Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 72756 times)

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #750 on: November 29, 2019, 12:26:30 PM »
I've seen it mentioned how it would be problematic for both a foreign government as well as our own government to investigate a former Vice-President and would like to add that it becomes an even bigger problem considering he may well become the next President. At least everyone involved with investigating him has to see that as a possibility. He's already shown he has no problem with getting people fired and using the full power of the U.S. government to make that happen. How many people are going to take their chances on that by initiating an investigation into Biden on their own? What would be their upside?

It's pretty clear that if Trump didn't personally make this happen then it was never going to happen.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #751 on: November 29, 2019, 12:36:06 PM »
It's pretty clear that if Trump didn't personally make this happen then it was never going to happen.

I really do think this part is true. That doesn't mean it *should* have happened, mind you; that aspect depends on one's feelings about what Hunter was doing in the Ukraine. For some people I think the white collar sort-of "easy money" answer is probably not worth a serious investigation starting from the POTUS; for others if it was pay-to-play then they'd probably take it seriously. For my part I'm more disturbed about the potential of it being representative of interference in Ukraine's self-governance than about any issue of Biden getting his son a plum cushy assignment.

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #752 on: November 29, 2019, 12:57:40 PM »
An investigation is fine as long as there is a reasonable basis for suspicion.  The person with the reasonable basis would report it to the appropriate authorities, their basis for belief and their evidence.

If there is a reasonable basis for suspcion in this case it would have to be some individual who was pressured to favor Burisima in the state department or some such.  Or evidence of Hunter or VP Biden making inappropriate overtures.

If there is no reasonable basis for suspicion then there is no basis for any investigation to be started - neither by our government or a foreign government.

"I think Hunter is unqualified" is not a reasonable basis for suspicion (especialyl given that he is qualified by the typical nature of individuals hired to board of directors).
Joe Biden pressured a corrupt prosecutor to be fired at the direction of the US government is not a reasonable basis.

If Joe had acted indepdently of the government, or there were evidence that he was acting BECAUSE the corrupt prosecutor were investigating his son - that would be a reasonable basis.


DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #753 on: November 29, 2019, 01:11:28 PM »
Quote
This is starting to sound again like the 'Biden can't be named because he's a candidate' thing.
No, I've said many times that Biden could be named.  He could be named when charges are being laid by prosecutors (very safe).  He could be named as part of search warrants (safe).  He could even be named without any credible evidence against him by his political opponent (really, really unsafe).

My point about Trump naming Biden (or worse, having a foreign leader do so at his bidding) is that the president is putting himself, his position, and the position of the country, at risk.  Why?  Because there is a real risk that it will be seen as the president using the office of president and the moral authority of the country to attack his political opponent, and to involve foreign countries in a domestic political attack.  Unless it is a slam dunk with credible, verifiable and sufficient evidence already available and ready for public consumption, then the risk of all of the above is simply too great.  And THAT is why the president should stay away from these types of actions.

If the president thinks the only way to bring Biden to justice is to personally involve himself with naming the subject of the investigation, then that should be a red flag for him.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #754 on: November 29, 2019, 01:18:30 PM »
And then there was this:
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You seem to be conflating the request for an investigation with the request that there be a public announcement of it.
No.  I have kept those actions of the president completely separate.  I will repeat - there is simply no way that pressuring the Ukrainian president to immediately announce an investigation into the Bidens is anything but wrong.  Pressuring the Ukrainians to actually investigate the Bidens is almost certainly also a bad idea, although there could theoretically be ways to do so without looking and being corrupt.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #755 on: November 29, 2019, 01:26:22 PM »
that having Ukraine specifically investigate the Bidens for corruption (as opposed to having Ukraine investigate corruption more generally) benefits the USA;

Are you deliberately misstating facts here, or...? The call was literally about Ukraine generally cleaning up corruption. It's true that the three instances of it Trump named specifically in the call were Crowdstrike, Mueller, and Burisma, and no doubt that's because they were all recent events regarding the 2016 election and thus fresh in everyone's mind. Now I suppose you could theorize that Trump only wanted these three things investigated, but what he actually said on the call was to clean up the corruption in the Ukraine.
OK, I just noticed this, and it goes a ways to explaining the current misunderstanding. 

You really need to actually read  the memo itself.

Nowhere in the call does anybody, including Trump, use either the word "corruption" or the word "Burisma". The "favor" Trump asks for very specifically names first Crowdstrike, then Mueller, then, after a response from Zelensky, both of the Biden's (Joe, twice). Trump's favors make no mention of either corruption, especially not "generally" nor of Burisma.

Now Zelensky, at the beginning of the call, does mention "draining the swamp", but his wording refers to replacing old guard politicians and bureaucrats - not opening investigations into corruption.   And nowhere does Trump follow up on that point.

So no, I did not misstate facts as you suggested, and I won't suggest that you were lying yourself when you misspoke.

But does the fact that Trump in no way suggested cooperating on generalized corruption in this call, but exclusively requested investigations into domestic political affairs that affected him directly, does that not now give you pause?
It seems like this may have gotten lost - Fenring, you seemed to have misread the memo substantively - given that the call was not "literally" (or otherwise) about "generally cleaning up corruption" (nor even about Burisma) as you thought, but was specifically about the Ukraine investigating the Bidens, does that new information not change your analysis of the situation at all?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #756 on: November 29, 2019, 02:36:25 PM »
Unless it is a slam dunk with credible, verifiable and sufficient evidence already available and ready for public consumption, then the risk of all of the above is simply too great.  And THAT is why the president should stay away from these types of actions.

