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“Quid pro quo” was the accusatory Latin phrase most often used to describe President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call asking for a “favor” from the president of Ukraine.

New Year’s prediction: The Roman poet Horace’s Latin depiction: “Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus” — “The mountains went into labor, and brought forth a mouse” — will be used to describe the articles of impeachment drawn up by Nancy Pelosi’s House.

Article II is titled “Obstruction of Congress.” What does it allege?

That Trump “directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its ‘sole power of Impeachment.'”

Undeniably, there is truth here.

Trump did direct the Executive branch not to provide witnesses and documents subpoenaed by the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, both of which are partisan, pro-impeachment and chaired by unapologetic Trump-haters Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff.

But what the substance of Article II is really about is the eternal conflict between the first and second branches of the government over their respective rights and powers.

Such clashes are usually decided by the third branch, the Supreme Court. But Pelosi, Nadler and Schiff are unwilling to wait for the court to decide. They are declaring the issue decided and settled in the House’s favor, and treating Trump’s recourse to the courts as a new impeachable offense: “Obstruction of Congress.”

Can Pelosi seriously expect a Republican Senate to convict and remove a Republican president for defending what that president is claiming in open court are the constitutional rights of the Executive Branch that he, as its present occupant and leader, is obligated to defend?

Trump would be derelict in his duty if he allowed a rogue House to run roughshod over the White House.

Consider Article I, “Abuse of Power.”

The heart of this charge is that Trump briefly held up delivery of $391 million in “vital military and security assistance to oppose Russian aggression.” So doing, Trump “compromised the national security of the United States.”

Is the House serious? It was the Trump administration that began the transfer of the lethal aid — sniper rifles, Javelin missiles — that President Barack Obama had denied to Ukraine for three years.

If Trump’s brief hold on a second tranche of lethal aid to Ukraine imperiled our “national security,” was not Obama’s yearslong denial of lethal aid to Ukraine a far greater peril to our national security?

Still, it is absurd to declare U.S. national security as threatened by a Russian presence in Crimea or in the Russian-speaking Donbass.

Russia has been in Crimea since Catherine the Great’s reign in the 18th century. When FDR visited Yalta in Crimea in 1945, and when Richard Nixon visited Crimea during his 1974 summit, Ukraine was a Soviet republic ruled from Moscow.
When did a Russian presence or Russian flag flying over Crimea or Luhansk and Donetsk become a threat to U.S. national security?

Soon after the victory of Lenin’s revolution, and from then, for seven decades, to the end of the Cold War, Ukraine was one of 15 Soviet republics.

When did Ukraine’s territorial borders become a U.S. vital interest?

George H. W. Bush in 1991 implored the Ukrainians not to indulge a “suicidal nationalism” by declaring independence. Stay with Russia, said Bush. Was Bush 41 committing an impeachable act and imperiling U.S. national security?

Under the Constitution, a president shall be impeached and removed on conviction by the Senate of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

During the years of the Mueller investigation, Trump was accused of “treason,” of being a Kremlin ally and asset.

With Trump, said Pelosi, “All roads lead to Putin!”

Yet nowhere in the articles of impeachment is “treason” mentioned. Nor is “bribery” or “extortion,” the other crimes alleged. Where are the “high crimes” in this impeachment resolution? There are none.

Were the Democrats demagoguing? Did they have nothing to back up the charges of criminal conduct? Were the charges just designed to smear Trump, whom Democrats fear they cannot defeat in 2020?

Trump’s offense is that he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate the Bidens and Burisma Holdings, which paid son Hunter Biden $50,000 a month while Vice President Joe was the White House point man for rooting out corruption in Ukraine.

But if Trump had no justification for his suspicions about Joe and Hunter, why is the press corps traveling with candidate Biden demanding more answers than Joe seems prepared to give?

And is it truly impeachable to ask Ukraine’s president to look into the smelly Biden-Burisma deal before being awarded an Oval Office meeting?

In Article I, Trump is accused of taking actions in Ukraine “that would help his election.”

But when did it become a crime to consider the probable electoral consequences of decisions taken in foreign policy?

Admirers of JFK tell us he was ready to pull out of Vietnam, but only after the 1964 election, so as not to increase his vulnerability to the hawkish Republicans of the Goldwater era.

If true, was JFK guilty of impeachable inaction?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Ukraine 
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“Jaw-jaw is better than war-war,” is attributed, wrongly, say some historians, to Winston Churchill. Still, the words lately came to mind.

While last week ended with a hopeful U.S.-Iranian prisoner exchange that was hailed by President Donald Trump — “Thank you to Iran for a very fair negotiation. See, we can make a deal together” — a few days earlier, the week produced more ominous news.

In a startling front-page story Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. is to send 14,000 troops to the Middle East, in addition to the 14,000 we have sent since May.

The reason for the reinforcements, said the Journal, is Iran.

“The Trump administration is considering a significant expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East to counter Iran, including dozens more ships … and as many as 14,000 additional troops.”

By week’s end, Defense Secretary Mark Esper had knocked down the Journal story, saying no major new deployment is planned and U.S. forces in the region are sufficient to deal with the situation in Iran.
And what is that situation?

