HomeArticleAustralian Government Sanctions People For Sharing Unauthorized Thoughts

Australian Government Sanctions People For Sharing Unauthorized Thoughts

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In the western world’s mad rush to ramp up censorship and dangerous cold war escalations against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the Australian government has done what it always does and raised the bar of authoritarianism a click above everyone else in the room.

“The Australian Government is sanctioning 10 people of strategic interest to Russia for their role in encouraging hostility towards Ukraine and promoting pro-Kremlin propaganda to legitimise Russia’s invasion,” reads a new statement from Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne. “This includes driving and disseminating false narratives about the ‘de-Nazification’ of Ukraine, making erroneous allegations of genocide against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, and promoting the recognition of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic as independent.”

A report by the Australian Associated Press and the Daily Mail says that the men targeted with these new sanctions are “journalists, authors or Putin’s press officers.” This move follows earlier waves of sanctions directed at Russian government, military and financial institutions, as well as economic sanctions on the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine.

Obviously a government in a purportedly “free” country sanctioning anyone for sharing any ideas anywhere on earth is outrageous, no matter how stupid or fictional they might be. Anyone on earth should be free to say that Ukraine is ruled by reptilian space wizards orchestrating a global conspiracy to steal the earth’s ivermectin if they want to without being sanctioned by the Australian government.

But the fact that the ideas cited by the Foreign Minister — de-Nazification, genocide of ethnic Russians, and independence for the DPR and LPR — are fairly common opinions that can be argued using facts and evidence makes this move a lot more disturbing.

I personally don’t find it truthful to claim that the invasion of Ukraine has anything to do with “de-Nazification” myself; that just sounds like the sort of thing you say to make a bloody invasion look noble, and Ukraine’s neo-Nazi issues would surely have been a non-issue for Putin if Kyiv was aligned with Moscow rather than Washington. But even NBC News is reporting that “Ukraine has a genuine Nazi problem” that cannot simply be ignored, and a recent report by The Grayzone details how intimately neo-Nazi militias are intertwined with the nation’s power structure. So this isn’t some preposterous conspiracy theory; it arises from known facts that people do need to talk about.

The claim of genocide in the Donbas may not be a consensus reality that has been firmly established via official channels, but neither is the claim of genocide in China’s Xinjiang province, yet we saw that assertion waved around as absolute fact by the entire western political/media class in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics. It’s just a simple fact that 14,000 people have died in the fighting against Donbas separatists since a US-backed coup toppled Ukraine’s government in 2014, and that most of those deaths have been on the side of the ethnic Russian separatists. Whether or not this technically constitutes genocide has not been established, but it’s a debate that is both valid and worthwhile.

The most egregious citation on Payne’s list is “promoting the recognition of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic as independent.” The idea that rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine should be recognized as independent republics is pure political opinion; the Australian government has no more legitimacy in labeling it “propaganda” than they would on people’s opinions about the morality of abortion. Yet it’s being cited as a justification for targeted sanctions.

This comes after Australian television providers SBS and Foxtel dropped RT in the frenetic push to expand censorship throughout the western world, a move Payne explicitly praised in the aforementioned statement with an acknowledgement that the Australian government is working with online platforms to censor unauthorized content.

“The Australian Government continues to work with digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to take action to suspend the dissemination of content generated by Russian state media within Australia. SBS and Foxtel have already announced the suspension of Russia Today and NTV broadcasting,” the statement says.

This is getting so, so ugly so very, very fast. Just the other day a young Australian-Russian man was ejected from the audience of the popular television show Q+A simply for expressing his support for Putin’s war, something we’ve never seen happen in any of the controversies about the insane American military invasions that this country has gotten itself involved in over the years.

Whether you agree with these opinions or not, you’d have to be blind not to see the dangers of speech getting stomped out which doesn’t align with the authorized opinions of the government and the globe-spanning empire of which it is a member state. It is not valid to simply label dissenting ideas “propaganda to legitimise Russia’s invasion” and then shut them down; in a free society we’re meant to debate ideas and explain our positions to convince others that they are correct.

An ostensibly free and democratic nation labeling basic political opinions and ideas about points of geopolitical contention “pro-Kremlin propaganda” and implementing punitive sanctions in response has implications that are uncomfortable to think about. As an Australian who frequently disagrees with Canberra about unaligned foreign governments including Moscow, I am frankly feeling a bit nervous that I might myself be designated a person “of strategic interest to Russia” and penalized in some way for “disseminating false narratives”.

Securing more and more control over the ideas and information that people share with each other is an objective of unparalleled importance of the oligarchic empire loosely centralized around the United States. It is an intrinsically valuable goal; anywhere control of speech can be expanded is strategically useful for that expansion in and of itself, independent of the excuses made to justify it. Hopefully we all collectively find a way to unplug each other from the imperial narrative matrix before they can secure total control.

