, and Ukranians are fine with that.”

However, if Putin decides to attack a NATO country, then all bets are off. Risch doesn’t see Putin going that far. If Russian troops can’t whip Ukraine, they won’t fare any better against the collective forces of the NATO countries.

Chuck Malloy is a long-time Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at

This Op-Ed was submitted by Chuck Malloy. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Foreign Relations, Putin, Ron DeSantis, Russia, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jim Risch, Ukriane, War, Zelensky

18 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Risch Says Don’t Bail on Ukraine

  1. This is reminiscant of when the US goaded Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor, by cutting off their energy and rubber imports along with other sanctions. FDR’s handlers wanted to get into the war, because war is good for profits, especially coming out of the depression, but he ran for office in 1940 on not sending our boys to a foreign war(1), so he needed to be attacked so he could renege. The decoding of the “East Winds Rain” message that was intercepted days before 12/7, warned of of the pending attack. The info was withheld, delayed or otherwise from Washington to Adm. Kimmel. (2)

    The US has a history of manipulating information given to the public in order to gain positive public willingness to go to war. For those who say, “no… our benevolent country would never do that”, I say study history more.

    This Ukraine situation is no different. in 2014 the US was at least “involved” in the Ukrainian coup. Soon after the coup of the legitimately elected government occurred with help from the US, the installed government obtained billions of dollars in loans from the IMF and US. Soon after that, Ukraines gold reserves were moved out of country, as collateral, with help from the US, so it wouldn’t fall into Russian hands. Meanwhile, you have to remember, Ukraine was never an independent country, before the fall of the Soviets. In the Donbas region, you have citizens who consider themselves Russian, even though they live within the border of Ukraine. These people held a vote in 2014 and 2022 to remain as a part of Russia. It overwhelmingly passed but these elections fell on deaf ears in KIEV (correct spelling). With that, the west violated the terms on the Minsk agreement. Then, in Feb of ’22, the current occupier of the United States Vice Presidents office, suggested that Ukraine was now part of Nato. Days later Russia advanced.

    This is indeed a proxy war against Russia. Russia has no major IMF debt, which makes it hard for international policy makers to control them. It is fairly autonomous and flush with natural resources. The US has already given Ukraine roughly 75 Billion dollars. At a time when US inflation is persistent and banks are unquestionably propped up. The US is losing its hegemony with the dollar. “When all else fails, they take you to war” This Ukraine conflict is being perpetrated by us. Without our help it would have long been over. Yet, we continue to poke the bear, to try to get him to attempt to fight back, and that is when the US and International Neocons will feel justified in starting a wider conflict, or WW3.

    Now, this brings us to Sen. Risch. He has been in Washington WAAAY too long… He is part of the machine at this point. And, why is it that these politicians, who skated out of military service, are the first ones to project how tough they are in the face of major international conflict, only to send others to fight (and die) in their stead, for the benefit of the banks and all of the reconstruction money and contracts. Read “War is a Racket” Gen. Smedley Butler

    Interesting note…
    WW1–Woodrow Wilson–Democrat–No military service
    WW2–FDR–Democrat–No military service
    And now we have Biden… Democrat–no military service–WW3?

    There is NO talks of Peace…Only pushing the east into war, as we’ve done with other wars.

    Also, When the following groups are for something, one should take a step back to question…

    Rest of Democrats
    Mitch McConnell
    Rest of neocons
    The Mainstream Media
    US Corporations
    World Economic Forum
    The Mainstream Media (yes 2nd time)
    All of the people who have swallowed the Anti-Russo propaganda for years, and who now blindly wear there Ukraine flag tchotchke like good little consumers.

    As an American, a veteran, one who loves his country. This is a setup to rid the last of the countries who oppose unilateral globalism.
    This is the last hurdle.

    (2)”The Story of the Secret War, Pearl Harbor” George Morgenstern 1947 ch.17.

    1. Ha! Even after my long winded note… I forgot to mention the Immense corruption of Ukraine and the Biden’s involvement…Remember Hunter and his International energy expertise that landed him on the board of Burisma where he received massive payoffs, er I mean payments…And then when Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in Ukraine wanted to investigate Hunter… we get this from the current occupant of the Oval Office when at a CFR meeting…loan guarantees for favors.–dj2-CY

      1. Well said! The issue is a lot more complex than, “Russia bad, Ukraine good!” In any case, U.S. involvement has only made things worse.

