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There are many issues bedeviling the Democrats impeachment crusade, and Raul’s point on the partisan nature of the House vote and what that means should give everyone pause. But to suggest that no impeachable offense has occurred is to either ignore the clear implications of the president’s words and actions or to willfully misrepresent that evidence by parroting Trumpist propaganda. If a gangster says “nice little shop you have here, hate to see something bad happen to it…” he has communicated a threat. There is no requirement in the law to spell it out as if speaking to a child, saying instead “if you don’t pay me I will personally come down here tonight and burn down your store.”
The transcript of the call concurrent with Trump’s directive to withhold funds establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime of bribery was committed by the president. This crime is framed as “abuse of authority”, and his subsequent documented attempts to stymie the investigation resulted in the second charge of obstruction. It seems probable that senate Republicans will eventually acquit Trump with or without a fair trial, but some conservative voices supporting impeachment are coming forward now so we could see some of Trump’s lapdogs in congress turn on their master.
Alexander, a few counter-points: 1. Every intervention in that region by the US empire and it’s vassal states has increased the odds of “terror attacks” everywhere. More of the same is not likely to reverse that result. 2. “Most peaceful place in the country” is surely only true against the backdrop of a Syria awash in barbarity and bloodshed on a scale rarely seen since WWII. The CIA and MI6 share much of the blame for that – see operation “Timber Sycamore” that funneled arms indiscriminately to the region. 3. I agree the withdrawal could have been accomplished more intelligently (and much – much earlier would have been better in my opinion) but keep things in perspective: we are talking about approximately 1,000 US special operations forces quitting an area occupied by 40,000 to 60,000 Kurdish SDF troops squaring off against around 80,000 Turkish troops.
The pro-war propaganda campaign in this country has really pulled out all the stops regarding the “Kurdish Betrayal”. It has united the Left and Right “never Trumpers” like no other issue thus far. I certainly understand the impulse to rage against anything Ubu-Orange does, and I am sympathetic to a point – I hate the guy too. But I find it extremely disorienting hearing the same arguments from aging hippies and corporate-media neocons. The logic employed is fundamentally flawed: in any civil war we meddle in one side benefits and one side is under our guns. The “betrayal” argument would have us forever stuck in every ill-conceived military adventure we have ever undertaken.