PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Great Acquiescence — Glory to Ukraine

Americans don’t merely acquiesce to the imperium’s wars, interventions, collective punishments and assorted other deprivations. They actively embrace them.

Pro-Ukraine demonstration in Washington, Feb. 25. (John Brighenti, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

The other day I ventured forth from my remote village to a lively market town called Great Barrington to shop for Easter lunch — spring lamb, a decent bottle of Bourgogne. Easter is much marked in my household, one of the few feasts we allow ourselves, and it is a reminder this year of a truth that could scarcely be more pertinent to our shared circumstances: After all our small and large crucifixions, there is new life to come.

Great Barrington lies in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, a fashionable little burg dense — as you can tell simply by walking around in it —with righteous liberals. No place, you remind yourself, is perfect.

And there along the streets and avenues as I arrived were what I had anticipated: Ukrainian flags hanging off front porches, in shop windows, on flagpoles just below the Stars and Stripes. Somebody has painted the bit of board displaying their house number in the blue and yellow we all now recognize. Father, forgive them, I thought, for they know not what blood-soaked horrors and hate-filled killers they enthusiastically endorse.

Not in my lifetime have Americans, purporting to be thoughtful, intelligent people, been so wide-eyed, so stupefied as those who are pretending to lead them and to inform them by seeking to bury them in ignorance.

We now read that investigators are diligently “documenting the catalog of inhumanity perpetrated by Russia’s forces in Ukraine” — a U.S. diplomat’s remark. Nobody stops to think the investigators are all from nations that are acting against Russia.

“Where else should they come from?” they shrug in Great Barrington.

Nobody notes that the essential question has been crudely removed from public discourse as these sham investigations get under way. The atrocities in Bucha, Mariupol and elsewhere are beyond all dispute, but we must never ask who is responsible for them.

I hear the good citizens of Great Barrington quaking with rage as The New York Times convicts the Russian leadership, as our president describes the Bucha tragedy as a Russian war crime not two hours after it came to light.

We now read, in Friday’s editions of the Times, all about the joint American–Ukrainian campaign to inundate Russian discourse with propaganda intended to demoralize the public. The government-supervised Times explains, “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a U.S.–funded but independent news organization founded decades ago, is trying to push its broadcasts deeper into Russia.”

U.S.–funded but independent. Priceless, and don’t miss the slide into passive voice to avoid the truth, a recurrent Times trick I have grown very fond of — “founded decades ago.”

Radio Free Europe was founded by a C.I.A. front Allen Dulles cooked up in 1949, the National Committee for a Free Europe. It received agency funding until at least the 1970s, when the funding function was transferred elsewhere in the Washington bureaucracy for the sake of appearances.

What RFE/RL is doing in Russia today is exactly what American liberals, in paroxysms of horror, accused Russians of doing during the 2016 election campaigns. But it is O.K. because we’re doing it, they say in the charming bistros along Railroad Street. We must fight for  democracy.

Brute Censorship 

We are not reading in the corporate press, by contrast, that a new wave of brute censorship is now upon us, as social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube “suspend,” “cancel,” “de-platform” — whatever this radically antidemocratic business is called — dissenting writers and analysts who have taken the trouble to examine the facts on the ground in Ukraine such as we have them with professional disinterest.

We must defend democracy at home, the good of Great Barrington insist, just as we must in Ukraine.

Since the Russiagate farrago overcame liberal America in 2016, there has been much debate as to whether our McCarthyesque circumstances are as bad as, similar to, or not as bad as things got during the Cold War decades.

This no longer seems to me the useful question. In various important ways we have passed beyond even the worst of the Cold War’s many dreadful features.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Our better reference is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, wherein the English novelist pictured a society of incubated beings — programmed from birth, hooked on a happiness-inducing drug called soma, devoid of everything we now consider human, wholly incapable of connection, of responsibility, and, indeed, desiring neither. Infantile gratification is all that matters to those populating the World State Huxley imagined — such as anything matters.

We are not there yet, let’s not exaggerate. But we ought to honor Huxley for his prescience, for we are heading in the direction of his unlivable world of mind-deprived children watched over by a small, chosen, diabolic elite.

I am not surprised that it is Ukraine that brings us to what I consider a collective psychological crisis. After 30 years of post–Cold War triumphalism, Washington has decided to use Ukraine and its people in a go-for-broke attempt finally to subvert Russia. Stepping back for a better look, this is the decisive event in the imperium’s confrontation with the 21st century — its grand roll of the dice, its now-or-never moment.

Broke it will be when all this is over, however far in the future that will prove. A little like Cú Chulainn, the Irish hero who drowned swinging his sword in a rage against the incoming tide, we cannot win this one. And we are falling apart as the realization of our loss arrives subliminally among us.

Whoever wins the war in Ukraine, the non–West will win. Whoever wins, the 21st century will win, burying the mostly awful 20th at last. As for Americans, we have already lost. 

Our Condition

What of our condition, then? What has become of us, why, and what shall we do about it? If I am correct about America’s psychological crisis, its connection to the on-the-ground, in-our-faces crisis in Ukraine is not immediately apparent.

Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931 and published it a year later. Let us take the cue. Let’s look back to consider the thoughts of a few people who, unlike most of us, took life seriously and so applied themselves to an understanding of their time.

Steve Fraser brought out The Age of Acquiescence in 2015. Fraser is among the best labor economists now active, an honorable man of the 1960s, and his subtitle tells us his line of inquiry: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power. Why and when, Fraser wanted to discover, had American workers rolled over in surrender? What happened to all those fine New Dealers who, with good minds, fought hard for the kind of society they knew was possible?

Labor isn’t our topic, but his book has implications far beyond his specific interests.

Fraser situates himself “peering back into the past at a largely forgotten terrain of struggle.” The New Deal years, the battles waged against the anti–Communist paranoia of the postwar decades, the antiwar movement of the 1960s and early 1970s: The people animating these movements had memories and experience.

They remembered what American society could be in its potential because they had lived for and acted on that potential. They knew another kind of America was possible.

Most of us have forgotten all that. Younger people never shared that consciousness in the first place. Very few of us have any memory or experience of living under anything other than pervasive corporate domination and a government, in its profound corruption, that serves corporate capital and does as little as it can otherwise.

There is nothing to wage struggle for, in other words. Our relations with those who hold power over us are not very different from the relations Huxley’s children had with the sequestered elites who controlled their lives. This is the root of our prevalent assumptions.

The work of any social or political campaign worth mounting is now rendered too imposing even to attempt. It is best to acquiesce to power, contenting ourselves — as if we all live in Great Barrington — with finding the best olive oil.

Mass acquiescence largely leads us to an explanation of the preposterous support most Americans have for the criminal regime in Kiev. But we’re beyond Steve Fraser’s Age of Acquiescence now. Americans don’t merely acquiesce to all that the imperium imposes on the world — wars, interventions, collective punishments, assorted other deprivations. Americans actively embrace the conduct of empire.

Please pass the kale chips.

The Sovereignty of Good

Iris Murdoch, the minor English philosopher and second-rate novelist, published The Sovereignty of Good, a gathering of three essays on morality, in 1970. I would be pleased to observe that nobody reads this ridiculous book anymore and few take Murdoch’s philosophic ruminations at all seriously. 

But Murdoch’s arguments in favor of a moral clarity that lies beyond dispute have a great deal to do with what we’ve become. Right and wrong and goodness are objective realities for Murdoch – and how too many of us now live.

Human beings have no purpose so far as Murdoch was concerned. There are no ideals to strive for, no telos to use the Greek term she preferred. People are innately selfish. “Our destiny can be examined but it cannot be justified or totally explained,” as she put it. “We are just here.”

Here are a few snippets to give a taste of Murdoch’s prose and thinking:

“It is more than a verbal point to say that what should be aimed at is goodness, and not freedom or right action….

The Good has nothing to do with purpose, indeed it excludes the idea of purpose.

I assume that human beings are naturally selfish and that human life has no external point or telos…. The psyche is a historically determined individual looking after itself…. The area of its vaunted freedom of choice is not usually very great.”

As Murdoch sees it, there is but one thing to do as we sit stranded on the universe’s beach. We must recognize the inarguable reality of goodness and do our best to be good. This does not involve choices, as we have none to make. (Murdoch despised Sartre and the existentialists.) We are not, if I read Murdoch correctly, responsible for making judgments. Kindness, compassion, love — these are moral values, universal values. They’re all we’ve got.

Who decides what is good and worthy of kindness, and how? Who decides what is right and wrong? Murdoch didn’t address these essential questions because, being an empiricist, what is good, right, and wrong is simply there for us to see. “Good is non-representable and indefinable,” Murdoch writes — slithering, it seems to me, out the side door.

Here’s my question: Would Iris Murdoch have made an excellent “content monitor” — a censor this is to say — at YouTube? CEO at Twitter, maybe?

Readers may now suspect where all this is leading: to the main drag in Great Barrington. There we find people who are intent only on self-fulfillment and being good and kind and compassionate, while taking no responsibility for the events of their time because, after all, there is no purpose in life and “we are just here.” Being seen to be good and kind and compassionate is, of course, the essential thing. They too are empiricists.

Joe Biden denounced the Bucha atrocities at 10:30 am Eastern time on April 4, at the very moment word came of them. At that moment he could not possibly have had any knowledge of what had transpired. His reference here is to Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“Well, the truth of the matter — you saw what happened in Bucha. This warrants him — he is a war criminal.… This guy is brutal. And what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone’s seen it.”

Pictures often require a thousand words and certainly they do in the Bucha case, but never mind that. The important thing is, we’ve all seen some images. It is a straight-ahead case of right and wrong: Ukrainians suffer. Let us be kind to them. Russians have intervened into their country. Let us condemn them.

Let us acquiesce. Let us be good.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

156 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Great Acquiescence — Glory to Ukraine

  1. Jennifer Allison
    April 21, 2022 at 01:53

    Mama always told me never to trust people with two first names, but Patrick Lawrence is an honest journalist, with the sovereignty of good intentions, who made me realize that in a parallel universe, I may have been Iris Murdoch. I can’t help but see myself in her. Patrick Lawrence has brought to my attention one of the problems with my generation and generations preceding it:

    “…we find people who are intent only on self-fulfillment and being good and kind and compassionate, while taking no responsibility for the events of their time because, after all, there is no purpose in life and ‘we are just here.'”

    Mama considered it a life well lived that she made each day a little better for her family. Though she had only a high school education, mama was the backbone of our family and a refuge from the outside world. There was no dream too big or too out of reach, no obstacle we could not overcome, as long as we stuck together. She never thought much beyond the circle of people she knew in the 3D world….but but but just in case anyone reads my “philosophic ruminations”, if everybody did what mama did, and all of the candidates for public office were those kinds of people too, and none of them could be persuaded by donors to do evil, then how many wars would there be? Would there be a war in Ukraine or any previous wars?

    Because mama was not evil herself, she did not understand it or recognize it in her country’s leaders, but without her kind there is no hope. Never underestimate what a few bright lights can do!

    • Jennifer Allison
      April 21, 2022 at 03:06

      Ooops, I just realized my comment could be taken as “ostrich with head in the sand.” It was made with acknowledgment of posters who said “do gooders” are demons who neither know nor care about innocent lives being torn apart by war because it doesn’t concern them and they are as much to blame for war as the US government. I agree with everything you said. No need for me to restate excellent posts by Cara, Eddy Schmid, Tobysgirl and all the other contributors.

      I just meant that if goodness starts locally, and it grows, maybe some of it will rub off on The Powers That Be? Wishful thinking no doubt. I shouldn’t send my thinking cap out to the dry cleaners because I may never get it back. :>)

      Patrick Lawrence is a bright light for truth. Thank you for this article and all of the posters who put a lifetime of learning into their comments.

    • Altruist
      April 21, 2022 at 03:38

      Jennifer Allison – I think Patrick Lawrence would certainly appreciate the sincere goodness of your mother – his beef is rather with the herd of sanctimonious hypocrites who engage in groupthink and conformity in order to “be seen to be good and kind and compassionate,” even though they really aren’t. Also, regarding two first names, your mother would be reassured to know that Lawrence is none other that the renowned journalist Patrick Lawrence Smith of the International Herald Tribune and other newspapers. I cancelled my subscription to the IHT after he left this publication, which then became the International New York Times and no longer worth reading.

      • Jennifer Allison
        April 21, 2022 at 23:55

        Thank you for your reply.

  2. delia ruhe
    April 19, 2022 at 17:35

    It’s through propaganda (see Lauria’s piece) and acquiescence that Washington has created the stars of a new action-oriented comic book. You have the Spawn of Satan, the evil villain Vladimir Putin and Captain America . . . er, I mean Captain Ukraine, the heroic Volodymyr Zelensky. Now it should be simple for everybody to understand what’s happening. It’s all black and white–no grays, none of that pesky “nuance” that’s meant to confuse everybody.

  3. Altruist
    April 19, 2022 at 06:55

    Great article – it perfectly describes the smug sanctimony of self-described liberals, who are anything other than liberal in the sense of open-mindedness and tolerance. Who exhibit a lack of self-awareness and perspective best described by the French word “borné” or the German equivalent “borniert”. Can’t believe I was myself one of them a decade or two ago.

    The most interesting passage in the article is the following: “After 30 years of post–Cold War triumphalism, Washington has decided to use Ukraine and its people in a go-for-broke attempt finally to subvert Russia. Stepping back for a better look, this is the decisive event in the imperium’s confrontation with the 21st century — its grand roll of the dice, its now-or-never moment.” In other words, a major leap towards full “full-spectrum dominance,” namely regime-change in Russia and then China.

