Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, and the problem of dual citizenship

Like a lot of Americans, I've had longtime and close friends renounce me for voting for President Trump in 2016.  I can think of two, and yes, it was baffling and hurtful.

It's also natural to wonder why such a consequential thing might happen, whether there was some common denominator.  What could be behind the intensity of that anti-Trump sentiment that would cause such dear friends to throw away twenty-plus years' friendships as if they never happened?  I can think of three or four more who haven't renounced but have the same anti-Trump intensity.  Some things I noticed in all of them and wondered about were their dual citizenships, their fluid ties to foreign governments, and their Soros affiliations...

This brings us to the impeachment witnesses seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 election, such as National Security Council functionaries Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman.

Hill, who testified yesterday, is quite credibly reported to be a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen, and like my former friends, has Soros affiliations, hers through the Eurasia Foundation.

According to Eleanore Clift of the Daily Beast:

Born into a family of coal miners in northern England, the 54-year-old Hill is a dedicated academic with a reputation for careful scholarship and commitment to patriotic duty. She has dual U.K-U.S. citizenship and holds advanced degrees in Soviet studies and history from Harvard.

According to Politico:

Born into a family of coal miners in northern England in 1965, Hill was deeply affected by the Donbass miners strike in 1989 — the first major strike in Soviet history in what is now eastern Ukraine. She went on to become a scholar of Russian history, earning her master's degree in Soviet studies from Harvard in 1991, where she also met her future husband. (She became a dual U.K.-U.S. citizen after they married.) 

Might that translate into anti-Trump hate?  It seems likely.

Then there's Vindman, who received three offers to lead the Ukraine defense ministry, later calling it a "joke," would seem to be someone of dual citizenship, too, given the kind of offer he got, the kinds of interactions he had that suggested loyalty to the country and led to the offer, and the difficulty in believing that the offer, made repeatedly, really was a "joke."

The legal picture on Ukraine suggests he wasn't a dual citizen, however — and singular citizenship, in Ukraine, is a very big deal, given the trouble the nation has had in sorting itself out in the post-Soviet rubble.  Vindman emigrated from what was then the Ukraine in the 1979 at a young age with his father and two brothers, who were Jews leaving the persecution of the Soviet Union.  Two things would disqualify him right away from Ukrainian citizenship, according to Wikipedia: that he wasn't on Ukrainian soil when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and that he joined and served in a foreign military.  All the same, the laws are pretty fluid in a place like Ukraine, and corruption is big-time common, so anything could be the case.  It would have been useful to hear from him under oath that he isn't a dual-citizen, as appears likely.

Hill's case, at least, suggests that the dual-citizenship issue might just be why her anti-Trump sentiment is so strong.  It's well known that Europeans can't stand Trump, and Hill's ability to just get into the woke Harvard community are probably linked to being left-wing and thus fitting in.

Vindman, and probably others such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, who, based on her foreign travel, seems to maintain strong ties to her native Somali government, seem to be a connected problem even if there isn't dual citizenship.  Anyone who hates Trump as intensely as such people do is often found to have government, as opposed to cultural, ties to some other place.

The government-ties thing is an important detail.  I also have friends who are immigrants from countries such as Mexico and Argentina who are the biggest, fiercest pro-Trump militants out there.  They hold one citizenship, U.S. citizenship, and none other, and they have a special despising for the governments of their birth, refusing to even slap Mexico or Argentina stickers on their vehicles.  They fly only American flags.  Those people are immigrants, they speak with accents, they have pleasant cultural ties to their homelands, but they couldn't be more different from people like Vindman or Hill because they have no dual citizenship, no foreign government ties and no Soros ties.  They are classic "deplorables," the real huddled masses of yore, same as most of our ancestors who came through Ellis Island as legal immigrants and wanted nothing to do with their previous homelands, never so much as returning to them.

As for Soros ties, it matters. Hill yesterday blasted those who criticize Soros, calling it "anti-Semitism" as if to shoo off any criticism of the man as a form of racism. But Soros is an atheist and a socialist, not a practicing Jew. The problem with Soros is that he projects and promotes a certain value system which is quite antithetical to patriotism itself. Soros calls himself the "stateless statesman." People affiliated with him have got to profess some kind of fealty to that idea or they're not in that comfortable circle. Soros isn't about mixed loyalties, or dual loyalties, he's against the idea of loyalty to any nation at all. That certainly would make people with dual citizenships pretty ideal for his grand project. When you've got passport after passpot to multiple nations, being loyal to all of them just can't happen. And why loyalty to the U.S. and a country such as Britain doesn't seem problematic, it's inherently antithetical to the idea of loyalty.

Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein laid out in 2015 an excellent expose of why dual-citizenship was a growing problem in the U.S., even among friendly nations. His piece reads as though it could have been written yesterday, laying out a lot of problematics with the issue.

If the impeachment hearings tell us anything, it's that one of the most predictable classes of people trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election are those with dual citizenships, as well as those with foreign government and Soros ties. Most of the onus of this lesson is on the Trump administration itself, which should not have hired these people. But the bigger issue of dual-citizenship continues to loom and ultimately, could lead to greater problems down the line. Maybe that's something that should be addressed by Congress. When people are loyal to one and only one country, they might not try to overturn valid U.S. elections on scurrilous and politicized grounds.

Image credit: Kuhlmann/MSC via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0.

