The first open hearings about the impeachment of US President Donald Trump in Congress did not bring the Democrats closer to their cherished goal - to prove that the owner of the White House committed a crime, which should entail his removal from power and bringing to trial. The illegal activity of the head of state by witnesses is not confirmed.
It may seem that the interrogations of State Department employees (namely, they were called in the first two days of the hearing) were completely meaningless. But this is only at first glance. Career diplomats George Kent, William Taylor and Marie Jovanovic, who worked in the Ukrainian direction, had to confirm not only for lawmakers, but also for the entire multimillion-dollar American television audience that Donald Trump was behaving completely unacceptably and undermining the United States foreign policy course that had been formed over decades. Apparently, by the end of the hearings, something should be heard that is consonant with the Soviet: “Whose mill does he pour water on ?!”
The impeachment procedure, initiated on a very dubious occasion, in fact, turned into a discussion about Washington’s foreign policy and the role of the foreign policy bureaucracy in its formation. In the opinion of the Democrats attacking Trump and the State Department witnesses summoned to Capitol Hill, it is this bureaucracy that has no clouded vision of the country's national interests. She knows how America should act abroad, who are its enemies and who are allies. Of course, this was not said directly, but all the steps of the head of state were considered precisely from the point of view of approval or condemnation of such steps by professionals from the State Department and the intelligence community.
Especially vividly the dislike of bureaucrats towards Trump was reflected in the opening address of the former US ambassador to Kiev Marie Yovanovitch. She stated that she had been fired unfairly and complained about a “campaign of slander” of the activities of American diplomats in Ukraine. Trump, in her words, “threatened” Washington’s entire policy with regard to “young European democracy.” Jovanovic added that support for the Kiev regime is fully consistent with US national interests (as it is part of Russia's containment) and should not be called into question. Like, Ukraine is Washington’s warring ally, period.
Republican congressmen tried to clarify with the ex-ambassador who determines the foreign policy of the state, appoints and dismisses diplomatic representatives and other civil servants of the executive branch of government. Jovanovic was reluctant to agree that, according to the Constitution, this is done by the president. However, many clarifications followed immediately - about the continuity of the foreign policy line, “the professionalism of thousands of courageous men and women” working in the State Department, the importance of allies, “ideals of democracy” and so on. The refrain was the thesis of "interagency cooperation" - that is, apparently, the coordination of the work of "courageous men and women" of the State Department, the CIA, the FBI and other services. The president’s role somehow immediately reduced to a purely decorative ...
Listening to Jovanovic, you understand how bureaucrats in Washington think. The President of the United States is cool and honorable, but foreign policy should not depend on his "arbitrariness."
There are “holy things” such as support for the allies, a “correct” understanding of the national interests and the “gold talent pool” of America - the very “courageous men and women” who, according to the former ambassador, are “embarrassed and disappointed by the many steps” of the head of state.
Perhaps this is the intention of the democrats. They are unlikely to succeed in completing the impeachment procedure, but you can try to frighten the citizens of the United States with an uncontrollable leader who does not penniless professionals who ensure the country's national security and its authority in the international arena. Since voters were led to his populist rhetoric in 2016, now they have to change their minds and correct their annoying mistake in 2020.
It is unlikely that this tactic will work - after all, the Americans, with all their adherence to the republican system and the Constitution with a clear separation of powers, for the most part think that they will elect a tsar for 4-8 years - with unlimited powers and carte blanche for any changes. They, of course, remember that there is a congress and a supreme court in the country. Moreover, they attach great importance to local self-government, but it is the president for them - a symbol of power.
Therefore, when they tried to impeach Bill Clinton, by the end of the procedure (unsuccessful), the ratings of the president had risen significantly, but the popularity of congressmen, especially from the opposition party, seriously dipped. The main initiator of that impeachment, Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich, was even forced to resign without waiting for re-election.
