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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/23/19

The Impeachment's Moral Hypocrisy

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The Republican and Democratic politicians, like the generals, government bureaucrats and intelligence chiefs, once they leave their government posts will be generously rewarded by being given jobs as lobbyists and consultants or being appointed to corporate boards. These politicians are the mutant products of our system of legalized bribery, shameless kleptocrats. The only interests they serve are their own. This truth binds half the country to Trump, who, although a con artist and himself flagrantly corrupt, at least belittles and mocks the ruling elites who have betrayed us.

Trump and his supporters are not wrong in condemning the deep state -- the generals, bankers, corporatists, lobbyists, intelligence chiefs, government bureaucrats and technocrats who oversee domestic and international policy no matter who is in power. The Afghanistan Papers, while detailing the quagmire in Afghanistanwhere more than 775,000 Americans were deployed over the 18 years, more than 2,300 soldiers and Marines killed and more than 20,000 wounded -- also illustrate how seamlessly the two ruling parties and the deep state work together.

"What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth $1 trillion?" Jeffrey Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House staffer for Bush and Obama, is quoted as saying by The Washington Post. "After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan."

The Post writes, "The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting. Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabuland at the White House -- to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case."

"As commanders in chief, Bush, Obama and Trump all promised the public the same thing," the Post notes. "They would avoid falling into the trap of 'nation-building' in Afghanistan. On that score, the presidents failed miserably. The United States has allocated more than $133 billion to build up Afghanistan -- more than it spent, adjusted for inflation, to revive the whole of Western Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II."

There is no difference, the Afghanistan Papers make clear, in the mendacity and incompetence of the policymaking apparatus no matter who controls Congress or the White House. No party or elected official dares defy the military-industrial complex or other titans of the deep state. The Democrats through impeachment have no intention of restoring constitutional rights that would curb the power of the deep state and protect democracy. The deep state funds them. It sustains them in office.

The Democrats are seeking to replace the inept and vulgar face of empire that is Trump with the benign and decorous face of empire that is Joe Biden. What the Democrats, and the deep state that has allied itself with the Democratic Party, object to is the mask, not what is behind it. If you doubt me, read the six-part series on Afghanistan in the Post.

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

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