Watching the Trump impeachment hearings, one hears again and again the phrase, ‘the rule of law’ uttered with great solemnity. The phrase is followed very closely by another slogan, ‘fighting corruption’.
The American public is told by the congressional democrats on the House Judiciary Committee that in effect, impeaching President Trump is an imperative action needed to set an example to the world that the United States upholds ‘democracy’ and the ‘the rule of law’.
Furthermore, the public is told that U.S. policy in the Ukraine is designed to counter ‘Russian aggression’ and reverse the ‘Russian invasion’ of that beleaguered country. That no such ‘aggression’ or ‘invasion’ has taken place is irrelevant to democrats and republicans alike.
Several questions should be asked by way of examining the political rhetoric currently being used to justify U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine.
Firstly, was the 2014 U. S. sponsored coup d’etat of President Victor Yanukovych an example of upholding democracy?
Secondly, was supporting ultra-rightwing and neo-Nazi shock troops in the 2014 Maiden uprising as did U.S. senator John McCain an example of respecting the rule of law?
Thirdly, was the intervention undertaken by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt into the domestic political affairs of Ukraine that resulted in the selection of that government’s pro-Western Yatsenyuk leadership in the wake of the coup an example of democratic governance?
Fourthly, was placing the Ukraine in debt to the IMF to the tune of $18 Billion and requiring that the government slash its national gas subsidies thereby contributing to a 50% increase in gas prices an example of exercising the rule of law?
Fifthly, is funding a war in the Ukraine that has cost the lives of an estimated 13,000 people by delivering military aid to the pro- Western Kiev government an example of the United States promoting democracy and human rights?
In effect, the answer to all of the above questions is ‘yes’ if we mean the law of the imperialist jungle. The answer is ‘no’ if we mean international and constitutional law. U.S. imperialism is above the law in the latter sense.
Imperialist diplomacy is conducted by gangsters who routinely make offers to other leaders that cannot be refused. Yanukovych was deposed after refusing to take loans from the IMF. His replacement, the Ukrainian businessman and oligarch, Petro Poroshenko, had no such qualms.
The popular Ukrainian actor and hapless new President Volodymyr Zelensky is left to pick up the pieces of a broken state wrecked by war, neo-liberal privatization and the attendant oligarchical corruption that flows in its wake.
Impeaching a U.S. president for allegedly placing strings on foreign aid seems rather selective as all U.S. aid comes with strings attached. It is the nature of the stings in question that are controversial.
Were there strings attached to Ukrainian foreign aid? The democrats say yes, the strings involved pressure to investigate a political rival of President Trump. The republicans say no, the aid was ultimately delivered without strings attached.
Neither side questions the propriety of delivering lethal military aid to a country fighting what appears to be a civil war that resulted from a U.S. coup. The reason for bipartisan congressional silence on the nature of the aid in question is that the war in Ukraine is a U.S. proxy war with Russia, not a civil war in Ukraine.
Consequently, the events that have unfolded in Ukraine and their domestic repercussions in the United States cannot be viewed in isolation.
Imperialism, as the political analyst Michael Parenti once wrote, sees only two types of countries beyond its borders, satellites (or vassal states) that throw themselves open to free market neo-liberal exploitation, and enemies, or potential enemies, that do not, preferring one form or another of economic nationalism designed to protect their domestic markets, resources, labor, and currencies. Furthermore, Parenti indicated that domestically, the empire destroys the republic.
Enter the vainglorious Donald Trump who wanted to have peaceful relations with Russia. The Donald did not understand that the United States does not have allies or friends of any kind.
Being an empire, it has only permanent interests and unless Vladimir Putin is willing to throw the doors of mother Russia open to Western predatory investors as his alcoholic predecessor Boris Yeltsin had done, then Mr. Putin will be regarded as an enemy of the United States and one does not have peaceful relations with an enemy.
Especially an enemy that had the temerity to block the U.S. proxy war in Syria thereby disrupting the plans of the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia to defeat the ‘arc of resistance’ consisting of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine.
The ‘rule of law’ doesn’t seem to be doing so well in that region of the world that Noam Chomsky once described as being animated by a ‘cauldron of animosities’.
The United States actively supports the Israeli apartheid state in its ongoing deracination and vicious oppression of the peoples of Palestine; it supports the retrograde Saudi Monarchy, its Wahabi fundamentalist legions who spread havoc throughout the region, and its destructive war in Yemen; it supports the new Turkish sultan’s ambitions in Syria against the Kurds; it conducts economic warfare on Iran; it occupies the oil fields of Syria at great profit pretending to fight ISIS; and it foments social rebellion in Iraq and Lebanon. It does so to defend empire, access to oil, and Israel.
None of those interests have anything to do with the ‘rule of law’ or ‘promoting democracy’ and everything to do with violence, subjugation and theft.
From the perspective of the bipartisan U.S. political and foreign policy establishments, Russian needs to butt out of the Ukraine and the Middle East and assume vassal status or the psychotic anti-Putin, anti- Russian hysteria relentlessly manufactured by the political and media elite will not end.
Russiagate and Ukrainegate are transparent attempts by the national security state and the democrats to delegitimize the Trump presidency, reverse the results of the 2016 election, and, most importantly, insure the continuity established by Presidents Clinton, Bush Jr, and Obama of expanding NATO and encircling Russia with hostile puppets that act as the cat’s paw of imperialism.
One should study history and recognize that provoking the Russian bear can have terrible consequences, not the least of which could be nuclear war, as the eminent professor of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, Stephen Cohen has repeatedly warned.
Challenging the imperialist narrative on Russia, Ukraine, Syria and beyond is a necessary undertaking in the fight against plutocratic domination in American’s ‘democracy’. Peace and freedom hang in the balance.
Donald Monaco is a political analyst who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He received his Master’s Degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1979 and was radicalized by the Vietnam War. He writes from an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist perspective. His recent book is entitled, The Politics of Terrorism.
First published by ICH
The 21st Century