37 thoughts on “‘Crazy to withhold security assistance’ to Ukraine for political campaign: Top US diplomat

  1. I’m starting to wonder if Trump, as some have suggested, wants to be impeached as a tactic to energize his supporters. In The Art of the Deal he indicates that keeping the opposition off-balance is a good tactic. And politically it can be effective to define the issues before your opponents do.

    I’m not saying it’s necessarily a smart move. After all, Trump’s instincts about immigration being a good issue did not work well in 2018.

    It seems to me that Trump ought to play down the impeachment issue and bring up others. As in “let the Democrats hold their inquiries, I’m moving on to infrastructure or trade deals or more tax cuts…”.

    Of course we know Trump can’t let any slight go unanswered and he seems to want the last word or insult no matter the triviality of the topic. I guess it’s an endearing quality to his supporters.

    So the drama continues. After all he was an entertainer, actor really, in his last gig.

    IMHO

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you are beginning to see what is coming.

      Biden is not the target, he is already a dead man walking, the target is the Democrats in the House.

      Consider that the Democrats have been ‘investigating’ Trump since before the election, starting a new investigation as soon as one falls apart. Three years of continuous investigation that most people have come to see as phony.

      Now, Trump suggests one of their own be investigated and the Democrats claim the Constitution is in peril. Can you not see the depth of the hypocrisy there? If you can’t, don’t worry, everyone outside the bubble can.

      The issue will not be whether Trump asked the Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son, Trump made sure of that by publicly asking China to do the same. The issue will be whether it is a crime, or even improper, for him to do so. If Trump is impeached by the House, that issue will be decided by the GOP Senate.

      I could write the speeches now. The GOP Senators will line up at the microphones to declare there was no crime and that the effort to impeach was just an effort by the House to stop the successes of the Trump administration.

      You will, of course, disagree with them, but at that point, they will have the microphone and the last word. The public will see it as just the final witch hunt.

      Trump is playing chess and Schiff and Pelosi are playing checkers.

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      1. “Trump is playing chess”

        It took a moment to quit laughing, but “fool’s mate” jumped into my mind on that one.

        PS, you missed a couple of deck chairs there on the right.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Trump is playing chess?

        Utter nonsense.

        He is a prime example of someone who quit learning about 40 years ago. The bully and bluster backstopped by an army of sycophants and lawyers that he relied on throughout his failed business career are simply not applicable to the job he has now. He has NEVER been held accountable for anything and has no idea how to cope with it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Some of the “spin” I’m already hearing and reading is beyond ridiculous. Even those Republicans who dared to be reasonable (Grassely and Romney for example) are being viciously slandered with lies from their own GOP supporters.

    By any rational measure it’s obvious what was going on and how it easily surpasses the bar for impeachment. Unfortunately the trump cult mentally can’t see facts for what they are nor use reason to reach any conclusions they don’t already hold.

    To see the Presidency of the United States reduced to a laughing stock on the world stage is just humiliating.

    I fear for the American Experiment…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One could hope that push back in this instance would be too difficult and maybe even a bit embarrassing..

      I’d guess the reality is that the American Stinker et al have not provided sufficient conspiracy theory support to link and parrot yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Why should we be taking the Ukraine’s side against Russia in the first place? Is it just because we have to oppose Russia even when they are in the right? How did that work out for us in Afghanistan?

    The Crimea was historically part of Russia, and the people there are ethnic Russians. A plebiscite held there showed 95% of the Crimeans want to be part of Russia. The Crimea only became part of the Ukraine because the Soviet social engineers sought to break up ethnically contiguous regions to suppress opposition to the Soviet rule.

    So, someone tell me why we should provide the Ukraine with weapons to kill Russian soldiers when we have no national interest in the outcome and Russia can make a good case that they are in the right?

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    1. “why we should provide the Ukraine with weapons”

      OK, I’ll bite; simple answer, to protect Ukraine.

      If the Russians stayed in Crimea you might have a case, but that is not what is happening. The Ukraine is in a defensive posture and we are helping them (with conditions apparently) hold the line.

      PS, Nice deflection..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did the Ukraine concede the annexation of the Crimea by Russia while I was fishing this morning, or are the still claiming it belongs to them and stating they will take it back?

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        1. Did the Ukraine concede the annexation of the Crimea?