Right, but let's say (as cherrypoptart suggested) this is really the only way to get traction on something like this with the Ukraine. That means there simply should be no investigation? I will remind you that it was taken practically as a given for many people that Trump should be disclosing his private tax returns and opening himself up to any questioning regarding his past and possible criminal enterprise in the real estate/casino business. The argument oft made is that it is totally unacceptable to have a potential criminal be President, and that any or all steps required to vet the President should be made to avoid this. D.W. and I had some exchanges on this topic in which we seem to agree to an extent, in that high-ranking politicians should be subjected to intense scrutiny to be allowed to have the job. I am *totally* on board with this. Many seemed to think (and still do) that Trump should obviously be investigated because having a bad guy as President can't happen. Well I don't see why that doesn't apply to Biden's past conduct too. And I'm not talking about optics or politics here, about the down-here-on-the-ground idea of really questionable conduct being held up to the open light to inspect it prior to giving them a chance at the Presidency. If that's true for Trump then why so much resistance to the same for Biden? Russian collusion - Ukrainian collusion: what's the big difference that there's so much objection to this one? And if the problem is only *how* Trump did it then where are the posts about how there should be an investigation but just not how Trump did it?

It seems like this may have gotten lost - Fenring, you seemed to have misread the memo substantively - given that the call was not "literally" (or otherwise) about "generally cleaning up corruption" (nor even about Burisma) as you thought, but was specifically about the Ukraine investigating the Bidens, does that new information not change your analysis of the situation at all?

It wasn't lost, although I'm sorry I didn't reply earlier to this particular point. Here's an excerpt from an early part of the phone conversation, prior to Trump asking for a favor:

Quote
ZELENSKYY: [...] I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.
TRUMP: (laughter) That's a very good idea. I think your country is happy about that.
ZELENSKYY: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.


So early on in the call, basically during the mutual congratulations, Zelenskyy is already bringing up government corruption and making it clear that it's his intent to clean it up. The praise to Trump aside, the order of the conversation is about:

1) Congrats (pgs 1-2)
2) Ukraine wants to clean up corruption, i.e. drain the swamp (pg 2)
3) Europe needs to do better for Ukraine, and Ukraine needs to do better for the U.S. (end of pg 2)
4) Specific elements in the Ukraine to investigate (pg 3)
5) Burisma and the Bidens (pgs 3-4)
6) Establishing regular lines of communication between Ukraine and Trump's admin (pgs. 4-5)

So yes, not all of the conversation is about corruption, and Trump himself only brings up 3 examples himself, and as you say refrains from naming corruption as a general topic, restricting himself to three specific issues. It was Zelenskyy himself, earlier, who brought up corruption as a general issue. I suppose it's debatable whether his mention of that bespeaks earlier conversations they had about draining the swamp in Ukraine, but one thing we can know with relative certainty is that a country like that (especially in the turmoil it had) was probably a corrupt cesspool by Western standards. It should come as no surprise that the two of them had been previously talking about that subject (as Zelenskyy intimates), although in this call it's true that Trump focuses only on three issues. I suppose you can make of that what you will.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #757 on: November 29, 2019, 03:07:15 PM »
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Right, but let's say (as cherrypoptart suggested) this is really the only way to get traction on something like this with the Ukraine. That means there simply should be no investigation?
You keep asking the same question, and you keep getting the same answer: the Bidens could absolutely be investigated.  The president could even announce the investigation.  But with those actions come possible repercussions.  You seem to believe, by your refusal to accept this answer, that the president should never suffer repercussions for bad or even illegal decisions.

Let's put this another way... the president of the United States is the president of all US citizens.  His first responsibility is to them.  For the president to choose to outsource the investigation of a US citizen to a foreign country, he has to have, at the very least, information that would lead him to believe that his responsibility to that citizen should be overridden.

Secondly, if that citizen happens to be a political opponent, the bar is raised even further.

If the president cannot show information that meets this somewhat subjective bar - but realistically, that bar should be set as probable cause if you are going to have a foreign leader name somebody under your protection, and especially a political opponent, in a criminal investigation - if probable cause cannot be readily shown, then forcing a foreign leader to name that political opponent is reckless, irresponsible, probably illegal and very likely to cause blowback.

Let's be honest here: the president has never had any significant amount of information that would lead anybody to believe there was 'probably' a criminal act perpetrated by either Biden.  There have been rumours and conspiracy theories and innuendo bandied about on social media, but nothing brought to him by any serious investigative arm of the US government. It's not a coincidence that, a day after Trump announced the release of the military aid to Ukraine, president Zelensky cancelled his scheduled interview on CNN.

 

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #758 on: November 29, 2019, 03:25:25 PM »
You keep asking the same question, and you keep getting the same answer: the Bidens could absolutely be investigated.  The president could even announce the investigation.  But with those actions come possible repercussions.  You seem to believe, by your refusal to accept this answer, that the president should never suffer repercussions for bad or even illegal decisions.

