Friday, February 07, 2020

Trump Needs to Take Off the Kid-Gloves and Start Cracking Skulls


off-guardian |  After dragging the country through three years of Russiagate which never panned out, the Democrats appear to be scoring yet another own goal. Even a near brush with war against Iran does not seem to have impacted Trump’s favorability, which could have been seen as a reversal of his campaign pledges to end America’s forever wars that were arguably a significant factor in his unlikely victory.

It was Trump’s rhetoric as a peace candidate suggesting rapprochement with Russia which made him a target of the political establishment and intelligence community, who subsequently blamed his shocking win on still-unproven allegations of election interference by the Kremlin. 

Since he took office, Trump has done nearly everything short of declaring war on Moscow to appease the bipartisan anti-Russia consensus in Washington but to no avail. One such step was the decision to provide military aid to Ukraine amid its ongoing war in the eastern Donbass region against Russian-speaking separatists, a move the Obama administration decided against because of Kiev’s rampant corruption. 

Trump’s predecessor tapped his Vice President, Joe Biden, to head up an anti-corruption drive in Ukraine who instead used the opportunity to personally enrich his family by landing his son, Hunter, a job on the executive board of the country’s largest private gas company, Burisma Holdings.
Biden led the U.S. role in the 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine which overthrew the democratically-elected government of Viktor Yanukovych after he turned down a European Union Association Agreement for an economic bail-out from Russia that was the flashpoint for the subsequent Donbass war. 

Contrary to the Trump-Russia ‘collusion’ narrative, one figure who tried to lobby Yanukovych into signing the pro-austerity treaty was none other than Paul Manafort, the future Trump campaign manager indicted during the Russia probe for failing to register as a foreign agent while consulting for the deposed Ukrainian president. 

Manafort’s influence went against Russian interests in favor of the EU and was years before Trump was ever a candidate, but this did not stop the Democrats from later misconstruing it as evidence he was a backchannel to the Kremlin. Meanwhile, Biden’s hand in the junta was revealed in an infamous leaked phone call between Victoria Nuland, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

Nuland, who is the wife of leading neoconservative figure Robert Kagan, also spilled the beans that the U.S. invested as much as $5 billion dollars on regime change in Kiev when we were led to believe the Maidan was a spontaneous, popular revolt.

Shortly after the putsch, Hunter Biden joined the board of directors at Burisma despite having no experience in Ukraine or the energy sector. 

The embattled fracking company was founded by a notorious oligarch and corrupt minister from the Yanukovych era, Mykola Zlochevsky, yet who unlike the former did not have to flee to Russia and curiously escaped prosecution in a money laundering case under the new Western-friendly regime — did he obtain immunity with Hunter Biden’s appointment?

When the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, reportedly began to investigate the energy firm, the elder Biden did not just blackmail the post-Maidan government of Petro Poroshenko into sacking him by threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees but openly bragged about it on camera: