Bye-bye Biden

By Ray McGovern

It was already clear two months ago, as Russia-gate flopped and its bastard child Ukraine-gate was born, that the septuagenarian Democrat Establishment power brokers, who were praying that Joe Biden who not say or do anything to derail his candidacy, shot poor Joe and themselves in the foot. We said so then (See: If the Facts Come Out, it Could Spell the End for Joe Biden — ). Please find us a Beltway pundit that has come to that realization.


Was it not bad enough for Democratic party leaders to have insisted that a very reluctant (and now we know why) ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify on July 24?

Who made that decision?  And why did virtually all Democrats follow lemming-like off the cliff?  After all, TV watchers had already observed the difficulty Mueller had in walking the short distance to and from the podium on May 29 for his (please, no questions) 10-minute appearance to end his public exposure for his poor excuse for an investigation.

He said at the time that he hoped that would do it for him. Did the doddering Democratic leadership not perform due diligence to determine whether his faltering Russia-gate gait suggested shortcomings in his mental acuity, as well?  Too late now.  And it will soon be too late to dominate the Ukraine-gate narrative, as well.

Following are excerpts from a recent article by Indian General turned writer, Vnod Saighal, who takes a look at the Impeachment process so far.  Often it takes an observant, objective outsider to shed light on things like the dangers for Democrats, as the over-credulous Schiff founders and sinks.  Schiff’s main problem seems to have been his tendency to believe former CIA Director John Brennan.  Schiff will sink with Brennan; stay tuned.  Worse still, septuagenarian ineptitude could bring four more years of Donald Trump.

Below are excerpts from Gen. Vnod Saighal article (The full text is at

Glaring anomalies in the Trump impeachment

By General Vnod Saighal, November 19, 2019

The drama of the removal of President Donald Trump continues. After the first series “The Russian Affair”, the second “The Ukrainian Affair” does not seem better written. Above all, it shows the inability of the Democrats to criticize the president for his policies and could turn against them

.… From the hearings so far most Democrats would have realized that from what had transpired so far, impeachment was a charge that might not hold water; Rejection by the Republican majority in the Senate becoming a later development, should it come to that. Therefore it appears that the Democrats would generally be satisfied were the proceedings to expose Trump and the manner in which foreign policy was being run during his watch. They hope that it would make a dent in his vote bank.

“What then are the anomalies that the Democrats would be loath to touch upon and the Republicans to date have failed to highlight? …

“The most glaring omission in the impeachment trial on the part of Nancy Pelosi and the House democrats was not to have discussed the Vice President Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine thoroughly prior to commencement of the impeachment hearings, in closed-door discussions if they felt that was necessary. Had they done so many questions that should have been thrashed threadbare might either not have arisen or if they arose they would have done their home work in advance and would have had answers ready.

“It was not the case. Vice President Biden was heading to become the leading democrat contender to take on Trump in the forthcoming 2020 elections. His chances were considered bright. Due diligence required that the former Vice President’s and his son’s involvement that many today would term questionable be thoroughly gone into by face-to-face interactions. Should doubts have arisen they might have decided to delay the impeachment hearings till all matters had been clarified to their satisfaction.

“It is only a matter of time that Republican senators in the House bring it up as the hearings proceed. Or they might decide to turn the tables decisively in the Senate when the time came were the matter to reach the Senate. So far from what is known the Trump quid pro quo was related to the Ukrainian government investigating the Biden father and son’s dealings. In recent weeks, Trump has relentlessly mocked Hunter Biden, to the point that his presidential campaign began selling shirts that say, “Where’s Hunter?” highlighting that the former vice president’s son had been out of the public spotlight for weeks. At a recent political rally, Trump noted that Hunter Biden had been thrown out of the Navy. Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2014 after failing a drug test and has struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. …

“The House Democrats should realize that were the hearings to go deeper towards indicting Trump the tables might be turned on them. Were Mr. Biden to become or have become the Democrat presidential nominee sooner or later the people, the media and even representatives on the Capitol Hill would have raised the question as to whether former Vice President’s dealings in Ukraine were questionable or not as these had started directly or by proxy while he was still in government. Further, was the involvement so deep that were he to ascend to the White House the Ukrainian government would be in a position to demand
 quid pro quo from time to time.”

Quick, someone help WPost top Russia-gate sleuths connect the dots!

They write that the DOJ’s investigation of the FBI’s role in investigating Trump, “is pursuing potential crimes, though it is not clear what those crimes might be.” Misleading the FISA Court is a felony – that clear enough?

Our misunderstanding of the hostage crisis still poisons US-Iran relations

Want to understand Iran? Then don’t go to West Point. Alumnus Mike Pompeo is proof positive that you can get all “A”s there and never learn that in 1953 the CIA and the Brits “regime-changed” the first democratically elected government in Iran/Persia in millennia.  You see, Mohammad Mosaddegh, the newly elected Prime Minister, had the bizarre notion that Iranians should have more control over the oil there — not UK or U.S. oil companies.

