The prepared statement of the latest UkraineGate whistle-blower is well worth the read. It tells you all you need to know about why the Deep State apparatchiks are coming out of the woodwork in a massive assault on America's duly elected president.
They are deathly afraid Trump will begin to dismantle a far-flung Empire which has
...wreaked havoc around the world,
...bled America's fiscal accounts dry, and
...fostered unspeakable prosperity among the beltway's legions of empire-supporting agencies, contractors, think tanks, foreign lobbies, NGO's and K-street racketeers.
Whether out of common sense, naiveté or just contrariness, the Donald has dared to question and disrupt the Empire's core policy on the Ukraine/Russia file. And that's apparently exactly why the whistleblower de jour, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, wrote his now ballyhooed memos.
He feared that Trump's appropriate desire to get to the bottom of the well-documented Ukrainian involvement in the Obama Administration's illegal spying on his 2016 presidential campaign would undermine the bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill for Washington's utterly wrong-headed Ukraine policy.
Stated more crudely, Washington overthrew the duly elected government of Ukraine in early 2014 because its leader was deemed too cozy with Moscow. And in the vanguard of that illegal meddling in the governance of a sovereign foreign state was Obama's state department led by neocon Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Washington's self-appointed roving proconsul John McCain and at length Vice-President Joe Biden.
After aiding a motley phalanx of ultra-nationalists, crypto-Nazi and political fortune seekers in overthrowing President Viktor Yanukovych, Washington has stood-up what are essentially puppet governments. The purpose has been to cause maximum abrasion with Putin and Russia; and at a cost of billions in aid from the US and other western agencies designed to prop up the economic basket case and cease pool of corruption which passes for the Ukrainian economy.
The Deep State narrative turns these realities on their head, of course, claiming that the mess in Ukraine is all the doing of the demonic Vladimir Putin. Accordingly, the very safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Springfield MA is allegedly on the line in a territory on Russia's doorstep, which has historically been a meandering set of borders in search of a country when it was not otherwise a willing vassal and economic adjunct of Mother Russia.
As it happens, Lt. Colonel Vindman is a vociferous partisan of Washington's Big Lie about the Russian ogre, and was virtually a fifth column operative in the viper's nest of neocons at the Donald's national security council. In fact, Vindman reported to Russophobe Fiona Hill, who reported to the Walrus of Forever War himself, John Bolton.
So despite all the Democrats' crocodile tears for the constitution and rule of law, Vindman's beef wasn't really about their whole abuse of power canard. Nor did it touch upon the risible Dem/MSM nonsense that in asking a foreign government to undertake a legitimate action (an investigation of the corrupt use of taxpayers money by the former Vice President) Trump was committing a violation of U.S. election laws.
To the contrary, the gravamen of the colonel's concern was domestic politics and the possibility that in withholding the $380 million of pending Ukrainian aid (which should have been zero in the first place) and pressing the Biden investigation, Trump would alienate Capitol Hill Democrats and leave the Deep State's policy of using the Ukraine as an anti-Putin battering ram high and dry.
".... I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine.... "I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained."
"This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC's lead counsel."
Folks, Lt. Col. Vindman was not elected to nothin'. If he's a proud 20-year veteran of the US Army and diplomatic service as he claims, fine. But his job is to implement policy as decided by the elected representatives of the people, not to free lance in the cause of the Empire group-think in which he is obviously and hopelessly steeped.
So let's cut to the chase: The policy he feared the Donald might be jeopardizing by his pressure tactics with President Zelensky has been a travesty from start to finish. The Ukraine has no bearing on America's homeland security whatsoever, and the policies of its government vis a vis Russia or any of its other neighbors are none of Washington's cotton picking business.
You can't be more emphatic about the utter irrelevancy of Ukraine to America's homeland security. Even at the pre-coup peak in 2013 it had a miniscule GDP of $185 billion, which has since plunged by 30% to $130 billion. Even if Putin were foolish enough to annex the approximate 30 million Russian-hating Ukrainians outside of the Russian-speaking eastern Donbas region, which he surely is not, it wouldn't amount to a hill of beans in the strategic equation.
