A remarkably non-propagandistic news-report, in the New York Times, by Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman and Mark Mazzetti, included powerful evidence that the impeachment-effort against U.S.President Donald Trump is motivated, in part if not totally, by a desire by U.S. Senators and Representatives — as well as by career employees of the U.S. Departments of Defense, State Department, and other agencies regarding national defense — to increase the sales-volumes of U.S.-made weapons to foreign countries. Whereas almost all of the contents of that article merely repeat what has already been reported, this article in the Times states repeatedly that boosting corporations such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Northrop-Grumman, has been a major — if not the very top — motivation driving U.S. international relations, and that at least regarding Ukraine, Trump has not been supporting, but has instead been trying to block, those weapons-sales — and creating massive enemies in the U.S. Government as a direct consequence.
The article, issued online on Sunday, December 29th, is titled “Behind the Ukraine Aid Freeze: 84 Days of Conflict and Confusion”, and it quotes many such individuals as saying that President Trump strongly opposed the sale of U.S. weapons to Ukraine, and that,
In an Oval Office meeting on May 23, with Mr. Sondland, Mr. Mulvaney and Mr. Blair in attendance, Mr. Trump batted away assurances that [Ukraine’s current President] Mr. Zelensky was committed to confronting corruption. “They are all corrupt, they are all terrible people,” Mr. Trump said, according to testimony in the impeachment inquiry.
In other words, Trump, allegedly, said that he didn’t want “terrible people” to be buying, and to receive, U.S.-made weapons (especially not as U.S. aid — free of charge, a gift from America’s taxpayers).
The article simply assumes that Trump was wrong that “they are all terrible people.”
Indeed, Trump himself has sold hundreds of billions of dollars worth of U.S.-made weapons to the Royal Saud family who own Saudi Arabia, and he refuses to back down about those sales on account of that family’s having been behind the widely-reported torture-murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and on account of their effort since 2015 to starve into submission — by bombing the food-supplies to — the Houthis in adjoining Yemen, and on account of their using U.S. weapons in order to achieve that mass-murdering goal. Consequently, even if Trump is correct about Ukraine’s Government, he would still have a lot of explaining to do, in order to cancel congressionally authorized U.S. weapons-sales to Ukraine but not to Saudi Arabia.
However, a very strong case can be made that he is correct about Ukraine — even if he is wrong about the Sauds. Clearly, the standard line in the U.S.-and-allied media, that the February 2014 overthrow and replacement of Ukraine’s democratically elected Government was a ‘democratic revolution’, instead of a U.S. coup, is based on blatant lies, and the U.S.-imposed coup-regime there is still in force, and has been perpetrating an ethnic cleansing in order to be able to remain in power. In fact, the current Ukrainian President, Volodmyr Zelenskiy, is the self-described “business partner” of, and was brought to power by, the brutal Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who helped the ‘former’ “Social Nationalist’ (National Socialist or Nazi) Arsen Avakov, plan and execute on 2 May 2014 the burning-alive inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building, of dozens or perhaps over a hundred people who had been printing and distributing leaflets against the coup.
For the New York Times, in its ’news’-report — even this article that’s less prejudiced than most of mainstream U.S. ’news’-reporting is — to simply presume that Trump had no valid reason for asserting what he did against Ukraine’s present (the Obama-installed) Government of Ukraine, constitutes merely anti-Trump (and pro-Obama) propaganda, on their part, and it would be more appropriate in an editorial or op-ed from them than in an alleged news-article, such as here. However, the actual news-value in that article is real. They quoted from “a piece in the conservative Washington Examiner saying that the Pentagon would pay for weapons and other military equipment for Ukraine, bringing American security aid to the country to $1.5 billion since 2014.” This was an anti-Democrat, pro-Republican, newspaper and article, saying:
Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for Ukraine, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a Tuesday hearing. “I think it’s also important that Ukraine reciprocate with foreign military purchases from us as well, and I know that they intend to do so.” The assistance comes at a pivotal moment for Ukraine’s newly minted president, Volodymyr Zelensky, a popular comedian who won a landslide victory in April. Zelensky has made ending the Russian-backed insurrection in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region his top political priority.
