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Ukraine, Trump, Biden: The Real Story Behind “Ukrainegate” -Part 1

Eric Zuesse

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TRUMP’S 25 JULY 2019 PHONE-CALL TO ZELENSKY

Since this news-report is going to be especially harsh regarding today’s Democratic Party in the United States, readers should be aware that until that Party nominated Hillary Clinton in 2016, this writer was, and consistently voted as, a Democrat, and that I have never been, and never could be, a Republican. In no way does this article reflect a Republican viewpoint. It is not partisan — not favoring one person’s viewpoint over any other’s. (Though it does favor trustworthy evidence over untrustworthy hearsay and witnesses, etc.) This article is written by a consistent progressive, which means a person whose top value is truth, nothing else than 100% honesty and reflecting only personally verified sources, real facts. Intense care has therefore been taken in checking and cross-checking and validating information before accepting here anything as constituting information instead of as being disinformation (which is sadly rampant). The following article is written only because it reports what my own independent researches have found to be the actual case regarding what is now commonly called “Ukrainegate” (the focus of the impeachment-proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump).

The ‘news’-media and the Democrats have been grossly misrepresenting what the “Ukrainegate” narrative and the impeachment proceedings against the current U.S. President are all about; and, as a result of this widespread misinformation, ABC News headlined on November 18th, “70% of Americans say Trump’s actions tied to Ukraine were wrong: POLL”, and reported that “32%, say they made up their minds about impeaching the president before the news broke about Trump’s July phone-call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump urged his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.” This poll found that 100% of the 506 scientifically sampled respondents had heard at least some of the impeachment hearings, and that 51% of them agreed with the statement, “President Trump’s actions were wrong and he should be impeached by the House and removed from office by the Senate,” while 6% agreed instead with “President Trump’s actions were wrong and he should be impeached by the House but NOT removed from office by the Senate.” 25% agreed instead with “President Trump’s actions were NOT wrong.”

However, far more was actually involved in this phone-call than allegations against the Bidens; and those allegations regarding the Bidens have themselves been grossly misrepresented in the press, as this article will show, and will document in its links to the actual and most trustworthy evidence in the case. (Of course, the very best evidence is the call itself, and that will therefore be the first thing linked to and discussed here.)

Furthermore, the American public should have been far more skeptical about the Ukrainegate narrative than they were, because, at first, Democrats were trying to use, as their ground on which to impeach Trump — and thereby to install the current Vice President Mike Pence as being America’s President — Trump’s having colluded with Russia in order to win the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton, but that effort failed because it was false and was based on highly questionable evidence, supplied largely through a firm, Crowdstrike, that the Democratic National Committee had hired in order to find dirt against then-candidate and now-President Trump. Now the Democrats’ ground, for replacing President Donald Trump by his Vice President Mike Pence, is that in Trump’s 25 July 2019 phone-call to Ukraine’s new President Volodmyr Zelensky, Trump supposedly pressured Zelensky to have Joe Biden investigated. 

One of the first signs of a liar is that the person switches his story — changes to a new and different reason for ‘justifying’ his actions (in this case, impeachment) — and this clearly is being done now by the Democrats and the ‘news’-media, in order to replace President Donald Trump by his Vice President Mike Pence. Consequently: Americans are insufficiently suspicious against the present impeachment hearings. Americans need to examine carefully beyond the mere surface — much deeper. The links here are provided in order to facilitate the reader’s direct access to the highest quality (i.e., most trustworthy) evidence in the case, so that the reader may see, on one’s own, what the ‘news’-media do not report.

25 September 2019 was when a clear and copyable version of the transcript of that complete July 25th phone conversation finally became published, online, by Rhode Island’s Providence Journal; and here is the only passage in the complete transcript where Trump mentioned Biden (three times, in fact — the only three times that the word “Biden” appears in the entire transcript):

Rudy [Giuliani] very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him, that would be great. The former ambassador

[to Ukraine]

from the United States, the woman [Marie Yovanovitch], was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the [U.S.] Attorney General [William Barr] would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.