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Latest comments

  • The ‘continent’ of Australia is detached from all other land masses and all information sources excepting Informal and Interpersonal Word Of Mouth (IIWOM) within Australia, the Mass Media (MM) and in latter days, the WWW.
    In addition, people have been saying for over four decades that Shadowy Intelligence Organisations (SIOs) have been running Mind Control Operations (MCOs) in the tradition of MKUltra and Tavistock to suppress dissent and create exceptional events to drive totalitarian political change (Wink, Wink, Good One Mate!)(WWGOM).
    The sympathy for Ukraine, much of it proceeding from Genuine, If Misinformed, Good Will (GIMGW) gives an opportunity to have Citizens marching in the streets wearing Nazi insignia – even if it is not the Swastika itself – which traditionally in Australia is not associated with national independance, banking reform and full employment – which have been populist themes literally for millennia – but simply with being the enemy.
    This is a kudos-garnering opportunity the Mineral-Exporting US Security Dependant Australian Government (MEUSSDAG) cannot bear to miss, but it is an opportunity being threatened by ‘alternative’ media.
    The WWW provides a subversive opportunity to extend IIWOM into uncharted networks, undermining MM, and so robbing the agenda-benders (AB) of conformist Ultra-Right photo-opportunities with GIMGW’s. It is for this reason they push the concept of “False Narrative”, whatever a ‘false narrative’ turns out to be.
    If incompleteness is a form of falsehood, then certainly all narratives, being incomplete, must also be false. A construction of a narrative from symbols such as are words and images is something created in some-ones mind and not in the world external to that mind, even if they claim influence, and therefore also is false.
    All narrative is false, therefore.
    It appears to be another SIO MCO, spearheaded by MEUSSDAG. WWGOM!

    So, are Aliens are trying to steal my Ivermectin…or not?

    • ………………But what is “really”going on here, in Ukraine, and with your prophylactics !?

      I prefer to call them Extraterrestrials (Humans not of Earth origin- Plejaren to be precise) as “aliens” have many negative connotations that have been covertly instilled into our primal brain by “Hollywood” , and the Extraterrestrials have a much more important benevolent mission than stealing your Ivermectin! Lol

      They have been contacting a Swiss farmer for about 80 years now, and recently this man, Billy Eduard Albert Meier (BEAM) has also been contacted by officials within Ukraine’s inner circle of President Zelensky, asking for advice on how they can remove this sadistic, Nazi ideologist, warmonger (YES, THE COLLECTIVE WEST IS SUPPORTING A NAZI REGIME IN UKRAINE !!) from his current position, whereby he is allowed to carry on the insane application of Gewalt, against the citizens of his own country whom do not agree with his ideals. [Gewalt defined as ‹using all available coercing means, powers based in the psyche, mind and consciousness, capabilities and skills, in order to carry out and wield monstrous (immense/tremendous) actions and deeds -see full definition
      here http://au.figu.org/glossary.html%5D

      There are now transcripts of conversations pertaining to the several, now official, communications of Ukraine government inner circle officials whom want True World Peace. It is explained that if it continues along the current trajectory, it will become an overt world war IV, not just a proxy as it currently is?! B…bu…but we are only up to WWIII…..aren’t we !?!
      To clarify, World War 1 wasn’t in early 1900s, but mid 1700s
      ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Years%27_War )

      To understand and know, not just take my word for it, read the details here:

      https://theyflyblog.com/2022/05/danger-to-peace-lovers-in-zelenskys-inner-circle/

      https://theyflyblog.com/2022/05/a-plea-from-ukrainian-officials-to-stop-nazi-zelensky/

      And if you are wondering what you can personally do, apart from participating in discourse with like minded individuals on excellent blogs like this, participate in this……perhaps?

      https://theyflyblog.com/2022/06/the-salome-peace-meditation/

      Ultimately the destiny of our planet, environment and state of collective mental/psyche health rests with each individual that has the free will to choose their own destiny!

      WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE……………

  • I’m going to add my two cents to Caitlin’s statement: “Ukraine’s neo-Nazi issues would surely have been a non-issue for Putin if Kyiv was aligned with Moscow rather than Washington.”

    This demonstrates glaring naivete. Nazis would never accept alignment with Moscow, and Moscow would never accept alignment with Nazis. Do you understand what happened during WWII, the immense suffering and death that occurred in Russia at the hands of the Germans? As a woman on Spinster put it, no one thanked the Russians for defeating the Nazis in WWII — yes, it was the Red Army who defeated Hitler’s military machine — and no one is going to thank them for defeating the Nazis again.

    Unlike you Australians and us Americans, the Russians remember the 20th century and what they suffered very well. They teach it, they honor its remembrance, and they don’t want a repeat of the invasions they experienced. The open rise of Nazism in Ukraine and the U.S. threats — including a resolution passed in the U.S. House which amounted to an open declaration of war against Russia — were not taken lightly and were countered repeatedly by attempts to avoid what is now happening. As Sergei Lavrov said, “Pardon our existence in the midst of your bases.”

    I would suggest you might want to read at least the penultimate and last chapters of Queen of Chaos by Diana Johnstone.

  • I will add my comment to others expressing the view that Russia is genuinely concerned about the Nazis. The CIA has a history of recruiting Nazis to fight the Soviets/Russians.

    It is a rather strange situation in some ways; Kiev wants to retain the Donbass, and yet is hostile to and discriminates against the ethnic Russians who live there. If the anti-Russians in the East hate Russians so much, why do they want to hold on to Crimea and the LDNR? If they conquered those territories, what would they do to the population there?

    • Many thanks, Edward, to you and all the others who didn’t buy into Caitlin’s naive and propagandized assumptions.

  • Denazification of Ukraine was certainly considered important because since the US sponsored coup in 2014, the neo-nazis have grown stronger in the country, joined by thousands of nazis and other extremists from European countries who otherwise didn’t find a voice in Europe. These groups form a substantial portion of Ukraine military. Hence Putin’s call to the regular military to disarm the neo-nazis, at the beginning of the invasion.

  • “… Ukraine’s neo-Nazi issues would surely have been a non-issue for Putin if Kyiv was aligned with Moscow rather than Washington.”
    It might have been a non-issue if they hadn’t murdered thousands of ethnic russians and pissed of Putin’s public support in Russia.