The Times, in order to appear nonpartisan, was there citing, as authority, the anti-Trump appointee by Trump, Kurt Volker, who said “it’s also important that Ukraine reciprocate with foreign military purchases from us as well, and I know that they intend to do so.” In other words: Volker was saying that Ukraine’s Government would follow through with America’s war against Russia, next door to Ukraine, and that therefore, U.S. taxpayers should pay for Ukraine’s purchases of U.S.-made weapons, such as from Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. He was saying that milking U.S. taxpayers to boost those U.S. corporations’ profits is good, not bad. He was saying that Ukraine is on U.S. taxpayers’ dole, as if the Obama-installed, rabidly anti-Russian, Ukrainian Government is a charity-case which is the U.S. Government’s business (and not merely those private stockholders’ business), and that therefore, Trump should continue Obama’s policy toward Ukraine, of using Ukraine in order ultimately to place on Ukraine’s border with Russia, missiles against Moscow, right across that border. This is what the New York Times is presenting in a favorable light.
Then, the New York Times ‘news’-report said:
For a full month, the fact that Mr. Trump wanted to halt the aid remained confined primarily to a small group of officials.
That ended on July 18, when a group of top administration officials meeting on Ukraine policy — including some calling in from Kyiv — learned from a midlevel budget office official that the president had ordered the aid frozen.
“I and the others on the call sat in astonishment,” William B. Taylor Jr., the top United States diplomat in Ukraine, testified to House investigators. “In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukraine was threatened.”
In other words: the Times’s further attack against Trump’s intention not to provide this U.S. taxpayer boondoggle to Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Technologies, and other U.S. weapons-making corporations — a boondoggle so as to continue free supply to the Obama-installed Ukrainian regime of U.S.-made weapons against Russia — is that career U.S. national-security personnel support and want to continue Obama’s war against Russia.
Then, the Times reported further:
“This is in America’s interest,” Mr. Bolton argued, according to one official briefed on the gathering.
“This defense relationship, we have gotten some really good benefits from it,” Mr. Esper added, noting that most of the money was being spent on military equipment made in the United States.
America’s war against Russia is designed to enrich investors in U.S. ‘Defense’-contractors.
Isn’t it clear, then, what was actually behind 9/11, and behind America’s invasion of (instead of merely Special-Forces operation regarding) Afghanistan in 2001, and invasions of Iraq in 2003, and of Libya in 2011, and of Syria in 2012-now, etc., and coup against Ukraine in 2014?
The Times article closes with this impeach-Trump line:
But then, just as suddenly as the hold was imposed, it was lifted. Mr. Trump, apparently unwilling to wage a public battle, told Mr. Portman he would let the money go.
White House aides rushed to notify their counterparts at the Pentagon and elsewhere. The freeze had been lifted. The money could be spent. Get it out the door, they were told.
The debate would now begin as to why the hold was lifted, with Democrats confident they knew the answer.
“I have no doubt about why the president allowed the assistance to go forward,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “He got caught.”
In other words: Trump yielded to the threat of being impeached. Trump, the sales-person who had sold the Saud family hundreds of billions of dollars worth of U.S. weaponry, recognized that unless Russia is going to be the main target of U.S. weaponry, Trump’s own Presidency will be in jeopardy.
U.S. foreign policies are a vast sales-promotion scheme, for America’s billionaires, who crave to control Russia, above all. Trump won’t buck them. Instead, he’s continuing Obama’s policy on Ukraine.
