9.5
February 25, 2022

“Shame on Putin? Shame on @elephantjournal for pushing sides.”

If you want to do something but don’t know what, here’s a list of charities that help people in Ukraine, and some NPR-recommended organizations.

I tweeted, instagrammed,

“Shame on Putin. The peaceful world stands with the people of Ukraine today.”

Many folks “liked,” shared. One commenter, well-intentioned and intelligent, replied with the kind of toxic positivity, in my view, that too many “spiritual” folks nowadays buy into.

“Shame on @elephantjournal for pushing sides. You decided to join the blame game instead of promoting mutual understanding and peace. Ignoring history and multiple perspectives you claim to know the truth without asking. We are all against war. But it takes more than pointing the finger at one man. It‘s way more complicated than that. Don‘t create hate, promote love! ALWAYS! ?”

My answer:

Yes, we side with the Ukrainian people. We side w the many 1000s of Russians in Moscow, St. Petersburg, & elsewhere crying “No to War!” So brave. We side with Peace.

Putin is responsible for the destruction of democracy, holding fake elections, suppression of dissidents, and war, among many crimes. We wish him love and peace, that he may not make hate and war.

That said, saying “no sides” is not honest, not accurate, and not helpful. Russia—the state, not the people—is the aggressor here.

Shame on Putin. The peaceful world stands with the people of Ukraine today.

Reading a lot of “Yeah, glad Trump, Putin’s fanboy, isn’t President right now, but Biden sucks too, they all do” equivalency right now. A thread:

“Yes, every day. But it’s not like Biden is that great”

Biden is worthy of criticism in so many ways, but the way he has handled this situation has been basically 9 of 10. It’s been so good that it’s hard to appreciate because of how smoothly it has been handled.

> NATO has truly reunified and is acting together against Russia.

> European NATO members are now planning to spend substantially more on defense – likely exceeding commitments they had shirked for years.

> Finland and Sweden are now seriously considering accession to NATO – meeting with NATO over Russia next week.

> Putin had zero element of surprise – the ongoing declassification of intelligence ruined whatever subterfuge he may have hoped to have.

> This move has helped restore some faith in US intelligence after Colin Powell lied to the UN in 2003.

> By letting NATO lead, it allowed Germany room to own choosing not to certify nord stream 2.

But war is unpredictable. So it’s hard to say where this will lead. But it’s hard to understate how well Biden has handled this very very complicated situation until now.

Anyone who thinks another president would have done better … doesn’t remember who was on the ballot. Putin would have done this either way.” ~ reddit comments

July 2019 – Trump withheld $400 million dollars in aid from Ukraine because President Zelenskyy refused to investigate Joe Biden.

The other dozen examples of helping Putin vs Ukraine into the top post and start spreading this around, and this is not really even getting into the Mueller report.

It is also critical to note Trump has almost unanimous GOP support and cover for all of this and Republicans like Moscow Mitch were already knee deep with Russian collusion through the NRA. Now Russian Times is using Trump and Fox News soundbites to further propagandize this war to their citizens.

Praised Putin constantly, called him a “strong leader”, has peddled statements like “he’s done a really great job outsmarting our country”

Trump dismissed and cast doubt about Russian hacking, particularly when the U.S determined that Russia hacked the DNC in 2016, while ironically enough, he encouraged Russian cyber attacks on national TV saying, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”

When addressing Russian election interference and cyber attacks, Trump proclaimed “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia” after speaking directly with Putin, defending Russia and trusting Putin over our own intelligence agencies. Later he “corrected” himself, claiming that he meant to say “wouldn’t” instead of would.

Trump suggested the U.S. work directly with Russia on cybersecurity. Trump refused to punish or critique the SolarWinds hack.

Almost directly after the 2016 election, Trump sought to weaken U.S. sanctions on Russia, while he was even open to lifting sanctions.

Trump dismissed the notion that Putin was a “killer”, downplaying the idea that Putin resorts to using violence and oppressive tactics to crush political opponents. He defended Putin, rationalizing his ruthless despotism in the process, declaring, “There are a lot of killers. Do you think our country is so innocent?”

Trump shared highly classified U.S. intelligence with Russian officials in the Oval Office in 2017.

Trump repeated Kremlin talking points related to the Russian annexation of Crimea, reiterating things like, “The people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.”

Trump constantly attacked NATO, aligning himself with Putin. (quite relevant)

Trump thanked Putin for expelling hundreds of U.S. diplomats as a retaliation for sanctions.

Trump refused to make a statement about the 10th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war. According to John Bolton, European leaders noticed Trump’s silence and “became even more concerned about American resolve.”

According to congressional testimony, Trump declined to publicly condemn a Russian attack against Ukrainian military vessels in November 2018, even though the State Department prepared a statement for him

Trump congratulated and gave legitimacy to Putin’s re election win in 2018, a victory said to “lack genuine competition”

Sergei Skripal, an ex Russian spy that defected to the UK, was poisoned. Sanctions were announced, Trump attempted to rescind them, while asserting that the U.S. was being “too tough on Putin”

When congress passed new sanctions against Russia in 2017, Trump was very reluctant to signing the bill, and probably wouldn’t have signed it if the bill didn’t pass with veto-proof majorities in both houses

In 2017 it was reported that Trump was considering returning spy bases to Russia.

Trump praised and highlighted pro-Russian leaders in Europe. Far right European leaders with close ties to Putin. He even met a Kremlin ally at the Whitehouse.

When Trump withdrew troops from Syria, it gave Russia and Putin an opportunity to control abandoned U.S. outposts and checkpoints.

“President Zelenskyy’s heartbreaking, defiant speech to the Russian people [English subtitles]”

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Another perspective: The Danger & Trauma of Conspiracy Theory Rhetoric about the Ukrainian Conflict.

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