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
See: Pink Floyd Feud: Boycott Roger Waters! He Is Dead Wrong To Support Putin And Not Support Ukraine
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.
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.
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