    In my gut, I believe that this assertion is correct. But it is very hard to prove, as the imperium works covertly, in secret, muddying the facts with the support of information control. We are no longer in the day where the West carries out open conflict, as in Iraq, but we find ourselves now rather in a foggy area between a proxy war and covert operations. It would be very interesting to have more facts behind the “go-for-broke attempt” to regime-change Russia and bring it into the “rules-based” Western order, prior to moving on to the ultimate prize, China.

    And Patrick Lawrence takes it for given that the the West will lose this “grand roll of the dice”, will go broke, will crap out. But will it? I’m not so sure. The Ukraine war has, so far, been a resounding success for the imperialists – one domino after the next has fallen, from canning Nord Stream 2, to boosting NATO, to the Germans to abandoning pacifism, to reoubling military expenditures, to getting Europe to march in lockstep, to muzzling critical media and opposing voices.

    The people in charge somehow don’t really appear capable of formulating and implementing such a grand strategy – a somewhat addled and ethically challenged career politician at the top, a secretary of state whom Lawrence has rightly called out for stupidity and narrow-mindedness (back to the topic of liberals…), a national security adviser best known as a domestic political operative… But then we have the true believers and true intriguers, not least V. Nuland, who undoubtedly has a key position in all this, and there is a corps of similarly thinking and similarly motivated people throughout the bureaucracy and system.

  4. Cookie aka Carolyn
    April 18, 2022 at 18:42

    p.s. to my mast comment, here is a tribute to Iris Murdoch from my book “Heart and Soul, Poems by Carolyn Grassi” (2013, recently reissued). And as some say: “the personal is political”. With thanks to Consortiumnews for providing dialogue.

    Your vivid portrayals of human behavior
    embedded in heavily philosophical novels;
    mischievous characters with alluring silly
    charms, even in dire circumstances, affective
    conspiracies, masterfully drawing us
    readers into seductive scenes of pleasurable
    suspense, as when the guy swimming
    for his life in a raging stream was pulled
    into a deep ravine, till at the last minute
    you tossed him on to a bright green slope
    and we heard him breathing heavily, sighing
    with relief, since soon you offered an elixir
    of smoldering love in the ridiculous antics
    of a seemingly mixed-matched couple falling
    for each other without a warning, their
    awkward laughable gestures, testing each
    other’s limitations; while another woman,
    or is it a man, driven by jealous suspicion,
    shimmied up the balcony to spy on a couple
    about to make love, so you wink, as it were,
    at us your readers, letting the peeping-Tom
    suddenly slip into a thorny rose bush, while
    across town a man is rummaging through
    his wife’s letters, determined to prove her
    unfaithful; yet most often your culprits
    forgive and are forgiven, the way Mozart’s
    characters do in his Marriage of Figaro.

  5. Ciprian S
    April 18, 2022 at 16:26

    Just some ‘minor” aspect of this conflict from a (neighbor) Romanian perspective. Of course, as all EU, people (sheeples) here are eager to (absurdly) take a honor in portraying UKR as heroes. It didn’t matter that after the Tsarist Empire felt, Ukraine was the 1st country to try to annex Moldova (former Romanian territory annexed by Russians). It didn’t happened because Romanian army intervene and secured Moldova as an independent state. Still, considerable territories and more important, population is now under the border of Ukr. Half million Romanian ethnic live there (mostly in Bucovina) making it the 2nd largest minority after Russians. After their Maidan, the new Ukr government has decided that all schools in Romanian to be shut down. Some diplomatic actions were made but without any results. Doing so for Russian language, what were they expected?

    Romania has suffered a lot because of Russian influence (read Communists) but the most suffering was made by our fellow countrymen (like Ceausescu) by projecting a totalitarian state more than the Russians have ever asked. In other words, countries like Hungary or (former) Yugoslavia were better off. I’m not siding with Russia, just saying that neutrality should be an important topic in this conflict.

    Do Russia want more than just a piece of Ukr? Maybe, maybe not. People here (and all Eastern EU) are afraid of this possibility. Still, since the fell of Soviet Union we had no reason to believe this could be the case. Could it be now the case? This should be addressed with facts or obvious intents, not based on a historic premises.

  6. Raymond Howard
    April 18, 2022 at 16:01

    Oh, dear! Couldn’t you have disagreed with Iris Murdoch without belittling her. I really liked “A Severed Head”! She was much more entertaining than Sartre – and better looking.

    I think the moral absurdities surrounding the Ukrainian invasion are better explained by the famous Hanna Arendt quotation:
    “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between the true and the false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”
    I think this thought, which is quite observant, is better put in this quotation from an old song:
    “In the year 3535
    Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
    Everything you think, do, and say
    Is in the pills you took today”

    Most people are programmable. If they weren’t, we could not have civilizations. We must accept this fact. Then, if, where, and where possible, trick that majority into waking up to its own aesthetic and moral faculties – which have been mostly dormant since early childhood. Insulting them, their institutions, and their patriotic or ethical passion plays won’t help – although it can be very entertaining, as this piece is.

    • W!ldcard
      April 21, 2022 at 16:26

      Someone said “it’s easier to fool someone than convince them they’ve been fooled”. I am seeing an all-pervasive intelligence, unachievable by any human, who made its own blend of fiction and reality, undetectable to the great masses. Why leave the matrix? It would be unbearably boring out there! It would be a life without surprises, a life without laughter. Better to stay in and get to know all of the characters who teach you, poke you, and live in your Heart and Soul.

  7. David Otness
    April 18, 2022 at 13:59

    Patrick Lawrence is among the best of contemporary American thought.
    I say this having been a keen observer of our times, and of United States culture, from the perspective of one who is now so alienated and against it, this from having had to have made severe and irrevocable choices for truth over the ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’s’ blandishments with which the true dominating powers behind US government have managed to corrupt the far too many. The stated acquiescent of its citizens which sadly, pathetically, seem to constitute an apparent majority, and withal, making me an eternal stranger in an ever stranger to me, land. Estrangement. Yes, that is the appropriate word and sensation.

    This evil unleashed upon the world by the select few who determine this country’s course is, if left unchecked—humanity’s chains reforged. This evil unleashed under the guise of ‘bringing democracy’—is only held in abeyance by Russia’s opposition to the West taking place in Ukraine by proxy. And soon enough, China and maybe even India. And don’t count Pakistan as down and out just yet. And that makes one helluva lineup against Wall Street, its satrapies and minions.

    As for the Western forces involved so far in this combat, the grunts serve a hidden master unknowingly, most of them. It is a tragedy of history repeated now so many thousands of times, giving up youth and perhaps their lives for the worst humanity has produced, or more correctly stated, what the forces of darkness and malevolence have produced using human gullibility for a catalyst.
    I write this knowing my thoughts presented here are being monitored; there is little escape from Sauron’s Eye. But I have taken my stand. For humanity.
    Sam Clemens / Mark Twain speaks my mind here:
    “The modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism is loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.”

  8. Carolyn aka Cookie
    April 18, 2022 at 12:35

    Thank you for this informative article. As a long-time admirer of Iris Murdoch’s novels, I consider her a first rate novelist. So do many others (web search of her awards and affirmations by other novelists. critics, readers). She taught Philosophy for many years. Did she consider herself a philosopher? I don’t think so, but yes, her philosophy (of life) was likely woven into her novels. I could perhaps, but have not the time or energy, to say why I love her novels…..except this: her compassion and understanding of human love in its desires and limitations, the twists and turns in seeking love, making mistakes, etc. touches the heart and soul of many readers, as myself. Through dark times in my life, I felt her kindness touch me, give hope, help me forgive myself and others. / May peace prevail in our weary world.

  9. Henry Smith
    April 18, 2022 at 09:49

    On Counterpunch …
    They appear to have been ‘got at’. Their emphasis currently is very much the ‘official’/USA narrative without any balanced discussions of other viewpoints. The Russians did it, don’t you know …
    More time in the bank for me, not wasted on their biased reporting.

    • J Anthony
      April 18, 2022 at 22:39

      Not all of them. But I was taken aback by Paul Street’s dissing of Consortium News in his article yesterday.

    • RC
      April 19, 2022 at 10:17

      Counterpunch got very stale after Alex Cockburn died. They no longer present a counter narrative to anything.

  10. April 17, 2022 at 20:47

    By the way I just would like to tell you good socialist humanist people, that our brother Tom Feeley (The owner of Information Clearinghouse news site hxxp:// has leukemia and he needs funds, to pay for his treatment, because as you know medical care is privatized because of the neoliberal economic model that we have in this country. Since Jesus Christ was the founder of socialism and we are celebrating easter which is related to the founder of socialism (Jesus), we should all donate some money so that we can Tom Feeley fighting capitalism, imperialism, zionism and oppression for many many years. If i was rich I would pay for his complete treatment and I would build a socialist hospital for poor low income people, offering medical services for free

  11. Dave Emory
    April 17, 2022 at 19:23

    On the balance, an excellent article, characteristic of the (thankfully) incisively truthful coverage one finds on “Consortium News.”

    Thanks you, Joe Lauria and Patrick Lawrence!

    I think, however, that the commenters who have pointed to serious doubts about the veracity of the accounts coming out of Bucha and Mariupol are on the mark.

    The Ukrainian police are the sources informing most “journalists” covering these “atrocities.” Note the quotation marks.

    The nature of those police can be gleaned from the picture accompanying this “Guardian” article, showing the Azov’s National Druzhyna Militia, which enjoy police powers in much of Ukraine.


    Keep up the great work, Patrick and Joe!

  12. April 17, 2022 at 17:53

    The Ukrainians are human shields for American War Narcissism. Beneath the knight-in-shining-armor act is an ugly truth that Consortium has been detailing. The bright side to the dark side is that there is a good chance, for once, the people who routinely get us into these wars will most likely be utterly destroyed in this one. Until they at last do some bleeding of their own noncompliance is the best option for those of us who do not suck up to the imperium. Indeed, we should make a law that you have to bleed in any war you expect other people’s children to bleed in.

    • DHFabian
      April 17, 2022 at 23:48

      Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union, has been an independent country for some years. They’ve been in a years-long conflict between each other — those who want to align with the West vs. those who want to maintain their alliance with Russia. Putin had called for bringing in international diplomatic teams to work with Ukraine toward resolving those conflicts. The US has other plans, and soundly ridiculed Putin’s idea. Since taking office, Biden has moved tens of thousands of US/NATO troops into Eastern Europe, along Ukraine’s western border, and now along a segment of Russia’s border – a direct threat to Russia. The US is fine with trampling the people of Ukraine under, with an assumed goal of building missile bases near the Ukraine/Russian border. Russia pushes back, as this presents an immediate danger to Russia. (Picture a line of Russian/Chinese missile bases along the US/Canada border.) Democrats refer to this as “Putin’s war crimes.”

      • susan mullen
        April 18, 2022 at 02:27

        Ukraine has been a US Colony since 1990, specifically a George Soros Colony since 1989. Ukraine Pres. Poroshenko gave Soros an award in 2015 for his then 25 years of “service” to Ukraine. If your country agrees to accept US or Soros “help” your country is going to experience worse hell than you ever imagined. On US behalf, Soros spent two years planning the 2014 US violent overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government. US selected its new PM, Yatsenyuk (“Yats is the guy.”). Since 1990 billions of US taxpayer dollars have flooded into Ukraine. US personnel, including Biden when he was US VP, have virtually run the place for many years. Ukraine has been de-industrialized, transnational agri-business is in place. Accordingly, after all this US “help,” Ukraine became the poorest country in Europe along with being the Mexico of Europe–many Ukrainians have to leave their families and look for work in other countries. Then they send their pay back home in form of “remittances.”

        • ks
          April 18, 2022 at 17:38

          Ran across this recently:
          “MOFFETT AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif. – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, adjutant general of the California National Guard, left, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, and California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis visit the California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Air National Guard Base, California, Sept. 2, 2021. The California National Guard and Ukraine State Partnership Program was established in 1993 through the Department of Defense to develop and strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine.”

  13. ks
    April 17, 2022 at 17:50

    “We are not, if I read Murdoch correctly, responsible for making judgments. Kindness, compassion, love — these are moral values, universal values. They’re all we’ve got.”

    This is interesting. I was struck by leftists (people I like and admire) who, despite understanding this war as one waged by the US against Russia, always finished up with, “but the invasion is terrible.” What was Russia supposed to do with people who had no interest in negotiating? Who had installed missiles and possible bio-weapons labs near its border? Who were apparently preparing an invasion of the Donbas and an attempt to take back Crimea? It’s easy to take a virtuous stance from the sidelines, when no one is threatening to kill you, but it does seem to me an evasion of responsibility for making judgments.

    • Tobysgirl
      April 18, 2022 at 14:51

      Many people live in the Land of Unreality, and they have few answers to life’s real-world problems. There’s a commenter on Deep Green Resistance who believes, as I do, that war is horrible and that diversity of life is important. However, he does not want to deal with real-world problems such as Nazism, and I fully support fighting a war against fascism. I have never been comfortable enough, either economically or mentally, to evade making judgments about people I meet, politicians I abhor, political movements designed to deprive people (usually women and children) of their basic rights.

      Once upon a time, genuine leftists knew they were required to make judgments, sometimes very harsh judgments.

  14. Drew Hunkins
    April 17, 2022 at 17:27

    Fabulous essay Mr. Lawrence.