What “prosecution,” of whom, for what, and why? The media ignore those questions. when they aren’t simply assuming an answer to them. But no such answer ought to be assumed. Nor should these important questions be ignored. Here, the answers to those questions will be documented.

Furthermore, elsewhere in that conversation, Trump said:

I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people. The server, they say Ukraine has it.

Zelensky responded by asserting that “the next prosecutor general [in Ukraine] will be 100% my person” and that “he or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company [Crowdstrike] that you mentioned in this issue.” Nothing at all was said by Zelensky about any Biden, at any point in the entire phone-call. It wasn’t mainly about the Bidens such as the press alleges to be the case.

In fact: the “favor” that Trump was asking about wasn’t concerning the Bidens, but it instead concerned the investigation that Trump’s Attorney General (referenced here when Trump said “whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great”) is now heading, into the question of why Obama’s FBI and entire intelligence community had proceeded with the highly suspect Christopher Steele and Crowdstrike report that the Democratic National Committee had hired under Obama in order to come up with allegations to use against Trump, and why the Obama Administration never demanded to inspect the DNC’s own server in order to examine the key physical evidence in the alleged Russiagate case against Trump — much less, what testimony and evidence Julian Assange might have in the alleged Russiagate case. What did Trump mean when he said “The server, they say Ukraine has it”? Did Trump actually think that Zelensky could supply that physical evidence? What did he mean? What was he asking of Zelensky when Trump said, “The server, they say Ukraine has it”?

One can’t understand the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump unless one understands accurately what was happening in Ukraine and what the motivations were of the persons who were involved in U.S.-Ukraine policy, first under U.S. President Barack Obama, and then under his successor Donald Trump. Information will be presented here, about those matters, which probably won’t come up in the House impeachment hearings. These matters are likelier to be publicly discussed afterward, when the case goes to the Senate, but might be too ‘sensitive’ to be brought up even there — especially if they make both Democratic and Republican officials look bad, such as, for example, if both Democrats and Republicans had participated in a February 2014 coup against, and overthrowing, Ukraine’s democratically elected Government, and — if that happened, as we will show it did — how this fact might affect Trump’s relationship with Zelensky. So: a lot is to be shown here, and this will be information that the ‘news’-media have been hiding from the public, not reporting to the public. 

There are many instances of U.S. coups that the Government lied about and that afterward had negative blowback. The 1953 U.S. coup against Iran’s democratically elected Government wasn’t revealed to the American public until decades after it had happened. It had long been alleged to have been a ‘democratic revolution’ in Iran. Our Government and media have been lying to us for a long time, and not only about ‘WMD in Iraq’. We shall be documenting here that that 1953 coup in Iran (and other similar instances by the U.S. Government) is being repeated (yet again) in the case of the February 2014 U.S. coup that occurred in Ukraine. The regime is very effective at lying, at deceiving, at manipulating, its public, no less now than it was then. Without understanding the reality of Obama’s coup in Ukraine, there is no way of honestly explaining Ukrainegate. The 1953 Iran coup produced, as blowback, the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. Obama’s 2014 coup in Ukraine likewise is having its blowbacks, but of different types.

TRUMP’S PURPOSE IN THE 25 JULY 2019 CALL TO ZELENSKY

The argument to be presented here is that Trump, in this phone-call, and generally, was trying not only to obtain help with evidence-gathering in the “Crowdstrike” matter (which A.G. Barr is now investigating, and which also is the reason why Trump specifically mentioned “Crowdstrike” at the only instance in the phone-call where he was requesting a “favor” from Zelensky), but to change the policy toward Ukraine that had been established by Obama (via Obama’s coup and its aftermath). This is a fact, which will be documented here. Far more than politics was involved here; ideology was actually very much involved. Trump was considering a basic change in U.S. foreign policies. He was considering to replace policies that had been established under, and personnel who had been appointed by, his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama. Democrats are extremely opposed to any such changes. This is one of the reasons for the renewed impeachment-effort by Democrats. They don’t want to let go of Obama’s worst policies. But changing U.S. foreign policy is within a President’s Constitutional authority to do.

