You’re Not Helping Ukraine

Putting the Ukrainian Flag on Your Social Media Profile Puts Us All at Risk

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I’ve been told on social media that the only thing that needs to be written or said about the Russian-Ukrainian war is how bad Russia’s aggression is, and that it’s feting Vladimir Putin if I write about the expansion of NATO and the CIA coup in Ukraine (2014) and coup attempt in Belarus (2021) as provocations toward the war.

But I don’t write about things people already know. That’s boring. You can find out about Russian aggression on every corporate media broadcast, on every corporate media channel, and every establishment politician’s lips. I write and meme about things people don’t know and need to know.

The official narrative is also boring because it’s historically repetitive.

The war narrative narrative repeatedly stated nearly 10 years ago I was a tool of Bashir al-Assad – as part of the barrage of war propaganda in favor of war against Assad’s Syria – while I was writing antiwar articles on libertarian websites against US military involvement. The result was Hillary Clinton’s State Department armed ISIS.

The war narrative 12 years ago said I was pro-Kaddafi a few months before our disastrous Libyan intervention that re-introduced the slave trade to Africa.

The war narrative 20 years ago said I was a useful idiot of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, when I was writing for against Iraq War 2.0.

The war narrative 25 years ago said I was a propagandist for Slobodan Milosovic when I was writing against the war propaganda leading to the Balkan Wars that killed tens of thousands.

I was called racist 30 years ago when I was writing against the bloody Somalian intervention, but it was their intervention that ended with the massacre of ten thousand black Somalis on the streets of Mogadishu and "Black Hawk Down."

I was called Saddam Hussein’s useful idiot for the first time 32 years ago when I was writing in The New American magazine against Iraq War 1.0, which ended in the deaths of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans and the restoration of the Kuwaiti emirate dictatorship.

The morons who mindlessly retailed the Military-Industrial-Surveillance Complex’s war propaganda were wrong every time they insisted I was for the dictator. They were wrong every time I heard, "This is different. We’re fighting a potential Hitler." Occasionally, years after the war went awry some of the wokist simpletons impotently stated perfunctorily that they were against war. But it was always too late to stop the massacres and mass death they had actively and stupidly helped make inevitable.

And every time I welcomed them belatedly back into the antiwar movement, when some of them realized each of these wars was a mistake years later. But I always wondered how they could be so gullible, and so often.

This time is different, however. This time they’re gearing up for a war between the two nuclear superpowers. There may not be anything left to welcome them back this time.

So I would say to detractors of the antiwar movement that it’s time to wake up, stop retailing someone else’s war propaganda du jour, start thinking for yourself, look at where this war propaganda is being generated, and why.

Or you can just change your Facebook profile pic to the flag of the season and keep pretending you’re doing something that actually makes a difference. But I have to say that unless you’re running actual guns to Ukraine, you’re not making a difference for Ukraine, and you’re making a nuclear confrontation more likely.

Thomas R. Eddlem is a freelance writer, an economist with a masters degree in Applied Economics from Boston College, and Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts.

22 thoughts on “You’re Not Helping Ukraine”

  1. Tom, I am sorry you are unable to distinguish between aggressive war and the response to aggressive war. It is a disappointment after the many insightful things I have read from you in the past. The response to Russia’s aggression has been Ukrainians fighting in defense – would you deny them that right – and a growing set of international sanctions and voluntary boycotts. A nuclear armed Russia attacked a nuclear free Ukraine without provocation, and you think that opposing aggression means we have bought the lies of the military industrial complex? Sorry to lose a smart person from the cause of opposing aggressive war – what I used to think antiwar meant.

    1. I’m sorry you think that your Ukrainian flag emojis are “opposing aggression” rather than following the propaganda narrative that threatens to engulf us all in nuclear war. Nobody said Ukraine doesn’t have the right to defend itself. I certainly didn’t. Maybe you need to read my piece again.