Strategically, economically and politically, the Islamic Republic of Iran seems to be in almost desperate straits.

U.S. sanctions have slashed Iran’s oil sales from 2.5 million barrels per day to, by one estimate, 400,000 barrels. After the Nov. 15 announcement of a 50% hike in gas prices to close a budget gap, a week of riots exploded. Within days, protesters were calling for the overthrow of the regime.

Security forces answered with gunfire. In the bloodiest political violence since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, hundreds were killed, with thousands wounded. Amnesty International says it has documented more than 200 deaths.

U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook said that 1,000 Iranian citizens may have died: “We know for certain it is many, many hundreds.” Iranian officials concede security forces opened fire with live ammunition.

How long can Iran, its oil revenue a fraction of what it was, cope with this deepening crisis? How long before a desperate Iran lashes out?

When Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed U.S. sanctions, Iran warned that if its oil could not get out of the Persian Gulf, the oil of other Gulf States could be kept off of the world markets.

By harassing attacks on several tankers, Iran first sent a signal.

Then came a missile and drone strike on Saudi oil facilities that briefly cut Saudi production in half, to 5 million barrels a day. While the Houthis in Yemen claimed responsibility, the West believes Iran did it.

But the attack on the Saudi oil facilities went answered.

And what, exactly, is the goal of these U.S. sanctions? What is the strategic objective of the pain we are causing — to punish the Iranians or to persuade them to come to the bargaining table?

If it is to strangle the Iranian economy and cause riots, then it is working.

But what is the diplomatic objective? Is it to force Iran to accept a new, tougher and more durable nuclear deal? Does Trump want new controls on Iranian missile tests and a withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria?

Is it to choke Iran’s economy to death if Tehran does not capitulate to U.S. demands, as we are doing to Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela?

Is it to ignite a revolution and bring down the government?

Is it to provoke Iran into launching reprisal attacks on U.S., Israeli or Saudi interests that might result in a war that sees Iran’s naval and missile forces smashed as Saddam Hussein’s forces were smashed?

Yet, a new Mideast war — ignited by Trump’s sanctions, which would break his pledge to extricate us from the forever wars of the Middle East, and could cripple the U.S. and world economy — might produce a President Joe Biden or Pete Buttigieg in 2020.

Baghdad has also been wracked by protests that have killed over 400 people, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.

On Dec. 1, the Iraqi parliament accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. In Lebanon, protests against the Beirut regime, marked by open hostility toward Hezbollah, have also forced the resignation of a prime minister.

Before flying to Lisbon to meet Secretary Mike Pompeo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exulted: “We’re seeing the Iranian empire totter. We see demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations in Baghdad, demonstrations in Beirut.” Bibi is not wrong.

France, Britain and Germany, co-signers of the nuclear deal who have sought to maintain the agreement, now appear to believe the Iranians are violating the spirit if not the letter of the deal by testing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calls the allegation “a desperate falsehood.” The Europeans are “bowing to US bullying,” and covering up their own “miserable incompetence,” he said.

Two U.S. Defense Secretaries, Leon Panetta and James Mattis, called this weekend for U.S.-Iranian negotiations. And Trump’s tweet on the prisoner exchange indicates a receptivity to the idea.

For all involved, jaw-jaw would seem a better option than war-war.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
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The “Our diversity is our strength!” Party is starting to look rather monochromatic in its upper echelons these days.

The four leading candidates for its presidential nomination — Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg — are all white.

The six candidates who have qualified for the Dec. 19 debate — the front four, plus Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer — are all white.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer are both white, as are Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Whip Dick Durbin.

The chairs of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees managing impeachment, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, are both white. And as Congressman Al Green railed Wednesday, all three experts Nadler invited to make the Democrats’ case for impeachment were white law professors. How come?

Absent affirmative action by the DNC, neither Cory Booker, the leading black candidate for the nomination, nor Julian Castro, the leading Hispanic, will be on the stage Dec. 19.

But though there is zero racial diversity among the top six Democrats in the presidential field, there is gender, ethnic and ideological diversity.

Warren would be the first woman president; Sanders, the first Jewish nominee; and Buttigieg would be the first gay nominee.

Yet the lack of racial diversity across the party hierarchy is going to put immense pressure on Joe Biden, should he win the nomination. If he hopes to reunite the Obama coalition, a woman and/or person of color as his running mate would seem an absolute imperative.

And before Biden gets there, he has other problems.

His “No Malarkey” bus tour across Iowa is all about his fear that, if he loses Iowa on Feb. 3 and New Hampshire on Feb. 11, he may not survive to reach his South Carolina firewall on Feb. 25.

Though he leads in the national polls, Iowa and New Hampshire polls have Biden running as low as fourth. Never has a candidate contested and lost both those states and then gone on to win the nomination.

Nor are these Joe’s only problems.

Call them what you will — gaffes, mental lapses — his repeated verbal miscues, some of which have caused debate rivals to laugh out loud at Joe, are a cause of alarm among Democrats who fear a Biden-Trump TV debate could produce a debacle for their man.

Nor are the other front-runners without racial-ethnic problems.

