212 Comments

Wait, are you suggesting there might be other possible opinions than the one held by the CIA and the Pentagon which we are being constantly clobbered with by the mass media?

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Glen Greenwald certainly believes the MSM is a spokesperson for US intelligence agencies. What should we expect?

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Call me old fashion, but I expect the media to do its job.

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They won't.

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Yes, they will 'cause their job is to support US Empire.

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Ibdo nit recall the last time when mainstream media actually did its job

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Only through thoughtful exchange can one ever hope for civility to exist.

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It helps if leaders value human life. If they don't, what can we expect to see?

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Thanks! Matt for bypassing all the propaganda and allowing the world to hear the censored Russian voices.

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I don’t know for sure but my guess is the feelings for the West are pretty universally frosty

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I don't blame anybody for not trusting the US government. Go back to the Indian wars in the 1800's. I know I got this from westerns I watched as a kid, but... "White man speak with forked tongue"

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NATO/US apologists are infinitely worse. NATO/US killed infinitely more many innocent people than Putin did.

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I'm an American ex-pat living in central Europe since the early 90s (travelling here since the late 80s).

I've watched since the fall of the Soviet Union and the opening of East Europe how the west really used the 90s to trample on the rest of the world. For example: US interventions in the 90s was about equal to all the US interventions from the 40s until the 90s. That shit has blowback. Then we started with open invasions at the end of the 90s until now. That shit has blowback.

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I think the Collective West and its media have made it pretty clear that they hate,and expect all decent Westerners to hate, all things Russian. That goes for Russian athletes, musicians, even cats. I've heard that about 20% of the Russian people are liberals who for decades have wanted to integrate with the West, but from what I've been reading, it appears that even they now realize that Europe and America hate them and want to destroy them. They may have reason to distrust Putin, but why would they ever trust the West again?

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I don't think Americans hate Russians. This is Putin's war. It's wrong that Russian athletes, singers, are being targeted. The first time I heard of this kind of thing was a Russian opera singer being removed from the group. To me, this is wrong. There are probably many Americans who feel as I do. I know for me, I see this as Putin's creation, not the Russian people.

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I don't think most Americans hate Russians, because I think most Americans don't actually know anything about Russians. We've been propagandized by the western elites and their media to think of Russians as "other," somehow less worthy. IHMO if any other ethnicity or culture were treated that way, we'd be screaming "racist," but somehow, when Russians are slurred, it's OK. Note that Biden himself publicly admonished the Russian people just last week and told them they are personally culpable if they don't overthrow Putin (as the US directs). By Biden's reasoning, every American would be guilty of multiple war crimes based on the conduct of American foreign "policy" establishment.

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My father was born in 1936 to American parents who spoke German as a first language. I asked my grandmother why she didn't teach my dad German when he was little. She said that everthing German at that time was seen as very bad.

Our attitudes today towards Chinese and Russians is very similar to how they were toward Germans and Japanese 80 years ago.

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I understand. My parents were immigrants from Germany several years before WWII. My oldest brother was born in 1937 in the US. Our parents taught him German in the home, so he was bilingual. They instructed him not to speak German outside the home. Sometimes when they were out, and he got excited, he would say something in German. People would glare at them. Our parents were mortified and would either act as though they didn't know him (hard to do convincingly if you're an adult riding the L in Chicago with a German-speaking 4-year old sitting on your lap) or ask in a stern voice, "where did you learn that?" When I came along years later, they taught me German too, and instructed me, too, not to speak German outside the house. I still recall my horror when, in the mid 1950s, I was doing "show and tell" in kindergarten and inadvertently used the German word, kariert, instead of the English word plaid. The teacher asked me what I had said, and proceeded to ask why I knew a German word. At recess, my classmates clamored to ask if my parents were nazis. I was mortified and so ashamed of my ancestry. And now, in the US, we have a power structure that seeks to make millions and millions feel bad about themselves because of their immutable characteristics.

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I wouldn't base what most Americans think by what comes out of Biden's mouth.

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You don’t seem informed enough to see much.

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That's exactly why have posted some questions here. I've never lived in Ukraine. I don't know how many neo-Nazis there are in Ukraine or how much influence they have. Yes, the evidence suggests the US supported a regime change in 2014. What about Putin before that? You think he's innocent? You're right, I'm not as informed as others.

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This is a quote from the Sacramento Bee by someone whose father was born in Ukraine, and they have visited Ukraine. "The first thing to say about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is that its active phase has been playing out since 2014 when Russian troops occupied the peninsula of Crimea, my father’s homeland. Then Russia had a so-called referendum in an attempt to legitimize its occupation of the peninsula. Then active hostilities started in the eastern part of Ukraine, the Donbas region, when Russian troops began to gradually bomb cities, blow up hospitals and destroy residential buildings as they advanced. However, Russian officials never admitted that Russian troops were waging war in Donbas." You see, I'm trying to learn more about the region.