Isn't this like saying "sure you could do it, but I'll shoot you if you do"? That's not really saying it's ok to do it, just the person will be impeached if he does it. That pretty much means it's unacceptable, doesn't it?

Quote
Let's put this another way... the president of the United States is the president of all US citizens.  His first responsibility is to them.  For the president to choose to outsource the investigation of a US citizen to a foreign country, he has to have, at the very least, information that would lead him to believe that his responsibility to that citizen should be overridden.

I am pretty on board with this idea that the President's job should be to shepherd the American people and that no sheep shall be lost. I don't think that's actually how the Presidency has ever worked but I do like the idea. I don't think it's reasonable to hold Trump to that standard since I don't think almost anyone in politics would bat an eye if someone from the opposition got swept under and out of their way. But I do like the idea.

Regarding the 'outsourcing' thing, the idea specified in the call was that Ukraine would initiate an investigation and coordinate with Barr. So it would be a joint operation, but with Ukraine investigating its own people. Who else could investigate Ukraine's people, the FBI? I don't see how assigning the task to the only party who can do it is outsourcing. Outsourcing is when you could do it yourself but prefer to delegate or assign it to someone else.

Quote
Let's be honest here: the president has never had any significant amount of information that would lead anybody to believe there was 'probably' a criminal act perpetrated by either Biden.

I think this is the answer I've been looking for, more or less. Maybe it just boils down to that the investigation is legit if it's based on real intel, and if you believe there's no real intel then it's bogus. I'm down with that idea also, btw. Whether or not Trump has actually based his request on anything real is a fine question, albeit one I can't address. I will submit to you that if I found out for sure that Trump had nothing on Biden and told Zelenskyy to do this just to satisfy his own curiosity then I would be tempted to switch to your position and say it's a big problem. But would you likewise switch your position if you found out that there was credible evidence that some corrupt stuff was going on with the Bidens there? Like for instance, if Hunter was being paid with black money (not legit business), would that be the sort of credible enough to investigate further into him at least?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #759 on: November 29, 2019, 03:49:17 PM »

It wasn't lost, although I'm sorry I didn't reply earlier to this particular point. Here's an excerpt from an early part of the phone conversation, prior to Trump asking for a favor:

Quote
ZELENSKYY: [...] I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.
TRUMP: (laughter) That's a very good idea. I think your country is happy about that.
ZELENSKYY: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.


So early on in the call, basically during the mutual congratulations, Zelenskyy is already bringing up government corruption and making it clear that it's his intent to clean it up. The praise to Trump aside, the order of the conversation is about:

1) Congrats (pgs 1-2)
2) Ukraine wants to clean up corruption, i.e. drain the swamp (pg 2)
3) Europe needs to do better for Ukraine, and Ukraine needs to do better for the U.S. (end of pg 2)
4) Specific elements in the Ukraine to investigate (pg 3)
5) Burisma and the Bidens (pgs 3-4)
6) Establishing regular lines of communication between Ukraine and Trump's admin (pgs. 4-5)

So yes, not all of the conversation is about corruption, and Trump himself only brings up 3 examples himself, and as you say refrains from naming corruption as a general topic, restricting himself to three specific issues. It was Zelenskyy himself, earlier, who brought up corruption as a general issue. I suppose it's debatable whether his mention of that bespeaks earlier conversations they had about draining the swamp in Ukraine, but one thing we can know with relative certainty is that a country like that (especially in the turmoil it had) was probably a corrupt cesspool by Western standards. It should come as no surprise that the two of them had been previously talking about that subject (as Zelenskyy intimates), although in this call it's true that Trump focuses only on three issues. I suppose you can make of that what you will.
Suggesting that president Zelensky is talking specifically about corruption, and not simply stroking Trump's ego, is a bit generous.  Especially since he goes on to finish that statement with "You are a great teacher for us and in that."

Teaching them what - to hire people who then get indicted, convicted and thrown in jail?  To threaten to throw former and future political opponents in jail?

But OK, it is possible, even likely, that Zelensky's statement is at least a little about corruption.  But there is nothing in Trump's statements that suggest he is responding to some kind of implicit reference to corruption. Why?

Well, your summary/list is more than a little misleading, in that you bundle a back and forth between the two presidents in a single bullet (#3) making #2 and #4 somewhat less disconnected.

Trump's response to the replacing old politicians with atypical politicians (not specifically anti-corrupt politicians, BTW) is actually as follows: "Well, it's very nice of you to say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and time.  Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very good to Ukraine.  I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very good to Ukraine."

So many words in response to Zelensky's statement, and nothing whatsoever to do with corruption (or Burisma - you remember when you claimed that Trump mentioned Burisma specifically?)

It's not even clear that Trump heard what Zelensky said, aside from "general sucking up".  He certainly says nothing whatsoever taking Zelensky up on the topic of implied corruption (actually, quite the opposite - Trump initiates a discussion about what Ukraine could do for the US... how Ukraine actually basically owes the US something...)

It's only after Zelensky talks about the Europeans, then his Russian problems, then when Zelensky brings up military aid that Trump talks about... the "favor".  Several minutes, and hundreds of words after a debatable implied reference to corruption by the Zelensky, but coincidentally, immediately after Zelensky brings up military aid to Ukraine...  Come on, I know you can see this, even if you cannot admit it. 

What seems most likely, though, is that Trump was simply working off a script - given the awkward, almost non-sequitur responses:
1. General glad-handing and intros
2. Tell Zelensky his countries is indebted to the US (but probably not using the words "indebted to")
3. Tell Zelensky how he can pay back Ukraine's debts to the US
4. Offer Zelensky the assistance of Giuliani and Barr in setting things right
5. Sign off

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #760 on: November 29, 2019, 04:07:32 PM »
You keep asking the same question, and you keep getting the same answer: the Bidens could absolutely be investigated.  The president could even announce the investigation.  But with those actions come possible repercussions.  You seem to believe, by your refusal to accept this answer, that the president should never suffer repercussions for bad or even illegal decisions.

Isn't this like saying "sure you could do it, but I'll shoot you if you do"? That's not really saying it's ok to do it, just the person will be impeached if he does it. That pretty much means it's unacceptable, doesn't it?
Ummm... no.

That's like saying, sure, you could shoot that person, but if he was naked at the time and already lying down on the floor, you had better have a good rationale, and preferably corroborating evidence for having done so.  Otherwise, you might get investigated.

Do you see how straw man arguments work?


DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #761 on: November 29, 2019, 04:42:36 PM »
Here is a little thought experiment: in what way would it be acceptable for Trump to have pressured Zelensky to announce, on CNN, an investigation into your spouse, parent or child?  And I mean literally, would it be OK for the president to bring up that person who is now retired (possibly) or who is now working in mid-level management at a marketing firm and is currently driving your child to soccer practice, or maybe your college aged son who plays varsity badminton, would it be OK for Trump to pressure Zelensky to announce a criminal investigation into them based on social media posts?

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #762 on: November 29, 2019, 05:39:54 PM »
So you’re saying there are no circumstances under which a president should call for investigations of anyone based on their social media postings where they brag about committing a crime?

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #763 on: November 29, 2019, 06:05:38 PM »
So you’re saying there are no circumstances under which a president should call for investigations of anyone based on their social media postings where they brag about committing a crime?

Only if the person in question is a member of their own party, and not otherwise a political rival of theirs.

Or if we want to be Hyperbolic about it: Only if the person posting on social media is a Democrat during a Republican Presidency.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #764 on: November 29, 2019, 06:33:30 PM »
Where they brag about getting rid of a lousy and corrupt prosecutor, I think you meant to say.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #765 on: November 29, 2019, 10:56:26 PM »
Where they brag about getting rid of a lousy and corrupt prosecutor, I think you meant to say.

But the optics involved look bad, even you have to acknowledge that. He put pressure on a foreign government to fire a prosecutor who had an open(albeit idle) investigation involving a company his son was on the board of directors.

If you cannot acknowledge at least that part of the equation looks really bad, there is no point in discussing things further as we're just going to continue to talk past each other.

At least most of us acknowledge there are valid problems with what Trump did do, as well as what he may have done, even if we disagree as to whether or not the "surrounding circumstances" rise up to being worthy of impeachment proceedings based upon what is known so far.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #766 on: November 29, 2019, 11:11:52 PM »
But the optics involved look bad, even you have to acknowledge that. He put pressure on a foreign government to fire a prosecutor who had an open(albeit idle) investigation involving a company his son was on the board of directors.

If you cannot acknowledge at least that part of the equation looks really bad, there is no point in discussing things further as we're just going to continue to talk past each other.

Tbh I was never even that interested in the prosecutor thing. Yeah, these people get rid of individuals who won't play ball with their agenda all the time, that's nothing new. It may not have even been related to Burisma specifically, he just might have been too pro-Russia for their taste, or any number of other objections. I've been personally much more interested in wtf an American VP's son is doing connected with an energy company in Ukraine. It just reeks of the usual corporate takeover of weaker nations, to subvert their local economy to suit U.S. ends. That sort of Cold War stuff pisses me off, and I have trouble believing that Hunter was there for any other reason. It's exactly what happens when knocking out governments in places like Iraq, Libya, Syria, you name it - the energy companies move in.

I personally find it hard to believe that people hear that Biden's son was connected to a company like that and this doesn't raise red flags. Can you imagine if it was found out that Jared Kushner was on the board of an energy company in a constested country like, say, Syria? People were yelling corruption when he *met* with a Russian, once.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #767 on: November 30, 2019, 08:41:43 AM »
Where they brag about getting rid of a lousy and corrupt prosecutor, I think you meant to say.

But the optics involved look bad, even you have to acknowledge that. He put pressure on a foreign government to fire a prosecutor who had an open(albeit idle) investigation involving a company his son was on the board of directors.

If you cannot acknowledge at least that part of the equation looks really bad, there is no point in discussing things further as we're just going to continue to talk past each other.

At least most of us acknowledge there are valid problems with what Trump did do, as well as what he may have done, even if we disagree as to whether or not the "surrounding circumstances" rise up to being worthy of impeachment proceedings based upon what is known so far.

It was some time back, but I absolutely acknowledge that the whole setup is a terrible idea. Hunter admitted that also. There's no question the hire was to exert influence. It is far less clear if there actually was influence.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #768 on: November 30, 2019, 08:49:08 AM »
Also, no way Biden should have come anywhere near this. It's hard to imagine that the secretary of state couldn't have got it done without the baggage.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #769 on: November 30, 2019, 04:50:21 PM »
I personally find it hard to believe that people hear that Biden's son was connected to a company like that and this doesn't raise red flags. Can you imagine if it was found out that Jared Kushner was on the board of an energy company in a constested country like, say, Syria? People were yelling corruption when he *met* with a Russian, once.