Ukraine amounts to just 8% of Russia's pint-sized GDP and is actually worthless to the Kremlin. That's because the cost of occupation and pacification of the non-Russian speaking majority of the country would vastly outweigh whatever industrial and material output it might steal from the Ukrainians.
Besides, what in the hell is wrong with Washington when it gets all hot and bothered about a no-count territory plagued with economic failure and which generates annually about two days worth of US output?
Moreover, even if you have warm and fuzzy regard for the rights and liberties of the Ukrainian "nation", which has existed only infrequently as an independent state with wildly variant borders during the last 800 years, the question remains. Namely, how in the world can it be argued that its people were not better off in 2013 under an elected government of the Regions party that tilted toward Russia compared to the economic calamity which exits today and is only saved from complete collapse by US and European subventions?
So here's where the Deep State's hegemonic "sole super-power" world view comes in. Washington's Ukraine policy has nothing to do with homeland security or prevention of military attack on American shores.
Instead, it is based on policing the world and demonizing the rump-state of Russia which emerged after the Soviet Union slithered off the pages of history in 1991. What was left was a decimated economy with half the former population and a current day GDP of $1.6 trillion, which is actually less than the GDP of the New York metro area. Still, the Warfare State needs palpable "enemies" and adversaries---no matter how tendentious the case--- to justify its massive fiscal drain ($1.1 trillion counting everything) on US taxpayers, both current and unborn; and it also needs expansive missions like spreading the blessings of democracy, prosperity and western culture to the far corners of the earth.
And that's not our hyperbole in the slightest; it's essentially the content of Vindman's whistleblower testimony to Shifty Schiff's Star Chamber proceedings today.
Thus, when it comes to the blatant lie that Russia is an expansionist power, Vindman's purple prose would make even the late war-mongering Senator from Arizona proud:
Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to U.S. national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.
Wow! That's just bellicose rubbish. A "frontline state and bulwark"my eye. In fact, during the years since 1991 when Washington has invaded and virtually destroyed upwards of a dozen sovereign countries, Russia hasn't invaded anyone! But the reference to 2008 does tell you exactly where Vindman is coming from. He's obviously referring to Russia's thwarting of Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia in August 2008.
That incident has been spun by the Deep State ever since as Russian aggression when it was just the opposite.
To wit, it was an aggressive military invasion by Georgia designed to reclaim the break-away republic of South Ossetia. The real culprit was its mercurial leader and Washington tool, Mikheil Saakashvili, who had been egged on by Senator McCain and the usual cast of neocons with the promise of Washington military help, which fortunately did not happen.
But a subsequent 1,000 page report by an independent EU fact-finding mission led by a renown Swiss diplomat makes clear that the Georgian accusations of Russian aggression were completely fabricated.
"It was Georgia which triggered off the war when it attacked (South Ossetian capital) Tskhinvali" said Heidi Tagliavini, the mission head, in a statement. Although the EU commission tactfully avoided using the word "lie," the report implies that Saakashvili did not tell the truth about how the war started.
The same is true of the so-called annexation of Crimea and the Kremlin's support for the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine.
As to the former, the population of Crimea is overwhelmingly Russian, and for 171-years from 1783 to 1954 it was an integral province of Czarist Russia. It got arbitrarily assigned to the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic by Khrushchev after he won the post-Stalin power struggle in 1954 as a reward to his compatriots in Kiev---even though less than 15% of the population was Ukrainian.
After the US funded, supported and instantly recognized coup in Kiev in February 2014 and the immediate passage of virulent anti-Russian legislation by the putsch, the Russian-speaking population of Crimea voted overwhelmingly (87%) to return to Mother Russia. The so-called coercive annexation by Russia is a figment of War Party propaganda, and implies a willingness to use American money and arms to enforce the dead hand of the Soviet Presidium.
