Putin uses fabrications about Russians and Ukrainians being ‘one people’ to justify aggression

Vladimir Putin has been bullying Ukraine for many years. But that’s not all. Now, in addition to massing Russian military forces along the border—surrounding his neighbor in what can only be seen as preparation for invading that country—he’s lying about Ukrainians’ very identity in order to snuff out their independence.

Americans know a little something about breaking away from a country with whom we share much in terms of cultural roots. Thanks to history, we also know that when powerful countries start remaking the borders of Europe by force, it opens the door to massive bloodshed.

The lies Putin’s telling these days have a very specific purpose, designed to buttress his bullying. The primary lie is that there are no Ukrainians. He denies their existence as a people, as a community that possesses a national consciousness. They’re really just Russians, you see. That’s why it’s not wrong for Vlad to remake or even erase a border that his country agreed to respect in 1994. He openly violated that treaty in 2014 with his military incursion into the Donbas region of southeastern Ukraine—where he both provided material support for pro-Russian separatists and sent some of his own troops as well—not to mention his outright forced annexation of Crimea. Russia has been violating the agreement consistently ever since.

One of our country’s most highly regarded experts on Eastern Europe, Zbigniew Brzezinski, explained that “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.” This is why Putin wants to delegitimize the concept of Ukrainianness. It’s all part of his plan to bring them under his thumb and restore his country’s status as a world power, and also perhaps shore up his political position at home in true Wag the Dog fashion. Invasion seems to be imminent.

NEW: The US believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine, and has communicated that decision to the Russian military, three Western and defense officials tell me.

— Nick Schifrin (@nickschifrin) February 11, 2022

WHO’S WHO IN UKRAINE?

Who are the Ukrainians? More importantly, who gets to address that question? Putin clearly believes that the answer to the second one is himself, as he laid out his falsehood-laden response to the first one. This took the form of a Jul. 2021 document titled “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” The two groups are, he claimed, “one people—a single whole … a single people” who have “a common faith, shared cultural traditions … language similarity.” The misinformation was strong in this piece of Фигня.

The article runs through a recitation of historical events extensive enough to make one long for an invasion just to bring it to an end. This 1000-plus year “history” dating back to the medieval state of Kievan Rus’—a loose federation of East Slavic, Baltic, and Finnic peoples in Eastern and Northern Europe that existed from the late 9th to the mid-13th century—is presented in a one-sided fashion that paints the development of a Ukrainianness that exists separate from Russianness as simply false, and as merely the result of foreign influences, ranging from Poles to the Catholic Church to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Political scientist Ivan Krastev noted: “Putin looks at Ukraine and Belarus as part of Russia’s civilizational and cultural space. He thinks the Ukrainian state is totally artificial and that Ukrainian nationalism is not authentic.”

It’s bad enough when a pundit or entertainer tries to define what is and what is not authentic about another group. When the guy doing it has the firepower to actually conquer that group’s country, now we’re talking about a whole other kind of danger.

As for today’s Ukraine, Putin made clear in his missive that he sees himself as the sole and rightful arbiter of what that sovereign nation’s borders should be: “Apparently, and I am becoming more and more convinced of this: Kiev simply does not need Donbas.” In other words: Russia ain’t leaving eastern Ukraine as long as he’s calling the shots. On a side note, Russia doesn’t “need” Donbas either, or benefit in material terms from having some degree of control over it—unless they want a region well-situated to mass-produce Panasonic tape decks.

Finally, Putin presented his conclusion: “I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia.” Now that’s what I call an abusive partner. Thomas Friedman, in the New York Times, recently offered a slightly different phrasing that perfectly captures Vlad’s thoughts on the matter: “Marry me, or I’ll kill you.”

An analysis of Putin’s essay at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan think tank focused on international affairs, noted that it had “been likened in some quarters to a declaration of war” against Ukraine. The analysis included commentary from two experts. Melinda Haring, Deputy Director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, stated:

Putin’s delusional and dangerous article reveals what we already knew: Moscow cannot countenance letting Ukraine go. The Russian president’s masterpiece alone should inspire the West to redouble its efforts to bolster’s Kyiv ability to choose its own future, and Zelenskyy should respond immediately and give Putin a history lesson.

Danylo Lubkivsky, director of the Kyiv Security Forum and a former Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, added:

Putin understands that Ukrainian statehood and the Ukrainian national idea pose a threat to Russian imperialism. He does not know how to solve this problem. Many in his inner circle are known to advocate the use of force, but for now, the Russian leader has no solutions. Instead, he has written an amateurish propaganda piece designed to provide followers of his “Russian World” ideology with talking points. However, his arguments are weak and simply repeat what anti-Ukrainian Russian chauvinists have been saying for decades. Putin’s essay is an expression of imperial agony.

UKRAINE’S HISTORY OF INDEPENDENCE

Despite Putin’s propaganda—and the document discussed above is just one part of a far-reaching Russian campaign—the Ukrainian people have a long record of expressing an independent national consciousness, of fighting for their independence from Russia as well as other neighboring states. There’s far too much in his diatribe to refute point by point, but suffice it to say that his denial of Ukrainians’ collective existence is far from fact-based. It’s hard to accept the objectivity of a self-styled historian of Ukraine who, in 2008, Putinsplained the following to then-President Bush, “You don’t understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state.”

In reality, in the late nineteenth century, at the same time as other peoples in Central and Eastern Europe, proponents of a Ukrainian sense of peoplehood—nationalists, they called themselves—emerged and began building a movement. At the end of the First World War, these Ukrainian nationalists fought to create an independent state out of the chaos in the region, but were defeated. The part of their country that had been under Tsarist Russian control was ultimately absorbed by the Soviet Union, with a newly independent Poland taking the portion that had been part of Galicia, a previously Austro-Hungarian province. At the end of the Second World War, the USSR grabbed that territory from Poland as well.