African Americans are a bedrock constituency of the Democratic Party. In recent presidential elections, they have voted 90% for the party’s nominee, and even higher for Barack Obama.

How is Mayor Pete doing with this constituency?

While running first in some polls in Iowa, his share of the African American vote in South Carolina, in a recent poll, was zero. Buttigieg had no black support in a state where African Americans constitute more than 60% of the Democratic vote.

Bernie Sanders, an unapologetic socialist who went to the Soviet Union, Reagan’s “Evil Empire,” for his honeymoon, is holding on to half of the loyal base from his impressive 2016 race against Hillary Clinton.

The other half of Bernie’s base, however, has been captured by Warren. In October, she took the lead in national polls, only to lose that lead when she could not explain how, without major new taxes on the middle class, she could abolish private health insurance and put the entire country on the Medicare rolls.

And, like Bernie, she is weak with black Democrats, who will decide South Carolina one week before Super Tuesday, when 40% of all the Democratic delegates will be chosen.

How did Democrats arrive at this pass?

As the 2019-2020 campaign began, the party divided into two camps.

There is first the moderate-centrist-pragmatic wing, whose goal is the removal of Trump, and who will go with the Democrat who is the most certain to deliver that. Biden, who spent four decades in the Senate and as vice president, was liked by many and offended few, and was first in the polls, was their natural choice.

Then there is the ideological left of the party that wants not only to win but also to remake America. It was to this huge slice of the party that Warren and Bernie have made their radical appeals.

The promise of victory offered by Biden and the ideological agenda offered by Sanders and Warren trumped the ethnic appeal of Booker, Castro and Kamala Harris.

Now, with the arrival of moneybags Mike Bloomberg and his tens of millions of dollars in ads, almost certain to reach hundreds of millions before Super Tuesday, there is the possibility that four or five candidates will survive to the convention, with no one having a majority of delegates. And the horse-trading will begin.

My view: Super Tuesday will cut the field to two or three. And the nominee will be one of the six palefaces on the stage Dec. 19.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Democratic Party, Diversity 
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At first glance, it would appear that five months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong had produced a stunning triumph.

By September, the proposal of city leader Carrie Lam that ignited the protests — to allow criminal suspects to be extradited to China for trial — had been withdrawn.

And though the protesters’ demands escalated along with their tactics, from marches to mass civil disobedience, Molotov cocktails, riots and attacks on police, Chinese troops remained confined to their barracks.

Beijing wanted no reenactment of Tiananmen Square, the midnight massacre in the heart of Beijing that drowned in blood the 1989 uprising for democratic rights.

In Hong Kong, the police have not used lethal force. In five months of clashes, only a few have perished. And when elections came last month, Beijing was stunned by the landslide victory of the protesters.

Finally, last month, Congress passed by huge margins in both houses a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act that threatens sanctions on Hong Kong authorities should they crush the rebels.

When President Donald Trump signed the bills, the protesters now had the U.S. as an ally, and the Chinese reacted viscerally.

An enraged Foreign Ministry declared: “The US … openly backed violent criminals who rampantly smashed facilities, set fire, assaulted innocent civilians, trampled on the rule of law and jeopardized social order.

“This so-called bill will only make the Chinese people … further understand the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the United States. It will only make the Chinese people more united and make the American plot more doomed to failure.”

Thus do the Hong Kong protesters appear victorious, for now.

Sunday, black-clad masked protesters were back in the streets, waving American flags, erecting barricades, issuing new demands — for greater autonomy for Hong Kong, the release of jailed protesters and the punishment of police who used excessive force.

This confrontation is far from over.

Instead, it has escalated, and the U.S. government, having given up its posture of benevolent neutrality in favor of peaceful demonstrators for democracy, has become an open ally of often-violent people who are battling Chinese police inside a Chinese city.

On Monday, China retaliated, suspending visits to Hong Kong by U.S. military planes and Navy ships and declaring sanctions on the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and half a dozen other U.S. agencies that promote democracy for interfering in the internal affairs of China.

And there is another issue here — the matter of face.

China has just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Revolution where Mao proclaimed, “China has stood up!” after a century of foreign humiliations and occupations.

Can Xi Jinping, already the object of a Maoist cult of personality, accept U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of his country or a city that belongs to China? Not likely. Nor is China likely to accede to demands for greater sovereignty, self-determination or independence for Hong Kong.

This would only raise hopes of the city’s eventual escape from its ordained destiny: direct rule by Beijing when the 50-year China-U.K. treaty regarding the transfer of Hong Kong expires in 2047.

For Xi to capitulate to the demands of Hong Kong’s demonstrators could cause an outbreak of protests in other Chinese cities and bring on a crisis of the regime.

Xi Jinping is no Mikhail Gorbachev. He is not going to let his people go. He is not going to risk a revolution to overturn the Maoist Revolution he has served his entire life.

A ruler committing the atrocities Xi is committing today in the concentration camps in the Uighur regions of China is staying his hand in Hong Kong only so the world and the West cannot see the true face of the ideology in which this true believer believes.