Trump fired the flaming neoconservative John Bolton on 10 September 2019. This culminated a growing rejection by Trump of neoconservatism — something that he had never thought much about but had largely continued from the Obama Administration, which invaded and destroyed Libya in 2011, Syria in 2012-, Yemen in 2015-, and more — possibly out-doing even George W. Bush, who likewise was a flaming neocon. Trump’s gradual turn away from neoconservatism wasn’t just political; it was instead a reflection, on his part, that maybe, just maybe, he had actually been wrong and needed to change his foreign policies, in some important ways. (He evidently still hasn’t yet figured out precisely what those changes should be.)

For example, on 15 November 2019, the impeachment focus was on the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump had recently (in May 2019) fired as the Ambassador to Ukraine. Democrats presented her as having been the paradigm of professionalism and nonpartisanship in America’s foreign service. She was actually a neoconservative who had been appointed as an Ambassador first by President George W. Bush on 20 November 2004, after her having received an M.S. from the National War College in 2001. Obama appointed her, on 18 May 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt (shown and heard in this video confidentially receiving instructions from Obama’s agent controlling Ukraine-policy, Victoria Nuland) as the Ambassador to Ukraine. Obama had selected Yovanovitch because he knew that (just like Pyatt) she supported his polices regarding Ukraine and would adhere to his instructions. Yovanovitch was part of Obama’s team, just as she had previously been part of George W. Bush’s team. All three of them were staunch neoconservatives, just as Ambassador Pyatt had been, and just as Victoria Nuland had been, and just as Joe Biden had been. 

A neoconservative believes in the rightfulness of American empire over this entire planet, even over the borders of the other nuclear superpower, Russia. Obama’s standard phrase arguing for it was “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”, meaning that all other nations are “dispensable.” This imperialistic belief was an extension of Yale’s ‘pacifist’ pro-Nazi America First movement, which was supported by Wall Street’s Dulles brothers in the early 1940s, and which pro-Nazi movement Trump himself has prominently praised. Unlike the progressive U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had planned the U.N. in order to be the anti-imperialist emerging first-ever global world government of nations, which would democratically set and ultimately enforce international laws of a new global federation of nations — a global democratic federation of sovereign republics — neoconservatives are U.S. imperialists, who want instead to destroy the U.N., and to extend American power over the entire world, make America not only the policeman to the world but the lawmaker for the world, and the judge jury and executioner of the world, the global dictator. The U.N. would be weakened to insignificance. This has gradually been occurring. It continued even after what had been thought to have been the 1991 end of the Cold War, and after Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his deceptive rhetoric. Yale’s John Bolton was the leading current proponent of the America First viewpoint, much more straightforward in his advocacy of it than the far wilier Obama was; and, until recently, Trump supported that unhedged advocacy for the neoconservative viewpoint: U.S. imperialism. Regarding the campaign to take over Russia, however, he no longer does — he has broken with Bolton on that central neoconservative goal, and he is trying to reverse that policy, which had been even more extreme than Obama’s policy towards Russia was (which policy had, in fact, produced the coup in Ukraine).

When the Cold War had supposedly ended in 1991, it ended actually only on the Russian side, but secretly it continued and continues on as policy on the American imperialists’ side. The neoconservative side, which controlled the U.S. Government by that time (FDR’s vision having been destroyed when Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1981), has no respect whatsoever for Russia’s sovereignty over its own land, and certainly not over the land of Russia’s neighbors, such as Ukraine, which has a 1,625-mile border with Russia. Neoconservatives want U.S. missiles to be pointed at Moscow all along Russia’s border. That would be as if Russia had wanted to position Russian missiles all along Canada’s and Mexico’s borders with the U.S.; it would disgust any decent person, anywhere, but neoconservatives aren’t decent people. Neoconservatives (U.S. imperialists) seek for all of Russia’s neighbors to become part of the U.S. empire, so as to isolate Russia and then become able to gobble it up. All neoconservatives want this ultimately to happen. Their grasp for power is truly limitless. Only in the tactical issues do they differ from one-another.

In her testimony behind closed doors to Senators, on 11 October 2019, Yovanovich stated her views regarding what America’s policies toward Ukraine should be, and these were Obama’s policies, too; these views are the neoconservative outlook [and my own comments in brackets here will indicate her most egregious distortions and lies in this key passage from her]:

Because of Ukraine’s geostrategic position bordering Russia on its east, the warm waters of the oil-rich Black Sea to its south, and four NATO allies to its west, it is critical to the security of the United States [this is like saying that Mexico and Canada are crucial to the security of Russia — it’s a lie] that Ukraine remain free and democratic [meaning, to neoconservatives, under U.S. control], and that it continue to resist Russian expansionism [like Russia cares about U.S. expansionism over all of the Western Hemisphere? Really? Is that actually what this is about? It’s about extending U.S. imperialism on and across Russia’s border into Russia itself] Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea [but, actually, “Clear and convincing evidence will be presented here that, under U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Government had a detailed plan, which was already active in June 2013, to take over Russia’s main naval base, which is in Sevastopol in Crimea, and to turn it into a U.S. naval base.”], its invasion of Eastern Ukraine, and its defacto control over the Sea of Azov, make clear Russia’s malign intentions towards Ukraine [not make clear Russia’s determination not to be surrounded by enemies — by U.S.-stooge regimes. For Russia to avoid that is ‘malign’, she says]. If we allow Russia’s actions to stand, we will set a precedent that the United States will regret for decades to come. So, supporting Ukraine’s integration into Europe and combating Russia’ s efforts to destabilize Ukraine [Oh, America didn’t do that destabilization?] have anchored our policy since the Ukrainian people protested on the Maidan in 2014 and demanded to be a part of Europe and live according to the rule of law [But Ukrainians before Obama’s takeover of Ukraine in February 2014 didn’t actually want to be part of the EU nor of NATO, and they considered NATO to be a threat to Ukraine. “In 2010, Gallup found that whereas 17% of Ukrainians considered NATO to mean ‘protection of your country,’ 40% said it’s ‘a threat to your country’.”] That was U.S. policy when I became ambassador in August 2016 [after Obama’s successful coup there took over its media and turned Ukrainian opinion strongly against Russia], and it was reaffirmed as that policy as the policy of the current administration in early 2017. [Yes, that’s correct, finally a truthful assertion from her. When Trump first came into office, he was a neoconservative, too.] The Revolution of Dignity [you’ll see here the ‘dignity’ of it] and the Ukrainian people’s demand to end corruption forced the new Ukrainian Government to take measures to fight the rampant corruption that long permeated that country’s political and economic systems [and that still do, and perhaps more now than even before]

That’s just one example —  it’s about the role of Ambassador Yovanovitch. But the focus of Ukrainegate isn’t really that. It’s not Yovanovitch. It is what Trump was trying to do, and what Joe Biden was trying to do, and what Obama had actually done. It is also about Joe Biden’s son Hunter, because this is also about contending dynasties, and not only about contending individuals. Trump isn’t certain, now, that he wants to continue being a full-fledged neoconservative, and to continue extending Obama’s neoconservative policies regarding Ukraine. So: this is largely about what those policies actually were. And here is how Joe Biden comes into the picture, because Democrats, in trying to replace President Donald Trump by a President Mike Pence, are trying to restore, actually, Barack Obama’s policy in Ukraine, a policy of which the Bidens themselves were very much Obama’s agents, and Mike Pence would be expected to continue and extend those policies. Here will be necessary to document some personal and business relationships that the U.S. news-media have consistently been hiding and even lying about, and which might not come up even in the expected subsequent Senate hearings about whether to replace Trump by Pence:

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

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In Praise of the Lioness of Law: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her Jurisprudence

Punsara Amarasinghe

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image credit: Wikipedia

The death of the US Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg has created an abyss in the court for the liberal voice where justice Ginsburg was seen as the linchpin of the liberal block of the Supreme Court at a time when that block was shrinking. Especially late judge had vociferously advocated for women ‘rights, environmental issues and often came up with unique dissents in delivering her judgements which were propelled by her jurisprudence which embodied the solemn ideal in American legal system “Equal Protection under the Law “. She was on a quest to defend the delicate balance between honoring the timelessness of American Constitution and recognizing the depth of its enduring principles in new centuries and under new circumstances.

