Washington DC

Corruption Is the Fuel of Empire

By David Stockman  |  November 13, 2019

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

– Friedrich Nietzsche, On Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

You’ve probably heard a lot about our vitally important “ally and strategic partner” Ukraine today and how important it is to prop it up against 21st century Russian aggression.

The implication, of course, is that the Donald’s attempted squeeze play on Ukraine’s new president dangerously undermines America’s national security.

That’s unadulterated tommyrot. America’s national security has nothing to do with it. This is about perpetuating the establishment’s reign inside Imperial Washington.

Ukraine is a strategically irrelevant patch of earth long ago ruined by the old Soviet Union. Any chance at real economic recovery was ruined by its own corrupt oligarchs. They spent the immediate post-Soviet years fomenting “color revolutions” and steering Ukraine’s politics toward the west and NATO membership.

Of course, they got plenty of help from Imperial Washington’s interventionists.

But the Ukrainian people elected a pro-Russian president in 2010. And all efforts to bribe and bully him westward failed. So, Imperial Washington instigated, funded, and instantaneously recognized an illegal putsch on the streets of Kiev in February 2014.

That blatant assault on a sovereign nation set in motion a destructive civil war inside Ukraine. It also established on its very own doorstep a dangerous, unnecessary politico-military confrontation with Russia. And, now, it’s birthed a hysterical campaign by Democrats in the House of Representatives and their Deep State allies to impeach a duly elected American president.

The Donald’s sin is wading into the cesspool of corruption Imperial Washington itself created from a $150 billion sliver of a failed state.

We must go back in time to understand this story…

Ukraine hadn’t simply been a Warsaw Pact “captive nation,” like Poland or the Czech Republic. It had been an integral component of the old Soviet Union. Before that it was a vassal and sometimes province of Czarist Russia.

What is today Ukraine barely even existed as an independent state (represented by the dark yellow area) during the final centuries of the Russian Empire.

And the Russian-speaking regions in what is today eastern Ukraine (the yellow area) had been known as “New Russia” owing to the Czarist policy of settling Russians there to provide a bulwark against encroachments by the Ottoman Turks.

Indeed, Crimea (the orange area) had been purchased from them by Catherine the Great in 1783 to complete the Russification of the region north of the Black Sea.

It had never been even remotely a part of Ukraine until its mainly Russian-speaking population was transferred to the Soviet Socialist Republic of the Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954 as a reward to his Ukrainian compatriots for their support during the post-Stalin struggle for power in Moscow.

And the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, which had been largely incorporated by Moscow in 1923, had a bloody modern history that was always a civil war waiting to happen.

To wit, western Ukraine had sided with the Nazis and Hitler’s Wehrmacht as it brutally made its way through Ukraine to the siege of Stalingrad during WWII. Eastern Ukraine had lined up with the Red Army during its equally bloody campaign of destruction and revenge as it chased the defeated Nazi army back to Berlin after 1943.

With the Soviet Union gone, its 50,000 tanks on the central front melted down for scrap, and the Warsaw Pact disbanded, the rational order of the day was to declare “Mission Accomplished.” We should have disbanded NATO after the Berlin Wall fell.

Indeed, though there was no justification for its continued existence, President George H.W. Bush pledged to Mikhail Gorbachev, at the moment of German unification, that NATO would not be expanded “by a single inch to the east.”

President Bill Clinton, under the baleful influence of interventionists like Strobe Talbot and Madeleine Albright, went in precisely the opposite direction. In pursuit of a post-1991 quest for global hegemony, they prepared the way for every member of the old Warsaw Pact to join NATO.

George Kennan, the brains behind Cold War containment policy and basically the godfather of NATO, observed at the time that the Clinton administration’s policy of expanding the western security alliance to the very doorstep of Russia was a colossal mistake.

The very idea that Ukraine should be induced to join NATO was beyond the pale, especially after Imperial Washington had recruited the modern-day political descendants of the WWII pro-Nazi brigades to replace the Yanukovych government in March 2014.

Washington’s obtuseness to this history reflects pure imperial arrogance.

But they wanted to establish the U.S. as the world’s lone superpower and its putative keeper of peace.

Uncorrupted

This is the most politicized market in history. And the Tweeter-in-Chief is still in charge. So, the situation is changing almost by the minute.

It’s “Impeachment!” in Imperial Washington and all over the Mainstream Media. It’s “Easy Money!” on Wall Street and across Bubblevision.

And it seems as if the whole world has, indeed, gone mad.

Amid this chaos, prices will continue to rise and fall, trends will continue to develop and dissipate.

Well, The Stockman Letter is made for times like these. And we’ve updated our design to help us better navigate to not only the safest harbors but also the most promising opportunities.

The stakes are as high as they can be heading into 2020. Markets appear to be straining, catching up to an economy that’s been weak and getting weaker for years.

The Donald is tied up in the day-to-day movements of the major stock indexes like no president before him. The increasingly desperate incumbent will do anything he must to hold the White House.

It’s a major tipping point. And there’s no telling what the Donald’s great disruptions could do to your wealth.

You’ve got to be nimble to win in this market…

To common sense,

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David Stockman

David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.MORE FROM AUTHOR