To be fair on that point, Kushner has played a significant role in the Trump administration. Nobody has made comparable claims about Hunter Biden with regards to the Obama Administration.

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #770 on: November 30, 2019, 07:10:11 PM »
It was some time back, but I absolutely acknowledge that the whole setup is a terrible idea. Hunter admitted that also. There's no question the hire was to exert influence. It is far less clear if there actually was influence.

People hire Harvard and Princeton grads for access, not influence - famous names get you in the door to make the case. That is why Harvard and Princeton keep slots open that go to sons and daughters of powerful and wealthy people.  Harvard and Pricneton aren't expecting the parents and friends and family of these individuals to engage in corruption - but often times getting past the buffer people that protect the powerful individuals time so you can make your case is the real issue.  There is no evidence that hiring Hunter would was expected to provide influence nor that he was hired with the expectation or desire that he would.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #771 on: December 01, 2019, 03:10:08 PM »
It's a fine hair to separate access from influence. If you decide to interview somebody because their dad is on your board, that's influence. It's not corrupt, but behavior has been influenced. Biden might have taken a bigger interest in Ukraine just because his son was talking to him about traveling there. Not corrupt, still influence.

wmLambert

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #772 on: December 01, 2019, 08:40:17 PM »
Why is there so little mention that The Ukraine was investigating Burisma when Biden wanted the Prosecutor fired - nor mention that the Obama administration objected to Hunter Biden being hired as a potential conflict of interest?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #773 on: December 01, 2019, 11:06:42 PM »
Quote
Why is there so little mention that The Ukraine was investigating Burisma when Biden wanted the Prosecutor fired
Because it's completely counter factual, and knowingly doing so would be lying?

If you had bothered to check, you would see that the then prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, refused to investigate Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, even though investigations had been opened into them prior to Shokin's acceptance of the position. It was only after Shokin was replaced that those investigations were reopened. In fact, Biden is on the record during Shokin's tenure as decrying Shokin's inaction on corruption.

wmLambert

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #774 on: December 02, 2019, 10:45:14 AM »
According to the documents John Soloman released: We now know that Ukrainian authorities escalated their investigation of Burisma Holdings in February 2016 by raiding the home of the company’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Soon after, Burisma’s American representatives were pressing the State Department to help end the corruption allegations against the gas firm, specifically invoking Hunter Biden’s name.

wmLambert

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #775 on: December 02, 2019, 10:55:31 AM »
The Ukraine timeline:

Dec. 8, 2015

The New York Times publishes article stating Prosecutor General Shokin’s office is investigating Burisma Holdings and its founder Zlochecvsky, and that Hunter Biden’s participation on Burisma board is undercutting Joe Biden’s anticorruption message in Ukraine. VP Biden office quoted in story.

Validation: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html

Jan. 21-24, 2016:

Obama White House invites leaders of Ukraine’s general prosecutor office to Washington for a hastily arranged set of meetings to discuss anticorruption cases, including Burisma and Party of Regions case involving Paul Manafort..

Validation: https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/440730-how-the-obama-white-house-engaged-ukraine-to-give-russia-collusion

Feb. 4, 2016

Ukraine general prosecutor’s office under the direction of Viktor Shokin announces the seizure of assets from Burisma Holdings founder Mykola Zlochevsky under a continuing criminal investigation. The seizure occurred on Feb. 2, 2016, according to the announcement.

Validation: https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/322395.html

Feb. 4, 2016

Burisma board member Hunter Biden sends a Twitter notification to Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a longtime adviser to Joe Biden, indicating he is following Blinken on Twitter.

Validation: https://www.scribd.com/document/433389211/HunterBidenFollowBlinkenTwitter

Feb. 11, 18, 19, 2016

VP Biden holds series of phone calls with President Poroshenko to check on status of pending items from their December 2015 meeting.

Validation: https://ua.usembassy.gov/readout-vice-president-bidens-calls-prime-minister-arseniy-yatsenyuk-president-petro-poroshenko-ukraine-021916/

Feb. 24-March 1, 2016:

An American representative for Burisma Holdings, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies, seeks meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against the Ukrainian gas firm.  Hunter Biden’s name was specifically invoked by the Burisma representative as a reason the State Department should help. “Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption.”

Validation: https://www.scribd.com/document/433389210/Bluestar-Novelli-Contacts

March 2, 2016:

Devon Archer, a business partner of Hunter Biden and fellow American board member on Burisma Holdings, secures meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, State Department memos say.

Validation: https://www.scribd.com/document/433389208/Archer-Meeting-Kerry

March 15, 2016

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland demands Ukraine “appoint and confirm a new, clean Prosecutor General, who is committed to rebuilding the integrity of the PGO, and investigate, indict and successfully prosecute corruption and asset recovery cases – including locking up dirty personnel in the PGO itself.”

