In the wake of Zelensky’s wildly provocative statements, it is time to question whether the U.S. president has a personal interest in prolonging the war in Ukraine.
By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News
A friend and colleague wrote in an unusually sage commentary a couple of years ago that Ukraine would prove “NATO’s Waterloo.”
He called the brewing conflict there “a debacle-in-waiting.” This was two months before the U.S. provoked the Russian intervention in February 2022. Now that is prescience.
Ukraine, indeed, has revealed NATO somewhat in the way of the old pun: No action, talk only. As Scott Ritter argued in a recent speech, it now appears the alliance is incapable of waging war in Ukraine or anywhere else in Europe.
But let’s set NATO’s surprising weakness aside for now and consider who, as the Ukrainian sinkhole widens and deepens, is tumbling fastest into it. Here I offer a confession: I take pleasure, not at all perverse, in watching Joesph R. Biden, Jr. and those around him panic as the bill comes due for all those years of conniving with Ukrainian crooks and as the unforgivable folly of the war he started is now everywhere understood, even among those who continue in public to pretend otherwise.
It is not yet possible to discern just how our burbling president will go down, but go down he will. Of this we can now be certain. The time of comeuppance is near.
My question as of last week is this: Is the Biden regime’s whatever-it-takes, as- long-as-it-takes commitment to the war tied to his escalating vulnerability to charges of corruption dating to his years as Barack Obama’s vice-president, when he carried the Ukraine portfolio? Does Biden have a personal interest in prolonging this war, to put this question another way?
It took the House of Representatives nearly a year, but last Tuesday Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House speaker, directed the chamber to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden’s evidently extravagant grifting and influence peddling in Ukraine and elsewhere. It is hard to believe the Democrats’ response to this development.
The Democratic machine and its clerks in the press pretended for years there was nothing to allegations that Biden and his son Hunter were on the take from a Ukrainian oligarch, as well as various other business people in China, Russia and Central Asia. They have more recently pretended there is no credible evidence of misconduct, even as investigators sent piles of it to the House Oversight Committee.
And now they pretend the imminent inquiry is so hollow and silly it is not worth bothering about. John Fetterman, the Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, struck the new pose as soon as McCarthy announced the inquiry: “Oh, my God, really? Oh, my gosh, it’s devastating,” Fetterman mocked. “Oooh, don’t do it. Please don’t do it.”
You are now on notice, readers: Biden and his minders are not going to fight the impeachment process in committee rooms and courts because they cannot win on the evidentiary merits. They are going to fight this by mounting a propaganda op that is daring even for the party that concocted and then sustained the Russiagate hoax for five years.
Here is Peter Baker, The New York Times’s chief White House correspondent, last Thursday:
“Forget the weighty legal arguments over the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors or the constitutional history of the removal process. Mr. Biden’s defense team has chosen to take on the Republican threat by convincing Americans that it is nothing more than rank partisanship driven by the radical wing of the opposition party.”
The oafish Baker then elaborates the strategy:
“The White House and its allies have gone on the offensive, dismissing the allegations against the president as baseless and debunked, attacking the investigators for distorting the evidence, issuing fund-raising appeals to financial supporters and pressuring the news media to frame the conflict on Mr. Biden’s terms.”
Don’t miss the import of that last bit. Fresh from a ruling that the Biden regime unlawfully coerced social media platforms to censor content, it now intends to lean on mainstream media to provide purposely unbalanced coverage of the impeachment inquiry in defense of the president. The Times, the networks, PBS, The Associated Press, TIME, The Boston Globe, Politico: They have all obliged since receiving the White House’s instructions in a memo last Wednesday, a day after McCarthy’s announcement.
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Here is one especially twisted specimen as published in the Times last Wednesday under the headline, “Witness testimony Casts Doubt on Some Biden Impeachment Allegations.” Timothy Thibault, we read, was accused of meddling unlawfully in Hunter Biden’s tax case while he was with the FBI. Then:
“Mr. Thibault said he had been subject to ‘baseless allegations’ of political interference in the tax case. Mr. Thibault said he actually had little involvement in the younger Mr. Biden’s case, other than to shut down the use of a confidential source who he discovered was actually a right-wing author whose information he feared would taint the legitimacy of the investigation.”
Take a moment with this: When the Times is obfuscating in high gear, this is necessary. Timothy Thibault had nothing to do with the Biden tax case except that he suppressed the testimony of an informant because the informant — not named — had right-wing views — not described, probably merely conservative — and it is legitimate to ‘shut down’ informants because of their political views.”
Plain–English translation: Timothy Thibault tampered with a witness because he was not a liberal.
We are in for more than a year of this abuse, which is what it amounts to. But those defending Biden won’t win this way, either, in my estimation. Once again, mainstream Democrats and mainstream media manifest their fatal flaw: They are forever overestimating the stupidity of Americans — with the exception, of course, of liberals who think what they are told to think and see events as they are told to see them. Who think, in other words, Timothy Thibault is a stand-up, clean-hands guy.
Zelensky’s Threatening Remarks
Let’s briefly consider conditions on the ground in Ukraine. At this point the Biden regime’s charge into the war against Russia starts to look as reckless as the Light Brigade’s in Crimea all those years ago. This war is unwinnable, as Scott Ritter and various other military commentators have asserted. Realizing this, too many people are no longer on for the do-or-die bit and have begun to reason why. And as public support wavers and wanes, panic is again setting in.
Among the clearest of many signs of this to date was a much-remarked interview Volodymyr Zelensky gave to The Economist last week. The Ukrainian president, clearly in desperation, suggested that Ukrainian refugees in Europe, who number in the millions, might resort to violence if the West withdrew its military support from the Kiev regime. As Glenn Greenwald put it in one of his System Update segments, the shockingly crude Zelensky may as well have said, “Give me your money or I will shoot you.”
It is possible Zelensky regularly threatens and insults Western leaders because he is told to do so in the joint effort to maintain public support. The nearly routine visits to Kiev by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, C.I.A. Director William Burns, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and, once, Biden himself suggest this: “Now get out there and bark at us, Vlod, life-and-death style, and don’t forget the dirty T–shirt, so people will acquiesce when we send the artillery, tanks, jets, and money you demand.”
Zelensky addressed the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday before heading to Washington for talks with Biden and another Dionysian love fest on Capitol Hill. It will be interesting to watch his demeanor, as we read now he has been told to be more thankful.
It is also possible Zelensky is a monster utterly without principles who not even Biden can control. The Economist interview suggests this. Here is part of the British weekly’s interpolation:
“Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr. Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally ‘behaved well’ and are ‘very grateful’ to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a ‘good story’ for Europe if it were to ‘drive these people into a corner.’”
It is these remarks, the most wildly provocative Zelensky has made to date, that prompt me to ask the question suggested above. No one has yet posed it.
Consider: If FBI informants and others are reporting witness accounts of $5 million payments to Biden père et fils, reliable accounts of the interactions that led to them, bales of pertinent text and email messages and Joe Biden’s direct role in the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating these matters, everybody in Kiev who counts is probably aware of the Bidens’ dealings, at least in outline, and Zelensky must know of them in detail. Is there some other plausible conclusion to draw?
The follow-on question is very simple and very large. Does Zelensky have enough on Biden to get whatever he wants — the HIMARS rocket systems, the howitzers, the tanks and APCs, the F–16s, the scores of billions of dollars, much of which Biden’s people know full well is black-marketed or embezzled?
It is time to ask this question, immense in its implications as it is.
Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadows. Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored.
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