Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Putin's State of The Nation speech, February 21, 2023


Good afternoon!

Dear deputies of the Federal Assembly – senators, deputies of the State Duma!

Dear citizens of Russia!

With today’s Address, I am speaking at a difficult time – we all know this very well – a milestone time for our country, at a time of cardinal, irreversible changes throughout the world, the most important historical events that determine the future of our country and our people, when each of we have a huge responsibility.

A year ago, in order to protect people on our historical lands, to ensure the security of our country, to eliminate the threat posed by the neo-Nazi regime that emerged in Ukraine after the 2014 coup, a decision was made to conduct a special military operation. And step by step, carefully and consistently, we will solve the tasks before us.

Starting from 2014, Donbass fought, defended the right to live on its own land, speak its native language, fought and did not give up in the conditions of blockade and constant shelling, undisguised hatred from the Kiev regime, believed and waited for Russia to come to the rescue.

Meanwhile – and you know this well – we did everything possible, really everything possible to solve this problem by peaceful means, patiently negotiated a peaceful way out of this grave conflict.

But a completely different scenario was being prepared behind our backs. The promises of the Western rulers, their assurances about the desire for peace in the Donbass turned out to be, as we now see, a forgery, a cruel lie. They simply played for time, engaged in chicanery, turned a blind eye to political assassinations, to the repressions of the Kiev regime against objectionable people, to mockery of believers, and more and more encouraged Ukrainian neo-Nazis to carry out terrorist actions in the Donbass. In Western academies and schools, officers of nationalist battalions were trained and weapons were supplied.

And I want to emphasize that even before the start of the special military operation, Kyiv was negotiating with the West on the supply of air defense systems, combat aircraft, and other heavy equipment to Ukraine. We also remember the attempts of the Kyiv regime to acquire nuclear weapons, because we talked about it publicly.

The United States and NATO rapidly deployed their army bases and secret biological laboratories near the borders of our country, mastered the theater of future military operations in the course of maneuvers, prepared the Kiev regime subject to them, the Ukraine they had enslaved, for a big war.

And today they admit it – they admit it publicly, openly, without hesitation. They seem to be proud, reveling in their treachery, calling both the Minsk agreements and the Normandy format a diplomatic performance, a bluff. It turns out that all the time when the Donbass was on fire, when blood was shed, when Russia was sincerely – I want to emphasize this – it was sincerely striving for a peaceful solution, they were playing on people’s lives, they were playing, in fact, as they say in well-known circles, with marked cards.

This disgusting method of deception has been tried many times before. They behaved just as shamelessly, duplicitously, destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria. From this shame they will never be washed off. The concepts of honor, trust, decency are not for them.

Over the long centuries of colonialism, diktat, hegemony, they got used to being allowed everything, got used to spitting on the whole world. It turned out that they treat the peoples of their own countries just as disdainfully, like a master – after all, they cynically deceived them too or deceived them with fables about the search for peace, about adherence to the UN Security Council resolutions on Donbass. Indeed, the Western elites have become a symbol of total unprincipled lies.

We firmly defend not only our interests, but also our position that in the modern world there should be no division into the so-called civilized countries and all the rest, that an honest partnership is needed, which in principle denies any exclusivity, especially aggressive.

We were open, sincerely ready for a constructive dialogue with the West, we said and insisted that both Europe and the whole world needed an indivisible security system equal for all states, and for many years we suggested that our partners discuss this idea together and work on it. implementation. But in response, they received an indistinct or hypocritical reaction. This is about words. But there were also specific actions: the expansion of NATO to our borders, the creation of new positional areas for missile defense in Europe and Asia – they decided to hide behind us with an “umbrella”, this is the deployment of military contingents, and not only near the borders of Russia.

I want to emphasize, yes, in fact, it is well known to everyone: not a single country in the world has such a number of military bases abroad as the United States of America. There are hundreds of them, I want to emphasize this, hundreds of bases around the world, the whole planet is littered, you just need to look at the map.

The whole world has seen them pull out of fundamental armaments agreements, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, unilaterally tear apart the fundamental agreements that keep the world on track. For some reason, they did it – they don’t do anything just like that, as you know.