Like a lot of Americans, I've had longtime and close friends renounce me for voting for President Trump in 2016.  I can think of two, and yes, it was baffling and hurtful.

It's also natural to wonder why such a consequential thing might happen, whether there was some common denominator.  What could be behind the intensity of that anti-Trump sentiment that would cause such dear friends to throw away twenty-plus years' friendships as if they never happened?  I can think of three or four more who haven't renounced but have the same anti-Trump intensity.  Some things I noticed in all of them and wondered about were their dual citizenships, their fluid ties to foreign governments, and their Soros affiliations...

This brings us to the impeachment witnesses seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 election, such as National Security Council functionaries Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman.

Hill, who testified yesterday, is quite credibly reported to be a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen, and like my former friends, has Soros affiliations, hers through the Eurasia Foundation.

According to Eleanore Clift of the Daily Beast:

Born into a family of coal miners in northern England, the 54-year-old Hill is a dedicated academic with a reputation for careful scholarship and commitment to patriotic duty. She has dual U.K-U.S. citizenship and holds advanced degrees in Soviet studies and history from Harvard.

According to Politico:

Born into a family of coal miners in northern England in 1965, Hill was deeply affected by the Donbass miners strike in 1989 — the first major strike in Soviet history in what is now eastern Ukraine. She went on to become a scholar of Russian history, earning her master's degree in Soviet studies from Harvard in 1991, where she also met her future husband. (She became a dual U.K.-U.S. citizen after they married.) 

Might that translate into anti-Trump hate?  It seems likely.

Then there's Vindman, who received three offers to lead the Ukraine defense ministry, later calling it a "joke," would seem to be someone of dual citizenship, too, given the kind of offer he got, the kinds of interactions he had that suggested loyalty to the country and led to the offer, and the difficulty in believing that the offer, made repeatedly, really was a "joke."

The legal picture on Ukraine suggests he wasn't a dual citizen, however — and singular citizenship, in Ukraine, is a very big deal, given the trouble the nation has had in sorting itself out in the post-Soviet rubble.  Vindman emigrated from what was then the Ukraine in the 1979 at a young age with his father and two brothers, who were Jews leaving the persecution of the Soviet Union.  Two things would disqualify him right away from Ukrainian citizenship, according to Wikipedia: that he wasn't on Ukrainian soil when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and that he joined and served in a foreign military.  All the same, the laws are pretty fluid in a place like Ukraine, and corruption is big-time common, so anything could be the case.  It would have been useful to hear from him under oath that he isn't a dual-citizen, as appears likely.

Hill's case, at least, suggests that the dual-citizenship issue might just be why her anti-Trump sentiment is so strong.  It's well known that Europeans can't stand Trump, and Hill's ability to just get into the woke Harvard community are probably linked to being left-wing and thus fitting in.

Vindman, and probably others such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, who, based on her foreign travel, seems to maintain strong ties to her native Somali government, seem to be a connected problem even if there isn't dual citizenship.  Anyone who hates Trump as intensely as such people do is often found to have government, as opposed to cultural, ties to some other place.

The government-ties thing is an important detail.  I also have friends who are immigrants from countries such as Mexico and Argentina who are the biggest, fiercest pro-Trump militants out there.  They hold one citizenship, U.S. citizenship, and none other, and they have a special despising for the governments of their birth, refusing to even slap Mexico or Argentina stickers on their vehicles.  They fly only American flags.  Those people are immigrants, they speak with accents, they have pleasant cultural ties to their homelands, but they couldn't be more different from people like Vindman or Hill because they have no dual citizenship, no foreign government ties and no Soros ties.  They are classic "deplorables," the real huddled masses of yore, same as most of our ancestors who came through Ellis Island as legal immigrants and wanted nothing to do with their previous homelands, never so much as returning to them.

As for Soros ties, it matters. Hill yesterday blasted those who criticize Soros, calling it "anti-Semitism" as if to shoo off any criticism of the man as a form of racism. But Soros is an atheist and a socialist, not a practicing Jew. The problem with Soros is that he projects and promotes a certain value system which is quite antithetical to patriotism itself. Soros calls himself the "stateless statesman." People affiliated with him have got to profess some kind of fealty to that idea or they're not in that comfortable circle. Soros isn't about mixed loyalties, or dual loyalties, he's against the idea of loyalty to any nation at all. That certainly would make people with dual citizenships pretty ideal for his grand project. When you've got passport after passpot to multiple nations, being loyal to all of them just can't happen. And why loyalty to the U.S. and a country such as Britain doesn't seem problematic, it's inherently antithetical to the idea of loyalty.

Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein laid out in 2015 an excellent expose of why dual-citizenship was a growing problem in the U.S., even among friendly nations. His piece reads as though it could have been written yesterday, laying out a lot of problematics with the issue.

If the impeachment hearings tell us anything, it's that one of the most predictable classes of people trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election are those with dual citizenships, as well as those with foreign government and Soros ties. Most of the onus of this lesson is on the Trump administration itself, which should not have hired these people. But the bigger issue of dual-citizenship continues to loom and ultimately, could lead to greater problems down the line. Maybe that's something that should be addressed by Congress. When people are loyal to one and only one country, they might not try to overturn valid U.S. elections on scurrilous and politicized grounds.

Image credit: Kuhlmann/MSC via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0.