  • Australia is now ‘officially’ no longer a country that supports freedom of speech. How else can we interpret the Foreign Minister’s statement?

  • Greatest Human Rights issues:
    18th century: Kings are not Divine
    19 th century: Abolition of slavery, Women’s rights
    20th century: Equality of Races
    21st century?
    Abolish Economic sanctions? Corporations are not people?
    Militarism?

    • My vote goes to ‘capitalism is killing us and the planet.’

  • The method of leverage of the US over “Australia” is simple and has been employed for probably hundreds of thousands of years. VIP John Mearsheimer demonstrates this leverage when he tells the microscopic percentage of the population living on the place on the earth called Australia that is, for all intents and purposes, Australia”, just exactly what it would mean if “Australia” improved relations with China instead of continuing to bow to US diktat.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IER2SGbjCWo
     
    Transcript:
     
    “Now, the question is: what does this all mean for Australia? Ahh, you’re in a quandary for sure. Everybody knows…..everybody knows what the quandary is. Security-wise, you really want to go with us. It makes just a lot more sense ….. right, uh,… you understand that security is more important that prosperity? ……. because if you don’t survive, you’re not going to prosper. Survival is of the utmost importance ‘cuz you can’t pursue any other goals if you don’t survive. Right. So security’s gotta be number 1,….. so you’ll sacrifice prosperity for security. Right. That’s what will happen. That’s why you’ll be with us. Now, some people say that there’s an alternative. You can go with China. You have a choice here. You can go with China rather than the United States. There’s two things I’ll say about that. Number 1, if you go with China, you wanna understand that you are our enemy. You are then deciding to become an enemy of the United States………..cuz, again, we’re talking about an intense security competition. You’re either with us or against us. And if you’re trading extensively with China….. and you’re friendly with China,……..you’re undermining the United States in the security competition. You’re feeding the beast, from our perspective, …. and that is not going to make us happy and when we are not happy, you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be. Just ask Fidel Castro.”
     
    Almost unbelievable, isn’t it? And this is a speech delivered to one of the US’s ass-licking vassal states!
     
    I believe that it is an absolute certainty that somebody equivalent to Mearsheimer has very recently delivered the exact same ultimatum to the microscopic percentages that ARE absolutely all of the US’s vassal states, wherever they may be in the world, and this includes the US’s relatively new mercenary-state “Ukraine”. “Canada”, “Ukraine” etc. either follow US diktat or they – the microscopic percentages — lose their Western Oligarchic Transnational Elite Collective status and they and their 99.99 percents are going to suffer for the next 63 years as Cubans have for the last 63 years.

  • Let’s call a spade a spade !!

    Ukraine was being prepped by the Rothschilds to destroy Russia !

    Russia has bombed over 2000 fvcking military Installations and discovered at least 30 US owned military Bio Labs !

    Oh yes – they were ready ! 

    The Rothschilds were going to do the SAME thing that they did to Palestine in 1948 !!

    Murder the Ukrainians and STEAL the land ! 

  • hahaha (lol) … i just read an article from a european newsoutlet that zelenski in his abc interview offered the russians an exit out of the situation by tempering the ukrainian enthusiasm for nato-membership and being open to negotiations on the status of donbas and crimea after the russians “suddenly” and “for the first time” conveyed what they actually wanted with totally “new” demands … (they also noted that ‘de-nazification’ was no longer on the table, which they thought was a removal of the ukrainian government).
    when the russians are done (and the de-nazification is sufficient) and go home, i bet they’ll try to sell it as a victory of the ukrainian people and the though sanctions and position of the e.u. and nato, and they might even succeed. i don’t think there’s any western ‘reporter’ or ‘expert’ that actually dares to expose him/herself to ‘russian propaganda’ of the russian online media, they just stop at the ‘this site can’t be reached’ sign. (really pathetic).

  • Very recently, I finished auditing 24 lectures on Human Rights. In the end, the great lecturer Dr. Lauren said that all iconic people who advanced greatest causes of human rights were persecuted for the same reason: opposition to their government.
    So, no doubt Australian Government is giving a warning to its own opposition at home by decrying Putin’s apologists abroad.
    More on this topic of Human Rights later, apparently we still get to decide what is the greatest issue for the 21-st century.
    LOL Professor said all governments love the NGO’s opposing foreign governments, just not the domestic ones.

    • Just like all politicians find it so resembling when humorists impersonate their rivals. Pity they lose their touch when they impersonate them :o)

    • So this leads to a conclusion that the government aims to prevent an organised opposition to themselves and then algorithmic suppression becomes the tool of choice.

  • Russia found 30 US military Bio Labs in Ukraine and have all the evidence to prove it at the UN !

    When the evidence is presented at the the UN it will make Cheney’s vial of ‘ supposed ‘ anthrax look like a sick joke !

    That vial of anthrax resulted in the deaths of 2.5 MILLION innocent Iraqi’s ( according to Iraqi figures ) – millions more maimed and displaced !

    Putin is doing this for humanity and the ZIO/US/NATO are powerless to stop him !

    You have NO idea what is coming – the Rothschilds are pissed and they OWN the $US and the Euro !

  • The clear perceptions of the judiciously named Mrs Payne reminded me of a mix between this…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imhrDrE4-mI
    … and that:

  • Why would Russia fear NATO ??

    US cruise missiles can only travel at ZERO point 65 MACH !

    Russian hypersonic missiles travel at ELEVEN MACH + !