Since 1991, when the Soviet Union broke apart, Ukraine has been independent, and sought to carve its own path outside of Moscow’s shadow. The current president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has cultivated what one Ukrainian journalist described as: “an inclusive Ukrainian national identity transcending the barriers of language, ethnicity and memory that have so often served to divide Ukrainians.”

TRUMP REARS HIS ORANGE HEAD

Zelensky is none other than the man whom our disgraced former president tried to bully into becoming a stooge in his quest to slander Joe Biden. Those actions led to the first impeachment of The Man Who Lost An Election And Tried To Steal It, thanks in part to the brave actions of whistleblowers like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. In fact, Trump as well as numerous right-wing politicians and media figures have all but openly sided with Putin on Ukraine, as Daily Kos’s Mark Sumner thoroughly presented here (and here, on Fucker Carlson specifically).

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

Vindman, who was born in Ukraine and came with his family to the U.S. in 1979 at the age of three, served as director for European affairs at the National Security Council, and was the top expert on Ukraine in the White House under Fuck a l’Orange. He has urged the U.S. to provide significant defensive military support to Kyiv, and wrote passionately in December about how the land where he was born has evolved since claiming its freedom when the USSR disintegrated:

Over the past 30 years, Ukraine has made major strides in its experiment with democracy. Despite worrying instances of government-backed corruption—undeniably, there is still more work to be done—Ukraine has made hard-fought progress on reform in the midst of war. Six presidents, two revolutions and many violent protests later, the people of Ukraine have sent a clear message that reflects the most fundamental of American values: They will fight for basic rights, and against authoritarian repression.

PARALLELS WITH CHINA AND TAIWAN

We may be seeing some similar developments farther East. After more than seven decades of separation from the mainland government of China, and four decades as a vibrant democracy, the people of Taiwan have increasingly begun to see themselves as having a separate national consciousness as Taiwanese rather than Chinese. For many Ukrainians as well as Taiwanese, the fact that their countries are committed to democratic values, which their erstwhile “big brother” countries reject only serves to heighten their desire to define their separate sense of peoplehood. Both of the larger brothers consider their counterpart’s independence to be a grave offense they cannot abide.

People in Taiwan and China are absolutely paying attention to what’s happening between Russia and Ukraine. Furthermore, the growing ties between Moscow and Beijing—please note the warm meeting between their leaders at the Winter Olympics, hosted by China—not to mention the shared belief that a great power should be able to dominate within a self-defined sphere of influence, offer Putin support for his actions that could counteract potential punishment imposed by the West.

Ultimately, the lies Putin enumerated mask an even more profound truth, one that has nothing to do with an argument about the legitimacy of a particular national identity. Even if Russians and Ukrainians had been “one people” a thousand years ago, or even a thousand days ago, who cares? Things transform in an instant.

DECLARATION(S) OF INDEPENDENCE

Prior to the American Revolution, most of those who were allowed to participate in the political life of the American colonies, as well as their wives and children, defined themselves as English. Nevertheless, they maintained a “right,” as the Founders argued in the Declaration of Independence, to change their minds. Sometimes, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.” Ukrainians, who want to look west rather than north, and who want democracy rather than autocracy, have made the same judgment regarding Russia.

We know what the Russian president is, and what he wants. This is a man who says the quiet part out loud. He actually lamented the collapse of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe and Central Asia as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” He added that the event represented not the liberation of tens of millions but instead “a genuine tragedy.” Why? Because “tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.”

The borders of Russia should apparently encompass everywhere Russian people live—with the caveat that Putin himself defines who is Russian. It’s up to no one else other than the self-proclaimed father of the Russian people, the bridegroom to Mother Russia, who will gather together once again all his wayward children, including the ones who ran away from home and never want to go back. Please note his foreign minister’s characterization of the countries once under the sway of the Soviets as “territories orphaned by the collapse of the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the Soviet Union.” As for Ukraine specifically, the head of Vlad’s national security council proclaimed in November that it was a “protectorate” of Moscow.

The type of “we’re all one people” ethno-nationalist claptrap Putin has been spewing on Ukraine is at least an echo, even if not a direct parallel, of the language Adolf Hitler used in 1938 to justify the Anschluss that forcibly joined Austria to Nazi Germany and to justify taking the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, as well as aggressive action toward Poland. In all these cases, Hitler claimed that he was simply reuniting people who shared German ancestry—German blood. To clarify, Putin is talking more about shared Russian culture than blood ties, and there’s no evidence he is bent on genocide or world domination.

Nevertheless, a great power committing this kind of aggression—now threatening to commit even more of it—and using this kind of tribal nationalism as a pretext, is something that Europe has not seen for almost a century. It cannot be allowed to succeed, and thankfully President Biden and our European allies are taking steps to make sure that it doesn’t.

Ian Reifowitz is the author of  The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh’s Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (Foreword by Markos Moulitsas)

The admission of Republican failure that hovers beneath every racist coronavirus slur

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Republicans, encouraged by the twice-impeached, former one-term president, have persisted in using the phrase “China virus” or “Wuhan virus” to describe the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these same Republicans have insisted, despite an overwhelming scientific consensus to the contrary, that the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory as opposed to originating in an animal host. Last April, as the pandemic spread uncontrolled throughout the U.S., the GOP sent a detailed, 57-page internal memo to its 2020 election candidates, specifically urging them to blame China at every turn when faced with questions about the administration’s efforts to combat the pandemic.

Of course, the predictable result from repeating this theme was a marked upsurge in violence directed towards Asian Americans. The link between Trump and the GOP’s anti-China rhetoric and such violence prompted President Joe Biden, in one of his first official acts upon taking office, to ban such pejorative terminology from our federal agencies and their public documents. Still, despite the well-documented consequences to Asian Americans, elected Republican officials—such as Ohio Lt. Gov. John Husted only last week—continue to trot out the racist slur.