Validation: https://ua.usembassy.gov/ukrainian-reforms-two-years-maidan-revolution-russian-invasion/

March 22, 2016

VP Joe Biden engages in phone call from Washington DC with Ukrainian president Poroshenko about U.S. loan guarantees. It is believed in this call that Biden renews his demands that the president fire Prosecutor General Shokin, who is overseeing the Burisma prosecution, or risk losing the next $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.

Validation: https://ua.usembassy.gov/readout-vice-president-bidens-call-president-petro-poroshenko-ukraine-032216/

wmLambert

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #776 on: December 02, 2019, 11:02:34 AM »
So, DonaldD, just who is being "counter factual"?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #777 on: December 02, 2019, 11:10:59 AM »
March 22, 2016

VP Joe Biden engages in phone call from Washington DC with Ukrainian president Poroshenko about U.S. loan guarantees. It is believed in this call that Biden renews his demands that the president fire Prosecutor General Shokin, who is overseeing the Burisma prosecution, or risk losing the next $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.

Validation: https://ua.usembassy.gov/readout-vice-president-bidens-call-president-petro-poroshenko-ukraine-032216/

I'm curious specifically about this one: the link mentions nothing about Burisma, so do you have a source linking that call with the corruption investigation?

wmLambert

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #778 on: December 02, 2019, 11:15:48 AM »
How about the video of Biden bragging about doing this?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #779 on: December 02, 2019, 11:39:40 AM »
How about the video of Biden bragging about doing this?

In the video does he state that he was going to withhold loan guarantees over it?

wmLambert

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #780 on: December 02, 2019, 11:44:30 AM »
Yes. Everyone in the world heard him brag about it. How do you not know this?

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #781 on: December 02, 2019, 11:57:23 AM »
The US Ukrainian Policy to remove Shokin happened before your timeline starts, it was announced by the US Ambassador that Shokin was corrupt and undermining prosecuters on September 24, 2015, one specific complaint was that Shokin was stalling the progress of the case against Zlochevskiy and should be fired because of it.

Quote
Zlochevskiy, who earned a reputation for lavishness, was placed on Ukraine's most-wanted list in December for a host of alleged economic crimes.

Pyatt said that “those responsible for subverting the case” against Zlochevskiy “should -- at a minimum -- be summarily terminated.”

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-ambassador-upbraids-ukraine-over-corruption-efforts/27271294.html

If you have a US Ambassador making the annoucement it is US State Department policy - it is pretty much impossible to argue that it was something that was Biden's initiative and thus that Biden had some sort of corrupt intent.

It would be hillarious that you have your facts so messed up that you think Shokin was the one pushing for the investigation into Zlochevskiy and was fired because of the investigation, when it was the complete opposite - he was fired because he was corrupt and subverting the investigation.

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Burisma board member Hunter Biden sends a Twitter notification to Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a longtime adviser to Joe Biden, indicating he is following Blinken on Twitter.

Hunter Biden didn't send a Twitter notification.  Twitter automatically sends follow notifications if you follow someone.  Do you not know how twitter works?

« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 11:59:42 AM by LetterRip »

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #782 on: December 02, 2019, 11:59:15 AM »
Wow... just wow - the very first link actually states the exact opposite of your claim
The Ukraine timeline:

Dec. 8, 2015

The New York Times publishes article stating Prosecutor General Shokin’s office is investigating Burisma Holdings and its founder Zlochecvsky, and that Hunter Biden’s participation on Burisma board is undercutting Joe Biden’s anticorruption message in Ukraine. VP Biden office quoted in story.

Validation: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html


From the link:
Quote
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.  The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.

...

Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him.
So, Shokin's office was impeding the UK investigations, and actually confirmed to Zlochevsky that there was in fact no case against him.

Seriously... were you expecting people not to read your links?

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #783 on: December 02, 2019, 12:06:00 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCSF3reVr10

Biden talking about Ukraine. Make of it what you will.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #784 on: December 02, 2019, 12:41:07 PM »
What do you make of it Cherry?

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #785 on: December 02, 2019, 12:41:56 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCSF3reVr10

Biden talking about Ukraine. Make of it what you will.

I'd rather claw out my own eyes that watch Biden talk.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #786 on: December 02, 2019, 12:51:17 PM »
He says directly and explicitly if they don't fire the prosecutor they don't get the $1B loan guarantee. I assume it was because the company that was paying his son was the target of the prosecutor. Yeah I know Biden never actually says that's the reason, but I assumed that's the main reason and not for other US interests.

Am I doing it right?

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #787 on: December 02, 2019, 12:56:25 PM »
He says directly and explicitly if they don't fire the prosecutor they don't get the $1B loan guarantee. I assume it was because the company that was paying his son was the target of the prosecutor. Yeah I know Biden never actually says that's the reason, but I assumed that's the main reason and not for other US interests.

Am I doing it right?

Nobody has ever disputed that the loan guarantee was threatened. The dispute is about why. Dozens of countries and international organizations, including the IMF, wanted him fired. None of them had a son on the board of directors of Burisma, and they all made the calls for Shokin to be removed before Biden ever got involved. It is entirely possible that Biden was only involved because of his son, but I can't comprehend why you would make that as an assumption.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #788 on: December 02, 2019, 12:58:13 PM »
Correct. It's impossible to read Biden's mind and determine what his motivations actually were in enforcing the QPQ. All we're left with is assumptions.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #789 on: December 02, 2019, 01:01:40 PM »
He's pretty clear that if the prosecutor isn't fired they don't get the money.

