If you think things are bad, there is always Tucker Carlson to make them seem worse.
Tucker Carlson in Alberta
Carlson is considered “the most influential voice in right-wing media.” That cuts both ways.
Carlson’s monologues in general and especially on the Ukraine war are adventures in misrepresentation. The monologues echo Putin’s speeches and claims. Russian television plays back the monologues as evidence that Putin is right because the same is being said by “the most popular television presenter in America”.
Why Alberta’s Premier Smith is sharing a Calgary stage with Tucker Carlson to kick-off 2024 is beyond the pale.
Based on what Carlson has espoused publicly, here are a few things you won’t hear him say in Alberta.
11 Things You WON’T Hear from Carlson
1. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a hero to his people. The day after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the US advised the President to evacuate. Observers believed Ukraine would fall within 72 hours. Zelensky responded, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”
2. Russia has no justifications for its brutal genocidal invasion that is primarily targeting the Ukrainian people and much more than the Ukrainian military. Russia has to be stopped by force.
3. Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are actions that constitute a threat to peace and security and a breach of international law.
4. The EU and its member states strongly condemn Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. They also condemn Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s military aggression. Russia must stop this atrocious war immediately. The European Union will stand by Ukraine with its steadfast support for as long as it takes.
February 9, 2023, Ukraine’s application for entry into the EU could take 8-9 more years. While the bloc recognizes progress so far, it stresses Ukraine needs to do more to build a credible track-record of fighting endemic corruption. Beyond that, the EU highlights reforms necessary to ensure that courts are free from political meddling and the rights of minorities respected in Ukraine.
Truth at Risk
5. President Zelensky did not ban Christianity and arrest Christians in Ukraine. The Russian Orthodox Church is not a church in the sense that most Canadian Christians think about churches. It directly serves the Russian government’s purposes. The Moscow-backed clergy arrested in Ukraine are not neutral, but actively working for the Kremlin, some contributing directly to the deaths of hundreds of Ukrainian women and children. These arrests are not merely a whim of President Zelensky either: Eighty-five percent of Ukrainians polled favor the government taking action against these representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church who are causing mayhem in Ukraine. 66 percent of Ukrainians want the Russian Orthodox Church banned completely in Ukraine.
6. The war is not a U.S.-led “regime-change war” against Russia. In August 2022, Carlson said he was rooting for Moscow and that, “America and the UK demand total war with Russia, regime change war with Russia and of course, the Ukrainians caught in the middle had no choice but to concede.” Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukrainians are fighting for their homes, families and country.
7. The Russian military has failed because of incompetent leadership. The Ukrainians have failed, too. But the cause of their failure has all too often been their allies. Since before the war’s inception, the U.S. has consistently been two to three months behind the Ukrainians in their requests for critical military aid. This gap must be closed. It’s the only way the Ukrainians can seize the initiative, create momentum, and defeat the Russians.
8. There is a revival of Christianity in Ukraine. Two million Ukrainians became followers of Jesus since the beginning of the war. Churches are growing. Churches are being planted. Missionaries are being sent.
9. Ukraine’s army is making progress and wants to keep pushing forward on the frontlines. Ukraine does not want to give the Russians weeks or months this winter to reset and further solidify their fighting positions — as they did last winter.
10. Russia betrayed the 1994 Trilateral agreement to support Ukraine and the US under President Obama failed to hold Russia to account. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine had the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal on its territory. The U.S. government engaged in a trilateral process with Ukraine and Russia. The result was the Trilateral Statement, signed in January 1994, under which Ukraine agreed to transfer the nuclear warheads to Russia for elimination. In return, Ukraine received security assurances from the United States, Russia and Britain.
11. What’s happened to the hundreds of billions of US dollars sent to Ukraine? The Joe Biden administration and the U.S. Congress have directed more than $75 billion in assistance to Ukraine, which includes humanitarian, financial, and military support, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute.
American companies have received $10 billion in industry contracts for weapons ranging from air defense systems and missiles to a wide array of drones, ammunition and other equipment. $16.8 billion is in contracts to replenish Pentagon stocks.
35 different states are benefiting from increased jobs and supply contracts.
The 155 mm rounds commonly used by Ukrainian Howitzers are made at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant in Pennsylvania.
$2.7 billion (4%)
Emergency food assistance, health care, refugee support, and other humanitarian aid
$26.4 billion (35%)
Budgetary aid through the Economic Support Fund, loans, and other financial support
$18.3 billion (24%)
Training, equipment, weapons, logistics support, and other assistance provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative
Weapons and equipment
$23.5 billion (31%)
Weapons and equipment from Defense Department stocks.
Grants and loans for weapons and equipment
$4.5 billion (6%)
Grants and loans provided through the Foreign Military Financing program.
Those are the facts you won’t hear from Tucker Carlson.
However Russia’s war in Ukraine ends, Europe is staring uncomfortably down the barrel of a decade of defence.
I was recently in Ukraine for a brief time. Ukrainians don’t hate Russians. Their issue is with Putin. Russia will remain a threat as long as Vladimir Putin, or like-minded successors, are in power. There is no way back to the post-cold war security order, which was cracked by Moscow’s assault on Georgia in 2008, ruptured by its annexation of Crimea in 2014, and finally shattered by its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February last year.
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