Russia in Ukraine: The Surprising History!

27th of March Update: Propaganda and Cancellation Reach a Fevered Pitch

As libertarians, our primary common philosophy is the non-aggression principle (NAP). We are characteristically against war and foreign entanglements. We oppose the death of innocent people for agendas pursued by the governments of Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. Putin’s actions in Ukraine have been inexcusable, and none of us seek to excuse them. However, the exact propaganda mechanisms we saw during COVID are in full swing to squash any discussion on the matter, no matter what evidence is presented. To this date, presenting certain documented facts from the VAERS database or quoting the CDC will get you kicked off a number of platforms run by Big Tech. Many provably factual points will be labeled “misinformation.” What is happening right now is an attempt to stir up hysteria and ensure that nobody can question it if the US government further escalates this war. Any provably factual statements critical of US government interventions taken over the past eight years that played a role in creating this situation get labeled as “Russian talking points,” and those that bring them up are labeled as “pro-Putin.” The bottom line is that if the US government plays any good role in this conflict, it would be to bring the parties to the negotiating table and ending the conflict through compromise.

In a truly free society ideas are shared. All ideas are free to be discussed. Nobody should have the power to promote only one (generally government-dictated) narrative at the expense of all opposing views. Again and again we’ve seen the dangers of blindly accepting a government narrative and complying with everything that it entails. We’ve seen the dangers of sticking to mainstream platforms for our information that will spoon-feed us lies and propaganda.

We are seeing people like Representative Maria Salazar promoting actions that would escalate the war and could potentially cause WWIII, while downplaying the probability that this could lead to nuclear war. In the first half of this interview on the 16th of March with Tucker Carlson, her points are made abundantly clear. While I don’t follow Tucker Carlson, and he may only be making his points from a devil’s advocate perspective, he makes a lot of good points about how the actions she advocates are escalations and that she’s not seriously considering all of the possible consequences. She pushes back against “hypothetical situations,” but isn’t that exactly what she should be doing? (I’m borrowing this last point from Dave Smith’s Part of the Problem podcast episode entitled “No Fly Zone Means War” from the 19th of March.)

Another message entirely was given by Marjorie Taylor Greene (R), also on the 16th of March. Early in her Facebook live stream she clearly stated “There is no doubt that Putin’s actions in Ukraine are despicable and evil,” and went on to discuss the situation from a very sensible perspective. She gave the history of the situation, advocated for peace talks, and made some great observations about how this situation is dividing the world in a way that could mean the end of the US dollar as the world reserve currency. This latter point has been covered elsewhere recently as Saudi Arabia cuts deals that could lead to the petrodollar being replaced by the petroyuan. Because of sanctions Russia is also looking to how it can export without the use of US dollars, an action where this major energy supplier could be establishing a petroruble. The bottom line is that, in addition to all the human costs of this war, the US dollar’s value may be destroyed by these actions, leading to issues for US businesses, taxpayers, and consumers at home. This doesn’t outweigh the human costs, but serves to underscore that no good will come from the escalation of this conflict. I need to point out that there are a number of conservative talking points made that we will disagree with as libertarians, but her overall message is truthful and on-the-spot.

As a reward for her intelligent statements, Marjorie Taylor Greene gets accused of “Parrot[ing] Russian Talking Point[s]” by so-called fact-checkers who can only parrot the allowed mainstream talking points. She also got condemned by the DNC, and a number of hit-pieces have been written against her for daring to go against the mainstream narrative.

Also, not to be confused as a libertarian by any means, Tulsi Gabbard (D) made some good points about concerns with the existence of US biolabs in Ukraine that may be in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention and what might happen to them in an active war zone. I personally disagree with Tulsi Gabbard on quite a few issues, but she’s been a solid anti-war and anti-intervention advocate, in addition to bringing up reasonable concerns in that video and an earlier one. The reaction was covered quite well in a Ron Paul Liberty Report video on the 15th of March. Mitt Romney (R) (who Maria Salazar claims has financial interests in Ukraine) called Tulsi Gabbard a “treasonous liar,” only for the presence of these labs to become a proven fact.

What should we do?

  • Share this article with your friends. Perhaps we can open some eyes on what is happening.
  • Make calm arguments for your perspective and back them with facts, rather than getting emotional and vilifying those who disagree with you. In a free exchange of ideas, ultimately the best ideas will prevail!
  • Contact your representatives in the US House and Senate, letting them know that you do not wish to see the US engaging in combat or providing materiel support for a war effort where there are no clear “good guys” to be found. Tell them that US intervention has led to this situation, and that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) should be defunded immediately.
  • Join the National Libertarian Party and the Libertarian Party of Ohio (or whatever state you live in).
  • Volunteer to work with us and start a Defend the Guard bill here in Ohio. This keeps our defensive forces at home where they belong and limits the federal government’s harmful interventions overseas.
  • Get involved in our affiliate.