Americans have an even more complicated attitude to the so-called intelligence community. On the one hand, its members are honored as defenders of the country. On the other hand, they are afraid and not particularly trusted. About the same thing can be said about the staff of the State Department. In the mass consciousness, they are divided into two categories - undercover undercover ceilings and useless hollow-bumps. It may not be fair, but vox populi vox dei.
And I must say, the foreign policy establishment of the United States has done a lot to earn its bad reputation. Jovanovic only added contrast to the picture taking shape in the minds of ordinary Americans.
The "high professionalism" of the US Department of State and the intelligence community has become the main reasons for drawing America into a series of endless wars in the Middle East. And if the attack on the Taliban *, which led to a permanent military presence in Afghanistan, can be tried to justify the September 11 attacks, then the invasion of Iraq was carried out under a false pretext. Either "high professionals" made a monstrous mistake, or simply lied to their country and the whole world.
Following the destruction of Libyan statehood, hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into Europe and the United States. Then, “courageous men and women” managed to find “moderate” and “democratically inclined” oppositionists in Syria who were helped in every possible way, including by supplying arms, while at the same time they blasted the appearance of a terrorist caliphate in Syria and Iraq. However, some experts believe that the CIA deliberately encouraged ISIS fighters ** to overthrow Assad. What is known and confirmed by authoritative US foreign affairs publications is the supply of weapons through the CIA and the Pentagon to various Syrian formations of irreconcilable fighters against Damascus, who then fought against each other.
So why should the people and the new president elected by them have to believe intelligence information and rely on the recommendations of the State Department? With regard to Ukraine, the issue is particularly acute.
Why should the Americans consider an ally a country that they cannot all find on the map, but which is known for certain that it is in a state of conflict with Russia, at least according to the statements of Ukraine itself? Why should the president, who was elected, among other things, thanks to his foreign policy program to end the long wars and establish relations with Moscow, have to lead the matter to war?
Suppose, however, that the position of the American foreign policy establishment has its own truth. Let the employees of the State Department, the CIA and other federal departments develop an intelligible and consistent concept of international politics. But why on earth should a leader elected to the highest state post follow her? Here one of two things - either democracy is finally canceled (at least when making important decisions), or such a concept is not even worth the paper on which it is written if the political leadership of the country considers it absurd and unproductive. In the latter case, they should take under the peak and do what is ordered. Or resign.
If bureaucrats resist, covertly or publicly express their disapproval of the new policy, and sometimes sabotage its implementation, then why are they surprised and indignant when they are subjected to public criticism and dismissed from their posts? After all, it was precisely this surprise and indignation that Marie Jovanovic tried to “sell” to Congress. She, in particular, stated: “This is much more than I or several other people. Specialists in foreign policy services are being denigrated, their authority is undermined, and the institute itself is degrading. It will do real harm soon, if it hasn’t already. ”
But neither about the principles of democracy, nor about past mistakes of the diplomatic service and the intelligence community, the ex-ambassador chose not to remember. As, however, and about his amazing "ignorance" regarding the role of former Vice President Biden and other members of the Obama administration in Ukraine’s affairs. After all, in fact, Kiev was under the direct external control of Washington. Not a single significant decision and appointment was made without approval in the White House and the State Department. And this means that Ukrainian corruption, which Yovanovitch complained about so much in his testimony, is also the fault of the American establishment, if not a direct consequence of his actions. This is why "courageous men and women" were not indignant?
If anything became clear in the very first days of the congressional hearings, then this is a fact of complete conviction of the sect of "State Department witnesses" of their own infallibility and the sanctity of their exclusive right to determine the US foreign policy.
Trump questioned this right - this is his real "crime". Therefore, the outcome of impeachment and the results of the 2020 elections are so important. If the 45th president of the United States is not removed from power for his "heresy", then for the first time since the late 1940s, the power of sectarians will cease to be absolute and unquestioned.
* "Taliban" - the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003.
** “Islamic State” (ISIS, ISIS) - the organization was recognized as terrorist by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014
The author’s point of view may not coincide with the position of the publisher.