    It would be over before it began !

    NATO can’t do a thing and neither can the US !

    There won’t be a WAR !

  • De-nazifacation of Ukraine?
    When young I lived in a boarding house.
    Upstairs from me was an ‘older’ woman and she would insist I go with her to Russian films in Sydney, because, as she said “If I go alone men bother me”.
    She was born in the Ukraine in a small village and had such beliefs, that an old Gypsy woman, a toothless crone would turn into a wolf at dusk in order to suckle milk from cows. It was, as it sounded, a village still in the middle ages. They never saw much of the USSR except at tax times. During WW2 she moved to German occupied Kiev.
    One day she showed me a photo album and I was shocked to see photos of her in Paris, with German officers whose uniforms had a black collar with SS clearly shown. She told me she was fifteen at the time. I was flabbergasted. Surely she was Russian! Not a bit of it. “The Germans were liberators. They killed the Jews and we cheered”. She never mentioned the name Babi Yar but was a child eyewitness to a huge planned massacre. The perpetrators were some Germans but mostly Ukrainian SS with a “…huge cheering crowd that was laughing…” as the “…Jews and others were herded into a pit”.
    Those wearing nazi symbiology today in the far right military formations of Ukraine know all this yet have chosen to glorify it.
    To get inspiration from a terrible chapter in Ukraine’s WW2 history is unacceptable and totally delegitimizes any standing Ukraine has as a civilized nation.
    I am not condemning all of its citizens but only a small proportion of the structure of control in that country. Ukraine, the majority of the people deserve to be freed… as do all of us. Never forget that fascism is, and has always been, the handmaiden to capitalism. In any war over 90% of the victims are the innocents. It will be interesting when the dust has settled, to see just how many of the Azov Battalions actually laid down their lives for their beliefs.

  • At first I did a double take and thought, “wow, is Australia even in Nato–the “North Atlantic Treaty Oragnisation”? Sydney and Melbourne seem to be nowhere near the Atlantic Ocean, North or South.
    ~
    Google corroborated my thoughtcrime: Oz is not actually a card-carrying member of Nato. It is more like Ukraine, a so-called “Enhanced Opportunity Partner,” sort of like a member of the Young Ladies’ Nato Auxiliary. This is bad enough, as it indicates the aspirations of good loyal Ozzies everywhere to become warmongering Mad Max wannabees as ornery and Russophobic as your typical North American couch potato. Wowza! Would not want to lose out on the opportunity of a rollicking good nuclear war and let those Yanks have all the fun.
    ~
    Formally outlawing the truth under the penalty of law the way the Ozzie government has done suggests that the chief warmongers in charge are not confident in the efficacy of their lies. Perhaps someone in this Empire of Chaos could get a better handle on what the people really believe by holding a contest. Contestants are to guess the exact date and time of either a signed peace between the US and the RF or the date and time of the first major thermonuclear detonation. It might suggest where the populace feels our society is headed and how badly they may want to avoid it or plunge into it.
    ~
    Paul Craig Roberts, who feels that the longer the present fighting goes on, the higher the probability of a nuclear conflagration, and there certainly is no end in sight. He predicts the West will try to assassinate Putin, hence all the calls for it in the ongoing overwrought demonisation process. If it succeeds, he thinks, the West will be allowed to pick his replacement and the war will cease. Russia goes back to being an exploited colony of Washington just like Australia. If it fails, he believes, Armageddon is at hand. If that is how things are to be decided in the new world order, bring on the fuckin’ bombs. There is no hope for this world. Maybe the surviving cockroaches can come up with a better one a million years from now.

    • The surviving cockroaches AND… Keef Richards! :o)

  • Caitlin, I liked this line: “I personally don’t find it truthful to claim that the invasion of Ukraine has anything to do with “de-Nazification” myself; that just sounds like the sort of thing you say to make a bloody invasion look noble, and Ukraine’s neo-Nazi issues would surely have been a non-issue for Putin if Kyiv was aligned with Moscow rather than Washington.”
    Some of the people who comment on this essay seem to refer to “de-Nazification” as if it were something they understood. I don’t understand it. One of my big heroes, Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, was found “not guilty” by the war crimes tribunal at Nuremberg, and then put in jail by a German court as part of “de-nazification.” It sounds like another kind of thought control to me – and of course, thought control is still very much alive in modern Germany.
    On a related matter, why do people keep referring to some factions in the Ukraine as “nazis”? Are they organisationally descended from some World War Two body? Do they just want to kill Russians? Or is it their methods, which I think the modern Americans and Russians both copied to some extent from the Nazis, and still use today?

    • They themselves claim to be descended from the WWII followers of Stepan Bandera, a maniacal native Ukrainian who allied himself and his many followers with Germany and the Waffen SS. They fought for Hitler and manned his death camps throughout Europe. To this day they join organised militias (such as the Azov Battalion and Right Sektor) promoting Nazi philosophy and using Nazi uniforms and symbols, including the swastika and death’s head. There are thousands of photos posted on the web showing the mutilated bodies of both children and adults killed in the Donbas by their constant bombardment of that region with heavy artillery. This has gone on nonstop for eight years, except when the Ukraine military (with embedded Nazis throughout) invaded the Donbas twice but were repelled each time. Ukrainian Nazis are not a fairy tale, either in history or the present time. American propaganda is so widely accepted as truth because most Americans (and probably everybody else as well) know essentially nothing about the real facts, so the American lies prevail.

    • yes – yes – yes and no.

