Overnight, the Western Press Radically Rewrote the Truth About Ukraine to Serve Biden's Endless War Policies
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First, we are very excited to announce documents from the U.S. security state that prove that the US government completely in the dark and with no democratic debate, indeed, unbeknownst to even high-level members of Congress, converted the Internet into a pervasive system of indiscriminate mass surveillance aimed at the American people.
That first article is one I published in The Guardian on June 6, 2013, and it revealed a secret order of the FISA court that required all American phone companies to turn over to the NSA detailed telephone records on all American citizens, a deeply invasive spying program that enabled the US government to know of every call we made to whom and from whom, how long we spoke, and the time of day or night, exactly the kind of mass surveillance that millions of Americans which President Obama's senior national security official, James Clapper, just months earlier, had falsely denied to the Senate that the NSA was doing. And that kicked off that article, months, in fact, years, of reporting from this top secret archive.
To commemorate the ten year anniversary. I will speak tomorrow night to the two people whose work, courage and integrity were the most crucial to do this reporting. Our source, the heroic whistleblower Edward Snowden, whom the Obama administration purposely trapped in Russia when he was transiting in order to discredit him and thus the reporting as a Kremlin agent, And Laura Poitras, who had been placed on a U.S. government watch list for her 2004 Oscar-nominated film about the war in Iraq, and whose film about the work we did with Snowden in Hong Kong, Citizenfour, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2015.
The three of us, Snowden, Laura Poitras and I will revisit tomorrow night the choices we made, the climate of threats and intimidation that instantly arose when began reporting the role of the corporate press in defending the NSA in the U.S. government and the entire impact of that reporting. Ten years later, the U.S. surveillance state continues to expand; yet now, with far more weapons in the hands of individuals to combat that surveillance state. I'm really excited to share our discussion with you tomorrow night on this program, live, at 7 p.m., exclusively on Rumble.
For tonight, a New York Times article today admits what has long been obvious, yet has been hidden behind a taboo, namely, that the Ukrainian military, which the U.S. government is now funding and to which the U.S. is providing huge stockpiles of advanced heavy weaponry is awash in Nazi battalions, Nazi flags and imagery, and Nazi ideology.
We'll show you how in real time the U.S. corporate press completely rewrote history and the facts about Ukraine in order to align with the U.S. security state's agenda, overnight, simply denying facts they had been reporting and affirming for a full decade before Russia invaded, and how big tech radically rewrote its own censorship policies to ensure that speech, which affirmed U.S. government narratives thrived while speech that dissented from U.S. government policy was censored. Whatever your views on Joe Biden's war policies in Ukraine, his commitment, which is supported by the establishment of both parties to fuel this increasingly unstable and dangerous proxy war, whatever your views on that are, there are few things more dangerous than having the corporate media create false and propagandistic worlds that have no purpose other than to shield government words from dissent and critical scrutiny.
Yet, as we will break down tonight and demonstrate, this is exactly what the U.S. corporate press, and the Western press more broadly, has been doing, in full cooperation with the security state agencies of Western governments. For as bad and oppressive as the media propaganda was surrounding the Iraq war – and it was bad – I would submit that the media propaganda to maintain support for the proxy war in Ukraine has been far more extreme, repressive, dishonest and shielded from any meaningful dissent.
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There are really few things more dangerous than having the corporate media create propagandistic worlds in which one minute a fact that is affirmed, overnight becomes a fact that gets denied. To have decade-long narratives about a country like Ukraine get completely rewritten, revised and whitewashed with a specific and clear goal of having their reporting align with the security state of the United States and its war policies – and yet that is exactly what the US media has done. There is a new article in the New York Times today that very begrudgingly acknowledges a core truth about the situation in Ukraine, one that the Western press had spent a decade warning about. But then, overnight, as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine and the United States government, other Western governments sided with Ukraine in that proxy war, just disappeared from public view. In fact, what had been long affirmed by the Western press for a decade became banned to prohibit, to express on the grounds that it was Russian propaganda or evidence somehow that you were aligned with or loyal to the Kremlin, if you simply acknowledged it, a tactic that has become increasingly common and that is, in fact, the go-to tactic of the Western press to stigmatize dissent and to propagandize the public, to label all dissent, disloyalty, or proof of allegiance to the Kremlin, almost to the point of caricature. And yet, allegations of disloyalty to your own country, your own tribe, are inherently potent. And it has really been effective in keeping this flow of information about this war in Iraq, which, remember, even Joe Biden himself says has brought the world closer to nuclear Armageddon than any time, since 1962, to keep the flow of information about that war completely closed off from dissent.
Now, let's look at what the New York Times acknowledged today, the fact they acknowledged it is significant, the way in which they acknowledged it and tried to frame it though is incredibly revealing in how propagandistic the Western press is when it comes to this war. The headline reads “Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History.” The subheadline reads “Troops’ use of patches bearing Nazi emblems risks fueling Russian propaganda and spreading imagery that the West has spent a half-century trying to eliminate.” So they are admitting that there are all sorts of Nazi emblems spread throughout the Ukrainian military, we have all seen them. They aren’t just posted from random trolls but even Ukraine’s government and NATO and Western media outlets have repeatedly got caught posting glorifying the photos of Ukrainian military battalions and soldiers, only to be embarassed when they learned afterward that the image that they were spreading and glorifying contained classic Nazi symbols. And I don’t mean MAGA hats. I mean the real deal Nazi flags, imagery, and symbols from battalions who are explicitly loyal to neo-Nazi idealogy. For a decade, the Western press has warned that the dominant faction, the best faction fighting force in Ukraine are the Azov and allied groups that have explicitly adopted the neo-Nazi idealogy. Now, maybe you are someone who doesn’t care about that. Maybe, you are someone that is happy to see neo-Nazi groups in Europe armed again. Maybe you think this time that will work out well unlike the last time Nazi idealogy took root in Europe and began to be flooded heavy weaponry. Regardless of your views on Ukraine and the war, we should want our media telling the truth, not rewriting history to suit government war policies and that’s exactly what this propaganda has been about. Let’s take a look at the article.
Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine last year, the Ukrainian government and NATO allies have posted, then quietly deleted, three seemingly innocuous photographs from their social media feeds: a soldier standing in a group, another resting in a trench, and an emergency worker posing in front of a truck.
In each photograph, Ukrainians in uniform wore patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups. The photographs, and their deletions, highlight the Ukrainian military’s complicated relationship with Nazi imagery […] (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
Let me just stop there. Let's look at this phrase. Let’s savor it. The Ukrainian military has a “complicated relationship” with Nazi imagery! Do you think that if it came to any other group on this planet, especially when the New York Times was seeking to vilify instead of glorify, they would describe that group's relationship with Nazi imagery as “complicated”? We generally don't regard an embrace of Nazi symbols and Nazi flags and Nazi mottos and Nazi slogans and Nazi ideologies as “complicated”. In fact, it's one of the simplest things when it comes to a moral framework and a geostrategic one. We ought to avoid arming militias and battalions related to Nazi imagery. But in this case, the New York Times needs to justify it, needs to mitigate it and so now it becomes “complicated.” You're going to see this kind of moral relativity throughout the entire article.
