Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 23 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/22/19

The impeachment crisis and American imperialism

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (# of views)   4 comments
Author 35991
Message Patrick Martin

From WSWS

Rep. Schiff's full closing statement in Gordon Sondland hearing
Rep. Schiff's full closing statement in Gordon Sondland hearing
(Image by YouTube, Channel: PBS NewsHour)
  Details   DMCA

Wednesday's public hearing on the impeachment of President Trump featured the US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who testified that, contrary to the White House narrative, there had been a "quid pro quo" in Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

Trump, Sondland said, offered military aid and an invitation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit the White House in return for an announcement by Zelensky of an investigation into the activities of the Democratic National Committee in Ukraine in 2016 and the role of Hunter Biden. Biden was paid $50,000 a month by a large Ukrainian gas company while his father, then the vice president, was point man for Ukrainian policy in the Obama administration.

Sondland's appearance was trumpeted by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee and most of the media as a "smoking gun" against Trump. Sondland was even compared to John Dean, the White House counsel whose testimony against Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal paved the way to Nixon's resignation to avoid certain impeachment.

The testimony of John Dean, however, was part of the uncovering of a major attack on the democratic rights of the American people. The break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex, carried out by ex-CIA agents working for Nixon, was the outcome of a protracted campaign of political spying and repression directed against Vietnam War protesters, the former military official Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, and other political opponents.

There are no such issues of democratic rights in the conflict between Trump and the Democrats, who are acting as the political front men for the CIA and other sections of the national security apparatus. The significance of Sondland's testimony lies not in what he revealed about Trump, but in his account of the everyday relationship between American imperialism and Ukraine, a small, dependent nation that has been turned into a vassal state by successive administrations in Washington.

The president of Ukraine is told by American diplomats exactly what words he must use and what promises he must make to appease his overlord in Washington. When President Zelensky offers to have his chief prosecutor make a statement along the lines demanded by Trump, he is told that he himself must make the statement, and it must be televised so that he is on the record. He is told to jump, and exactly how high.

In that respect, there is no difference whatsoever between Trump's conduct in 2019 and the actions of his Democratic nemesis, Vice President Biden, in 2016. Biden traveled to Ukraine and told its government that Washington was withholding $1 billion in promised aid until certain actions were taken, including the firing of a corrupt national prosecutor. Biden even boasted in a US television interview that within six hours of his delivering that ultimatum the Ukrainian president had sacked the official.

Apologists for the Democrats and Biden will insist that Biden was carrying out official US government policy, in the interests of US "national security," whereas Trump was looking out for his personal interests, seeking dirt on a potential election rival. This argument is questionable even on its own terms, since the prosecutor whose firing Biden demanded had control over the corruption investigation into the gas company Burisma, which was lavishly paying Biden's son.

But there is a more fundamental issue: What was the "national security" interest that Biden was upholding? Why is the United States supplying vast quantities of military aid and weaponry to Ukraine? It is part of the effort by American imperialism, carried out over two decades, to turn Ukraine into an American puppet state directed against Russia.

For all the claims by the Democrats that they are shocked by Trump seeking "foreign interference" in the 2020 presidential election, every presidential election in Ukraine since 2004 has been characterized by massive foreign interference, particularly by the United States. One US official boasted in 2013 that Washington had expended more than $5 billion on its operations to install a pliable anti-Russian regime in Kiev.

Detaching Ukraine from Russia has been a key US foreign policy objective since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ukraine and Russia were the two largest components of the USSR. They share a land border of more than 2,000 kilometers and economies that were once closely integrated. Thirty percent of the Ukrainian people speak Russian as their first language, including the vast majority of the population of Crimea and the eastern Ukrainian region now controlled by pro-Russian forces.

In both World War I and World War II, German imperialism made the seizure of Ukraine, with its rich soil and proximity to the oilfields of the Caucasus, a key strategic objective. The largest number of Soviet Jews massacred as part of the Holocaust were killed in Ukraine, in atrocities such as Babi Yar, the ravine outside Kiev where 34,000 Jews were machine-gunned, and Odessa, where 50,000 Jews were slaughtered.

