By Jeffrey Silverman, Bureau Chief VT Georgia with New Eastern Outlook Moscow
In recent days lots of people have been getting a crash course on what is going on in Ukraine, not because it spikes their interest but due to its nexus with the US presidential elections and how things are done by the US under the guise of helping.
The Democrats are now accusing Trump of pressuring Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the shady dealings of former US Vice President Joe Biden, and especially those of his son, Hunter.
To cut to the chase, Trump has flatly denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the allegations as “witch hunt garbage,” designed to give the Democrats some edge they can’t get at the ballot box – all to block his bid for a second term.
All that may be true – but too much has transpired in Ukraine over the past 10 years. For instance, the Obama Administration, the CIA and others, really did fund a bunch of anti-Russian separatists, Nazis, to take over the government. Then Crimea voted to join Russia out of fear and blowback, and some airplanes crashed and nobody ever talked about the truth.
Most of what you have read about Ukraine is wrong, and that is an understatement, as described by Vladimir Golstein, Professor of Slavic studies at Brown University. He was born in Moscow, and emigrated to the United States in 1979. But there will be more of the same reporting by MSM sources, more brainwashing and justification for the missteps and mishaps of the US and its partners.
How It Is
To make a complicated problem simple, at least for an American audience: All that has transpired in Ukraine is related to the 2016 hack of the DNC emails, and a stand-up comedian being elected president.
The Democrats, via some of their Pacs, want to use the Ukrainian card to deflect attention from their own failures, and for fundraising. The Republicans want to play the same card against the Democrats, and the average Ukrainian, “We the People”, is stuck in the middle hoping both of them will go away.
The story goes back to the early 2014 telephone conversation between Fuck-the EU Victoria Nuland, then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, then US Ambassador to Ukraine. Then Vice President Biden played a role in “midwifing” the US-backed overthrow of an elected Ukrainian government soon after that conversation.
That’s the biggest crime in this story, but it isn’t being told—though well documented in the alternative media, the illegal overthrow of a sovereign government has been overlooked by all players.
But suddenly, ‘Now that we know Donald Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine if their government refused to help him win re-election, more than three-quarters of the Democrats in the House have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry.” The timing of this knowledge of highly suspect, and how it was leaked and who leaked it—it was obviously an inside source within the White House.
Such statements are not trustworthy, but that is a moot issue in light of the bigger scheme of things. It is the Senate which decides who is or is not impeached. When Democrats Turn Out is a movement to activate voters across the country to make sure Democrats continue to make history at the polls, but cannot decide an impeachment.
It goes without saying that Trump deserves to get kicked out of office for various sins, the least of them being his BIG mouth and not keeping trusted staff who will not leak information like a sieve holding water.
As for Ukraine, aside from the latest recriminations over Joe Biden and Hunter, his “businessman” son who could teach Trump how to make the “Art of the Deal”, it is only a PlayStation for the interests of others. Few want to openly acknowledge that Hunter Biden was hired by the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdingsk without any apparent publications to his name, after having been booted out of the Navy for failing a drug test.
His new job started in April 2014, two months after Ukraine’s Russia-friendly former president was ousted by a US sanctioned and supported coup. Before, during and after the removal of Ukraine’s legal president, Hunter Biden’s father was very much involved in US efforts to support the newly installed American puppet government.
Ukraine has lost much credibility due to corruption, its handling of the alleged shooting down by Russians of the Dutch passenger liner, shelling its civilians in its Eastern regions, etc.
A Dutch source, who has been following the investigation of the shooting down of the plane, says:
“Our investigation was a joint investigation with….Ukraine. There are a lot of uncertain issues. It is Russia who did the shooting down, according to them. I am convinced, however, that it was not the Russians; they would never act so stupidly. They [the media] blame Russia but do not show real evidence, only baseless allegations. They lie; all those who claim to know-Ukraine itself shot it down with one of its own airplanes.”
Ukraine on Fire
Much of what has transpired in Ukraine is well-documented, but as it does not paint the US or Ukraine in a positive light—it is soon dismissed by many in the West as merely Russian propaganda. That is far from the reality, as demonstrated by the world famous movie and documentary producer Oliver Stone.