And the same story goes for the Donbas. The largely Russian speaking population of this industrial region, which is highly integrated with the Russian economy, wants to be separated from the Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev who have launched a vicious war to subdue them.
But if the Donbas were to be partitioned or even if it voted to join the Russian Federation, so what?
The honest truth of the matter is that Europe is flush with partitioned states. These include Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as the manifold offspring of Yugoslavia including North Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia, which, at the insistence of Washington, got further carved up by the partition of Kosovo.
That is to say, once Washington upended the tenuous political/ethnic balance of post- Soviet Ukraine by supporting the nationalist coup, there was still no reason that the Yugoslav model of partition could not have settled the matter.
In fact, the 5-year war on the Donbas---which has killed upwards of 20,000 and brought economic and fiscal ruin to both the region and Ukraine as a whole---wouldn't have lasted more than a few weeks without the promise of western economic and military aid and political support.
The needless tragedy there is not the fruit of Russian aggression. It's the consequence of Washington meddling, including all the corruption which has flowered after Ukraine was turned into a Washington vassal and found it necessary to hire Washington lobbyists and racketeers like Hunter Biden and Devon Archer (then Secretary of State John Kerry's former campaign bundler) to keep the cash flowing.
Needless to say, the Deep State slathers this toxic reality in a narrative that is pure hogwash. And Colonel Vindman has it down pat: Namely, under the tutelage, money and political and military cover of the Washington Imperium, Ukraine is to be brought into the "Euro-Atlantic community" as a splendid new democracy.
The bolded term, of course, is an undisguised euphemism for NATO:
In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West. The U.S. government policy community’s view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.
The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community.
Here's the thing. The expansion of NATO to the very doorstep of Russia was the most colossal mistake of the post-cold war period. And the War Party's insistence that this should to taken all the way to the incorporation of Ukraine and Georgia----historic vassals of Russia---actually trespasses upon the very border of insanity.
Indeed, the father of containment and the intellectual architect of NATO in the late 1940s, the great George F. Kennan, hit the nail on the head when lightweight Clintonistas like Strobe Talbot and Madeleine Albright launched the NATO expansion process in the 1990s:
''I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,'' said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. ''I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.''
"What bothers me is how superficial and ill informed the whole Senate debate was,'' added Mr. Kennan, who was present at the creation of NATO and whose anonymous 1947 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, signed ''X,'' defined America's cold-war containment policy for 40 years. ''I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don't people understand? Our differences in the cold war were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.
''And Russia's democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we've just signed up to defend from Russia,'' said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952. ''It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong.''
He couldn't have been more right about the substance of what would happen. But little did even Kennan realize that once in motion any even tepid effort to question or stop it--per the Donald's campaign rhetoric about the obsolescence of NATO--would actually provoke a Deep State assault on American democracy itself
So there's your Deep State at work. It isn't some kind of sinister conspiracy lurking deep in the shadows of the national security machinery.
To the contrary, it's right there in the broad daylight of the Imperial City. It is populated by hundreds of thousands of foot soldiers like Colonel Vindman who make a career of drinking the Cool Aid, collecting a pay check from the state and propagating the policies of Empire First---policies which are immoral, illegal, unaffordable and have absolutely nothing to do with protecting America's liberty, prosperity and security inside the great ocean moats, which once upon a time birthed a peace-loving Republic.
We have no illusions, of course, that the Donald is a peace-lover. He's self-evidently first and foremost a Donald-lover.
Still, what is underway in Washington---first with the RussiaGate hoax and now with UkraineGate and impeachment---is an extra-constitutional political lynching, and one that has turned Washington's desperate, mendacious Dem pols into complaisant handmaids of the Deep State.
So Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman isn't some kind of whistle-blowing hero. He's just another mindless cog in the wheel of Empire talking his own book and thereby abetting the political mob that is now threatening the very constitution he was sworn to uphold.
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The above originally appeared at David Stockman's Contra Corner.