MSNBC Blatantly Lies About Ukraine Anti-War Rally
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow mocked the “Rage Against the War Machine” rally Monday evening, saying it was “in support of Russia” and hosted white supremacists. Speaking at rally was comedian Jimmy Dore, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, and former House Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Ron Paul. The news outlet categorized attendees as “Pro-Russia Demonstrators” and called it a day:
Listen to Maddow’s full coverage of the event here:
War Pig Rachel Maddow will never tell her audience the CIA instigated a Coup of Ukraine in 2014 & installed a puppet aligned with actual Nazis & then blew up the Nordstream Pipeline. Instead she lies about Peace activists so her audience stays Pro-War: pic.twitter.com/UxAeSNIdMs— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) February 21, 2023
As someone who attended, this characterization could not be more dishonest. Protestors overwhelmingly wanted one thing: the U.S. to broker a peaceful settlement to the war ASAP.
This was a public event, so two men carrying Russian flags reveals nothing about the purpose of the demonstration — though I did speak to these men and will get to that later. First, here are some quotes from event speakers and organizers whom I spoke with that day (I linked to their Twitters):
Anya Parampil - Journalist for The Grayzone:
When asked why Russia cannot just march home: “This war didn’t begin last year.” she said. “It began in 2014 when the Obama administration — and even years before then — the U.S. government spent millions of dollars to fund the movement that ultimately overthrew the elected government of Ukraine.” (This is a topic I’ve written a deep dive on here).
“The Ukrainian government has, with our military support, been bombing and attacking ethnically Russian separatists in the Eastern regions of Ukraine.” (These pre-invasion escalations violated President Zelesnky’s 2019 campaign promise to bring peace to the East, something I discuss here).
“What this all boils down to at the end of the day is U.S. military and NATO encroachment, constantly expanding towards Russia’s borders. Ukraine has historically been a borderland in between, and we crossed a line, so it is up to the United States to end the war… I am only really able to interpret my own government’s actions. That’s how I view my responsibility.”
Scott Horton - Author and Journalist for Antiwar.com (and overall wealth of knowledge):
When asked about an ideal off-ramp: “The obvious compromise is since Russia annexed four eastern provinces of Ukraine, the compromise is you get to keep two. The reality is the Donbass is lost.”
Interesting analysis of why Zelensky can’t sue for peace: “Frankly, there's no guarantee that even if Zelensky signed a deal, that the right wing and his government and the various armed militias in this country will abide by that. He was elected to make peace, and one of the reasons that he didn't was every time he made a real move towards peace, the right wing militias — the Nazis — threatened to murder him. Andriy Biletsky [founder of Azov Battalion] said, ‘We’ll hang him from a lamp post on the main drag in Kiev… As the New York Times said, ‘This is seriously a danger that this could happen,’ and he recognizes that. So, you know, there are those who say that if he signed a deal now he would just be assassinated and someone to the right of him would take power.”
Dan McKnight - Founder of BringOurTroopsHome.US:
“We advocate for a responsible foreign policy where if Congress, and Congress only can vote to declare war.”
“Tulsi Gabbard ran for president as a Democrat. right. Ron Paul, conservative Republican. and so I would consider myself a classical liberal... I believe in the rule of law and the Constitution. Social issues aren't my strong point. That's not my thing to focus on, and by not focusing on things that divide people and allows us to bring the groups together from all across the spectrum.”
Michael Heiss - Founder and Chair of Mises Causes:
When asked how he feels working with anti-war socialists: “What does that say about the movement? I think it's great, man. I mean, I'm a product of the Ron Paul revolution and something that Ron Paul talks a lot about is freedom brings people together… that's how we're going to escape the tribalism.”
This was purely a peace movement. Socialists and Libertarians are literally opposite ends of the political spectrum. Yet, they were able to agree that nuclear annihilation is not in anyone’s interest.
To the cynical Rachel Maddow, we may have seemed like a bunch of “short straws and split ends,” but the willingness of people to come together was beautiful. The eclectic composition of the group made it more powerful.
Russian flag guys:
The man on the left (who had a flag but is not holding in the photo) is an ethnically Russian American citizen who served in the U.S. navy. He told me he is an anarchist, and therefore does not support any government. He specifically denounced Putin.
The man on the right said his flag is meant to represent the Russian people, not Putin, though he did say Putin’s invasion is justified by NATO expansion. I personally wouldn’t say that — but I know every employee at the State Department would make an analogous argument if Mexico attempted to join a military alliance with China or Russia.
Many were calling these guys Feds but that was not my impression.