Finally, in December 2021, we officially submitted draft security assurance agreements to the US and NATO. But in all key, fundamental positions for us, they received, in fact, a direct refusal. Then it finally became clear that the go-ahead for the implementation of aggressive plans was given and they were not going to stop.

The threat is growing, and every day. The incoming information left no doubt that by February 2022, everything was ready for another bloody punitive action in the Donbass, against which, let me remind you, the Kiev regime threw artillery, tanks, and planes back in 2014.

We all remember well the pictures when air strikes were carried out on Donetsk, air strikes were carried out not only on it, but also on other cities. In 2015, they again attempted a direct attack on the Donbass, while continuing the blockade, shelling, and terror against civilians. All this, let me remind you, completely contradicted the relevant documents and resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, completely – everyone pretended that nothing was happening.

I want to repeat this: it was they who unleashed the war, and we used force and use it to stop it.

Those who planned a new attack on Donetsk, Donbass, and Luhansk clearly understood that the next target was a strike on Crimea and Sevastopol, and we knew and understood this. And now such far-reaching plans are also openly spoken about in Kyiv – they have revealed, they have revealed what we already knew so well.

We protect people’s lives, our own home. And the goal of the West is unlimited power. He has already spent more than $150 billion on aiding and arming the Kyiv regime. For comparison: according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the G7 countries have allocated about $60 billion in 2020-2021 to help the world’s poorest states. Understandable, right? For the war – 150, and for the poorest countries, which are allegedly constantly taken care of – 60, and even under the well-known demands of obedience from the countries – recipients of this money. And where is all the talk about the fight against poverty, about sustainable development, about the environment? Where does it all go? Where did it all go? At the same time, the flow of money for the war does not decrease. Also, they spare no expense to encourage unrest and upheavals in other countries, and again all over the world.

At a recent conference in Munich, there were endless accusations against Russia. One gets the impression that this was done only so that everyone would forget what the so-called West has done in recent decades. And it was they who let the genie out of the bottle, plunged entire regions into chaos.

According to American experts themselves, as a result of wars – I want to draw attention to this: we did not come up with these figures, the Americans themselves give them – as a result of the wars that the United States unleashed after 2001, almost 900 thousand people died, more than 38 million became refugees . Now they just want to erase all this from the memory of mankind, they pretend that nothing happened. But no one in the world has forgotten and will not forget this.

None of them consider human casualties and tragedies, because, of course, trillions and trillions of dollars are at stake; the ability to continue to rob everyone; under the guise of words about democracy and freedoms, to spread neoliberal and inherently totalitarian values; hang labels on entire countries and peoples, publicly insult their leaders; suppress dissent in their own countries; creating the image of an enemy, diverting people’s attention from corruption scandals – after all, all this does not leave the screens, we see it all – from the growing internal economic, social, interethnic problems and contradictions.

Let me remind you that in the 30s of the last century, the West actually opened the way for the Nazis to power in Germany. And in our time, they began to make “anti-Russia” out of Ukraine. The project is actually not new. People who are at least a little immersed in history know perfectly well: this project goes back to the 19th century, it was cultivated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and in Poland, and other countries with one goal – to tear off these historical territories, which today are called Ukraine , from our country. That’s what this goal is. There is nothing new, no novelty, everything is repeated.

The West accelerated the implementation of this project today by supporting the 2014 coup. After all, the coup is bloody, anti-state, anti-constitutional – as if nothing had happened, as if it was necessary, they even reported how much money was spent on it. Russophobia, extremely aggressive nationalism, was laid in the ideological basis.

Recently, one of the brigades of the armed forces of Ukraine, ashamed to say – we are ashamed, they are not, – was given the name “Edelweiss”, as the Nazi division, which participated in the deportation of Jews, the execution of prisoners of war, in punitive operations against the partisans of Yugoslavia, Italy, Czechoslovakia and Greece . The Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard of Ukraine are especially popular with the chevrons Das Reich, “Dead Head”, “Galicia”, other SS units, , which also have blood on their hands to the elbow.  The identification marks of the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany are applied to Ukrainian armored vehicles.

