Upon learning of Trump’s latest foreign policy change, pulling out of Northern Syria, one couldn’t help but fear that the move represented nothing more than the latest payment made to those dark figures around the globe to whom Trump owes his current position. Cutting and running from our duty to support the Kurds will allow Turkey’s autocratic leader to move quickly-into the gap, open up Russian options in Syria, and further inflame a Middle East already heightened with tension over Iran. The news followed upon a tumultuous two weeks in which we learned that Trump bent Ukraine’s elbow back just as the Ukrainian government transitioned into a clean, anti-Putin administration, already engaged in a warm war with Russia. It was always destined to play out this way. Much as Putin, the Saudis, Israel and others, might have liked to have quickly gotten their “due” for their necessary “help” to install our current despot, they knew that the U.S. required time to adjust to the dictatorial life. One doesn’t over-force dynamic change into a two-hundred and forty year old democratic superpower. It has to evolve properly. But, the international crime syndicate that worked so hard and took so many risks will get their due. They cannot wait any longer. Trump looks “weak.” Trump is polling double digits down to every major Democratic opponent. He is facing an impeachment inquiry which – on any given day – could result in a document springing loose to seal Trump’s fate, at least as president. And even the worst procrastinators won’t have a “to do” list with three to four major things left unresolved in the midst of an election year. No, the summer-fall season of “year three” was always going to be the point in time to watch for major action. Trump finds himself in a delectably awful position. He most needs political capital at home while his biggest international benefactors need the most “anti-American” things done. One can just imagine Putin whispering into Trump’s ear: “Donald, it is time to weaken the Ukraine, and get your troops out of Syria, you had promised …” And Trump whimpering: “But I am fighting this impeachment process, and if I am doing things that upset too many people, I won’t survive to get that done. You have to help me get to the point when I can …” To which Putin might giggle viciously; “Oh, Donald, don’t worry, I will help you with impeachment. I will just continue to hold all our loan agreements here and not put a stamp on this envelope to the New York Times. After all, imagine how badly the impeachment might go if those documents found their way out? I do need my list done, Donald.” Of course, whether such actual conversations exist (though they could) is wholly beside the point. The dynamic near surely does exist. Other explanations exist for Trump’s decisions of late, but Occam sneers at those. The real terrifying aspect of the above summation is that we haven’t seen the worst, yet. If you had near outright ownership of the U.S. president, and you are part of the world’s biggest, most ruthless crime syndicate, one that could ruin Trump, would you be satisfied yet? No. NATO still opposes Russia, Iran still sits in the Middle East, sanctions still cripple Putin’s buddies, […]
It would appear we got through the day. On the day that Nancy Pelosi called for a formal impeachment inquiry into what amounts to a charge of treason, we had Senator Kennedy (R-Louisiana) argue to Chuck Todd that the real story is the [debunked] Biden charge, the one that even Chuck Todd couldn’t stomach, leading Todd to wail to Sen. Kennedy that Biden had been investigated, but Trump has not. Kennedy acknowledged, barely, that Trump needed to be investigated, but Biden committed the real crime here. Trump was just a cop who beat up the criminal on the way to the station. Not good, but hey, that’s what criminals get. That was just today. Something seismic happened, something we thought near impossible. The Democrats showed some spine, while at the same time, Republicans caved. In voting unanimously in the Senate, Republicans joined the call to release the full report. Of course, Republicans did the right thing, but the “right thing” never mattered before. The “right thing” was always what Trump wanted. Until today. I believe it is safe to assume – for now – that the cool kids in Washington have a pretty good idea as to what is in the complaint, and it is far worse than the Democrats initially believed, and much worse than what Republicans had been told. The evidence is all around us. Just today, we had an opportunity to read between the lines, some reporting came forth on Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine, and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see things coming together. From the Washington Post: President Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before a phone call in which Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden, according to three senior administration officials. Officials at the Office of Management and Budget relayed Trump’s order to the State Department and the Pentagon during an interagency meeting in mid-July, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. They explained that the president had “concerns” and wanted to analyze whether the money needed to be spent. Administration officials were instructed to tell lawmakers that the delays were part of an “interagency process” but to give them no additional information — a pattern that continued for nearly two months, until the White House released the funds on the night of Sept. 11. Trump was the first, and only, person responsible for holding up the funds. Trump never actually told anyone the precise reason for holding up the funds. Trump did expressly lie to Congress about why he held up the funds. Trump released the funds only after the complaint had been filed and its existence became known. There are three witnesses in the White House who witnessed this. Trump had no authority, one way or another, to hold up the funds. Congress spends money, not the president. He did it anyway, and lied about it. Besides Bolton, several other administration officials said they did not know why the aid was being canceled or why a meeting was not being scheduled. The decision was communicated to State and Defense officials on July 18, officials familiar with the […]
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