      1. I don’t fly flags, and I don’t have Ukraine flag emojis. But you don’t help stop war when you blame those who respond to aggression. What I was responding to was the attempt to fit Russia’s aggression into your narrative of American war propaganda. Do you think the news reported on the major cable networks in “fake news”? It it is, give some evidence, don’t just say that is how war propaganda is. Ukraine is not Iraq – even though Vlad the Impaler is acting like a Dick and starting an unprovoked preemtive war. Like Iraq, there are now WMDs in Ukraine, and Ukraine did not attack Russia. Coup in Ukraine? Well the current President of Ukraine is elected, ands if you think the election was rigged, prove it. Attacking a country that is under attack only helps the attacker, it does not create a more pure entity to defend.

        1. I didn’t attack any country under attack. I’m starting to wonder if you even bothered to read the above.

          But I should add that you’re not “Standing with Ukraine.”

          Sorry, but you’re not. You’re sitting on your ass, tapping on your phone, pretending you’re defending the innocent. But you’re actually doing nothing for them.

          You’re just repeating precisely what the MISC wants you to repeat. Let the Ukrainians fight their own war, and let’s fight our war against the domestic warmongers who want us to get involved, risking nuclear annihilation.

          1. I did read your column which is why I made the specific point that I don’t think the current situation fits into you apparently – (I could be wrong) preexisting narrative that all this reporting is just war propaganda.

            “You’re just repeating precisely what the MISC wants you to repeat” If you wish to believe that, it does not
            alter the truth; in this war there is an aggressor; under the libertarian principle of non-aggression, the one that initiates force is the aggressor, and that is clearly the Russian regime headed by Vladimir Putin and the army of that regime.

            Perhaps America should stay out of Europe’s defense and quit NATO; I have believed that and promoted it for 53 years, only having doubts after reading Scott Horton’s speech to the Utah Libertarian Party, and other postings in the blog.

            If we can understand Putin to be rational, and by implication if not statement, acting rationally, and apparently acting on the basis of his security concerns about East European countries joining NATO – why do these east European countries themselves not have security concerns worthy of the attention of

            But Yes, I think America should quit NATO, now more than ever. The Europeans – the Poles, the Czechs, the Finns, and now even the Swedes, understand the danger from the Putin regime. That is more than can be said of too many American juvenile leftists and older paleoconservatives.

          2. This is someone who is totally ignorant of the reality of the countries involved, their history, the geopolitical intentions of the parties, etc., etc. In short, someone who posits “libertarian theory” as having some relation to the real world.

            I’m an individualist anarchist. Even I understand why Russia is doing what it did. In a rational world, Russia would not only not do what it did, it wouldn’t exist as it does and neither would the situation. What part of “this is not a rational world” don’t you comprehend?

            If you have an alternative in the real world to what Russia did that solves Russia’s problems without a war, let’s hear it. Otherwise as the article says, “you’re not helping.”

          3. I used to be an anarchist, for many years, but I met too many anarchists who were apologists for foreign totalitarian states. And I am not a pawn of the
            military industrial complex – I have been involved in antiwar activities since 1969. I also own a book shop in business since 1984 with large selections of
            books on Europe, East Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the USA. A small selection is @

          4. I understand your point about leftist anarchists who, in their support of socialism, revere authoritarian states. I’m an individualist anarchist, so I’m not susceptible to that.

            I am operating on the basis of Russia doing something which counters something worse that the US is doing. This can’t be dismissed by rhetoric about whether what Russia is doing is “right” or “wrong.” One can say “a pox on both their houses” – and I do – but it doesn’t help explaining why and what is happening and who, according to the accepted definitions of “right” and “wrong” in international relations, is responsible for the situation. That party is the US and NATO, not Russia.

            Absent a better plan tor resolve’s Russia’s problems with the US and NATO, Russia is doing what any other state would do – defend itself.

          5. Ukraine did not attack Russia so, the invasion and bombing of Ukraine BY RUSSIA is NOT “defend[ing] itself” by any definition. The horrible “irony” of the explanation being “Russia fear more c9untries joing NATO”—is that Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine has inspired formally-NEUTRAL countries (Sweden & Finland) to WANT to join NATO. Ukraine likely feels the same way.