Neo-Nazis do not hide whose heirs they consider themselves to be. It is surprising that in the West, none of the powers that be does not notice. Why? Because they, excuse me for bad manners, do not care. It doesn’t give a damn who to bet on in the fight against us, in the fight against Russia. The main thing is that they fight against us, against our country, which means that everyone can be used. And we saw it, and it happened: both terrorists and neo-Nazis, even if the devil is bald, you can use it, God forgive me, if only they would fulfill their will, serve as a weapon against Russia.

The “anti-Russia” project is, in fact, part of a revanchist policy towards our country, to create hotbeds of instability and conflicts right at our borders. And then, in the 30s of the last century, and now the plan is the same – to direct aggression to the east, to kindle a war in Europe, to eliminate competitors by proxy.

We are not at war with the people of Ukraine, I have already spoken about this many times. The people of Ukraine themselves became a hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters, who actually occupied this country in the political, military, economic sense, destroyed Ukrainian industry for decades, and plundered natural resources. The natural result was social degradation, a colossal increase in poverty and inequality. And in such conditions, of course, it is easy to scoop up material for military operations. Nobody thought about people, they were prepared for slaughter and eventually turned into consumables. It’s sad, it’s just scary to talk about it, but it’s a fact.

Responsibility for inciting the Ukrainian conflict, for the escalation, for the increase in the number of its victims lies entirely with the Western elites and, of course, with the current Kiev regime, for which the Ukrainian people are, in fact, a stranger. The current Ukrainian regime serves not national interests, but the interests of third countries.

The West is using Ukraine both as a battering ram against Russia and as a training ground. I will not now dwell on the West’s attempts to turn the tide of hostilities, on their plans to increase military supplies – everyone is already well aware of this. But one circumstance should be clear to everyone: the more long-range Western systems will come to Ukraine, the further we will be forced to move the threat away from our borders. It's natural.

The elites of the West make no secret of their goal: to inflict – as they say, this is direct speech – “the strategic defeat of Russia.” What does it mean? For us, what is it? This means finishing with us once and for all, that is, they intend to transfer a local conflict into a phase of global confrontation. This is exactly how we understand all this and will react accordingly, because in this case we are talking about the existence of our country.

But they also cannot but be aware that it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield, therefore they are conducting more and more aggressive information attacks against us. First of all, of course, young people, young generations are chosen as the target. And here again they constantly lie, distort historical facts, do not stop attacks on our culture, on the Russian Orthodox Church, and other traditional religious organizations of our country.

Look at what they are doing with their own peoples: the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion, abuse of children, up to pedophilia, are declared the norm, the norm of their life, and clergy, priests are forced to bless same-sex marriages. God bless them, let them do what they want. What do you want to say here? Adults have the right to live as they want, we have treated this in Russia and will always treat it this way: no one intrudes into private life, and we are not going to do it.

But I want to tell them: but look, excuse me, the sacred scriptures, the main books of all other world religions. Everything is said there, including that the family is the union of a man and a woman, but these sacred texts are now being questioned. The Anglican Church, for example, has been reported to be planning—planning, though only just yet—to explore the idea of a gender-neutral god. What can you say? God forgive me, they don’t know what they’re doing.

Millions of people in the West understand that they are being led to a real spiritual catastrophe. The elites, frankly, are just going crazy, and it seems that there is no cure. But these are their problems, as I said, and we are obliged to protect our children, and we will do it: we will protect our children from degradation and degeneration.

t is obvious that the West will try to undermine and split our society, to rely on national traitors who at all times – I want to emphasize this – have the same poison of contempt for their own Fatherland and the desire to make money by selling this poison to those who are ready pay for it. It’s always been that way.

Whoever embarked on the path of direct betrayal, committing terrorist and other crimes against the security of our society, the territorial integrity of the country, will be held accountable under the law.

But we will never be like the Kyiv regime and the Western elites who are engaged in and have been engaged in the “witch hunt”, we will not settle scores with those who took a step aside, retreated from their homeland. Let it remain on their conscience, let them live with it – they have to live with it. The main thing is that the people, the citizens of Russia gave them a moral assessment.

I am proud – I think that we are all proud – that our multinational people, the vast majority of citizens have taken a principled position regarding the special military operation, understood the meaning of the actions we are doing, supported our actions to protect Donbass. In this support, first of all, real patriotism was manifested – a feeling that is historically inherent in our people. It amazes with its dignity, deep awareness by everyone, I emphasize, by everyone, of their own inextricable fate with the fate of the Fatherland.

