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Tipsheet

Reminder: Russia Remains an Active Member of the UN's...Human Rights Council

Let's see.  The Russian government ordered an invasion of a sovereign country, with the ludicrous stated goal of decapitating its allegedly 'Nazi' leadership.  While the Russian campaign flails and fails, its military has turned to indiscriminately shelling, and even targeting, civilians.  They've bombed multiple hospitals, taking hostages at another.  The Russians struck a theater in the middle of a park, which was being used as a bomb shelter for women and children, ignoring the word for 'children' written in large letters on each side of the building.  The Kremlin has loudly objected to President Biden labeling Vladimir Putin a war criminal, but what else would you call the man responsible for all of this (content warning)?

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This video, played by President Zelensky's team prior to his virtual address to Congress yesterday, is almost unbearable to watch.  Is it wartime propaganda?  Yes.  Does that make it untrue?  No.  It's effective information warfare because it depicts the carnage of a reality being inflicted upon the people of Ukraine by an invading force:


Late last month, Russia used its status as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to veto a resolution demanding an end to its war, instantly killing it.  The debate within that body over Russia's flagrantly illegal and totally unjustified war was presided over by...the Russian ambassador.  The wider UN's General Assembly -- best known for endless castigations of Israel -- followed up with an overwhelming denunciation of Russia's action.  The vote was 141-5, with several dozen abstentions.  We've seen Russian people, athletes, musicians and others 'canceled' in various contexts, even if they've condemned the war.  Some of this scapegoating has gotten totally out of hand, and compelled speech litmus tests are quite creepy.  Meanwhile, the Russian government retains its seat on the UN's...human rights council.  In spite of everything rehearsed above, which barely scratches the surface of Moscow's atrocities.  I noted this point last night:

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Sure enough, here they are, listed as an active member in good standing of the world's 'human rights' body -- alongside colleague nations such as China, Cuba, Libya, Sudan, and Venezuela.  The rules allow the General Assembly to expel members of the Human Rights Council by a two-thirds majority vote.  Has this even been proposed, let alone attempted?  The Biden administration rejoined this farce of a panel with great fanfare after the Trump administration rightly refused to legitimize it with continued US participation.  Team Biden's justification for doing so was to get "back at the table" in order to pursue meaningful change, arguing that walking away from the hopeless group "created a vacuum of U.S. leadership."  Okay, where's that leadership here, now that America is "back at the table"?  Has the Biden administration moved to boot Russia out? Has anyone? I ask again: What is the point of the UN?  Meanwhile, back in Russia, dissenters are being arrested and prosecuted more than ever, with Putin darkly hinting at much more internal repression to come. Russian soldiers are being killed at an extraordinary clip, too:

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Weapons from the United States and other Western nations, coupled with Ukrainians' extraordinary patriotism and ferocity, are packing a devastating punch.  But this answer makes little sense:


Planes are, by definition, offensive weapons?  They can be, of course, but does the White House believe the Ukrainians are going to fly these MiGs over to Moscow?  C'mon.  These planes would obviously be used to try to stop the bombing of Ukrainian civilians on Ukrainian soil.  Textbook self-defense.  Finally amid much discussion of possible "off ramps" from this nightmare, I'll leave you with this possible ray of hope:

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