Again, if someone in the West wears a MAGA hat, that becomes instant proof they’re Nazi. They have to be destroyed. They're not entitled to free speech. They're not entitled to due process. You can imprison them for months with no trial, and it's all justified because they're Nazis. But then when Western institutions meet actual Nazis, like the real deal kind, the kind that admired Nazi Germany and view classic Nazi collaborators as heroes and inspirations, neo-liberal institutions in the United States want to arm and fund them and turn them into heroes. So, here we see the “complicated relationship” that Ukraine's military has with Nazi imagery,
[…] a relationship forged under both Soviet and German occupation during World War II. That relationship has become especially delicate because President Vladimir Putin of Russia has falsely declared Ukraine to be a Nazi state, a claim he has used to justify his illegal invasion. […] (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
The fact that Russia asserts a particular thing to be true does not make it immoral to acknowledge its truth if it's actually true. If what the Russian government is saying is factually correct, the fact that your view aligns with the Russian government does not make you a Russian propagandist or Kremlin agent. It just means that you're both acknowledging the same fact and the claim that Putin made when originally announcing his invasion – namely that there is a significant faction in the Ukrainian military and in Ukraine composed of Nazis, and that therefore part of that military operation is designed not to fight the Ukrainian state – is one that has been made over and over and over again by almost every major Western media outlet before this war, including, as we will show you, The New York Times. And yet, now, what The New York Times is essentially saying is the only reason it's a problem for Ukrainian militias and battalions to be enamored of Nazi ideology is not because it's inherently problematic that they're Nazis, but because it fortifies Russian propaganda – it makes Putin's claim seem valid. Do you know why? Because in this particular case, it happens to be. And the only thing you need to do to see that is to look at what the Western press has been saying for 10 years before the invasion when they changed their story overnight because that fact became too inconvenient to admit any longer. The Times goes on:
The iconography of these groups, including a skull-and-crossbones patch worn by concentration camp guards and a symbol known as the Black Sun, now appears with some regularity on the uniforms of soldiers fighting on the front line, including soldiers who say the imagery symbolizes Ukrainian sovereignty and pride, not Nazism […] (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
Try that. Try that! Go out on the street, if you're a conservative in the United States, proudly wearing Nazi symbols and Nazi ideology, and when your photo is taken and The New York Times publishes it, and every liberal journalist in this country demands that you get fired from your job and excluded from the financial system, try this excuse that The New York Times is accepting from Ukrainians wearing Nazi symbols: “Oh, I don't interpret the swastika or the black sun or these other Nazi symbols as Nazism. I just interpret that as American sovereignty and American pride.” Let me know if that works out or if The New York Times is sympathetic to that claim when it comes from conservatives in the United States or in the West as opposed to the Ukrainian battalion Joe Biden is dead set on arming into for all of eternity, it seems.
The article goes on:
In the short term that threatens to reinforce Mr. Putin's propaganda and giving fuel to his false claims that Ukraine must be “de-Nazified” – a position that ignores the fact that Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is Jewish […] (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
Let me stop again here. What The Times is trying to tell you, is that you don't have to worry about the fact that huge numbers of Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian people and Ukrainian battalions are openly embracing Nazi ideology because the president of Ukraine is Jewish.
Now, what I want you to do is the next time somebody says that the United States has a problem with systemic racism or that the United States is a country founded on white supremacy – claims that are extremely common, in fact, gospel in liberal discourse – I want you to say in response: “Well, of course, that cannot be true, because after all, the president of the United States, from 2008 to 2016, Barack Obama, is black. Therefore, it cannot be true that the United States is founded on an ideology of white supremacy or that that ideology continues to be the predominant ideology in the United States.” Or you can point out that not only is President Obama, who was elected and then reelected, black but also the current vice president, Kamala Harris, as well. And therefore, that is a negation of the claim that the United States is a racist country. It seems to work here from The New York Times when it comes to Ukraine – I don't think that you would be very successful in arguing that when it came to similar claims about the United States.
The article goes on.
More broadly, Ukraine's ambivalence about these symbols and sometimes even its acceptance of them risks giving new, mainstream life to icons that the West has spent more than a half-century trying to eliminate. […] (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
Okay, so The New York Times is acknowledging that Ukraine is ambivalent about Nazi symbols, and sometimes even accepting of them seems like a pretty big deal to admit, given that’s the country that we are turning into one of the most well-armed countries on the planet. What is the concern the New York Times has about the fact? Is it that Nazis are being armed and that might lead to very dangerous outcomes in the future? No, the concern is this “risks giving new, mainstream life to icons that the West has spent more than a half-century trying to eliminate.”
“What worries me, in the Ukrainian context, is that people in Ukraine who are either in leadership positions, either they don't or they're not willing to acknowledge and understand how these symbols are viewed outside of Ukraine,” said Michael Colborne, a researcher at the investigative group Bellingcat who studies the international far right. (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
Are you surprised that the first expert – the apolitical, neutral expert – cited by The New York Times in this article happens to be somebody from Bellingcat who, in a report that we broadcasted two weeks ago – that has been watched by almost 2 million people – was one that we documented is funded and shaped by the security state agencies of the West, the very governments that are behind the war in Ukraine? And here he is trying to say the only problem with it is not that these ideologies are pretty dangerous – Nazism, that is – but that they have bad P.R. in the West. And it's really important to maintain good PR in the West so that the West continues to fund and arm Ukraine.
In other words, the problem isn't that the Ukrainians are Nazis. The problem is they're being too candid about it.
“I think Ukrainians need increasingly to realize that these images undermine support for the country.” (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
Shouldn't they undermine support for the country? Shouldn't the fact that the leading fighting forces in Ukraine are filled with Nazis and people who have allegiance to Nazi ideology? Again, when I say Nazi ideology, you have to be very careful because, in Western discourse, that phrase has been so overused – That Trump is a Nazi, that Trump is the new Hitler, that the Trump movement is fascist, that they're based on white supremacy has been asserted over and over that those words have lost their meaning. You call someone a Nazi now and it pretty much means that someone is a conservative or dissents from establishment orthodoxy, whether from the right or the left. But it does actually have meaning. There are real Nazis. There is such a thing as Nazi ideology, and these are the real adherence to it. And the only problem, according to The New York Times and their partners at Bellingcat, is that it creates bad PR for Ukraine. It's important to keep good PR from Ukraine so we can keep weaponizing them and funding them.
So far, the imagery has not eroded international support for the war […]
Why not? Why hasn't this imagery of what The New York Times describes as a regular or frequent invocation of Nazi ideology and Nazi symbols by the Ukrainian military, why hasn't that eroded international support for the war? I should also point out the international support for the word the United the New York Times basically means the United States, Great Britain and several Western European allies. Not very much beyond that.
