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N.Y. Times Reveals America’s Weapons-Makers Drive Trump-Impeachment

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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.

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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Biden’s Department of Justice: parents as domestic terrorists

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In recent developments in the United States, US Attorney General, Merrick Garland, and the FBI have put under the FBI radar parents as potential domestic terrorists. You heard it right. This is now a new formal legal policy contained in memos of the Department of Justice trying to reign in parents discussions on Biden’s new school curricula. They are not going after potential outbursts but outright terrorism. 

This is an attack on freedom of speech in the sense that parents have the right to discuss and disagree with the new Biden school curricula. This is where the issue originated: parts of Biden’s new school curricula are not accepted by many parents and if they disagree, the FBI treats them now as potential domestic terrorists as a matter of policy. Apart from a First Amendment case, this is also a case for international human rights law and I reported the development to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of speech this week hoping to get a statement.

The Department of Justice is referring to some constitutional provision on “intimidation of views” to override and take down one of the most firmly established rights, the right to freedom of speech, in quite frankly a ridiculous interpretation. Those parents that dare to speak up against controversial parts in the new text books could be investigated for domestic terrorism. This is the most incompetent interpretation on limitations of freedom of speech I have seen in awhile. 

Garland and the FBI have totally lost their marbles. The woke discussion is not funny to me anymore. It increasingly looks like a woke tyranny that has nothing to do with rights and equality anymore but simply serves as a vehicle to empower the FBI to run wild against regular people. This lunacy needs to be stopped.

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Iran poll contains different messages for Biden and Raisi

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“It’s the economy, stupid.” That is the message of a just-published survey of Iranian public opinion.

However, the substance of the message differs for newly elected hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the Biden administration as Mr. Raisi toughens his negotiating position and the United States grapples with alternative ways of curbing the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme should the parties fail to agree on terms for the revival of the 2015 international agreement.

Iranians surveyed last month by Iran Poll and the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies were telling Mr. Raisi that they are looking to him to alleviate Iran’s economic and other problems and have little hope that a revived nuclear agreement will make the difference, given lack of trust in US and European compliance with any agreement reached.

The Iranians polled seemed in majority to endorse some form of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s notion of a “resistance economy” as a way of blunting the impact of the US sanctions imposed by former President Donald J. Trump after he walked away from the nuclear agreement in 2018. Some 65 per cent of the responders said they favoured a self-sufficient economy; 54.2 per cent expected the economy to at least improve somewhat in the next three years.

A large number expressed confidence that Mr. Raisi would significantly lower inflation and unemployment, increase Iran’s trade with other countries, control the pandemic and root out corruption.

Meanwhile, 63 per cent suggested that Iran’s economic situation would be the same, if not better, if there were no return to the agreement and the government continued to pursue a civil nuclear programme. The figure seemed at odds with the 80 per cent who said Iran’s economic situation would improve if Iran and the United States returned to the agreement and both fulfilled their obligations under the deal.

The divergence may be a function of the fact that the poll, unsurprisingly, indicated that Iranians (64.7 per cent) had little trust in the United States living up to its commitments even though they expected the Biden administration to return to the deal (57.9 per cent). As a result, 73.1 per cent of those surveyed said Iran should not make concessions given that world powers would not live up to commitments they make in return.

At the same time, 63 per cent blamed the troubled state of the economy on domestic mismanagement rather than US sanctions. Only 34.4 per cent believed that the sanctions were the main cause of their economic difficulty. Iranians pointing the finger at the government rather than external forces was also reflected in the 60.5 per cent of those polled blaming Iran’s water shortages on mismanagement and bad policies.

The poll suggested that by emphasising domestic mismanagement, Iranians were going to judge Mr. Raisi on his success or failure in countering the debilitating effect of the sanctions even though 77.5 per cent of those surveyed said that the sanctions had a negative or somewhat negative impact on the economy.

Implicitly, Iranians were holding former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responsible for the mismanagement given that Mr. Raisi only took office in August. Rated very favourable by 61.2 per cent of Iranians surveyed in 2015, Mr. Rouhani’s favorability dropped to 4.6 per cent in the most recent poll. By contrast, the favourable views of Mr. Raisi soared from 38.3 per cent in 2014 to 77 per cent last month. IranPoll and the Center have been conducting annual of surveys since 2014.

Mr. Raisi may have taken pleasure from that but more importantly, the poll implicitly suggested that he does not have much time to produce results before his significant public support starts to wane.

Of those polled, 66.7 per cent expected Mr. Raisi to improve Iran’s international standing, 55.7 per cent said he would be in a better position to negotiate with world powers, and 45.2 per cent predicted that he would enhance Iran’s security. Those expectations may have been to some degree validated in the public’s mind by last month’s acceptance of Iran’s application for membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that groups China, Russia, India, Pakistan and several Central Asian states.

The survey results seemed to suggest that ordinary Iranians were framing their message to the United States differently from the assessment of prominent scholars and analysts. The divergence may well be one primarily of timing but nonetheless has implications for policymaking in Washington. The message of the respondents to the poll was one of immediate impact while analysts and scholars appear to be looking at the middle term.