In providing moral support for protesters in Hong Kong who desire the freedoms we enjoy, America is on the right side. But to align the U.S. with the protesters’ cause, and threaten sanctions if their demands are not met, is to lead these demonstrators to make demands that Hong Kong’s rulers cannot meet and China will not allow.

We should ask ourselves some questions before we declare our solidarity with the protesters engaging the Hong Kong police.

If the police crush them, or if China’s army moves in and crushes the demonstrators whose hopes were raised by America’s declared solidarity, then what are we prepared to do to save them and their cause?

Are we willing to impose sanctions on Beijing, such as we have on Venezuela, Iran and Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

Some of us yet recall how the Voice of America broadcast to the Hungarian rebels of 1956 that if they rose up and threw the Russians out, we would be at their side. The Hungarians rose up. We did nothing. And one of the great bloodbaths of the Cold War ensued.

Are we telling the protesters of Hong Kong, “We’ve got your back!” when we really don’t?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Hong Kong, Russia 
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A week from now, the 29 member states of “the most successful alliance in history” will meet to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Yet all is not well within NATO.

Instead of a “summit,” the gathering, on the outskirts of London, has been cut to two days. Why the shortened agenda?

Among the reasons, apprehension that President Donald Trump might use the occasion to disrupt alliance comity by again berating the Europeans for freeloading on the U.S. defense budget.

French President Emanuel Macron, on the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice, described NATO as having suffered “brain death.” Macron now openly questions the U.S. commitment to fight for Europe and is talking about a “true European Army” with France’s nuclear deterrent able to “defend Europe alone.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose nation spends 1.4% of GDP on defense and has relied on the U.S. and NATO to keep Russia at bay since the Cold War began, is said to be enraged at the “disruptive politics” of the French president.
Also, early in December, Britain holds national elections. While the Labour Party remains committed to NATO, its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is no Clement Attlee, who took Britain into NATO at its birth in 1949.

Corbyn has questioned NATO’s continued relevance in the post-Cold War era. A potential backer of a new Labour government, Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, is demanding the closing of Britain’s Trident submarine base in Scotland as a precondition of her party’s support for Labour in Parliament.

Also present in London will be NATO ally Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan.

Following the 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan has purged scores of thousands from his army and regime, jailed more journalists than any other authoritarian, purchased Vladimir Putin’s S-400 missile system as Turkey’s air defense, and ordered the U.S. forces out of his way as he invaded northern Syria, killing Kurdish fighters who did the bleeding and dying in the U.S.-led campaign to crush the ISIS caliphate.

During the Cold War, NATO enjoyed the widespread support of Americans and Europeans, and understandably so. The USSR had 20 divisions in Germany, surrounded West Berlin, and occupied the east bank of the Elbe, within striking distance of the Rhine.

But that Cold War is long over. Berlin is the united free capital of Germany. The Warsaw Pact has been dissolved. Its member states have all joined NATO. The Soviet Union split apart into 15 nations. Communist Yugoslavia splintered into seven nations.

As a fighting faith, communism is dead in Europe. Why then are we Americans still over there?

Since the Cold War, we have doubled the size of NATO. We have brought in the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania but not Finland or Sweden. We have committed ourselves to fight for Slovenia, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro but not Serbia, Bosnia or North Macedonia.

Romania and Bulgaria are NATO allies but not Moldova or Belarus.

George W. Bush kept us out of the 2008 Russia-Georgia clash over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And Barack Obama refused to send lethal aid to help Ukraine retrieve Crimea, Luhansk or Donetsk, though Sen. John McCain wanted the United States to jump into both fights.

In the House Intel Committee’s impeachment hearings, foreign service officers spoke of “Russian aggression” against our Ukrainian “ally” and our “national security” being in peril in this fight.

But when did Ukraine become an ally of the United States whose territorial wars we must sustain with military aid if not military intervention?

When did Kyiv’s control of Crimea and the Donbass become critical to the national security of the United States, when Russia has controlled Ukraine almost without interruption from Catherine the Great in the 18th century to Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 20th century?

Among the reasons Trump is president is that he raised provocative questions about NATO and Russia left unaddressed for three decades, as U.S. policy has been on cruise control since the Cold War.

And these unanswered questions are deadly serious ones.

Do we truly believe that if Russia marched into Estonia, the U.S. would start attacking the ships, planes and troops of a nation armed with thousands of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons?

Would NATO allies Spain, Portugal and Italy declare war on Russia?

In 1914 and 1939, in solidarity with the mother country, Britain, Canada declared war on Germany. Would Justin Trudeau’s Canada invoke NATO and declare war on Putin’s Russia — for Estonia or Latvia?

Under NATO, we are now committed to go to war for 28 nations. And the interventionists who took us into Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen want U.S. war guarantees extended to other nations even closer to Russia.

One day, one of these war guarantees is going to be called upon, and we may find that the American people were unaware of that commitment, and are unwilling to honor it, especially if the consequence is a major war with a nuclear power.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
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Was there linkage between the withholding of U.S. military aid and the U.S. demand for a Ukrainian state investigation of the Bidens?

“Was there a quid pro quo?”

