Is Moldova Putin’s Next Target After Ukraine?

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CNN’s GPS show(07/24/22) aired a very interesting interview featuring Natalia Gavrilita, the Prime Minister of the small eastern European nation of Moldova, which shares a border with Ukraine. PM Gavrilita expressed her increasing fears that after Putin is done with Ukraine, he may set his eyes on her country, Moldova, because Moldova, like Ukraine, is on a rapid path towards E.U. integration.

The Russia-Ukraine war has had such an adverse global impact, that any talk of a possible Russian invasion of another country, should be cause for concern, not only for the United States, but for every democracy-loving country.

PM Gavrilita began by giving a brief introduction of Moldova, saying (1:13): “Moldova has had a troubled history in a complicated region, and it has not only been part of the Soviet Union, it has also been part of Romania between the first and second world war. The majority of the population is Romanian speaking, but we also have Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, and Gagauz, which is a Turkish speaking minority.”

She went on to tell host Fareed Zakaria that like Ukraine, Moldova is rapidly moving towards E.U. integration. She specifically said(1:43): “In the last elections, the people have voted massively for a pro-European majority, for going the course of democratic institutions, fighting corruption, ensuring the respect for human rights, and striving towards the European integration course, so achieving candidate status for E.U. integration has been a significant victory for Moldova, one that people have waited for for a long time, but it is very unfortunate that it happens in such a complicated context in the region, and such horrible times for Ukraine.”

There is no other way to interpret PM Gavrilita’s remarks other than (I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), Moldova’s rapid move towards E.U. integration comes at a time when Russia is increasingly suspicious of the West/NATO’s intentions. As a result, Putin is more likely to attack Moldova either during his invasion of Ukraine, or immediately thereafter, to prevent Moldova from joining the European Union. In other words, PM Gavrilita is simply sounding an early alarm bell, for a possible Russian invasion.

She went on to say this about her fear of a Russian invasion(3:35):“We are worried of course, this is a risk. It’s a hypothetical scenario for now, but if the military actions move further into the southwestern part of Ukraine, and towards Odessa, then of course we are very worried, especially considering that[Russian] troops[are already]on the territory of the secessionist Transnistrian region. We are doing everything possible to maintain peace and stability and to ensure that the fighting does not escalate.”

She went on to say that if Russia/Putin is allowed to get away with the annexation of large chunks of Ukraine, then no small country will be safe. She specifically said(4:26):“This is a very difficult position not just for Moldova, but for any small country, any country that relies on the rules-based international order. If a country can start an annexation war without any regard for international law, then in this sense, nobody is safe, and I think that a lot of countries are worried.”

Bottom line folks, the United States must develop a proactive approach when dealing with Russia and other adversaries. Where, as here, PM Gavrilita is sounding the alarm about a possible Russian invasion, the U.S. must do everything in its power to help Moldova prepare for any such eventuality. It’s better/cheaper to equip Moldova now, rather than after Russian tanks start rolling down their streets.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Europe appears to be churning out some very impressive female leaders lately–from Ursula von der Leyen, to Nicola Sturgeon, to Magdalena Anderson, to PM Gavrilita, who reasonable people will agree, was quite impressive on CNN’s GPS show. This begs the question: Is this the era of female/women leadership? The U.S. came very close (debatable point) to electing its first female president in 2016. Is 2024 the year the U.S. finally gets a female president? Hmm, Nikki Haley certainly thinks so. Oh, and by the way, Gavrilita is pronounced “Gavrilitsa”. Yeah, you didn’t know that.

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Former AG Holder Re January 6th:”I Think We’re Going To See Indictments Here”

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Former AG Holder on MSNBC’s 11th Hour show (07/15/22)

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder(Obama) appeared on MSNBC’s 11th Hour w/Stephanie Ruhle(07/15/22) where he dropped a bombshell, telling host Ruhle that his vast experience as a public corruption prosecutor at DOJ, leaves him with a strong “feel” that we will see indictments for Trump’s political allies, and possibly Trump himself, over their efforts to thwart the peaceful transfer of power after Trump lost the 2020 election.

Holder said that as a career public corruption prosecutor, “you get a feel for these things after a while.” For the record, many political pundits and legal analysts have said the same thing on cable TV shows. Reasonable people will agree however, that it is quite different, and highly notable, when it comes from a career public corruption prosecutor like Holder, who recently headed the DOJ.

11th Hour host Stephanie Ruhle:“Merrick Garland, the Attorney General is under huge pressure to act, especially as these hearings unfold. You once had his job…should he act?”

Former AG Holder(video at 0:30):“I think to the extent that I could offer a little advice to the folks at the Justice Department, I would say that maybe you need to find a way in which you can appropriately reassure the American people that the Justice Department is on the case. You know, I was a prosecutor, started my career in the public integrity section, where we looked at, and prosecuted official corruption cases, political corruption cases, and you get a feel for these things after a while. And I got to tell you that on the basis of what I’ve heard, what I’ve read about this whole January 6th matter, I think we’re going to see indictments here. I don’t know if they are going to involve ultimately, the president, but I think those near to him have criminal liability, I think people outside the White House are going to be potentially indicted as well, and as I said, that feel that you get as a public corruption prosecutor makes me think that DOJ is going to ultimately return indictments in connection with the attempt to stop the transfer of power back in January.”

There’s no other way to interpret former AG Holder’s remarks on MSNBC’s 11th Hour other than, his vast experience as a public corruption prosecutor at DOJ gives him total confidence that indictments will be handed out to Trump’s political allies, and possibly Trump himself, for their efforts to thwart the peaceful transition of power following the 2020 election.

One only hopes that when former AG Holder says “people outside the White House”, he’s referring to the likes of Reps Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, or even Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, or in the case of Texas, AG Ken Paxton and other Texas super Trumpers. As Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Defends State’s Controversial Abortion Law

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick(R-TX) appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(09/02/2021) to defend the controversial Texas abortion bill(SB8), which the U.S. Supreme Court recently allowed to stand. Lt. Gov Patrick told fill-in host Jason Chaffetz that SB8 is simply meant to punish doctors in Texas who perform abortions after detecting a heartbeat.

Lt. Governor Patrick specifically said: “The Supreme Court said in Roe v Wade…that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of life, and that’s what SB8 does. When we pass this bill, we want to give that little Texan in the womb, who has a heartbeat, a chance to see their full potential. And so everyone who is speaking against this bill, obviously for whatever their reason, [is] very comfortable with taking the life of a little Texan who has a heartbeat. Our bill, which has everyone apoplectic on the left, simply says that any doctor who performs an abortion once that doctor detects a heartbeat, can be sued by any citizen in Texas, for up to $10,000, and anecdotally…what we hear now, our Planned Parenthood abortion centers around the state, have stopped doing abortions on little Texans with a heartbeat. That’s the purpose of SB8.”

Abortion has been, and continues to be, a very charged topic in U.S. politics. Yours Truly, the consummate “gentleman and scholar”, believes that it is in the public’s best interests, that the contours of the SB8 debate be clearly defined–that people know exactly what each side is arguing. It is very clear, that according to Lt. Governor Patrick, SB8 is meant to punish doctors in Texas, who perform an abortion, even after detecting a heartbeat. Whether one agrees or disagrees with that point of view is not the issue here. The important thing is that the public is very clear as to the Republican stance re SB8 versus the Dem/liberal stance. Everybody benefits from an informed debate.

It will be interesting to see how the fight over SB8 will play out in the months and years to come, and whether the conservative U.S. Supreme Court will ever entertain a challenge to SB8 on the merits. Until then, as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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