  15. Richard L
    April 17, 2022 at 16:59

    I believe that there is a good reason why people follow the herd. There are dogs outside the flock barking and showing their teeth. Think of the people loosing their jobs just for expressing their opinions online, or those locked in prison all across the West like Julian Assange. Journalists need their weekly paycheck as anyone else and they loose it if they rock the boat too much. Our illusion is to believe the West is different than Irak or China when it comes to free speech: we have it, they don’t. In fact we are all in the same boat.

    As people of Irak said after being “liberated” from the Sadam Hussein regime: we always could speak out our mind under Sadam as long as we were not threatening the regime. I think the same applies across our Western world. The same is true in China. That is not the kind of free speech we need.

    I am repeating here what someone else wrote: Freedom of speech is not the freedom to tell what the authorities want to hear but rather the right to tell otherwise. Adults in society shall have been trained to handle the public discourse with civility, authenticity and intelligence.

  16. Frank Lambert
    April 17, 2022 at 12:31

    So many great comments by Thinking people whose Hearts and Minds are in the right direction for doing their best in being informed on the issues of the day, especially on Consortium News. Mr. Patrick Lawrence is a shinning star, and I think most of us share his frustration, anguish, disappointment, and sadness at our fellow Americans and in the puppet states of Europe. Like others, I thank Joe Lauria and the staff of CN for publishing Patrick’s articles, along with the other fine, truth-telling and fact-checking writers published on this website.

    On Counterpunch – yep, I agree they took the wrong turn, and I haven’t looked at that website for years, and Common Dreams for even longer!

    I have agreed with Paul Craig Roberts for many years, about his passionate concerns why Putin and the Russian government let things get out of hand in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, while literally kicked around by the decadent, war-like West, and methinks PCR was correct in his analysis.

    Odd (or maybe not) that the MSM in Amerika and vassal Europe don’t mention the Ukrainian Nazis hardly at all, but consistently demonize Putin or why so many right-wing Jewish people support the UkoNazis. Then again, several generations have passed, and “times, they are a changin’.”

    Just the other day, I was having a discussion about the necessity of the Russian Federation finally sending in the troops to protect their people and Russia’s borders, and was told (by a middle-aged adult!) that Putin said that if the Russians lose in Ukraine, Black Lives Matter will take over in Russia! We are living in ” a bizarre world” which Huxley, Lewis, Orwell and others had prescient visions on what might be “coming down the pike” in the future.

    I cannot believe the willful ignorance and lack of critical thinking on a wide array of topics by the American people, especially college graduates!

  17. Vincent ANDERSON
    April 17, 2022 at 09:56

    I would hate to use the word ‘funny’ in this forum, but…congrats to Mr. Lawrence for staying on topic! Maybe we could inject a bit of pagan wisdom into this brief Holy-day break from the battle fronts.

    Plato, in defending his ‘prudential paradox,’ sc. that ‘it is profitable [despite worldly appearances] to be just,’ had this to say (Republic, Shorey tr.) about the ultimate psychological battle front. Some obvious parallels to Lawrence’s take on the G.B. Reef!

    “…Similarly, the unjust man who attempts injustice rightly must be supposed to escape detection if he is to be altogether unjust, and we must regard the man who is caught as a bungler.1 For the height of injustice2 is to seem just without being so. To the perfectly unjust man, then, we must assign perfect injustice and withhold nothing of it, but we must allow him, while committing the greatest wrongs, to have secured for himself the greatest reputation for justice; [361b] and if he does happen to trip,3 we must concede to him the power to correct his mistakes by his ability to speak persuasively if any of his misdeeds come to light, and when force is needed, to employ force by reason of his manly spirit and vigor and his provision of friends and money; and when we have set up an unjust man of this character, our theory must set the just man at his side—a simple and noble man, who, in the phrase of Aeschylus, does not wish to seem but be good. Then we must deprive him of the seeming.4 For if he is going to be thought just [361c] he will have honors and gifts because of that esteem. We cannot be sure in that case whether he is just for justice’ sake or for the sake of the gifts and the honors. So we must strip him bare of everything but justice and make his state the opposite of his imagined counterpart.5 Though doing no wrong he must have the repute of the greatest injustice, so that he may be put to the test as regards justice through not softening because of ill repute and the consequences thereof. But let him hold on his course unchangeable even unto death, [361d] seeming all his life to be unjust though being just, that so, both men attaining to the limit, the one of injustice, the other of justice, we may pass judgement which of the two is the happier.”

    “Bless me, my dear Glaucon,” said I, “how strenuously you polish off each of your two men for the competition for the prize as if it were a statue.6” “To the best of my ability,” he replied, “and if such is the nature of the two, it becomes an easy matter, I fancy, to unfold the tale of the sort of life that awaits each. [361e] We must tell it, then; and even if my language is somewhat rude and brutal,7 you must not suppose, Socrates, that it is I who speak thus, but those who commend injustice above justice. What they will say is this: that such being his disposition the just man will have to endure the lash, the rack, chains, [362a] the branding-iron in his eyes, and finally, after every extremity of suffering, he will be crucified,1 and so will learn his lesson that not to be but to seem just is what we ought to desire. And the saying of Aeschylus2 was, it seems, far more correctly applicable to the unjust man. For it is literally true, they will say, that the unjust man, as pursuing what clings closely to reality, to truth, and not regulating his life by opinion, desires not to seem but to be unjust,“ Exploiting the deep furrows of his wit ” [362b] “ From which there grows the fruit of counsels shrewd,” Aesch. Seven 592-594,

    “first office and rule in the state because of his reputation for justice, then a wife from any family he chooses, and the giving of his children in marriage to whomsoever he pleases, dealings and partnerships with whom he will, and in all these transactions advantage and profit for himself because he has no squeamishness about committing injustice; and so they say that if he enters into lawsuits, public or private, he wins and gets the better of his opponents, and, getting the better,3 is rich and benefits his friends [362c] and harms his enemies4; and he performs sacrifices and dedicates votive offerings to the gods adequately and magnificently,5 and he serves and pays court6 to men whom he favors and to the gods far better than the just man, so that he may reasonably expect the favor of heaven7 also to fall rather to him than to the just. So much better they say, Socrates, is the life that is prepared for the unjust man from gods and men than that which awaits the just.”

  18. Manifold Destiny
    April 17, 2022 at 08:13

    Great comments and a lively discussion. Instead of replying individually, I will attempt to summarize my thoughts on this fine article along with some of those who contributed.

    On Bucha – We must be careful to jump to conclusions either way. Re-reading Mr Ritter’s essay, it is clear he is asking for forensic evidence to determine the time of death definitively, cautions his readers that he is gathering facts himself from a great distance, and is really chastising the US government, and Biden, for jumping to the “Putin is guilty” conclusion before any such evidence has been accumulated (if it ever will).

    On Ideology – Let’s keep this quote in mind: “I think ideology is toxic, all ideology. It’s not that there are good ones and bad ones. All ideology is toxic, because ideology is a kind of insult to the gift of human free thinking.” – Terence McKenna

    On Counterpunch – I don’t understand what is going on with them either. They seem to be punching down, not “countering.” I will no longer be supporting them.

    On Cuchulainn – Thanks, Mk, for clearing up the story. It sounds like Blowback by metaphor. However, when it comes to foreign policy, I would point out that, according to the esteemed Prof Mearsheimer, all States act in their own self-interest following the Thucydides dictum, “The strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must.” I find it sad but unfortunately, realistic. Oh, and George Bush is an art hero, Dick Cheney gets feted by Congress, and Condoleezza Rice can get on national TV, and admit with a straight face, with no fear of rebuttal, that invading a sovereign country is, indeed, a war crime.

    On olive oil – The Italians don’t always do what is right. They rarely protest (compared to the French), they join the wrong sides in military conflicts, but they’re not stupid when it comes to food. Every Italian knows the best olive oil stays in Italy. They only export the inferior pressings which is often then combined with Greek and Spanish oils for worldwide distribution. In America, finding the “best” olive oil is a fool’s errand, LOL!

    Happy Easter, everyone. Thanks for being here, CN.

    • Tim N
      April 18, 2022 at 07:37

      Actually, Counterpunch has been sliding downhill since the advent of Trump. During Russiagate though, I read some if the best stuff about that insane charade there. But then the Trump freak out geared up in earnest again; I was scolded by Paul Street and others for even thinking about not voting for Biden in terms they seemed to have gotten directly from the DNC. Where Before Trump I would read 80 or ninety percent of the articles there, there are days now where I skip the site entirely. I still read Jeff St. Clair’s weekly piece though, though I disagree with some of his observations. A sign of the rotten times.

    • April 18, 2022 at 10:59

      My wife is Italian and she buys Olive Oil from Homegoods. They have Italian products from Italy. She doesn’t touch Italian food in grocery stores or restaurant.

  19. Neville
    April 17, 2022 at 05:30

    Another ‘Great Barrington Declaration’ that is destined to fail due to the crushing corruption and stupidity that pervades society !

  20. Deniz
    April 16, 2022 at 23:47

    This story is like tasting rain drops in the dessert.

    It’s nice to know these kind of intellects still exist.

    • Duane
      April 17, 2022 at 04:43

      Beautifully said, and I could not agree more!

  21. zhenry
    April 16, 2022 at 21:14

    Two great articles, special easter eggs, from Patrick Lawrence and Pepe Escobar, thank you Consortium News.

    • zhenry
      April 16, 2022 at 21:19

      Two great articles, a special easter gift, from Patrick Lawrence and Pepe Escobar, thank you Consortium News.

  22. forceOfHabit
    April 16, 2022 at 18:03

    Brilliant essay!

  23. April 16, 2022 at 18:00

    I was disappointed that Lawrence made no mention of Nazis in Ukraine which I think is exceedingly important in understanding what is happening there. I certainly agree that Americans are all caught up in the horror that our MSM is presenting. Since only CN and a very few other sites are presenting anything to combat that view, it’s not surprising that most citizens believe the lies they are told. As an aside, I find it interesting and slightly curious that after reading the other comments, only women have made any comments about the lies being told -specifically Bucha, and one even used the word Nazi that is never mentioned in US press. Since I am a woman as well, I say thank you to Maggie, Jan, Kay, and Carolyn for trying to get the truth out.
    Mr Lawrence didn’t seem interested in that at this point. He is not alone. I read the Intercept interview with Noam Chomsky and in that very long discussion not one word about Nazis appeared; this is true I note of almost everyone. So I feel I must ask CN, is there an order out from the government that if you discuss Nazis that the government will shut you down, or in some way or another punish you? The silence on this subject is becoming deafening to me and I’m becoming concerned. It seems to me that if people knew how powerful the Nazis are in Ukraine government that they might comprehend that much of what they hear from Zelensky and others is not fully true; or at least consider that that might be the case.
    I’m old enough- to remember WWII so I have a different idea of Nazis; my idea is more like the Russian view- and they are the ones who had their sons and fathers etc. killed by Nazis (27 MILLION of them!). Nazis are not simply a version of racist right wing actors, their view is much more terrifying, so Americans who think “Nazi” is just another word for “fascist” are not aware of just how frightening these people are. I think we need to start talking about this. I hope CN will lead the way.

      April 16, 2022 at 23:53

      Consortium News, including Patrick Lawrence, has written extensively about the role of neo-Nazis in Ukraine, beginning back in 2014 by our founding editor Robert Parry, who was one of the first to focus on the issue.

    • Rob Roy
      April 17, 2022 at 23:14

      Mr. Lawrence does write, “Mass acquiescence largely leads us to an explanation of the preposterous support most Americans have for the criminal regime in Kiev.” Those readers here know about the Nazis and that Zelensky is an idiot as well as corrupt and put in place by a Ukrainian oligarch and is his puppet.
      This article is inspiring. It’s beautifully written and one of the best intellectual content I’ve read, among all CN’s great writings.

      [BTW, What in hell happened in Counterpunch today with the screed against CN and one of my go-to guys Ben Norton by Paul Street? Anyone know?]

      • Tim N
        April 18, 2022 at 07:44

        Street has become increasingly unhinged, I’m sorry to say, and although I saw his byline in this weekends edition, I no longer read his stuff. He used to be the first one I went to, but his writing is simply awful at this point. He and a couple other Left writers there seem to think they have the last word on everything. This is the same Marxist historian who demanded that all good leftists vote for Biden. Or else. Paul is obsessed with Trump (and by extension Putin), and it’s destroying his perceptions. He’s devolved onto a sort of Leftie hall monitor.

        • Tobysgirl
          April 18, 2022 at 14:59

          A leftie hall monitor! HAHAHAHA!

    • michael888
      April 18, 2022 at 10:27

      My father, like most American males at the time, served in WWII. He talked about the indoctrination of the troops against NAZIs and Japs!, something that went so deep in many young soldiers that it could not be erased in Peacetime. (He was dismissive of the McCarthy hearings as ‘It’s all sound and fury, signifying nothing’ (MacBeth); there were no bombs or bodies, although lives were ruined, as today with freezing people’s bank accounts for straying for the narrative). Later generations of my military family, many serving in VietNam, were stunned by the “switch” in peace to Trade with the Communists, as with Clinton’s giving Favored Nation trading status to China. The bottom line is that our politicians have no regard for the Blood and Treasure of the bottom 90% of Americans, and their Proclamations are invariably self-serving hot air; they and their friends are much more concerned with opportunistic, corrupt war profiteering than “Americn democracy”– which has become an oxymoron.
      So now Biden has embraced a country led by NAZIs, who are at least as despicable as the Russians (somehow our sworn enemy). White supremacy and war crimes by Ukrainians are not just tolerated, but glorified by our State Media and all atrocities blamed on Russians, with evidence no longer needed (or allowed). Although not at war yet, all opposition to the Ukrainian NAZIs is being censored, bit by bit. Mariupol was well known as the regional center for the Azov NAZIs, “captured” after the Maidan Coup in 2014, and a major obvious target of Russian De-Nazification. Of course this was omitted by State Media who pretended Mariupol was just a typical Ukrainian city under Russian attack (I awoke to someone, I believe on NBC, claiming “there are no NAZIs in Ukraine”. )
      Obviously there are dissenting views on CN (sometimes I think Scott Ritter may be over-reacting to State Media lies out of frustration). The Grayzone has also done an excellent job:
      Good to hear the other side, not surpringly the more credible side.