    • From my limited understanding, there appears to be a militarized section of the population which has organized itself into informal militia groups such as the Azov Battalion and Right Sektor (and I believe more but those are the most influential). Their common mission statement is for a “united, pure, clean” Ukraine, and have referred to a superior “true” Ukranian populace and a lesser “untermencsh” (supposedly) Russian population; a situation which they claim can only be settled with violent means. They use terror and intimidation tactics to try to scare away people who don’t align with their view, and indeed have murdered people and brandished it on social media. They were the muscle behind the 2014 governmental overthrow as the then-elected government was more pro-russian. They are vocal about the heroism of historical nazi figures and goals, advertise themselves using nazi imagery and symbols, and see themselves as a continuation of the nazi legacy.

      After the overthrow, and with mounting pro-russian sentiment developing in the east, the Ukrainian government actually officially adopted these groups into the national guard (and their numbers are in the thousands). They then proceeded to operate with the backing of Kiev making their excursions “legal”. What exactly has transpired since 2014 is unclear depending on where and who the information is coming from, but what is clear is that a lot of people have died, and a large majority seem to be russian separatist sympathizers.

      What is 100% a fact, is that these groups are the ones being armed with the weaponry and resources the US sends to Ukraine to “support their fight against terrorism”.

    • Thanks for these replies. They sound a bit like the “freikorps” in Germany back in the days after World War One.
      I think that, because of the compulsion of the people in charge to lie to us, there will probably be more groups like that develop in a lot of Western countries as time goes on. For ordinary people, who can’t sort their way through the official lies, and especially for those who have no way of getting into the official systems of graft and corruption, the simplest way to try to survive is apt to be to join a group that uses force and has a simple myth of some kind to band together around. I gather that the drug gangs in Latin America have adopted some kind of Catholic saint as their patroness, and fight (in their own eyes) with her blessing.
      I think there is a recent precedent for the American Government using these sorts of groups for its own ends in their development of the Islamic State more-or-less out of nothing. (It is my impression that the Americans created the Islamic State out of nothing, using modern management techniques as taught in the best universities. I don’t have any direct knowledge of it.) When the Islamic State atrocities became generally known in the West, the Americans abandoned them and tried to wipe them out.
      The media, of course, like to develop a theme and then stick to it. Russians bad: Ukrainians good. They apparently think the public are too stupid to want anything more complex than that. Malcolm Muggeridge, in his autobiography, mentioned that when the English newspaper he worked for was reporting some sort of disturbance in Latin America, they were apt to make up a couple of Spanish-sounding names on the spot, and describe them as factions that were fighting for power in whichever country it was. This fitted in with the then English presuppositions about Latin America.

  • ‘genocide’ and ‘de-nazification’ seem correct, imo.
    demilitarisation & de-nazification are maybe a bit behind schedule. soon the west’s problem will be how to keep the russians in ukraine. it’s not going to look good if they leave when the job is finished.

  • Two quick notes:

    1. Not surprisingly, an article in the MSM, today, stated, first, that Biden is planning to cut of all purchase of Russian oil. What was more interesting, after all of our failed coup attempts, the U.S. apparently plans to reopen negotiations with Iran and Venezuela for the purchase of their oil. Apparently, our government has no compunctions against using sanctions to starve upwards of 40,000 Venezuelans to death but, when it comes to oil, that’s water under the bridge.

    2. The censorship by the Australian government, ‘he’ said sarcastically, would make George Orwell proud id he were still alive.

  • There are negotiations currently taking place between Ukraine and Russia.
    :
    However, Zelensky is hemmed in by the Nazis. He can only agree to so much and
    if he crosses the line he is a dead man. For real. A dead man.
    :
    See:
    :
    “Zelensky And The Fascists: “He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk”
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/03/zelensky-and-the-fascists-he-will-hang-on-some-tree-on-khreshchatyk.html

    • Yes, Scott Ritter has brought this fact up twice in two interviews I watched with him. Like Ritter or not, he knows what he is talking about.

  • ” … Ukraine’s neo-Nazi issues would surely have been a non-issue for Putin if Kyiv was aligned with Moscow rather than Washington.”
    I disagree, I believe the Russian Federation would have simply used “less violent” means by which to eliminate them. They would’ve been “slowly weeded out,” as they say. But, I could be wrong. Vlad the Justified has had to deal with his own neo-Nazi elements over the years, and been accused in the West of being suspiciously tolerant of these elements.
    This is a history I no little about, and I’m just now beginning to learn the depth of it. I’m also aware that I have been bombarded (there’s that word) recently by the other narrative, which I would like to think I have not swallowed hook, line and sinker.
    Either way, an excellent point. I am going to shift some of my focus to this question, going forward, because now that you brought it up, I need to it be answered to my own satisifaction, if nothing else.
    I do know this though, whether much has of this hatred of the Uko neo-N words on the Russian side of the equation is of recent vintage, outside of a quick trip to the power plant, and a rolling past Kyiv of our “stalled” “in the open” “ready to bomb” “out of gas” column due to “logistical failures,” I do know the main focus of the Russian Federation, in what I believed can be reasonably called Phase One, was always to the southeast, and that Phase One, is now complete.
    The pocket is closed, and I predict the Russians will deal with it as they told us they would.
    Phase 3 is Kyiv. I don’t consider this a prediction. Anyone that can read a map, or look at a satellite image, or consider that everything in Kyiv is working: gas, water, sewage, lights, phones, and computers; or that streets, bridges, railways, open corridors and governemnt buildings have not been shelled or bombarded, shoud be aware that Kyiv’s role in this greater madness, is to just sit there for awhile, as the Russian Federation deals with what it considers other more urgent matters northwest of the Donbass.