While the connection between this rhetoric and acts of violence is obvious, it’s important for Americans to remember why Trump and the GOP made this conscious, collective decision in the first place. Blaming China  was more than a deliberate attempt to shift the blame for the pandemic itself,; as employed almost exclusively by Republicans, it was a deliberate attempt to distract from the administration’s wholly botched response.

From the very start the “Chinese virus” appellation was intentionally amplified by American right-wing media. It’s a slur which almost revels in its senselessness. To be clear, even if the virus actually had man-made origins—even if the virus been created in Xi Jinping’s basement with a vintage Gilbert chemistry set—from a practical standpoint, the precise origin of the virus, be it bat, bald eagle or Beijing lab, is essentially irrelevant.  Whether the virus originated in China, Kenya, or Wyoming is distinct from the question of how the global community has responded to it, which is what ultimately matters.

Medical staff treating COVID-19 patients in Wuhan China, February, 2020.

That distinction is what Trump’s favorite slur tries to obfuscate. The tragic reality is that the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic was atrocious compared to nearly every other developed nation in the world. It was so bad it turned this country into a pariah nation, a cautionary tale of what not to do in a public health crisis.

And that abysmal response, whose ineptitude and human cost will doubtlessly fill the history books for the next hundred years as an example of what failed, indifferent government policies can lead to, was due almost entirely to an abdication of responsibility towards the American public by one of this country’s two major political parties. Republicans were the ones responsible for electing, abetting and encouraging an Executive uniquely and pathologically unsuited to addressing the catastrophic implications of a global pandemic. Republicans  were the ones who stood by silently, while our public health infrastructure and pandemic response capabilities were being gleefully dismantled by the the Trump administration. And Republicans of every stripe must bear the ultimate responsibility for the consequences of that failure, whether they choose to admit it or not.

Only recently, as the nation finally begins to extricate itself from this calamity, is a reckoning of sorts coming forth. The most up-to-date estimates place direct blame on Donald Trump for approximately 400,000 of the deaths that have occurred to date due to COVID-19. There is literally no president in American history whose malfeasance resulted in so many deaths of U.S. citizens.

But Trump didn’t act alone. The death toll was increased exponentially due to the sycophancy of a Republican establishment lined up behind him, adopting his cues as the pandemic’s impact continued to worsen. Every Republican  at the state and federal level who acquiesced to the former administration’s malfeasance either by parroting lethal anti-masking propaganda, forcefully advocating reopening businesses in the name of “personal freedom,” or hawking phony cures and ridiculous conspiracy theories is complicit.

The August 2020 Sturgis motorcycle rally, encouraged by South Dakota’s Republican Governor, Kristi Noem, was linked to 260,000 US COVID-19 infections, according to one study.

So the appeal of the slur to Republicans, however irrelevant to the actual harm caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is easy enough to understand, because it serves as an ready distraction from the blame they so richly deserve for allowing a public health crisis to become a calamity. The entire approach by the Trump administration was intended to abandon any leadership role of the federal government, and thereby escape blame for any failure to stop it. As pointed out by Josh Marshall, writing for Talking  Points Memo,  this exercise in blame avoidance was intentional, a key to the administration’s overall strategy when faced with its own ineptitude.

From the very start of the Pandemic in the first weeks of 2020 the Trump administration consistently sought to disclaim responsibility for things that would be genuinely difficult and could have challenging or bad outcomes. Push the tough tasks on to others and if it goes badly blame them. This frequently went to absurd lengths as when the White House insisted that states short on ventilators at the peak of the spring surge should have known to purchase them in advance of the pandemic. Over the course of the year Trump spun up an alternative reality in which the US was somehow still operating under the Articles of Confederation in which individual states were responsible for things that have been viewed as inherently federal responsibilities for decades or centuries.

But the impetus wasn’t ideological. It was mainly a means of self-protection and risk avoidance: arrange things so that the administration could take credit if things went well and blame states if they went bad. Nowhere was this more clear than in the months’ long crisis over testing capacity. Since the administration was actually hostile to testing in general and couldn’t solve the problem in any case they simply claimed it was a state responsibility.

As Marshall points out, the one constant during Trump’s entire botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic—from the first warnings of an incipient health crisis through and including Trump’s final day in office—was “to put it off on someone else so the White House didn’t get the blame.”

Attributing the pandemic to China or Wuhan, or the rally staple “Kung flu?” That was always a calculated part of Trump’s attempt to avoid blame, one which immediately filtered down to the state level and was adopted by Republican officials equally eager to dodge blame. Even following a year of racially-motivated attacks on Asian Americans that resulted from this distraction campaign, most House Republicans still refused to condemn Trump’s rhetoric. 

As detailed by Alex Samuels, writing for FiveThirtyEight, the vilification of China had its desired effect among the Republican constituency.

Ultimately, blaming China for the pandemic didn’t help Trump win reelection in 2020, but unfavorable views of China are at a record high among Americans.1 And there are signs that Americans, especially Republicans, blame China for the spread of the coronavirus. A November Economist/YouGov poll found, for instance, that 64 percent of all registered voters and 86 percent of Republicans said it was definitely or probably true that China was responsible for the pandemic.

The key word for Republicans here was “responsible.” Republicans recognize that Donald Trump and those GOP officials that adopted his strategy throughout this crisis were ultimately responsible for the U.S. sustaining a higher death toll from this virus than any other country in the world. As Samuels notes, that fact practically compels them to find a scapegoat for their own failure, with any blowback inflicted on Asian-Americans a secondary consideration at best.