Dear friends, I want to thank everyone, all the people of Russia for their courage and determination, to say thank you to our heroes, soldiers and officers of the army and navy, the National Guard, members of the special services and all law enforcement agencies, soldiers of the Donetsk and Luhansk corps, volunteers, patriots who fight in the ranks combat army reserve BARS.

I want to apologize: I’m sorry that during today’s speech I can’t name everyone. You know, when I was preparing this speech, I wrote a long, long list of these heroic units, then I took it out of today’s speech, because, as I said, it is impossible to name everyone, and I was simply afraid to offend those whom I would not name.

Low bow to the parents, wives, families of our defenders, doctors and paramedics, medical instructors, nurses who save the wounded, railway workers and drivers who supply the front, builders who erect fortifications and restore housing, roads, civilian facilities, workers and engineers of defense plants, who now work almost around the clock, in several shifts, to rural workers who reliably ensure the food security of the country.

I thank the teachers who sincerely care about the young generations of Russia, especially those teachers who work in the most difficult, in fact front-line, conditions; cultural figures who come to the war zone, to hospitals to support soldiers and officers; volunteers who help the front and civilians; journalists, above all, of course, war correspondents who take risks on the front lines to tell the whole world the truth; pastors of Russian traditional religions, military priests, whose wise word supports and inspires people; civil servants and entrepreneurs – all those who perform their professional, civic and simply human duty.

Special words for residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. You yourself, dear friends, you yourself determined your future in referendums, made a firm choice, despite the threats and terror of neo-Nazis, in conditions when military operations were very close, but there was and is nothing stronger than your determination to be with Russia, with your Motherland.


Sunday, February 19, 2023

Statement from The Libertarian Party on Rage Against The War Machine Rally


There has been a lot of discussion about the speakers participating in the Rage Against the War Machine rally taking place on February 19 in DC.

The Libertarian Party is a sponsor of the Rage Against the War Machine event, which was organized by a separate entity of the same name. The organization is a product of a partnership between Nick Brana, Chair of the People’s Party, our own Chair Angela Macrocell  and many volunteers involved with both parties. Both leaders separately invited speakers from within their own political spheres. Each leader was expected to vet their own invitees.

The Libertarian Party is not the organizer of the speaker list, but an early sponsor of what promises to be the largest anti-war event in recent history. We were excited to put our support behind this event and the message it would carry because of our strong opposition to war and the military-industrial complex which perpetuates it.

Recently, it’s come to our attention that a few speakers have made statements in direct opposition to the core thesis of the event.


Let us be clear.
We oppose all wars.
We oppose all states who initiate them.
We are not pro-Putin. We are not pro-Russia.
We oppose Russia’s invasion and any initiation of force.

The threat of nuclear devastation is higher than it’s been for decades, and the war in Ukraine has led to horrifying death, harm, and destruction for thousands of innocents. War is simply mass murder writ large, and the party’s opposition to these crimes has never been in question.


Any speaker advocating for the contrary does not align with our values. Furthermore, we want to affirm to our members that this experience has taught us an important lesson in how to thoroughly vet collaborators.

Scott Ritter is not a Libertarian, and we would prefer that he stay home from the rally as he originally proposed when event coordinators first confronted him about his criminal history. Libertarians hold as sacrosanct the rights of children to be free from abuse; his criminal convictions are despicable and contradict our values. In addition to his crimes, over the weekend he declared that he is not anti-war which directly contradicts the purpose of the rally. We think this event would be more successful without his involvement, and your support for true anti-war activists will ensure their message is elevated to ring loudest and clearest in Washington.

Angela has worked hard to recruit voices we can be proud to share an anti-war stage with: Tulsi Gabbard, Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, and so many others will now be joining us in DC, and we encourage you to do so as well.

We have an enormous opportunity to build a groundswell of opposition to the war machine. Let’s not waste it.


This weekend, the Libertarian National Committee heard public comments and our Chair hosted a Q&A with state party leadership. We also want to extend an invitation to our members to provide input and feedback at info@lp.org.