  24. Carol E. Lisker
    April 16, 2022 at 17:48

    I loved the article by Patrick Lawrence about the sheeple of Great Barrington, MA. They sound just like the sheeple of the town where I live, outside of Philadelphia. Everyone is constantly virtue signaling about how woke he/she is, with lots of Black Lives Matter signs and Hate Has No Home Here signs. But when it comes right down to it, they all hate Russians because they are told to in their favorite newspaper, the New York Times.
    I was very much involved with a Friends of the Library group whose sole mission is to support the local library, financially and otherwise. However, they decided to start collecting money for the Ukraine (who knows where this money ends up), and therefore I parted ways with the organization. When I tried to explain my political position, the current president stopped speaking to me. (I had been the president previously.) My main objection is that the organization has a clear mission, which has nothing to do with the Ukraine or any other political issue.
    I appreciated reading Lawrence’s thoughts and feelings as he walked around town. These people who cannot even find Ukraine on a map and have absolutely no knowledge of any of the history, or of NATO’s agenda, are so busy virtue signaling that they cannot hear us, nor do they want to.
    Thanks again, Consortium News, for your wonderful reporting and commentary.

    • Airlane1979
      April 17, 2022 at 03:17

      Whilst I can understand why you feel contempt for your fellow humans who don’t possess the insights and political acumen you do, if you wish them to take you and your arguments seriously you will need to stop referring to them as “sheeple”. If what you wrote in your comment is similar to how you spoke to the president of Friends of the Library, I am unsurprised that they stopped speaking to you. Being right is no excuse for arrogance.

      • Cara
        April 17, 2022 at 12:38

        Adults have a responsibility to inform themselves, to engage critical thinking, to be aware and wary of propaganda directed at them, to resist censorship, to know even a modicum of history. When they fail that they are indeed sheeple. But perhaps Caitlin Johnstone’s characterization is more apt: they are “bootlickers.” The responsibility for this war can to some significant degree be justly be laid at the feet of an ignorant and brainwashed American populace. The consequences of such willful stupidity, laziness, and lack of basic curiosity on the part of a majority of America citizens (many of whom support censorship) is potential nuclear war. And we’re supposed to nice?

        • Eddy Schmid
          April 18, 2022 at 03:09

          Agree totally with your post Cara.. I am sick to death of the so called “do gooders” constantly bleating that they are peaceful citizens and against war, ect, ect. Yet when you inform these very same people of the events that led up to this war, they plead ignorance, despite the media publicising these events regularly since Sept 14 and the Maiden coup. We all saw the burning buildings the Nazis set alight with the people inside being burnt to death. Yet not one individual has ever been held to account for that murderous event. The “do gooders’ claim innocence by having no knowledge. Would you believe that ? Then the events in Ukraine with the illegal installed Govt passing laws, that made speaking their native Russian illegal. Again, the “do gooders’ claim ignorance again, and allegedly have no knowledge of those events. Then we have Putin, ever since that date, he has made no secret of his concerns or views, which are published widely around the World for all to see/read/hear. Yet the “do gooders’ dismiss those concerns as if they are of no concern of theirs. Yet, when the penny finally drops, and Putin puts into action, what he has said, over and over again, (that westeners have shrugged off and even laughed at,) all of a sudden, he’s become another Hitler ?????????? W.T.F. ? I have no more time for such ignorant idiots. Some folks will no doubt accuse me of being arrogant, as some already on here have done to other posters. TOUGH, doesn’t bother me one bit. If such people are unable to see the wood for the trees, IMHO, they deserve everything that’s coming their way. Notice too, with all the vilification directed at Putin and the Russian people’s, it seems that no one is all of a sudden concerned about global warming ???? Isn’t that strange ? Let’s face it, prior to the Ukraine war, the headlines were full of Global warming and the pandemic, yet now it seems those concerns are relegated to the back pages, IF written about at all. So the question must be asked, where is the concern for those issues ??? America wants this war to go on until Russia is defeated, apparently if that takes 5-10 or more years, is of no consequence, as long as Russian goes broke, they’re O.K. with that. BUT, where is their alleged concern for the atmosphere, and the damage being done to it with this war, which the U.S. and it’s Western sycophants support 100%. The CO2 we were told is so dangerous and damaging, we needed to cut it back, is all of a sudden, blossoming outrageously, with nary a concern of the damage being caused. The M.I.C. has pulled out all the stops, and is now in full swing producing military equipment as fast as the Russians are blowing it up, no one is concerned of the repercussions of these actions it seems. Is it just me, that sees this behaviour of mankind as a bunch of Lemmings, totally out of control, rushing towards the inevitable end of civilisation as we know it. Bring on the nuclear war, I say, the planet will thank us, for giving it time to breathe and repair the damage, humans have done throughout the ages.

          • Tobysgirl
            April 18, 2022 at 15:02

            Your comment reminds me of Toni Morrison’s statement in one of her novels (The Bluest Eye?): An innocent man is a sin in the eyes of God. That’s for people who plead innocence when someone points out the terrible deeds done, often in the very name of those who plead innocence.

        • Jeff Harrison
          April 18, 2022 at 19:53

          Now that’s the Cara I remember.

      • April 17, 2022 at 15:08

        How else does one speak to sheeple? I am 70 years old, and I have been a proud member of the left/socialist minority for more than half of my 70 years. I marched and demonstrated against the U.S. Contra war in Nicaragua, and I worked to end Apartheid in South Africa and in Palestinian. I demonstrated against the U.S. criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when the Democratic President Bill Clinton and NATO attacked Serbia in 1999 in violation of all the known UN protocols against attacking a sovereign Nation, I was confronted with Democratic Party sheeple in ways that I could not imagine. People whom I worked with to organize demonstrations and other political activities against wars and atrocities committed during Republican administrations turned into Democratic Party sheeple. People who proclaimed themselves to be “progressives” were nothing but hacks. Now with Biden in office, whom I did not support, but voted for as there was no other choice in the end, I see the same thing happening again: People without morality, fighting for party over humanity and truth. So, again I ask: How do you talk to sheepl?

    • Daniel Good
      April 17, 2022 at 04:12


    • JonnyJames
      April 17, 2022 at 13:10

      Exactly. And then there is the rank ignorance, hypocrisy (and racism?) of the virtue-signalling, so-called liberal crowd. They want to raise money for the blue-eyed, blond haired European Ukrainians, but near total silence about Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, Syria, Palestine, Libya, Iraq, etc. etc. All victims should be treated equally, even those from Donbass who have been victims of neo-Nazi Ukrainian units. The US govt is directly responsible for the massive crimes and atrocities in these places. The US (and UK) have stolen billions from Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Venezuela etc. and slammed the doors on refugees. Where are the appeals for Afghan, Yemeni, Palestinian, Haitian, folks? Many of these are starving (no hyperbole). To add insult to injury, the Trump/Biden regime has slammed the door on refugees and immigrants from the darker-hued places. But now Congress has many billions for weapons for Ukraine.

    • April 17, 2022 at 17:38

      You are most welcome, Carol, as are all others contributing comments.
      The Ukraine crisis is that question that seems to crystallize our time here in America, very like the way the Soviet Union did from the late-1940s onward. It’s a Puritan cleansing ritual in each case. More to say abt this in a column to come.
      There’s noting to be done abt this except stay to one’s integrity whatever the cost or consequences, and hope people finally come to their senses, however unlikely this latter may seem to us now.
      I hope you and all persent here who observe have had a Happy Easter.

      • James Harris
        April 18, 2022 at 20:10

        Here’s to Patrick spending a little more time praying than pontificating.

    • Rob Roy
      April 17, 2022 at 23:23

      I know what you mean. It’s the same in my town. I was in an Albertson’s and when I used my debit card, the machine asked me if I wanted to donate any amount to Ukraine. It made me want to scream, “Why wasn’t I asked to donate to the Iraqis that were being killed for twenty years, or to the Afghans for the same reason and are starving to death, or the Yeminis being murdered with our weapons and likewise starving, or the Libyans….. or…..?” I was so furious I caused a scene. I didn’t scream or throw things, just spoke loudly. People just stared at me. But one man followed me outside and said he agreed with me, though that’s rare.

  25. Humwawa
    April 16, 2022 at 17:46

    There never was a proper investigation of the Maidan shootings in 2014. The prosecutor general from the ultra rightwing Svoboda party (who got the job as reward for the role the right-wing militias played in overthrowing the elected president) knew how to sabotage the investigation and destroy the evidence. In the end, the right-wing thugs were pardoned while police officers who had to defend the State against violent protesters were prosecuted. That is the founding act of the post-Maidan regime. That is the myth enshrined in the Order of the “Heavenly Hundred”, Ukrainians and foreigner politicians have to pay their respect to, if they don’t want to appear as traitors in the eyes of the regime.

    Other than curtailing the rights of Russian speaking Ukrainians, the regime has also reinstated Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera (whose organization is responsible for the killing of about 100,000 Jews and Poles during WWII) as a national hero of Ukraine. The greeting of “glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes” of the Banderites has been popularized and is now widely used even by Westerners who seem to be unaware of its Nazi affiliation. The problem is not that 2.5% of Ukrainians vote an extreme right-wing party, the problem is that Bandera-inspired ultra-nationalism has become mainstream in Ukraine.

    The chaotic way in which the false flag operations have been implemented seems to be an expression of the deranged state of mind of the rightwing thuggery. What’s the purpose of writing “for the children” (probably meaning “in revenge for the children the Russians are supposed to have killed”), on a rocket that lands on civilians in front of a train station? Did they intend to fire the rocket into rebel-held territory? Or did a commander just decide to stage a false flag without thinking how the “for the children” would look like? Did the Azov fighters in Bucha kill Russian sympathizers and leave the white armband exposed on the corpses to show what happens to Russian sympathizers, and did somebody else then use the corpses to stage a false flag while forgetting to remove the white armbands? The Kyiv thuggery seems to have a thing about killing children. A journalist ranted on a Ukrainian TV channel about wanting to kill the children of the Moscovites, while not so long ago, president Poroshenko was ranting about bombing the Donbas so the children would have to live in cellars.

    The West is making a heroic effort of looking the other way, but as with Saddam’s WMDs, lies of that magnitude will be exposed in the end. The blowback will be devastating. Just like the dollar is about to lose credibility, Western regimes and the media are going to lose credibility. This is going to end in tears.

  26. Bob Gardner
    April 16, 2022 at 17:19

    I hope Mr Lawrence gets over to Arrowhead in Pittsfield. Where Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick.

    • April 17, 2022 at 17:41

      Been several times. It’s something like sacred ground, isn’t it? That room where he wrote, w/ the desk facing the inspiring mountain. , Greylock, v moving. I loved the improvised mural downstairs, were the extended family convened. Those must’ve been happy years.

  27. Caliman
    April 16, 2022 at 16:49

    While I agree completely re the appropriateness of the “Brave New World” relation to our current American circumstance, there’s the other prophetic book of the past which seems appropriate as well:

    “The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in.” (1984)

    It is indeed good to know what to do, who to hate, who to cheer, do so with gusto, and then pay your $7 for a nice latte to enjoy with the other well-adjusted NY Times reading fellow good people. It is wonderful to always be right or, of wrong, to be wrong for the right reason.

    • Tobysgirl
      April 17, 2022 at 15:51

      Only it’s no longer a Two Minutes Hate, it goes on forever. Americans apparently have a deep need for someone to demonize because they’re always hungry for it. It never occurs to them to look at themselves and see the demon within.

      • irina
        April 18, 2022 at 15:49

        An astute observation. I’ve been appalled for years at the vicious attitudes towards ordinary Russians,
        accepted as totally normal and even applauded. But then, the Exceptional (US) never do look within . . . .

  28. bonbon
    April 16, 2022 at 16:44

    Brilliant piece.
    Curiously, as Patrick Lawrence’s Newsletter, Cu Chulainn, derives from ancient Irish mythology, he precisely describes Galway, West Ireland, precisely Great Barringhton Massechusetts!
    Never mind that right now Ukrainian sunflower oil has vanished and much more expensive Olive Oil lingers on…

    Cu Chulainn, known as Setanta, was attacked by a wolf-hound, Conn, which he killed with a hurley and slither (leather ball) – the chieftain Culann adopted Setanta as his wolf-hound then, Cu Chulainn. A popular Irish sport since….

    Do Look up – Orion, the hunter constellation, has at his foot Sirius the Dog star, Canis Major, which went below the horizon around 6000BC.

    An Empire sets below the horizon, with astronomical momentum… Epics will be written…

    • Duane
      April 17, 2022 at 05:39

      Thank you for this interesting material on Irish mythology!