She grew up in an era where men held the helm in every aspect of social life and especially the legal profession was utterly dominated by men. Recalling her legal studies at Harvard law school in the 50’s judge Ginsburg had stated later how she was once asked by the Dean of Harvard law school to justify her position as a law student that otherwise would have gone to a man. Yet she had the spunk to overcome all the obstacles stood on her way and excelled as a scholar becoming the first female member of the Harvard Law Review.

In tracing her legal career that it becomes a salient fact, Judge Ginsburg marked her name in American legal history even decades before she joined the bench. While at the American Civil Liberties Union in the early seventies she made an upheaval in American in legal system in famous Supreme Court Case Reed Vs Reed. In Reed Vs Reed the brief drafted by Ginsburg provided an astute analysis on the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause. Ginsburg’s brief changed the aged long practice existed in the State of Idaho on favoring men over women in estate battles by paving the path for a discourse on gender equality rights in the USA.

Judge Ginsburg’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 1994 during Clinton administration marked the dawn of new jurisprudential chapter in the US Supreme Court. Two terms later, in the United States v. Virginia (VMI), Justice Ginsburg applied her lucid perspective to a sharply disputed constitutional claim. The United States challenged Virginia’s practice of admitting only men to its prestigious military college, the Virginia Military Institute. Writing for six Justices, Ginsburg held this policy unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. In reaching this result, Ginsburg adroitly cut away potentially confounding issues about women’s participation in the military or the advantages of single-sex education.

Her robust activism in securing gender equality often attracted the admirations of the feminist scholars and activists, but it should be noted that her contribution was not only confined to the protection of gender equality. She was a robust critique of racial dissemination which still pervades in American society and she frequently pointed out how racial discrimination has marred the constitutional protections guaranteed to every citizen. Especially in the case of Gratz Vs Bollitnger, she stressed on the commitment that the state ought to fulfil by eliminating the racial biases existing employment and education. Moreover, disabled citizens. In Olmstead v. Zimring, she held that “unjustified institutional isolation of persons with disabilities is a form of discrimination” violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.45 She elaborated a two-fold concept of discrimination, noting that unneeded institutionalization both “perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life”.

In remembering the mortal departure of this prudent judge that one cannot forget her keenness in incorporating international law into her judgements regardless of the disinclination shown by conservative judges like Antony Scalia. Going beyond the mere textualism approach to the law, Ginsburg’s jurisprudence was much more akin to using international law to make substantive decisions. For instance, in her concurring verdict in Grutter Vs Bollinger, Justice Ginsburg relied upon international human rights law, and in particular upon two United Nations conventions, to support her conclusions.

Indeed, the demise of Ruth Ginsburg is a major blow for the liberalists in the USA, especially in an era where liberalist values are at stake under the fervent rise of populist waves propounded by Donald Trump. Especially late judge had been one of the harsh critics of Trump even before ascendency to the Oval office. The void created by the demise of judge Ginsburg might change the role the US Supreme Court if the successor to her position would take a more conservative approach and it will fortify the conservative bloc in the US Supreme Court. Trump has already placed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and the third pick would more deeply entrench the conservative views in the US Supreme Court, which would inevitably undermine the progressive policies taken during Obama’s administration towards issues such as the environment. The political storm appeared after the death of the late judge has already created a tense situation in US politics as president Trump is determined to appoint a judge to fill before the presidential election in November.

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The Politics of (In)security in Mexico: Between Narcissism and Political Failure

Lisdey Espinoza Pedraza

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Image credit: Wikimedia

Security cannot be that easily separated from the political realm. The need for security is the prime reason why people come together to collectively form a state. Providing security is, therefore, one of the most basic functions of the state as a political and collective entity.