What is less clear is the reason why he wants the prosecutor fired.

The timeline Lambert laid out was something I hadn't seen in the media.

Some might say Joe Biden wanted the prosecutor fired specifically because the prosecutor wasn't going after corruption hard enough for instance Joe Biden had the prosecutor fired because he dropped the case against the company Joe Biden's son worked at. That's one possibility I suppose. The more obvious one for people who may be more jaded and less trusting is that it is exactly what it looks like. The guy investigated a company Joe's son worked at and got fired for it. That's what the guy says himself. He says that's what he was told. It's hard to know what to believe. The one thing that's generally constant in all these types of situations is that you always follow the money.

I think if that was Trump and son in the exact same situation and Trump said and did the exact same thing as Joe Biden then Trump would be getting impeached for it.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #790 on: December 02, 2019, 01:02:36 PM »
Am I doing it right?

Nobody has ever disputed that the loan guarantee was threatened. The dispute is about why. Dozens of countries and international organizations, including the IMF, wanted him fired. None of them had a son on the board of directors of Burisma, and they all made the calls for Shokin to be removed before Biden ever got involved. It is entirely possible that Biden was only involved because of his son, but I can't comprehend why you would make that as an assumption.

ScottF is implying that while you're unwilling to make damaging assumptions about Biden's unstated intentions, you seem to be quite confident that Trump's unstated intention was to demand a bribe from Zelenskyy.

The difference between these cases that you're making is that since other parties also supported Biden's action this shows that there may have been motive other than personal for him to get involved. That's true, but it doesn't speak meaningfully to whether Trump had motives that were purely personal or for the good of the U.S.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #791 on: December 02, 2019, 01:27:58 PM »
Quote
ScottF is implying that while you're unwilling to make damaging assumptions about Biden's unstated intentions
I suppose one can claim something is unstated forever, if one ignores or doesn't look for those statements.

Biden wasn't just on the record as calling for an overhaul of the Office of the General Prosecutor in 2015 - he was on record as doing so directly to the Ukrainian legislature.

Quote
And it’s not enough to set up a new anti-corruption bureau and establish a special prosecutor fighting corruption.  The Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform.  The judiciary should be overhauled.  The energy sector needs to be competitive, ruled by market principles -- not sweetheart deals.
Seriously, it is stated here over and over, links are provided supporting the multi-national aspect of the efforts to reduce corruption in Ukraine, links are provided to Biden's and the US governments position in 2015, yet somehow, no matter how often these points are raised, there are people here who continue to throw up their hands and claim "How could we possibly know?  Biden's intentions were unstated."

As just one example, immediately after being shown documentary evidence from 2015 that Shokin was impeding the investigation, where both the UK and US take exception with Shoking, cherry was able to write this:
Quote
The more obvious one for people who may be more jaded and less trusting is that it is exactly what it looks like. The guy investigated a company Joe's son worked at and got fired for it.
And also
Quote
The timeline Lambert laid out was something I hadn't seen in the media.
... and that immediately following two posts showing that wmLambert misrepresented the contents of the links he posted.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 01:39:54 PM by DonaldD »

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #792 on: December 02, 2019, 01:36:29 PM »
March 22, 2016

VP Joe Biden engages in phone call from Washington DC with Ukrainian president Poroshenko about U.S. loan guarantees. It is believed in this call that Biden renews his demands that the president fire Prosecutor General Shokin, who is overseeing the Burisma prosecution, or risk losing the next $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.

Validation: https://ua.usembassy.gov/readout-vice-president-bidens-call-president-petro-poroshenko-ukraine-032216/

I'm curious specifically about this one: the link mentions nothing about Burisma, so do you have a source linking that call with the corruption investigation?

Bidens video also gave me the impression that he was IN Ukraine at the time he made the threat, so a phone call doesn't fit with that time frame.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #793 on: December 02, 2019, 01:39:56 PM »
Seriously, it is stated here over and over, links are provided supporting the multi-national aspect of the efforts to reduce corruption in Ukraine, links are provided to Biden's and the US governments position in 2015, yet somehow, no matter how often these points are raised, there are people here who continue to throw up their hands and claim "How could we possibly know?  Biden's intentions were unstated."

I'm not knowledgeable enough in international 'politics' (i.e. strongarming) to know exactly what was going on over there, but there are plenty of cases historically where very official and nice-sounding statements are publicly made, as the front-end version of the usual (knocking out competition, creating puppet regimes, etc). The fact that multiple parties may have been in on this doesn't make it kosher, but it does create a reasonable argument that Biden was not unilaterally doing it for his own ends. Hillary basically took credit for Ghaddafi as well even though it was technically a multi-level operation, and in that instance the official statements had nothing IMO to do with the real motives. It is very easy to fabricate BS public relations material to describe projects, just like you can do in the corporate world, grant-writing world, and other areas.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #794 on: December 02, 2019, 01:49:33 PM »
Am I doing it right?

Nobody has ever disputed that the loan guarantee was threatened. The dispute is about why. Dozens of countries and international organizations, including the IMF, wanted him fired. None of them had a son on the board of directors of Burisma, and they all made the calls for Shokin to be removed before Biden ever got involved. It is entirely possible that Biden was only involved because of his son, but I can't comprehend why you would make that as an assumption.