U.S. Elections: Trump’s Strategy of “Peace” might help
Presidential elections in the United States are around the corner and campaigns by the presidential candidates are in full swing in whole of the United States. The Republicans have nominated Donald Trump as their presidential candidate whereas the Democrats have chosen the seasoned politician Joe Biden who has also served as the vice president under the Obama administrations. Over here, a fact shouldn’t be forgotten that the so-called Democrats have also imposed an unnecessary war and burden of foreign intervention on the people of America. Let it US intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria this has imposed huge financial burden on the American people that is being pay by their taxes. United States has around 200,000 troops scattered in the world. There are around 38,000 in Japan, 34,000 in Germany, 24,000 in Korea, 5,000 Bahrain, 5,000 in Iraq, 3,000 in Spain and 12,000 in Afghanistan. Under the Trump administration, much needed decision was taken by the administration for pulling out of troops from all the unwanted and unwelcomed foreign interventions. This has cost huge monetary burden and heavy taxes on the people of US. These interventions were a gift by Democrats to its people that led American to nothing.
Under Trump administration, US decided to withdrawal its troops from Northern Syria. US have around 1,000 troops positioned in the Northern Syria for deterring Iranian influence and countering ISIS expansion in the country. They have decided only to leave special operations force in Syria and will pull out the rest from the conflict zone. It is not the task that will come to an end in days it will take years and huge budget to relocate the troops. This decision might be a breath of fresh air for the Americans but it might weaken the US military positions in front of the Russian military on the globe. United States also has American military troop’s presence in Germany as well. Trump administration is willing to reduce the troops in Germany by around 25%. There is around 11,900 troop’s present in Germany for securing Europe’s security. The Trump administration is focused on relocation and strategic repositioning of the US troops in the world. For this, the Trump administration has decided to pull out its 6,400 troops from Germany as they whole burden is on the US shoulders for costs maintaining alliance and Germany is not paying its share in the defense budget of NATO putting all the burden on the US citizens. Trump administration also slammed the European countries of not paying their due share in NATO defense budget. Italy spends about 1.22% from its budget and Belgium spends around 0.93% from its GDP on the NATO defense budget.
In addition, the Trump administration has shown that they do not want war and conflict. They have also retreated themselves from the foreign intervention drama that has led to damage to the peace of the world. Trump has given an impression that he aims to bring peace in the world not by arms but through negotiations with the conflict actors. Its example is US negotiations with Taliban’s for ending the endless war fruitless war that brought destruction for Afghanistan and brutally damaged the standing of US in the world.
There are around 12,000 American troops in Afghanistan that are now reduced to 8,600 troops. The rest are sent home and some are being settled in Italy and Belgium. The Trump administration has declared to reduce the number of troop in Afghanistan by 5,000 by November and will reach 4,000 by June 2021. They are aiming to completely withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months if a concrete peace deal is signed between Taliban’s and United States.
There were more than 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan that went there to fight war on terror but are coming back empty handed. But still in even in these circumstances it will benefit the American people and their issues will be addressed in a better way. Not just this, Trump administration has also decided to withdraw its troops from Iraq that has been there for more than 19 years now putting a burden on American shoulders.
All of this decision by the Trump administration shows that under Trump USA will go for the isolationist impulses that will help them to rebuild domestically and resolve the problem of its people who are indulged in unemployment, poverty, crumbling health system particularly after the outbreak of COVID-19. The health system of United States has proven to be fragile. Despite of being the wealthiest country, its health system crumbled within days leaving thousands of people to die in waiting for their appointment. Many of the people had severe financial crisis that refrained them to go to the hospital and get them treated.
According to some sources many hospitals in New York were running out of financial and had to send people on leave because they were unable to pay them. This led to massive unemployment during such desperate times of the year. Developing countries like Pakistan coped with the virus in a better way despite of having poor health facilities.
Under Trump, USA is moving towards “American First” strategy that will lead towards massive shrinkage in the defense budget of US military. The strategy of retrenchment and aversion of foreign intervention might help Trump in winning the next elections because right now United States has more domestic issues than international problems. The flag of truce in the hand of Trump and aim of brining peace in the world might bring him back in the oval office. It seems like Trump will make USA resign from its self-proclaimed post of “world policemen” that will benefit the world and the people of USA.
