It kind of undermines the whole effort when your lead impeachment manager has zero credibility. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
While Joe and Hunter Biden have been absurdly off limits in the impeachment of President Trump, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is quickly becoming the GOP’s “Exhibit A” over claims of an unfair trial in the House, as well as his involvement – and alleged coordination – with the anti-Trump CIA ‘whistleblower’ who kicked off the entire proceeding.
Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has repeatedly come under fire for conducting ‘secret basement’ hearings, while refusing to call key witnesses such as the Bidens, their business associates, or Ukrainian authorities with intimate knowledge of corruption claims.
Of note, Schiff’s office hired a former colleague of whistleblower Eric Ciaramella the day after a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, in which Trump asked for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Ciaramella worked with Biden with during the Obama years.
In short, Schiff’s conduct has made him a target.
It is inevitable, given the trend towards decentralized violence, that any attempt at centralized violence such as the US’s many invasions would result only in chaos. From Danny Sjursen at tomdispatch.com:
U.S. Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails
In March 1906, on the heels of the U.S. Army’s massacre of some 1,000 men, women, and children in the crater of a volcano in the American-occupied Philippines, humorist Mark Twain took his criticism public. A long-time anti-imperialist, he flippantly suggested that Old Glory should be redesigned “with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.”
I got to thinking about that recently, five years after I became an antiwar dissenter (while still a major in the U.S. Army), and in the wake of another near-war, this time with Iran. I was struck yet again by the way every single U.S. military intervention in the Greater Middle East since 9/11 has backfiredin wildly counterproductive ways, destabilizing a vast expanse of the planet stretching from West Africa to South Asia.
Chaos, it seems, is now Washington’s stock-in-trade. Perhaps, then, it’s time to resurrect Twain’s comment — only today maybe those stars on our flag should be replaced with the universal symbol for chaos.After all, our present administration, however unhinged, hardly launched this madness. President Trump’s rash, risky, and repugnant decision to assassinate Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani on the sovereign soil of Iraq was only the latest version of what has proven to be a pervasive state of affairs. Still, that and Trump’s other recent escalations in the region do illustrate an American chaos machine that’s gone off the rails. And the very manner — I’m loathe to call it a “process” — by which it’s happened just demonstrates the way this president has taken American chaos to its dark but logical conclusion.
What sort of reprisals will the assassination of Qassem Soleimani lead to by Iran? From As’ad AbuKhalil at consortiumnews.com:
As’ad AbuKhalil analyzes the Trump administration’s decision to escalate hostilities with Iran and its regional allies.
U.S. paratroopers deploy to the Middle East following the Baghdad airstrike, Jan. 4, 2020.(U.S. Army/Hubert Delany, Wikimedia Commons)
Something big and unprecedented has happened in the Middle East after the assassination of one of Iran’s top commanders, Qasim Suleimani.
The U.S. has long assumed that assassinations of major figures in the Iranian “resistance-axis” in the Middle East would bring risk to the U.S. military-intelligence presence in the Middle East. Western and Arab media reported that the U.S. had prevented Israel in the past from killing Suleimani. But with the top commander’s death, the Trump administration seems to think a key barrier to U.S. military operations in the Middle East has been removed.
The U.S. and Israel had noticed that Hizbullah and Iran did not retaliate against previous assassinations by Israel (or the U.S.) that took place in Syria (of Imad Mughniyyah, Jihad Mughniyyah, Samir Quntar); or for other attacks on Palestinian and Lebanese commanders in Syria.
The U.S. thus assumed that this assassination would not bring repercussions or harm to U.S. interests. Iranian reluctance to retaliate has only increased the willingness of Israel and the U.S. to violate the unspoken rules of engagement with Iran in the Arab East.
The impeachment is an attempt by the Democrats to unseat a president they probably can’t beat in an election. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:
Prior to the impeachment of Trump, not by Congress as presstitutes report but by self-interested House Democrats, during the entirety of US history there have been only two attempts to impeach a president—Andrew Johnson in 1868 and 130 years later Bill Clinton in 1998.