    • “… Ukraine’s neo-Nazi issues would surely have been a non-issue for Putin if Kyiv was aligned with Moscow rather than Washington.”
      It might have been a non-issue if they hadn’t murdered thousands of ethnic russians and pissed of Putin’s public support in Russia.

  • When I was a pre-teen I fantasized about moving to Australia and becoming an opal miner.
    Such is the influence of magazines.
    :
    Throughout these many decades I have pondered where I could move to. Australia and New Zealand were always top on the list.
    :
    Boy! would that have been a mistake.
    :
    Out of the kettle into the other kettle.

  • From today’s The Saker blog: “The very fact that Russia used military force, defying all the warnings of the collective West, shows a clear change in the balance of power and the commitment of Russia, BUT ALSO CHINA (my caps), to creating an alternative system of international relations…. Even in the most catastrophic outcome for Russia, which would be a military defeat followed by the political fall of Vladimir Putin and social unrest, the fact that one country decided to actively oppose the West cannot be erased, nor can the fact that same West, faced with such a challenge to its own prestige, was reduced to the imposition of sanctions and media propaganda.” We’ll now see, assuming (praying) the world doesn’t blow up, whether the global economic and media power of the West will be sufficient to undermine the new alliance of the East. The continual upping of the ante has been called, and all that’s left in the geopolitical game is the showing of the cards. One at a time they will be turned over, with additional bets placed at each round of turning, until one side proves to have the winning hand. Meanwhile, of course, innocent people will die or have their lives disrupted, paying the most tragic price, as innocent people always do, for whatever new world order emerges from the madness. Bless Caitlin for her courage and insight in commenting on the carnage, and may her work not become another innocent victim. Australia’s heavy-handedness reminds me of a line from that old NWA song about the police arriving to address a tense situation, something to the effect of “better hope it’s not a black cop showin’ for the white cop.”

  • Well, yesterday Google downgraded in search results all podcast videos with Scott Ritter and replace it with consortium news denouncing Scott as a Russian agent working to spread misinformation about the Ukrainian government. Probably he will get arrest for interrogation in America under the patriotic act. They are coming for you CJ if this “logic” prevails. The truth and reasoning coming from Scott and people related struck a nerve in CIA-NSA ops and MSM. It seems only credibility can do such thing. They are afraid of the truth. If we don’t see each other in the coming days I have just one thing to say – Thank you. Good luck and may the force be with you.

  • When Putin and others refer to “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” in the Donbass, they are referring to, on top of the 14K or so deaths, the massive refugee crisis that has been ongoing since the Maidan coup.

    Data from the UN: https://unhcr-web.github.io/refugee-statistics/0001-Vis-PoCs/Ukrainians.html?YE=2014

    You can see the overwhelming majority have resettled in Russia. The numbers are staggering considering the absolute silence in Western media. The Ukrainian government has been systematically depopulating the Donbass of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers.

  • Well finally. Caitlin criticizes her own government.

    Although she does blame the U.S. in the last paragraph, I am glad to see she she holds the Australian Government guilty of some wrongs as well, if only for doing what the U.S. Government wants.

    Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press is under attack everywhere, and Julian Assange being Australian is just a bitter irony.
    Australia needs a Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press in it’s laws, and the Australian People need to get Julian Assange set Free and sent home.

  • It *is* about de-nazification, Caitlin.
    :
    It is about removing an active and growing threat to Russia.
    And the Nazis are the “tip of the spear”.
    :
    The Nazis have been very clear about wanting to ethnically cleanse the Donbas.
    That territory borders Russia and once it is controlled by a hostile government
    it will allow for the placement of US offensive weapons directly on Russia’s border.
    :
    The threat was active. Ukraine was shelling Donbas, which is what one does to soften
    up an enemy before you invade their territory. Ukrainian forces were massed at the border
    to the Donbas.
    :
    Ukraine had invaded just a few years ago but were beaten back. The Minsk accords had given the Ukrainians time to retool and rebuild the forces that they had lost.
    :
    NATO countries had made it very clear in their recent “diplomacy” with Russia that they were deaf
    to Russia’s security concerns. They were *not* going to get Ukraine to implement the Minsk accords.
    They *were* going to continue building up the arms of Ukraine. They cared not for the people of the Donbas.
    :
    Diplomacy was closed as an option by the West.
    There were only two options left for Russia. 1) Let the Nazis ethnically cleanse the Donbas, and allow for US offensive weapons to be placed right on their border.
    2) Prevent #1 by force.
    :
    The Donbas was being shelled and softened up for a full invasion against it.
    :
    Caitlin,
    You really should study this link:
    “Zelensky And The Fascists: “He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk”
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/03/zelensky-and-the-fascists-he-will-hang-on-some-tree-on-khreshchatyk.html

    • Interesting pro-war argument. I think Caitlin was skirting that and addressing censorship. There isn’t a good argument for that. It’s about power. Not sure if I’m buying your pro-war argument. Let’s say Ukraine was a Nazi country and built it’s own rockets and put them on the border without joining NATO. Would the USA allow heavily Mexican parts of Texas and Arizona to declare independence or join Mexico? What if Canada decided to become a Nazi country, would the USA be justified to attack? Clearly, whatever Russia is doing, the USA has already done, so international law is out the window. It might just be about money and power most of the time.

      • It is not a pro-war argument. There already was an ongoing war.

