November 27, 2019
Commentary by Sharyl Attkisson of The Hill
Introduction and Conclusion by Karl Pomeroy
“For the moment at least, we live in a Warless World.”
— Karl Pomeroy
Trump’s Foreign Policy Dilemma
Introduction By Karl Pomeroy
Commander-in-Chief US President Donald Trump recently ordered American troops out of Syria, consistent with his election promises of foreign nonintervention. Deep state officials, in defiance of Trump’s command, proceeded to obstruct his order. Is that not treason?
Some say Lindsey Graham played a key role in blocking the President’s agenda, pressuring Trump into leaving some 800 troops in the region. Such illegal military occupation, carried out under the pretext of guarding Syria’s oil fields from seizure by Iran or ISIS, is tantamount to international theft. It comes as a disappointment to Trump supporters, while fueling undue criticism among quasi-progressive intellectual pundits such as Ron Paul and Eric Zuesse.
Anthos Helpa (@AnthosHelpa), Twitter journalist and Syria expert, has this to say about Trump’s dilemma:
“His [Trump’s] order to withdraw was defied. He had two choices, charge those who defied him with treason (death sentence) or avoid a confrontation with his people by altering his orders. He took the latter. Note that if he went with charging people with treason, his life would be in danger too.”
Deep state officials are also obstructing Trump’s policies in Ukraine, as has become clear from the ongoing mock impeachment inquiry. Sharyl Attkisson of The Hill has this to say:
Impeachment Inquiry: A Question of Who Should Be Running the Show
By Sharyl Attkisson
November 25, 2019
Posted Quemado Institute
November 27, 2019
Many will debate the substance of the public impeachment testimony against President Trump. To me, each of the Democrats’ witnesses of the past two weeks appeared to be well-intentioned and hard-working, and seemed genuinely to believe they know what’s best.
But a picture also emerged of U.S. diplomats who appear to believe they, rather than the U.S. president, have the ultimate authority to determine our foreign policy. And if the president doesn’t go along? He clearly must be wrong — in their view. Or, even worse, he’s a traitor. He’s to be obstructed. Taken down. In an odd turnabout, they actually make the case for President Trump’s mantra that we need to “drain the swamp.”
One can first look at the language witnesses used as they vented about Trump’s tutelage in ways that veered far from relevance to the impeachment allegations. They conveyed hurt feelings, bruised egos and strong differences of opinion. At times, the testimony sounded a bit like a human resources conference or psychotherapy session. The diplomats testified that they were “shocked and devastated” to learn that Trump and Ukraine’s new president did not have faith in them. They complained that, under Trump, “foreign service professionals are being denigrated and undermined” and the State Department isn’t getting the “attention and respect” it deserves. They expressed “disappointment” that Trump had the nerve to defy the federal agencies by not discussing “any of our interagency agreed-upon talking points” in Trump’s first call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. They were “embarrassed” in front of Ukrainians when they didn’t have answers about U.S. policy. Former Ambassador William Taylor called the team that Trump relied on the “irregular channel.” Taylor was among those who described feeling excluded or left out, at times, along with former National Security Council official Fiona Hill, diplomat George Kent, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the U.S. national security adviser who oddly confirmed under oath that he’d been repeatedly approached and offered the job of defense minister in Ukraine earlier this year.
It was hard not to notice that virtually the entire U.S. diplomatic staff never spoke about executing U.S. foreign policy as determined by the president of the United States — the man in charge, according to the Constitution. Instead, they spoke as if their primary mission was to advocate for Ukraine and its new, unproven president whom President Trump was sizing up. They spoke of protecting “longstanding” or “official” policy — against Trump’s wishes. When Trump differed with their assessments and relied on his chosen adviser, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, they collectively lost their minds.
Strangely, these diplomats seemed determined to prevent, at all costs, President Zelensky from making a real commitment to investigate corruption, even when it allegedly involved U.S. money, U.S. elections and/or U.S. political figures. Strange, because that seems at odds with admissions by the same diplomats that corruption is a major problem in Ukraine, that a corruption probe into the Ukrainian company Burisma was stopped midstream in 2014 — just before the company hired then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, a hire that raised broad concerns about the appearance of a possible conflict of interest — and that Ukraine should resume its investigation into Burisma.
Stranger still, these diplomats judged President Trump’s motivations to be purely political despite the fact that most had neither met nor spoken to him. They closed their minds to the notion of Ukrainian interference in U.S. elections in 2016, calling it a “debunked conspiracy theory,” and dismissed Trump’s concerns — while acknowledging under questioning they didn’t have full information about the allegations and none had personally investigated them. Strange, since Democrats are among those who long have pressed President Trump to pledge to “get to the bottom” of foreign interference in the 2016 elections and claimed he will be to blame if it happens again in 2020.
