by James Corbett
November 02, 2019
If you’re one of those poor, deluded souls who relies on the mainstream media for their understanding of the news, you’ll have noted that the issue of President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the one and only issue worth talking about in the entire world. In fact, much to Trump’s chagrin, not even resurrecting the oft-mutilated corpse of Abu Bakr al-Bogeyman was able to keep Ukraine from being the top link on Drudge for more than one weekend.
But if you are one of those poor, deluded souls then you probably have no idea what this story (oh-so-originally dubbed “Ukrainegate”) is even about in the first place, much less the much deeper (and darker) back story to this tale that blows the lid off the left/right nonsense that so preoccupies political normieland.
So buckle up and hang on. You’re about to get a crash course in the reality of Ukrainegate. Here are three things you’re not being told about the scandal that’s threatening to topple Trump.
1) What is this story even about?
The irony at the heart of this political scandal is so mind-bendingly crazy that if it were the plot of a political thriller you’d throw it in the garbage for being too implausible. But here it is: The Greatest Scandal of Our Age, the unspeakable crime that threatens to finally bring down the Trump Administration according to the MSM talking heads (no, really, we mean it this time!) is the fact that he was trying to dig up dirt on the Democrat front-runner’s illegal activity in Ukraine.
It’s insane that this even has to be explained, but if you only get your information from the mainstream headlines, you’re probably under the impression that this scandal is all about how Trump just went insane on a phone call to the Ukrainian president and sstarted asking him to dig up dirt on Biden for no particular reason.
If you’re a New World Next Week viewer, however, you’ll already know that the scandal didn’t start with Trump’s phone call. It started in 2014, when, after helping to bring about the coup that toppled the Ukrainian government, Joe “child groper” Biden was appointed the Obama Administration’s “point man” in Ukraine. This appointment was followed in short order by Hunter Biden joining the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company. This was seen as such an obvious ethical conflict that even John Kerry’s son-in-law immediately severed his ties with Hunter upon learning about the move.
In fact, the move was doubly unusual. Firstly, Hunter’s investment company had no investments or other dealings with Burisma before he was suddenly appointed to the board. And secondly, as we now know, his investment firm was paid $3.4 million for the privilege of putting Hunter Biden’s name on its list of board members.
So why did Burisma want Hunter Biden on its board so badly anyway?
The long story is very long, but definitely worth reading. The long story short is that Burisma is a Ukrainian gas company that reaped a windfall when the IMF demanded that Ukrainians pay more for gas and whose windfall was threatened when then-President Poroshenko demanded a cut of their profits to subsidize his own projects. Burisma’s owner responded by bringing in some high-profile international figures (including Hunter Biden) to sit on the company’s board and thus “shield” it from Poroshenko’s greedy grasp.
The move backfired however. Instead of making Poroshenko back off it just made him angry, and he sicced Attorney General Viktor Shokin on Burisma. This is when Joe Biden visited Kiev to announce another billion dollars in loan guarantees to Ukraine. But, as Creepy Uncle Joe himself admitted at a CFR event last year, that billion dollars came with a string attached: Fire Viktor Shokin.
I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
So, depending on whether you’re reading a source from the right side of the political aisle or a “fact checking” outlet on the other side, Biden was either attaching US loan guarantees to a corrupt prosecutor getting fired or he was attaching US loan guarantees to his son’s prosecutor getting fired. Or maybe both. And this is what the supposed quid pro quo at the heart of the Trump phone call is all about.
But then again, perhaps it isn’t surprising that the irony of this “how dare you point out our corruption” move is being studiously ignored by the media. After all, the entire premise of the DNC email “hack” scandal was that the Russians (don’t ask for evidence, it was the Russians!) wanted to rig the election by showing how the DNC was rigging the election. Somehow, that second part got left out when the scandal turned into the basis of the Russiagate circus.
2) All foreign aid is quid pro quo
Once again the mainstream talking heads are treating the American public like idiots. They want the public to be outraged—OUTRAGED!—that Trump would dare tie foreign aid to politics like this. But when Trump did the exact same thing last year no one batted an eyelid. Why? Because he was withholding aid to Palestinian refugees. That’s perfectly fine.
No, this is not about principle. But what if it were? What if Trump is found to have been engaging in an underhanded deal—that is, withholding US aid unless the Ukrainian government dishes dirt on his political opponent? Should he be impeached? Sure! But then, so should every president or administration who engages in such activity. Which, let’s be clear, is all of them.
It shouldn’t need to be stressed, but in case it is: No one has clean hands here. The Washington swamp-dwellers cannot simply blame this all on Trump, impeach him, install someone else into the position of God Emperor, and go back to business as usual. Why? Because quid pro quo for foreign aid is business as usual, stupid!