          6. You are accepting the claims of a thug that he is in danger, when Russia is the most aggressive country in Europe or Eurasia. That is not
            rhetoric – you calling it rhetoric is rhetoric. Can you point to any time that NATO or any NATO country has attacked Russia? Can you point to
            the times Russia has attacked its neighbors – including Ukraine 4 times since 1917, before a fifth attack on February 24, 2022. The countries around Russia have security issues based on Russia’s history. What security issues can you point to that Russia has? That it’s neighbors have talked about their fears of
            Russia? That seems to be Scott Horton’s argument. That by seeking to join NATO because they are next to Russia, which has a history of aggression
            that provoked Russia into attacking. Then I guess Scott should advise young women to not carry mace or pepper spray in their purses – if they
            get raped, the defense attorney can point to the provocatio.

          7. “You’re sitting on your ass, tapping on your phone,” ironically when I was doing volunteer work for in 2002, Eric asked me to answer critical emails they were getting. Several of them said something similar.

            What are you doing now? You are using some electronic device (I use a PC, I don’t have a smart phone) to make an argument. I am responding.

            OK I am at my computer. But I spend 8 hours a day selling books @ Renaissance Book Shop in Riverside, CA with a large selection of books on history of every part of the world, critiques of American foreign policy, libertarian, conservative & Objectivist books, anarchist books, and much much more, since 1984.

            Other than selling books I am doing less now, but I resisted the draft during the Vietnam War, as well as going to many demonstrations; helped organize the antiwar coalition in Riverside in 1990, did volunteer research for 2002-2010.

            I know you have been writing for years to promote freedom @ the JBS and elsewhere. I am glad you are antiwar. But regurgitating old cliches when the facts of reality are so clear, and trying to say aggression by a nuclear armed state against a nuclear free state is not the concern of everyone who opposes war – it just defies common sense.

    2. … Russia attacked a nuclear free Ukraine without provocation,….

      au contraire mon ami; there has been a 8 year long war in the region in gross violation of international law amd specifically UNSC 2202. The peacekeepers are ending the warfare. Finally, there is a hope that Ukrainians can have peace.

      The only group preventing peace in Ukraine these days is the War Party in Washington. They are ready to fight Russians to the last Ukrainian.

      1. Your support for Russian aggression is noted. Your tendentious understanding of history is noted, with a loose use of the word

        1. Your support for Russian aggression is noted- as if a random internet user can somehow threaten another random internet user. What EXACTLY are you going to do?

        2. The Peacekeeping mission is on its way to end 8 years of warfare in the region. Finally, the locals have a opportunity to live in peace.

          The peacekeeping mission is fully in accordance with
          1) R2P
          2) ICJ ruling 141
          3) UNSC 2202
          4) UN article 51

  2. March 4, 2022 How Russia Will Counterpunch the U.S./EU Declaration of War

    One of the key underlying themes of the Russia/Ukraine/NATO matrix is that the Empire of Lies (copyright Putin) has been rattled to the core by the combined ability of Russian hypersonic missiles and a defensive shield capable of blocking incoming nuclear missiles from the West, thereby ending Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.)

  3. “So I would say to detractors of the antiwar movement that it’s time to wake up, stop retailing someone else’s war propaganda du jour, start thinking for yourself, look at where this war propaganda is being generated, and why.”

    Excellent advice! Someone who’s been pushing for all of our wars is none other than General Jack Keane, who is ubiquitous on FOX. This guy has made a fortune shilling for war. He sits on the board of “The Institute for the Study (Promotion) of War, a Neocon, pro-war think tank run by the Kagans, one of whom is married to Victoria Nuland. He also sits on boards of Defense (Offense) Companies where he makes even more $$$. Every time he comes on FOX there should be a disclaimer about his conflict of interests. His commentaries are evil.

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