    • April 17, 2022 at 17:49

      A knowledgeable compadre. Excellent. Have you seen The Field, the Jim Sheridan film, 1990 or thereabouts? Only on the second time through, years after the first, did I understand the final scene, when the old man, shattered by the loss of his son and his flock running over the cliff into the sea, storms into the waves in a rage. A clear reference.
      The tragedy of life. The Japanese have the notion of “mono aware,” a phrase never far from my mind.

  29. April 16, 2022 at 16:42

    Great article, 100% correct. I would like to know the causes of why the progressive news site Counterpunch is so anti-Russia and anti-Putin. Do you think that Counterpunch might be funded by corporate elites of The Democratic Party, because I am skeptic and suspicious against the excess of Anti-Russia, anti-Putin articles of Counterpunch. I used to like Counterpunch, I thought they were ultra-leftists, marxists, radicals, but all of a sudden ideologically I think Counterpunch is turning into a social-democrat pseudo-leftist website, part of the middle class pro-war imperialist left, like Commondreams, The Young Turks, Democracy Now, David Packman, The Nation and other bourgeoise middle class leftist sites

    • Joe B
      April 17, 2022 at 12:44

      Counterpunch changed leadership a few years ago, and disappeared as a source of truth.
      Don’t have the details.

    • April 17, 2022 at 15:47

      I could not agree with you more about Counterpunch. It truly has missed the boat on this one. I am sickened by the phony leftist, often people who I used to look up to, who have become pettifoggers for NATO, the CIA and NED in support of late-stage capitalism and dollar hegemony. What is most mystifying to me is that after the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, Counterpunch published some exceptionally good articles on the subject about the US role in that coup, by people who seemed to have a particularly good understanding about the US/NATO objectives in Eastern Europe. Today, Counterpunch reads like a booster for the “be good sheeple movement” more suited for Raw Story than a real leftist magazine. Perhaps, just a little too much Spartacus bias you think?

    • Tobysgirl
      April 17, 2022 at 15:56

      I stopped reading Counterpunch years ago, though they published some good writers and articles, because they seemed like a bunch of overprivileged, unthinking white boys to me. I’m not surprised at their turn to pseudo-left nonsense and I can tell you why: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. There’s a lot of money out there if you’re willing to publish swill of the limp liberal variety, and it’s apparent that many pseudo-leftists come pretty cheap.

    • rosemerry
      April 17, 2022 at 17:16

      I completely agree about Counterpunch, which now is nothing of the sort I wrote to the editor recently about an article by Matthew Stevenson, which I found profoundly offensive and Russophobic, of the nature most of the MSM find normal. All the usual clichés and personal invective about Pres. Putin. Since then I have noticed many such contributions, but the “good articles” still form part of the mix.

      Keep up your good work CN. It really is appreciated.

      • Tim N
        April 18, 2022 at 08:08

        No, CounterPunch is NOT funded by the Dems. They are reader-supported. There’s nothing wrong with not liking Putin, but CP has been publishing what amounts to hatchet-jobs against Leftists with whom those writers disagree. The ones that I’ve read don’t bear reading. (There is an obsession with Glenn Greenwald too, though it’s subsided a bit lately). I blame a lot of this on Trump Derangement Syndrome. Paul Street refers to the “broke-brain Left,” in what sounds like classic projection. He spends a good deal of his time repeating points he’s made in dozens of columns before, and he often lists all the bad things Trump has done, and loves to come up with new and childishnick-names for Trump. An unfortunate development.

        • Tobysgirl
          April 18, 2022 at 15:09

          Counterpunch does not have to be funded by the Democratic Party in order to please their large contributors. It seems that all institutions can be corrupted when “readers” offer them large sums of money. Think about how much influence you would have at PBS if you offered them $10 million; I believe Bill Gates just gave $13 million to the Guardian, which many U.K. commenters excoriate and no longer subscribe to after many years of reading it.

      • Tim N
        April 18, 2022 at 08:10

        Yeah, Stevenson is awful. Just another CP writer I don’t read. That number has gotten larger over the last year.

  30. Mk
    April 16, 2022 at 16:26

    Your account of Cuchulainn’s death is wrong but symbolises for me what the real weakness of America – or any empire – is: an inability to fully engage with the world outside your borders, or to recognize it as equal in value & wisdom, mistaking temporary power for permanent superiority. The warrior Cuchulainn was put under a spell to fight against the tide for 3 days in order that he not kill those he was enraged with. In the end, he was killed by the children of one of the many enemies he had murdered during a lifetime of warmongering. A bit like what’s in store for the US?

    • April 17, 2022 at 17:54

      So far as I know, MK, there are countless versions of the Cu Chulainn myths, I draw from a few, but the one I most like and count is in W.B. Yeat’s noted poem, which concludes:

      In three days’ time, Cuchulain with a moan
      Stood up, and came to the long sands alone:
      For four days warred he with the bitter tide;
      And the waves flowed above him, and he died.

      Yeats also wrote a play on the topic, On Baile’s Strand.



  31. Tobysgirl
    April 16, 2022 at 16:25

    Always a delight to read Patrick Lawrence. I am totally familiar with what he is writing: My sister-in-law whined that she was scared of Putin. My husband suggested she should be scared of Biden, then I asked her what she knew of Ukraine. Absolutely nothing, of course, but swallowing PBS Newshour propaganda without even chewing.

    And this is why I began despising liberals many years ago. What was one definition of a liberal? Someone who wouldn’t even support her own point of view in an argument. The reasons liberals and conservatives hate each other so much is their deep resemblance to each other, fundamentally no thinking, just knee-jerk responses to whatever propaganda they’ve just heard. And the American habit of stroking oneself for “being seen to be good and kind and compassionate” is truly nauseating. I just realized why PBS sometimes has good documentaries about a subject such as a housing project in Atlanta: Liberals watch the program and congratulate themselves on not being racist because they watched the program, then they continue investing in corporations which dominate and exploit African-Americans (and anyone else they can find to exploit).

  32. April 16, 2022 at 16:15

    Washington DC and it’s US Government funded Nazi’s are the only public pretenders that would authorize, organize, fund, torture and murder the people in Bucha or anywhere else and then advertise the images on State Run tel em a vision as a war crime by Russia within a hour of the murders taking place the U.S. claimed to know all the facts and claim it was Russia the Big Scary Boogeyman. It’s official propaganda designed to gin up support for more HATO NATO war funding in Ukraine. You can be sure the United States and their puppet Zelenskii in Ukraine is the actual party responsible for the Bucha Murders. The only group I know of that would torture, handcuff and murder is the actors acting in the name of Washington DC and it’s corporate United States doing business as public pretenders, they are in fact the only actors I know of that will torture, and murder innocent people to move the U.S. war agenda forward with the ultimate goal of regime change in Russia and China.

    • Henry
      April 17, 2022 at 06:43

      You are correct. The reality is not that there are Nazis in Ukraine, it is that the government is a full controlled Nazi regime.

  33. April 16, 2022 at 16:02

    Just like the American people have gone beyond acquiescence to embrace the lies and love war, the western media (especially US) has gone beyond the typical propaganda and role of manufacturing consent.

    The media is now outright attacking the truth and the truth tellers. They are intentionally writing stories to counter, undermine, discredit and marginalize the critics.

    This is stunning, the more so because there is virtually no pushback. Thank you for providing a forum for reality to be discussed.

  34. RS
    April 16, 2022 at 15:54

    It’s interesting that Patrick Lawrence should mention Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” in his piece, a novel that told of a society controlled by birth. Add to this the popular”1984″ which told of a society controlled by language. The 1935 Novel, “The Lost Horizon” by James Hilton was so popular that it was made into a movie by Frank Capra. The novel invented the mythical land of Shangri-La which has entered into common language. Hilton could just as well titled his novel, “Horizon Found.” Perhaps he felt that the vision of a better life was attainable but had had been lost by the fragility of man’s ego. The irony of all this among other ironies is that all these authors were English. The English have joined the Americans in trying to assure a society that in effect would counter what their popular writers wrote against. It would appear that there was a Patrick Lawrence before Patrick Lawrence.

  35. Realist
    April 16, 2022 at 15:48

    Paul Craig Roberts, a rare Reaganite who has dared explore some regions of the other side of the political divide especially the matter of Russia, has persisted in characterizing American attitudes towards these most fraught events in our lives as “insouciant,” in other words blase’ or cluelessly unconcerned. After all, olive oil impinges on my personal life, Russians do not.

    As living breathing sentient beings we witness this mob lynching of an entire branch of human civilisation every day. The facts are mostly misrepresented in the fascist-controlled media as per directives from on high, but sources, such as CN, do exist that report a more clear approximation of the truth. There is also the matter of logical analysis that might attempt to bring some coherence between ridiculous assertions and empirical observations, but this has long ago been abandoned in the service of group think. Everybody “believes” the conventional wisdom no matter how preposterous, so don’t rock the boat, don’t bring attention to yourself as some sort of traitorous dissident.

    And so most Americans (like the famous three monkeys) see and hear no connection or responsibility attached to ourselves, and choose rather to speak only in support of the side obviously guilty of mass murder because it’s clearly what our government wants, to say nothing of all those friendly and well coifed talking heads delivering us the American gospel on the flat screen in our living room.

    Personally, I don’t call that being insouciant, I call that lying even to one’s self and being just a rank coward. In the back of all these little minds is the concern that “they” will come for me next if I dare speak out for truth and justice. So we join the mob and knee-jerk condemn the actual “freedom fighters” and embrace the Nazi murderers. We dare not incur the wrath even of our next door neighbor and especially not the board of the HOA. How else do you really truly explain the Allgemeinwissen here in Erehwon? Joe Biden’s exquisitely articulated critique of pure reason? His dynamic point-counterpoint deconstruction of every jot and tittle of Mr. Putin’s self-serving shallow arguments? Americans could, if they so chose, clearly see before them who is really the pusillanimous pussy-footer and who speaks truth and substance on a problem that will not go away because Washington will never allow it. Washington decided that this is to the death, so strap yourself in. Turns out, Covid will not be the cause of your shortened life span.

    • April 17, 2022 at 11:42

      You are right, Paul Craig Roberts is a true scientific-realist, and I think that he is well-read, i bet that Paul Craig Roberts, has read lots of philosophy books, when people have read so much, they have general grasp and control of real-reality without any bias, he is a real aristocrat of mind and spirit (like the philosopher Nietzsche said)

  36. Joe
    April 16, 2022 at 15:33

    So the 3rd largest military invades a much smaller country; apartment buildings, hospitals, factories, military targets, train stations, etc., are bombed into ashes and nobody gets killed? The Ukrainians are faking everything? Mariupol hasn’t been reduced to rubble and no one died there? From reading the comments, one gets the impression that the Ukrainians are evil liars and Putin is an innocent lamb who was forced to invade Ukraine by the nefarious USA. Yes, of course, the USA has blood on its hands but how does that exonerate Putin and the crimes against humanity in Ukraine?

    • April 17, 2022 at 00:40

      Well it seems, Joe, that no one is responding to you because the educated here see you as a lost cause. But I will take a shot. If I wipe off the sarcasm dripping from your comments I would say that, yes, you are correct.\

      “one gets the impression that the Ukrainians are evil liars and Putin is an innocent lamb who was forced to invade Ukraine by the nefarious USA”

      The Nazis running Ukraine are evil liars who are in turn controlled by the evil Nazi liars of the US — those wonderful folks we refer to as Neocons. No adult human being on planet Earth could be described as an “innocent lamb” but Putin WAS forced to invade the Ukraine after years of fruitless negotiations with the existential threat that NATO posed against Russia.

      Anyone with courage, if confronted with this kind of threat, would have reacted the same way.

      • Lily
        April 17, 2022 at 15:00

        Thank you. I totally agree with you.

        And lets not forget that Germany got reunited by Gorbatschov on the condition that NATO should not move an inch to the East. The US, NATO and Europe have cheated on the Russians and Putin had been very , very patient for too long. Now his patience ran out.

        Nobody should compare the Asow Bataillon to the Ukrainians. It has been proved that they are the ones who where responsible for the atrocities in Bucha after the Russians left.

        I do hope the Russians will win this war. God help and bless Mother Russia.

    • Vesa Sainio
      April 17, 2022 at 02:54

      Please read again and think, think hard. You are missing the point. I have not seen a single comment claiming that no Ukrainians have been killed and that Putin is a saint.

    • susan mullen
      April 17, 2022 at 03:41

      As a US taxpayer I identify very much with the Russian Federation. The US political class has treated both of us like garbage for decades. I’m a slave to US global mass murder with no hope of ever being free. Mr. Putin is the only person on the planet who has taken a first step against the US, my jailers. Using US tax dollars, the US has criminally attempted to overthrow 57 countries from 1949-2014, as detailed by William Blum. Today US has effectively annexed one third of Syrian land, but no one says a word. That’s what bothers me the most. No one will stand up to the US. The UN is just an arm of US taxpayer funded global genocide. The US must be stopped. I hope the Russian Federation is successful in its efforts.

      • Tobysgirl
        April 17, 2022 at 16:03

        Susan, I agree with you totally, and I deeply appreciate Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, when he says Russia’s fight is against U.S. world domination. (I also love his comment, “Excuse us for our presence in the midst of your bases.” When does the U.S. ever get a diplomat with a brain and a sense of humor? All we get is Winken Blinken and Nod.)

        I too identify with the Russian Federation in this fight. And one nice thing about getting old is I’m no longer paying taxes to the U.S. government!

