43 Comments

Think about the implications of this. Conservatives want to align with Russian big business interests. So even if governments are aggressive, autocratic, fascist, authoritarian - if US big businesses have interests there, they'll find a way to justify maintaining those businesses. Be damned with freedom, democracy, liberty. It's M.O.N.E.Y, the true God of Conservatives.

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A direct result of Koch influence on higher education under the guise of libertarism. These tentacles are far reaching and dangerous, but you would never know it from MSM. Thx Judd as always. Be interesting to see if any mention by perhaps NYT or WAPO.. More than likely not.

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It's one thing to oppose economic sanctions. It's another to justify the slaughter of civilians by an invading force, particularly one as large as Russia's. Shame on any media outlets that promote these views uncritically.

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Mearsheimer and his buddy, Stephen Walt, are old-time paleo-conservatives. They are revered by the old-time Pat Buchanan supporters and, as it turns out, by Charles Koch. Birds of a feather, as they say.............

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Nobody remembers the John Birch Society, the paleo-conservatives of our present day variety, or the Fundamentalists, the paleo-Christian-Conservatives of our present day "Evangelicals", a convenient rebranding.

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I remember them, my parents hated them. Birchers were fervently anti-civil rights, labeled everyone they disagreed with — including Dr. Martin Luther King — a communist and eagerly promoted insane conspiracy theories.

Remind you of anyone? (Except perhaps the anti-Russian) stance).

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/a-tv-documentary-shows-the-deep-roots-of-right-wing-conspiracy

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Definition of a traitor

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The Koch tentacles are long and circuitous. Until he started making headlines re Russia - mostly thanks to you - I didn’t think of him often and if I did it usually was in the context of Infor because I know a lot of people who work there. Over the weekend I was passing time, taking random online surveys. Occasionally I hit a Morning Consult poll, so that keeps me interested. This time, though, the survey asked me about whether I’d seen, heard or read anything in recent news about various topics and people. I’d heard about I think three of 10, one of which was Charles Koch. The next question asked what I recalled hearing about him and the response style was free form text! The question that immediately following had three choices - had my opinion of him changed for the better, the worse or remained the same. After that, the survey switched gears and was unremarkable.

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But is this simply a revolting example of free speech?

Mearsheimer’s views are abhorrent, demonstrably lies and deeply unpatriotic. We knew well before the war in Ukraine that the Koch empire was corrupt, devoted only to profit and committed to furthering the right’s sickening trudge to the far right. He has numerous fronts pushing these lies.

I personally do consider him and his ilk traitors, but is that a legitimate position?

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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The key term in that amendment is "Congress". A corporation can deny anyone's right to speech. Nobody is denying Mearsheimer’s speech. In fact, he get's quite a lot of air time for his nonsense.

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Thanks for the reminder.

Additional jaw-dropping, dangerous assaults on truth are the regular newsletters from Hilldale College. (They’ll send you a free copy of the Constitution, which then shackles you to their mailing list).

And by what was surely pure coincidence, their own staff all received vaccinations when restrictions were still very tight. Vaccinations they then proceeded to mock as unnecessary. Hypocrisy much? Probably pals with Koch.

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Why are Lies considered free speech? Opinions yes

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founding

Folks defending Russia and questioning Putin's atrocities against civilians, whether these folks are on the left or the right, are threats to liberal democracies everywhere. Thank you Mr. Legum, for your continued excellent work. You are making a positive difference in the world.

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What do you know...another arm of the Koch machine defending the Russians...could it be that the entire world has it wrong and we're being lied to? No. The much more simple and obvious answer is that Koch and those he employs are terrible people. They are rotten to their core and will do and say whatever is necessary to net them the most $$$. They do not have any morals or convictions. $$$ is their oxygen, water, and religion.

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It’s all about the fossil fuels. Koch owns most of the filthy but lucrative tar sands in Canada. The pipeline was for Koch Industries Awful people with money.

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Wow! The negative response to your accurate reporting stuns me. I guess I’m a bit naïve. I don’t get news from television, since I don’t subscribe to cable or direct TV. I prefer to read the news, as I can take time to research questions I may have as I read along.

Blaming Ukrainians or America for the war brings to mind the scenario of an abuser blaming the abused: You made me hurt you! Russia invaded Ukraine because they want that republic to be Russian, & Ukraine said no, which Russia wouldn’t accept. If someone liked your watch & wanted it, but you said no, it’s mine, they just can’t take it by force because they want it. Might does not make right.

America is not perfect. We have made mistakes in the past. There are patriots in our government who recognize those mistakes & work so we don’t repeat them. Just because we made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean that it is acceptable, & we should ignore an aggressive invasion of a peaceful ally. Russia wants to bring back the old Soviet Union, & under the present regime will not stop until it does so, or is throughly defeated.

Reading about the brutality of the invasion & the indifference to the death of Ukrainian citizens, old folks, children, reminds me of the Holocaust during WW2. Do we once again watch the slaughter of them & go tsk tsk, how sad, because that doesn’t make it all go away.

I don’t have the answers, just questions. But it is clear to me that Russia is a bully that must be stopped. There is not enough money or power in the world to make it okay to allow Russia to take Ukraine.

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I agree with you Jean, the U.S. is far from perfect but the evidence is undeniable on all accounts of misplacement of blame and I shutter at the pure indifference that the right wing has for the suffering of innocent people and their shear hate for liberal institutions that honestly promote the common good. As a physician for 40 years, this debate over who is responsible for the atrocities now in Ukraine reminds me of the heartless and ignorant accusations in April 2022 that the deaths from COVID-19 were being purposely exaggerated! On a personal level, a family member of mine with a PhD in economics with a far-right libertarian bent was righteously saying the data was being concocted by leftist elements in the U.S. to fatten the pockets of doctors and hospitals!