Without referring to the poll, Vienna-based economist and strategic consultant Bijan Khajehpour argued this week, seemingly contrary to the poll, that “mismanagement and the Covid-19 pandemic have both contributed to Iran’s poor economic performance in recent years, but it remains that US sanctions…will be the key factor in determining Iran’s future prospects.”

Mr. Khajehpour went on to say that “high inflation, capital flight and the erosion of household purchasing power alongside mismanagement of resources and the deterioration of the country’s infrastructure have the potential to spark more protests and further undermine the already faltering legitimacy of the Islamic Republic in the eyes of the public.”

No doubt, the jury is out on how Iranians respond if and when Mr. Raisi fails to live up to their expectations. If the past is any indication, Iranians have repeatedly taken to the streets at often substantial risk to liberty and life to make their discontent with government performance evident as they did with the low turnout in this year’s election that brought Mr. Raisi to power.

The risk of renewed protests was reflected in the fact that responses to various questions regarding the electoral system, the limited number of presidential candidates (because many were barred from running), and the public health system showed that it was often a slim majority at best that expressed confidence in the system.

Add to that the fact that 68 per cent of respondents to the poll said that the objectives of past protests had been a demand that officials pay greater attention to people’s problems.

Yet, at the same time, they were telling the United States that its efforts to generate pressure on Iranian leaders to moderate their nuclear and regional policies by imposing harsh sanctions had for now backfired. Iranians were backing a tougher negotiating position by the Raisi government.

Ultimately that could be a double-edged sword for Mr. Raisi. He has to prove that he can be tough on the United States and simultaneously improve the lives of ordinary Iranians. Failure to do so could have in Mr. Khajehpour’s words “unpredictable consequences.”

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Gallup: World’s Approval of U.S. Govt. Restored to Obama’s Record High

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President Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the United States of America addresses the general debate of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

On October 19th, Gallup issued their “2021 Rating World Leaders” report and finds that “Six months into the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency, the image of U.S. leadership is largely restored in the world’s eyes. As of early August 2021, across 46 countries and territories, median approval of US leadership stood at 49%, matching the record high rating when former President Barack Obama first took office in 2009.”

Their year-by-year graph is shown of the global approval-ratings of the Governments of Germany, U.S., China, and Russia, by the populations of 44 countries, and of 2 territories (Hong Kong and Taiwan were included in their surveys because the U.S. Government wants to conquer both of those Chinese provinces, so as to weaken China). That chart clearly displays the following fact: thus far (six months into Biden’s Administration), the world viewed Biden as favorably as Obama, and far more favorably than Trump (even though Biden has been continuing almost all of Trump’s foreign policies). Apparently, the global public views Biden as being like Obama because his Party is the same as Obama’s, and his rhetoric also is similar. Though Trump’s international policies have been continued with little (if any) significant change under Biden, the world still has been viewing Biden as being like Obama (whom the world still views as having been the best world-leader during his Presidency), instead of like Trump (whom the world still views as having been the worst world-leader during his Presidency). Obama is still viewed far better than Trump, though (for example) two U.S-and-allied-banned news-sites had published, two days earlier, on the 17th, with full documentation, the major (but banned) news-report titled “First of over 200 bodies being exhumed from Lugansk mass grave. One of Obama’s atrocities.” It had been submitted to 200 news-media, and only those two published it.

Perhaps the world’s population is more swayed by rhetoric, and by Party-labels, than by a national leader’s actual policies (which, perhaps, they’ve not even known about — after all, how many know about those mass-graves?).

The Gallup surveys were done actually in 106 countries and in those two Chinese provinces that the U.S. Government wants to control, but “U.S. Leadership Approval” has, as-of yet, been calculated by Gallup only in these 46. Of the 108 total lands, 23 were in Africa, 38 in Europe (including Europe’s largest and most populous country, Russia), 30 in Asia, and 17 in “The Americas” (not including U.S., whose Government these surveys by Gallup have actually been designed to serve).

Remarkably, “While Germany and the U.S. had previously been vying for the top spot in the Americas, Germany’s leadership safely led the other countries in 2020, with a median approval rating of 50% in 2020. Russia earned higher approval ratings than China or the U.S., with a median approval rating of 41%. The U.S. and China earned similar, and far lower, approval ratings, of 34% and 32% respectively.”

Also: “Germany’s leadership continued to be the most popular in Europe, with a record-high median approval of 62% in 2020. China, Russia and the U.S. have all lost favor in Europe in recent years, and in 2020 they were all on equal footing, with approval ratings of around 20%.”

Furthermore, in Asia: “U.S. Leadership Image Still Mired at Record Lows” and these are lows that previously had been shown during the G.W. Bush and Trump Administrations; so, the U.S. Government’s rhetoric under Biden does not, at least yet, seem to be persuading Asians as much as was the case under Obama. Perhaps the Biden Administration will need to employ less-blatantly-hostile rhetoric against China than it has been using, in order to be able to get much support from Asians against China.

And, regarding Africa, “Ratings are not yet available” that are sufficient to determine whether or not, as has been shown since 2007, “the U.S. remained strongest worldwide in Africa,”or else changed up or down.

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