Written by J.Hawk exclusively for SouthFront
During a question-answer session with students at the Johns Hopkins University, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inadvertently revealed a number of interesting facts that shed a new light on the motives behind the impeachment and the views in Washington on the international use of force.
When specifically asked why Pelosi was opposed to impeaching George W. Bush and is now in favor of impeaching Donald Trump, Pelosi volunteered that her “vehement” opposition was due to not wanting to make impeachment a part of Washington political conflict even though she KNEW, courtesy of intelligence briefings she and other members of the so-called “gang of four” received, Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. What are we to make of this startling admission that was entirely ignored by the mainstream media? Because it is a rare occurrence indeed to have a senior US politician admit the United States essentially committed a crime against humanity, namely an unprovoked war of aggression knowingly embarked upon and backed up by fake evidence, when it invaded Iraq in 2003.
“Remember the Maine!”
The first point is that there is a bipartisan support among both the Executive and Legislative branches of government for war. For reasons still to be revealed, the US elite must have decided at some point after 9/11 if not earlier to embark the country on a course of ever-escalating wars. While that intent was never communicated, and could never be communicated to the US electorate, it was wholeheartedly embraced by both political parties. Pelosi’s admission incidentally makes a liar out of Hillary Clinton who, on a number of occasions, asserted she voted in favor of the infamous “Authorization of the Military Use of Force” because of the intelligence information she received at the time. Now we know that she and others voted in favor of war even though they knew there was no intelligence supporting the US claims of Iraqi WMD existence. One should therefore expect similar revelations year s and even decades down the road about what the members of Congress really knew about MH17, the alleged uses of chemical weapons in Syria, the Novichok scare, and other allegations made against Russia in recent years.
Power Behind the Throne
Pelosi’s revelation also indicates just how powerful the pro-war lobby is. Any member of Congress who received that briefing could have gone public with that bombshell information and, in doing so, prevented the war from ever starting. So why didn’t even a single member of the “gang of four” choose to reveal the truth to the US public or even their own respective political caucuses? Pelosi’s admission that she had to resist strong pressure by Democratic Party members of Congress to impeach Bush indicates that the power in the two chambers of Congress is strongly centralized, party discipline does exist, and moreover party leaders are a product of a process that places proponents of continued war in positions of leadership. Pelosi’s and Schumer’s power are largely based not on their charisma or even skill as Machiavellian political operators, but by the fact they are their party’s top fundraisers on whom many rank and file party members rely to win their races. It would be unlikely in the extreme Pelosi or Schumer, for that matter, would rise to that position had they been anti-war proponents of big social programs. Moreover, one has to consider the possibility that the current “intelligence community” has borrowed a trick or two from J. Edgar Hoover, is keeping close tabs on some or all members of Congress, and is providing suitable compromising information to Pelosi in order to keep them in line. The level of Washington corruption, revealed for example in the Manfort and Cohen, trials is such that hardly a single member of Congress can claim an investigation into their affairs would not reveal something damning and even prosecutable.
Presidential Fortunes and the Forever War
Looking back on the three late-20th century impeachments, one is struck that in each case the individual in question pursued a policy of ending wars and reconciling with Russia and China. Nixon’s resignation came only after he ended the war in Vietnam, “went to Beijing”, and ushered détente with the USSR. Since all of these policies were opposed by US hardliners and Nixon’s impeachment was product of FBI surveillance and espionage in the Nixon White House, one has to consider the possibility it was at least in part revenge for his peace initiatives. Nixon’s two successors, Ford and Carter, attempted to continue the détente and were rewarded for it by failing to win a second term. Carter’s last-minute turn toward supporting the islamist insurgency in Afghanistan and failed rescue attempt of US prisoners in Iraq did not save him. Reagan clearly got the message—it was all Evil Empire the first term, followed by an effort to improve relations in the second term when he was a lame duck. George H.W. Bush, however, who wanted to lay foundations for a lasting post-Cold War peace was similarly sabotaged and deprived of a second term, and Bill Clinton’s initial opposition to US military adventuring triggered an impeachment in the second term once the scandals in the first term failed to bring him down. Bill Clinton did get the message—the final years of his presidency were characterized by an escalation of violence against Iraq and the unilateral intervention in Serbia’s Kosovo province. George W. Bush’s presidency was nothing but a sequence of actions that often violated both US and international law, with not even a hint of impeachment on the horizon and two presidential terms assured. Even though Obama ran on “ending the wars”, he seems to have gotten the message early on as the wars on his watch actually expanded. So here too, no scandals, and certainly no impeachment. Hillary Clinton would have certainly continued on that path, and was therefore afforded kid-glove treatment by the FBI during the investigation of her private e-mail server. But all Donald Trump needed to do is tweet a few times about the desirability of good relations with Russia, and was saddled with multiple investigations, scandals, and of course the impeachment process that focuses squarely on US policies toward Ukraine. So the message is clear: support escalations of violence and you will not get any trouble from the deep state. Oppose them, and they will destroy you.
What’s Next for Trump?
It is a virtual certainly Donald Trump will be impeached on both articles, and then acquitted in the Senate. It remains to be seen just how much of a circus Senate GOP want to make out of the trial. If they want to, they can haul in Hunter Biden and all kinds of shady personages for questioning, in the process revealing a lot of Democrat dirty laundry and bolstering Trump’s re-election chances. Whether they do so or not will reveal what the game plan is. If the Senate trial fails to shed light on the Bidens’ dirty dealings in Ukraine, it will become clear the aim of the impeachment is the same as in the earlier cases: to punish a president for being insufficiently warlike, prevent him from being re-elected, and hamstring his foreign policy even if he is elected. But if Trump is re-elected, particularly after the GOP’s resounding assault on Democratic Party corruption and double-dealing in Ukraine, then he will be in the same position as Nixon and Reagan were in their second terms, namely having a free hand to address urgent foreign policy problems.