The satrap/shah they installed on the “Peacock Throne,” Shah Mohammad Reza Pelavi was as cruel as they come, yet everyone, including Jimmy Carter, kowtowed to him — because of the oil.  The Iranians who, against international law, seized the U.S. embassy and took hostages in 1979 were motivated largely by (understandable) fear that the same CIA and Brits would re-install a merciless dictatorship — because of the oil.  (There are, of course, lots of things the U.S./UK couple still do — because of the oil.)

Quick, someone tell Pompeo to read this recent, fact-filled opinion piece by Stephen Kinzer in the Boston Globe:

Our misunderstanding of the hostage crisis still poisons US-Iran relations
By Stephen Kinzer, October 31, 2019

A FEW WEEKS AGO, as I was giving a speech urging better relations between the United States and Iran, a man on the edge of the crowd began shouting in protest. Slowly I was able to make out his words. He was chanting a single phrase: “Hostage crisis! Hostage crisis! Hostage crisis!”

Forty years ago this weekend, militants scaled the wall of the American Embassy compound in Tehran and seized it. They could not have imagined how decisively they would shape history. Many Iranians still wonder how the embassy takeover and subsequent “hostage crisis” ended up shaping American perceptions of them and their country so decisively and for so long. Yet for the protester who disrupted my speech, and for countless other Americans, that episode crystallized the image of a malevolent Iran.

Our other national humiliations, from the Alamo to Saigon, have faded from memory or been transformed into noble lost causes. Anger over the hostage crisis has not subsided. For four decades it has grotesquely distorted our approach to the Middle East. Although it ended peacefully with the release of American diplomats, it has had an effect on our national consciousness — and our foreign policy — comparable to the effect of the 9/11 attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed.

The hostage crisis is a lamentable example of how ignorance leads nations to misunderstand each other. It led many Americans to believe that Iranians act out of pure nihilism, cheerfully violating every law of God and man without any reason other than a desire to show how much they hate us. Only years later did it become clear that the opposite was true. The hostage-takers acted to achieve a specific political goal — to stave off what they suspected was an imminent effort by the Americans to reinstall a despised Iranian leader. We might have recognized their motive if we knew our own history.

Rarely has a national humiliation been played out so excruciatingly as during the crisis that began in Iran on Nov. 4, 1979. Americans were already shocked by the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, our prized ally, earlier that year. Seizure of our embassy compound turned that shock from political to emotional. On newscasts every night for 14 months, Americans watched with mounting rage as images from Iran — blindfolded hostages intercut with vituperative denunciations of the United States — flooded into our living rooms. An attempted rescue mission ended in disaster. The hostage-takers had a slogan: “America cannot do anything!” They were right. That only intensified anti-Iran passion in a nation more accustomed to inflicting humiliation than feeling it. The result has been 40 years of bitter hostility.

We now know that militants stormed our embassy in Tehran because they feared the United States was about to launch a coup and re-install the deposed shah. Diplomats posted there had reported this fear to Washington. They warned in one cable that if President Carter brought the shah to the United States, Iranians would believe the coup plot was underway and their reaction would be “immediate and violent.” When they learned that Carter had decided to bring the shah to New York despite their warning, one of them later recalled, they “felt we had been betrayed by our own people. How could they admit the Shah and leave us in Iran to face the angry wolves?”

Those diplomats knew something that few other Americans understood. A quarter-century earlier, in 1953, the CIA had directed a coup that destroyed an incipient democracy in Iran and placed the shah back on his Peacock Throne. Memory of that intervention, and the 25-year dictatorship that followed, burned in the minds of Iranian revolutionaries. They knew that Iranians had overthrown the Pahlavi shah once before, and that CIA officers working in the basement of the American Embassy had directed a coup that placed him back in power. Since it had happened once, they reasoned, it could happen again. To prevent that, they stormed the embassy.

“In the back of everybody’s mind hung the suspicion that, with the admission of the Shah to the United States, the countdown for another coup d’etat had begun,” one of the hostage-takers wrote years later. “Such was to be our fate again, we were convinced, and it would be irreversible. We now had to reverse the irreversible.”

But if Iranian militants were intent on preventing a second coup, few Americans had any idea that we had ever staged a first. That is why we misinterpreted their assault as an act of mindless savagery.

Two generations of American politicians and military officers have been obsessed with punishing Iran for the embassy takeover and hostage crisis. Their enmity has other reasons as well, including hostile Iranian actions and pressure from our regional partners, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Yet after four decades, policy makers in Washington remain fixated on the events of 1979 and convinced that we cannot rest until we have satisfaction. For many of them, it seems, true satisfaction can only come with the destruction of the Islamic Republic.

Americans see the history of US-Iran relations as beginning and ending with the hostage crisis. Iranians see that history quite differently: shaped almost entirely by the 1953 coup. Until these two countries come to a common understanding of what we have done to each other, peace will remain remote.

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.