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I grew up in a very pro-military family. For a long time, I believed that criticizing military action was hateful to the soldiers themselves because it would demoralize troops and strengthen the enemy’s morale.
Soldiers facing danger overseas do deserve support. But they also deserve well-thought-out missions. They deserve a public that holds policymakers accountable for their actions. Those of us past fighting age have an absolute responsibility to call bullsh*t where we see it.
We who grew up surrounded by World War II stories were raised with the belief that battles were very clear and that there were hard and fast lines between the “good guys” and the “bad guys.”
But that began to change for me in the early 2000s when my best friend came back from her first tour of duty in Iraq. She was in construction and so traveled throughout Iraq and saw many villages and had many, many encounters.
Readers probably remember that liberals were regularly denouncing our efforts in Iraq as Bush’s war crimes, while conservatives were insisting that we were liberating the Iraqi people. So naturally, I was curious to hear what my trusted friend had to say. I wanted to know who was right, Fox or CNN.
My friend just shrugged and told me both sides were kind of right and both sides were kind of wrong. It really just depended on each individual village. American leadership was making assumptions about the “Iraqi people” as though they were a homogeneous group, when in reality, ideological battles were occurring at the village level. And who in Washington, D.C., can know the ins and outs of each Iraqi village?
Ukraine is different than Iraq, but not as much as you think.
The Ukrainian situation is different, but not as different as some might think. While Russia certainly was the aggressor, pro-Russian groups have existed within Ukraine for decades. If you read Anne Applebaum’s book Red Famine, you will learn how, after deliberately starving the ethnic Ukrainians, Stalin shipped Russians as well as ethnic minorities within the Soviet Union (Kazakhs, for example) into the hollowed-out country to repopulate it. Ukraine, after all, does have the best farmland in the world, and it is not only being used by ethnic Ukrainians.
Trying to find perfectly accurate battlefield information is impossible and a waste of time for anyone who is not a military commander. So, for those of us with loved ones in the military, what are we supposed to do as we watch these battles play out, as we watch our own stockpiles of military supplies depleted? Do we just take legacy media at their word?
Of course not. Daisy just wrote a fantastic article about what a waste of time that is. Sometimes, the best the rest of us can do is to try and follow money trails. Who is benefiting from this? Are we helping the Ukrainian people? Who are we sending over there to represent the United States?
This is an exhaustive subject, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Let’s just look at who is getting financially involved with Ukraine.
We know that arms manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Raytheon told investors that the war was going to be good for business. We also know that BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, the world’s largest asset manager, has made a deal with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to rebuild Ukraine.
We’ve written before about Ukraine’s new “government in a smartphone.” This has been profitable for tech companies, obviously, but it’s been an interesting trial run for the American groups like USAID, who financially supported its development.
Oh, and the Clintons are getting in on it.
The Clintons have just announced that they are getting involved. Last week, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) launched the Ukraine Action Network. This is the brainchild of Hillary Clinton and Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska. This Action Network seeks to coordinate efforts from prior CGI participants to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine; they also want to keep Ukraine in the spotlight, because American support for intervention in Ukraine is fading fast, and they know it.
So, what kind of aid does Hillary have in mind for the Ukrainians?
Well, CGI is excited about technology for schoolchildren. Orlando Bloom is raising $20 million for 50,000 laptops. I think he should shop around a little more if he thinks that’s the best deal he can get…
But this actually just proves my point. There are some big-hearted people working within charities to change lives. But there are always wasted resources, too. It’s hard to provide any kind of oversight within disaster zones.
Which CGI is well aware of.
As of June 2022, this charity enjoyed a B+ grade, as issued by CharityWatch. 76% of the money sent to them was spent on actual programs relative to their overhead expenses. That’s not too bad, right?
Let’s look back at the Clinton Global Initiative in Haiti.
But the CGI has been around for a while. Part of the Clinton Foundation, created a few years after President Bill Clinton left office, the Institute enjoyed huge growth for a few years, then disbanded in 2016, fearing there would be a conflict of interest with Hillary’s presidential run. And after Hillary’s failure in 2016, donations to the Clinton Foundation plummeted.
It’s understandable that donors would lose faith in an organization after a failed political run. But this wasn’t the only reason people were starting to dissociate themselves from the Clintons. After the disastrous Haiti earthquake in 2010, details emerged about the Clintons’ supposed “charity” down there that made them look anything but charitable.