        • susan mullen
          April 18, 2022 at 02:10

          Lavrov is a very rare gem. The late Angelo Codevilla said he considered Lavrov to be the world’s top diplomat.

    • Daniel Good
      April 17, 2022 at 04:45

      Here is an answer to this often asked question of how can Russia be anything but guilty of unprovoked aggression. 1. We do not have the information necessary to know why Russia, a country of 150 million on a land mass spanning five time zones, attacked a hostile neighbor with a smaller population and a smaller land mass (even though the land mass is bigger than France). So we cannot say for sure if the attack was not in self defense and therefore justified. What information did Putin have on hand that made him lash out in such a dangerous way (for himself and his county)? From the two months at war it is clear that the task was not such an easy one. But did he realize this ahead of time or not, we do not know. Maybe it will become clear over time. 2. Anyone who has followed events in Ukraine since 2014 knows that provocation of Russia was part of the NATO (led essentially by the USA) strategy. The reason for this aggressive attitude towards Russia may have been its increasing wealth and the increasing inter-dependence of EU and Russia, in other words fear for its hegemony. NATO seemed to think Russian security could be ignored. The US government were warned over and over by their own State Dept. officials. There is no way to say the attack on Ukraine was “unprovoked”. 3. Ukraine is a split country. Its borders were determined, not by its own people, but by the machinations of the USSR. The Ukrainians living in and around Lviv have been fighting for independence for, literally, centuries. But those in the east have not, enjoying instead close ties to Russia and not feeling hostile nor clamoring for independence. These are two different mind-sets, two different cultures. The west originates with Poland and Austria; the east with Russian empire. When the USSR self dissolved in 1991, Ukraine accepted the “gift” of its borders and Russia signed on when it was decided that nuclear weapons would stay in Russia, not Ukraine. Back then all Ukraine rejoiced in its independence. The idea of joining NATO was debated but rejected, depending on who was head of the government. Fast forward to 2014, there was an illegal, dangerous coup in which the western Ukrainians gained access to power. Immediately after gaining power they put the NATO aspiration into the constitution. This is when the situation started to unravel. This is when the guns were drawn, not by Russia, but by the coup operatives, the snipers which were helped greatly by the USA. Eight years later, Russia pulled the trigger. And the hypocritical pile-on began.

      • Donald Duck
        April 17, 2022 at 14:05

        Pardon me but I do believe that there might be something missing in the above analysis. That would be the 2014 coup which removed the the legitimate Ukrainian President – Yanukovic – from power and put in his place a US placeman – Poroshenko – a process carried by our neo-con regime change experts with the help of deities like Soros and those lovely people of Right Sector, the Azov Battalion C14,, and Svoboda. And I almost forgot, our lovely neo-cons. Not satisfied at having carried out an illegal coup Poroshenko then organized a march onto the Donbass as a prelude to ethnic cleansing those pesky Russians. Alas the Ukie army including the fascist elements. dealt a double blow to the invaders who were twice defeated at the cauldrons of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo in 2014-15.

        So the siege of the Don Bass had to be carried on at long distance by the above mentioned forces who spent the next 8 years shelling and killing some 14000 Donbass people as a result.. But the Kiev regime wanted its kilo of flesh A Ukrainian army of some 100,000 was marched up to the border of the Donbas with a mission to roll-over the resistance and ‘deal with’ the inhabitants. Not surprisingly Putin had had enough, and he was being pushed by majority opinion in Russia itself. Putin was never going to stand by and watch the extermination of the ethnic Russians in Lugansk and Donetsk.

        These events were also of course connected with wider issues such NATO’s expansion eastward which was the contributing factor in the whole imbroglio. But the who issue has been reduced to the wickedness of Putin and the noble stance of the NATO and the West.

    • Duane
      April 17, 2022 at 06:06

      I don’t subscribe to the idea that Russians are Good and Ukrainians are Bad, nor to the ideo that Russians are Bad and Ukrainians are Good. I will believe the factual evidence about deaths, injuries, and property destruction once there is reliable, verifiable reporting. What I have seen to this point is an absolute tsunami of pro-Ukrainian ‘news’, all of it derived from Ukrainian or pro-Ukrainian sources, and none of it independently verified. That makes me very suspicious that I am being fed a lot of propaganda from the New York Times, Washington Post, the broadcast channels that basically parrot what they find by reading those papers, and most of the online channels for news and commentary, including the Guardian and other left-leaning sources. And, of course, the national government of the US and all of its NATO allies. The degree of conformity and unskeptical acceptance of this line of interpretation is truly stunning! (One ironic bright spot is that the US military establishment is releasing some contrary interpretations in order to avoid the military escalation that is being promoted by the State Department (thank, Victoria Nuland) and the CIA.

      Back in 2004, the entire US government and military establishment were united in promoting the invasion of Iraq, but they had to invent all sorts of non-existent threats in order to gain public buy-in (i.e., Saddam Hussein’s infamous Weapons of Mass Destruction). There was also a lot of personal demonization of Saddam Hussein, similar to the current demonization of Vladimir Putin. There was a massive pro-war propaganda campaign back then, and there was also a large movement of anti-invasion demonstrations, and there was room for polite disagreement between people. In the current situation of Ukraine, I don’t see that; people take sides (about 99% in line with the public information channels) and there seems to be very little room for disagreement.

      And, what is also surprising is that an overwhelming majority of left-leaning liberals are in full-throated war fury against Russia. Leading me to conclude that the US and its allies have figured out how to use the tools of propaganda in an amazingly powerful way. Which is very troubling to me, as well as to Patrick Lawrence.

    • Shelby
      April 17, 2022 at 15:38

      You apparently have no idea what you are talking about. Russia has tried since 2014 to get Ukraine,
      the United States and the Germans to uphold the Minsk agreements regarding the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.
      The breakaway areas of Ukraine. These are Russian speaking people as is the Crimean area. These areas do Donetsk and Luhansk have been shelled or bombed for years killing some 14,000 people. They are killed by the Ukraine militias which are the AZOV units. These are hitler loving NAZIs. Do a little reading before you shake your finger at others. Because you are clueless. And yes the United States has the blood on its hands of millions. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, South American, Central Americans, Yemen, Syrian, Palestinian, native Americans, Africans. Libyans, Kosovo. Shall we continue? All war crimes. Genocide. I would say that Putin is a lamb compared to us. Because Biden, the CIA and the New York Times never lie.

    • April 17, 2022 at 16:48

      Joe, you are right and wrong at the same time. War is hell, and Russia and Ukraine seem to be at war, but really the US/NATO are fighting a proxy war with Russia through Ukraine. If you could make yourself understand that that then you could direct your rightful anger at the real culprits: Joe Biden and Jens Stoltenberg. And by the way, where was your rightful anger for the last 8 years when Ukraine military Forces (and the Nazi Battalions) were attacking the people of the Donbass Region? That was also a war where 14000 men, women, and children were being murdered in their homes. Have you even taken time to look at the damage and atrocities committed against the people Donetsk and Lugansk? Did you see the burning and murder of the peaceful protesters in Odessa on May 2, 2014? At least 48 persons were burned to death and others were thrown off the top of the burning building by the fascists in that attack. And this was not an isolated event, it has been going on since the US sponsored coup in Kiev on February 22, 2014. Joe, please do your research and direct your outrage at the correct people and nations. Ho, and you didn’t know all of this, well that is the point.

    • rosemerry
      April 17, 2022 at 17:30

      If you really examined the evidence, not the “Ukrainian authorities” who are the only people asked and quoted about every incident, you would find that the civilian infrastructure is working, electricity, water, internet, supermarkets, food supply , hospitals (NOT those taken over by Azov and converted to shooting posts!!) are all close to normal. The targets for the Russians are military ,and civilian deaths are avoided as much as possible and are very low. 900 cities have not been “taken”, surprising the West, but the aim is to destroy the military and Nazified threats to Russia and to Ukrainian civilians, leaving the country NOT in ruins ‘the US way) but livable as before. Russia took 8 years of patiently trying to make peace with Ukraine about the “Donbass Republics” but Ukraine refused. Russia is accustomed to being attacked and values its people and also Ukrainians. Meticulous figures for military and civilian deaths are kept by Russia. Believe them if you will.

      • Ian Stevenson
        April 18, 2022 at 09:11

        Many of the towns of Ukraine have been bombed, and supplies of water, electricity and gas cur off. There are thousands of refugees with phone camera video which back up what the media are showing us. A lot of people in England and Europe have friends and family who are affected or have spoken to those receiving the refugees.

    • Sadeeq
      April 17, 2022 at 19:56

      John Mearsheimer’s 2015 lecture is available on youtube.

      Oliver Stone’s film “Ukraine on Fire” might give you some clues as well.

    • Sadeeq
      April 18, 2022 at 10:00

      The question for Russia on the table wasn’t *war or peace.* It was the *sovereignity of Ukraine* or the *sovereignity of Russia.*

      As the US promised NATO-membership to Ukraine and Georgia in 2008, this meant an existentional threat to Russia. If Ukraine joined NATO, the US could plant missiles (like it did in Poland and Romania) but on the Russian border in this case, that could reach Moscow in 3 minutes. No defence against them.

      In that scenario Russia would have a new question. Be obedient servant of the US or nuclear attacks on the missile bases.
      The latter might mean nuclear annihilation. So the US plays with nuclear fire since their leadeship recognised the rifts between Russian nationalists and Ukrainian nationalists following the 2005-2006 gas crises. And the US is hunting Putin since he doesn’t obey the Western “advices”.

      A map might show you something in the attached article.

    • michael888
      April 18, 2022 at 15:50

      In addition to all the great responses to Joe, no one has noted that Mariupol is a special case. Mariupol is the HQ of the Azovs in SE Ukraine, captured and occupied after the US-assisted Maidan Coup in Kiev in 2014, when most ethnic Russian Ukrainians (over 60% in the East and Coastal South populations) protested against the overthrow of Yanukovych, democratically elected (under UN monitored “free and fair” elections; the US candidate received 5% of the vote). In addition to constant harassing of the city’s denizens, the Azov NAZIs used them as human shields (refusing to let them leave) and false flags (theatre and maternity hospital attacks) once the Russians attacked. Mariupol is a special case, as are few other cities, dominated by NAZIs and a major target of Russia’s deNAZIfication program.

  37. Jesika
    April 16, 2022 at 15:03

    Great Barrington MA is a beautiful area of the US and it’s true that Massachusetts is dominated by “woke” thinking presently because of so many schools there and influence of social media. Dr Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School (who lives in Great Barrington), Dr Sunetra Gupta from Oxford, and Dr Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford, were medical school doctors who originated the “Great Barrington Declaration” stating that lockdowns, forced vaccinations and masking are dangerous and antithetical to a democratic society. That document has been signed by nearly a million people worldwide today despite being attacked by the ruling class and media. The debate has gone mainstream and more people today see the points of the medical specialists in that declaration.

    The author’s point of Huxley’s programming in “Brave New World” is paramount to what we see today with this biased propaganda for Ukraine, and social media was important to get people on board, never telling them of the US role in Ukraine. The US financial system is nearing collapse, so the power brokers need to divert with propaganda from their failures. And since the Bidens have a lot to hide in Ukraine, as well as the US/NATO very bad role there, we get this new “wargasm” and get gaslighting once again. I hope more people are seeing through it. I see signs in internet comments sections that more people know the US role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine that led to Russia’s military operation.

  38. Antiwar7
    April 16, 2022 at 14:56

    “Not in my lifetime have Americans, purporting to be thoughtful, intelligent people, been so wide-eyed, so stupefied as those who are pretending to lead them and to inform them by seeking to bury them in ignorance.”

    It was like that in the 1990’s, during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, but fewer people took the bait. The ones that did, though, were exactly the same.

    • Tobysgirl
      April 17, 2022 at 16:09

      What is amusing is looking at Diana Johnstone’s playbook outlined in Queen of Chaos and watching the government follow the exact same guidelines, beginning with sanctions, Hitlerization, false flags, etc. They don’t even bother to think up any new lies.

      • Rob Roy
        April 18, 2022 at 00:34

        Yes, it was Hillary Clinton that began the Russiagate lies. Reminds me that Bill Clinton was a turning point toward the eventual regime change planned for Russia. It’s still in the works and maybe the world will have a final regime change. But what I was going to say is: have you noticed there’s more than just CounterPunch that has gone completely sideways from where it began. We all know about main stream media and how truly awful and dangerous is the New York Times, but I recognized that a long time ago (it’s the biggest war supporter). But I’m bothered by the New Yorker that I have subscribed to for many years, now cancelled. It used to be well-known and praised for its fact-checking, but stumbled into not fact-checkng Russiagate as well as Syria’s chemical weapons smears, both propaganda disproven. Instead of correcting itself (because it must know the truth by now), it hired a virus by the name of Masha Gessen who has infected the rest of the writers for the magazine. She hates Putin so much she actually calls the corrupt and extreme racist, Navalny, the “opposition.” As Matt said no longer is it fact-checking but rather wrongthink-checking. What would we do without Consortiumnews? Grateful everyday.

        • Tobysgirl
          April 18, 2022 at 15:19

          Oh my god, the New Yorker. My husband worked in a hospital and another nurse gave him his copies of the New Yorker until I said NO MORE! We began calling it the Trump Weekly, every week with more Trump cartoons and articles about Trump, whereas in the 1980s Andy Logan wrote some very good columns about Trump’s shenanigans. And then I began to find contradictions between various articles, misuse of words, grammatical mistakes, everything their vaunted fact-checkers and copy editors should have caught. But it’s important to remember this about publications: they will take money from the big boys and publish what suits the tastes of their contributors because magazine/newspaper revenues are way down (which may account for the poor copy editing).