This question has bedeviled this city for months now. “The answer is yes,” said U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland in sworn testimony on Wednesday.

Sondland added that President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, national security adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence were all wired in to what was up:

“They knew what we were doing and why. … Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.”

And so where are we headed now?

The House intel and judiciary committees will advance one or more articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the House floor, where they will be agreed upon in party-line votes and sent to the Senate for trial.
Impeachment appears as inevitable as anything in politics today.

Some are pressing the House, after Sondland, to slow down, cast a wider net, and demand the sworn testimony of Pompeo, Mulvaney, Pence, Bolton and Giuliani. Others are urging the House to strike while the iron is hot, move impeachment swiftly, and get it all done before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

As the goal of the more rabid anti-Trumpers is to impeach, convict and remove the president, and then proceed with civil and criminal charges, this looks to be a fight to the death.

Mulvaney may have shown the White House the way to fight a month ago. Asked whether the withholding of aid to Ukraine until an investigation of the Bidens had been announced was not the definition of a “quid pro quo,” Mulvaney blurted out:

“We do that all the time. … No question about it… That’s why we held up the money. I have news for everybody. Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.” Welcome to the real world.

In return for meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump had a right to demand that Ukraine initiate an investigation into its most corrupt company, Burisma. Especially since the ne’er-do-well son of Vice President Joe Biden had been given a $50,000-a-month seat on Burisma’s board just days after Joe demanded and got the resignation of the state prosecutor and signed off on a billion-dollar loan guarantee for this third-most corrupt regime on earth.

We read often that allegations of corruption in the smelly deal that put Hunter Biden on Burisma’s board are “unfounded.”

Who did the investigating?

And what are we to make of the crocodile tears of Democrats that Ukrainian soldiers battling secessionists and Russians in the Donbass have died for lack of U.S. weapons held up by Trump?

Is this not manifest hypocrisy?

Most Ukrainian government officials were not even aware that the military aid for which Congress voted was being held up. And from 2014, when Vladimir Putin’s Russia seized Crimea and backed the secessionists in the Donbass, to 2017, President Barack Obama confined military aid to the Ukrainians to “sending blankets and meals,” as said the late Sen. John McCain.

If Trump imperiled “national security” by withholding for two months this latest tranche of military aid, did not Obama more gravely imperil our national security by denying Ukraine lethal aid for years?

Among the foreign service professionals who testified to Adam Schiff’s intel committee this week, none chose to associate himself with charges of “crimes” or “bribery” having been committed during that controversial phone call of July 25.

Indeed, the weakness of the Democratic case may be found in the endless escalation of the charges. First, Trump was guilty of a quid pro quo, and then an abuse of power, and then throwing fighting Ukrainian allies to the wolves. Next, it was bribery.

But how is it bribery for a president, responsible for seeing that the laws are faithfully executed, to insist that a regime dependent on U.S. aid investigate a conflict of interest and potential corruption when the enriched beneficiary is the son of the vice president of the USA?

Even before his first day in office, President Trump was in the gun sights of the “deep state” and its media auxiliaries.

And the origins of that “Get Trump!” conspiracy inside the “deep state” are now under investigation by the Inspector General of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham.

The issue at hand: Criminal misconduct inside the U.S. government to determine the outcome of an election, and, failing that, to remove a president our government elite cannot abide.

Bottom line: If this country is not to be torn apart for a decade, the decision to retain or remove President Trump should be made by those who put him in the White House and not by rabid partisans like Adam Schiff.

Let the people decide the fate and future of the president of the United States. After all, they were the ones who hired him.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Russia, Ukraine 
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When the wildfires of California broke out across the Golden State, many were the causes given.

Negligence by campers. Falling power lines. Arson. A dried-out land. Climate change. Failure to manage forests, prune trees and clear debris, leaving fuel for blazes ignited. Abnormally high winds spreading the flames. Too many fires for first responders to handle.

So, too, there appears to be a multiplicity of causes igniting and fueling the protests and riots sweeping capital cities across our world.

The year-long yellow vest protests in Paris, set off by fuel price hikes that were swiftly rescinded, seemed to grind down this weekend to several thousand anarchic and violent die-hards.

The riots in Chile were started to oppose a small hike in train and subway fares in a country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America. Yet the protesters have succeeded in forcing the elected government to capitulate and write a new constitution.

Bolivia’s uprising was over an election stolen by longtime president Evo Morales, who fled to Mexico to be welcomed by the foreign minister.

Among the issues dividing Bolivians are economic inequality and tribalism — indigenous peoples living alongside a European-descended elite.

In Hong Kong, where protesters appear to be making a last stand in the city’s universities, the cause that first united them was a proposal to allow the city’s citizens to be extradited to China for trial.

While that proposal was withdrawn, the rioting has continued for half a year and now involves Molotov cocktails, slingshots, bows and arrows, and catapults to hurl bricks at police.

The latest demands include investigating and punishing police for excessive force, restoration of all liberties and freedoms Hong Kong enjoyed in the last years of British rule, and the right to elect their own leaders.

If Hong Kong can resist mighty China for half a year, imagine what Taiwan, with three times Hong Kong’s population, significant military forces, and 100 miles of water between the island and mainland, could do to resist the rule of the Party of Xi Jinping.