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article259860060.html#storylink=cpy

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Have you been over to the Russian dissenters page? They are toxiclly anti Russian many of them. I'm not sure if they are russians tho.

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You’re casting aspersions on brave Russian anti PUTiN authors like Victoriya Nulandova?

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Maximillian Bootivanovich is my favorite over there.

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LOL. That is really funny.

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Someone was mentioning that a lot of the virulent anti Russian people in the foreign policy community have eastern European Jewish ancestry... And the Jews got roasted pretty good over there... also in Russia... so there is that.

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yes, I was initially excited that Matt is giving an alternative to the cancelled RT Sputnik voices, but turns out he is still reluctant to call out the West for what it is. Love affairs are hard to get over, even after repeated betrayals.

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I think a pragmatic approach would be helpful for Russia. I'm referring to their economy. Why shouldn't Russia trade with the West and Asia?

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Why would they trust the West again after Collective West stole their Central Bank's foreign reserves? How can any country trust western financial architecture after that?

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I think that is EXACTLY what China, India, and Pakistan (among others) are thinking now. They have learned that the precautions Russia took are not enough, and I'm guessing they are already implementing plans to secure finance routes and leverage to be in a better position when (not if) the US does the same to them.

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I dunno... Russia has mostly stayed in their zone.. America has spanned the globe with it's nation destroying force!

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@ e.pierce 👍❔

Thanks for this excellent reference;

"Among the Bourgeoisophobes

Why the Europeans and Arabs, each in their own way, hate America and Israel.

by David Brooks

04/15/2002, Volume 007, Issue 30"

This is the David Brooks I had forgotten to respect for his academic CONservative intellectual acuity. (By the way,🤔 could you help this hapless operative access "part 2" of the article❔)

As Usual,

EA😎

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@ e.pierce 👀

Do you perceive this discerned "partial truth" to be actual self-loathing, or possibly some sad attempt to distract from exposing unresolved self-pity⁉

As Usual,

EA☠

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@ e.pierce ✔

Just how antiquated is your version of the daunted WBM⁉

I did click on the "part 2" offering at the end of what seemed was being identified as part 1; but it just brought up the latest publication of the WS.💫

Is David Brooks still in good standing with the William "Bill" Kristol cabal of neocons☣

As Usual,

EA😎

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Kagarlitsky's column was always one of the most interesting reads in The Moscow Times; definitely interested in checking this out. Thank you for organizing. And understanding this is key: "I suspect many Americans will find the attitudes in some of these pieces to be puzzling or even off-putting. For one thing, even Russians who are fiercely opposed to the war in Ukraine are often not positively disposed toward the West."

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“Alla Glinchikova’s article, “I Can’t Not Write,” she opines that the United States never even wanted its “accidental victory” in the Cold War:”

It’s telling that Russians know this but most Americans don’t. It explains why the U.S. is still obsessed with Russia.

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Pretty gutsy move, Matt. Bravo.

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I don't have to support the Russian writers' points of view to support their right to publish them. Thanks for doing something substantive to foster freedom of speech. It's not just an American or Western right, it is a human right.

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How can you have a real, functioning democracy without a free press?

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Shut up, Elon! How dare you!

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Putin is a thug, but that's not why the American elite hate him. They hate him because he only allows Russian oligarchs to rape the country; he sent the foreign ravishers home.

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Well, better to get raped than sodomized. The countries we "rape" seem to do better than the ones he "saves" for himself.

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You mean like Iraq, Yemen, and Syria? We were happy having ISIS take over Syria until Russia came to the rescue.

Apropos sodomized. You mean like Libya, which was the wealthiest and best educated country on the continent of Africa until we overthrew Ghaddafi and he was sodomized with a bayonet? What do you think of the open slave trade now in Libya? Better, worse or just different than Chechnya? You think the people of Yemen would trade places with the people of Georgia?

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Do you mean Aleppo, Grozny? And now Ukraine?

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Great idea!

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Good initiative, Matt.

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Really, the US needs more anti-Putin articles?? Congrats for filling this badly needed perspective! Bully for you.

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How about anti-Putin pro-Russian? I don't think that gap has been filled yet.

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There is no such thing. Like it or not, Putin IS Russia now and he enjoys nearly unanimous support of his people. That’s why Russia cannot be defeated in this war. Regardless of what some dissidents might think.

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Agree. This is Putin's war, as far as I can tell. I just watched a video where a Ukraine mother discovers her son's body that was dumped into a well. Then you see his body being dragged with a rope tied around his ankles. What are we suppose to think when we see something like this? I don't blame Russia.

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I think you’re dumb as rocks.