To sum up very briefly, the Clintons had been stirring the pot in Haiti for years. During his presidency, Bill Clinton launched agricultural “reforms” that made Haitians far more dependent on American food and put down a military coup. When, in 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck, the Clintons were well-positioned to help the country rebuild.
They planned to do this by slashing regulations to attract foreign capital, then later taxing Haitians to pay it back. So, first of all, this isn’t really “aid.” It’s just letting foreign investors take advantage of the chaos. But they didn’t even build the giant port that was supposed to revitalize Haiti’s economy. The U.S. government sank tens of millions of dollars into a port project that just never materialized.
And, these financial shenanigans may have been some of the less horrible things that happened in Haiti after the earthquake. In 2022, the American pastor Corrigan Clay, who operated charities in Haiti and adopted Haitian orphans, was arrested for child sex abuse.
Corrigan Clay had been personally visited by Bill Clinton, and promoted by Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian.
While mainstream sources still insist that the Clintons really did help Haiti, too many scandals emerged that were too hard to hide. For a few years, it looked like the Clinton Foundation had lost its influence.
And then came the invasion of Ukraine.
Until the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Which, incidentally, even NATO Chairman Jens Stoltenberg admits was provoked by the expansion of NATO.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The Clintons announced they were reopening the CGI in March 2022.
And it looks like their taste in friends has not gotten any less weird. Hillary Clinton and Olena Zelenska are obviously quite close, and Volodymyr Zelensky has just made a spectacularly bizarre choice as Ukraine’s new ambassador, performance artist Marina Abramovic.
Abramovic is featured on the U.S. State Department’s art website. On the State Department website there is a very charming farmhouse picture of Abramovic.
But this is hardly typical of her work. You may recall her from the “spirit cooking” scandal during Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential race. You can read about her exhibits in which she allowed herself to be mutilated here. Or look at photos of her current exhibit in London, where you have to squeeze between nude models to enter the exhibit. You can get a nice curation of images here. She repeatedly has had to insist publicly that she’s not actually a Satanist.
Whether or not Abramovic worships Satan is almost beside the point. I don’t have a problem with performance artists as long as only adults are exposed to graphic material.
But Zelensky specifically asked Abramovic to help rebuild Ukrainian schools to help the children. I wouldn’t want this lady near my kids. I can’t imagine the average Ukrainian wants her anywhere near their children, either.
Who are we really helping, when we drag out wars like this, and allow people like the Clintons and Abramovic to be instrumental in rebuilding?
Will our involvement with Ukraine cause war with Russia?
As of right now, no one is publicly talking about American soldiers going to Ukraine, but that could change overnight. We have had people working clandestinely in the region for a long time. Again, Jens Stoltenberg admitted that NATO was aggravating Putin, and the U.S. has been part of that.
NATO is not invincible, and if we go to war with Russia, losing is within the realm of possibility. I have had people close to me die in combat. I have had other people close to me come back from war profoundly changed. The American public in general, is blissfully unaware of what war does to people, but most people who have had friends and family in combat know that it is something our politicians have a responsibility to avoid until absolutely necessary.
Is our involvement in regional wars regarding old ethnic hatreds absolutely necessary?
Russia is not the good guy here. But I can’t pretend that the side on which the Clintons stand is good, either. There are lots of Ukrainians in the media saying that they want to keep fighting, but it’s hard to know how accurate any of that reporting is. Truth is, after all, the first casualty in war.
Is there anything we can do about this?
Don’t accept the simplest answer. It’s rarely the case. Understand that since the repeal of the Smith-Mundt Act, our government is legally allowed to propagandize us, and wars have always been fertile grounds for propaganda. And they’ve been extremely busy silencing alternative voices that ask questions and draw different conclusions.
I think having this in the public eye helps. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. As bad as events got in Haiti, some arrests were made, and the Clinton Foundation lost money. Scrutinizing their actions in Ukraine can’t hurt.
What do you think about the Clintons being involved with Ukraine? Do you think there’s something to be gained for them or that this is out of the goodness of their hearts? As an American, do you think we should be sending financial aid to Ukraine? Do you think we should be involved in their war? Why or why not?
Let’s discuss it in the comments section.
About Marie Hawthorne
A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.