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Yes, I’ve heard that from friends. I would like to correct their thinking/misinformation but once I’ve started on my talking points & see them not listening to what I’m saying and/or not believing me, I get too worked up & just want to yell at them: “How blasted stupid can you be!!!” I just say to them, “No politics! We will just have to agree to disagree!” But my opinion of them suffers, as I find a person who rejects facts to be stupid, no matter how many degrees or skills they might have.

Surely your family member has seen pictures & heard stories of physicians & other medical personnel who have been working long, hard hours, sacrificing their own health, trying to save their patients from this terrible disease. How can any thinking person believe that someone would pay that high of a price for some extra dollars?

Thank you for your service. Stay safe.

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For me, it so frightening to watch a country being destroyed and people being killed in real time. Is sanctions the best we can do?

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Great reporting!

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Conservatives always hollering about George Soros but good god, these guys. Smdh

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I think there is some historical background. Old Man Koch started the family fortune developing oil fields for Stalin. Most folk know that Stalin, like Putin, supported liberal democratic values, and was an all around good guy.

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The nytimes satellite photos are not conclusive. There’s been more than one counteranalysis that says those civilians were ethnic Russians killed by Ukraine artillery, whose armbands were then used to make them look like prisoners. Also, what is the point of this substack if it’s only going to parrot neoliberal warmongering rags like the nytimes. Has nearly everyone really forgotten every lie told by US intelligence to get us into one war after another, bloating our military budget and impoverishing our nation’s people, while enriching a few, like Dick Cheney and the other parasitic neocons that have infected DC? From the Gulf of Tonkin to this Ukraine squabble, the intent is to mire us in battle after battle and slowly erode our dignity and that of our manufactured opponents, so that no one can remember why we’re fighting, only that we must, because the others are painted as uniformly morally bankrupt and therefore deserving somehow of death? Why does no one call for Saudi sanctions? They’ve been brutally bombing Yemen with our weapons for years and dismembered a journalist, but they let us put a military base there. If you just look at the countries that resist US subjugation, and have resources we want, they are also the ones labeled as evil by the US media military complex. Iran is not some evil empire any more than Russia. Our CIA is the actual cause of all our foreign policy problems because they feed off of death, destruction and regime change. They’ve left a trail of horror in the form of coups that undermine worldwide peace and democracy, including Iran and Ukraine. Excuses are constantly made for the abuses of our allies, ie accomplices, in fomenting destruction and resource theft around the world. Mearsheimer sounds like a much needed voice of reason in what seems like and ever more bloodthirsty regime right here in the US. And so what if he’s funded by Koch? Have you looked at all at the financial conflicts of interest in Congress and the government agencies pushing this evil Russia/good Ukraine narrative? How many of them own stock or get campaign money from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and their ilk?

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Well said.

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founding

Extremely obvious Russian propaganda bot.

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Well said, Jennie. I haven’t read the AI that my earlier comment got attached to for some reason.

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Jennie, I am sure you watch a lot of Fox News (come on admit it!) and your “what-about-ism” abounds, technically called gaslighting. But I do appreciate your putting it out there so concisely. We’re well into Civil and World Wars now and I am invested in the survival of democracy and our planet against the forces of fascism and climate change deniers!

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It's fascinating that the far left (Van den Heuvel, the Nation) and the far right (Mearsheimer, Koch, Fox) seem to be in agreement on this issue. It's one thing to argue, as Van den Heuvel does, that there needs to be a full debate on the question of Russian motives in invading Ukraine. It's another to accept as truth Mearsheimer's bizarre and frightening conclusions, such as his saying Russians are shooting Ukrainian civilians because we gave civilians arms to protect themselves. What in the world has happened to so-called liberal journalism?

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A scholar who co-wrote a great and much needed book about the dominance of the Israel lobby in the US is hardly on the “far right.” I can see that you need to go back and dig into Mearsheimer’s work and talks over the past decade or so. Pay attention to history. Understanding is not approbation.

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I'm disappointed that you've chosen to denigrate the Quincy Institute, Judd (which, as you note in the article, is also funded by conservative bete noir George Soros). Its co-founder and President, Andrew Bacevich, is one of the most knowledgable and thoughtful writers on American foreign and military policy (which are frequently one and the same) and his book Washington Rules is simply brilliant. If you don't read Quincy's website Responsible Statecraft, I highly recommend it: https://responsiblestatecraft.org/.

At this point we don't know if Russia is responsible for all the civilian killings or just some of them. We don't know if some of the civilians killed were Russian collaborators executed by Ukrainian police. These are hugely important questions that can only be resolved by thorough war crimes investigations, and unfortunately that will take time. Until then, we should heed Mearsheimer's cautionary words and try to help negotiate a peace settlement.

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founding

I don't think anyone is confused about who started this war, are you?

Is the deliberate destruction of non-military targets, such as a theater housing children, not evidence enough for you?

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I didn't discuss who started the war, but for clarification, it was Russia.

It doesn't matter what I think: only the ICC can determine what war crimes have been committed, and by whom.

In order for them to be able to collect, examine, and assess the evidence, the fighting needs to stop. Only a peace treaty, or the complete occupation of Ukraine, will accomplish that goal. I support the peace treaty option.

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