Mistrust between Russia and the United States Has Reached an All-Time High
In August 2020, Politico magazine published three letters outlining their authors’ views of the ways the United States, and the West in general, should build relations with Russia. The first, published on August 5 and signed by over 100 prominent American politicians, diplomats and military leaders, states that Washington’s present policy towards Moscow “isn’t working” and that it is time that the United States “rethink” it. The gist of the proposals is that the United States “must deal with Russia as it is, not as we wish it to be, fully utilizing our strengths but open to diplomacy.”
This letter prompted a response, first from another group of former American ambassadors and political scientists (Politico, August 11) and then from several eminent politicians from Poland, the Baltic states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (August 13). Both groups agree that now is not the time to reconsider policies toward Russia.
I am well acquainted with many of the signatories to these three statements. I worked closely with some of them during my tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and met some of them during negotiations. I still keep in touch with several of them, as we participate in various informal international projects. Since most parties to the emerging discussion are both highly experienced professionals and public figures, their stances on Russia are well known. The list of signatories under each statement hardly came as a surprise to anyone.
I do not think it makes sense to dwell in too much detail on the arguments presented by the parties. At the same time, proceeding from my own experience of U.S.–Russia relations, I would think that I have the right to put forward some considerations of my own.
First of all, on whether a “new reset” in relations between Washington and Moscow is either possible or desirable. One gets the impression that the authors of the letters see the “old reset” spearheaded by the Obama administration as a kind of bonus or advance offered by the United States to Russia in the hope that the latter would “behave” properly. The debate focuses on whether or not Russia has justified this “advance,” and whether or not it deserves a new bonus. Personally, I cannot recall a single instance where the United States (during Barack Obama’s presidency or under any other administration) gave Russia a “bonus” or “advance” of any kind, made a unilateral concession or indeed did anything that was not in the interests of the United States.
As I see it, the “reset” fully met the long-term interests of both states, particularly in security. Only a very biased observer would claim that the New START Treaty constituted a unilateral concession to Moscow on the part of Washington. Similarly, NATO’s call at the 2010 Lisbon Summit for a true strategic partnership with Russia can hardly be viewed as a unilateral concession. In both instances, the interests of both parties were taken into account, as were the interests of international security in general.
Russia and the United States remain the world’s leading nuclear powers, boasting the largest strategic weapons capabilities. Moscow and Washington have been engaged in mutual deterrence for decades now. However, an objective analysis of the challenges and threats to Russian and U.S. security shows that the very real dangers that do exist emanate not from the two countries themselves, but rather from processes and trends that lie outside the bilateral relations. Accordingly, any predictions about the possible and desirable prospects for interaction between the two states will be incomplete at the very least if they are taken out of the overall context of the development of the international system.
We have to admit that mistrust between Russia and the United States has reached an all-time high. It will take years, maybe even decades, to rectify this situation. However, I am confident that, sooner or later, we will have to start moving in that direction, not because one party will “wear” the other down, forcing it to make unilateral concessions or even throw itself at the mercy of the winner. First, each side has a large safety margin and is willing to continue the confrontation for many years to come. Second, history shows us that peace achieved through unilateral concession rarely lasts.
Life itself, by which I mean each side understanding the long-term need of its own security, will force the United States and Russia to resume progress towards cooperation. Such an understanding, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the elections in the two countries, or with the opportunistic calculations of individual political forces. Regardless of these calculations, the world is rapidly moving towards the line beyond which a global disaster looms with increasing clarity. Once we take a peek beyond this line, the entire world, primarily its leading states, which bear special responsibility for the fate of the world, will have to make decisions that go beyond their own immediate interests.