So far, the imagery has not eroded international support for the war. It has, however, left diplomats, Western journalists, and advocacy groups in a difficult position: calling attention to the iconography risks playing into Russian propaganda. Saying nothing allows it to spread. (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
Okay. You would think by “difficult position” what the New York Times means is that these diplomats, Western journalists and advocacy groups are advocating that neo-Nazi groups be funded and that's the difficult position. That's not what they mean. That's not the difficult position. What is the difficult position that they're in? “Calling attention to the iconography risks playing into Russian propaganda, saying nothing allows it to spread.” In other words, it might be helpful to Russia to point out the truth. The truth – which is what journalists above all else are supposed to reveal so that you can decide what policies you support – because that might help Russia, Journalists are in a difficult position about whether or not they should admit these facts.
This is the part that is most mind-blowing. Even Jewish groups and anti-hate organizations that have traditionally called out hateful symbols have stayed largely silent. Privately, some leaders have worried about being seen as embracing Russian propaganda talking points.
The ADL, the Anti-Defamation League, used to be very open about the fact that they regarded the Azov Battalion as an extraordinarily menacing neo-Nazi group. They said it over and over. And now suddenly, because pointing that out might undermine the agenda of the U.S. security state, groups that ostensibly exist to defend the Jewish people from antisemitism, but which in fact are really about advancing the interests of the Democratic Party, will no longer denounce actual neo-Nazi groups or raise concerns about arming them because to do so would undermine Joe Biden's policy.
In case you think this is just some isolated cases of Twitter trolls on Ukraine, on Twitter or elsewhere, The New York Times says:
In April, Ukraine's Defense Ministry posted a photograph on its Twitter account of a soldier wearing a patch featuring the skull and crossbones, known as the Totenkopf or Death's head. The specific symbol in the picture was made notorious by a Nazi unit that committed war crimes and guarded concentration camps during World War II […] (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry posted a photo, glorifying soldiers wearing the exact symbols that Nazi units wore while they committed war crimes and guarded concentration camps during World War II.
The patch in the photograph sets the Totenkopf atop a Ukrainian flag with a small number 6 below. That patch is the official merchandise of Death In June, a British neo-folk band that the Southern Poverty Law Center has said produces “hate speech” that exploits themes and images of fascism and Nazism.” (The New York Times. June 5, 2023)
So, you see, all the ingredients for what normally gets people destroyed are all present now. The Nazi ideology and Nazi symbols are so pervasive in the Ukrainian military – the military that the United States government, with your money, is funding and weaponizing and arming – that they don't seem to be able to find photos of soldiers that don't have them.
I mentioned the ADL, which according to The New York Times, the Times didn’t name them but it is among the Jewish groups that are reluctant now to denounce for fear that it will undermine U.S. foreign policy, but in 2019, September 2019, the ADL had no trouble acknowledging what was widely acknowledged throughout the West.
This Ukrainian extremist group, called the Azov Battalion, has ties to neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Our latest report on international white supremacy details how they try to connect with like-minded extremists from the U.S.: adl.org/resources/repo. (@adl Sept. 23, 2019)
And then, there you see Mike Levine, whose own tweet says:
The FBI has arrested a member of the U.S. Army, who allegedly discussed plans to bomb a major U.S. news network, discussed traveling to Ukraine to fight with violent far-right groups, and allegedly distribute info online on how to build bombs. He also allegedly mentioned @BetoORourke. (@MLevineReports)
This is just 2019. This is not 20 years ago. It was four years ago. This is three years, two and a half years before the Russian invasion, where this fact about the Azov battalion, that they are a neo-Nazi group and the dominant fighting force in the Ukrainian military went from widely acknowledged fact to taboo unmentionable truth because Vladimir Putin also happened to be saying it.
I can spend all night showing Western media accounts that have stated over and over that it's a huge danger in Ukraine, that the leading fighters, the most sophisticated and experienced fighters are Nazis.
It doesn't mean that all Ukrainians or most Ukrainians are Nazis. That's not what any of this means. It's very similar to what happened in Syria, where the Syrian revolution began with a lot of regular Syrians fighting against the government of Bashar Assad but when the fighting really broke out and erupted into very serious combat and a proxy war, as usually happens, the regular citizens could not participate in that level of combat and it was absolutely true that the leading fighting forces, fighting against Assad, were assisting al-Qaida on whose side the United States ended up fighting. ISIS and al-Qaida wanted to remove Bashar Assad and so did the United States. So, it doesn't mean Syrians, including opponents of Assad, are adherents of al-Qaida or ISIS. But it means that if you want to flood Syria with weaponry in the name of removing Assad, a lot of those arms are going to end up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaida. Remember al-Qaida, the group that justified a 20-year War on Terror that we then ended up arming in Syria? The government reports say that many of our weapons ended up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaida in Syria.
So, who do you think are the leading fighters in Ukraine? Do you think they're just ordinary Ukrainians who are conscripts in an army that sometimes has to continuously increase the punishments for deserting because they don't actually want to fight because they know they're being used as cannon fodder in this war? Or do you think it's the highly trained neo-Nazi militias that the West has been warning about for a decade because those are the leading fighters?
Here's The Guardian in 2014. And there you see the article “Azov Fighters Are Ukraine's Greatest Weapon and Maybe Its Greatest Threat.”
There was no sense that, “Oh, it's just a few isolated cases of some Nazis.” This was the leading fighting force and still is in Ukraine. “The battalion’s far-right volunteers’ desire to “bring the fight to Kyiv” is a danger to post-conflict stability.” They don't like the Kyiv government. They don't like democracy. Because they're Nazis. Their plan is to first fight the Russians and get the Russians out of their country and then turn against the democratic rule and the government that originally was installed by Victoria Nuland in the United States in 2014 – and they hate Zelenskyy and the Kyiv government as well.
Here's what the Guardian article said.
But there is an increasing worry that while the Azov and other volunteer battalions might be Ukraine's most potent and reliable force on the battlefield against the separatists, they also pose the most serious threat to the Ukrainian government and perhaps even the state when the conflict in the east is over. The Azov causes particular concern due to the far right, even neo-Nazi, leanings of many of its members. (The Guardian. Sept. 10, 2014)
As I mentioned before, The New York Times – which today claims you can't call these Azov battalions Nazis, because that will fuel the propaganda of Vladimir Putin – who says the same thing and had no problem saying it over and over because it was the truth prior to the war. This is what I mean when I say the Western media has completely revised and rewritten history right in front of your eyes because the truth impeded the Biden administration's war policies and NATO's war policies. And again, even if you support the Biden administration and NATO's war policy in Ukraine, you don't want the media serving as propagandists to deceive the public by concealing relevant facts or disseminating false claims because they're acting as agents of the security state. But that is the role of the corporate media in the United States. And that's why I think this is so critical to focus on.
