By MARTY GOODMAN
As the twin parties of the corporate elite battle it out on whether Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian president constituted an impeachable “high crime or misdemeanors,” the real crimes, committed daily against the people and nations of the world and inherent in the capitalist system, are nowhere to be seen.
Millions upon millions everywhere want to see the racist, misogynist, warmaking Trump impeached but are excluded from this media orchestrated circus conceived by the Democrats as vote-winning pre-election device rather than a serious investigation into the system’s functioning.
We ask, why aren’t Trump’s undeclared wars a violation of Congress’s war making powers? The ongoing CIA backed regime change and deadly economic sanctions against Venezuela and its elected government have cost the lives of 40,000 Venezuelans! Is this not a high crime?
We ask, why isn’t Trump’s bloody CIA-backed coup against the people of Bolivia and its elected government a high crime?
Or why aren’t the endless undeclared wars on Syria and Afghanistan, with unflagging bi-partisan support, a high crime? Likewise, why weren’t impeachment proceedings begun against George W. Bush for his lies about Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” and the deadly war for oil that was continued by Barack Obama. One and a half million Iraqis died in this imperial venture!
Why aren’t the billions spent in aid per year by succeeding Democratic and Republican administrations propping up the apartheid, garrison state of Israel, a violation of congressional human rights guidelines on U.S. foreign aid?
Why isn’t the caging of immigrant workers and their children, a violation of international immigration laws signed by the U.S., an impeachable offense? Why wasn’t Trump’s racist ban on Muslim immigrants a high crime?
Answer: Because these aren’t high crimes to the loyal representatives of capital sitting in the two major parties because these are crimes of war and racism that are inherent in the capitalist system itself.
Capitalism’s bi-partisan wars
The selective memories of the self-righteous Democrats have seemingly forgotten Obama’s crimes. Immigration rights advocates called Obama “The Deporter in Chief” for deporting more immigrants than G.W. Bush. No less criminal was the role of Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who in 2009 backed a bloody CIA coup against the elected government of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. Clinton’s role in Haiti was likewise criminal, as revealed by WikiLeaks, where she bullied the Haitian parliament into advancing the presidential bid of the gangster linked Michel Martelly. And, let’s not forget the most catastrophic of all, the bi-partisan, capitalist war on climate which each day brings us another step closer to climate Armageddon!
Of course we support impeaching and jailing Trump for his crimes, but which Democrat or Republican has spent a day in jail for capitalism’s endless wars – drone wars, sanction wars, death squad wars, privatized army wars, Special Operation wars and overt wars like those that destroyed the infrastructures and murdered tens and hundreds of thousands in Libya and Syria? The U.S. undeclared genocidal war on Vietnam killed 4 million Vietnamese!
These are the high crimes of capitalism and imperialism for which both parties are guilty as charged!
The Ukraine for real
Perhaps the most startling aspect of the Ukraine scandal is the silence of the Democrats and Republicans over Ukraine policy. We’ve heard career diplomats – read career imperialists – from the Bush, Obama and Trump years drone on about defending Ukraine with military aid in a hot war with Russia and the Russian speaking regions in eastern Ukraine.
Not one corporate TV pundit dares question U.S. arming of the reactionary Ukrainian Army with $400 million in military aid. The real Ukraine military expenditures of the U.S. are in the $billions. Apparently, the only offense Trump made worth addressing, say the Democrats, was asking President Zelensky to do a political hit on Trump’s election rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter – as if using aid to promote corporate interests wasn’t simply imperialism’s way of doing business around the world!
Biden’s privileged son, whom it is said knows nothing about energy, sits on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma – at $50,000 a month! – a company intent on exploiting Ukraine’s shale gas reserves, the fourth largest in Europe…..and to hell with the threat to life on earth by these fossil fuels! Geo-politically, Ukrainian shale gas is seen as a competitor to the extensive Russian gas exports to Europe.
The Ukraine-Russia war is being led by a corrupt government headed by Ukrainian President and former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, touted in the media as a so-called corruption reformer. Zelensky, who was elected in May, appointed Andrey Bohdan to head his Presidential Administration, who is conveniently also a lawyer for billionaire media oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi. Kolomoyskyi is a friend of the president and his former boss.
Obama installs pro-U.S. regime
For context, a pro-U.S. Ukrainian regime was installed in Feb. 2014 by the Obama administration, led by anti-Semitic, far-rightists and outright fascists from the Ukrainian Svoboda (“Freedom”) Party, with ideological roots in the pro-Nazi movement in WWII and the extreme right “Right Sector” Party. The corrupt pre-coup government of Viktor Yanukovych traded largely with Russian capitalists and engendered large protests.
Make no mistake, the coup-makers were club wielding, armed fascists and NAZI sympathizers who received five of the ministers in the first cabinet. Obama’s U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, bragged that the U.S. funded this so-called “democratic opposition” with $5 billion over 10 years.
In 2014, the U.S.-installed government of Arsenly Yatsenyuk cut deals with the U.S. dominated International Monetary Fund and imposed anti-working class austerity policies on the impoverished majority of Ukrainians. The U.S. surrogate regime also sought membership in the imperialist European Union and in the greatly expanded U.S.-led NATO military alliance, which has aggressively tightened its grip around Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. The postwar NATO alliance was devised by the U.S. to “contain communism,” which no longer exists in Russia, but NATO nevertheless continues as an arm of U.S. imperial designs.
Said Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report’s Executive Editor, “The impeachment hearings are advertised as Ukraine gate but they’re just an extension of Russia gate. They scream everlasting conflict with Russia and Syria and Iran and Venezuela and everyone who doesn’t bow down to American exceptionalism.” (Nov 26).
Some on the left have forgotten the lessons of the Nixon “Watergate” scandal and are mobilizing to impeach Trump. Most are trying to pave the way for the dead-end solution of a Democratic President. But, Richard Nixon, thoroughly discredited as a butcher in Vietnam, a liar and a thief, resigned rather than be impeached. The result? Vice president Gerald Ford took over and U.S. capitalism continued – albeit quite shaken – but quickly returned to business as usual, i.e., war, racism, exploitation, etc.
Today, V.P. Michael Pence is next in line if Trump goes, although Republicans will likely put up a stiff fight. Pence has described himself as a “principled conservative,” a supporter of the Tea Party and “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” Would a post-Trump Pence presidency advance the struggle of working people against war, exploitation and racism? Not at all.
Socialist Action’s Presidential candidate in 2020, Jeff Mackler, responded this way to the impeachment melodrama, “Perhaps we would be better off impeaching the whole lot of them, that is, removing all the Democrats and Republicans. But that would require organizing the American people for a socialist revolution.” Not a bad idea!