It was startling to hear Ambassador Taylor testify that he hadn’t even been aware of the allegations that a Democratic National Committee consultant worked with the Ukrainian embassy (among others) to “undermine Trump’s candidacy” in 2016. True or not, one would think Taylor should at least be aware of an international news story that directly involves his area of responsibility. What’s the harm in an investigation if the president of the United States and others argue it’s warranted? If there’s nothing to find, the investigation presumably would put to rest any concerns.
At each step, the diplomats spoke with determined confidence about the path the U.S. ought to take with Ukraine — or else. They expressed no room for discussion or differences of opinion, even when it comes from the president. He’s to be convinced, not to be listened to. He’s not to be directing foreign policy but to be brought into line with the diplomats’ views.
Maybe they are correct. But maybe they’re not. They’re not infallible. In 2015, Fiona Hill co-authored an opinion-editorial against the U.S. providing “lethal weapon” assistance to Ukraine, only to later decide she’d been completely wrong about that. Some of these same diplomats never saw Russian interference coming under the Obama administration in 2016 but today believe themselves to be unequivocal experts on all such matters.
Finally, at the same time these diplomats declare President Trump’s motivations to be nefarious, they paradoxically provide evidence to the contrary. For example, they testified that Trump’s skepticism toward Ukraine and concerns about corruption were genuine. They testified that they thought if only they could get Presidents Trump and Zelensky in the same room, the two men would approve of one another and the wall of separation would fall away. If Trump’s motivations were purely rooted in certain self-serving political demands, why would meeting Zelensky remedy the matter?
One can begin to understand why President Trump might have worried that his diplomatic and national security corps were not only refusing to execute his wishes, but also actively working behind his back to undermine them.
Whatever else politicians and ordinary Americans conclude that the public impeachment hearings have revealed, they’ve exposed diplomats substituting their own opinions, judgments and agendas for that of the elected president.
In the end, the hearings provided an accidental forum in which establishment bureaucrats showed America that they think they run the show.
— This article was first published at The Hill
About the author: Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times best-sellers The Smear and Stonewalled, and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, Full Measure.
The Warless World
Conclusion By Karl Pomeroy
Trump was right about withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, and although he verbally embraced leaving troops to “guard” that nation’s oil fields, he may have done so reluctantly. While seizing the oil is theft, and while it deprives Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of revenue to rebuild his country, the U.S. troops are not killing anyone. And that is the upshot.
We have entered the era of a Warless World. Let me explain.
My perception is that Donald Trump, through mental techniques mastered in New York under the decades-long tutelage of Norman Vincent Peale (author of “Power of Positive Thinking”), has so influenced the world at large he has essentially taken control of global international policy. Yet he has done this in a subtle way, as is often characteristic of the power of thought.
Thought works not through external manipulation of events, but through the medium of the underlying mind that operates through all life. Thus, Trump may at times appear to some as bumbling, cavalier, rash or even incompetent. Yet how could such a man earn billions, stand center-stage in all the Republican debates, then win an improbable election, other than by the awesome power of mind?
And look at the results.
There are currently no real wars in the world. There are skirmishes in Palestine and Syria; old conflicts winding down in Donbass, Yemen and LIbya; nearly shotless political coups as in Bolivia (which, according to a Der Spiegal interview, the Bolivian ex-President Evo Morales does not explicitly blame on the U.S.), along with riots in Hong Kong and protests in France and Catalonia.
But no real wars.
My impression is that Trump has so confused every engaged person on the planet that no one quite knows what to make of it. Journalists are so confused they barely know what to write, and the dearth of factual commentary is evident across mainstream and alternate platforms. Governments are so confused, they don’t know how to launch war, or whether they should or even can. Heads of State have no idea what is expected of them, and have paused as if waiting for guidance. Vladimir Putin is notably silent. Bashar al-Assad calls Trump the best President because he is “transparent”, while Kim Jon Un craves his attention.
Trump is like the teacher who walks into the classroom to find the students throwing books and toppling desks, in analogy with the unchecked wars of the recent world. The teacher’s first imperative is to bring the mischief to a halt. This Trump appears to be doing.
Sadly, Trump is wrong about Ukraine and Donbass. Sending Javelin missiles to Kiev is a crime against the Donbass people, who suffer Ukrainian Armed Forces attacks along the contact line. Why Trump is getting such bad advice on Donbass is unknown to me. Nevertheless, under the new Ukrainian President Zelensky—whose election may have been partly inspired by Trump, as elections have been elsewhere—the fighting has somewhat subsided.