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What a genuinely short-sighted thing to say. Progressives should be honest if they wish to be taken seriously. That is to say, honestly admit that Putin's regime is a vile, murderous and greedy set of amoral oligarchs... And that the US regime still manages to be more murderous and reprehensible even than that. That's honesty. That's real progressiveness.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

I don't see your and Dan S's comments being necessarily opposed. The major driving force in the Ukraine situation has been what has driven most of the tension in the world since the USSR collapsed, a mistaken belief that now the global playing field is ours to do with what we want and anything that stands in the way of that will be eliminated or compromised.

Whether Putin was a committed believer in what passes for democracy or the hard ass autocratic plutocrat he is or even if someone else was in charge, Russia would still be targeted by us because of their sheer size and military capabilities, even though their military budget is 1/12 of ours because their nuclear capabilities checkmate that military spending differential. The PRC is also in our crosshairs because of their economic prowess, a prowess aided in no small part by these same political elites who did the bidding of their corporate masters in opening the PRC up for business, all in search of bigger markets, cheaper wages, reduced environmental costs and ultimately more profits.

This is about who will be the global hegemon, at least in the eyes of our leaders, the US or Russia/PRC alliance, Ukraine is nothing but a stage on which this contest is now playing, and will not be the last. If we got into a nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine, I have no doubt that we would equally target the PRC, as the D.C. elites see them as the ultimate foe.

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This is not about who will be a global hegemon. It is about US’ desperado attempts to remain one in the face of irreversible social and economic decay of American Empire. It is nothing but painful agony of Pax Americana. Ukraine is just an Alamo of the American globalists.

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"Ultimate foe" I'm thinking you mean economic foe.

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I meant ultimate foe because between the two, Russia and the PRC, the PRC is the bigger foe because they are by far more powerful and less susceptible to direct challenge.

You're correct that the PRC's real strength is its economy and that should be our focus, but the US is a one trick pony and our elites will continue to paint them as some sort of military challenge, when a rational review would see them as concentrating their military regionally and their economy globally, something we would do well to copy, but damn sure won't.

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Putin's regime corresponds to the Realpolitik which brought it forth.

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What would you call Matt? What do you call yourself? Do you see yourself in the same category?

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I worry about labeling myself or someone else, choosing or ascribing any person to a tribe. Currently, If you assume a person is in a certain tribe, then when/if they deliver facts or ideas that make you uncomfortable, it’s all too easy to discount or discredit those facts or ideas, sometimes without even considering their relative soundness or thoughtfulness. I read Matt because he delivers (quite reliably) solide information and smart opinions from a perspective that he has worked hard (consider his life experience) to make objective. I’m a retired archivist/library administrator, an American, who's living in Europe. I’m nowhere near as disciplined or smart as Matt, but I do value objectivity and courage to embrace difficult realities and evolve one's viewpoints.

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Wow, what a great little splurt of name-calling. Gosh, I don't suppose you have a chip on your shoulder, do you?

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I read Putin's speeches and interviews, and he seems to me to be rational. I also saw Oliver Stone's 4 part interview. All of the murders that have been attributed to the "evil Putin" have other possible suspects, and his guilt has not been proven for any of them. Look at how the MSM has made Navalny a hero, and then investigate what his politics actually are, and how much support he has inside Russia. I am certain to be called a Putin apologist, but I am just trying to look at facts and evidence without bias, and sift through the propaganda. All of that said, I am not in favor of the military incursion despite understanding Putin's reasoning. War is always suffered most by the innocent. The PNAC crowd are willing to fight Putin down to the last Ukrainian. They are expendable pawns in the war for global hegemony. If Ukrainians think NATO has their best interest at heart, they should think again.

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I've watched two or three interviews on YouTube that feature people who are either Russian, or have lived in Russia. I didn't hear anything flattering towards Putin.

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Apr 14, 2022·edited Apr 14, 2022

Hopefully it will be more enlightening than the BecauseWeSaySo-ism that substitutes for rationale argument in Western media today. The writer that Matt quotes who has it figured out--that "the US never wanted its 'accidental victory' in the Cold War" [due to its deteriorating effects on the military industrial complex]-- may be a perspective worth reading.

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"A theme that pops up at times is an embittered belief that American policymakers may have concluded long ago that the Russian people were more useful to them as enemies than as friends."

I can understand why they might doubt the beneficence of the American government. I have plenty of reason to do so.

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I liked this comment, though I'm not sure I agree with it. Following the Second World War the same "baked into the cake" attitudes were prevalent with regard to Japan and Germany — in short, they were widely believed to be incapable of liberal democracy. Such was the basis of the Morgenthau Plan, devised immediately after the fall of Berlin, to permanently deindustrialize Germany, including the seizure of all its heavy machinery and the razing of all its forestland. (Keith Lowe's excellent book "Savage Continent" details the forgotten history of postwar Germany in great detail, including what can only be described as a genocide perpetrated against ethnic Germans in parts of Czechoslovakia and Poland.)