First, if you want to hear from anti-war activists at future events let us know. We want to reignite the anti-war movement in this country both at this event and beyond. Additionally, if there are any other speakers you’d like the event coordinators to invite, please reach out to Rage Against War.

Second, the premise of single-issue coalitions is that we don’t agree on everything, but we agree on something important. This event has presented a great opportunity to try this strategy and learn as we go. If you have any feedback on how the freedom movement should build partnerships–and with whom–moving forward, we want to hear from you.

We welcome any ideas in pursuit of becoming a more effective party.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

RAGE! Unholy Alliance of Far-Left and Far-Right Extremists To Gather in DC February 19 to Support Putin & the War in Ukraine: We Denounce Them as Losers and Fools

Rocker Roger Waters, fresh from addressing the UN on Ukraine at the behest of the Russian government, will speak by video at a pro-Putin, pro-war rally to be held in Washington, D.C. on February 19, 2023 called "Rage Against The War Machine". This rally has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the band Rage Against The Machine or Tom Morello It is a strange and motley grouping of far-left and far-right extremists who claim to be "anti-war" but in fact offer support for Putin and his illegal imperialist war in Ukraine. #BoycottRogerWaters

Called for by the Libertarian Party (Mises Caucus edition) and the People's Party, it features a number of speakers with dubious credentials and histories. A veritable rogue's gallery of grifters, contrarians, and malcontents will appear in person.

Jill Stein will speak at the rally. She famously flew to Moscow to honor Putin and the RT propaganda network with Michael Flynn. Her ill-advised third-party campaign for president as a Green in 2016 helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Garland Nixon is speaking at the rally. He does a radio show on WZHF in DC for Sputnik, which is Russian state media. Since Radio Sputnik is an official Russian state broadcaster, WZHF had to register with the U.S. government as a foreign agent in 2019. D.C. radio station is a Russian agent, federal judge rules

Chris Hedges is speaking at the rally. He supported Jill Stein in 2016 and hosted a show on the Russian propaganda network RT from 2016 until RT America shut down in March 2022 after the invasion of Ukraine. Hedges repeats Russian propaganda that the U.S. "provoked" Russia into invading Ukraine because they broke a "promise" to never expand NATO eastward. Russia never had veto rights over NATO and never will. There were no "promises" made to our enemy, nor should there have been.

Right-wing-adjacent weirdos who appear on Fox News and yet somehow fool some leftists & independents into supporting them, despite positions & conspiracy theories that are pro-Trump, right-wing, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic & racist. Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard & Ron Paul are speaking at the rally.

Jimmy Dore is said to be a comedian but, like Fox's Greg Gutfeld, we have yet to hear him utter a single thing that was funny in any way. Recently said on Tucker the US now occupies one-third of Syria (not true obviously).

Jackson Hinkle will speaking at the rally. He describes himself as a "MAGA communist" whatever the hell that means, and speaks in apocalyptic terms of an epic struggle between good and evil. He has just hitched his media wagon to right-wing blowhard Glenn Beck's Blaze.

Code Pink's Medea Benjamin was to speak at the rally, but was asked to pull out by colleagues. She cited Jackson Hinkle's anti-gay/trans/Muslim/feminist statements as her colleagues' reasons to oppose forging an alliance with the far-right.

In the week leading up to the rally, Michael Tracey and Jackson Hinkle exchanged words on the war.

Another cancelled speaker was Scott Ritter, who apparently has a problem he cannot control. He's been caught three times (that we know of) by police online posing as underage girls. He even served time for this. If he were on the left, we would have told him to get lost along time ago. For some reason, there are people on the right who totally love this strange fellow. Ritter was invited to speak at the rally by The People's Party, then dis-invited, then re-invited, then dis-invited a second time. Rather than keep trying Ritter announced he would "take one for the team" (ew!) and not go to the rally. The Libertarian Party, one of the organizers of the rally, had issued a statement denouncing Ritter and his proposed participation in the rally, so he had little choice.

Diane Sare is a member of the LaRouche cult. She's speaking at the rally.

Tara Reade made a false allegation against Joe Biden and became a right-wing celebrity. Often appears on Russian propaganda outlet RT.

