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The New Russian Hoax - Media Group Equates Not Supporting Ukraine to Being Pro-Russia

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What do Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, Jill Stein, Elon Musk, Jordan Peterson, Glenn Beck, Peter Thiel, Noam Chomsky, the Heritage Foundation, Matt Taibbi, the Daily Wire, The Nation, Turning Point USA, Ben Shapiro, the African People’s Socialist Party, Fox News and Code Pink have in common?

They’re all Russian apologists! Stooges of Vladimir Putin! All part of a vast right-, left-, and/or center-wing conspiracy to cripple Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his brave Ukrainian freedom fighters! And this isn’t just a blacklist, according to the award-winning Ukrainian non-governmental organization that put together this unlikely rogues gallery, but merely a “statement of facts.”

Let’s back up a bit, though. On June 6, Texty.org — the aforementioned Ukrainian NGO, winner of a number of media awards — published a bizarre interactive map connecting “nodes” of “forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it.”

The “study,” such as it is, was titled “Roller Coaster” — and I must admit, that’s how my brain felt trying to absorb the connections and the rationale behind them. Each of the “nodes” of supposed anti-Ukrainian — and, by extension, pro-Russian — was graphically linked in a haphazard and febrile manner that someone with a modicum of sense should have told them was way too reminiscent of the index-card-and-strings scenes from “A Beautiful Mind.”

This web site screen shot from Ukrainian NGO Texty.org shows connective "bubbles" from various entities that lead back to some form of Russian support.
This website screen shot from Ukrainian NGO Texty.org shows connective “bubbles” from various entities that lead back to some form of Russian support. (Texty.org.ua / Web Screen Shot)
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Most of these people and organizations are listed for the thoughtcrime of questioning unending, unaudited, unchecked military and financial assistance to the government of Ukraine.

“We’ve identified a broad spectrum of aid opponents, ranging from Trump supporters to communists, and examined their connections,” Texty said in the article. “While our research does not cover every public figure opposing aid to Ukraine, it highlights prominent individuals and common arguments that often mirror Kremlin propaganda.”

To be fair, they insert this tossed-off caveat deep into the piece: “Most of the people in our study do not have direct, proven ties to the Russian government or propagandists.”

Oh.

Is it possible to be against funding the Ukraine War without being pro-Russia?

Also to be fair, there are a very small number of people and organizations in this John Nash constellation of crazy that are deserving of being called out for being Putin marionettes. RT, which is Russian state media, obviously makes the list. So does The Grayzone, a bizarre disinformation outlet that goes to insane lengths to defend pretty much every anti-democratic, anti-American, pro-irredentism regime on this planet Earth.

But Jordan Peterson?

“In mid-2022, following the devastation of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine by Russian forces, Jordan Peterson, a widely followed Canadian psychologist, and fan of Dostoevsky who was treated in Moscow for six months in 2020, rationalized Putin’s attack on Ukraine as a defense of traditional Christian values against the corrosive impact of Western culture. This narrative aligns with the explanations provided by Russian officials to their domestic audience,” the piece claims.

He likes Dostoevsky, one of the greatest artists in human history? Holy Moses — so do I! I’m a Muscovite stooge and I didn’t even know it.

The rest of this assassination on Jordan Peterson’s character, you may not be surprised to learn, leaves out so much context that it essentially qualifies as a flat-out lie.

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According to his own account, Peterson didn’t seek treatment in Russia because he was impressed with the country’s leadership or cultural climate, but because Russian doctors were the only ones willing to attempt a novel treatment to ease severe withdrawal from a class of anti-anxiety medication called benzodiazepines that he was prescribed after his wife’s cancer diagnosis; withdrawal from benzodiazepines, if handled improperly or in a patient with severe sensitivity to the drugs, can potentially be fatal. That’s important information to simply elide over if you’re going to casually mention that Peterson was medically treated in perfidious Russia as evidence of his disloyalty.

And, as for how Peterson “rationalized Putin’s attack on Ukraine as a defense of traditional Christian values against the corrosive impact of Western culture,” this is such a gross oversimplification that one wonders if the person at Texty who typed those words could keep a straight face.

Peterson, instead, participated in a discussion and authored a piece for the Daily Wire — another tentacle of pro-Putin agitprop, as per Texty — noting that the Ukraine-Russia conflict was a great deal more socially, culturally, and geopolitically complicated than the prevailing narrative of “Vlad want to invade country, Vlad invade country, Vlad is bad and need to be hit by American missiles.”

This is just but one example of how inane, misleading and propaganda-tastic this waste of ones and zeroes was. I can’t go through every fallacious and inflammatory statement made to attempt to prove these “nodes” were Putinian stooges, because for something that long I’d require an advance from a publisher.

All I’ll say is that I’m rather disappointed that The Western Journal didn’t make the list. What, we’re not important enough? I know when I’ve been insulted! I know when I’ve been insulted!

But wait: This gets worse, too. As it turns out, the people behind Texty.org have ties to the American government. Quelle surprise! Who’d’ve imagined it?

As The American Conservative — a publication that managed to make the “Roller Coaster” list, it must be noted — reported, the founder of the NGO, Anatoly Bondarenko, was a trainer for the State Department.

“Bondarenko was an instructor for the State Department’s ‘TechCamp’ program, which provides training to foreign journalists, NGOs, and activists,” the outlet reported.

“The association of Bondarenko and Texty.org.ua to the TechCamp and the State Department is very public, with the TechCamp website listing Bondarenko as a trainer for the TechForum Ukraine program. In this program, over ’60 local journalists, civil society, community leaders, and private sector partners’ were taught various media skills through the State Department’s TechCamp.”

The connection is enough that two GOP lawmakers — Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, both on the list, as well — are calling on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to investigate.

“If this were merely some random news outlet in a foreign nation, such a hit piece would be easily ignored. But the founder of the group itself, Anatoly Bondarenko, is listed on a U.S. government website as supported by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,” the lawmakers said in the Tuesday letter.

“Needless to say, whatever one thinks of American foreign aid or support for Ukraine, all Americans can agree that our tax dollars should not be supporting direct attacks on U.S. persons based upon reasonable political disagreement, and especially not direct attacks on U.S. legislators based solely upon their vote.”

And Glenn Beck, one of the many conservatives who made it onto the list simply for questioning limitless funding of and materiel support for an unwinnable war in a nation not known for a paucity of corruption, as well as America’s fondness for astroturfing “color revolutions” in nations that don’t necessarily want them, expressed his outrage on being included on the list in a post on his blog.

“We’ve carried out color revolutions in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe,” he wrote. “Ukraine is one of them. Here’s how they do it. The United States keeps its distance from the ‘dirty work’ by going through NGOs and trade unions. They train and mobilize street movement — like the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots or the current pro-Palestinian protests. These movements are funded by the same people and seem to pop up every four years.”

“So, why am I on this list? I believe I’m on this list because I’m telling you exactly what’s happening,” he added. “We have a color revolution happening within our own country. Our government, NGOs, George Soros, and all the same actors used to initiate color revolutions abroad are now initiating a color revolution within the U.S.”

That’s sadly a dire possibility in 2024 America, particularly when the State Department has suspiciously close links with an NGO publishing a de facto enemies list and implying everyone mentioned is explicitly or implicitly on Russia’s side. I’d cheer up if I were Glenn Beck, though: There are certain blacklists it pays to be on, and this latest Russian hoax is definitely one of them.


A Note from Our Deputy Managing Editor:

 

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Sincerely,

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Deputy Managing Editor

The Western Journal

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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