Last Friday, the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) laughed during his daily morning press briefings over a national newspaper headline about 45 massacres during his presidency. This attitude summarises in a macabre way his approach to insecurity: it is not his top priority. This is not the first time that AMLO has showed some serious and deeply disturbing lack of empathy for victims of crimes. Before taking office, he knew that insecurity was one of Mexico’s biggest challenges, and he has come to realise that curbing it down will not be as simple as he predicted during his presidential campaign.

Since the start of the War on Drugs in 2006, Mexico has sunk into a deep and ever-growing spiral of violence and vigilantism as a result of the erosion of the capacity of the state to provide safety to citizens. Vigilantism is when citizens decide to take the law into their own hands in order to fill the vacuum left by the state, or to pursue their own very particular interests. Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Tabasco, Tamaulipas and Veracruz have over 50 vigilante organisations that pose substantial danger to the power of the state.

Vigilantism is not the only factor exacerbating the security crisis in Mexico: since 2006, young people have also started to join drug cartels and other criminal organisations. There are important sectors of the population who feel that the state has failed to represent them. They also feel betrayed because the state has not been able to provide them with the necessary means to better themselves. These frustrations make them vulnerable to the indoctrination of organised crime gangs who promise to give them some sort of ideological direction and solution to their problems.

As a result, it is not enough to carry out a kingpin arrest strategy and to preach on the moral duties we have as citizens as well as on human dignity. People need to be given enough means to find alternative livelihoods that are attractive enough to take them out of organised crime, Mexico can draw some important lessons from Sierra Leone who successfully demobilised and resettled ex-combatants after the armed conflict. Vigilantism, recruitment by organised crime, and insecurity have also flourished because of a lack of deterrence. The judicial system is weak and highly ineffective. A large proportion of the population does not trust the police, or the institutions in charge of the rule of law.

A long-term strategy requires linking security with politics. It needs to address not only the consequences but also the roots of unemployment and deep inequality. However, doing so requires decisive actions to root out widespread and vicious corruption. Corruption allows concentration of wealth and also prevents people from being held accountable. This perpetuates the circle of insecurity. Mexico has been slowly moving towards a borderline failed state. The current government is starting to lose legitimacy and the fragility of the state is further perpetuated by the undemocratic, and predatory governance of the current administration.

Creating a safer Mexico requires a strong, coherent, and stable leadership, AMLO’s administration is far from it. His popularity has consistently fallen as a result of his ineffective policies to tackle the pandemic, worsening insecurity, and the economic crisis. Mexico has reached over 72,000 Covid-19 deaths; during his initial 20 months as incumbent president, there has been 53,628 murders, among them 1800 children or teenagers, and 5888 women (11 women killed per day) This criminality rate is double than what it was during the same period in the presidency of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012); and 55% higher than with the last president, Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018). Mexico is also experiencing its worst economic recession in 90 years.

Insecurity remains as the issue of most concern among Mexicans, seeing the president laughing about it, can only fill citizens with yet more despair and lack of trusts in the government and its institutions. AMLO’s catastrophic performance is not surprising, though. Much of his failures and shortcomings can be explained by both ideology and a narcissistic personality. Having someone with both of those traits ruling a country under normal, peaceful times is already dangerous enough, add an economic crisis and a pandemic to the mix and the result is utter chaos.

AMLO embodies the prototypical narcissist: he has a grandiose self-image; an inflated ego; a constant need for admiration; and intolerance to criticism. He, like many other narcissists, thinks about himself too much and too often, making him incapable of considering the wellbeing of other and unable to pursue the public interest. He has a scapegoat ready to blame for his failures and mistakes: previous administrations, conservatives, neoliberalism, academics, writers, intellectuals, reporters, scientists, you name it, the list is long and keeps getting longer.

AMLO keeps contradicting himself and he does not realise it. He has been claiming for months that the pandemic is under control: it is not. He declares Mexico is ready to face the pandemic and we have enough tests and medical equipment: we do not. He says Mexico is on its way to economic recovery: it is not. He states corruption is a thing of the past: it is not. He says Mexico is now safer than ever before: it is not. When told the opposite he shrugs criticism off and laughs, the behaviour of a typical narcissist.

