I’ve been shying away from the impeachment hearings, as I believe that there’s not much chance that Republicans are going to actually listen to the facts brought forth and weigh in on the merits to the case of a quid pro quo by President Trump to gain uncomfortable information on who he thought would be his rival in the 2020 showdown.
That was a mistake on my part. These hearings are fascinating.
Comparison to Watergate is inevitable, but perhaps in-congruent. Nixon and Trump, true, were/are both raging paranoiacs who used cheap and dirty tactics to discredit their opponents. Nixon, smarting from the release of The Pentagon Papers, tried to defame Daniel Ellsberg as some sort of kook. When there was no more daylight between him and the burglary, he quit because he had no friends left, except maybe Kissinger.
I currently think that Trump will eventually resign as well but he’s proven to be a lot slipperier that Nixon. He’s sealed off what’s left of his inner circle from the impeachment inquiry, as if they had all signed an NDA- the OLC is currently providing legal cover for them to decline a subpoena just by being in the employ of the president, a notion that is challengeable in court I imagine. He’s got GOP rank and file ready to fall on swords throughout Congress. Tens of millions of people still say Trump or bust.
If you were there, might I ask- was the entire right side of the aisle riding Nixon’s jock until the dots couldn’t be ignored? Did Nixon habitually lie to confuse people? Was there something like Fox News operating as a cheering section for the troubled president? It’s just crazy. This has got to be worse than Watergate. During these hearings, witnesses have testified to Democrats what they knew about Trump’s missiles-for-dirt pressure campaign upon Ukraine’s President Zelensky. Then the complicit Republicans fulminate for their time, trying to cook up a reverse narrative, that it was Trump trying to root out corruption in the new government, corruption that may have involved the son of the man he thought would be most likely to oppose him in the general. I figure they were going to wait til later to throw that grenade, but circumstances demand that they throw it now because otherwise it’s all Democrats all day building a case so what they have tried to do is use their five minutes to lie and spout calumny about the nature of the inquiry and those testifying against Emperor Zero and then Hannity and Fox and Friends take the ball from there, snipping it all up making it look like Republicans had carried the day.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, though. I finally sat down to watch some testimony today, and boy, did I pick a hell of a day. The erudite and now famous Dr. Fiona Hill came to speak, and she did not come to jack around. She recalled incredible amounts of information that did real damage to the Trump claim that he was not trying to play fuck-fuck with a new Ukrainian government. Adam Schiff has been squeezing the tube from the bottom, just like he should, setting up grander questions for bigger fish thus calling for an undeniable need for Trumpists in positions of power to spit out what they know under oath. That would be game, set and match, the conditions under which I believe Trump would take a powder rather than get removed.
The hearings were amazing today, and everyone should avail themselves of all of the testimony given so far. It’s quite riveting if you ignore all the idiotic, whiny GOP noise masquerading as cross examining (none of them, save counsel, had questions) that is no doubt being digested as I write this by easily conned Fox viewers.
Two things stood out for me today that bear note. Here’s Fiona Hill patiently and succinctly warning everyone about the intent of Trumpublicans to counterspin the Trump/Zelensky fiasco as if the Ukraine were attacking our elections, and she doesn’t mince words about where that notion came from.
You’re all Putin’s bitches.
Also, Eric Swallwell sent Devin Nunes a little chin music, disclosing that he has ties with the Giuliani goons who almost fled prosecution.
If you are free from the singsong of the right wing Wurlitzer and actually watched the proceedings, you clapped in your living room several times today even though no one else was there. Then you thanked god as you came to know him that there’s still some fucking professionals left in the government to expose a pissant president and his eagerness to sell this country out to Russia to personally enrich himself in any way he can.
I guess it is time to discuss the Kurds. Who are they and why is it important?
Many of us are hearing of them for the first time, which is a bit unusual because they were pivotal participants in the fight for Iraq during “the insurgency” post-occupation and bravely fought the emergence of the ISIS cancer as well. I remember being there in 2003 and seeing graffiti in Baghdad that said “PKK”, which I did not understand at the time. They’ve been at this war thing for more than a minute.
You may be asking other questions. Why do so many people suddenly give a damn about them? What is it that we owe to the Kurdish people?
If you just got here, we just fucked them over big time by ceding a part of their “territory” to Turkey. You won’t find “Kurdistan” on a contemporary map, and I suspect you never will. However, here’s a representation of what an autonomous Kurdish state would look like. As a people, they are a victim of the sloppy partitioning of the Middle East by Western powers.
Anyway, we fortified them so they could battle ISIS largely in our stead, and now we are forcing them to run from the land they know as home in Syria. Thanks to the capriciousness of Donald Trump, we unleashed the cruelty of the Turkish military upon Kurdish civilians. Rumors of torture and the deployment of Willy Pete abound.
Having said that, let’s be clear: double-crossing is as American as apple pie. To me, there’s nothing particularly shocking about America hanging the Kurds out to dry. The United States likes the map the way it is. There has never, not even in the virtuous Obama administration, been a mandate for an independent Kurdistan. They have de facto control over northern Iraq, but it’s unlikely that it will become a new “country” and we would probably not support separatism were they to declare independence.
The double cross is certainly not uniquely American. Sometimes, it’s just the way of the world; countries ally so long as they have mutual interests and then part ways when they no longer have them. Think Soviet Russia during and after World War II. Now, the thing about Kurds that makes their situation somewhat unique is that they have no country. Their territory, if you want to call it that, sprawls across four Middle Eastern states. They are fraught with hostile powers on all sides-being a Kurd has been a tough row to hoe, although they are certainly not strangers to violence and defense. I think that perhaps that “wandering” position that they are in makes some of us sympathetic to their desire for land they can call their own. Their struggle, if it can be compared to anything in recent memory, echoes that of the Jewish Zionists, who were very useful to the West by establishing an aggressive client state in the midst of the Arab-dominated Middle East.
I am certainly not saying it is OK at all to greenlight hostilities against allied people only to try futilely to halt them mere days later. The feckless infant occupying the Oval Office has once again shown us he doesn’t have the courage to follow through on his ill-informed adventures; he’s never met a policy he can’t do a quick 180 on. It’s gotten innocents pointlessly murdered this time; it’s as ugly as it sounds and he’s hopefully not going to have much success spinning it as some sort of victory to his enablers in the Senate, especially if the incursion into Syria is shown to be part of a financial “deal” with the Turks.
What we are finding out is that the only thing that really motivates Trump into ever acting is by offering something valuable to him. It’s quid pro quos all the way down. It is shocking in its brazenness and bloodlessness. We shouldn’t forget what that monstrous prick has done to the innocent Kurds to deal things to himself- even as we must and shall make room for new headlines no doubt screaming about the latest Trump transgression against vaunted American ideals and values. Sadly, the massacre of innocents abroad probably won’t be enough for our “conservative” lawmakers to stop normalizing this insane monkey business.
I ask: how much longer, Lord? How much more?