Here is just one of many articles of The New York Times talking about the dominant factions in the Ukrainian military from 2015. It's about Islamic battalions, including Chechens, who are helping Ukraine in the war with the rebels and that created conflict because neo-Nazi battalions tend to dislike Islamic fighters. Here's what the New York Times said:
Apart from an enemy, these groups do not have much in common with Ukrainians – or, for that matter, with Ukraine's Western allies, including the United States. Right sector, for example, formed during last year's street protest in Kyiv from a half-dozen fringe Ukrainian national groups like White Hammer” and the Trident of Stepan Bandera. Another, the Azov group, is openly neo-Nazi […] (The New York Times. July 7, 2015)
Let me say that again – this is The New York Times, which today told you that only Putin propagandists say this:
Another, the Azov group is openly neo-Nazi using the “Wolf's Hook” symbol associated with the SS.
To try to bolster the abilities of the Ukrainian regular forces and reduce Kyiv's reliance on these quasilegal paramilitaries, the United States Army is training the Ukrainian national guard. The Americans are specifically prohibited from giving instructions to members of the Azov group. (The New York Times. July 7, 2015)
That's how widely known and proven it was that the Azov were Nazis – that the U.S. government, which does not have a problem historically with supporting Nazi factions when it suits their agenda. In fact, after World War II, a lot of those top Nazis were embraced by the CIA, even by NASA. A lot of the NASA scientists came from the Nazi space program because the U.S. was perfectly comfortable working with neo-Nazi or proto-Nazi groups in its fight in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. But even within that framework, in 2015, the Azov Battalion was a bridge too far for the U.S. government and the U.S. military, which was explicitly prohibited from training the Azov Battalion and other comrade aligned groups, even though they were trying to train the Ukrainian army to fight against the Russians.
So that was the New York Times talking about it up in 2015. Listen to how that changed in 2022 when it no longer was convenient to admit that. Here's the headline “Why Vladimir Putin Invokes Nazis to Justify His Invasion of Ukraine.”
Remember, this is the same paper that itself was warning, in 2015, that the Ukrainian military was filled with Nazi battalions like Azov. And now they're saying only Vladimir Putin thinks that. Why would he invoke Nazis to justify his invasion of Ukraine? Here's what the Times said after the war began: “The language of Russia's invasion has been dominated by the word “Nazi” – a puzzling assertion about a country whose leader is Jewish.” That's the subheadline. We're back to that same argument about Obama and Kamala Harris. How can Ukraine possibly have a Nazi problem when the president is Jewish?
With Ukrainian nationalist groups now playing an important role in defending their country from the Russian invasion, Western supporters of Ukraine have struggled for the right tone.
Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine's far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard. (The New York Times. March 17, 2022)
We're going to get to what Facebook did in just a second: they completely rewrote their censorship policies. Before February 2022, it was prohibited on Facebook to praise Azov Battalion. Based on the. Facebook’s censorship policy prohibits praising Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion. Facebook made an exception once the war began, as we're about to show you. But the amazing thing is noting how in The New York Times parlance, what had long been Nazi and neo-Nazi groups the Azov Battalion has now morphed into far-right or even Ukrainian nationalist groups. They just completely change their parlance. So, what they had been previously stating for a decade – along with The Guardian, Time magazine and the BBC as we're about to show you – overnight got transformed into a different vernacular.
Here, let me just show you a report from the BBC, in 2012. I'm going to show you just a few samples of what the BBC was saying about the Azov Battalion. Signal a tone, a sense of the tenor with which this group was spoken about, the group that the West is now arming before it was necessary to deny it.
(Video. BBC. 2012)(Video) WATCH LIVE: White House holds news briefing as Biden undergoes root canal
OFF: The whole bar was a shrine to Far-Right extremism. They had Celtic crosses, swastikas and white power symbols. There was also an unhealthy obsession with Nazi Germany.
But it was harder to pin down exactly what Faddin believes in.
Faddin: No, we’re not Nazis. No, no, neo-Nazis, no.
BBC: But you support some aspects.
Faddin: Some aspects, Yes. Some positive aspects, of course, because Germany would not be German right now without Adolph Hitler.
BBC: Faddin is a recruiter for a group called Patriot of Ukraine. This is a Patriot video, but they claim to be rounding up illegal immigrants, that they want to deport.
Faddin: One race, one nation, one fatherland. We must prepare for... Sometimes we think it's a civil war. Of course, nobody wants to have some war or otherwise somebody dies. Some may not, you know. But we must be prepared for everything.
BBC: Do you recruit from the stands? Do you try and find new members?
Faddin: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
BBC: I could see why football terraces could be fertile recruiting grounds for the Patriots. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, right-wing politics and hooliganism have gone hand in hand. At this match, I spotted two fans with Patriot logos on their t-shirts and it wasn't long before the fascist-style salutes began. It was a gesture I would see at every Ukrainian game I went to.
I mean, what more do you want? He said, “At every single Ukrainian game I went to I saw people doing this.” Not wearing Trump signs or Trump t-shirts, but giving Nazi salutes, decorating themselves with swastikas, and talking about the positive aspects of Hitler in Nazi Germany. And again, maybe that doesn't bother you. That's your right to say ‘I don't mind that.’ ‘I'm happy that the United States armed those groups.’ But it's the role of the media to at least acknowledge the truth and tell you about it. And they used to do so until doing so became incompatible with the agenda of the United States government.
You may say that's 2012. The New York Times article is from 2015. The Guardian Article is from 2014. This has been going on all the way right up until the start of the war in Ukraine.
Here is a Time magazine, a mini-documentary on the Azov Battalion that essentially over and over called them neo-Nazis, white supremacists, 2021. They posted it on Twitter, it viralized. Everybody loved it. “Oh, my God, these are real Nazis dominating the Ukrainian military. This seems like a huge problem.” This was, you know, less than a year before Russia invaded Ukraine and then this became a prohibited fact to point out. Anyone pointing out this what Time magazine – that most mainstream outlets was saying in 2021 – became a Russian propagandist overnight.
That title is “
” It's 8 minute-long. It's more and more of the same. Again, you're talking about TIME Magazine here. It does not get more mainstream than TIME Magazine.
We referred to the fact earlier that big tech completely always aligns its sensitive policies with the U.S. security state. Always, and not just the U.S. security state, but the U.S. establishment in general. It was prohibited from the start of the COVID pandemic until more than a year later to question whether or not the COVID pandemic, in fact, came from the way Dr. Fauci and that Lancet letter claimed, which was through natural species jumping at Chinese wet markets. You are not allowed to say that you believe the evidence demonstrated that it was more likely to have come from the Wuhan lab through U.S.-funded research in the lab – it was barred. You would get either your post removed or you would get banned entirely from Facebook and other social media platforms. And it was only once the Biden administration – even the Biden administration – acknowledged uncertainty over that claim – because, as we know, its leading most elite team of scientists in the Department of Energy now believe it's more likely, not just possible, more likely that COVID came from a lab leak in the Wuhan lab, a view that was barred by social media because the U.S. government wanted it barred.
I hope you can see the extent to which you live in a censorship regime. I know we don't think about ourselves that way. I know we think censorship might happen here, there. We live in a culture of censorship. You can find dissent if you look hard enough for it on the Internet. But from most mainstream platforms where most Americans get the flow of their information, it is tightly controlled what you can and cannot say and so often what is banned on the grounds that it's disinformation is, in fact, the truth. The question is not whether it's true. The question is: does it advance or impede the interest of the agenda of U.S. power centers? Big tech censors in alignment with it.