AMLO, alike narcissists, due to his inability to face criticism, has never cared about surrounding himself by the best and brightest. He chose a bunch of flunkies as members of his cabinet who try to please and not humiliate their leader. A further trait of narcissistic personalities is that they love conflict and division as this keeps them under control. The more destabilisation and antagonism, the better. AMLO since the start of his presidency has been setting states against states for resources and for pandemic responses, instead of coordinating a national response. He is also vindictive: playing favourites with those governors who follow him and punishing those that oppose him.

Deep down, narcissistic leaders are weak. AMLO is genuinely afraid to lead. He simply cannot bring himself to make decisions that are solely his. This is why he has relied on public referendums and consultations to cancel projects or advance legislation. He will not take any responsibility if something goes wrong: It was not him who decided, it was the people, blame them. He inherited a broken system that cannot be fixed during his term, blame the previous administrations, not him.

AMLO is a prime example of a textbook narcissist, unfortunately he is not the only one: Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Recep Erdogan, Rodrigo Duterte are only a few more examples of what seems to be a normalised behaviour in contemporary politics. Every aspect of AMLO’s and other leaders presidencies have been heavily marked by their psychopathology. Narcissism, however, does not allow proper and realistic self-assessment, self-criticism, and self-appreciation therefore such leaders will simply ignore the red flags in their administration and have no clue how despicably and disgracefully they will be remembered.

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Minor Successes And The Coronavirus Disaster: Is Trump A Dead Duck?

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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That reminder from the Bible, ‘He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone’ may give us pause — but not journalists who by all appearances assume exemption.  And the stones certainly bruise.

Evidence for the bruises lies in the latest poll numbers.  Overall, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump 50 to 43 percent, a margin that has continued to increase since January.  It is also considerably wider than the few points lead Hillary Clinton had over Trump four years ago.  It gets worse for Trump. 

In the industrial states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, which Trump in 2016 won by razor thin margins, he is losing by over 4 percent.  Also key to his victory was Wisconsin where, despite his success in getting dairy products into Canada, he is behind by a substantial 7 percent.  Key states Ohio and Florida are also going for the Democrats.

Trump was not doing so badly until the coronavirus struck and during the course of his news conferences he displayed an uncaring persona larded with incompetence.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, the man he fired for correcting Trumpian exaggerations became a hero and Trump the bully.

If that bullying nature won him small rewards with allies, he hit an impasse with China and Iran … while bringing the two closer to each other.  Then there is the border wall, a sore point for our southern neighbor Mexico.  President Lopez Obrador made sure the subject never came up at the July meeting with Trump,   Thus Mexico is not paying for it so far and will not be in the foreseeable future.

The United Arab Emirates, a conglomeration of what used to be the Trucial States under British hegemony. have agreed to formalize its already fairly close relations with Israel.  In return, Israel has postponed plans to annex the West Bank.  Whether or not it is in Israel’s long term interest to do so is a debatable question because it provides much more powerful ammunition to its critics who already accuse it of becoming an apartheid regime.  However, it had become Prime Minister Netanyahu’s sop to the right wing who will have to wait.  Of course, the reality is that Israel is already the de facto ruler.

If Mr. Trump was crowing about the agreement signed on September 15, although it is akin to someone signing an agreement with Puerto Rico while the United States remains aloof.  As a postscript, the little island of Bahrain also signed a peace deal with Israel.  Bahrain has had its own problems in that a Sunni sheikh rules a Shia populace.  When the Shia had had enough, Saudi and UAE troops were used to end the rebellion.  Bahrain is thus indebted to the UAE.

How many among voters will know the real value of these historic (according to Trump) deals particularly when he starts twittering his accomplishments as the election nears?

There things stand.  As they say, there is nothing worse than peaking too early.  Bettors are still favoring Trump with their money.  The longer anyone has been in politics the more there is to mine, and for an opponent to use to his/her advantage.  Time it seems is on Trump’s side.  

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