[T]he experts I’ve talked to think that if people uphold a specific worldview by delegitimizing another group, the framing of diseases will always be political — no matter how apolitical we think diseases are. That’s because racism itself is a disease, and as Roger Keil, a political scientist at York University, told me, “[I]t seems to spread sometimes like a virus.” Keil compared it to watching a video online: “For every video that links the disease to Chinese people, there will be 10 or 1,000 people watching, so it’s normalized,” he said. “It’s terrible, but that’s how racism spreads.”

The Trump administration knew the implications of COVID-19,from the outset and that it presented his prospects and those of his minions with a truly daunting, existential crisis. The China scapegoating began immediately and continued throughout the rest of Trump’s tenure, heedless of whatever harm such scapegoating would have on millions of Asian-Americans. Republican leaders willingly followed his lead and have continued to do so up to this day. But every time one of them utters the words “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus,” what they’re really doing is dodging their own responsibility for the worst response to a major public health crisis in this nation’s history.

We Cannot Allow China To Engage In A COVID Coverup

By Dave Seminara for RealClearPolitics

China is testing President Biden, but his party is still preoccupied with Donald Trump. Chinese authorities refused to provide World Health Organization investigators with raw data on early COVID-19 cases that could help them determine how and when the coronavirus spread in China.

The stakes in learning as much as we can from this pandemic couldn’t be higher. But it’s unclear if our new leaders are ready to confront China’s increasingly intransigent leaders, who are keen to promote unlikely theories on the origins of the virus that absolve them of culpability.

The virus has killed nearly 2.5 million people worldwide and the International Monetary Fund has estimated that the global cost of the pandemic is $28 trillion. A paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, put the total cost in the U.S. at more than $16 trillion, or nearly $200,000 for a family of four.

With case counts declining and vaccines here, we now see a light at the end of the tunnel, but this is no time for complacency.

This should be a “never again” moment where we steadfastly resolve to do everything in our power to ensure that we never experience another catastrophic plague like this one again.

RELATED: Democrats’ Coronavirus Bill Spends ‘At Least $312 Billion’ On Policies Unrelated To COVID-19 Pandemic

President Biden has yet to speak publicly about China’s refusal to hand over raw data on early cases, but Jake Sullivan, his national security adviser, issued a statement. “At this critical moment, protecting the WHO’s credibility is a paramount priority,” he said. “We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them.”

The statement was better than nothing, but there was no call to action or mention of potential consequences if China fails to comply, which is exceedingly likely given Beijing’s track record on transparency and COVID-19.

Sullivan merely said that “[a]ll countries, including China, should participate in a transparent and robust process for preventing and responding to health emergencies — so that the world learns as much as possible as soon as possible.”

Since the news broke on Feb. 12, other top Democrats have been silent regarding China’s failure to fully cooperate with WHO investigators.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sent multiple tweets about impeachment but none about China. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also been silent, but has sent a half dozen tweets about the impeachment.

There’s also been nary a peep on China’s attempted coverup from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has more Twitter followers than Schumer and Pelosi put together, or Sen. Bob Menendez, the chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee who has sent a dozen tweets about impeachment in recent days while remaining silent on China.

RELATED: Meghan McCain Says Dr. Fauci Should Be Fired And Replaced By Someone Who ‘Understands Science’

Vice President Kamala Harris has made no mention of the WHO team’s China mission, but the day after the news broke, she sent a tweet warning of xenophobia. “Hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants have skyrocketed during the pandemic. That’s why our Administration has taken actions to address these xenophobic attacks.”

Combating xenophobic attacks is a laudable goal, but my fear is that the too-woke, too-cozy-to-China Democratic Party may not act forcefully for fear of stoking xenophobia. Remember, for example, how then candidate Joe Biden called Trump’s China travel ban “xenophobic,” and how Democrats like Pelosi and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged Americans to visit Chinatowns at the start of the pandemic.

For years, the Putin-obsessed Democratic Party has acted as though Russia is still our primary geopolitical adversary when China is clearly our biggest threat.

We can demand accountability from China without inflaming anti-Asian sentiment. President Biden must use forceful diplomacy to bring other world leaders around to force China’s hand. Finding consensus will be difficult, but issuing statements of concern is clearly not enough.

The Chinese government should be given a deadline to turn early COVID-19 case data over to the WHO and there must be clear consequences for failure to comply.

Any number of sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans for China’s leaders, should be on the table. We should also strongly encourage the WHO to immediately send its team of investigators back to China. They should remain there until China’s leaders fully cooperate, and if they don’t, team members should hold daily press conferences to shame them.

RELATED: Public Schools Are Ignoring Science And Harming Special Needs Students

Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill, the COVID-19 Accountability Act, last May calling for sanctions on China if it failed to fully cooperate with the U.S. and international organizations conducting investigations. The bill never received a vote but now is the time to reignite talks of how to respond to China’s dangerous lack of transparency.

China doves and free-trade-at-all-costs types will insist that we can’t afford to confront China, which is our third largest trading partner.

But when you stack up the economic cost that may arise from rising tensions with China against the potential cost of enduring another pandemic, the choice is clear.

It’s time for Joe Biden and other world leaders to send a clear, united message to China that the world will not allow them to persist in what looks like a COVID-19 coverup.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

Dave Seminara is a former diplomat and author of “Footsteps of Federer: A Fan’s Pilgrimage Across 7 Swiss Cantons in 10 Acts,” forthcoming on March 2.

The post We Cannot Allow China To Engage In A COVID Coverup appeared first on The Political Insider.

Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene – I Will File Articles Of Impeachment Against Biden The Day After His Inauguration

Newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is vowing to introduce articles of impeachment against Joe Biden the day after his inauguration.

Greene (R-GA) announced her intentions during an interview with Newsmax on Wednesday, the day House Democrats and ten Republicans spent all of eight hours impeaching President Trump for a second time.

She cites Biden’s alleged links to his son’s business dealings with China as motivation.

“We cannot have a president of the United States [Biden] that is willing to abuse the power of the office of the presidency and be easily bought off by foreign governments, foreign Chinese energy companies, Ukrainian energy companies,” Greene insisted.

