September 28, 2019

A crime worthy of impeachment? Not really, just another unethical, improper, crass act by President Donald Trump.

Many Democrats are cock-a-hoop over the idea of impeaching Trump. They would bed down with the Devil just to get rid of the boor in the White House. But unless really damning information emerges regarding Trump’s efforts to dig up dirt on his presumptive presidential rival, Joe Biden, it looks so far as if Trump may survive this latest scandal. Unless, of course, the mounting pressure on him seriously affects his health. He is showing clear signs of stress.

In a recorded 25 July phone call, Trump, a former reality TV star, asked Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, a former TV comedy star, to dig up dirt on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Trump’s request came after a fawning Zelensky, who called Trump ‘teacher’, asked for more US anti-tank missiles.

Trump and Zelensky deny there is any quid pro quo. But of course, there was. It just went unstated. This is how statecraft is exercised. Washington rules its empire – that I call the ‘American Raj’ (title of my second book) – using a well-tested combination of trade concessions, velvet gloved threats, special favors, military pressure and good old quid pro quos.

When word of this sleazy business got out, thanks to a CIA whistleblower, Trump claimed he ordered his minions to suspend almost US $400 million in aid from Washington to Ukraine because of that nation’s ‘corruption.’

What a joke. The Trump administration has provided billions of military loans or grants to utterly corrupt Nigeria, Mexico, Kenya, India and Iraq, to name some of the most unethical recipients. Arms are lavished on Trump’s head-chopping Saudi pals. Israel gets carte blanche, no matter what it does.

Ukraine is a frontrunner in the world’s most corrupt marathon. I recall Soviet officials tearing their hair out at the stunning chicanery, malfeasance and gangsterism going on in Ukraine. One called it ‘the Soviet Sicily.’

I’m a long-time admirer and friend of Ukraine and its colorful, zesty people. But how dismaying it is to witness Ukraine’s political mud fight, its ubiquitous corruption, rampant oligarchs, neo-Nazi gangs and bitter squabbles with its Russian-speaking minority. Ukrainians deserve much better.

Ukraine is a tar baby of corruption. So what was Joe Biden’s son Hunter doing there on the board of an oil and gas business? Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was thrown into jail because of her dealings in this murky, crime-fraught business. The son of a vice president of the US had no business mixed up in this energy snake pit. Papa Joe should have ordered him home.

Detaching Ukraine from Russia has been a key US strategic goal since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Ukraine was a key component of the Soviet industrial and commercial system, not to mention Moscow’s geopolitical Achilles Heel. Detaching Ukraine would be like removing Texas and California from the United States.

Many Ukrainians were happy to be out of Moscow’s control and, hopefully, headed for union with Europe. The US and EU have funded Ukraine with $16 billion in aid that will never be repaid. Much of the money has vanished into Swiss banks.

But Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine’s industrial heartland in the east were violently opposed to rule by Kiev. So a low-grade war simmers between the two in which the US and Canada (with its large ethnic Ukrainian population) have gotten involved raising risks of an accidental war between NATO and Russia.

Trump, the master ethnic politician, was trying to capture the ethnic Ukrainian vote in the Midwest as he has successfully done with voters of Polish and Jewish origins. He has done the same with Evangelical voters by backing a Greater Israel and portraying himself as a later-day Biblical prophet.

It’s hard to believe the Democratic Party leadership – the people who rigged the last primary against the popular Bernie Sanders – believe they can unseat Trump. The math is totally against them. One supposes their hope is to whip up political chaos against Trump right up to next year’s election. That’s a feeble strategy and may help rather than hurt him.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2019