Clinton was impeached by House Republicans when he clearly lied under oath by denying his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. The Senate refused to convict him. Enough Senators had enough sense to know that lying about a sexual affair, even under oath, did not rise to a “high crime.” Moreover, Senators understood that few men would be inclined to embarrass their wife and daughter, or few women their husband and daughter, by admitting publicly to a sexual affair.
Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Democrat, stood with the Republican Union of Abe Lincoln. Consequently, Lincoln chose Johnson as his Vice President in his 1864 reelection campaign. When Lincoln was assassinated, Johnson became president.
President Johnson took to heart Lincoln’s emphasis on restoring comity between North and South. Consequently, Johnson opposed the harsh, exploitative, and demeaning policies of the Republican Congress during Reconstruction. He didn’t see how the Union could be restored on the basis of dispossession of Southerners, rape of Southern women, and the infliction of general humiliation on a conquered people.
President Trump must be impeached because the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming! From Daniel Lazare at antiwar.com:
Jason Crow, the ex-Army Ranger turned congressman whom Nancy Pelosi has named as one of seven impeachment managers in the trial of Donald Trump, has dropped a broad hint about what angle Democratic prosecutors will pursue: it will be about national security and protecting our troops.
“This is about the abuse of power, it’s about jeopardizing our national security, our troops, it’s about undermining our free and fair elections,” Crow told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. Withholding some $391 million in military aid, he argued, didn’t just harm Ukrainian defense, but that of the US as well.
It’s a theme that Democrats have sounded repeatedly since the impeachment process began in September, and it’s one that Crow also stresses at nearly every opportunity. In late September, he and six other Democrats who are military or intelligence-agency veterans co-authored a Washington Post op-ed declaring that the hold on military aid amounted to nothing less than “a national security threat” – not against the Ukraine, but against the US. A week later, he told MSNBC that US-made weapons like the Javelin missile “are needed to prevent T-72, Russian T-72 tanks, from moving forward and invading Ukraine. We have tens of thousands of US troops in Europe that are in harm’s way if that would happen, so I take this very personally.” A week after that, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper:
There is no chance the Trump administration will get what it wants from Iran. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
U.S. President Donald Trump wants to destroy the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has threatened the EU-3 poodles in Germany, Britain and France with a 25% tariff on their car exports to the U.S. unless they end their role in the JCPOA deal.
In their usual gutlessness the Europeans gave in to the blackmail. They triggered the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the deal. The mechanism foresees two 15 day periods of negotiations and a five day decision period after which any of the involved countries can escalate the issues to the UN Security Council. The reference to the UNSC would then lead to an automatic reactivation or “snapback” of those UN sanction against Iran that existed before the nuclear deal was signed.
You can’t call generals who have never won a war and lost plenty of them losers, it might bring down the republic. From Larry C. Johnson at Sic Semper Tyrannis blog at turcopelier.typepad.com:
An excerpt from a soon to be released book, “A Very Stable Genius” (which appeared in Saturday’s edition of the Washington Post) apparently was written with the intent of presenting Donald Trump as a crazed, unstable individual. The authors of this hit job (two Washington Post reporters) clearly relied on Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn and Jim Mattis as primary sources. But rather than expose Trump as mentally unfit to be President, the authors unwittingly expose their own extreme bias and highlight how the men Trump named to key positions in his administration–Tillerson at State, Cohn at the White House and Mattis at DOD–tried to undermine the President and drug their feet in carrying out Trump’s directives. These men, in my view, are bureaucratic cowards. They should have resigned if they felt so strongly about Trump’s violations. But they wanted to hang on to their little pieces of turf.
The piece is introduced with this telling paragraph:
So on July 20, 2017, Mattis invited Trump to the Tank for what he, Tillerson, and Cohn had carefully organized as a tailored tutorial. What happened inside the Tank that day crystallized the commander in chief’s berating, derisive and dismissive manner, foreshadowing decisions such as the one earlier this month that brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran. The Tank meeting was a turning point in Trump’s presidency. Rather than getting him to appreciate America’s traditional role and alliances, Trump began to tune out and eventually push away the experts who believed their duty was to protect the country by restraining his more dangerous impulses.