          They are about to after the backstabbing by Trump. His blocking of munitions could not have come at a worse time for the Ukraine in its efforts to negotiate an honorable settlement.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. “Why should we be taking the Ukraine’s side against Russia in the first place? Is it just because we have to oppose Russia even when they are in the right? How did that work out for us in Afghanistan?”

      I agree with this sentiment, but the point of the article was that there is a text exchange between high level diplomats in which one says “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” and the other immediately suggests they switch to an unrecorded phone conversation. Considering members of this forum have insisted there was no quid pro quo implied in the original phone transcript, it seemed relevant to share.

      “A plebiscite held there showed 95% of the Crimeans want to be part of Russia.”

      Again, I agree with you, but I do find it strange that you suddenly seem to have found so much respect for the will of the people.

      Also, Crimea was annexed by Russia in 1783–about 130 years before the October Revolution.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Soviets did not respect the will of the people when they split up the ethnic Russians. It pretty much see this as the Russians setting right what the Soviets made wrong.

        But even if it is a close call morally, how is it any of our business? How do we benefit from helping the Ukraine kill Russian soldiers? That certainly won’t help future relations with Russia.

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        1. …”the Russians setting right what the Soviets made wrong.”…

          I believe you are seeing it incorrectly. It is the Russians trying to reassert what the Soviets did. I believe the ultimate goal is to bring Ukraine back into the Russian fold, as it was under the old USSR. The idea that Putin’s government is as altruistic as you are attempting to make them would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. The Soviets gave the Crimea to Ukraine.

            The Russians are not altruistic but they are intensely(and admirably) patriotic. The Crimeans are their fellow Russians.

            It would be like the UN coming in and giving Texas to Mexico and forcing our fellow American citizens to live under Mexico’s corrupt government.

            Would we not take it back?(assuming Mexico could hold the Texans in the first place)

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        2. Despite your best efforts, the Soviets have nothing to do with this.

          Again, I agree that the (mostly Democratic) Russian hysteria is largely baseless, an not beneficial to anyone other than Rachel Maddow.

          The article has nothing to do with any of this. It is further evidence that Trump was attempting political favors for money, which as I understand it, is illegal.

          I don’t really care about any of this because, as you said, the Senate Republicans will never convict him of anything. He’s not going anywhere unless 70 years of eating nothing but Big Macs finally catches up with him. I mostly shared it because there were some on this forum who acted like those of us who understand what words mean were crazy for seeing the phone conversation for what it was. Clearly his diplomats saw it too.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. “future relations with Russia”

          Will be dependent on internal changes within Russia itself. Putin is the bigger problem and if Russia/Putin stopped the aggression a diplomatic solution could be attempted.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Seeing as Ukraine is one of four “buffer countries” ( Estonia [NATO member], Latvia [NATO member] and Belarus being the others) between Russia and the rest of Europe, it is beneficial to the US and our NATO allies to be supportive of those countries. Russia couldn’t care less about the ethnic Russians in Crimea. Proven by the fact that the actual majority of the folks there refused to participate in the election that “approved” of Russia’s invasion. Your 95% is not 95% of all, just those who participated. Similar to Trump’s support among the shrinking Republican party.

    Oh, yeah. America First, the rest of our allies be damned.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. RE: “This would seem to call into question the ‘no quid pro quo’ narrative.”

    I’d say so. Both ways.

    It’s no great revelation that great powers use quid pro quo to get what they want from lesser powers to whom they give aid. We shouldn’t have fainting fits if realists at DoS saw administration policy in those terms. We should, however, question their judgement if they believe the quid pro quo in this case was merely to gain opposition research for a political campaign.

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    1. RE: “OK. Enlighten us with what it was for then?”

      Could be thousands of different things. To pick just one and say, “That’s what it is; nothing else matters” is short-sighted, to say the least.

      In any case, I have shared two articles here on the Forum recently which explore other aspects of our relationship with Ukraine:

      https://tidewaterforum.blog/2019/10/03/politico-ukrainian-efforts-to-sabotage-trump-backfire/

      https://tidewaterforum.blog/2019/10/04/unz-unasked-questions-about-us-ukrainian-relations/

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  6. Did you miss the other texter’s reply that that was not Trumps intentions and that Trump has made it crystal clear “no quid pro quo” or are just glossing over that fact for sensationalism? In any case, is it a crime if he did? Umm, no. The house is making up phony charges that will be dismissed in the Senate for political theater.

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    1. No quid pro quo? Because Trump says so? LOL!

      The evidence is now clear and compelling and growing stronger every day . . .