“So on January 21, I will be filing articles of impeachment on Joe Biden.”

RELATED: Poll: Republican Voters Are Siding With Trump Over Mitch McConnell

Marjorie Taylor Greene Will Deliver Articles of Impeachment Against Biden

Greene will no doubt be dismissed due to her past associations with Qanon and 9/11 truthers but look at her argument on its face.

75 million Americans are fed up with inaction – whether it involves election integrity concerns or actions by Democrats who consistently escape scrutiny for stepping over legal bounds (Hillary’s emails, Barack’s actions in trying to take down a political opponent).

And it is time to take a stand.

Democrats have wielded impeachment like some sort of political toy over the last couple of years. President Trump hasn’t become the only president to be impeached twice because of his actions, but because of the unhinged actions of his adversaries.

Impeached over a mundane phone call to the Ukraine president. Impeached over a speech in which he repeatedly urged protesters to make their voices heard “peacefully.”

There is far more evidence of Biden being bought off by foreign governments than there is of Trump’s wrongdoing. And that, using Nancy Pelosi’s own words, makes him an “imminent threat” to “our democracy.”

RELATED: Biden Tells Reporter He Still Believes Hunter Scandal is ‘Russian Misinformation’

Biden’s Abuse of Power

Hunter Biden announced after the election that an investigation into his “tax affairs” had been opened in 2018. There were Senate committees and subsequent reports that indicated inquiries into Biden’s son.

A documentary out prior to the election claimed Hunter’s numerous business deals in China “served” the communist country and their military.

Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Hunter’s turned whistleblower, claimed president-elect Biden discussed business dealings with his son, and suggested the Democrat is also compromised by the Chinese Communist Party.

An email obtained by Fox News at the time appeared to outline a payout for Biden in a joint venture with a Chinese energy firm.

It included a proposed equity split of “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?”

Bobulinski, in an interview with Tucker Carlson, insisted the ‘big guy’ is a reference to Joe Biden.

A supplemental report produced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) claims documents contain new evidence “that confirm the connections between the Biden family and the communist Chinese government.”

Greene was part of a group of House Republicans who met with President Trump in late December to discuss challenging the election results in Congress.

She noted other lawmakers were jumping “on board immediately to #StopTheSteal on Jan 6th” and that they “have more coming!”

Greene and other Republicans who contested the election have been cited by Democrats as the cause for the Capitol riots on that same date.

Greene’s counter-effort to impeach Biden is purely for show, with Democrats controlling the House and none of them likely to vote in favor. But it’s a game the left started.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) suggested he had designs on impeaching President Trump … before he even took office.

“I just know that if I’m going to vote to impeach the man at some point, I would like to be able to look him in the eye on Inauguration Day,” Raskin said in discussing whether or not he would attend Trump’s swearing-in.

Raskin now serves as one of Pelosi’s impeachment managers, tasked with arguing that the President started an uprising by contesting election results, something he himself did back in 2017.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s impeachment effort against Biden may not be a serious one, but it’s equally as serious as any putrid effort put forth by the Democrats so far.

The post Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene – I Will File Articles Of Impeachment Against Biden The Day After His Inauguration appeared first on The Political Insider.

Intelligence Panel Republicans: Swalwell ‘Compromised’ by Fang Ties

By Philip Wegmann for RealClearPolitics

In the 21st century, even spies have a social media presence, and while Christine Fang has not been heard from or seen since she fled the United States more than five years ago, the Chinese national still keeps her Facebook account active.

Fang made two posts in November. The first, a candid photo of her face in shadow and light. The second, a picture of the inside of the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, perfectly capturing the “Apotheosis of Washington.

Painted by Italian artist Constantino Brumidi in 1865, the fresco depicts George Washington rising into the heavens and is immediately familiar to every member of Congress.

This includes Rep. Eric Swalwell, but unlike the other members of Congress, the California Democrat is also very familiar with Fang.

The lissome Chinese spy cultivated relationships, some of them apparently sexual, with several local and national politicians and, if anything, her picture now reminds Swalwell not of glory but of his current hellish controversy.

RELATED: Report: Eric Swalwell One Of Several Politicians Targeted By Chinese Spy

Swalwell won’t say whether his relationship with the spy included physical intimacy or disclose much about their shared past. The normally chatty congressman won’t say much of anything.

When confronted by a reporter after a jog Thursday morning, the sweaty former presidential candidate kept his head down as he hustled up the steps of his Washington, D.C., home.

He hasn’t been able to run as easily away from the controversy.

After Axios broke the Fang story on Dec. 8, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy quickly labeled Swalwell, who eagerly sought the spotlight during the impeachment of President Trump, “a national security threat.”

The rest of the caucus has followed suit, with GOP leaders sending a letter this week to Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding that she remove him from his post on the House Intelligence Committee.

But even if he is removed, which seems unlikely, Republicans say the saga calls into question not just the credibility of Swalwell but the judgment of Pelosi.

It is the perfect curtain raiser for their coming argument in the Joe Biden era that Democrats don’t take threats from China seriously.

It’s a story too tempting to pass up. It reads a little like a spy novel because, well, it involves a spy. An attractive one.

Fang went by Christine in the U.S., enrolling in early 2011 at California State University, East Bay, and quickly took an interest in Bay Area politicians.

RELATED: Top Congressional Leader Calls For Eric Swalwell’s Removal From Congress After Report Links Him To Chinese Spy

By 2014, according to Axios, Fang had developed close ties to Swalwell, then a little-known Dublin City Council member. She showed up at events.

She bundled contributions for him, connecting deep-pocketed donors with his congressional election campaign. She placed an intern in his office.

It was the long game, one that counter-intelligence experts warn China is so good at playing.

