President Zelensky was elected in a landslide. However the same right-wing nationalists are threatening to overthrow the government again should any peace agreement give too much away to the Kremlin.

By Michael Madden  December 21, 2019

Talk given on December 21, 2019 at No War for the Holidays bannering at Lagoon and Hennepin in Minneapolis MN

I’d like to speak today about the recently concluded impeachment hearings and what they reveal about American militarism and meddling in the sovereign affairs of Ukraine.

First I should say that I support the impeachment of Donald Trump. I have supported it since the first day of his presidency when he came into violation of the Emoluments Clause.

But I must admit, I consider his demand that Ukrainian President Zelensky announce an investigation into Joe Biden to be among the least of his crimes. Far more serious are his incitements to violence, his human rights abuses at the border, and violations of the War Powers Act.

Many have noted the partisan nature of the impeachment. That doesn’t bother me. Much is revealed in adversarial hearings. What concerns me are the areas of bipartisan agreement: the celebration of American militarism and the rectitude of our meddling in the sovereign affairs of Ukraine.

When Ambassador William Taylor was introduced as a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Intelligence Committee members of both parties fell about the place praising his military service and commitment to protecting our freedom and promoting democracy. Colonel Alexander Vindman was introduced as a veteran of the Iraq War and received the same treatment.

These two American wars, in Vietnam and Iraq, were criminal acts of military aggression. They had nothing to do with defending America, defending freedom, or promoting democracy. In fact, the United States waged war in Vietnam to prevent elections called for by international agreement because we surmised that the wrong candidate would win.

When a nation is guilty of military aggression, it is not those who prosecuted the war who should be honored, it is those who tried to stop it. I admire each and every one of you here today who opposed those wars, and I am more than grateful to see you in the street again, trying to stop the next one.

I’d like to turn to meddling by quoting Daniel Goldman who was counsel for the Democrats in the Intelligence Committee Hearings. As a witness in the Judiciary Committee hearings, he testified:

Russia invaded Ukraine to take over part of their country…and this is Russia, who’s an adversary, trying to encroach on a democracy. So just from a broad democratic viewpoint, it was essential not only to Ukraine’s national security, but to America’s national security to make sure democracy remains worldwide”.

Someone really needs to inform Mr. Goldman, and all of the Democrats and Republicans in the House, that Russia got involved militarily only after the government of Ukraine had fallen. Ukraine was no longer a democracy because their democratically elected leader, Viktor Yanukovych, had been overthrown – with substantial assistance from the US State Department. Ukraine’s war is not a war with Russia. It is a civil war, with Russia assisting the breakaway provinces and the United States assisting the post-revolutionary government.

The 2014 unconstitutional transfer of power in Kiev underwent a fantastic rebranding during the impeachment hearings. In Washington, that fascist coup is now known as “the Dignity Revolution”. The DIGNITY REVOLUTION. I saw pictures of the occupied buildings in Maidan Square. They were festooned with white nationalist paraphernalia. Its leaders (Parubiy, Tiyahnybok, Muzychko, et al) were real neo-Nazis armed with guns, grenades, and petrol bombs. To recast that as dignified takes real audacity. And it takes a real propaganda machine to make it stick, which I’m sure it will, as none of the mainstream media covering the hearings offered a corrected narrative.

Moving away from Washington, there is reason to believe peace may be at hand for Ukraine. Presidents Zelensky and Putin met one-on-one at a December 9th summit in Paris to discuss ending the five-year war. Three days ago, on December 18th, Zelensky enacted a law that extends special status to the Donbas through the year 2020 with city of Sevastopol assigned to the autonomous Republic of Crimea. These provisions are contingent on the withdrawal of all Russian forces.

President Zelensky was elected in a landslide. However the same right-wing nationalists are threatening to overthrow the government again should any peace agreement give too much away to the Kremlin.

Should there be an attempt to oust Zelensky by violent means, would the United States back democracy or right-wing extremism in Ukraine? History tells us that democracy will likely take a back seat if America’s perceived geo-strategic interests are at stake.

Michael Madden is a member of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 27, Twin Cities.


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  1. ATrigueiro (@ATrigueiro) December 30, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    You are correct some things that matter more than impeachment.

  2. Philip Reiss December 30, 2019 at 5:58 AM

    Mike Madden’s assessment of U.S. hypocrisy regarding interfering in other country’s political process, i.e., elections and regime change, is spot on.

  3. coleenrowley December 29, 2019 at 9:13 PM

    Here’s a provocative letter to the Raleigh News and Observer and potential solution to all the meddling in other countries’ elections:

    The U.S. government has a long record of intervening in elections of other countries. This doesn’t make Trump’s encouragement of foreign intervention in U.S. elections pardonable, but reveals the hypocrisy of many Democrats who’ve continued to squander tax dollars on “forever wars” and covert operations that undercut democracy at home and abroad.
    Both parties are dependent on campaign contributions from corporations enriched by these wars.
    Politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have depended on numerous small contributions from individual donors and refused corporate PAC money, have shown more independence.
    U.S. politics have a powerful effect all over the world, so why not embrace “foreign intervention” but limit it to small donations from individual donors?
    After all the American hubris about bringing democracy to the world it would be an ironic and gracious thing if the citizens of the world brought democracy to us.
    Roger Ehrlich, Cary

  4. […] via Impeachment Hearings Expose Current State of US Militarism/Meddling, by Mike Madden — Rise Up Time… […]

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