This post is in: Ukraine, USA

5 Responses to “TAR BABY UKRAINE”

  1. Impeachment of Trump is a really bad idea, not that he doesn’t deserve it. An entire thesis could be devoted to outlining the reasons for this. You have to realise that Donald isn’t the cause, but is a symptom of a much greater problem.
    It’s a premise put forth by the ‘old white guys’ (and that includes gals) of the Democratic Party. They can focus their energies on this, rather than deal with ‘real’ major issues.
    The United States government system is ‘broken’ for lack of a better word. It no longer functions as a democratic government working for the best interests of the people that elected it. It desperately needs fixing, and the likely plausible venue is the Democratic Party. They don’t want to disturb the status quo and are content to do nothing. They need to elect new progressive members to displace the old white guys.
    There are so many issues. Health care for all; those that benefit most are the ‘Billy Jim Bobs’ that have been brainwashed to think that it’s creeping socialism. Even many of those of the Democratic Party are against it; to make matters worse, they vilify those members that endorse it. They would rather have the ‘old’ system and make the excuse that those, already with health schemes will suffer. Existing health insurance schemes can be improved. The Americans laissez faire medicine is the reason the Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than does the US and that Americans are travelling to Canada in droves to obtain less costly prescription drugs.
    There are serious issues with making voter registration and voting easier. It is not in the governments best interests to have the poor and disabled vote. The government makes travel and voting difficult. Once you finally arrive at the poll, the government makes proof of identification difficult, just to discourage voters.
    The boundaries of the voting districts are convoluted to encourage election of particular representatives. This gerrymandering has to be corrected. Interesting, there is a TTF for printing where the characters are represented by shapes that are gerrymandered.
    The government, itself, no longer represents the people; they represent the privileged 1%. Some of the new Democrats are trying to change that, but, are thwarted by their own party which is largely financed by the 1%. This needs fixing. All political donations should go into a ‘bin’ and be doled out on the basis of representation. There should be no connection between a donation and an interested party. This will not fly because the old white guys of both parties rely on this funding. Personal donations less than a certain value can be identified.

    Congress is ‘wrecking’ the Constitution. They and their control over the house are preventing proper government oversight. The US is having serious problems with civillian ‘massacres’ due to open firearms ownership. The Second Amendment was put in place to prevent despotic governments from taking over. This has failed and the RTKBA is out of place and it should be discarded. This is caused by the American people maintaining their status quo.
    Policing in the US is badly tilted against the poor and destitute; this includes Blacks. It is common for police officers to ‘murder’ unarmed Black guys with impunity. This should change; these professionals are intentionally armed and trained. Everytime an unarmed person is murdered, the police officer should automatically be charged with First Degree Murder and a top quality criminal lawyer should be charged with the prosecution. It should be taken out of the hands of the Courts. They are not doing their job.
    As a kid, we used to play the game called ‘Gestapo’… where you were confronted, and hit for not answering ‘what your name was’ and if you stated it you were then hit and called a liar. This is pretty much what the ‘stop and frisk’ laws provide. The Courts, again, do nothing to prevent unwarranted or unreasonable stop and search. The old gag about the Gestapo or the Russians demanding that citizens ‘provide their papers on demand’ has come home to roost.
    Lastly, and there are likely other problems, is that the actions of the Senate and House are not functioning properly. They are driven by their political party and not the interests of the country. If they were doing their job right, none of the above would be present. The people are powerless in this issue; government is being run at the behest of a select few. It is unlikely to change.

  2. At last someone I can take seriously on this! Thanks yet again.

  3. Joe from Canada says:

    Joe Biden will win the nomination for many of the same reasons that Clinton won. (He will gain a big sympathy vote from this, en route.)

    He will then lose the election to Trump for many of the same reasons that Clinton lost.

    • I hope you’re wrong, but I suspect you may be correct… unless something terrible happens between now and the election. Time for a ‘good war’ to cement the vote.
      Biden is one of the ‘old white guys’ that have to be replaced. The Democrats are ‘afraid’ of putting forth a serious new platform. They have difficulty with universal health care.

    • I don’t believe that Biden or Sanders will win the Democratic nomination. They are both too old and Sanders’ health is failing. As for Trump, I still have a feeling that he won’t complete his term in office. Indeed, he might be forced to resign for health reasons, as Eric has suggested.

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