        The Minsk agreements/accords were approved by the UN and had a peaceful resolution, with the Donbas remaining part of Ukraine but with a level of autonomy. It was Ukraine that chose not to implement the accords, it was Ukraine that chose to open fire on Donbas.

  • The president could end the war with one phone call to Zelensky. Unfortunately Kennedy’s dead.

    • And We the People have not had a good President since.

      • We the People have not been ALLOWED to have a good President since JFK. Bobby tried, didn’t he? It’s likely that Teddy and John Jr. were also “removed” from our consideration. Consider what America has come to. In this last presidential election, we were given the choice between Biden and a guy who now jokes about bombing Russia and blaming it on China. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

        • Newton, I fear you are right.

    • Kennedy took us to the brink, heedlessly, like Biden is doing. and that crisis was instigated by the US putting missiles in Turkey, and was resolved by both countries agreeing to withdraw their missiles from Turkey and Cuba, a quid pro quo that was kept secret at the time per the stipulation of Kennedy because he enjoyed massive popularity for being so “firm” with the Russians and making them back down.

      • I do not agree. Kennedy had the track record from the Bay of Pigs incident of the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961, which surprised the previous administration’s planners and international observers. His administration participated in Operation Mongoose, which planned, and to a limited degree carried out, destabilization operations in Cuba.
        In October 1962 the Kennedy administration suspended Operation Mongoose to attend to the deployment of missiles in Cuba.
        The US deployment of Jupiter missiles in Turkey was done on agreement of the Eisenhower Administration. In February of 1961, the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy determined that “that the Jupiter missiles were out of date, inaccurate, and exposed to attack.”
        Evidence suggests that several of the missiles in Cuba were not in development but were, in fact, launch-ready. The go/no-go decision by the military forces of the USSR was made by Khrushchev upon the question whether Kennedy was the ultimate authority in a civilian government; or whether, in actuality, he was a puppet of the Pentagon. Kennedy’s aborting the Bay of Pigs operation weighed in favor of the no-go decision. Removal of the Jupiter missiles was of no strategic importance. ref.
        Had the US pursued “brinkmanship” in the matter, it would have been the last time it ever did so.

  • I’m expecting Caitlin and the few remaining journalists on the left, Dore, Blumenthal, Mate, Daniel Bessner, Taibbi, Michael Tracey and maybe a dozen or so others I’m forgetting, will be cancelled soon by all online platforms. None of them are allowed to EVER be on corporate media, like Chomsky, who hasn’t been permitted anywhere near their sanctified studios for 40 years.
    ~
    This is literally thought control, and we have a thought police fully energized to supervise and oversee that it’s dutifully carried out. This is how Orwellian totalitarianism rolls, and it’s been coming after us for decades. We’re now in dystopian lockdown. What are we going to do about it? . . . And no, I’m in no way a supporter of Putin or his insane intervention/invasion.

    • Lee Camp is back online at Patron. Maybe she could do something like that.

  • “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” George R. R. Martin

  • I apologize to Ms. Johnstone for my bluntness. After all, I am an American.
    I earnestly suggest that Australia endorse a full formal Bill of Rights. I had supposed that, in the British tradition of unwritten constitutions, that a written Bill of Rights was implied but no less inviolable. I am wrong.
    I should like to quote several statements by US Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas on the matter of freedom of speech and expression:
    A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purposes when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea.
    As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such a twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of darkness. “The One Un-American Act”. William O. Douglas’ speech to the Author’s Guild Council in New York on receiving the 1951 Lauterbach Award, December 3, 1952.
    At the constitutional level where we work, 90 percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.
    Douglas was not alone in his trepidation. Justice Clarence Thomas:
    It really bugs me that someone will tell me, after I spent 20 years being educated, how I’m supposed to think.
    I am a regular reader of this column by Caitlin Johnson. I note with profound alarm the words of Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne regarding “driving and disseminating false narratives” and the government’s objections to its definitions of truth and falsity.
    I believe that Russia is hardly unique among the world’s governments In presenting a range of truths and falsehoods, overtly and covertly. I have read material bylined under Russia Today, which is an organ of state of Russia. Yet, I am not harmed by this.
    Why do I read a wide range of material, much of it with which I disagree? As a citizen, I believe it is my duty to be informed, so as to have a voice in American policy. Again, disagreement does not harm me.
    To put it delicately, I read Caitlin Johnson’s work, even though I completely disagree with considerable elements of her opinions, attitudes and perspectives. I find her principles of humanism most admirable. Yet I disagree with most of her perspective on the Ukraine/Russia/US geostrategic conflict.
    Propaganda is often defined as the wilful dissemination of false information in a manner so as to influence people. The question as to whether her information is false or true, original or motivated by a hidden hand, is entirely moot. She has not influenced me in the political controversy which concerns Foreign Minister Marise Payne. If Ms. Johnstone is a propagandist, she is not very effective at it. Any criticism of Caitlin Johnson and the propagation of her beliefs and opinions by Canberra raises far more alarm for me concerning the freedom of the Australian government than of anything this column might offer.
    The framers of the (American) Constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty. Let us hope that Australia shall do so, too.

    • Not only 90% of our decisions are emotional, 90% of our actions are habitual.
      Then we complain we dont’ have any power to change much of anything.

      • Right you are.