      1. Trump illegally(?) stopped the military aid that Ukraine needed to resist Russian aggression for political NOT national security reasons. This was the QUID.
      2. Trump cancelled Pence’s participation in the Ukraine inauguration? Why? To signal he was going to play hard ball to get what he wanted.

      3. Giuliani and co-opted State Department officials made it clear to the Ukraine President that if he wanted to talk to Trump about releasing the military aide he would have to commit to investigating the Biden family.

      4. On the infamous phone call Trump asked for a “favor” at least seven times in response to the question of releasing the military help. The “favor” was clearly stated – investigate Biden. That was the QUO.

      On top of all this Trump’s weakening of Ukraine’s position is EXACTLY what Putin wanted done.

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      1. Make up Adam Schitt parodies and fiction much? Most of this parody is false and still, just for fun, I ask you to cite anything improper or illegal according to the constitution by the article. Trump did not claim national security as a reason but did properly cite corruption. Interesting that Biden and democrats don’t want an investigation reopened instead of welcoming it to prove he is innocent. Pure democrat grandstanding and sensationalism in its finest. They should charge for the entertainment value alone.

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        1. Mr Smith, reality is running way ahead of the barricades of denial Trump enthusiasts are manning. The phone call is proving to be the tip of an iceberg of corrupt behavior. Rather than argue with the spin you are selling, I will wait a day or two for reality to sink in for you.

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          1. Your lack of a cogent reply speaks volumes. Just like rabid democrats, you have no case beyond you don’t like Trump and your own interpretation of wrongdoing devoid of principles of law.

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          2. @BobrSmith

            The lack of cogency is on the part of those with their heads in the sand as the evidence mounts. And, maybe those, like Trump, who think juvenile potty humor is the way an adult communicates.

            How much effort should one make responding to crazy talk. For example, the Constitution is not the full body of the law so the demand that it be cited to prove Trump’s criminal behavior is nonsense.

            So, look at the US Code. Here is a specific proven crime – It is a crime to solicit campaign help from a foreign person, government or organization. Period. Trump seems to think that by doing so openly, the law is moot. It isn’t.

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  7. Well Paul, for a guy that claims to have a master’s from Yale if I remember, you seem to have a pretty far fetched interpretation of law but I’ll play. First cite the code that specifically addresses not being able accept campaign help from a foreign person and then tell me when Obama, Hillary Clinton and the entire DNC show up for prosecution.

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    1. Well, Bob, the fact is my Masters Degree is from Harvard, not Yale. I got into Harvard because I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth. You may think you are smart and well-educated and I am dumb and ignorant. I respectfully disagree.

      As for your question, the U.S. Code is very CLEAR AND SPECIFIC about campaign contributions from foreign persons or organizations.

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/52/30121

      It reads : (a)Prohibition
      It shall be unlawful for—
      (1)a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—

      (A)a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;

      (B)a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or

      (C)an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or

      (2)a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.

      NOTE that it is also a crime to solicit or accept such foreign help

      As for Obama and Clinton and the DNC . . .
      The law is about contributions NOT purchased services. A foreigner is not contributing to your campaign if he is paid a fair price for the goods or services provided.

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      1. The code you cite correctly specifies “contributions” of which there are none, then you say it is illegal to “accept such foreign help” (contributions, ok?), then you say “purchased” “help” (dirt) is fine. First there are no contributions in this case. But for argument sake, if Trump paid Ukraine to investigate Biden it would be ok? Would you really try to argue that nonsense in a court? Your fallacy is trying to redefine dirt as “a thing of value” to suit left wing extremist ideology but claiming if you buy political dirt, it is acceptable. This whole exercise was really a waste because the inquiry has nothing to do with contributions but whether Trump had legal authority to request reopening investigations into corruption or not, regardless of who is being investigated. Democrats are just grasping at straws to play extremist politics, they will issue baseless politically based articles of impeachment and they will fail in the Senate. I never said I thought you were stupid, just waaaaaay out in left field and quite nasty too. IMHO

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        1. You are trying very,very hard to ignore the very clear language of the law. Read more carefully . . .

          “It shall be unlawful for a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value”

          It is not JUST about “contributions.” It is illegal to solicit or accept the “donation of . . . other thing of value.”

          If Trump or his campaign PAID Ukraine or anybody else to investigate Biden then the people doing the digging for dirt would NOT be making a contribution nor a donation of other thing of value so no law would be broken. The difference between getting some for free or paying for it is really not to hard to understand.

          Like

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