So, when the war in Ukraine started, Facebook policy, as I said before, was that you are not permitted to praise the Azov Battalion because it was deemed a Nazi group, and on Facebook, praise for Nazis is prohibited. But that created a problem for Facebook and the U.S. security state, because, as soon as the war in Ukraine began, the Azov Battalion became heroes. They were the group we were arming. How could Facebook possibly ban praising the Azov Battalion when they were so central to us? You would need a war policy in Ukraine. And so, overnight, Facebook changed its censorship policy to create an exception to its ban on praising Nazis to allow praise for the Azov Battalion.
From The Intercept – and it's got widely reported, in February 2022, so, near the start of the war – “Facebook Allows Praise of Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Battalion If It Fights Russian Invasion.” Here's the sub-headline: “The reversal raises questions about Facebook's blacklist-based content moderation, which critics say lacks nuance and context.”
Facebook will temporarily allow its billions of users to praise the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi military unit previously banned from being freely discussed under the country's Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy […] (The Intercept. Feb. 24, 2022)
I just want you to internalize that for a second. Facebook has something called the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. And this is a list of individuals and organizations that Facebook deems too dangerous to allow you to praise. On that list appeared the Azov Battalion. But then they changed their policy.
The policy shift, made this week, is pegged to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and preceding military escalations. The Azov Battalion, which functions as an armed wing of the broader Ukrainian white nationalist Azov movement, began as a volunteer anti-Russian militia before formally joining the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014; the regiment is known for its hardcore right-wing, ultra-nationalism […] (The Intercept. Feb. 24, 2022)
That's a long way to work around Nazism. But then to its credit, Sam Biddle, The Intercept reporter, adds,
[…] and the neo-Nazi ideology pervasive among its members.
Though it has in recent years, downplayed its neo-Nazi sympathies, the group's affinities are not subtle: Azov soldiers march and train wearing uniforms bearing icons of the Third Reich; its leadership has been reportedly courted American alt-right and neo-Nazi elements; and in 2010, the battalion's first commander and a former Ukrainian parliamentarian, Andriy Biletsky, stated that Ukraine's national purpose was to lead the white races of the world in a final crusade against Semite-led Untermenschen [Sub-humans].
With Russian forces reportedly moving rapidly against targets throughout Ukraine, Facebook's blunt, list-based approach to moderation puts the company in a bind: What happens when a group you've deemed too dangerous to freely discuss is defending its country against a full-scale assault? (The Intercept. Feb. 24, 2022)
In other words, this Intercept article suggests sometimes Nazis are good. Nazis are good when they're fighting against the U.S. enemy. This has been long-standing U.S. policy. We used to arm and fund Nazi groups and Nazi battalions and Nazi governments throughout the Cold War who would engage in all sorts of war crimes and massacres against their own people, neighboring countries – and the U.S. to be funding and arming them. This is just an extension of that mindset.
That wasn't the only censorship change – change to its censorship policy Facebook made to accommodate the Biden administration toward policies. From Reuters, the next month, in March 2022, “Facebook Allows War Posts Urging Violence Against Russian Invaders.” Facebook long has a policy like most big tech social media platforms that prohibits advocacy of violence against particular individuals. You're not allowed to advocate violence on most big tech platforms but Facebook also changed that policy to make it permissible to advocate violence against Russian individuals, not against Ukrainians or any other country, just Russians.
Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy. (Reuters. March 11, 2022)
Do you see how malleable these terms are when wielded by them? Who is a Nazi? Who's a white supremacist? What is hate speech? They just literally rewrite the definitions whenever it suits them right in front of you and then expect you to trust the reliability of these concepts, even as they manipulate them so flagrantly to advance whatever their agenda is.
The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators. “As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules, like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders’; we still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. (Reuters. March 11, 2022)
Do you see the extreme control being exercised over what you are and are not allowed to say, that billions of people get their information from? This is why, as we've reported before, whenever there's legislation pending that is designed to break up the monopoly monopolistic powers of big tech, the first people to rise in defense of their monopolistic powers, to argue against that legislation are leading members of the U.S. security state, are former operatives of the U.S. security state, because they know one of their greatest weapons is the concentration of information on these big tech platforms. And as long as they get to exercise control over what is and is not permitted to be said on big tech platforms, which they absolutely control. That was the point of the Twitter Files. They then have the power to propagandize billions of people on the planet.
This whole idea about banning TikTok, which I know a lot of you support – every time we discuss that, there's a portion of our audience that supports it – because you've been convinced that TikTok is engaging in unique and unprecedented spying on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party that no other big tech platform does. What that really is about is trying to pressure TikTok to censor on behalf of the U.S. security state just like Facebook and Google and Twitter used to. Facebook and Google still do. That's all it is about. It's about leverage, saying, if you do not censor in accordance with our goals, our foreign policy aims, the way Facebook and Google do that, then we will ban you. And increasingly, that's exactly what TikTok is doing. Their CEO has basically said ‘We will turn over content moderation to you.’ He doesn't care. The capitalists who control TikTok, they're profit-motivated about which political opinions are banned and permitted. They want to stay in the United States and they're willing to allow the U.S. security state to dictate their content moderation policies the way Facebook and Google do. That is what makes big tech censorship so dangerous as they can create entire worlds of false information, they can rewrite definitions and have them bind what billions of people on the planet believe.
Here from Reuters is an article about the Azov Battalion, in May 2022. And I just want you to listen to how Reuters speaks of the Azov Battalion, which, as we showed you, Reuters and many other outlets spent a decade calling Nazis but now that they speak about them: “Ukraine's Azov commander says civilians heavily wounded, evacuated from Mariupol plant.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Mariupol’s last defenders – regular soldiers, as well as members of the National Guard, to which the Azov Regiment belongs – are national heroes, and that he hopes they can be exchanged for Russian prisoners. Moscow calls the Azov regiment Nazis […] (Reuters. May 20, 2022)(Video) Victor Davis Hanson: Biden is the most dangerously radical President in US history
Do you see what they've done? They took a fact – that the Azov Battalion are Nazis – and now it's only Moscow that calls them that.
The unit, formed in 2014 as a militia to fight Russian-backed separatists, denies being fascist, and Ukraine says it has been reformed from its radical nationalist origins. (Reuters. May 20, 2022)
When was it reformed? This is May 2022. I showed you the late 2021 Time Magazine mini-documentary calling the Azov Battalion Nazis over and over.
Here's Reuters itself, which now says only Vladimir Putin and the Russians called the Azov Battalion Nazis in 2015. The title there was “Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian Battalion Gears Up For More Fighting.” And here's what Reuters said:
The 1,000-strong ultra-nationalist militia has a reputation as a fierce pro-government fighting force in the almost year-old conflict with the Russian-backed rebels in east Ukraine and is disdainful of peace efforts. But the radical views of the commanders of a group affiliated to Ukraine's National Guard, which works alongside the army, and the use of symbols echoing Nazi emblems, have caused alarm in the West and Russia and could return to haunt Kyiv’s pro-Western leadership even when fighting eventually ends. (Reuters. March 25, 2015)
That's Reuters calling them Nazis and now turns around and says only Moscow calls them Nazis. And in fact, Reuters publish articles calling the Azov Battalion heroes. Heroes of Ukrainian nationalism.
