Ukraine; A New Low

This is Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city.

I knew when Donald Trump was elected that the country would suffer globally. His rogue foreign policy and trade views were huge risks to our nation’s economic and diplomatic infrastructure. It is one thing for us to put ourselves at risk by electing an incompetent liar, it is another thing for us to elect someone who then damages another vulnerable country just as the people are doing all they can to build a secure and stable future for themselves.

Ukraine is one of the most well known of the Baltic states. It was formerly a part of the USSR and Russia. Putin has been desperately trying to get it back. The Ukrainian people have shown time and again that when given the chance to vote in a fair election, they will choose Western Democratic values over Russian tyranny.

Ukraine has had its dark times. Paul Manafort, the famous Trump enabler who is now serving a sentence in Federal prison, first earned infamy for acting as a political consultant for Viktor Yanukovych. Although this was not technically illegal, it was a craven act and betrayed Manafort’s greedy opportunism. Yanukovych is a Putin ally and has shown himself to be just as corrupt and vile. He is suspected in the assassination attempt of his political rival Viktor Yushchenko, who was badly disfigured with doxin poisoning. When, thanks in part to Manafort’s help, he won the Presidency, Yanukovych imprisoned his political opponent Yulia Tymoshenko with a newly politicized law enforcement apparatus. Yanukovych was finally driven from office by the Ukrainian people. He has been hiding out under Russian protection since 2014.

In spite of decades of corrupt leadership, Ukrainians have come back swinging. Yanukovych was convicted of treason in January for his many abuses of the Ukrainian people in service to Putin. With assistance from other friendly democracies, they have taken measures to clean up the corruption in their law enforcement. They trusted the task to the prosecutor Victor Shokin, who showed an unwillingness to vigorously investigate the abuses of Yanukovych’s regime. He was soft on scum like Zlochevsky who was accused by Britain of money laundering. The Obama administration, an administration I disagreed with on many issues, did the right thing in putting pressure on Ukraine to replace Shokin. In 2019, with a newly elected leader and a new lead prosecutor, Ukraine finally has an opportunity to clean up their corruption and take their place with other Western countries in a prosperous future under the rule of law.

Enter Donald Trump. Instead of encouraging the positive steps Ukraine has taken to strengthen it’s Democracy, Trump comes on the scene praising Shokin and accusing Joe Biden of corruption. For his own political purposes, he tries to leverage the new Ukrainian law enforcement apparatus to benefit himself politically. He wants to prop up his pathetic conspiracy theory about Ukraine being behind the Russian campaign to interfere in our elections in 2016. He wants to fabricate a controversy regarding Joe Biden and his role in the removal of Victor Shokin. In the most ironic twist, the new prosecutor (who replaced Shokin) tells Rudy Guilliani that it would be improper and corrupt of him to comply with Trump’s demands!! Who has the corruption now U.S.A?

This would all be inconceivable if it weren’t true. The transcript of the July phone call shows Donald Trump putting Zelensky in an impossible position. He must comply with the U.S. President’s demands in conducting a corrupt investigation and thus betray his people whom he has promised he would fight corruption, or be crippled by the U.S. President who is withholding the aid he needs to protect his country from Putin’s Russia. To add insult to injury, the American President forces Zelensky to say on T.V. before the world, that he was not pressured during what was clearly a high pressure phone call. Then Trump tells him to, “settle his dispute with Putin’s Russia.” Really??

The big question is, why is Trump now working against U.S. interests and in favor of Putin, Yanukovych, and the rest of the slimy cast of Russian assets? Why is Fox News now broadcasting Russian talking points? I read an article on Fox News yesterday that justified Trump’s probe of Biden because one of Yanukovych’s prosecutors said it needed to be investigated. Let that sink in for a minute. Why would they print that? Why are they advocating for the enemy? Why has a large portion of the population abandoned Western values in favor of an autocratic strongman that has shown himself to be just as corrupt as any foreign despot?

U.S.A. we have had a long stretch of prosperity and freedom. Other nations have not been so lucky. Let’s take a page from the Ukrainians and demand an end to the corruption. We are not beholden to Putin’s Russia. Our President is not to be used to promote Russian talking points. I don’t know how we can possibly repair the damage Trump has done to our relationship with Zelensky and the Ukraine, but we must remove the cancer and then do our best to recover our reputation and position on the global stage. For the sake of the world, America, impeach and remove this President.

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