Swalwell was an obvious mark. In 2012, he had risen from relative obscurity, defeating an octogenarian Democratic incumbent who had represented the Northern California district since before Swalwell as born.

In some quarters, and certainly in his own mind, Swalwell was seen as a young rising star in Democratic politics.

But in his second term in office, U.S. intelligence took notice of something else. According to  Axios, it gave Swalwell a “defensive briefing” about Fang.

Swalwell reportedly cut off ties. Fang left the country, suddenly, in mid-2015.

RELATED: China Excited About Possible Biden Presidency: ‘We Can Return To Objectivity And Rationality’

The same year, somewhat unexpectedly given his junior status, Pelosi named Swalwell to the House Intelligence Committee, a plum and important appointment given the committee’s role overseeing the nation’s intelligence community, including the CIA.

While his office refused to comment for the Axios story, the congressman insisted he was innocent of any wrongdoing in a brief interview with Politico.

He suggested the story was a hit job from a vindictive Trump White House: “I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him. The timing feels like that should be looked at.”

He said that he cooperated with the FBI and that “if intelligence officials are trying to weaponize someone’s cooperation, they are essentially seeking to do what this person was not able to do, which is to try and discredit someone.”

Swalwell also predicted that he wouldn’t lose his seat, saying “this goes back to the beginning of the last decade, and it’s something that congressional leadership knew about.”

Swalwell hasn’t elaborated about the nature of his relationship with Fang, and his office continues to stonewall media inquiries. RealClearPolitics’ calls to his office were unreturned.

RELATED: Pelosi Stands By Swalwell Amidst Chinese Spy Scandal

But two Republicans on the Intelligence Committee separately told RCP they don’t want Swalwell anywhere near state secrets.

Sitting on the committee makes members of Congress even more of a target. This changed the habits of Rep. Rick Crawford.

After joining the panel, the Arkansas Republican says he has severely limited the number of meetings he takes with representatives from foreign countries, keeps a closer eye on who comes into contact with aides, and regularly has Capitol Police sweep his office for bugs.

And with good reason: Earlier this year, National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe warned Congress that as many as 50 members have likely been targeted by foreign influence.

Crawford’s reaction to the Swalwell news? “Quite frankly, I am not even remotely comfortable with him in the room,” he told RCP, given the sensitive nature of the material the committee oversees.

Crawford doesn’t make much of his colleague’s insistence that he is working with the authorities: “It’s a redirect. Nobody’s trying to suggest that he’s not cooperating. But being cooperative doesn’t change the fact that you’re compromised.”

What’s more, he added, Swalwell could still be a liability given that “we don’t know the extent to which their relationship might have put him in a position to be blackmailed.”

Another colleague who doesn’t make much of Swalwell’s cooperation is Rep. Elise Stefanik. The New York Republican told RCP that “Swalwell should step down from the House Intelligence Committee and appear before the House Ethics Committee.”

So far that seems unlikely, but Stefanik notes that Pelosi appointed Swalwell and Pelosi can boot Swalwell.

RELATED: Rand Paul: Eric Swalwell Should Resign From Intelligence Committee After ‘Sleeping With A Chinese Spy’

She wants to know why the Democratic speaker even entrusted him with the position given that “this is not a recent infiltration — this goes back to when he was initially running for office when this Communist Chinese spy infiltrated his campaign.”

Crawford and Stefanik and the rest of House GOP caucus are likely to be disappointed. Asked about the Axios story last week, Pelosi responded, “I don’t have any concerns about Mr. Swalwell.”

At the same time, many other Republicans will be delighted.

After listening to Swalwell lambast Trump for his alleged collusion with Russia only a few years after coming in direct contact with a Chinese agent, they are ready to turn the tables.

If he stays on the Intelligence Committee, the GOP stands ready to make him a poster boy. “The situation with Swalwell, just like the situation with Hunter Biden, ties together the biggest weakness Democrats have: That they’re soft on China,” a former White House official said. “This is going to be an ongoing issue for Democrats.”

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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Maxine Waters Whines About The ‘Missed Opportunity’ Congress Had To Impeach Trump ‘For Treason’

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) had yet another meltdown against President Donald Trump on Sunday, this time complaining about the “missed opportunity” she claims that Congress had to impeach him “for treason.”

Waters Thinks Trump Should Have Been Impeached ‘For Treason’

“On my 3/2017 pinned tweet one can see [Paul] Manafort, [Michael] Flynn, [Roger] Stone, all of whom have been pardoned [and] more of them to come. They know the criminal [and] illegal relationship [between] Trump [and] Putin! They’re part of it! We missed our opportunity to impeach him for treason. [New York] can make up for it!” Waters tweeted.

Waters Has Previously Called For Trump’s Arrest And Impeachment

Waters has long been one of Trump’s harshest critics, frequently calling for him to be impeached and even to be arrested.

“I’m calling on the GOP to stop Trump’s filthy talk of whistleblowers being spies & using mob language implying they should be killed,” she tweeted back in October. “Impeachment is not good enough for Trump. He needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement. But for now, impeachment is the imperative.”

Related: Maxine Waters Says She’ll ‘Never, Ever Forgive’ Black Voters Who Chose Trump

Immediately after last month’s presidential election, Waters was quick to say that the “door is closed” on Trump’s presidency as she also called for him to be investigated.

“So let him keep going as far as he wants to go even though the door is closed on him now,” she said. “There’s nowhere for him to go. If he wants to try and keep going to the Supreme Court, let him try. It’s over.”

Waters Wants Trump To Be Investigated

Waters also said that she would “certainly would be in support of investigating the president of the United States.”

“What he has done in the four years that he has served as president is simply unconscionable, I think criminal in some cases,” Waters said of Trump. 

“He’s placed this country in danger,” she said. “And the president of the United States is supposed to be about making sure that the country is safe and secure, and he has done everything possible to undermine our democracy. I don’t think that can be overlooked.”