    • Perhaps you should search youtube for George Carlin’s routine in which he not only explained, 20+ years ago, that different countries have different sized bills of rights (starting at 6 and gong up), while some have no bill of rights at all. He asks the question, ‘Why is that the case?’ Then goes on to state that, here in the U.S. (and I’m sure elsewhere too), you have no rights, only privileges, since the government can suspend or alter them any time it sees fit.
      The Bill of Rights is a sham, just as is the perpetuated lie about democracy existing in the U.S. and just as was the rest of the Constitution that was written not to protect the people, but to protect the elite FROM the people.
      If you think you have rights, do a search for 1942 Japanese Americans. These were people who were actual citizens of the U.S., whose only crime was that their parents or grandparents were born in another country. Yet, the U.S. government destroyed most of their loves and the only right they had, as they were herded into internment camps, was when the guards said, “RIGHT this way.”
      One more thing, Freedom of speech is clearly not a right. Otherwise, RT America would still be airing its segments and Lee Camp, Caitlin and others would need to keep search for new ways to get the truth – and their opinions about it – out.
      Like you, I don’t agree with everything that Caitlin says, but if you believe that ‘U.S. good; Russia bad,’ you must be living in an alternative universe.
      Simply put, the U.S. government has seen a reduction in its power, slight though it may be so far, that has shifted its level of control somewhat downward. The U.S. is considering a ban on the import of Russian oil (which it still purchases), but Russian oil and natural gas provides 40% of the energy in Europe. Different countries are going along to different degrees, most not at all. Furthermore, the U.S. is showing how, when push comes to shove, that its support only goes so far as a consequence of its hypocrisy. Plan B, if it ceases buying Russia’s oil, is to reopen business with Iran and Venezuela for their oil – this after coups against, the hiring of mercenaries (who failed) to overthrow him and sanctions that have starved more than 40,000 Venezuelans to death.
      The truth is that Venezuela was our ally until Hugo Chavez refused to let the World Bank bankrupt his country, as the Bank had already done elsewhere in south America.
      I’m happy to live in the U.S., but not happy with the behavior of our oligarchic-controlled politicians and government.

      • Steve: please make up your mind, Johnstone or Johnson… Your post reminded me of this lady who said to her husband on their wedding night: “For heaven’s sake George, get in or out but stop this ridiculous back and forth!”

        • I plead obliviousness to my spellchecker’s assistance. I know full well Ms. Johnstone’s name. My apologies.

      • Harry S. Nydick: Quotes the great George Carlin. I read a comment on one site that said he was murdered. That was the first I heard of that. I wonder if it is true–most probably it is.

      • George’s stand-up is stellar. His analysis of constitutional law is no worse than most Americans, his errors minor. I’m sure his analysis of rights beats Hohfeld doing open mike night improv.
        Korematsu v. US is inexcusable. Justice Murphy stated that day in dissent “ This exclusion of “all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien,” from the Pacific Coast area on a plea of military necessity in the absence of martial law ought not to be approved. Such exclusion goes over “the very brink of constitutional power,” and falls into the ugly abyss of racism.” It is an indelible stain on Bill Douglas’s reputation that he concurred with this atrocity.

  • Australia is on the cutting edge of the downward spiral. If you intend to keep speaking out you better have a plan B.

  • There’s a fine line between ‘thought police’ and sanctioning unauthorized thoughts.

    And, SCOMO’s ‘Arc of Autocracy’ charge is hilarious, considering the west’s Oligarchy. I guess ‘axis of evil’ was already taken hey SCOMO? Maybe the West could have the catchphrase – ‘Hive mind of Hades’. If they’re playing that game now…. 😀

  • I’m guessing, that our posts on this site (or others, listed in Bezos’, CFR, Atlantic Council’s Prop’RNot, sponsored by right wing Ukranian Nazi thigs) will lead NSA & FBI hired OathKeeper cops to our doors, once Koch’s DCCC hands US’ Congress to a virtual casting call of “Justified” extras?

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/03/disarming-ukraine-day-13-lies-do-not-win-wars.html#more

  • The Russians have captured 13 US sponsored bio weapon labs in Ukraine. No telling how many exist worldwide. Covid, many past and any future plagues have and will originate from one of these type of US sponsored facilities. Humanity has run amok.

  • Australia is nowhere near the conflict zone of Ukraine/Russia, what is Austrslian interest here?
    Have to wonder if Uke Nazis threatened Australian government into cooperation, just like they did with Zelinsky.
    Apparently they are not scared as much of Putin as of Uke Nazis.

    • The Rothschilds OWN the media – Reuters ( since the 1800s ) and Associated Press – the Rothschilds were going to do what they did to Palestine in 1948 – slaughter the people and steal the land !

    • Maybe the very large proportion of Australian Jewish people have Leand on our P.M. to support their fellow Jewish people in Ukraine ?

  • Excellent journalism Caitlin! Thank you for taking a principled stand for freedom of expression and the right to open debate and over what’s happening in Ukraine. The censorship and threats are spiraling out of control. To even dare to point out that the U.S. government shares responsibility for the Ukraine war is becoming increasingly dangerous. People have lost any ability to think objectively now; they have devolved into binary, emotional childlike whiners about Ukraine: ‘you’re either for war with Russia /or you support Russia!’ You can’t even be anti-war: if you’re anti-war, then you’re against the USA and by demented extension for Russia! Stupid humans…..

  • With the either/or logic of theWest/Neo______ developed and utilized over generations, there’s only two possibilities: their way or being wrong. This is what ‘followed us home’.

    Be safe CJ.

  • Caitlin, you’re wrong. Putin and the Russians really do have a problem with the Ukronazis.
    The term they use for Russians translates as “snow niggers”.

  • Censorship, thought control and the purportedly woke cancel culture warriors, our new way of life.

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