Remember when President George W. Bush took the United States to full-scale aggressive war by lying to the public? American military personnel were killed, maimed, and traumatized in that affair. Thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed, maimed, traumatized. The war left a power vacuum filled by Islamists seeking to restore the Caliphate and impose the horrors of sharia on bewildered populations. Remember? How much money did you spend on that? You’re still paying for it. Iraqis are still paying for it.
In 2008, when it became obvious to nearly everybody that Bush had lied to lead the nation into an illegal war, Donald Trump, then a private citizen, expressed surprise that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “didn’t do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush. It was almost—it just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach Bush and get him out of office, which personally I think would’ve been a wonderful thing.” “Impeaching him?” asked Wolf Blitzer, who was conducting the interview. “Absolutely,” Trump responded. “For the war. For the war. Well, he lied. He got us into the war with lies, and I mean, look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant, and they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. And yet Bush got us into this horrible war with lies. By lying. By saying they had weapons of mass destruction. By saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true.”
But Pelosi couldn’t push to impeach Bush—Democrats green-lighted the war! Besides, aggressive war—and even torture—isn’t really a problem for Democrats. Barack Obama did nothing as president to hold members of the previous administration accountable for lying to the public or for perpetrating war crimes. He was too busy warmongering himself. Bombing Libya into the slave trade. Destabilizing Syria. And so on. For this and other actions, his administration has been declared “scandal-free” by the true believers. Michelle adores George. And Predator drones? Watch out Jonas Brothers. A Clinton presidency? Poor Qaddafi. “We came. We saw. He died.”
Last night, along party lines, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump over a suggestion of a quid pro quo with a Ukrainian official. The charges: “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” I watched the debate. It reminded me of just how mediocre Democrats are. At best. Republicans did better, but they should have hammered home the fact that witnesses called by Democrats could only testify to presuming there was a quid pro quo—an alleged arrangement that never happened, since military aid to Ukraine (half a billion dollars) was delivered before the deadline. And maybe they should have advised a member to not compare Trump to Jesus. Presumably the case now goes to the Senate, where Trump is expected to be acquitted.
On July 25, 2019, President Trump had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukraine was scheduled to receive US money (some $400 billion) earmarked for security spending. Trump was concerned about corruption in Ukraine (an ongoing problem). Among the things they discussed was Trump’s concern that the Ukrainian government possessed information concerning criminal activities by US politicians, seemingly something the executive would be interested in, given that he oversees the Justice Department.
One item that interested Trump in particular was Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Joe could potentially be President of the United States. Hunter had accepted a board seat on Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings, which gave the appearance of a political favor to Joe, who was at the time the Vice-President of the United States. Biden admitted to an audience during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations that he threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless they fired a prosecutor he did not like. He bragged, “I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Democrats charged that Trump’s interest in this matter signaled an attempt to induce the Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 US election by publicly accounting an investigation into the Joe Biden, held by many in the US press to be the frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination for president.
The nation does not need this impeachment. What it needs is a full-blown investigation into the machinations of the US intelligence apparatus in attempting to thwart the will of the people and what Democrats knew about what was going on and when they knew it. It looks all the world as if a rumor was planted among government officials purporting a quid pro quo so that witnesses could be produced who would “confirm” the existence of one. They were suckered. Once the pieces were in place, a “whistleblower” (a CIA operative) pulled the lever by alerting House Democrats, obsessed from the moment Trump assumed office to “impeach the motherfucker,” as Rashidi Tlaib put it.
Democrats either fell for the ruse or were part of the conspiracy (I’m sure most of them were suckered). No witnesses presented to Congress had any such knowledge. They all admitted under cross-examination to presuming there was a quid pro quo. It should have been embarrassing for Democrats, but the corporate media had their backs. For true believers, it really doesn’t matter what the excuse is for removing Trump from office. He was always an illegitimate president.
Before the Ukraine fiasco, the deep state tried to create an illusion that Trump was a Russia agent. As The Intercept and a handful of other sources told us, the story that Trump was a Russian agent was a hoax. The Ukraine Affair certainly looks like one, too. Behind all of it is an attempt to delegitimize if not remove a sitting president.
US intelligence agencies sought to compromise the Trump campaign and undermine his presidency from the very beginning. Glen Greenwald writes in “The Inspector General’s Report on the 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media” that “the FBI’s gross abuse of its power—its serial deceit—is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI—in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election—manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.”
