Who gets to decide US foreign policy, the president or the deep state?
That seems to be the pertinent question that’s left unsaid in the whole Ukraine-gate impeachment drama.
Also unsaid by the corporate media is the essential Ukraine backstory which began with the US initiating the overthrow of its democratically elected President Yanukovych in 2014. The coup was part of NATO’s eastward expansion after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, contrary to oral agreements with Washington, London and Paris that, in exchange for allowing Germany to reunite and then join NATO, the Western powers vowed not to extend the alliance into the former Communist states.
The West lied. Precisely the opposite occurred. NATO, led by its sponsor, the US, moved relentlessly east.
However, for Russia, the Ukraine coup and attempts to seize the Russian Black Sea naval base at Sebastopol in Crimea was a bridge too far.
I’ve long maintained that Russia-gate was instituted as a way to keep Trump from improving relations with Russia and to lock in a new Cold War. The recent testimony from deep state officials and the exposure of the so-called whistle-blower have only deepened my suspicions.
His identity should have been public knowledge weeks ago and yet it took Real Clear Investigations, an alt-news website to publicly reveal what has been well known within the Beltway for some weeks.
The alleged whistle-blower is said to be a 33 year old CIA analyst by the name of Eric Ciaramella who was an Obama White House holdover at the National Security Council until mid 2017. Consequently, he has deep partisan ties to former vice-president Joe Biden, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice as well as the DNC establishment. It gets better. Ciaramella ran the Ukraine desk at the Obama NSC and had close association with Ukrainian DNC hyper-activist Alexandra Chalupa, who was up to her neck in Russia-gate.
Then there’s the witnesses who are testifying against Trump. They strike me as Russophobes who favor military aid to Ukraine. They also appear to be State Department careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them.
My favorite so far has been National Security Council staffer Lt. Colonel Alexander S. Vindman, the self-labeled no. 1 Ukraine expert at the National Security Counsel. Rather than providing expert advice, Vindman was concerned chiefly because arming Ukraine was not proceeding quickly enough to suit him, an extremely risky policy which has already created serious problems with nuclear-armed Russia. Vindman Even Testified He Advised Ukrainians to Ignore Trump.
Here he is in his own words. “A strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.… The US 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.” But, he continued, “outside influencers are promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine’s prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.”
It’s almost a dark comedy. When I was an army paratrooper my commander was a Lt. Colonel. He commanded a battalion of airborne-infantry. He didn’t make foreign policies.
Vindman should be regarded as a manifestation of the deep state thinking that has brought so much grief to the United States over the past twenty years. Seen in that light, his testimony, wrapped in an air of sanctimoniousness and a uniform, should be regarded as little more than the conventional thinking that has produced foreign policy failure after failure.
This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost Ukraine, and Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying.
Of course, the corporate media is to blame as well. It twisted the news so as to cheer on such misbegotten policies just as it cheered on the twin invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq by the Bush administration a dozen years or so earlier. This is why it’s furious with Trump for challenging the foreign policy establishment and why it now fills its pages with endless blather about quid pro quo’s just as it once did about Russian collusion.
Ultimately, Russia-gate was, and Ukraine-gate is, a struggle over policy.
What still amazes me is that in the age of Trump liberals have embraced the argument that having a deep state is a healthy part of American democracy in that it serves as a check or corrective element on a political system that has been corrupted and which no longer serves national interests. But that assessment surely might have been made before it became clear that many of the leaders of the nation’s intelligence and security agencies are no longer the people’s honorable servants they pretend to be. In fact, any examination of the ABC agencies that make up our intelligence community demonstrates that they serve the billionaire owners of America and not the citizens. These owners have succeeded in this deception by waging a vast covert operation, one that has conditioned the American public to believe that it’s the perpetual victim of foreign powers like Russia.
Trump is simply an outside influence.
Update: “As it turns out, virtually the entire caste of whistleblowers and deep state testifiers now being called before the Impeachment Tribunal were in one way or another organized, financed or sponsored by the Atlantic Council.”