Related: Maxine Waters Declares That Trump’s Presidency Is ‘Over’ – Calls For Him To Be Investigated

“We should send a message across the world that we will not tolerate the undermining of our democracy in the way this president has done,” Waters added. “So again, I don’t know what President-elect Biden would do, but I certainly would support investigating the president.”

This piece was written by James Samson on December 23, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Rachel Maddow Stuns Fans By Defending Former Colleague Tucker Carlson – ‘He’s Not Faking It’
Fauci Backtracks – Says We Don’t Need To Cancel Christmas After Calling For Us To Do Just That
Dem Senator Claims Republicans Challenging Election Results Are ‘Bordering On’ Treason, Which Is Punishable By Death

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Report: Eric Swalwell One Of Several Politicians Targeted By Chinese Spy

An Axios report indicates a woman suspected of being a Chinese spy targeted several local and national politicians in California, including former Democrat presidential candidate and current House Rep. Eric Swalwell.

The bombshell report indicates Fang Fang, or Christine Fang, served as a Chinese Intelligence operative with China’s Ministry of State Security.

Fang reportedly used campaign fundraising, networking, her charm, as well as romantic and sexual relationships to get close with politicians between 2011 and 2015.

She “targeted up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage,” the report reads.

Axios alleges that Fang engaged in “romantic or sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors” and, as a result, “was able to gain proximity to political power.”

A political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official advised Axios that Fang “took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign” and that the Democrat Rep. “was directly aware of these activities on its behalf.”

They do not allege any of the fundraising was illegal, but they do indicate the alleged Chinese spy was able to place an intern with Swalwell’s office and that she interacted with the Congressman “at multiple events over the course of several years.”

RELATED: Eric Swalwell Slammed For Suggesting Trump Is Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Eric Swalwell Won’t Comment on Alleged Relationship With Chinese Spy

In a statement to Axios, Swalwell’s office asserted that his knowledge of Fang was fleeting and he could not comment due to national security concerns.

“Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI,” they responded to the yearlong investigation.

“To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.”

But the Axios report indicates it was the FBI who had to interject in the Swalwell-Fang connection because they were “so alarmed.”

“Federal investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that around 2015 they alerted Swalwell to their concerns — giving him what is known as a defensive briefing,” the report indicates.

They note that Swalwell “immediately cut off all ties to Fang” and that “he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.”

RELATED: Trey Gowdy ‘Mad As Hell’ At Pelosi For ‘Dumb and Despicable’ Withholding Of COVID Relief

Does He Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt?

If Swalwell insists that his relationship with a Chinese spy was brief and inconsequential, who are we to argue? But we find it highly unlikely the Democrat lawmaker would be quite so forgiving had a Republican or President Trump been involved with a spy.

After all, it was this same man who claimed the President was guilty until proven innocent of allegations mounted during impeachment.

Swalwell chose not to participate in this Axios story. President Trump late last year, refused to send documents and witnesses to mount a defense against the House Democrat impeachment circus.

“We can only conclude that you’re guilty,” the California lawmaker stated at the time.

“In America, innocent men do not hide and conceal evidence,” Swalwell added. “They are forthcoming and they want to cooperate and the president is acting like a very guilty person right now.”

Huh. Drawing conclusions based on Swalwell’s thought process would cause him quite a bit of trouble, to say the least.

Swalwell was also one of the biggest congressional promotors of the Russia hoax. In a January 2019 interview on MSNBC, the Democrat asserted President Trump was a Russian agent.

“He’s working on behalf of the Russians, yes,” he falsely claimed.

Former Acting Director of United States National Intelligence Richard Grenell called out Swalwell on the news of his entanglement with a Chinese spy, saying the Democrat “is a total hypocrite and should resign in disgrace.”

Others noted that, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Swalwell would have been prone to blackmail had he been one of the officials involved in an actual physical relationship with Fang.

Fang, the Chinese spy who got close to a former presidential candidate in Eric Swalwell, left the United States “unexpectedly in mid-2015 amid the investigation,” according to Axios.

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Explosive Report On Hunter Biden, Burisma Reveals Questionable Financial Transactions – Including Millions From Ex-Moscow Mayor’s Wife

A bombshell report reveals questionable financial transactions between Hunter Biden and his associates involving his role on the Board of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings.

Biden, the son of Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, engaged in “extensive and complex financial transactions” that were thoroughly analyzed by the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees.

The report was released on Wednesday by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

It states that Hunter “formed significant and consistent financial relationships” with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma.

Additionally, Biden and his business partner Devon Archer’s firms “made millions of dollars from that association” while his father served as vice president.

The Senate and Finance committees claim that they have obtained records from the US Treasury Department.

Those records reportedly “show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals.”

RELATED: Documentary Claims Hunter Biden’s Business Dealings ‘Served’ China and Their Military

Hunter Biden, Bursima Accused of Questionable Financial Transactions

A documentary earlier this month narrated by Peter Schweizer, claims Hunter Biden’s numerous business deals in China “served” the communist country and their military.

“This isn’t just another story about a politician’s kid getting rich,” Schweizer said.

“Hunter’s new firm started making investment deals that would serve the strategic interests of the Chinese military.”

The Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees address concerns that Biden had contacts with individuals linked to the Chinese military.

“During the Obama administration, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved a transaction that gave control over Henniges, an American maker of antivibration technologies with military applications, to a Chinese government-owned aviation company and a China-based investment firm with established ties to the Chinese government.”

One of the companies involved in the transaction was a private investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), where the son of the Democrat nominee for President was a board member.

Schweizer claimed that he had information suggesting the Bidens cooperated with Chinese partners to bypass certain laws.

By extension, this allowed them to acquire companies that helped the Chinese military excel in technology.