Now, just to show you how pervasive the propaganda is, in April of 2022, one of Poland's most renowned journalists, quit his newspaper because he wanted to call the Azov Battalion neo-Nazis. The way that paper and every other paper in the West has always called the Azov Battalion. But he was told he wasn't allowed to: he had to refer to them instead as merely far right, something much more innocuous. Here's what the article says.
One of Poland's most prominent journalists, Konstanty Gebert, said he is quitting what many regard as the country's newspaper of record after it demanded that he describe Ukraine's controversial Azov Battalion as “far-right” instead of “neo-Nazi.” Gebert, who is Jewish, announced his resignation Thursday in his weekly column, “The Weather Forecast,” which has penned for many years and published in Gazeta Wyborcza, a left-leaning publication. (Jewish Telegraphic Agency. April 15, 2022)
In case you think that this is some kind of new topic for me that I'm suddenly raising, I just want to show you an article I wrote – in 2015 – after James Clapper explicitly urged President Obama to send arms to Ukraine. And the article I wrote was, “Who would that actually empower?” And the sub-headline was “Demonized as Putin propaganda, claims about the fascist and even neo-Nazi thugs leading the fight for the Kyiv government are actually true”. And I documented that at length. All of the Western media reports and the government reports that demonstrated this is not Kremlin propaganda, that in fact the Azov Battalion and other leading battalions in Ukraine embraced a Nazi ideology. That was back in 2015 when I was reporting that.
I mentioned earlier Bellingcat. They've weighed in on this topic. They are now vehement supporters of Biden's war policy in Ukraine and vehement supporters of the proxy war in Ukraine. But, in 2019, they were one of the many outlets warning about the neo-Nazi groups dominating Ukraine's military.
“Defend the white race: American extremists being co-opted by Ukraine's far-right” – that was the title of the Bellingcat article in 2019. And it read:
Newly uncovered evidence going back to 2015 suggests that the Ukrainian white nationalists Azov movement has been systematically co-opting American right-wing extremists to advance the former's own international agenda. In audio statements uncovered by Bellingcat, this agenda was summarized by the International Secretary of the political wing of Azov, the National Corps, as a “world conservative revolution aimed to “defend the white race.” These new findings are separate from the recently reported ties between Azov and the American violent neo-Nazi group, the Rise Above Movement, and members of the American alt-right.
Bellingcat has confirmed that in January 2016, Azov, via its online podcast, was in contact with the late Andrew Oneschuck, an eminent member of the violent American neo-Nazi organization Atomwaffen Division. On the Azov podcast, Oneschuck discussed issues facing Americans that wanted to join Azov and expressed interest in learning methods of attracting youth to nationalism in America. He was encouraged to try to join Azov. (Bellingcat. Feb. 15, 2019)
If you say this today you get called a Russian propagandist. They just rewrote history overnight.
Here's an article that's incredibly interesting, from Max Rose, who was a veteran of the Iraq war, became a Democratic member of Congress for one term from Staten Island, and he co-published it with Ali Soufan, who was a FBI agent who was central to several FBI War on Terror operations. The title of it was “We Once Fought Jihadis, Now We Battle White Supremacists. The truth about so-called domestic terrorism? There is nothing domestic about it.” The article was essentially designed to say that the American right is linked to neo-Nazi groups all throughout the world, including the Azov Battalion. This is an op-ed for The New York Times in 2019 by a Democratic member of Congress and Jewish American, Max Rose, writing with a Muslim former FBI agent. And this is what they said:
As a former soldier and FBI agent, we both risked our lives to fight al-Qaida. But the enemy we currently face is not a jihadist threat – It's white supremacists. In the United States and overseas. One American group, The Base, peppered a recruitment video with footage of our faces, intercut with shots of masked men machine-gunning a spray-painted star of David. The Scandinavia-based Nordic Resistance Movement called us out by name, referring to us in a recent statement as “the Jew Max Rose” and “ Arab FBI agent. Ali Soufan.” Defenders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which the FBI calls a paramilitary unit “notorious for its association with neo-Nazi ideology,” accuse us of being part of a Kremlin campaign to “demonize” the group.
The Australian, who, in March last year, murdered 51 worshipers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, claimed in his manifesto that he had traveled to Ukraine; during the attacks he wore a symbol used by the Azov Battalion. The FBI director recently warned that American extremists, too, are traveling overseas for paramilitary training. Almost twice as many foreign fighters have traveled to join the civil war in Ukraine than to Afghanistan in the 80’s – a conflict which birthed al-Qaida. The government is aware of the threat. In 2018, the Trump administration warned of violent foreign neo-Nazi groups forging ties with organizations in the United States. (The New York Times. Feb. 11, 2020)
This is, again, a 2020 New York Times op-ed that essentially is designed to say that Azov is at the center of a neo-Nazi organization.
Again, maybe this doesn't bother you, but it is shocking to watch how what was once, very recently, asserted from every sector and every corner as a grave warning has now become disappeared from our discourse and rendered taboo.
I’ll show you an amazing interview that was conducted by the German journalist, Tilo Jung, who interviewed the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, and the interview was conducted in German, but it has English subtitles, and Tilo Jung interrogates this Ukrainian ambassador about the way in which Stepan Bandera, who is a national hero in Ukraine – many times, if you see interviews on CNN with Ukrainian officials, they will have a picture of Stepan Bandera on the wall of their office. He's a national hero, like George Washington, to Ukrainians. Stepan Bandera was an aggressive collaborator with the Nazis. He helped round up Ukrainian Jews and send them to concentration camps. And the Ukrainian ambassador was questioned about the fact that Ukrainians in large numbers revere a well-known Nazi collaborator who participated in war crimes with the German Nazis. And watch this interview and what he said.
(Video. July 2, )
Tilo Jung: There have been several massacres of Poles in Eastern Ukraine, carried out by Bandera troops.
Ukrainian Ambassador: Yes, but there were the same massacres of Ukrainians by Poles. Also, tens of thousands of Ukrainians…
Tilo Jung: But that doesn’t make it better.
Ukrainian Ambassador: Tens of thousands of Ukrainians… There was a war and Poland is now trying to politicize this story.
Tilo Jung: Is Israel wrong? Is Israel wrong that Bandera and his troops were involved in the killing of 800.000 jews? Do they make up a story?
Ukrainian Ambassador: I don’t know what they are making up but we’re talking about Bandera.
I just want you to stop and think about this. What he's saying here is Israel has repeatedly complained about the Ukrainian reverence for Stepan Bandera. Because the Israelis say that he is a well-known Nazi collaborator, who participated in Nazi war crimes. It was very disturbing to the Israelis that the Ukrainians worshiped and revered him as a national hero and not a collaborator. When asked about this, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany said Israel is lying. “They're making that up.” “I don't know why they're lying and making that up.”