Max Blumenthal worked for Putin's RT. He was at the RT banquet with Putin, Jill Stein, and Michael Flynn. Is his GrayZone named after the Wagner Groups' Grey Zone, or vice versa?

Max's father Sidney Blumenthal is a Clinton ultra-loyalist. He derided Monica Lewinsky as a "stalker" & spread racist "birther" rumors about Obama in 2008 to help Hillary. People questioned if he could be an objective journalist due to his political ties. Max has the same problem.

Anya Parampil will speak at the DC pro-Putin rally on February 19. She worked at RT America from 2014 until the invasion. Now she's GrayZone.

The Saturday after the DC rally, there is a pro-war, pro-Putin conference in London, featuring twisted fruit cake George Galloway, as well as Max Blumenthal, and Anya Parampil (all three have RT connnections). Wow, Max and Anya must be REALLY committed to the Putin cause, as well as having deep pockets to swing such a tour... (By the way, they're having trouble getting a venue for the London conference. The first venue, St. Pancras New Church, cancelled, and the venue is currently listed as "Central London: TBA"...)

We all want peace in Ukraine, but the February 19 rally in DC is actually pro-war & pro-Putin. The Libertarians Party condemned the invasion, but the official rally demands offer no condemnation of Putin's invasion. Blaming the West for Putin's invasion is ridiculous. Let there be no confusion: Putin started this war and is completely responsible for it.

Supporting Putin is pro-war. Supporting Ukraine is pro-peace. Surrender to Russian territorial demands underdress is not "peace". Peace will come when Russia is militarily defeated by Ukraine. Russian troops must leave Ukraine. Putin must stop bombing civilians. Putin should be prosecuted for war crimes in The Hague. Russia should pay to rebuild Ukraine. All of Ukraine must be free, democratic & independent.
That includes all of Crimea and the Donbas. Putin lost the war. He should not be rewarded for his crimes.

For much of the 20th century, some leftists were considered soft on Russia, while the right seemed obsessed with hating Russia to an irrational degree, more than willing to blame all the world's problems on conniving done by the Kremlin.

How bizarre to see the right today be so soft on Russia, especially with a leader as despicable as Putin. Even worse for us is seeing leftists or former leftists horseshoe around to the far-right position, and find common cause with the far-right against the center & "Liberals".

The dreaded Red-Brown alliance between far-left and far-right extremists, a dream of fascists like Putin's friend Dugin, includes people like Roger Waters, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Jimmy Dore, Katie Halper, Tulsi Gabbard...

In general we can think of them as authoritarian/orthodox leftists as opposed to anti-authoritarian independent leftists who support democracy.

The Rage Against The War Machine rally lists ten official demands. We disagree with all of their demands as stated.

1. Not One Penny for War in Ukraine. "...pushing us toward a nuclear WW3..."
2. Negotiate Peace. "The US instigated the war in Ukraine (editor: in 2022) with a coup on its democratically-elected government in 2014, and then sabotaged a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine in March".
3. Stop The War Inflation. "The US blew up Russian gas pipelines to Europe, starving them of energy and de-industrializing their countries".
4. Disband NATO. "NATO expansion to Russia's border provoked the war in Ukraine. NATO is a warmongering relic of the Cold War. Disband it like the Warsaw Pact".
5. Global Nuclear De-Escalation. "The war in Ukraine has brought us to the edge of WW3 and nuclear war with Russia".
6. Slash the Pentagon Budget.
7. Abolish the CIA and Military-Industrial Deep State.
8. Abolish War and Empire.
9. Restore Civil Liberties.
10. Free Julian Assange.

In their demands, there is not one word of condemnation of Russia, Putin, Russian imperialism, the Russian state, Russian militarism, the Russian war machine, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or Russian violations of human rights and civil liberties. The perpetual "don't poke the Russian bear" fear-mongering about The West "provoking" Russia into using nuclear weapons and starting "WW3", and ultimately blaming the US and NATO for Russia's invasion of Ukraine is absurd, Orwellian, and chilling.

Rewriting history to portray the people's Maidan uprising as an "American coup", they seem to believe if they repeat the lie often enough, people will come to believe it.