ScottF is implying that while you're unwilling to make damaging assumptions about Biden's unstated intentions, you seem to be quite confident that Trump's unstated intention was to demand a bribe from Zelenskyy.

The difference between these cases that you're making is that since other parties also supported Biden's action this shows that there may have been motive other than personal for him to get involved. That's true, but it doesn't speak meaningfully to whether Trump had motives that were purely personal or for the good of the U.S.

I feel I've been pretty consistent in my ambivalence about the Trump call and the surrounding details. I'm not sold on the witnesses, what they witnessed could be interpreted other ways than a politically motivated attack. I think a lot of his language makes it look worse, but that could just mean he's not as careful - which we all know. But I definitely don't make the assumption that it certainly had to have been motivated by personal gain.

I think in both cases there wasn't much damage overall, because Trump never got his investigation and never accomplished damaging Biden even if that was his intent. And that's also why I point out that while Biden might have had a personal motivation, it was good that this guy got fired.

As to what would have happened if Trump were in the situation, he'd probably take the Burisma investigation as a personal attack and tweeted about Shokin's witch hunt.

rightleft22

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #795 on: December 02, 2019, 04:48:27 PM »
Quote
I feel I've been pretty consistent in my ambivalence about the Trump call and the surrounding details. I'm not sold on the witnesses, what they witnessed could be interpreted other ways than a politically motivated attack. I think a lot of his language makes it look worse, but that could just mean he's not as careful - which we all know. But I definitely don't make the assumption that it certainly had to have been motivated by personal gain.

I think in both cases there wasn't much damage overall, because Trump never got his investigation and never accomplished damaging Biden even if that was his intent. And that's also why I point out that while Biden might have had a personal motivation, it was good that this guy got fired.

I understand your point of view however I feel this is slippery ground when it comes to the rule of law. Trumps use of language shouldn't be a excuse. A man in his position should be able to speak carefully, clearly and intelligently especially as it concerns foreign affairs.
Second Trump history shows that he views all interactions as transactions where personal gain is always a consideration. I'm not saying this is wrong, to some extent we all do this, however no assumptions are necessary in this regard.

Trump being Trump can't be an excuse because it excuses him of everything. Trumps use of language is calculated. Trumps transnational morality is calculated. Trump constant repeating of a message, defense and or attack until it becomes true is calculated.

Trump does not deserve a benefit of a doubt as He does not believe in them himself. If we do not ask for better we will not get better.

History will show that Trump is the snake in the story of the woman and the snake that he likes so much.  We have the leader we deserve.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #796 on: December 02, 2019, 05:01:22 PM »
Quote
I think in both cases there wasn't much damage overall, because Trump never got his investigation and never accomplished damaging Biden even if that was his intent.
Metaphorically, I would just point out that there are reasons there are laws against attempted murder and extortion... but practically speaking, Trump's actions very much a) damage US relations internationally, b) affect how other countries respond to your increasingly irrational and inconsistent foreign policy, and even c) support Russian intervention and adventurism in the region.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #797 on: December 02, 2019, 05:37:58 PM »
Quote
I think in both cases there wasn't much damage overall, because Trump never got his investigation and never accomplished damaging Biden even if that was his intent.
Metaphorically, I would just point out that there are reasons there are laws against attempted murder and extortion... but practically speaking, Trump's actions very much a) damage US relations internationally, b) affect how other countries respond to your increasingly irrational and inconsistent foreign policy, and even c) support Russian intervention and adventurism in the region.

You're not wrong, but this one event is a minor drop in the bucket compared to other actions that damage US relations internationally. I won't draw up a laundry list.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #798 on: December 02, 2019, 06:40:01 PM »
Metaphorically, I would just point out that there are reasons there are laws against attempted murder and extortion...

But there's also a reason there isn't a law against attempted conspiracy.   It has to exist to be a crime. 

Quote
...but practically speaking, Trump's actions very much a) damage US relations internationally,....

Not even 10% as much as the actions of the leakers that have specifically leaked damaging information without consideration for those consequences, or of the damage that the DNC House has done in trying to recast this as illegal.

Or heck, as much as the deep state members who have tried to pretend that they make the policies rather than the President leading to the confusion.

Quote
...b) affect how other countries respond to your increasingly irrational and inconsistent foreign policy,....

The defining trait of American policy is inconsistency, or did I miss the decades of claiming we created every terrorist on earth, or how Obama undermined Bush's policies?

In fact, I think most countries are finding Trump's pragmatic America focused policies more consistent than the policies of his predecesors, which could serve most any interest domestic or foreign without much in the way of sense behind them.

Quote
and even c) support Russian intervention and adventurism in the region.

Sure, good thing Obama stopped the Russian's from Crimea and armed the Ukranians before Trump got involved... oh wait.

What the heck are you talking about? Russian intervention and adventurism has been much muted under Trump compared to the prior administration.  Why do I feel like I'm talking to an ostrich with its' head stuck in the ground?

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #799 on: December 02, 2019, 10:56:15 PM »
What the heck are you talking about? Russian intervention and adventurism has been much muted under Trump compared to the prior administration.  Why do I feel like I'm talking to an ostrich with its' head stuck in the ground?

The one complaint I have here is something that can be summed up with one word: Syria