RELATED: Report: Bill Clinton Invited Accused Sex-Trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell To An ‘Intimate’ Dinner

Biden and Obama’s Conflict of Interest

The report goes on to suggest that the Obama administration “ignored the glaring warning signs” when Biden’s son joined the board of Burisma.

Officials “knew” that Hunter’s position on the board was “problematic.”

His “position on the board created an immediate potential conflict of interest that would prove to be problematic for both U.S. and Ukrainian officials and would affect the implementation of Ukraine policy,” according to the report.

When asked earlier this year how his role as Vice President and his son’s dealing in Ukraine were not a conflict of interest, Joe Biden became enraged.

“Let’s focus on the problem,” he yelled, avoiding the question. “Focus on this man, what he’s doing, that no president has ever done. No president!”

The media ‘focused’ on any mundane transaction involving Russia rather intently over the last few years.

Why wouldn’t they be just as interested that Biden’s financial transactions, according to this latest news, include a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow?

Republican strategist Andrew Surabian openly wondered if the media would be handling this explosive report a little differently if it had involved President Trump’s son.

Joe Biden spokesman Andrew Bates has been trying his best to divert attention from the news about Hunter’s financial transactions.

“Ron Johnson has wasted months diverting the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee away from any oversight of the catastrophically botched federal response to the pandemic,” Bates told the New York Post.

Odd, Democrats weren’t concerned about attention and resources being diverted away from the pandemic when they were conducting their impeachment sham.

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Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono Flat-Out Calls Trump Supporters ‘White Supremacists’

Senator Mazie Hirono pulled no punches in an interview with MSNBC stating supporters of President Trump are “anti-immigrant” and “white supremacists.”

Hirono (D-HI) began the segment by claiming the President has been a failure in three aspects:

  • The pandemic – Caused by China with a response slowed down by the impeachment charade.
  • The economy – Caused by the pandemic which had previously been roaring along at historic rates.
  • Systemic racism – Something that only exists in bad individuals and is by no means systemic.

She blamed Trump’s “enablers” for covering up these so-called failures, before really laying into his supporters.

RELATED: ICE Official Has to Explain to Democrat Mazie Hirono What ‘Illegal’ Means

Trump Fans Are ‘White Supremacists’

If there was any question, every Democrat and some Republicans think this way about you because of your support for the President. Hirono just said it out loud.

“We should be dealing with the economic crisis,” Hirono said. “And we should be dealing with the racism that is in our country to which the president speaks to because he has a base of supporters who are very anti-immigrant and white supremacists.”

“That’s who, that’s the, a lot of his base and that’s who he speaks to so the divisiveness continues,” she stammered. “So, we should be focusing on things that we need to focus on.”

The MSNBC host, Chris Jansing, as you would expect, offered no pushback on the outlandish claim.

RELATED: Harmeet Dhillon Wants To Know Where The Outrage Was When Obama Commuted Sentence Of A Terrorist

Made the Claim Before

This isn’t exactly a new claim from Hirono.

In discussing harassment of Republican lawmakers incited by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Hirono called it activism and justified it due to “white supremacy.”

“Well, this is what happens. They — because when you look at white supremacists and all of that, this is what is coming forth in our country,” alleged Hirono.

“There is a tremendous divisiveness in our country,” she continued. “But this is the kind of activism that occurs. And people make their own decisions.”

There’s divisiveness in our country due to Democrats, unable to debate policies and platforms intelligently, constantly stooping to the race card in order to placate their low-information voters.

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Hillary Clinton: I Would Have Done a Better Job As President Handling Coronavirus

Hillary Clinton took a swing at President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying she would have done a “better job” in managing the crisis.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clinton even claimed she would have done a better job in handling the economic fallout.

“We wouldn’t have been able to stop the pandemic at our borders the way that Trump claimed in the beginning, but we sure could have done a better job saving lives, modeling better, more responsible behavior,” she claimed.

“I don’t think we necessarily should have had as deep an economic assault on livelihoods and jobs as we have,” Clinton added. “So I know I would have done a better job.”

RELATED: Hillary Clinton Says It’s Time For a ‘Real President’

She Crazy

She’s a two-time failed presidential candidate, failed to implement new health care as First Lady, failed to protect Americans as Secretary of State, but we’re supposed to believe she could have done a better job than Trump.

It’s hard not to imagine Hillary locking down the entire nation if she had the power of the presidency behind her, meaning an economy in utter shambles. She celebrated Governor Cuomo, after all, who has done the very same thing – ruined his state’s economy, led the nation in COVID-19 cases, and personally sent thousands of seniors to nursing homes resulting in their deaths.

While locking down Americans, she likely would have never shut down travel from China or other nations that were hotspots for the virus, meaning many more lives lost.

Not to mention, we know all about her crisis management skills from Benghazi. Perhaps she could have blamed the pandemic on a YouTube video.

RELATED: Rep Dan Crenshaw Lights Hillary Clinton Up Over Her Latest Attack on Trump

Fantasy Land

This isn’t the first time Hillary openly fantasized about being the President, and it certainly won’t be the last time.

Several weeks ago, Clinton criticized Trump’s coronavirus response by saying, “We need a real President.”

“Donald Trump isn’t responsible for the coronavirus,” she tweeted recently. “But he is responsible for the disastrous lack of leadership that has led to 122,000 deaths in the U.S. and counting.”

And in April, the former First Lady shared a Washington Post story and quote with her social media followers which falsely alleged the President took over two months to treat the pandemic seriously.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw slammed Clinton when she mocked the President for America becoming the leader in coronavirus cases, a fact only possible if you believe nations like China and Iran had accurately reported their numbers.

“Delete your account. This isn’t the time,” Crenshaw replied. “This can’t be the new normal, where American tragedy is applauded for the sake of political opportunism.”

Additionally, Clinton told the Hollywood Reporter that she would beat Trump if she were on the ballot again in November, but added that running again was “not in the cards.”

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