All of which is to say: I don't think there is anything fundamental about the nature of Russian people that makes them any more or less capable of self-governance and open societies than, say, the Japanese. Honor cultures exist around the world, including in large swaths of the United States.

I do agree that America's long history of prosperity and cultural dominance prevents most Americans from being able to understand the rest of the world (and, to a certain extent, their own world). All the weirdly pro-Putin commenters on this blog have the luxury of cheerleading a despot from the comfort of their American homes — they wouldn't last a week in Putin's Russia. They are the mirror image of America's pro-Chavez left wing 20 years ago.

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To be clear: I don't believe Western liberalism could ever be imposed on Russia from without. A post-WWII style reconstruction, should events ever make it possible (unlikely), would indeed prove a dismal failure.

That being said: Russia is not Saudi Arabia. It has (or had, until February) a fairly large professional and creative class. It also has a centuries-long tradition of cultural excellence in the arts, music, literature, and science that is neither trivial in its global reach nor insubstantial enough to suggest a nation hopelessly mired in tribalistic despotism. The obstacles to liberalization would be immense, and daunting — particularly, dismantling the klepto-state and extinguishing the vast corruption it imposes. But the ingredients are there in a way that they weren't in, say, Afghanistan, where no amount of Western money would ever have made a difference.

One final note: America has its own Dugins, and its own inbred tribalism. I've never been to Russia (sadly, I may not have a chance to go for many years). But I would imagine that the people one might meet in its vast rural expanses are not so different from those you'd find in parts of rural America: obstinately suspicious, conspiratorial, parochial, fundamentalist, and vapidly nationalistic. These are universal human traits, and they are distributed among peoples of every nation on earth. The difference between America and Russia is that we've (historically) done a better job of keeping our crazies on the margins — though that's certainly not the case anymore.

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I'm not sure, but based on what I've read and interviews I've listened to, Putin views Ukraine as Russia's "mini me". How is it that Ukraine seems to be moving in a direction of democracy and wanting to become a member of the EU? Maybe Ukraine isn't a mini me of Russia, but a country with it's own history and traditions.

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Moving in the direction of democracy? …By having a U.S.-backed coup, a massive military buildup funded and trained by NATO and staffed by literal Nazis, killing 14,000 of your own citizens, shutting down opposition parties and press outlets (and that was before the war)…this is a democracy? Lol.

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If Putin takes control of Ukraine, what will it be? What about the people of Ukraine? They shouldn't have a say?

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he might never have wanted to take control of Ukraine, his initial stated aims were ‘denazification and demilitarization’ of Ukraine, ie not to allow Nazi elements controlling Ukranian political and military institutions, and not to allow military buildup especially joining NATO which is an offensive military alliance aimed at containing Russia.

As for whether Ukrainian people should have a say, of course they should, but it should be a well-informed and well-educated say, not a say based on Western propaganda and western agendas. There is a geo-political reality for countries like Ukraine, and I would also draw attention at this point to the recent folly of Finland and Sweden, and that is that they are small countries between two great powers, and it is essential for their survival and for the general peace that they remain neutral, not aligning themselves to either side.

This geopolitical reality might not provide good PR for democracy but it is a reality of life, and life has a stubborn tendency to not concern itself over much with our puny ideologies, noble sounding or not.

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There is nothing to say to you. You are not even wrong. You’d have to study for months or years just to get to wrong. You type words. They mean nothing.

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Why can't you answer simple questions? How do people learn if they can't ask questions, and get answers? Should the people of Ukraine have a say in their future?

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This quote is from another substack post by Yasha Levine: "Last year, in response to questions from Russians on what Russia could do to help ‘pro-Russian’ people in Ukraine, a Ukrainian ‘pro-Russian’ opposition journalist posted something like this: ‘Leave Ukraine alone and focus on building an affluent and attractive Russia.’

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From an executive at Substack: "withstanding scrutiny makes truth stronger, not weaker." I would also suggest making a new substack for pro-Russian intervention writers who dissent from the western MSM narrative and have been equally censored. I am never in favor of violence, but the censorship in the west of the intentional goading by NATO to get Russia to invade, and the unmentioned, but obvious goal of using Ukrainians as pawns to "bleed Russia" instead of promoting real peace and democracy in Ukraine needs to be part of the debate. Also the relationship between western based multinational corporations (who long for a return to the looting of the Yeltsin years) and the imperial war machine needs further discussion.

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I think it's a great idea !

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Super! Now we only need an equivalent substack for all the dissident writers in the West who have been censored, silenced, and deplatformed. Hold a moment, I am now being informed that is in fact what substack is. Carry on.

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Thanks, Matt. Is this something readers would subscribe to? Or would there be an option to donate?

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Subscribed! This is a great idea. Thanks for setting it up!

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