Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday that Ukraine faces "continued chaos and unrest" with violence flaring and Russian President Vladimir Putin still manipulating events on the ground ahead of national elections this weekend.
Hoekstra said on Newsmax TV that Ukrainians themselves will have to fight off Russia's hostile push into their fracturing country. Determined local opposition "may be the most effective — and the only — tactic that much of Ukraine has left as the West sits on the sideline," Hoekstra told "America's Forum" hosts J.D. Hayworth and Morgan Thompson.
Meanwhile, he said, "Putin really has been playing the West perfectly," citing the brazen annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and Russia's lucrative, long-term contract to sell natural gas to China.
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Russia's new ties with old antagonist China are another instance of Putin "demonstrating to the West his flexibility and his capability to maneuver" around flat-footed U.S. and European political leaders.
Hoekstra said Ukraine voters face a climate of uncertainty heightened by armed violence. Among and behind pro-Russian partisans waging bloody separatist campaigns in Ukraine, he said, it's likely there are actual Russian troops.
"I would wager that most of what you're seeing in the Ukraine right now are ethnic Russians with some assistance, guidance, counsel, and training from Russian Special Operation Forces," he said.
Hoekstra, a counter-terror expert and writer, also defended a provocative full-page advertisement in The New York Times placed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, as Breitbart reports, and timed to this week's opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York.
The ad warns of a renewed threat from "radical Islamist terrorists" and says, "Islamist groups, masquerading as 'civil rights' groups, have embarked on a bullying campaign to censor the word 'Islam' when discussing Islamic terrorism."
Hoekstra, a fellow at the project, said policymakers and the media are playing along with this deception out of fear of offending Muslims.
"What they are also doing is they are making America less able to defend itself," he said, "Because if you cannot define and identify the problem, what does that mean?"
He cited the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, by an Army major, Nidal Malik Hasan, who fatally shot 13 people on base. Investigators learned Hasan had been emailing a radical imam in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, before the attack.
Hoekstra said what was clearly terrorism on Hasan's part was instead classified as "workplace violence."
"And when you describe that as workplace violence, you will get a whole different set of policy initiatives to deal with workplace violence than you would if you accurately identified what happened at Fort Hood as radical jihadism, a terrorist attack on our soil."
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