        • michael888
          April 18, 2022 at 16:15

          Nice points about the Clintons hammering away at Russians and making them the only race/ethnicity that the world can act with prejudice against with impunity. Not only did Bill Clinton build up China as a bulwark against newly-capitalist Russia, he also helped create Kosovo out of Serbia, and used UN charter article 51 “collective self defense” to justify his war in the Balkans (Putin quickly recognized Donetsk and Luhansk, after waiting for years for Minsk II to take effect, and then used article 51 “collective self defense” to launch his War against Ukraine. If legal for Clinton, legal for Putin.)

          Moreover when Hillary was Secretary of State in 2010, Putin paid the Clintons $500,000 and his personal thanks for a Moscow bank speech. The Clintons may hate Russia, but have no issue with taking Russian money! hxxps://

  39. JonnyJames
    April 16, 2022 at 13:51

    Thank you CN for publishing this article, and truly independent journalists and thinkers. I noticed a comment here that takes a pot-shot at Mr. Lawrence. The comment is irrelevant, and a smear attempt. I would encourage folks to stick to the topic and the facts and not engage in ad hominem smears. (Very unprofessional and even puerile).

    I have followed CN for years, and highly value one of the last places for independent journalism, a site that has not forgotten about, and advocates for Julian Assange, for example.

    In addition to smear attempts on Mr. Lawrence, another popular website (Counterpunch) features an article by Paul Street that begins with well-documented facts and analysis and (establishes credibility) and then switches to a blatant attack on Consortium News. I found the article highly hypocritical for several reasons. While I do agree with some of the points in Mr. Street’s article, I found the smear attempts unfair, unprofessional, and reprehensible. We don’t need to insult Mr. Street, but we can and will criticize his smears and expose.


    • Antiwar7
      April 16, 2022 at 15:02

      I stopped supporting CounterPunch when they started attacking Caitlin Johnstone (for advocating allying with people with other political views if they agree on an issue of importance, like opposing wars of choice). They’ve really sucked since then. The article you cite is further evidence of that.

    • April 16, 2022 at 16:43

      You are right about Counterpunch, what the hell is happening to Counterpunch, all of a sudden they have become pro-NATO, pro-US Imperialism, anti-Russia, anti-Putin

      • irina
        April 18, 2022 at 16:03

        I used to go to CP for the climate change articles, but they seem to have (mostly) disappeared.
        Tough to address climate change when you’re cheerleading for fracked gas to get shipped via
        LNG carriers across the Atlantic to meet Europe’s fuel needs . . . . good for the frackers however.

    • Boatman
      April 16, 2022 at 21:20

      Street’s attack on CN was very depressing. We are experiencing the highest level of censorship in the West that anyone can remember. Why one of the few remaining independent platform, counterpunch, would try to destroy the credibility of another, CN, is beyond comprehension.

      • JonnyJames
        April 17, 2022 at 12:35

        I agree with you all. It seems SuckerPunch has become exactly what Street criticizes in his writings: some sort of gate-keeper for the bourgeois/liberal mainstream narrative. They post a few critical articles once in a while to maintain some sort of independent credibility (like Prof. Michael Hudson, for example). The bait-and-switch then come down (eg.) when Street launched into smearing CN, Joe Lauria, Ben Norton et al. by NAME. He calls anyone who questions the baseless (and even ridiculous) claims of US war propaganda as “fascists” “PutinTrumpistas” and so on. Childish name-calling, without researching the facts should raise a red flag for any intellectually honest person. Yes, why would another independent site attack another? Who benefits from this?
        One would think that CN and CP could be allies. However, something smells bad over at CP (likely ever since Alex Cockburn died). I only visit their site just to see what the mood is. I visit CN almost daily, and have done for years.

      • Tobysgirl
        April 17, 2022 at 16:11

        No, it’s not. It’s called $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. It’s always back to the money. They’re getting donations from someone or multiple someones to publish such crap.

    • April 17, 2022 at 16:56

      Paul Street is a Trot with a grudge against Putin. Why? Who knows, Putin is not a Communist by any leap of the imagination, but I have noticed it in his writings which are often quite good.

  40. Ed Rickert
    April 16, 2022 at 13:17

    What a pleasure to learn from the analysis and insights of one of our best journalists, Patrick Lawrence. Reading it reminded me of our response of an earlier war, Operation Desert Storm. In the well-to-do suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, yellow ribbons adorned the trees and mailboxes. Symbols of our love of Kuwait and our desire to rid the world of yet another Hitler, after the war the ribbons disappeared along with the textile jobs that once employed the veterans of that campaign.

    • April 16, 2022 at 19:43

      And after the war the ribbons disappeared along with the textile jobs that once employed the veterans of that campaign…..Wow!! thank you for that eye opener. I imagine most of us never ever thought in those terms.

  41. renate
    April 16, 2022 at 12:30

    The nation has gone bonkers a long time ago, the most important thing in their lives is to find the best olive oil.

  42. Jan
    April 16, 2022 at 12:06

    The main drag in Great Barrington. Solid metaphor. In my younger days there used to be talk of “good Germans,” those who acquiesced to the evil of Nazi Germany because it was the safe, comfortable path. Lately, I have come to understand how friends and acquaintances first become victims of media narrative control and then become its tools to amplify that control among their own circles.

    This morning?s edition of Common Dreams contains yet another depressing article, “Zelensky Says World Should ?Be Ready? for Putin to Use Nuclear Weapons.” A progressive site I used to depend on for critical analysis has allowed itself to become a mouthpiece for a Nazi sympathizer, an uncritical amplifier of the “correct” interpretation approved by the State Department / NYT. At this point it is a site staffed by “good liberals.”

    Perhaps the best metaphor is in the 1956 movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” We are becoming a nation of pod people.

    • April 17, 2022 at 17:09

      A very good observation: Pod People. I used to read Common Dreams every day, alone with Consortium News and Counterpunch. Now I can’t make myself open the Common Dream site anymore.

      • Jan
        April 18, 2022 at 13:43

        What scares me the most is that progressives are turning into pod people. We all have access to the same facts and so that is not the cause. One is tempted to believe that this is a massive failure of analysis, but I don?t think so. No, it is something more primal. I see a kind of bloodlust in the Guardian every day, an obsession with violence. Robinson Jeffers captured this in 1935 (from the Manifesto of the Dark Mountain Project):


        These grand and fatal movements toward death: the grandeur of the mass
        Makes pity a fool, the tearing pity
        For the atoms of the mass, the persons, the victims, makes it seem monstrous
        To admire the tragic beauty they build.
        It is beautiful as a river flowing or a slowly gathering
        Glacier on a high mountain rock-face,
        Bound to plow down a forest, or as frost in November,
        The gold and flaming death-dance for leaves,
        Or a girl in the night of her spent maidenhood, bleeding and kissing.
        I would burn my right hand in a slow fire
        To change the future … I should do foolishly. The beauty of modern
        Man is not in the persons but in the
        Disastrous rhythm, the heavy and mobile masses, the dance of the
        Dream-led masses down the dark mountain.

        • Tobysgirl
          April 18, 2022 at 15:22

          Check out The Glinner on Substack if you want to see what many women and some men think of the Guardian. They use a twisted name for it that escapes me.

  43. Jeff Harrison
    April 16, 2022 at 11:56

    There is no right or wrong, only consequences. Eh? That is a line I came out with after watching the Vietnam war unfold for over a decade. Another of my observations is that most of the troubles in the world arise from somebody trying to tell somebody else what they can and cannot do when what somebody else is doing is really none of somebody’s business. The Ukraine is a classic case of these two observations. We would not be having this crisis if the US and its vassals weren’t trying to tell the Ukraine and Russia what they can and cannot do (just ask us, we’re the masters of the universe). There’s no right and wrong here although I suspect that all the dead people who would otherwise be alive militates against that position. But there are consequences. The death of the petrodollar is one and the end of the dominance of the US$, the British pound, and the Euro is the other. The days of The West being able to steal everybody blind and get away with it with no consequence are over. When Jake Sullivan said that, no, the US wasn’t planning on giving Russia back their forex that we seized illegally and when BOE refused to give Venezuela their gold back, that arrogance echoed around the world and they set in train a consequence that they won’t like.

  44. Jim Thomas
    April 16, 2022 at 11:50

    Well said, as always, Mr. Lawrence. It is refreshing to read something other than propaganda from the Empire of Lies, as spread by the MSM and many who purport to be “progressive”. When this torrent of “liberal support” for this latest US war of aggression first appeared, I ask the following question: “Where have all these bleeding hearts been for the last eight years while the US/Ukraine was murdering thousands of Ukrainian citizens in the Donbass?”

    Are the people in this Country unable to figure out that our government lies to us about pretty much everything, especially when it is manufacturing consent for yet another war of aggression? I have been observing this over a half century and have found the answer to be unequivocally YES.

    Of even greater concern is the ongoing war against what is left of our freedom of press and speech. The current censorship program is the most severe in our history. Biden’s decision to continue the unlawful prosecution of Julian Assange has confirmed that the effective repeal of those freedoms is a bipartisan effort. Yet few in this Country even seem aware of the severity of this development. An ignorant and incurious people, most of whom seem to have the attention span of a chicken, are easily propagandized and manipulated.

  45. maggie harrison
    April 16, 2022 at 10:50

    Consortium News said, all Russian Forces left Bucha on Wednesday and this was confirmed on 31st March, by the Mayor, saying that March 31st is a day of liberation ( CN info) and will go down in history, as a day of liberation!
    So, all Russians gone, but no mention of a massacre! On Friday and Saturday, Michael McCann, New York Times, was in Bucha and didn t report a massacre. The Times reporters found bodies of 6 civilians, but it was unclear what circumstances they died in…one man was shot in the head and there was discarded packaging of Russian Military ration was near. Times quoted Zelensky advisor, who said bodies with tied hands were not Military.Seems the Mayor was unaware of the killings, but, Times said this was close to the Azov neoNazi Battalion and suggested they may be responsible! You might have read all of this, but, looking at it again, leaves even more questions about Zelensky!

  46. Lois Gagnon
    April 16, 2022 at 10:46

    Another great one Patrick. Turns out we are neighbors in Western Ma as I am in Hampshire county where the same righteous liberals hold sway in Northampton and the surrounding towns. Rachel Maddow hails from these parts and is a celebrity here.

    I’ve watched people I thought knew better go from being antiwar to pro National Security State as a result of Trump and Russia-gate It almost seems they were hungry for a reason to feel good about the US again and those were the reasons that they were fed. They are now so attached to that feeling that if you happen to mention Yemen or any other atrocities taking place by the US and its allies, (regardless of their human rights records) you’re accused of whataboutism. They are clinging to their new found patriotism like the crumbling empire is to its global dominance. It’s an act of desperation to maintain a false reality. I don’t want to be anywhere near them when their illusions are shattered.

    • Tobysgirl
      April 17, 2022 at 16:15

      I think many Americans antiwar posture was just that, a posture. Otherwise they wouldn’t keep referring to the war in Vietnam as a “mistake,” which it most certainly was not. And when it’s nothing but a posture, it is easily thrown aside because there is no critical analysis going on and providing support for a genuine antiwar point of view. Liberals chose to sever their ties to the left after WWII and have basically gone along with U.S. domination (good for their investments). And watching people fall prey to Russiagate was hilarious; no matter how many times it was disproved, they clung to it as a life raft. “How could people not elect Hillary, our hero?”

    • April 17, 2022 at 17:35

      Really Lois, as I noted in another comment here the psychology is not so complicated. The problem is joe Biden is the President and not a Republican. Our duopoly two party system has always been a sham, but many Americans take it seriously. They actually think that a country with two parties that serve the same masters is a real democracy. Therefore, depending on their political perspective and/or party alignment they believe that “being a good citizen” means supporting their chosen party or candidates, which they will support come hell or high water. The two-party system, winner take all, has been a boondoggle that the ruling class has perfected over time to their great interest.

  47. Peter Loeb
    April 16, 2022 at 10:37

    There is no “public discourse”. Every day I read long narratives from “The New York Times” in my newspaper. I cannot
    write a lette;. it would not be printed. Behind my “acquiescence” there is fear. I can only write ConsortiumNews on
    occasion but my basic points are already excellently made by others, Mr. Lawrence among them.

    (My only suggestion is a minor one: Redefine the term “cold war” as Joyce and Gabriel Kolko did fifty years ago
    (“Limits of Power, 1972, p. 31))

    So many thanks to you and others.

    • Vesa Sainio
      April 17, 2022 at 03:01

      Here in wannabe NATO country Finland, it is impossible to get anything anti-narrative published. Even the online commenting is censored.

    April 16, 2022 at 10:27

    As we celebrate Easter remember what he said: “They know what they do”

  49. Dorothy E Kahn
    April 16, 2022 at 10:21

    Yesterday, April 15, 2022 I was locked out of my Facebook account.

  50. Bruce Ott
    April 16, 2022 at 09:39

    Although always denied as a conspiracy, and long suspected by LDPR and Russia, it appears proven, the EU through the OSCE has long been collaborating with the Azov by providing them live intel on LDPR troop locations and troop movements. Since the LDPR has been reclaiming territory, they’ve uncovered the extent of their complicity, including by way of providing to the Azov, access their linked remote live camera, computer and phone communication system. This has allowed the Azov to track in real time LDPR, civilian and troop locations and movements by anyone of their troops linked through a cell phone or laptop.