In Baghdad, the protests went violent early, and hundreds are now dead.

A primary cause of the rioters’ rage — Iranian influence in Iraqi politics that arose among the Shiite majority after George W. Bush overthrew the Sunni regime of Saddam Hussein.

The Iranian-backed Shiite militia who helped stop the Islamic State group’s drive to Baghdad in the days of the caliphate are now less welcome. “Iranians, go home!” is a popular demand.

The recent violent protests inside Iran are rooted in both politics and economics. U.S. sanctions keep millions of barrels of Iran’s oil off world markets every day, causing surging deficits, exacerbating the plunging value of Iran’s currency and contributing to rising inflation.

The triggering event for the riots in Iran was a rise in the price of gas, which is still only a fraction of what Americans pay per gallon, but is deeply painful for working- and middle-class Iranians who are stretched to the limit.

The issues pulling continents, countries and capitals apart thus appear to be growing, enduring, and, indeed, perhaps insoluble.

Consider. The economic issues propelling workers into the streets to protest inequalities of wealth and income are occurring at a time when our world has never been more prosperous.

The ethnic and racial clashes within and between nations seem increasingly beyond the capacity of democratic regimes to resolve peacefully.

As for matters of fundamental belief — political, ideological, religious — the divides here, too, seem to be deepening and widening.

India’s Hindu majority of 1 billion seeks suppression of its Muslim minority. Secular Chinese put Muslim Uighurs and Kazakhs in concentration camps by the thousands to root out their birth loyalties and convert them into Marxist nationalists. Han Chinese are moved into Tibet and Xinjiang to swamp indigenous populations.

In Hong Kong, the struggle is ideological and political, between believers in democracy and advocates of authoritarianism.

President Trump’s America wants to secure the Southern border against an ongoing invasion of Latin American and Third World people, who could soon create here a new majority that votes reliably Democratic.

Europe resists with growing alarm a decades-long invasion of the Old Continent by desperate people fleeing the failed states of Africa and the Mideast.

In Spain, a nationalist party, Vox, vaults to third place to resist a leftist regime in Madrid that is seen as too accommodating to Catalan secessionists and refugees from across the Mediterranean.

Americans are not at actual war with one another, but our divisions are as wide and deep as they have been since the 1960s, if not since the Civil War.

We have Republicans standing united against the impeachment and removal of a president they overwhelmingly elected — by a united Democratic Party dominated by implacable ideological adversaries.

Neither authoritarians nor the world’s democracies seem to have found a cure for the maladies that afflict our world’s unhappy citizens.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology 
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On hearing the State Department’s George Kent and William Taylor describe President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine, The New York Times summarized and solemnly endorsed their testimony:

“What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the President, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally, under constant assault by Russian forces.”

“‘Even as we sit here today, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian soldiers in their own country, and have been for four years,’ Taylor said. ‘I saw this on the front line last week; the day I was there a Ukrainian soldier was killed and four more wounded.'”

Kent compared Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s intervention on the side of the Donbass secessionists to “our own Minutemen in 1776.”

“More than 13,000 Ukrainians have died on Ukrainian soil defending their territorial integrity and sovereignty from Russian aggression. … American support in Ukraine’s own de facto war of independence has been critical.”
Kent went on:

“The American colonies may not have prevailed against British imperial might without help from transatlantic friends after 1776. In an echo of Lafayette’s organized assistance to General George Washington’s army and Admiral John Paul Jones’ navy, Congress has generously appropriated over $1.5 billion over the past five years in desperately needed train and equip security assistance to Ukraine…”

“Similar to von Steuben training colonials at Valley Forge, U.S. and NATO allied trainers develop the skills of Ukrainian units at Yavoriv near the Polish border, and elsewhere. They help rewrite military education for Ukraine’s next generation, as von Steuben did for America’s first.”

“One would think, listening to this,” writes Barbara Boland, the American Conservative columnist, “that the U.S. had always provided arms to Ukraine, and that Ukraine has relied on this aid for years. But this is untrue and the Washington blob knows this.”

Indeed, Ukraine has never been a NATO ally or a “critical ally.”

Three decades ago, George H.W. Bush implored Ukraine not to set out on a course of “suicidal nationalism” by declaring independence from the Russian Federation. Despite constant pressure from Sen. John McCain and our neocons to bring Ukraine into NATO, wiser heads on both sides of the Atlantic rejected the idea.

Why? Because the “territorial integrity and sovereignty” of Ukraine is not now and has never been a vital interest of ours that would justify a U.S. war with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Instead, it was the avoidance of such a war that was the vital interest that nine U.S. presidents, from Truman to Bush I, secured, despite such provocations as the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and the building of the Berlin Wall.

In February 2014, the elected pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown by U.S.-backed protesters in Maidan Square, cheered on by McCain. This was direct U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Victoria Nuland of the State Department conceded that we had dumped billions into Ukraine to reorient its regime to the West.