Can anyone else in this world get away with saying that about Israel? That the Israeli government's objections to the admiration of an individual on the grounds that he is not a war criminal, it is just a fabrication and a lie, and they have no idea why the Israeli government is lying. Tell me who else can survive saying something like this? This Ukrainian ambassador to Germany after saying this caused some controversy but I want to show you what happened to him as a result of saying this. Listen to the rest:
Tilo Jung: The whole world recognizes that Bandera was involved in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Except for Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ambassador: There is no evidence that Bandera troops killed hundreds of thousands of Jews. There is zero evidence. This narrative is being pushed by the Russians until today and that is being supported by Germany as well as Poland and Israel…
So, he's saying – I'm interrupting here because, for those listening by podcast, we have the English subtitles on the screen – but he's essentially saying this idea that Stepan Bandera is a Nazi collaborator is a lie being spread by Germany, Poland and Israel. They've made that up. And so now the host says, “Are you saying the Jewish community has invented this lie about Stepan Bandera?” And watch what he says.
Ukrainian Ambassador: I don’t know where they take this data from but I am willing to talk objectively with the Israeli community, at least if they don’t repeat what has been told for decades.
Tilo Jung: There were leaflets spread when the Germans entered Lviv. They said: “People. What you have to know: Moscovites, Poles, Hungarians and Jews are your enemies! Destroy them! This is what you have to know. Your leader, Stepan Bandera.
Ukrainian Ambassador: What kind of leaflets?
Tilo Jung: When the Germans invaded. They were given to the population who was under different (Soviet) rule at that time. They aligned with the Germans. This is a FACT. I wonder… I mean, I understand…
Ukrainian Ambassador: I will not tell you today that I disassociate myself from this. That’s it.(Video) Victor Davis Hanson: Joe Biden's regime is most revolutionary Left-wing since FDR
Tilo Jung: That’s your decision…
Ukrainian Ambassador: Yes, this is my decision. This is my decision and you can’t understand that but…
Tilo Jung: I can’t understand how can someone call a mass murderer of Jews and Poles a hero.
Ukrainian Ambassador: Bandera wasn’t a mass murderer of Jews and Poles. He wasn’t a mass murderer.
I mean, there's just nobody else who could get away with saying any of that, let alone all of that, the way that he did.
Unsurprisingly, after that interview, that interview made a lot of people upset. Among the people that it upset are some people whose voices tend to be, in any other context, pretty powerful.
Here is Poland: Stepan Bandera collaborated with the Nazis in exterminating a large number of Poles. They did not appreciate the Ukrainian government through their ambassador to Germany explicitly defending Stepan Bandera and claiming that these were lies and fabrications because Poland was one of his victims. So, despite the fact that Poland has been a steadfast supporter of Ukraine in this war, the Poles in July 2022 objected. There you see an article from the outlet “Notes from Poland”, NFP: “Poland Intervenes After Ukrainian Ambassador Denies Wartime Massacre of Poles And Jews.”
Poland's foreign ministry has intervened after Ukraine's ambassador to Germany denied that Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera was responsible for the mass murder of ethnic Poles and Jews, and also sought to justify his collaboration with Nazi Germany.
Melnyk's comments quickly drew condemnation. In a widely shared post, pianist Igor Levit – who was born to a Jewish family in Russia but has lived in Germany since childhood – called the remarks a “shameful denial of history.” Last night, Poland's current foreign minister designate, Zbigniew Rau, announced that he had spoken with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmitro Kuleba, about Melnyk's false statements. (NFP. July 1, 2022)
It wasn't just Poland that objected. It was also the government of Israel, as you might expect. The Ukrainian ambassador accused the Israeli government of lying and making up claims about the Ukrainian national hero, Stepan Bandera, and when Israel objected on the grounds that the Ukrainian ambassador was praising a Nazi collaborator, Ukraine told Israel “Stay out of our business, you have no right to comment on who we make our national heroes.”
Tell me what other countries can get away with that. Telling Israel to stay out of our business is none of your business whether we honor and treat as a national hero – a Nazi collaborator. But the Ukrainians can get away with anything including his openly revering Nazi collaborators, the history and current Nazis today. From the Times of Israel: “Ukraine tells Israel to stay out of the debate about honoring Nazi collaborators. Ukraine's ambassador to Israel says honoring of Stepan Bandera is an internal issue, calls Israeli envoy's comments against it “counterproductive.” “
Ukraine's ambassador to Israel has told Jerusalem to butt out of the debate about the honoring of Nazi collaborators. (The Times of Israel. Jan. 11, 2020)
As I said, it's important to know what happened to this Ukrainian ambassador. After this controversial interview condemned by Germany, Poland and Israel was his career destroyed the way almost anybody else's would for saying something like that? It was not.
Here is Deutsche World, in November 2022, reporting on his plum new job in promotion. There's a headline: “Kyiv's Ex-Envoy To Berlin Takes Deputy Foreign Minister Post. Ukraine has appointed its foreign ambassador, its former ambassador to Germany, Andrijj Melnyk, to a new post as deputy foreign minister. His outspoken brand of diplomacy has made waves in recent months in Berlin and beyond.
A senior Ukrainian official announced Friday that former ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk, would become Ukraine's deputy foreign minister. (DW. Nov. 19, 2022)
Tell me what other country in the world can have an official explicitly praised Nazi collaborator tell Poland, Germany and especially Israel to butt out of its affairs; that if they want to have a national hero, be a Nazi collaborator, that's their business, and then, not only not get destroyed, but get promoted to the position of deputy foreign minister of Ukraine.
One of the Ukrainian activists, journalists, whatever you want to call him, who was turned into an overnight celebrity in the West, Ilya Ponomarenko – he now has 1.3 million followers, he's followed by every Western liberal who adores him and worships him. He has explicitly praised the Azov Battalion, back when Western media outlets were saying over and over they were a neo-Nazi battalion, proclaiming himself to be a member of that group, a brother in arms. And you have Western liberals, American liberals who think that everyone who votes against Joe Biden is a Nazi and deserves no constitutional rights in the United States, worshiping this guy, even though you see postings like:
Brothers in Arms.
It was a fine day in August 2017 when Azov guys consecrated me an artillery guy. (2019)
All kinds of tweets from him explicitly praising Azov even back when the Western media were saying they were neo-Nazis.
Just to show you how kind of common it was for this claim to be made, here is the now deceased and formerly beloved liberal Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, who in 2016, as part of the defense appropriations bill, stood up and insisted that no U.S. funds ever, not even a penny, find their way to the Azov Battalion because they're Nazis. Let’s hear what he said. It wasn't even controversial at the time.