American imperialism is seeking to do what German imperialism failed twice to accomplish: use Ukraine as a launching pad for political subversion and military violence against Russia. Behind the backs of the American people, with little or no public discussion, the US government has been shipping large quantities of arms and other war materiel to Ukraine, in an operation that brings with it the increasing danger of a direct US military collision with Russia, a conflict between the two powers that between them deploy most of the world's nuclear weapons.

The impeachment hearings have focused on anti-Trump witnesses who are themselves key participants in this reactionary foreign policy, and who speak in the Orwellian language of American imperialism. They define "democracy" in Ukraine in terms of the degree to which Ukraine's government agrees to serve as an instrument of American foreign policy. They hail the so-called "Revolution of Dignity" in which an elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown because he was viewed as an obstacle to the anti-Russia campaign. They salute fascistic figures like Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, sponsor of the notorious Azov Battalion, which marches under modified swastikas and celebrates the Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazis in World War II.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Well Said 2   Must Read 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Patrick Martin Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Low-wage, No-raise Economy

Mounting political crisis in Washington amidst talk of removal of Trump

US House of Representatives votes to abolish Medicare

Nearly One Million US Workers Cut Off Unemployment Benefits

Obama hails deal to impose record cuts in social spending

US House of Representatives approves plan to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

2 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments


Lois Gagnon

Become a Fan
Author 61784
(Member since Mar 21, 2011), 42 fans, 1 articles, 15 quicklinks, 5425 comments (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Thank you Patrick. Sharing.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2019 at 12:36:36 AM

  Recommend  (0+)
Help

George King

Become a Fan
Author 95129
(Member since Aug 11, 2014), 19 fans, 22 articles, 2773 comments, 1 diaries (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Thank you for the article Patrick. I had just posted this to a different article on the impeachment hearings but as you have hit the nail on the head it is appropriate to post here and may be a better fit regarding American Imperialism taking on the failed European Imperialism against Russia by the same powers to be and for the same reasons, piracy is piracy no matter how you spell it. Who and what is really behind the impeachment? Are we not seeing the manufacturing of consent and for whom and what?"

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2019 at 1:47:32 AM

  Recommend  (1+)
Help
Indent

George King

Become a Fan
Author 95129
(Member since Aug 11, 2014), 19 fans, 22 articles, 2773 comments, 1 diaries (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to George King:   New Content

Here is an insight into seeing behind the curtain that may well answer these questions. It appears that the MIC and its Oligarchy profiteers may very well be the source of political funding and influencing the true endangerment to the defense of the American people, their Commons, Treasure and Unalienable Rights much like the US never ending wars is doing to other nations.

Testimony by two high-ranking US national security officials, on the final day of the public hearings on the impeachment of President Trump, has shed new light on the central issue in the impeachment crisis: the enormous and protracted effort by American and European imperialism to use Ukraine as a base of operations against Russia.

"In Washington terminology, "national security" means pursuing the worldwide objectives of American imperialism. It has nothing to with defending the American people from some threat, nor, for that matter, defending the population of Ukraine. Rather, this operation is part of the preparations for future wars that would bring the two largest nuclear powers into direct conflict, with incalculable consequences for humanity.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2019 at 1:48:28 AM

  Recommend  (1+)
Help
IndentIndent

George King

Become a Fan
Author 95129
(Member since Aug 11, 2014), 19 fans, 22 articles, 2773 comments, 1 diaries (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to George King:   New Content

Every member of the House Intelligence Committee bows down before this political objective. Republican members sought to defend Trump by pointing to his greater willingness to send "lethal aid" to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, although he insisted on selling them to the Ukrainians for a profit.

At the Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday night, every Democratic candidate endorsed the impeachment narrative, in which Trump is to be removed, not for his real crimes against immigrants and democratic rights, or his efforts to build a racist and fascist movement, but because he has come into conflict with powerful elements of the national-security apparatus.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2019 at 1:49:14 AM

  Recommend  (1+)
Help