Diane Ravitch Responds to Putinist Trolls

Please read this moving piece by my candidate for Greatest Living American, Diane Ravitch. As she so often does, she nails this. Dr. Ravitch writes:

As regular readers know, I have received and posted several comments complaining that I don’t write posts showing “both sides” or “different sides” on Ukraine. They disapprove of my support for Ukraine and my criticism of Putin.

In some cases, the commenters have included links to articles or videos claiming that Putin had no choice but to invade Ukraine because…he felt encircled by NATO, or he needed to protect Russians in Ukraine, or Ukraine is overrun by Nazis, or some policy analyst warned that NATO’s expansion would provoke Putin. Other commenters claim that I should not post anything sympathetic to Ukraine unless I post equally sympathetic commentaries about places where the U.S. brutalized the local population or where other nations are suffering.

Let me explain. This is my blog. It is not CNN, FOX, MSNBC, or a network station. The articles I post are my choice.

My choice is to demand that Putin stop the war that he launched against Ukraine. Stop the killing of Ukrainians and Russians. Stop the targeting of civilians. Stop the bombing of civilian shelters and hospitals and evacuation routes.

I oppose this unprovoked war. Those who excuse and rationalize it are, wittingly or unwittingly, supporting the war. And they are supporting Putin. One comment, which I chose not to publish, claimed that the war was “provoked” by Ukraine. Rubbish. Another said that Ukraine is run by Nazis. Rubbish. Another said the war was created by Russophobes. More rubbish. NATO accepted ex-Soviet satellite nations because they asked to be admitted. NATO didn’t pressure them to apply. They wanted protection from Russia. Ukraine requested membership in NATO but the request was tabled, probably to avoid antagonizing Putin.

The nations of the world should have the right to choose their own government and not to be ruled by a puppet regime. Russia took a sharp turn away from democracy when Boris Yeltsin chose him as his successor. He has a long history of killing or imprisoning his critics and competitors. Now he has none, and he engineered passage of a law that keeps him in power until 2036. That’s almost half a century of one man rule. The usual words for such regimes are “dictatorship,” “authoritarian,” “totalitarian.”

For thirty years, the West has encouraged ties with Russia. The goal of the West was to integrate Russia into the global economy and promote healthy relations between Russia and the West. By his invasion of Ukraine, Putin severed the past thirty years of steady efforts to build ties with the West and to turn Russia into a normal nation that does not threaten its neighbors or threaten the world with nuclear war.

I will not post defenses of Putin. If you want to defend his actions, write a letter to the New York Times or the Washington Post. Or follow the tweets of Marjorie Taylor Green, Madison Cawthorne, and the other members of the GOP’s Putin caucus.

One man surrounded the borders of Ukraine with nearly 200,000 troops. One man lied and said he had “no intention” of invading Ukraine. One man ordered the troops and jets and warships to attack Ukraine. One man gave the order to reduce Ukrainian cities to rubble and trap civilians who had no water, no heat, no food.

Putin.

In my view, he is a megalomaniac, an imperialist, a man without a heart or a soul. He is Stalin reborn.

I will no longer post comments defending Putin’s cruel and unprovoked war. I will no longer give space to those who say he was afraid of being “encircled” by NATO. This gives him permission to invade Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, even Poland and Hungary.

I have no obligation to post “both sides.” I don’t post both sides of the campaign to privatize public schools. I don’t post both sides on issues of racism or book banning or other issues that, in my view, are clear cut.

We can debate lots of issues. But I will no longer tolerate defenses of Putin and his war of choice. Please don’t waste your time or mine by posting comments justifying Putin’s war. I will delete them, and you will go into moderation where I can delete them before they appear.

About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
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5 Responses to Diane Ravitch Responds to Putinist Trolls

  1. jilldennison says:

    BRAVO!!!! Very well-said! I am the same … my blog is MY blog and my opinions are my own, opinions which I am entitled to. If anybody doesn’t like it, they are welcome to simply stop reading my blog. Hats off to Diane Ravitch!

    Liked by 2 people

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