To Vladimir Putin, the Kyiv coup meant the loss of Russia’s historic Black Sea naval base at Sebastopol in Crimea. Rather than let that happen, Putin effected an uprising, Crimea’s secession from Ukraine, and the annexation by Russia. In eastern Ukraine, the pro-Russian Donbass rose up in rebellion against the pro-NATO regime in Kyiv.

Civil war broke out. We backed the new regime. Russia backed the rebels. And five years later, the war goes on. Why is this our fight?

During the Obama years, major lethal aid was denied to Ukraine.

The White House reasoned that arming Ukraine would lead to an escalation of the war in the east, greater Russian intervention, defeat for Kyiv, and calls for the U.S. to intervene militarily, risking a war with Russia.

Not until Trump became president did lethal aid begin flowing to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.
So where are we?

Despite dramatic depictions of Ukraine as our embattled ally, Ukraine has never been an ally. We are not now nor have we ever been obligated to fight for its sovereignty or territorial integrity. Efforts to bring Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia into NATO have been repeatedly rebuffed in the United States and by our European NATO allies.

Kent and Taylor are honorable men. But they are career diplomats of the Department of State and veteran advocates of a foreign policy that sees Russia as an enduring aggressor and Ukraine as a fighting ally entitled to U.S. military assistance.

They have, in the old phrase, gone native. They champion the policies of yesterday and the embattled countries to which they are accredited and to whose causes they have become converted.

But Trump was elected to overturn the interventionist policies America has pursued since the century began. He was elected to end Cold War II with Russia, to reach a modus vivendi as Reagan did, and to extricate us from the endless wars into which Presidents Bush and Obama plunged the nation.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia, Ukraine 
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Some 100 members of an American Mormon community in northern Mexico, nine of whom — women, children, toddlers — were massacred a week ago on a lonely stretch of highway, just crossed over into Arizona.

Other family members who have lived there for decades will follow.

The atrocity was the work of one of the cartels battling for control of the drug traffic into the United States.

In Mexico’s Sinaloa state in October, an arrest of Ovidio Guzman Lopez, son of “El Chapo,” who sits in a New York prison, brought a military-style cartel attack on the state capital, Culiacan, followed by a surrender to the cartel gunmen by national guard and army troops, and a release of the captive.

“Is Mexico a failed state?” asks The Washington Times. Its editorial describes “Another Blood-Soaked Year in Mexico” where 17,000 people were murdered by July and the 2019 death toll is expected to reach 32,000.

USA Today reports: “Through August of the current fiscal year, the Border Patrol apprehended 457,871 migrants arriving as ‘family units’ … a 406% increase compared to the 90,554 family unit apprehensions during the same period the previous year. Migrant families from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador made up almost 92% of the total.”

With cartel battles escalating into a war that Mexico City has no stomach for fighting, and a record number of migrants from Central America crossing Mexico to flood into the USA, what is the Democratic Party’s policy for halting the rising tide?

Democrats are moving toward an “open door” policy on the U.S. border, an open borders embrace of any and all who wish to come.

America, apparently, does not belong to those who live here and love the country. America belongs to anyone who chooses to come. America belongs to the world.

Consider Bernie Sanders’ immigration proposal, outlined the week of the massacre of Mormon women and children.

On Day One, President Sanders would declare a moratorium on deportations and offer a “swift pathway to citizenship” for all illegal migrants who have been here for five years.

Bernie would break up ICE. Border-jumping would cease to be a crime and become a civil offense like jaywalking. The “Muslim ban” would be abolished.

President Sanders would back sanctuary cities that refuse to work with U.S. law enforcement. Asylum seekers would not have to wait in Mexico as their claims were processed but would be welcomed into the USA.

Family separations would end. Trump’s wall, which Bernie calls “racist,” would be history. The administration’s treatment of illegal immigration “as a criminal and national security matter is inhuman, impractical and must end.”

Migrants who enter illegally would qualify for federal health care and the same social welfare benefits as U.S. citizens. Immigrant officials say Sanders’ proposals would create an irresistible magnet for millions of migrants from all over the world to stampede into the USA.

The Nation magazine calls Sanders’ plan “one of the boldest immigration plans any major politician has put forward in years, and comes amid a campaign season that has seen a major shift to the left among Democratic candidates on immigration.

“With calls for a total moratorium on deportations, abolishing ICE and providing a path to citizenship for undocumented migration, the plan serves as a road map for what a fair and just immigration can be.”

From another standpoint, Sanders’ proposal is a surrender to the reality that a leftist regime lacks the conviction or will to stop an endless stream of people from migrating here.

Americans troubled over what is happening on the Syrian-Turkish border, or Ukrainian-Crimean border, might take a closer look at what will happen at our own border, and to our own country, if Democrats win the presidency and throw open the doors to unrestricted immigration.

The federal budget, already running trillion-dollar deficits, and state budgets, too, will see huge increases in the cost of social programs, without the commensurate income tax revenues to pay for them.

Even at present levels, illegal immigration is bringing in millions of people without the work, education or language skills to compete and assimilate rapidly in a first world, Western economy.

These migrants pay virtually no income taxes, yet, would qualify for the same benefits as U.S. citizens. The inevitable result: another run-up in an annual deficit already running $1 trillion in the red.