        1. Thank you for that concise overview. Anytime I hear anyone spouting pre-digested news about this situation, I know they are part of the problem and looking out only for #1 to retain power. Disgusting.

    2. Our politicians have bankrupted this nation, redustributed our wealth to foreign Nations, corrupt corportations and special interests not to mention stolen our freedoms and liberties. . Russia, China, Iran or North Korea didn’t do that to us. Who is the real enemy? Great post by the way.

    3. Well written/said.

      Ukraine IS a territorial conflict, which we are mostly responsible.

      It’s going to cost millions of lives, for the sole sake of profit for a few. We have NO business there.

  2. Perfect synopsis of another failed U.S A. Government policy. It was LBJ who concocted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which escalated the Vietnam War. JFK wanted out of Vietnam. LBJ is responsible for tens of thousands of American deaths in Vietnam, after he lied to get congressional approval. . Also . . . It was Bill Clinton who made the stupid deal with Ukraine to dump the nukes. It was stupid on Ukraine’s part to believe Bill Clinton.

  3. Jim Risch, although a Senator not a Representative, is Idaho’s Own Liz Cheney.

    BTW, besides siding with the One World Order on funding the corrupt Ukraine, Idahoans would like to know what his “Pulled” speech was going to be about at the World Economic Forum? There has been speculation he was going to promote vast immigration into the USA for the benefit of corrupt corporate businesses and industry leading to the continuation of slave labor by immigrants in the United States, is this true?

      1. Just the fact the this joke of a senator gives an dementia ridden politician props shows what side he has chosen, aka- not the people. Anyone who would send money to a p*nis piano playing cross dresser in a country that is the main money laundering Capitol for traffiking, gun running, and the drug trade is someone not to be trusted. Past time to remove from office.

    1. Jim Risch CLEARLY does not represent the interests of Idahoans! Cheering for and funding the corrupt government of Ukraine is just the icing on the cake. We MUST do better selecting our candidates in the primary. We need to push out all the career politicians and especially the rinos. They have bankrupted and destroyed our once great nation will their non stop funding and push for war. No more globalists!

      1. I agree completely! We have to be diligent to prepare for the primaries….well in advance! We are not being represented at the federal level. We are being sold down the river.

  4. Risch – follow the money, if you can ……
    Who owns him ?
    – corrupt ?
    – compromised ?
    – blackmailed ?
    – highly mislead ?

  5. What many people do not know:

    1. Ukraine was rated by the FBI as the **most** corrupt nation on the planet since the late 1980’s when it separated from the USSR.
    2. Zelensky was a porn star. How he rose to power is a shocking story of corruption and external influence.
    3. The United States has been conducting bioweapons research in Ukraine for decades – right on the southern border of Russia. That’s like Cuba having nuclear weapons given to them by the Soviets. Wait a minute…
    4. Russia warned the United Statest NOT to attempt to induct Ukraine into NATO and that doing so would violate treaties and be considered an act of war. The US did so anyway under Democrat leadership.
    5. The US persuaded Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons deterrent long before offering NATO partnership and claimed they would protect Ukraine from Russian aggression.
    6. Ask yourself why Putin hasn’t destroyed key infrastructure such as Ukraine’s major power plants and airports…
    7. It has been Zelensky – not Putin – who has thrown his political adversaries in jail and squashed free speech in Ukraine.
    8. The vast majority of citizens in Ukraine are ethnic Russians. While this isn’t a tacit approval for Russia’s invasion, it should give one pause.
    9. Russia has only moved on Ukraine while Democrats have controlled the White House.
    10. The Democrats have long maintained lucrative ties to Ukraine – even long before Hunter Biden. The former DNC chair was discovered attempting to cover this fact up prior to the 2016 election and the media covered up the story.

    Takeaway: There is a lot more going on here and the more one digs, the less it shows Putin as the only monster here…

  6. Why is anyone surprised at Sen. Risch being OK with giving over 100 million to the Ukraine. He and Crapo both voted for the 1 trillion plus infrastructure bill that was so full of pork one would think they had a pig farm in Iowa. Both these guys are Rino’s who never saw a pork laden bill they didn’t like.

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