3rd of March Update: War Propaganda, Sanctions, and the Need for Negotiations

A recurring theme we’ve seen since the Karens ran rampant during the COVID period is that governments act in a totalitarian fashion and some people will choose to stand up as enforcers on the government’s behalf. While the Karens engaged in yelling at people who refused to wear masks that are provably ineffective (except for oxygen-deprivation) over the last couple years, the latest version of a Karen is anybody on social media that needs to repeat the mainstream press positions about how evil and crazy Putin. Of course they will also parrot that Zalensky (the US government’s puppet) is a great hero of the Ukranian people and free people globally should bow down and worship him. If you offer any narrative that wanders from the 3×5 card of acceptable opinion you are immediately vilified by people whose arguments consist of only repeating the same mainstream media talking points without doing any research or applying any critical thought.

While Putin’s claims about invading to stop a neo-Nazi genocide against ethnically Russian people actually has some merit (search for the term Neo-Nazi in the original post below), his invasion of Ukraine overall is still a bold act of aggression. It is also true that the Zelensky’s government has been attacking the people of the Donbas region for the past eight years in direct contradiction of the Minsk agreements they signed. The latter act of aggression is conveniently ignored for the current narrative. Bottom line: The US government and its Mockingbird media clearly want unquestioning masses on the side of the puppet government while vilifying all things Russian. Anybody seeking the “good guy” is in this conflict isn’t going to find one. At the same time, the affected civilian populations of Ukraine, the Donbas region, and Russia wind up as victims of unnecessary violence.

The US government and many allies are imposing sanctions on Russia. As many libertarians understand, sanctions have never been shown to stop governments from doing what they want, and only serve to hurt the people of those countries. The people of Russia are protesting Putin’s campaign and nearly 4,000 have been detained today (the 6th of March, 2022) for participating. Meanwhile, corporate USA must virtue-signal by shutting down all trade as major credit card companies shut down transactions in Russia, Google and Apple shut down Russian apps in their stores, and social media giants are blocking Russian accounts. Of course the Karens must give their dull lives meaning as they press forward to boycott products which will have a much more profound effect on the people of Russia than their government, like dumping out Russian vodka, refusing to play sports with Russian teams, stopping a Russian opera singer from singing at the Met, and shutting down Russian media channels.

Photo from BBC ( Showing Protesters in Kazakhstan

People have a right to decide who they do business with, but they should try to understand who they are actually hurting. Many of those people are actually very much against Putin’s act of aggression. A more measured approach would make more sense. If anything, we should be using permissionless, private, retribution-proof cryptocurrencies (e.g. Monero and ARRR) to support the efforts of protesters inside Russia, in addition to the people who are caught in the crossfire as this war continues.

Original Post, 27th of February, 2022

Russian forces have crossed the border into Ukraine and we are seeing the usual propaganda spin in the US media. This is a serious matter and the fog of war creates a lot of conflicting information. Rather than allowing the free flow of information, the mainstream media and social media platforms will only show the US government’s approved narrative. We shouldn’t expect a press that consistently lies on the government’s behalf to suddenly be truthful when the subject shifts to foreign policy. The US government is invested in reinforcing a specific narrative, and so I will be sharing another perspective to open a larger discussion. I’ve had some in-depth discussions with a Donbas region native that I work with, forcing me to take a closer look at what’s going on. My friend’s father still lives in his hometown of Gorlovka (or Horlivka, due to imperfect translations from Cyrillic). Gorlovka is in Donetsk which is alongside Luhansk as the two breakaway republics in the Donbas region. Because my coworker has family there, he is very much in touch with what has been happening over the years. Recent discussions with him have been quite eye-opening and I will back up what I’ve heard with some sources so that you can look things up for yourself.

Before taking another step, understand this: Sharing an opposing view of what has led up to current events does not mean that I’m a Putin supporter or believe that Russia should have complete control and dominance over what happens in the region. Rather my intent is to show how the current situation is very much the result of the United States government’s harmful intervention in foreign affairs. Putin may well be an aggressor and his main objective may actually be to protect Russia’s role as primary energy exporter in the region or some other underlying purpose. However, US intervention in the last decade has done much to provide excuses that are enabling these Russian actions.

A Messy History

Nobody in the mainstream media will bring up the facts of what has preceded these events for 1,000+ years, much less the last decade. They want us to ignore anything that might have happened before the last few months. The history of the region is important to frame what is happening and I’m only going to present a few relevant pieces of information here. Please do your own research and share anything interesting that you might find.