  51. Cesar Jeopardy
    April 16, 2022 at 09:16

    I was astounded by the one-side propaganda/PsyOps masquerading as news when the Ukraine/Russia “thing” got started earlier this year. It was obvious–to me at least–that even if the anti-Russia nonsense was true, it was also way overdone. No one could be as purely good as was claimed of the Ukraine. And no one could be purely evil as was claimed of Russia, with the obvious exception of the U.S. neocons. But I had the benefit of having actually followed the U.S.-sponsored 2014 violent coup in the Ukraine, so I knew the background. And I also had the benefit of going to public school in the U.S. during the 1950s and 1960s when the infamous are school raid drills were held. The details are not important, but the purpose of those drills were not to protect us children, but rather to indoctrinate us: “fear the Russians, hate the Russians.” And those drill were designed to leave a lasting impression on us. It apparently didn’t work on me. So here we are with the U.S./NATO trying to put the nail in Russia’s coffin. The U.S. wants Russian resources (has had the Ukraine’s resources since 2014), the EU needs them. I don’t know how this mess will turn out but, for Russia, this is an existential crisis. Right or wrong, moral or immoral? It doesn’t matter to me. Even reason no longer seems to matter.

    • Elina
      April 18, 2022 at 07:58

      “For Russia this is an existencial crisis”! And for me as a Russian citizen it is a tragedy especially so given the fact that my maternal grandmother was ucrainian but I was born in Georgia (USSR)where part of my family still lives and actively hates Russia! To make matters worse some of our relatives were living in Kiyev until they had to escape to Europe and now they hope to return home soon no matter who wins because they are ethnic arminians! And to make my family situation evev worse, my husband is an Argentine citizen who refused to leave Russia even though foreign governments were drumming up all the histeria as if we were not scared enough when this military operation started! One of my neighbors is from Donbass with firsthand accounts about the conflict there. I am worried sick about our lives, our countries and our economies because I remember our infamous Perestroika and hope we all do not fall into that abyss. And what makes us sick even more is the unfathomable information warfare: I read and listen to the news in four foreign languages because here in Russia we do not exist in Putin’s propaganda bubble. This helps figure out some grains of truth in this labirinth of events. Throughout my life I had the chance to live (not visit as a tourist) in more than ten countries including Iraque, Venezuela and the USA which in turn gives me alternative perspective on world politics. Looks like the Monroe Doctrine as well as white anglo-saxon supremacy are still the main strategy of the West on this planet.
      I am grateful to all the contributors of CN for their articles but let me extend my gratitude to all you readers who take time and effort to learn more! I keep dear the sliver of hope that reason will prevail thanks to people like you…

  52. Gordon Freeman
    April 16, 2022 at 08:39

    If Lawrence is such a free thinker, why does he choose to live and associate in Western MA, one of the least diverse, Blue areas in the whole country? Just another bit of blather from the “loyal opposition” for the rubes…

      April 16, 2022 at 09:59

      He doesn’t live in Western MA.

      • Lois Gagnon
        April 16, 2022 at 10:49

        Great Barrington is in Berkshire County in Western Ma.

          April 16, 2022 at 12:24

          To repeat: He doesn’t live in Western Ma. or in Mass. at all. He was visiting there. We know where Great Barrington is located.

    • Jim Thomas
      April 16, 2022 at 11:57

      Mr. Freeman,
      I am curious about your question. Are you suggesting that all, or even a majority, of people live in areas where the majority of people have like political views? That strikes me as a really silly thing to say.

      I live in a state which is solidly Republican and right wing. I am a progressive who has never voted for a Republican for national office.

      • April 16, 2022 at 20:16

        May I interject my opinion please. You stated that you live in a state which is solidly Republican and right wing. I believe you answered your own question. If an area is solidly Republican and right wing then evidently most or possibly a majority do in fact have like political views, that’s what makes them Republican /right wing states…… Then you are one of the few/minority that are progressive. Just my take, thanks.

    • Cesar Jeopardy
      April 16, 2022 at 14:21

      The article does not make clear where Lawrence actually lives. It doesn’t really matter, does it. You land where you land. And as Lawrence points out “No place, you remind yourself, is perfect.” As for me, I generally ignore the locals where I live to the extent possible–I have little in common with them.

        April 16, 2022 at 23:33

        “The other day I ventured forth from my remote village to a lively market town called Great Barrington…” It makes clear he does not live in Great Barrington.

    • Caliman
      April 16, 2022 at 16:39

      Apparently, he does not live there; but that’s just a very weird question. Why should not a free thinking person live in the pretty landscape of western Mass? In fact, a “free thinking” person may think little of your notions of “diverse” and “blue” … may in fact think that these are the very concepts likely to occupy the minds of rubes …

    • Don
      April 16, 2022 at 17:38

      I doubt that if Mr. Mr Lawrence was asked to describe his political views, “free thinker” would spring to his mind. What does that even mean? And Great Barrington, whether Mr Lawrence lives there or not, is a metaphor. One could substitute any middle class liberal constituency, whether assembled and concentrated geographically, or not: Whole Foods? The Liberal Party of Canada? Simon Fraser University?

      Who cares? You should be able to get his point, and that you don’t, indicates a reluctance to do so. I don’t know which is worse, militant, vengeful, mass-murdering liberalism, or the passive, hand-wringing, oh-the-horrors liberalism that empowers it.

      A brilliant article on the current state of collective liberal cognitive ability. Thank you Patrick Lawrence for writing it, and thanks to CN for publishing it.

  53. April 16, 2022 at 08:38

    With the Bucha killings, besides immediate condemnation of Russia by the small group of western countries, no real link to Russian forces have been established. Russia’s first efforts to have a discussion about these allegations in the UN were dismissed outright by the autocratic, UK, which has several crimes its refuses to be held responsible for. And it appears there is not going to be proper investigation about the Bucha killings, so no real link to Russia doing has been provided, or will be provided. The real criminals, most likely Ukraine neo-nazi groups will go free. It’s a case of sentence before evidence, and complete violation of due lawful procsesses, before condemning a country of such a crime.
    However, when there’s millions of affidavits about war crimes against America and NATO countries for their war crimes in 20 years of wars of aggression against many countries, there’s complete denial by the criminal western countries and threats made by America against judges in the ICC.

    • April 16, 2022 at 10:56

      Weapons of mass destruction comes to mind, sadly!
      Last year, Zelinsky was helping Israel, with the bombing of Gaza and yet, our PM
      made a private trip to Ukraine, to have a stroll with Zelinsky…unbelievable!

    • georgeh
      April 16, 2022 at 11:50

      Perhaps you should watch TV interviews with ethnic Russians who have escaped from Kharkov, Mariupol and Melitopol. These are cities with majority ethnic Russian populations who have been bombed by Putin. These Russians, lucky to have escaped with their lives, recount what they have experienced under Russian bombardment. Is their word good enough for you? Putin promised to liberate the Russians of Ukraine, and when they did not greet the Russian army with flowers, he turned his wrath on them. The expression in Russian plastered all over Russian cities: “My svoikh ne brosaem” translates as “We don’t abandon our own.” No, they don’t abandon their fellow Russians. They bomb them.

      • Charles Vick
        April 16, 2022 at 16:10

        Don’t watch TV, it’s bad for your mental health. Russia provided humanitarian exit corridors for Russian Ukrainians and any other Ukrainians who wanted to leave before the bombing began. Unfortunately many Ukrainians were held hostage by the Azov Battalions as human shields and forced to stay. Read or watch Scot Ritter if you to know what is really going on not TV propaganda.

      • Tobysgirl
        April 16, 2022 at 16:18

        Please link to said TV interviews. I have seen people interviewed on the street in a few cities, and this was not their experience.

      • Caliman
        April 16, 2022 at 16:34

        What, people “who have escaped from Kharkov, Mariupol and Melitopol” can tell us what happened in Bucha? Because that’s the comment you are replying to … the reasons, or lack thereof, of attributing the crimes at Bucha to Russia. Your response is Russia has bombed cities. Yes, they have. So has Ukraine. Says nothing about who is responsible for what happened in Bucha.

        For myself, I believe war is a terrible thing and soldiers and partisans do terrible things to other humans during war. Undoubtedly, Russian soldiers have done terrible things in Ukraine on occasion. And let’s remember that thousands of Donbas residents were killed by Ukraine in the eight years prior to this war. We have no idea who did what in Bucha and we would best remember that.

      • Dienne
        April 16, 2022 at 18:28

        It astounds me that people who read this website would believe anything they see on TV. How did these TV interviews verify that these people were, in fact, “ethnic Russians” who “escaped from Karkov, Mariupol and Melitopol”? Have you learned nothing since WMD in Iraq?

      • Kalen
        April 16, 2022 at 18:57

        Perhaps you should watch more independent media and less TV propaganda.

        For example:
        Which ethnic Russians escaped with their lives? Those who were not allowed to evacuate by UkroNazi battalions from Mariupol or Kharkov at all and hence had to escape imprisonment from cities effectively declared fortresses. Or Those you mean who testified that they were threatened, robbed by hungry AFU and Nazis, daughters raped, houses torched. Or Those who were terrified when AFU MRLSs “Smerch” or Grad systems were launching rockets from residential neighborhoods in Kharkov or Mariupol and then hid between buildings full of residents who actually took videos proving that a war crime was being committed. Or those ethnic Russian civilians who protested mining of their front yards by AFU and Territorial Defense units.

        Scott Ritter specifically addressed the situation saying that according to Geneva Conventions when civilian building is militarized, weapons deployed in vicinity of it all civilians must be evacuated to safety immediately. Failure to evacuate civilians from militarized locations under military control is a war crime of using civilians as human shields. On the other hand engaging military targets, strong points that fire weapons even in proximity of not evacuated civilians is not a war crime.

        Look as case of Mariupol where LDPR and RF military , while still under sniper fire evacuated with APCs over 150,000 of civilians from their basements immediately as they took control of the areas in order to comply with Geneva Conventions. Scott Ritter also said that considering scale of huge operation civilians damage is minimal and mostly due to criminal strategy of AFU militarizing entire cities full of human shields while refusing to confront RF army in the fields.

        Talking of caring about ethnic Russians or Ukrainians in Ukraine . So far Russia refused to use, quickly war ending, huge strategic bombing capabilities because of huge collateral damage to population of such weapons in militarized cities. US had no such moral dilemmas and carpet bombed civilians routinely worldwide e.g. Mosul, Raqqa etc.,

      • April 16, 2022 at 23:27

        I see. So accusing Putin of being a bloodthirsty killer who wants nothing more than to kill innocent Ukrainians is not getting it done for you. No, Putin is so crazed that he has to take out his blood lust on fellow Russians, a people he has a lifetime track record of wanting to help and protect. Got it.

      • ks
        April 17, 2022 at 17:16

        The Ukrainian military shelled many of the buildings destroyed in Mariupol and shot at people who ventured into the streets to find water or cook food. They also kicked residents out of basements and occupied them, drawing Russian fire to those buildings. Patrick Lancaster, a U.S. navy vet who lives in the Donbas with his wife and children, has been interviewing residents of Mariupol since the war began, trying to convey to the West what is actually happening there. hxxps://

      • April 18, 2022 at 09:23

        Putin is evil, but Ukrania, NATO, US Imperialism and European Imperialism are a lot more evil. What we should do in this world is to side with the lesser evil. Even Karl Marx in the Communist Manfiesto said that the working class in countries that do not have an organized left, should support the most progressive movements (The lesser evil)

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      April 16, 2022 at 11:56

      Scott Ritter was very definite in his refutation of the claims that Russia was responsible for the killings in Bucha. He went into great detail, while looking at the photos of the dead people, that they had not been lying in the street for any longer than 24 hours, while the mass media was claiming they’d been there for weeks. He described what a corpse looks like after two weeks, and it wasn’t what we saw in the photos. The whole thing was a setup. The Azovs did the killing. The Russians left way before the Ukrainians got there. Period. But of course, this is the regular MO of the U.S. and NATO-supported right-wing killers. Ask anyone in Guatemala, or El Salvador, or Honduras about the mass killing squads supported by the U.S.

      • Tobysgirl
        April 16, 2022 at 16:18

        What I heard is that the Ukrainian army probably shelled the area and that’s why there were corpses in the street. And the pits left from the shells were quite recent. This is why I like getting information from people on the ground rather than junk news such as the NYTimes.

        • Curious
          April 17, 2022 at 05:53

          Correction. If one can see dead people with their hands tied behind their backs with the very white arm bands they were wearing to identify themselves as ‘not Azof affiliated’ or at least, not Ukrainian Military or Ukrainian Nazi (or in fact a civilian), it shows they were not killed by a shelling. They were flat out murdered. And most likely by the Safari Group of Ukrainian military or police doing a “cleansing” of what was referred to as “Russian collaborators”.
          This “cleansing” was announced on April 1st on a web page and public announcements were made every 30 minutes to the people in Bucha. When this announcement said “do not panic” it could be inferred that they would hear shooting, and perhaps screaming. Why else were they told not to panic?
          Fortunately I have friends who can translate these articles into English.
          As a rule I don’t provide links as there are too many dark trails out in the ether these days. But they are still available to the curious ones who dig, before these articles are scrubbed that is. Others here have mentioned the condition of the bodies. See also the recent videos on YouTube by Scott Ritter to get another perspective on this heinous crime.

    • renate
      April 16, 2022 at 12:43

      All available evidence points to UKRAINIANS.

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