The country should pause and reflect on this. FBI agents lied to a FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign. They manufactured a story that Trump was a Russian agent. When that proved to be a hoax, somebody (at the FBI? CIA?) orchestrated the Ukraine affair. Where are Democrats condemning this? The deep state is surveilling candidates for office—and once they are in office—and it’s Trump rigging the 2020 election. Who’s running this fucking country? Determined to keep up the charade, the Democrats pushed on with impeachment. They got what they wanted.
Why would the establishment and the corporate media go to such great lengths to undermine a democratically-elected president? Because the globalist establishment then and now are terrified by what the Trump presidency represents: the possible curtailment of transnational economic integration, mass immigration, and the project to disorganize the population, and, by doing so, refocusing public consciousness on questions of popular sovereignty, national integrity, and social class. So they conspire to undermine a duly-elected president. The conspiracy includes the corporate media, including social media, the former refusing to report the name of the whistleblower, the latter hunting down and deleting any mention of the whistleblower by name. And in its reporting on the IG report, the establishment media is failing to alert the public to the truth that the nation’s intelligence agencies are working against the public interest.
The situation is so bad that the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, confessed to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that Donald Trump is “really dumb” for picking a fight with intelligence officials. “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community—they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” He said that “even for a practical supposedly hard-nosed businessman, [Trump’s] being really dumb to do this.” Was Schumer recalling what happened to John F. Kennedy in 1963?
But the attempt to gaslight the masses is coming undone. Democrats are besmirching a president’s reputation in order to preserve the status quo, the agenda of the corporate neoliberal order that pays the piper. The globalists are terrified that they are losing sway. They have apparently lost the Republicans (we mustn’t completely rule out the possibility of a more sophisticated game being played). The Bush era is over—and it was Trump who told the truth about that dynasty. Surrounded by Republicans during the primary, Trump shamed them over that legacy. And with the fall of the House of Bush, so falls the House of Clinton. The power elite see their influence slipping away in Europe, as well. The conservatives just won in a landslide. Brexit is coming. The dominoes are lined up to fall. The European Union is fracturing, and with it the project of transnational economic integration. The elite are quaking before the movement to restore national integrity and faith in Western civilization. While the left pathetically hitches its wagon to the neoliberal elite, many driven by paranoia over fascism and racism, the fruit of identitarian framing.
It is crucial to understand that the capitalist class is not monolithic. There are different fractions. Trump hails from the nationalist wing. He always has been an economic nationalist. His politics are admitted and obvious. This is why Democrats are so eager to get him Bush, Clinton, Obama—these figures are functionaries of the global establishment, the transnationalists, the trilateralists. They must get rid of Trump or at the very least delegitimize him because he—like the Tories across the pond—throw a monkey wrench into global economic integration and the project to erase nation-states and diminish Western culture. Whatever you think of patriots, Trump is one—at least he is more patriotic than the globalists, who have other overriding loyalties. And Trump has done something astonishing: he has dragged Republicans out of the globalist circle. And while they are hardly the socialists we need in this moment, the right is the force defending Western civilization at the moment. Without the right, the West would be overrun with migrants and spiral headlong into an authoritarian world order run by technocrats.
Unless I am being bamboozled, this entire episode shows how ordinary in intelligence the power elite truly are. Convinced they’re always the smartest person in the room, the Davos crowd thinks the masses can’t see through the web of deceit they weaved. To be sure, it took time. But the worm is turning. That the progressive left follows the neoliberals in oblivious shows how vacuous the slogan of “democratic socialism” is. These aren’t socialists. They’re the handmaidens of corporate rule.
I did not vote for Trump. I will not vote for Trump. But seeing Democrats using the impeachment process for electoral advantage (a strategy almost certain to backfire) reinforces my decision, now more than a decade old, to withdraw consent from the two-party system by voting for candidates that lie outside of it—or not voting at all (although I have yet to exercise that option). It’s bad enough the Democrats don’t have an agenda I can support. It’s bad enough that that they enable the neoliberal dismantling of the Republic and the progressive deformation of our values, law, and culture. Today, Democrats misuse the Constitution to delegitimize a president they could not defeat at the polls—a president that a major party representing the authentic interests of the working class could have easily defeated.