Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Statement from Google on my Blog and Ukraine

This week I received this message from Google about my blog: 

Dear Publisher,
Due to the war in Ukraine, we will pause monetization of content that exploits, dismisses, or condones the war.
Please note, we have already been enforcing on claims related to the war in Ukraine when they violated existing policies (for instance, the Dangerous or Derogatory content policy prohibits monetizing content that incites violence or denies tragic events). This update is meant to clarify, and in some cases expand, our publisher guidance as it relates to this conflict.
This pause includes, but is not limited to, claims that imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens.

The money I would have received from Google ads is only pennies. In no way was I denigrating the people of Ukraine or justifying what is happening to them. You can read my posts and decide for yourself here. I was arguing that there are parallels between Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I was also arguing that NATO expansion up to Russia's borders was totally unacceptable for them. When Russia annexed Crimea, in 2014, I suggested having Russia into NATO as a way of offering them an olive branch to avoid another cold war. That is definitely not going to happen.  

More than likely my posts were flagged by a natural language processing algorithm by Google rather than by a human censor. Chris Hedges' program On Contact was deleted by YouTube (which is owned by Google as is Blogger). He discusses this issue above.

I did have a post on LinkedIn flagged once as inappropriate. I appealed it and it was reinstated. I do not seem to have any similar recourse with Google. You can read a discussion of Google's censorship here.

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Sunday, March 6, 2022

Iraq and Ukraine: A Contrast in Superpowers

The news has been good locally with COVID case numbers coming down.  Unfortunately, the news overseas has has dampened these good feelings.  Watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfold I cannot help but think of parallels and differences between what is happening now and what was happening 19 years ago when the U.S. invaded Iraq.  

There were protests in the streets all over the world as well as the U.S. (pictured at the above right) just as there are now all over the world and in Russia itself (pictured at the right).  The protesters in Russia place themselves at greater risk for being arrested than the U.S. antiwar protesters did.  Russian state media is heavily censored with outlets banned from them calling it a war.  In the U.S., there was more self censorship in the corporate controlled media. For example, Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC being canceled in favor of right wing shock jock Michael Savage.

The right here used the excuse of fighting Islamo-fascism for continuing the war even though there was no evidence of a connection between .  In fact, it only lead to the creation of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and it further destabilized the region.  Putin has said that he is fighting neo-Nazis in Ukraine.  It remains to be seen what impact his invasion will have on neo Nazi movements in Europe and throughout the world.

Internationally, neither the U.S. nor Russia had a U.N. security council resolution condemning their actions because both countries, as permanent members of the council, have veto power over any council resolutions.  The U.N General assembly have an emergency session to condemn Russia's actions. 

One hundred and forty one of the 193 member states voted in favor of a resolution to condemn Russia's actions. Russia, Eritrea, Belarus, Syria, and North Korea voted against the it while 35 nations including China abstained. There was no emergency General Assembly meeting to discuss US actions in Iraq.  This is indicative of Russia's lack of core status.


Democracy Now! has a good discussion of Iraq and Ukraine histories.

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Monday, January 24, 2022

Russian Saber Rattling over NATO?

All this talk of war with Russia and Ukraine is the last thing we need.  With climate change and coronavirus we need more cooperation not more death and destruction.  Katrina vanden Heuvel of the Nation magazine gives a good review of the history behind this standoff. 


It started at the end of the cold war in 1990.  In return for dissolving the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe and allowing Germany to reunify, Gorbachev was promised by George HW Bush that NATO (the western military alliance formed after WWII) would not be expanded eastward toward Russia's border.

This promise was broken when Clinton took office as can be seen in the above map.  Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary were admitted to NATO in 1999.  This continued under Bush, Obama, and Trump right up to Russia's borders with the admission of Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) and other former Iron Curtain state.  Any possible addition of Ukraine into NATO is totally unacceptable for Russia.

With Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, they were excluded from G8 summit of economic powers.  They also received many other economic sanctions including their athletes not being allowed to compete in the Olympics under their flag.  With Russia's history of paranoia of foreign invaders from the Mongols to Hitler, it should be easy to understand their obstinance over NATO expansion.

We have already tried the stick in dealing with Russia with little success.  Maybe it's time for a carrot to improve relations.  Let's come back from the brink.

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A Proposal to Fix Relations with Russia: Russia in NATO

Friday, June 30, 2017

A Proposal to Fix Relations with Russia: Russia in NATO

Much has been made of Trump and Russia.  Did the Russians sabotage the 2016 elections?  Do they have a disgusting tape of Trump with Russian women?  Did Trump commit an impeachable offense in firing FBI director James Comey?  Are Trump's Tweets an asinine Tweets merely a distraction from the real issues we face.  I don't know the answers to these questions (except possibly the last one) but this is clear: NATO expansion right up to Russia's borders in unacceptable for them.

Right at the end of the Soviet Union, George H.W Bush made a promise to Mikhail Gorbachev that in return for allowing Germany to reunite and the USSR to break up, NATO would not expand eastward towards Russia's borders.  This promise, which was never made in writing, was later broken by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama by including Poland and 13 other former subservient Soviet States.  

Russia, with it's long history of invasions (from the Mongols to Hitler), and suspicions of foreign intervention is now taking steps to reassert it's position in the region.  This is done through it's annexing of the Crimean Peninsula from the Ukraine, it's intervention in the war in Syria on the side of longtime ally Bashar Assad, granting Edward Snowden asylum, and possibly it's collusion with Donald Trump.  

My take on this is, why take on a new cold war with Russia with so many other problems in the world, namely climate change, terrorism, human trafficking, and others.  Is there a way to have a new detente` (the deescalation of the cold war in the 1970s) with Russia?  One proposal I and others have would be to allow Russia to join NATO for global security.  The west would not like it because it would give them a veto over NATO actions.

Allowing Russia to join NATO would give them a say in how NATO works.  This would allay their fears of western intentions.  Most conflicts arise when nations feel that their status in the world is threatened.  Germany, Japan, and Italy pursued WWII because they felt that they were shunned after WWI.  We worked with the Russians to defeat the Germans and their allies in WWII, we need to work with them to solve the world's problems now.

I don't know how the Russians would respond to an offer of NATO membership.  This Idea is not originally mine.  Putin jokes about it in the clip above but doesn't believe it would ever happen.  The nature of the discussions in the western media have been one sided and I haven't seen Oliver Stone's interviews with Putin.  I believe it is a proposal worth exploring in the west.  This site does get traffic from Russia.  Will this post bring in more traffic from here or the west?

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