Politically, so massive a migration of peoples who, once they become citizens, vote 70%-90% Democratic means an end of the GOP as a truly national party.

If we open the borders, how do we stop the drugs from coming in? How do we stop the cartels from following MS-13, which is already here?

Socially, this country is as splintered as it has been since the 1960s.

Will a barrage of migrants add to its diversity, or deepen the ethnic, racial and cultural divides that are turning us into two, three, many Americas?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Drug Cartels, Immigration, Mexico 
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After celebrating Tuesday’s takeover of Virginia’s legislature and the Kentucky governorship, the liberal establishment appears poised to crush its biggest threat: the surging candidacy of Elizabeth Warren.

From the tempo and tenor of the attacks, establishment fears of Warren’s success are real — and understandably so.

Two Wednesday polls show Warren running even with Joe Biden nationally. And a new Iowa poll shows Warren in front of the field with 20%, and Biden falling into fourth place with 15%.

The danger for Democrats: While Warren is now the party’s front-runner, they fear she’s a sure loser to Donald Trump in 2020.

And, again, with reason. A recent poll of six battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, showed Trump beating or tying Warren in all of them except for Arizona.

Nightmare scenario: Warren wins the nomination, but when her neo-Marxist agenda is exposed, Middle America recoils in horror.

The economic elite is already sounding the alarm.

Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase says Warren “vilifies successful people.” Microsoft founder Bill Gates says her proposals would imperil “innovation” and “capital formation.”

Writing in The New York Times, Obama adviser Steven Rattner describes a Warren presidency as “a terrifying prospect.”

Warren would “extend the reach and weight of the federal government far further into the economy than anything even Franklin Roosevelt dreamed of (and) … turn America’s uniquely successful public-private relationship into a dirigiste European-style system.”

“If you want to live in France” — where half the GDP is controlled by the regime — says Rattner, “Warren should be your candidate.”

What finally shocked anti-Warren liberals into action was her recent revelation of how she intends to pay for her “Medicare for all” plan.

Warren’s plan would require at least $23 trillion more in federal spending over a decade. Other experts say the added costs could run to $32 trillion, raising the U.S. government’s share of the GDP by one-half and abolishing the private health insurance plans of 156 million Americans.

“Many of America’s global champions, like banks and tech giants, would be dismembered,” writes Rattner, “Shale fracking would be banned, which would send oil and natural gas prices soaring and cost millions of Americans their jobs.”

Beyond “Medicare for All,” Warren has other plans. Universal child care and free schooling from pre-kindergarten through college and the cancelation of student loans, plus a new look at reparations for slavery.

How would President Warren pay for all her “plans”?

She would raise the corporate rate to 35% from 21%, and slam a 40% tax on the profits of companies that try to flee the country.

She would raise the capital gains tax, impose new estate taxes, raise Social Security taxes on folks with higher incomes, and confiscate 2% of the wealth of those with $50 million in assets and 3% of the wealth of those with $1 billion, every year.

Writes Politifact: “All told, we counted $7 trillion in new spending over a 10-year period, and that’s without Medicare for All. On the flip side, Warren offered specific tax proposals that came to $4.55 trillion.”

Still, Warren’s socialism is not what her main rivals, all white men, are zeroing in on. They’ve decided to play hardball.

Thursday, under a headline, “Warren Faces Accusations that She’s ‘Angry,’ Which Supporters Say is Sexist,” The Washington Post reported:

“Two of the leading male candidates in the Democratic presidential primary race — Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg — have escalated separate lines of attack as they attempt to counter the field’s most prominent woman: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is antagonistic and angry.”

Warren has a “my way or the highway” approach, said Buttigieg, she is “so absorbed in the fighting that it is as though fighting were the purpose.”

Biden says Warren, who has a real shot at taking the nomination, reflects “an angry unyielding viewpoint that has crept into our politics.”

This is “treacherous,” warns the Post, “given that many Democrats remain upset over what they view as the sexist treatment of Hillary Clinton, the party’s last nominee.”

The Democratic Party today defines itself as an inclusive party of women, gays, Hispanics, African Americans and other people of color.

Yet three months out from the decisive early contests of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the party is going into the semifinals of its contest for a leader and future president without a single person of color in the final four.

Moreover, the three white males are denigrating and piling on the woman who is the front-runner with attacks on her personality for which conservatives, if they used such tactics, would be charged with “dog-whistling” the white working class.

When one looks at the approval-disapproval rating of the president, re-election appears problematic. When one looks at the Democrats’ agenda and field of candidates, the odds of Trump’s re-election seem a good deal better.

This thing is by no means over.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Elizabeth Warren, Socialism 
Pat Buchanan
About Pat Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

In his White House years, Mr. Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches, and attended four summits, including Mr. Nixon’s historic opening to China in 1972, and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit in 1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Buchanan has written ten books, including six straight New York Times best sellers A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; State of Emergency; Day of Reckoning and Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.

Mr. Buchanan is currently a columnist, political analyst for MSNBC, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He is married to the former Shelley Ann Scarney, who was a member of the White House Staff from 1969 to 1975.