The first and clearest evidence of this is, of course, Biden himself threatening to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine unless they fire their Attorney General. As we’ve already seen, Biden is guilty—by his own admission, no less—of the very thing that his supporters are now claiming Trump should be impeached for.
But the problem goes deeper than that. In fact, the ability to put pressure on foreign governments through “aid” is the very raison d’être of the US Agency for International Development. As I’ve pointed out before, USAID—created by executive order in 1961 to administer civilian aid and development assistance on behalf of the US government— has, since its inception, been involved in interference in country after country around the globe. And this interference has always been in the service of US military, geopolitical, and economic agendas.
In fact, USAID’s black ops programs for undermining foreign governments go all the way back to the founding of the agency itself. Some of the lowlights include USAID’s “Office of Public Safety” and its part in running a CIA front program for training foreign police in torture and terror tactics in Latin America; co-funding (with the CIA) the opium-smuggling Xieng Khouang Air Transport, a private airline for narcotics trafficker (and CIA point man in Laos) General Vang Pao; and co-funding opposition groups in Ukraine (prior to the 2014 coup) with Glenn Greenwald-backer Pierre Omidyar and, of course, George Soros.
Yes, “aid” is never just about actually aiding others. It is, by its very nature, a type of leverage that is used to extract political and economic concessions from the very populations who are being so magnanimously “helped” by these kind offerings.
But here’s the most confusing thing: This story isn’t even about aid, anyway. Not aid aid, at least. So what is it about?
3) The Ukraine “aid” isn’t even aid
It would be one thing if we were talking about Biden and Trump and other establishment goons holding back shipments of food from starving orphans in order to get their way with the Ukrainian government or something like that. But of course we’re not. So what are we talking about? Why, the withholding of “military assistance,” of course.
But what is military assistance, exactly? Well, let’s see what Zelensky was actually asking for in the infamous phone call, shall we?
ZELENSKY: I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. Specifically, we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
Which, according to the transcript, is the precise moment that Trump begins his “I would like you to do us a favor, though” spiel.
So, javelins? Ukraine wants to buy some spears from the US? Maybe they’re practicing for Tokyo 2020?
No, of course not. They want the privilege of being able to purchase more Javelin anti-tank missiles from the US. Or, more specifically, from the “Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture of Orlando, Florida and Tucson, Arizona,” which is the prime contractor for the deal.
So, yes, “aid” in this case means allowing the Ukrainians the privilege of lining the pockets of US military contractors. “Won’t someone think of the poor Raytheon and Lockheed Martin executives?”
In fact, the bigger story of the Javelins and how they relate to the whole Ukraine fiasco is itself fascinating. These are the very type of offensive weapons that Obama refused to provide to Ukraine back in 2015, but when the Republican platform was amended in 2016 to put it exactly in line with Obama’s policy, the Democrats suddenly saw it as proof positive that those evil right-wingers were in fact agents of Putin. So of course Trump did start providing this “lethal military aid” to Ukraine (including the Javelins) to show just how much he hates Russia, too!
Oh, and any guess who helped shape Trump’s decision on providing this “lethal military aid”? His special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who simultaneously worked as a lobbyist for BGR Group. And who are the BGR Group? A lobbying firm that represents Raytheon, of course.
Are you starting to get a sense of what’s going on here? None of this has anything to do with “aid.” None of this has anything to do with helping the people of Ukraine. None of this really even has anything to do with “national security” or any of the other BS excuses that are slung around to justify the ever-expanding “defense” budget and other expenditures of the US government. And this certainly has nothing to do with “draining the swamp” or other such stupid catchphrases that are meant to garner support from the political simpletons.
This is a game, pure and simple. A game to see how much money can be diverted into the pockets of the contractors, and who can benefit the most—financially and politically—from that game. And the game is being played with taxpayer money. If you are an American taxpayer and you are not enraged by everyone playing this game—whether Team Red or Team Blue—you are not paying attention.
The left side of the phony left/right charade can get on their high horse all they want, but anyone who spends two minutes researching the real Ukrainegate scandal will start to understand that this affair implicates “their” guys just as much as it implicates “the other” guys.
And the right side of the phony left/right charade can get on their high horse all they want and say that when Trump plays quid pro quo games with foreign governments to line his military contractor friends’ pockets, he’s just doing what every other swamp-dweller does. But that still makes Trump a swamp-dweller.
So, yes, by all means, impeach Trump! But also retroactively impeach every president and low-level official who has ever been involved in these types of quid pro quo regime-change-by-means-of-aid deals that have been cut in the past. Which is to say: Impeach all of them!
This weekly editorial is part of The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter. To support The Corbett Report and to access the full newsletter, please sign up to become a member of the website.