Repeating Russian conspiracy theories about the US being responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline explosion and "sabotaging" a March 2022 peace deal begs the question: Why should Americans listen to advice about how to deal with Russia from people who work for Russia?

The inclusion of Julian Assange on their list of demands is curious. His case has nothing to do with Ukraine, It does; however, have everything to do with Putin and Russia. Assange published data hacked from Democrats by Russian intelligence, then hopped on a conspiracy by Russian intel and right-wing internet trolls to blame Seth Rich for the data theft. Assange is being held because of a vendetta by former CIA director Mike Pompeo for the Vault leaks. We would prefer that he were prosecuted for helping the Russians distribute the stolen data which helped cause a rift between Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016, as well as being "weaponized" to give the world the Pizzagate and Qanon conspiracy theories. Seemingly innocent talk between two Italian foodie brothers (the Podestas) about food was twisted to become an ersatz evil satanic conspiracy to maintain power and abuse children through Satanic methods and rituals, including cannibalism, rape, and murder.

Many leftists would support abolishing NATO but I do not. NATO has played an important role in helping Ukraine defend itself from the Russian invasion. Likewise, during the Serbian attacks on Bosnia and Kosovo, it became clear that NATO could play an important role in ending the conflicts. Many leftists were critical of Clinton's approval of NATO bombing in Serbia. The execution of their plans may be criticized but wanting to take some action to punish Serbia and protect Bosnia and Kosovo was completely justified. Slavoj Žižek and others spoke of a militant pacifism and that was something that resonated with me. War was obsolete, and we should prevent it by any means possible.

By the way, as today we have Putin his allies constantly deriding the Ukrainians as "Nazis", so in the 1990s did supporters of Milosevic and other contrarians accuse Croatians in Croatia and Bosnia who opposed Milosevic's war of being "Nazis", based on the fact that in World War II, some Croatians allied with the Nazis against the Communists. Obviously some 50 years later, Croatia was a completely different country and any WWII-era Nazi sympathizers were long dead or on their last legs. But why let the facts get in the way of a good rant?

"Not One Penny for War in Ukraine" is the rally's number one demand. During the Bosnian conflict, several people proposed arming the Bosnians. At the time I remember opposing such a plan, and thinking that more weapons was the last thing the region needed. I still consider myself a pacifist, but I've never felt I had the right to make that decision for other people. In places like Guatemala, indigenous villages thought to be sympathetic to the rebels were subject to attack, and I felt I had no right to deny those people the right to defend themselves militarily. My personal path remains the path of peace, and I believe strongly in the power of Gandhi and Thoreau, in civil disobedience and mass nonviolent action.

With regards to Ukraine, I didn't want The West to do nothing. The West is not ready to become directly involved militarily. Arming Ukraine so they can defend themselves against Russian aggression seems to be the best option. I had high hopes that nonviolent economic sanctions could be part of the push to forces Russia to end the war. Sanctions have been robust but have not yet brought about the end of the war. They seem to be having an effect however.

We have seen many examples of Russian soldiers and civilians protesting the war and sometimes paying a high price for their actions. In general, Ukraine has suffered enormous loss of life and other tragedies in the past year of unsolicited war, but their resilience is inspiring.They are winning this war, and with our help, and Russia's incompetence, Ukraine will soon be free, democratic, peaceful, and independent.

UPDATE: The rally in DC was a bit of a bust, with very small numbers all day. At the sister rally in San Francisco practically no one showed up. Word apparently got out that this rally was not what it purported to be and people avoided it. They tried to blame the lack of people on the "mainstream media" not publicizing the rally, but it was the job of the organizers to turn out their own people and inspire the public to come, not the "MSM". The organizers failed in that regard.

Garland Nixon seemed to be confused and thought that calling him out for being "Russian state media" was a compliment. It was not.

Four former presidential candidates at the pro-Putin rally in DC: Jill Stein, Tulsi Gabbard, Ron Paul, and Dennis Kucinich

Roger Waters, former bass player and lyricist for Pink Floyd, spoke to the rally by video and simply repeated the Kremlin line on Ukraine once again. His evocation of John Lennon at the end was particularly nauseating. John Lennon would not endorse a rally that whitewashes the crimes of a dictator and warmonger like Putin. He was on our side.