As for the debates on when and with whom the United States should enter into a dialogue with Russia, I believe such discussions have zero practical value. It would be extremely unreasonable and even irresponsible to defer talks in the hope that more convenient or more accommodating interlocutors will appear in the partner country or, alternatively, that a more favourable general political situation for negotiations will appear.
I would like to refer to my own experience. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I constantly kept in touch with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and then with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. That was in the late 1990s–early 2000s. The bombings of Yugoslavia, the war in Iraq, the Middle Eastern crisis, the expansion of NATO and many, many other events objectively made the U.S.–Russia dialogue more difficult. Obviously, our views on many issues differed greatly. But we never broke off our dialogue, not for a day, no matter how difficult it was. Strictly speaking, this is the art of diplomacy: conducting a dialogue with a difficult partner, achieving agreements where the stances of the parties veer widely and the chances of reaching a comprise appear minimal.
Critics will hasten to say that the U.S.–Russia dialogue in the early 21st century failed to prevent many conflicts and wars, and that is true. But it also helped prevent far graver consequences and, where possible, even led to the signing of important mutually acceptable agreements (New START, etc.). The experience of global diplomacy tells us that the only way to find solutions is through dialogue. The sooner our leading politicians realize it, the faster we will step away from mutual public accusations and destructive information wars waged with cutting-edge technologies and move towards earnest talks on the crucial issues of the 21st-century agenda.
Giving general advice is easy. It is even easier to take the high horse, insisting on staying faithful to one’s values and principles. It is much more difficult for those who have been accorded the requisite powers to make specific decisions. As the great American economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” All we can do is hope that politicians in Russia and the United States will prefer the unpalatable to the disastrous.
From our partner RIAC
The Farce of Post 9/11 U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East
This week refugee camps in Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos were set ablaze rendering over 20,000 refugees homeless. Apparently the fires were started by the refugees themselves who are sick of lives in limbo on the EU periphery. They want to reach the heartland, get jobs, build lives for themselves.
An inevitable consequence of our modern wars, refugees have become an emblem. Old newsreels show us their lined, worried faces in the Second World War and TV has them live from Yugosloavia, a country disappeared and reemerged as several ethnic parts, while numerous principal actors of the time faced judges in the international courts.
Then there is 9/11 in the US — a term meaning September 11 as in the US, unlike Europe and many parts of the world, the month is written first followed by the day and year. Patriot Day, as it has been labeled, September 11 marks the day when commercial airliners were used as weapons to destroy the World Trade Center, a skyscraper in New York City, and attack the Pentagon, the military’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
If the mastermind of the attack was a turned, non-Afghan, Mujahedin commander camped out in Afghanistan, who following Soviet withdrawal turned his attention to the other major power … committing, in his mind, the unpardonable sin of parking troops on his native soil of Saudi Arabia — no matter, they were there for protective purposes from an increasingly belligerent Saddam Hussein.
The results we know. A naive George Bush and a populace thirsting for revenge attacked Afghanistan leading to the longest war in American history. Many presidents later, Donald Trump too is trying to negotiate a pull-out of US troops with the Taliban. Yes, Afghanistan holds elections and has a president, even a military, but guess what will happen if US troops leave without any resolution with the Taliban.
George Bush’s rival for governor in Texas had a great line. ‘Poor George,’ she would say, ‘he can’t help it, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.’ So George went after Iraq and lacking his father’s good sense (who after liberating Kuwait withdrew) he stayed to democratize Iraq without examining the country’s demographics. Majority Shia, it has a democratic leadership now that is Shia and closely allied with Shia Iran. Fast forward to the present and the current president, Donald Trump, is withdrawing troops from Iraq and is in a stand-off with Iran.
Anyone would be forgiven for thinking American foreign policy in the Middle East is a plot from a Gilbert and Sullivan farce. Except for a sad and sobering fact. More than a million lives lost, refugees still streaming out and many, many millions of lives displaced … including a Christian Iraqi from Baghdad who runs a 24-hour convenience store a couple of miles from my house.
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