Stone’s Ukraine on Fire provides a historical perspective for the deep divisions in the region which led to the 2004 Orange Revolution, the 2014 uprisings and the violent overthrow of democratically-elected Yanukovych. Covered by Western media as a ‘popular revolution’, this was in fact a coup d’état scripted and staged by ultra-nationalist groups and the US State Department.
What has transpired since has proved a bone of contention between East and West and made internal problems even more acute. These are further complicated by an all-out attack on the Russian language, and hyperinflation which has driven an already marginalised population deeper into poverty and forced the best and the brightest, and many in-between, to try their luck in the EU and beyond.
The results of this have not been positive, and the subsequent brain and skilled labour drain will have long term consequences. The immediate consequences are not only being borne by the masses but the region as the whole.
The element fits together only too well. First Obama and Joe Biden pressurised European nations to show solidarity with them against Russia and support all the US had done in Ukraine. Then Biden and the A team had to be rewarded, and so got themselves worked up like Palvov’s dogs over the thought of dividing up the spoils of another post-Cold War country.
Somehow his incompetent and disgraced son got on the board of the major Ukrainian gas company. Of course this could not be a conflict of interest —even after Joe Biden bragged about getting rid of the Ukrainian prosecutor who had started to investigate Hunter Biden’s backhanded activities by linking a billion dollars in US aid to his removal.
It is not uncommon for politicians to find their sons and daughters jobs with big companies if they don’t earn them on academic or other merit. It is one way of getting them out of the way.
When William Kennedy Smith was accused of rape in 1991, his family found him a new job as a medical intern in Albuquerque, which is pronounced “Middle of Nowhere”. Smith was qualified for the role, but even as an acquitted rapist the similar charges laid against him by other women should have disqualified him from going anywhere near patients. Nevertheless he has been able to build his own career rehabilitating landmine victims, whilst his relatives and political fellow-travellers plant and sell them all over the world.
The problem arises when these appointments are linked with aid, and therefore used to create or bring down governments. Hunter’s appointment in Ukraine, where he was less likely to embarrass his father and damage his presidential run, was the small print of also accepting aid. If Ukraine looked elsewhere for this aid, as it did, Hunter would have to come home and bring his problems with him. Hence the removal of Yanukovych, because the poor people there are only Ukrainians, not the sons of prospective US presidents.
White Sun, Black Night
The current ordeal over Ukraine and the zero sum game being played there are very reminiscent of a scene in an old Soviet Movie, White Sun of the Desert.
“Do you want to be finished off right away, or prefer to be tortured a bit first? -Well, I prefer to be tortured first.”
The film as a whole speaks to current debates on climate, politics and science—especially in terms of Ukraine. It is very bad for our survival to keep on electing greedy politicians and war-mongers and appointing their progeny to positions of power. Such folks only worry about their own bottom line, not seeing the dangers of pushing Russia and the rest of the world to the brink.
The Red soldier from the film, the one who preferred (21:30) to be tortured first, as least used his time right, figuring out how to escape from the gang of nationalists and Whites who had captured him. But how will the civilized world and simple people escape from the mess that their leaders have found themselves in, in Ukraine and other hotspots?
What has happened over one phone call, albeit taken out of context, does at least give us a bit of time, while we are being tortured, to plan our eventual escape. Trump may have given us both the torture and a dystopian wasteland to escape to, but we may not even have had those without his intervention.
Assistance and democracy building, as delivered or promised by the US and its European partners, have not been very effective in Ukraine. They have not encouraged the government to take responsibility for its actions, including its criminal ones, or respond to the real needs of its citizens.
The results are further divisions within the country. A country of inherent political and economic instability is made all the more unstable—and draws a larger region into that quagmire. All of which suits the US, even if it created the problem, because everything can be blamed on some inherent defect within the locals, as usual.
It all goes back to the source of the problem, and what Ukraine and other marginalized states for, only as an instrument to inflict problem on others, like Russia, as the scapegoat for all what the US and its allies are doing by proxy: invading and interfering.
The problem is that those like Biden or Albright or Clintons, or Blair, all know how it is done. They have western skills. They rose to the top of their professions in their own countries by hook and crook. That is why it should come as no surprise to anyone that they want to inflict their know-how with newly liberated countries like Ukraine, or Albania, or Iraq—as they have already done on countries such as Georgia.
Is that what Ukraine is there for? Is this the role of any sovereign state? If we are going to talk about defects in the locals, in which country do those defects actually lie?
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.