Rep. John Conyers: […] That I propose this evening limited arms training and other assistance to the neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia, the Azov Battalion. Foreign Policy Magazine has characterized the 1000-men Azov Battalion as “openly neo-Nazi” and “fascists.” Numerous other news organizations, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Associated Press, have corroborated the dominance of white supremacy and anti-Semitic views within the group. Yet Ukraine's interior minister recently announced the Azov Battalion will be among the units to receive training and arms from Western allies, including the United States. Azov’s founder Andriy Biletsky organized the group the social nationalist in 2008. Azov men used neo-Nazi symbolism on their banner. These groups run counter to American values, and once the fighting ends, they pose a significant threat to the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people. And as we've seen many times, most notably within the major Mujahideen in Afghanistan, these groups will not lay down their arms once the conflict is over, they will turn their arms against their own people in order to reinforce their hateful views. I urge support of our amendment and make it a U.S. law that we will not equip this dangerous neo-Nazi militia.
Okay. John Conyers, he was elderly. I think he passed away a short time after, maybe, I don't remember exactly, but it was not very long. You could tell he was addled there reading from his statement, but everything in that statement was true. It was totally conventional wisdom in Washington, every word that he said about the Azov Battalion, about the need for the United States to avoid letting any arms fall into their hands. The example he cited historically was exactly the right one, which is the United States flooded Afghanistan, the Mujahideen, with advanced weaponry to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. And then once that fighting was done, once they were done fighting the Soviet Union, the Mujahideen became al-Qaida, and they were stocked full of very sophisticated Western weapons that the United States and NATO had furnished them with. And that is the point.
Again, even if you support Joe Biden's commitment to an endless proxy war in Ukraine, surely there are serious implications from funding this group and groups like it that are all over Ukraine. That was the point of the New York Times article today – that it was not an isolated case here and there, but a pervasive problem, which is what I showed you has always been true, according to the Western media, that these are the leading groups, the pervasive groups in Ukraine, not marginalized or fringe ones. And as John Conyers said there, as we saw with the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, you could openly espouse this ideology in Ukraine – and unlike in the United States or the West, where you are instantly destroyed for doing so, instantly destroyed, in fact, for not even getting near any of that, in Ukraine, you thrive. You get appointed to the position of deputy foreign minister after you tell a German journalist that the Israelis are lying and fabricating when they're objecting to the reference of a Nazi collaborator, and, in fact, either way, it's none of Israel's business. It's a matter of internal Ukraine's internal affairs, whom they want to worship.
It is true Ukraine can revere whomever they want. I don't really think it makes much difference to us, except for the fact the United States and the West are pouring increasingly sophisticated weapons into that country, including F-16 fighter jets, tanks, and all kinds of missiles. What's going to happen to those weapons? Where are they going to go, and into which usage are they going to be put? We're probably going to hear five years from now or 10 years from now, that we need to go to war against Nazi groups in Ukraine because of the fear that they will spread their ideology to other white nationalist groups in Europe, and other places. That's how it works. We constantly fuel our own wars by arming the entire world and then claiming that those groups are now dangerous and we have to go to war against them.
We talk too often about how Ukraine is the most corrupt government, so, pouring $100 billion or more, as the Biden administration has done into that country means that money is going to disappear into Swiss bank accounts and offshore bank accounts, the way the Pandora papers and other reporting has revealed that Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian oligarchs who support him have already been beneficiaries of. But what about the weapons? Where are these weapons going to go?
Here from CNN, in April 2022, near the start of the war, with an admission: “What happens to weapons sent to Ukraine? The U.S. doesn't really know.”
The U.S. has few ways to track the substantial supply of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other weaponry that is sent across the border into Ukraine, sources tell CNN, a blind spot that's due in large part to the lack of U.S. boots on the ground in the country – and the easy portability of many of the smaller systems now pouring across the border.
It's a conscious risk the Biden administration is willing to take.
In the short term, the U.S. sees the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to be vital to the Ukrainians’ ability to hold off Moscow's invasion.
A senior defense official said Tuesday that it is “certainly the largest recent supply to a partner country in a conflict.” But the risk, both current U.S. officials and defense analysts say, is that in the long term, some of those weapons may wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the U.S. did not intend to arm. “We have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero,” said one source briefed on U.S. intelligence. “It drops into a big black hole and you have almost no sense of it all after a short period of time.” (CNN. April 19, 2022)
I understand that this Russian invasion of Ukraine has elevated excitement and passion levels in the West to a great extent and it is absolutely true that there is enormous support for the Biden administration's war policies in both political parties. The Democratic Party is unanimously in support – unanimously– and the Republican establishment is overwhelmingly in support as well. The only dissent you here in DC is from the populist wing in the Republican Party, 70 votes, 59 in the House, all of it in the Senate. The last time there was a vote on whether to continue to fund and arm Ukraine, you have several Republican candidates like Donald Trump and Vivek Ramazani who are opposed to this ongoing funding; you have Robert Kennedy Jr. at the Democratic Party who are also opposed, but overwhelmingly, as they always are, Washington, the establishment wings, are fully in support of this war. That's fine if you're somebody who supports that policy, you can make those arguments. But what I think we should all be able to agree on is that we do not want the Western press, the Western corporate press, with the ability and the willingness to just completely overnight do a 180 on the claims that they say are true and to take claims that are clearly true and that they have spent a decade endorsing, and the minute it impedes U.S. foreign policy to affirm it, turn it into Russian propaganda and anyone who affirms it a Russian propagandist, while at the same time, big tech rewrites to self-ownership policies to ensure that there is no ability to dissent. No matter what, you have to be deeply uncomfortable. You should be deeply uncomfortable with the way in which this flow of information is being so aggressively and rigidly managed in exactly the way that we're told happens only in our oppressive regimes. And when you break down how the media treats these claims in real-time, their willingness to completely reverse on a dime the minute it suits some institution of power or the other, the way they've done it on every crucial issue from Russiagate to COVID to the war in Ukraine. The more we see that, while the U.S. government is claiming we're fighting for democracy abroad, what we have at home is far, far from it.
That concludes our show for this evening. As a reminder, we will have a special episode tomorrow night at 7 p.m. to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Snowden reporting, which began with a June 6, 2013, article in The Guardian about how the NSA was collecting huge amounts of surveillance data on every American. Exactly what James Clapper, three months before the reporting began, falsely denied to the Senate. My guess for that will be the source for the courageous stories that enabled that reporting. Edward Snowden, my journalistic colleague Laura Poitras, who won an Academy Award for her documentary Citizenfour, documents the work we did together in Hong Kong to kick out that reporting. If you haven't seen that documentary, I highly, highly recommend it. I'm very excited for tomorrow night's show where we're going to delve into what that reporting entailed, the choices that we made, and the implications of it.
As a reminder as well. System Update is available in podcast form. You can follow us on Spotify, Apple and every other major podcasting platform. Every Tuesday and Thursday night, we have an aftershow that is designed to be interactive with our audience, which is available exclusively to our subscribers on the local platform, which is part of Rumble to join our community, which entitles you to have access to that show, to written journalism, to transcripts of the show and much more. It also helps the journalism that we do here. Just click the join button and you can become a member of our Locals community.
For now, thank you so much for watching. We hope to see you back tomorrow night and every night at 7 p.m. Eastern, exclusively on Rumble.
Have a great evening, everybody.
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