  • Where does Russia end and Ukraine begin? Borders have been anything but stagnant for over the last millennium plus. Kiev, the current capitol of Ukraine, was actually the original seat of the of the Russian kingdom when founded in 882. Many parts of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula that was absorbed by Russia in 2014, have majority populations that self-identify as Russian. The disputed Donbas region, consisting of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine is included.
  • NATO expansion. As the Berlin wall fell and the Soviet empire was collapsing, negotiations for German unification and NATO expansion in 1991 included the promise that NATO would not expand beyond the Elbe. Instead, since then, much of Eastern Europe has been absorbed into NATO (including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, etc). The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created to fight against the Soviet Union. It should be no surprise that Russia sees the actions of this historic enemy to move closer and surround Russia’s western borders as a threat.
  • A puppet government of Ukraine. Recent reports show tens of millions of dollars have been spent by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which is a US government-funded operation that operates for regime-change around the world. However (as James Corbett observes), this pales in comparison to the $5 billion that Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, says has been spent to “promote democracy” in Ukraine. This “investment” is how the US government has placed and retained a puppet government in Ukraine to this day.
  • Russia’s Annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. It seems that residents of Crimea actually wanted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in 2014. There were doubts about what kind of pressure the voters were under or how accurate the vote count was, but it’s also true that Crimea was historically a part of the Russian empire and later the Soviet Union until it collapsed. At that time, it became a part of Ukraine until it was annexed by Russia in 2014.
  • Minsk agreements. The Minsk I and II agreements in 2014 and 2015 attempted to cease hostilities in the region. The Minsk II agreement was signed in February 2015, with leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine issuing support for the deal. Part of the agreement was for Ukraine to provide increased decentralization and recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk with special status and increasing autonomy. Instead, the Ukrainian government has continued to prosecute a war against these regions ever since. As my friend observes, the shelling of cities, including his hometown of Gorlovka, continued.
  • Russia moves in. Because a war has been underway between the separatist republics and the Ukranian military for the last eight years, it seems like hyperbole to say that Putin has moved his forces in and is starting a war. The mainstream media is simply ignoring the existing war. Putin’s statements that Russian forces are in the region to perform a peacekeeping mission actually makes sense to a degree, provided that the actions remain focused on protecting the Donbas region. With the current fog of war, however, it’s not easy to know if this is truly the case.
  • Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine military? Putin’s recent rhetoric about protecting Russians from Nazi genocide in the Donbas region sounds odd and out-of-place in the modern world. When I heard it, I thought that he was stuck in a Soviet mindset dating back to World War II. However, there is some interesting evidence suggesting that there may be some truth to his statments. For example the Ukranian Azov Battalion, seen here training civilians for war, is wearing an unusual yellow patch on their left shoulders with a symbol matching that of the 2nd SS Panzer Division from WWII. The symbol may be there because the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly played a key role in the creation of the volunteer Azov Battalion, but it is hard to say whether that philosophy motivates their engagements and behaviors.

Ditch the False Paradigm

We should all be aware of the false left-right paradigm that is used to deceive and divide us all. Both of the major parties in the USA have proven themselves to be interventionists. They believe that they should control the politics and actions of people everywhere, whether it’s here at home or on the far side of the globe. Naturally, politicians of both parties are looking for excuses to get the US military involved. As Libertarians, we believe actions that are wrong when perpetrated here at home are just as unjust when inflicted on people elsewhere. The libido dominandi of the current establishment knows no bounds and it needs to be reined in. The false paradigm on display today is where one side blames the other for blunders in foreign policy. We need to note that no major party has actively objected to or reversed the interventionist foreign policy actions taken by the other. It’s time to quit pretending that there’s a large chasm between the two parties, as their behaviors are often identical. It’s time to actively seek an alternative that doesn’t intervene our lives here at home or in the lives of people across the globe.

Take Action!

I know that we are writing this from the angle of a county affiliate that has little or no direct effect on current foreign policy, but we recommend the following actions to those who read this blog:

  • Contact your representatives in the US House and Senate, letting them know that you do not wish to see the US engaging in combat or providing materiel support for a war effort where there are no clear “good guys” to be found. Tell them that US intervention has led to this situation, and that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) should be defunded immediately.
  • Join the National Libertarian Party and the Libertarian Party of Ohio (or whatever state you live in).
  • Volunteer to work with us and start a Defend the Guard bill here in Ohio. This keeps our defensive forces at home where they belong and limits the federal government’s harmful interventions overseas.
  • Get involved in our affiliate.

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